Friday, April 9, 2010

An Unusual Initiation

A priestess, like a parent, should never show favoritism. A priestess is going to have students that he or she likes more than others. I want to talk about the one student I had that I really didn’t like. This student, that I will call Zoe, is why I now stand firm with my year and a day rule.

Zoe was a friend of a friend that came into my life almost a decade ago. She was a bit older but I actually prefer older students (less drama) and she seemed very eager to learn. After a couple of months, she asked to become my student and I said yes. At first, everything seemed to be fine but after awhile Zoe became this whiney, bitchy lump that constantly complained about everything. She also had very strange habits (dietary, lifestyle, etc) with no sense to them. Some stranger would tell her some wild ass thing and it would be gospel but when I or our group elder would try to tell her something she would become very hostile…almost combative.

We just couldn’t wait for her year and a day to be over so we could initiate her and get her on her path and out of our lives. I know that sounds terrible, but I was very honest with her. I told her that she just didn’t seem to be thriving with us so once her initiation was done, she would be free to see other witches.

So, the day of her initiation came and I was determined to give her a good one. I didn’t want my personal feelings to interfere with her experience. I felt strongly that Chango was going to be involved, although I wasn’t sure why. He hadn’t shown much interest in her until now. I collected leaves of the China Berry tree, which is strongly connected to Chango.

During her ceremony, I took the bunch of leaves, wet them, and briskly wiped her down as a cleansing. I can’t tell why Chango led me to do this at the time, although I later found out this is common in multiple cultures as a cleansing ritual. When it was all over with, she was very upset. She claimed that by touching her with the leaves, I had caused her a great deal of pain. This was interesting because in the year and half we had known her she never mentioned that tidbit. She went on to explain that spirituality should never be painful. We were dumb founded. Not painful? Are you kidding me? I wanted to give her this long diatribe on cultures and systems throughout the world that would torture their initiates and your complaining because I wiped you down with a few leaves?

I then had to remind myself that you can’t fix stupid and sent her on her way. Chango was probably laughing the whole time.

I now require that I get to know people for a year and a day before accepting them as a student. More than once, this has paid off because the candidates have either left, lost interest or showed their true colors.

Sometimes you learn truth from the people you don’t like more than the people you like.