As I stared out the window of my hotel room, I reflected back on the last couple of years since I met … him, my nameless ex. It started innocently enough. I was out with friends, celebrating … something, my memory failed as to the exact circumstances. He was handsome, charming, and funny. We flirted and I some how ended up going home with him that night. That alone should have been a warning sign, I wasn’t a one-night stand kind of girl. Somehow, being with him lowered my inhibitions and naturally cautious nature.
The relationship started off as most do, wooing, romance, and lust—but no passion. There was never any passion or fire. As time evolved, this ex showed his true colors. He was petty, cruel, jealous and manipulative—deeply manipulative. Somewhere along the line his behavior became abusive. It started off subtly, isolating me from my friends and co-workers and became progressively worse until I was devoid of my confidence, my joy, and lost sight of who I was. He also insidiously stole my magic. At first it was just once in a while to “pay a debt” or do a “favor for a friend” but then he became greedy and took it all. This nameless ex was a low-level magic broker; and my birthright, my magic, was his most expensive commodity. Him, not having any power of his own, just transferred power between magical beings for a fee. Finally, my magic was gone. Between the isolation, abuse, and lack of passion, I had no way to refill my stores and I didn’t want to. Not when I didn’t know how or for what my stolen magic was being used. Once the magic was gone, the hitting started, and that’s when I left.
No, it was best for this ex to think he had won, that I had lost everything; that he had taken it all. But that’s the funny thing about magic—it exists outside of one’s perception of time and space. Somehow, I found the strength to hide what was left, burying it deep within me and walked away. My only regret? That I didn’t leave sooner, that I caught on faster to what he was stealing from me.
Now I found myself in a new town, away from everything I had ever known. But still it felt right. I was born a witch and with that came certain abilities; intuition, sensing an aura, a connection with nature, healing gifts—all of these I possessed outside of my “special skill.” It was time to start reconnecting and healing. There’s this ridiculous mantra that says the “first step is the hardest.” When you’re trying to rebuild from trauma, every step is hard. I sighed, and got up off my hotel bed. My therapist would be proud of me for the progress I made since walking away from him.
I came here for the nature and now I was going to soak it up. Pulling on my hiking boots, I filled my water bottle, threw some snacks into my backpack and headed out. There was a map of trails at the front desk of the hotel, I grabbed one and found a 2-mile trail that started a few blocks from where I was staying. As I walked, I worked to clear my mind and remember a mantra the Mistress of my old coven would tell me as a child,
“Healing thought sent in flight, surround me so tight;
blessings so bright, protect me from pain tonight.”
I chanted this in my head as I walked. It was supposed to bring healing and protection to the party to whom you wished to transfer the energy. I hoped it would stir my own and start some healing in myself. While I left my coven as a teenager, not wanting to associate with a group of old and odd women, the lessons they taught remained imprinted on my mind. In my darkest moments, I thought about returning. But it would be in shame and I wasn’t even sure how I felt about going back to magic full time. I loved working as a nurse-midwife. Bringing new life into the world was such a traditional wiccan practice, and it was the one thing in my life that brought me joy. I wasn’t willing to give that up. No, staying away from the Coven and starting fresh was the right decision for now.
As I continued to chant my new manta, I found myself off the marked trail, drawn to something—some force—I couldn’t see. I was quite surprised, my magic being so dormant. Whatever it was, this force, it must be strong. After another hour of walking, the force was stronger, but I couldn’t go farther. It was odd, as if something or someone was trying to keep me away from what I was sensing. It was just as well. This was one mystery I wasn’t interested in solving. I backtracked to the trail and headed back to my hotel, feeling a little bit better.