This past Sunday, 26 May, someone attempted to save me.
I had church that morning as usual, and then had a few hours to spare before my circle meeting that afternoon. So, like I often do when I'm spending extra time in that area, I went to the Half Price Books store to browse. I was specifically looking to see if they had one witchcraft book, but I always look at all other areas that interest me, just in case. And that day they were having a 20% off sale! I ended up buying an anthology of Robert Frost poems, and Aradia: Gospel of the Witches.
To make a long story short, for the blog, I was sitting on the floor looking at the bottom shelf of Wicca/Witchcraft books when a woman slipped something into my hand and said "Read this later." When I looked down, I was holding a small, gloss-coated booklet called "GOD'S BRIDGE TO ETERNAL LIFE." I didn't know what else to say, so I said "Thank you?" to the woman who was already halfway across the store, and she looked over her shoulder to say "You're welcome."
I was laughing and crying at the same time. I was in total disbelief that that had actually just happened. A young couple, man and woman, who were in the section with me, asked me what was wrong. The girl said, "Oh my gosh, are you okay? What just happened? What did she say?" I held up the booklet and said "Because I'm over here looking at witchcraft books, she just handed me a booklet about God." The girl was incredulous and tried to help me forget it, saying things like "I can't believe that. Do what you want, you're not hurting anyone, forget her." But I was in shock! I was still laughing, eyes watering, shaking with disbelief and the horrible feeling that I could not just let this woman walk away.
Walking around the store, I saw the woman checking out at the counter. I waited near the door and though she initially ducked out of view and tried to avoid my gaze, she looked toward me and I said "I'm sorry, but do you mind if I ask you a question?" She said it was okay, so I told her I've read the Bible, but I was wondering if she'd ever read a book on Wicca or Witchcraft. She said she didn't know much about it, but did I want to sit and talk for a few minutes? Half an hour later, I had heard this woman's spiritual journey and a number of her prejudices, biases, fears, and bad opinions of other people. By the end, I knew she honestly thought that 1) she was right, 2) I believed in lies, and 3) she was making the world a better place. Without going into too much detail about the conversation here, here are a few things she said, sort of in order from how I remember it, but a lot was repeated so this isn't 100% in order:
- "Do you believe in Jesus? Who do you think Jesus is?"
- "What do you think happens when you die? What do you think Heaven is?"
- (And when I answered what I think,) "Why do you keep saying 'I think'? It's not about what we think, it's about what God says." (And when I pointed out that she THINKS God is right,) "Oh, I guess I do."
- "I was raised Catholic and when I was 16 my friend who is Born Again gave me the Gospel, and ever since then my life has been great. I have a 14-year-old son and a husband and my life is [great]."
- "Buddha and the Dalai Lama are created beings. Jesus is God. They're the same person."
- "That's not the Truth. You believe lies."
- "Do you pray to God?" (Then when I described my view of The Universe, as simply as possible,) "Do you PRAY to The Universe?" (More explanation,) "Do you call it The Creator?" (No, I call it The Universe, like I said.)
- (When I explained a vague idea of how I pray and get messages from the Universe,) "Will you consider talking to me today a sign?" [girlish smile]
- "How did you get into all this?" [tapping her hand on the books in my lap]
- "When I saw you looking at those books, I got really emotional. I'm afraid for you."
- (When I asked what she's afraid of,) "When you die, you will go to Hell. Hell is the worst thing ever. Spiritual death is nothing! I mean, physical death is nothing, but spiritual death, going to Hell, is the worst thing ever. You are going to Hell. That is my worst fear."
- "I can see a semi-truck coming straight for you. There is a semi-truck coming, and you're going to get hit. I see it. I mean, I SEE IT. And I would be a horrible person if I didn't say 'HEY, GET OUT OF THE WAY,' you know?"
- "How old are you?"
- "Do you talk to the dead?"
- "Would you consider coming to my church?"
- "I'm going to pray for you. Here's the name of my church, and my name and number, and the pastor's name, if you ever want to talk or ask questions or come hear a sermon, maybe you could just listen to a sermon." (This is a paraphrase to exclude the actual names she said.)
- "Unitarian... They believe all gods are one God, right?"
- "The Bible says witchcraft is wrong, so." (Then I explained that the Bible warns against magick done to harm, which I do not do, and she just stared at me like I was joking.)
- "Those things are lies. All of that is Satan, and Satan is the Prince of Liars."
- (When I explained that not all religions have any concept of Satan or Hell,) "But it's the TRUTH. Satan is REAL, Hell is REAL. The Bible says so and the Bible is the Truth."
- "I don't believe in Catholicism anymore. I think it's idolatry. I think they worship Mary, it's idolatry, and it's a false religion. And I believe Rome leads to Hell." (This was after I told her my family is Roman Catholic and she asked if my grandmother was actually from Italy and I said yes. So, she insulted Grams. Rude.)
She was also shocked or confused when I said that my mother was a Christian, a minister, and a spiritualist and does folk magick, and that most of the people I know who talk to the dead are Christians. And she said some stuff about "sin" at some point, but I don't remember those statements. All of the above are pretty much verbatim. I have a good memory for dialogue. She also kept talking over me at times and asking several questions one after the other. But yeah. This all happened. You should have seen her face when I told her I was actually on my way to a meeting with my circle and I would be telling them about our conversation. She looked half scared to death and half like she was about to laugh, like I was telling a really funny joke. Or maybe she just couldn't believe there were more of us! Haha.
EDIT: 29 May, 11:40am--I woke up this morning and remembered something else she said. When I was explaining how I personally don't do magick that harms and many others don't either, I mentioned that it even includes not harming ourselves, like choosing to eat healthy. She said you can't eat healthy because there are poisonous chemicals in everything. And I said "Well you can still choose to eat healthier things rather than really un-healthy things. There are still better things than others." She said, and I'm paraphrasing because I don't remember her exact wording, that it basically doesn't matter because "God says we cannot add or take a day from our lives." Whatever we do, whether we eat well or eat badly, smoke or don't smoke, it doesn't affect our life because we die on God's time. That's a proactive, helpful thought, huh?
Anyway, if you want to hear me tell the story in a more full sense, check out the video about it here!
And you know, I guess I sort of can consider her talking to me a message. That morning, I was having doubts about whether my circle was going to be something I liked, and how I would fit in. But when that woman approached me, I realized the exact people I needed to see that day were the ladies in my circle. It's not an official group, not formal, I don't know them very well at all, and we meet really infrequently and I hadn't seen them since February because I wasn't available for the days they scheduled in March and April! But when a Christian woman thinks you're going to Hell, you somewhat need to go stand in a circle of witches and pet a few feline priestesses, and eat some miniature chocolates to make you remember that you're okay. The negative energy I felt clinging to me from my exchange with the woman disappeared when I had a positive goal in front of me. So yeah. Maybe it was a sign. But not the one she thought it was.
Thanks for reading,