Spirituality isn’t cultivated all at once. I went through a whole series of spiritual awakenings, and know I will continue to go through more – and this isn’t because I didn’t get the message the first time! The reason is because a spiritual journey is just that: a JOURNEY. We’re human and sometimes we need to digest things in stages. And that’s okay! We’re here to evolve, and that takes time.My first awakening took a while to adjust to. It started at the age of ten when I was in a Crown Books store (do you guys remember those?!) and picked up “Earth, Air, Fire & Water” by Scott Cunningham. I read the back cover (“OMG, magic is real!!!”), then quickly put the book down. What would my parents say? I was Lutheran and this certainly didn’t follow our Dogma! So, I walked out of the aisle and tried to push the book out of my head; yet I couldn’t let go of the feeling I was left with. Something called out to me and I didn’t have a name for it, but I started to seek it out because I felt something inside me change that day…
Four years later, my mom worked in Ocean Beach, CA and my dad would drive my sister and I to her work place so we could go to the street fair every Wednesday evening. I would always walk around the metaphysical store two doors down for a few minutes, before she got off work. It was MAGICAL. I literally felt more at peace in this darkened hideaway, full of incense and candles and gorgeous old books, than I ever did at church.
I went on to purchase a few books and scan for website articles (things looked a lot more archaic on the internet in 1999, folks. Remember full HTML websites where you had one long page that went on forever and you ate up all your hard drive with a few sparkly GIFS?).
This was my first Spiritual Awakening. I had found a home along the Solitary Wiccan path. I went on to study for more than a year before doing a self-dedication ceremony on Yule, 2000. I went on to do a self-imitation exactly one year later.
I ambled along my solitary pathway for years, working exclusively with the Celtic Pantheon and studying as many “Wicca 101” books as I could find to confirm similarities and see if anyone had anything different to say about working with the Craft. Before long though, I was burnt out on 101 books and classes. Was this all there was? Trying to recreate someone else’s Sabbat rituals alone in my apartment every 6 months? At this point, I had been reading Tarot for myself & friends, working Rituals on Sabbats & Esbats, and doing a lot of energy clearing (not just in my own place but in the homes of friends as well). I felt I had hit a wall and wanted something more.
It was early 2010, I had been married for a year and was pregnant with my first child. That year brought another Spiritual Awakening. Becoming a mother is transformational. It’s an amazing experience to grow another life and I felt closer to the Goddess than I ever had before. During my pregnancy, I started another Book of Shadows, with the intention that I would pass this copy down to my children. I included lyrics to family lullabies that had been passed down for at least 4 generations (that I knew of) and would pass down to my children. I also would include baby photos of my little ones and pasted my favorite photo from my wedding. This book wouldn’t just contain colored candle correspondences, altar layouts, and which Deities to honor at each Sabbat – this would be the journey of our little family.
When my daughter was born, I knew she would be my little Priestess. She was a new teacher for me, helping me grow and expand in ways I never thought possible. And my journey took yet another leap, the year her baby brother was born.
In early 2012, when I was about to enter the 3rd and final trimester with my son, I had yet another shift. Early in my spiritual journey I had been turned away by a few groups and covens, due to my young age. It had left me bitter and hurt. I knew that this decision by the groups was a sound one – it’s hard to pour energy work into a young one as they may change their mind later. But, to me, that’s a small risk to take to ensure that a teen has proper training and personal ethics in place before they go too far down the rabbit hole. That being said, I decided to continue on my path as a Solitary Witch anyway, and it served me well for over a decade. With my second child quickly on his way, I craved a sisterhood and wanted to learn more.
I found that connection and mentor at that same metaphysical shop I had frequented at fourteen, a couple years after their move from Ocean Beach to La Mesa, CA. I was thrilled! I took several courses and workshops, received my first Reiki attunement and crafted my first pendulum! My soul was soaring! Unfortunately, the high was short-lived as a dear friend passed in June of that year.
It’s hard to go from cloud 9 to a complete crash within weeks, but that’s what occurred. My dear friend’s health took a turn for the worst when her cancer treatments stopped working and she lost her battle shortly before her 29th birthday.
The last few years have been focused on my kids, being a gestational carrier (having kids for others!) and developing my spirituality while balancing the role of “Mother”. These past 5 years have been full of small leaps and weird pitfalls, but ultimately fulfilling. A spiritual sojourn isn’t supposed to be linear. And it isn’t supposed to be done and over in a few years. It IS supposed to take a lifetime. ❤
I’m going through another Spiritual Awakening right now, actually. And as I mentioned in the beginning of this post, it won’t be the last. I’m happy about that. I want to experience all the growth I can. I don’t have all the answers (Hell I’m not even sure I have ONE right answer!), but learning and seeking answers is an important part of the journey. It’s why we’re here on this planet: to learn; to grow; to experience.
How knows what this current awakening will bring? I’m excited to find out! I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
Brightest Blessings, -Cory Gunn, CCH