Alfred Hitchcock & Grade School

When I was in grade school, a group of us found an Alfred Hitchcock “ghost stories” album in the library’s collection. We all wanted to hear it, as it was about this time of year. The librarian was nice enough to let us come in to hear it toward the end of the school day. She worked it out with our teacher. We were in the 4th grade. To set the mood, the librarian had closed the blinds and turned off the lights. She put the vinyl record on (yep, that old!) and we listened to the whole record.

It was entertaining and kinda scary for 4th graders. A few years back, I found a copy of that record at Amazon and ordered it. While you can’t really relive 4th grade, it came close.

The whole album is on YouTube, and I am including it at the end of this. There are 6 ghost stories on the 45 minute album. The one that left enough of an impression was the story entitled “The Open Window” by Saki. Even before I found the album again, I used to tell the story to people, saying it spooked me pretty well back in grade school.

Listen if you like, enjoy the tales, and Happy Halloween.

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Wiccan Regret

random

I know, I had a great blog going here, and I deleted it…..again. As is often said, it’s not you, it’s me. Although this time I went further OUT of the Pagan rabbit hole, and deleted an extensive, personal magazines loaded Flipboard account, and a relatively thriving Google Plus account. I nearly decimated my Twitter account, but stopped short. I was leaving the Pagan world. Again.

A few days later, I regretted everything I had done. Again. Recently, I really began feeling a disconnect with real life. I have grandkids, and realized that I was spending far too little time with them. I also realized that I have very few friends left, who I can call up and hang out with. I blamed Paganism & Wicca for that.

Since entering the Pagan world in 2002, my life has gone through a metamorphosis. I spent much more time alone, researching, reading, writing about, and practicing Wicca. By myself. As social media grew, I connected with lots of Pagan, Wiccans & witches online. All of this caused a deterioration of my mundane life.

It’s gratifying to have lots of people read my blog, like what I say on social media, and virtually connect. I feel I kind of know many people that I’ve communicated with regularly. But here’s the thing. I’ve never actually met one person in real life. In 15 years, I’ve never met anyone I’ve communicated with online. I’ve never been to an organized Pagan event, or gathering of any kind. My practice is solitary, which in turn, has created a relatively solitary social life.

My wife isn’t Pagan, but likes the trappings. She’s gotten into my goth and hippie grooves, with the home decor, roaming through metaphysical shops, interests in herbs, essential oils, stones & crystals. I told her recently that I was thinking of leaving witchcraft behind, and she surprised me by imploring me not to do that. I think that she knew that it was important to me, and had fallen in love with the idea of me being Wiccan.

However, I was feeling the pull of “normality.” I was tired of worrying people would come over and see my Wiccan stuff. It’s really hard to miss…. I was tired of the secrecy, of the loneliness of the path. Giving it up seemed to be my last option, and this time it had to stick. So I began deleting it from my electronic life.

Here’s the catch. I can’t delete the beliefs from my physical and mental life. Recently, I got quite sick. What was the first thing I did? Said a prayer to the God & Goddess. I lit candles and incense, and used a magical essential oil blend on myself. It didn’t do the trick, and I went to the doctor, who diagnosed the problem, and sent a cure off to the pharmacy for me to pick up. But ultimately, I defaulted to witchcraft first, thinking it just might work. One has to realize in this day and age that there are problems and medical issues witchcraft alone can not fix.

So it seems that despite my grandest effort, there is no turning back. So how can I find a balance?

I’ve come out as a Pagan. I write it on all of my mundane social media. It’s there for all to see. I realize the Wiccan part is more polarizing so I keep it close to the vest. I lost a few friends who found me out in the early days of my Wiccan practice. Loose lips sink ships… or were those ships worth saving at all?

Yet, now I think I need to open up more. Frankly, there aren’t enough people around anymore to care. I’ve discussed Wicca with one of my kids. The others probably have a good idea of my path, they just look past it, chalking it up to having a weird parent. There is witchy stuff all around the house, so I don’t think I’ve pulled the wool over anyone’s eyes.

I also think I need to physically connect with other Pagans. I’m not exactly sure how to go about it, but I think it has to happen. Additionally, I need to value my online connections more. Deleting a blog that 300 people follow, read, and comment upon, is a selfish act on my part. So if you are reading this, or are a social media friend, I’d like to feel a closer bond.

These factors will cause me to be extremely honest on my Wiccan social media. While there is a certain anonymity, I would hope that I could be honest enough not to be embarrassed by what I write, if someone I know in mundane life makes the connection.

Here’s the thing. Wicca is fairly out there in the public lexicon. Fifteen years ago, less so, and less understood. Sure, there are a lot of misconceptions, and some people will always think anything but their beliefs are wrong or somehow evil. But Wicca is simply a hands-on belief system. We communicate with the Divine in a different manner. Instead of relying on the grace of a God, we develop a bond, yet try a little energy working through spells to make what we desire happen.

I can’t walk away from this. So please, accept my apologies for deleted blogs, Google Plus presences, deleted Flipboard treasure troves of info, and all other slights to which I’ve subjected others! I should have learned my lesson long ago.

Thanks for reading, and double thanks for understanding. Please feel free to leave your thought , or just say hello in the comments.

Blessed Be!