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Fire in my Heart

by Freya

'Dance of the Ear' by Sera Ersu
Dance of the Ear
by Sera Ersu

Pagans believe in a three-fold goddess and god. I concern myself with just the Goddess, but remember that they complement each other. We approach an image of a triple goddess: the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. As a maiden, a new fire burned in my heart . . . the feisty child growing into a feistier teen and dreaming a passion that came with first love. Sparks kindled then produced the ever-living fire that I am today.

A portion of that fire, the false fire, was relinquished after seventeen years of living with a wife beater. Ah, the life of a single, again! I stoked the fire and continued stronger than before. A parent now defending her children: do not lie or steal and, if accused, I will be the fire that cannot be extinguished. Family values and love -- these are the fires I stoked in my heart for eighteen years. Years of bliss and happy days and flameless, but still smoldering love and breakups.

When my children no longer needed me to be their fire-breathing defender, when they lit flames of their own, I believed the fire and spark were fading for me. I am a grandmother . . . life will soon be over. A nature person always, I found the ways of Wicca, found new values and a new respect for the earth. A weed? No, a plant that the Goddess shows us can heal the body and spirit. A weed that shows us life.

The pebble on the beach, the piece of broken beer bottle took on a new beauty as sea glass that had washed up on shore by the ocean, a living creation of the Triple Goddess. No longer broken and defeated, I began to see the addictive fight within me. The fire blazed now with a need to stop drinking. One day at a time, the fire burned higher and higher, reaching for the end of the addiction.

Now, with a poor attitude, thoughts of how very long I had been on this earth, I realized I had chosen the wrong way. The fire burned again, the friend to guide me home. My life as a pagan began to take on new roots, planted firmly and able to support the new me . . . Crone. Not an old lady with no spark left, but with a new fire of wisdom to share with others, perhaps to mold the future.

Fire was discovered by accident -- a strike of lightning, a caveman idling away the day with two stones. Then, humankind learned to control it, to use it for good, and then to use it to destroy. There were the Burning Times where witches were burned or persecuted for their beliefs. It was the year 1692 and witches were burned to death. I am Freya, a modern witch, an eclectic solitaire.

In Salem, Massachusetts, it was against the governing body to burn someone convicted of a crime. Accused of practicing witchcraft and associating with the Devil, witches were hanged or drowned. Bodies were thrown over a cliff or buried in shallow graves. By, moonlight, family members risked being hung themselves for claiming their loved ones.

Gallow's Hill today is a tourist attraction with not even a plaque saying "This is the Place . . . ." Where are the bodies, the records, and the history, except in a museum with an exorbitant price? These souls went to their deaths avowing innocence. Why not acknowledge this fact, this place and honor this dark part of our history? Is it right that Salem gets revenue from this tourism while people are not informed of the mistakes of the government of the 1600s?

We, brothers and sisters of the craft, ask for no additional cost or trouble to the city of Salem. We ask for little more than a true story, a plaque, and cleaner conditions. Only this: honor for the final resting place of our dead and a history that gives us the truth.

Bio:

Freya, aka Nancy, lives in Massachusetts, only 35 minutes from Salem. She has practiced Wicca for four years. She feels it is important for people to understand the true meaning of Wicca beliefs, not all the misconceptions that are usually associated with the practice. She is the mother of five children.

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This Season's Nonfiction articles

Pure Torture
Ravine
A Night with the Stars
House of History
Housework, Children and Writing: A Balancing Act

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