From 1993 through 2001, I was part of a close-knit Wiccan circle. That group remained stable, adding or losing only a couple of people, from its start to its finish.
Eight years may not seem like much, but it’s a long time for a Wiccan group; people are always coming and going and merging and parting and feuding and loving and all the other elements of the human drama. As I like to put it, “In dog years, our group lasted for centuries.”
Finally, the time came for an ending. The HPS gradually exited her practice of the Craft, gave up the leadership of the group, and moved to another state. Other members started groups of their own. We tried to meet independently, but it didn’t happen.
Over the years, we remained friends and would occasionally see one another socially and magically, but not as a group.
Yesterday (Aug 11, 2013), at the wedding of Deborah Lipp and Melissa Payne, there were more of us present than had ever been in one place since the original group ended, and (in my opinion) were ever likely to be for the rest of our lives. This included the original HPS. A little before the wedding ceremony, I went to her and asked if, during the reception, we could all slip away and just stand together for a brief time. She agreed.
I made the decision to ask if we could do this a couple of weeks before the wedding. I wasn’t expecting much. I thought there would be just a moment in which we’d stand together, hopefully smile, say a few pleasant words, and then part ways.
It wasn’t like that at all. It was more than I expected. It wasn’t as simple as “the old gang gets back together.” There was a mutual understanding, recognition, a recollection of what we had learned as a group and how it affected us since then.
I wish I were a poet, so I could put that feeling into words.
Those eight years were not a mystical golden time in our lives. There was feuding and loving, and there were trials and tribulations and successes and challenges and changes. I think the point is that we all transformed together.
I hope I’m wrong, and we’ll one day all stand together again. I’ve been wrong before! Until that time comes, I’m grateful for the time we met yesterday, and for the feelings we shared.