When my partner and I bought our house, I had intended to go to more classes, workshops, and events at the witchy shop. I haven’t attended as many events as I would like, but I did manage a class, Samhain, Yule, and Saturnalia (there’s a lecture I’m going to next week too).
Saturnalia really isn’t a ritual one can have in her backyard alone or even with my witchy partner. The two of us misbehaving is really any ritual we have together. So I planned on attending Saturnalia – which was the most beneficial ritual I held/attended all year.
The first year I attended Saturnalia, I was told that the idea was to dress as something you are not – to choose some aspect to yourself that want to grow into or at least experience once. This year, after some deliberation and I wise suggestion from my husband to “ask my cards” about it – I opted for a wolf. I don’t want to be a predator, but I wanted to not feel like prey. I wanted to feel strong, fierce, and free.
So I dressed up, and went to the ritual. I am generally not the best with crowds or with people. But I’ve made a vow to myself to work on making friends at the shop. I went to the ritual alone, as my witchy partner couldn’t go. I pretty quickly began chatting with another participate – and found out that we have the same educational background. Before the ritual even started we’d become Facebook friends at least. So I was feeling really good, even before the ritual.
The ritual was a wonderful mess of energy and chaos: a crowded room, misrule, wine, and revelry. After the ritual, there was eating and drinking and dancing. Now, I love to dance. I make a point of hitting the club at least once a week – even with the current weirdness there. But I can be self-conscious about dancing with an audience, and let’s face it goth club dancing doesn’t translate to tipsy-backroom or the witchy shop dancing. But… But, I did it. Wolf hat on my head, wolf tail swishing (and annoyingly hitting the backs of my shoes). I felt strong. I felt confident. I felt healed. So I was laughing and dancing, and talking to people.
And I bewitched a sailor. At least that’s what he called it. In a witchy space, that means a little more. He and I had been talking and dancing. It was fun – unself-conscious, open, silly, just being. At some point he asked to kiss me.
Allow me a digression – I knew a guy once, who was talking about how “dumb” some university’s active consent policy was (this was at least 10 years ago). He thought asking for consent was a “turn off” and that “women wouldn’t like it”
Being asked – not being told “I want to do this” or “I am going to do this” but asking – “may I do this?” – sorry old friend, asking is HOT. This sailor was expressing his desire for me. He was making himself vulnerable. He wasn’t pressuring me, demanding from me, or even expecting anything from me. He asked for what he wanted, clearly and without caveat.
So I said something like, I’d like that very much. So we were standing in one corner of the backroom of this store, while people reveled around us and kissed. And I realize as I write this that we were in fact standing under the mistletoe (thanks Loki).
We spent most of the remaining night together. We laughed, we talked, we kissed, we danced – we talked about energy and magick and our practices. He said I bewitched him. He looked at me, as if I was magic. It was healing. It was freeing. It was what I needed from the ritual, but didn’t expect to have. I never have any expectations of going to a ritual and making out with someone by the end of the night. It’s just not a thing for me. So it was also astoundingly topsy-turvy for me too.
I’m often conflicted about an element of myself. I don’t know if I can articulate this. I don’t need some guy to find me attractive to have self-esteem – but I like knowing that some men find me attractive. I like feeling like this sailor wanted me. I like that he said I was beautiful and grew bashful around me. At the end of the night, he walked me to my car. We talked a bit more, kissed again, and I told him that he had made my Saturnalia amazing.
We didn’t exchange information (he lives really far, and I knew that). I did learn that he is poly and that his wife was also at the ritual – she and I had even talked at some point in the night. So happy poly moment.
But staying in contact wasn’t something I needed (or even really wanted). What happened, happened in sacred space. It happened outside of time, and doesn’t belong in the real world.
I left that ritual stronger, sexier, happier, and having shed so much of the muck from this year. He helped me accomplish that – and I think if he understood me, then it helped him on his path too. Thanks Sailor, blessed be on your path.