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Bonzer Words!: Going Beyond The Boundaries

When Lytrice Adams announced that she was planning to attend a Wiccan festival her beaming daughter said "Wow! You've come a long way Mom.''

The announcement that I was planning to attend a Wiccan festival was greeted by my friends with much rolling of the eyes and shaking of the head! I had to field questions like “are you going to start practicing witchcraft”, and “why would you get mixed up with Satan worship”, and stuff like that. Their warnings about the evil consequences of straying from the straight and narrow reminded me that I should really keep my mouth shut about my extra-curricular activities.

My daughter, though, had a totally different response. “Wow! You’ve come a long way, Mom,” she beamed. “But I always knew that one day you would escape from your straight jacket and let your mind go free.” And we both broke out in peals of knowing laughter.

We were thinking about an argument that took place around the kitchen table so many years ago, when she was only sixteen. She was giving me notice of her intention to attend a Wiccan convention on Yonge Street in Toronto.

I was horrified. My child being part of a group of women immersed in dark deeds and unholy beliefs? And to top it all off, on Yonge Street – that den of iniquity – infested with sex and drugs and crime? The street that suburban parents avoid like the plague, covering their daughters’ eyes if they happened to be in its seedy environment, protecting them from the ads on the buildings featuring scantily clad girls inviting patrons to sample their charms? Oh, no. That couldn’t be.

Our debate raged, heated and angry. My daughter would not accept the logical verdict of “this is not an appropriate place for you.”She demanded to know what information I had about Wicca and its beliefs. I declared that occult religions were outside the tenets of Christianity, and were better left alone. Then I elaborated on the dangers to which she was exposing herself – a young girl going into dark places where all kinds of unwholesome practices were being carried out.

She was not impressed. But realizing that I wouldn’t budge from my objections, she decided to have the last word. “You are just like all those other parents,” she branded me. “Living in fear of things you don’t know, and expecting your children to be like you.”

She stormed out of the kitchen followed by my echoing pontification that she was still a minor, and as her parent I was responsible for her actions.

“We can talk about this when you turn eighteen,” I yelled at her departing figure. The issue never resurfaced.

But the incident bothered me, particularly the accusation that I was acting out of fear. Living in my world of defined boundaries, I found it easier to suppress my urge to question the status quo than to create conflict. Perhaps the truth is that I was so busy coping with the business of survival in a demanding world, that I had little energy left to investigate or even acknowledge my deeper thoughts. Yes, fear was a big factor. Straying from my comfort zone into uncharted territory was quite unnerving.

I remember being once told that it was better to know that you are going to hell, than not know where the hell you are going! Mulling over that piece of wisdom, I figured I would miss a whole lot of fun just staying on the beaten track. I decided to push the envelope a bit and see what happened. I started reading the literature on pre-Christian religions. It was not long before I was getting a broader picture of the dynamics of belief and culture.

The feminist movement of the eighties was my catalyst for growth. I became aware of the social and equality issues that had such a huge impact on the lives of women. Working with people with disabilities gave me a unique opportunity to understand how fear immobilizes us and limits our potential to explore new paths. I discovered a world of women supporting each other, honoring the earth and the sacredness of life, knowing the joy of sharing and nurturing, further awakening the healing power of love that lies within each of us.

© Lytrice Adams

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Lytrice writes for Bonzer magazine. Please visit www.bonzer.org.au

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