Thursday, November 09, 2006

In Memory of Celeste

My circle sister was a woman named Celeste. Celeste was an energetic
and open minded friend when I first knew her. I met her in a women's studies class and though I did not care that much for the class, I became close friends with her. She had crisp black hair and bright green eyes and a full mouth that screamed Celtic. She had an incredible sense of humor and when you talked to her, you knew she heard you.
I had returned to college after my husband died nearly ten years ago. Our instructor did not show up to class one night and I decided to go to the local watering hole to drink a couple of Guinness to wash away the week. I asked if anyone would like to come and Celeste said that she could use a couple of brews herself. She was delightful and philosophical and newly divorced. Beyond knowing that she was studying anthropology, I knew very little about her.

It never dawned on me that Celeste was a Wiccan until I invited her to Mass one Sunday Morning. She smiled and turned me down. Later I saw her and apologized, I had meant no harm and offered the visit as a friendly gesture. She said it was okay. And then I asked her if she had a religion and she said that she was a Wiccan.

I knew some things about the Craft and the occult and I asked what I hoped were thoughtful questions. I told her I was recently widowed and that I wasn't sure where my life was headed. We came to no quick conclusions that day but over the years and between the miles Celeste became my ex-officio mentor as I embarked on my study of the Craft.

You know how you know someone all of your life and you know they are gay or whatever and when they come out to you, you aren't that surprised that they are gay. Well, Celeste was the first one to come out and say "Aslinn, you are a witch!" And her revelation was so disturbing to me that I wouldn't speak to her for a long time. I was afraid fo what being a witch meant. Did it mean I wasn't a Christian? Was I going to hell? She contacted me first and came over to my place and discussed with me what that meant.

She told me that Craft could be practiced as a religion, as she did, or you could practice Craft as a spiritual practice, reflecting your own religious practice or tradition. "Imagine,"she said, "a Christian Witch."

Now I can see that some of you out there are wiggling around in your chairs and looking uncomfortable because perhaps you are Christians and you have doubts about the reality of Celeste's faith. Maybe you even mourn her for not being a Christian. Maybe you are afraid of what I just said, Christian Witch, and now you think you are in the presence of the devil.
I am no priest nor judge of souls. No one can judge another man's soul. All I can say is whether a person has goodness in their heart. And Celeste did have that goodness in her heart. I believe Celeste is in the Summerland she believed in and dreamed of and spoke of all of her life. She lived her life in circle of seasons and her life has come full.

Will we see her again? I say yes becuse heaven is a place of understanding and unversality and when we get ther we will be surprised to see who is standing next to us. Even if this is not a part of your belief system, do not judge Celeste or those who called her friend, sister, priestess and Crone. For Celeste walked a lightfooted path, trying not to harm flora or fauna or fellow man and serve the spirit she called divine, fulfilling her calling as a leader, healer and a teacher. She lives on in all of us and we are all better for having known her. As she always closed her letters, I give to you her sweetest words:

Brightest Blessings Be

Aslinn Dhan Dragonhawk