Wicca kind of fell into my lap when I was about 12. Or maybe I fell into its lap. Who really knows with these things?
I’ve always been what I’d consider a “Halloween girl.” Someone a bit more spooky and ethereal than I actually am. Because how spooky and ethereal can a 4-foot-11-inch, 93-pound girl in a clunky wheelchair be?
I was the Victorian Goth kid in high school. I tried to read everything about the origin of Halloween or the witch trials. (Talk about edgy.) I’ve always been a weird kid.
I’ll blame it on the fact that my mom watched a lot of the TV show “Charmed” when I was little. I grew up watching movies like “The Addams Family,” “Practical Magic,” and “Hocus Pocus.” The more mystical something was, the more I liked it. And I wasn’t religious, so I wasn’t committed to any specific belief system.
Wicca is probably the best term to explain what I believe. I don’t love labels, but this one seems to work. And finding it wasn’t an “Oh, this seems cool, I’ll try it” moment. It was more of a realization that other people also believed what I did (more or less). And seriously, I don’t do everything that one is supposed to do or follow the trends of Wicca.
My practice of Wicca looks more like drinking tea and liking shiny crystals. And I have a set of mermaid oracle cards. I liked the idealism and spirituality behind it — the sense of being connected to everything and of being in control. Not an unhealthy sense of control, but the newfound feeling of control over my life and body.
Wicca has one core guideline: “Don’t bring harm to yourself or anyone else.” And then there’s “know thyself” and “know thy craft.” I think the latter two sentiments mesh well.
At 12, I needed to know myself — specifically my body and its cues. Learning my body’s signals when it wouldn’t cooperate as normal was a help. By knowing myself, I came back into my body and listened to it, rather than becoming unnecessarily frustrated with it. And understanding my body allowed me to let it rest or recognize when I was getting weaker. Knowing that this was OK stopped me from forcing my body past its limits.
Wicca also feeds my obsession with mythology.
I’m not going to say Wicca has brought benefits. But finding something that I believe in has helped me to deal with my frustration with SMA. I know it won’t work for everyone; our wants, needs, and beliefs are different. That’s what makes each of us unique.
Maybe it will help someone, though.
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.
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