When I was in university, someone – whose name I cannot recall, and whose origins elude me now – told me that I had no natural power.

I cannot recall how I came into contact with this man over the internet – of course it was a man, and of course I encountered him over the Net – but I do remember that it was relatively early on during my forays into Wicca/Witchcraft/Thealogy, and I remember that I took his judgment very hard indeed. From the dim and distant past (which, in this case, is about 1997) I recall that he promised to be a teacher and guide in the worlds of the wise but now, with the benefit of hindsight, I suspect he was – as so many are – some bloke sitting by his PC and enjoying the modicum of power that comes from getting people to send you their photo so that you can make judgments about their natural abilities, witchy or otherwise. Not being usually quite so gullible, I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to send a photo and a lock of my hair to a randomer in the States, much less to base my self-worth on his reaction/reading of same. Perhaps it was the Living Away From Home For the First Time thing, or perhaps I was simply more vulnerable than I realised? Either, or neither, of those things could be the case, I suppose. What I didn’t realise until this week, though, was how much I still carried that judgment within me. It’s odd, isn’t it, these little things that we carry? These little spores that can become huge underground networks of poisonous fungi which undermine our foundations. We come to expect it from the things our parents said or did, but we don’t suspect that strangers can have the same effect with their throw-away comments. Turns out we carry it all unless we are very vigilant indeed, and I am, generally speaking, horrendously oblivious a lot of the time.

Having been given a new perspective, however, I henceforth aim to take more care with the opinions that I store!


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