I have a hard time saying no. I hate confrontation, and am terrified of hurting people’s feelings or alienating them. This is particularly difficult when said person occupies a position of authority. And right now that’s the only thing keeping me in my coven.
I started studying Wicca and paganism when I was 14 years old. I hid the books from my uber catholic mother by stashing them between the mattress and the box spring of my bed. I devoured these books and practiced in secret, all the while still attending Mass on Sunday and singing in the choir.
I left the church when I was 21, and began working at a small pagan bookstore. I loved my time there, but still felt that something was missing. The sense of community.
As a solitary pagan, I felt isolated and miserable. So I went back to the church, and found myself hating it. This cycle would repeat itself several more times until a little over a year ago, when I finally found a coven to join.
The leader of our coven is a very charismatic man. Logan met him once, and refuses to come to another ritual where he is present. Logan warned me that my teacher is skeevy, and probably teaches so he can sleep with his students. I laughed it off. I couldn’t see it happening. But I started hearing the stories of him cheating on his wife with members of the tradition, with students, his wife’s fragility, his so called power. Everyone within the tradition seems to have heard of the rumors and yet, people dismissed the allegations idly.
Then one of my fellow dedicants started sleeping with him behind her husband’s back. He called it initiating her into the inner circle of the coven, an exclusive group that would practice more serious and deeper energy work. I was also invited into the circle, but refused. I began to realize the truth of what Logan had said.
Lately it feels like things are falling apart. My friend seems like she’s lost herself, like she’s afraid to leave. She talks about how strong his energy is and how quick his temper flares. I ask her if she wants out, if she needs help. But she says those oh so dangerous words, “I love him.” I still offer to help. His wife seems broken, gone. I can see pictures on the walls when we have classes of how pretty and vibrant she was at one time, but she seems an empty shell now. I try to talk to the other coven members, but they act as if nothing is wrong, after all, he sits on the Elder’s Council, surely they would know if something was wrong.
I’ve started to distance myself, only to be met with hostility and my dedication to my religion questioned. I want to leave, but I am afraid to speak out. I don’t want to rock the boat. I don’t want the confrontation. But people are being hurt, people I care about. More and more girls have joined our coven and dedicated themselves to this tradition since my own dedication a year ago, and I have to wonder if anyone will do anything to stop it before one of them is the next object of his attention. It seems that no one else has the will to stand up to him, including the council.
So if I don’t say something, who will?
Based on the definition of the missing stair as found here:http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2012/06/m