One question I periodically get is likely well known to anyone who’s open about being Pagan.
“How did you become a Pagan?”
That question is somewhat loaded for me. The short answer is that I came to wanting a connection with the Gods based on practicing magic for about a year. That year will likely never be documented in full detail, because while it was pivotal to me becoming who I am today, it also included so many incredible and rather unbelievable events that to share it would open up to far too many statements of impossibility. Or worse, someone would buy me a white jacket that would let me hug myself all day long.
Let me tell you instead how I got to that year. To give you some background, I will give you an image of the person I was as a teenager. Insecure, timid, gawky, trying desperately to fit in so I’d have some friends and not be picked on daily, but still too “weird” (myself) to fit in. I kept trying though, desperately looking for that solution. One of my hopeful solutions came through reading Seventeen magazine. My mother got me a subscription that started around my 17th birthday, the summer of 1991. In one of those issues, there was an ad for a book triology due to come out in the fall. There was… something about this book. I just saw its cover and a little blurb in the 1/3 page ad, but I knew I had to read it. In September I found the second book first in a little Waldenbooks at the downtown mall. I started with that book, but jumping in at the middle of the story I could already see how much I had missed. So I waited and soon the store had in the first book. I devoured the trilogy that fall, weeping silently at the end of the third book.
The story wouldn’t leave my mind. Nor would the sensations it gave me. I know now it was my intuition waking up, plus the writing style sparked something in my brain. My yearning for occult, supernatural and esoteric material was born, knowing and believing there was something to it. Something more to reality. So I started looking, and I started finding.
Those of you who know me well probably know what I am referencing. Those of you who do not may be shocked to find out what this series is, which incidentally has been re-released.
Some of you may scoff and wonder how some young adult supernatural romance could have been the launching point of my occult career. If you do, go read the series. It’s stood up to the test of time.
Since that quartet of books came out (Dark Reunion came out around May 1992, I found it in June, and a month later reality did a complete 180 on me), I’ve read every word that L.J. Smith has written. Night of the Solstice, Heart of Valor, Secret Circle (Cassie is disturbingly like me), Forbidden Game, Dark Visions, and Night World, which is in the process of being re-released. It was rereading the first Night World book, Secret Vampire, last week that inspired me to post this. Had I not paid attention to that inner prompting so long ago, I know I would not be the person I am now. I’m quite excited that L.J. is writing again; the promise of a conclusion to the Night World series, and new Vampire Diaries books focusing on Damon fill me with joy. I look forward to again immersing myself in a world where vampires are very real, witches are undeniable in being Other, and love will not be denied.
Thank you L.J. Smith. You changed my life and I can never thank you enough for it.