I have been a practicing Witch since the age of 11, I started on my path at a young age, luckily there were others in my family following a similar path and in my segregated family this paved the path for me, segregated in terms of religion vs what they called Devil worshiping, at family gatherings you had the Southern Baptists on one side of the room, with the Wiccan, Pagans, Psychics on the other side, needless to say that family gatherings could get very interesting!
Though I have studied many aspects of witchcraft to date I have received all of my initiations as a Wiccan High Priest, I received my second and third degree initiations by a solitary teacher out of Buford, Georgia, that was 20 years ago, her name was Janet, she was known by her craft name as Lady Purusha, I studied with her for three years, she had an interesting approach and view about Witchcraft, she believed in duality, even the craft name she adopted at her first degree initiation would set the tone for her beliefs and teachings for the next 40 years, the great Lady Purusha died in 1997, her career as a Witch Priestess was brilliant, an even greater career as a nurse and care giver.
Lady Purusha believed that in the craft there was room for both female and male energy, some groups only worship the feminine principle, and only acknowledge the feminine for purposes of rank within the coven and only allow women in the group and while I am a firm believer in the Mother, I do not necessarily adhere to all the bi-laws set forth within each group that I have participated in over the years, for I believe that we as magical beings have the right to use the power instilled within us as we see fit, that is as long as we accept our own fate and karma!
My views about the religion have often been seen as controversial, my magical teaching even more so, I have made many great friends over the years and equally have made enemies, this doesn't worry or keep me from sleeping like a baby, for balance exists in everything that we do and without opposition life would become dull; besides, I am nocturnal and my guardians are always aware of my surroundings, even while my physical body sleeps and my spirit is at play or work.
Witches are well-known for shape-shifting, what most people do not understand is that the shift takes place while the witch sleeps, the spirit leaves the body and will often materialize in the physical plane as the witch's power animal or familiar. When I shift, especially into the earth plane, I normally take on the form of a white wolf, Phelan, is a craft name that was given to me when I was very young, it is celtic and means wolf, for me early in life I realized that this name took on a meaning of "he who walks alone," hence, the lone wolf.
Though I have been far from alone in life, the first group I founded was in 1993, back then it was known as the "Wolves Of The Silver Star", we were an all male-group that focused on male spirituality and the Goddess, with inclusion of the God energy, our bylaws and principles were very simple, we worked from a place of love and respected nature, since 1997, I have founded several other groups and several son/daughter and grand-daughter/son covens have started as a result.
The funny thing is that after all the years, after all the energy I have spent trying to educate people about the Earth-based religion known as Witchcraft, the very first coven that I ever belonged to dating all the way back to 1984 still shuns me today, the main reason for this is that I refused the High Priestesses attempt to sway my love life towards a male Elder of the group, I told her without a second thought that my personal life wasn't up for debate and invited her to mind her own business, she reacted very unkindly, several third degree Elders reprimanded me and informed me that I needed to conform or leave the group, I voted with my feet!
The 1970's and 80's would prove exceptionally challenging for those actively involved in the craft, the craft movement started in the late 60's and stirred a cauldron of controversy, when you look at the history of the craft and how it coincides with so many other movements, civil rights, gay rights, women's liberty, it is no wonder it had so much momentum behind it and still in 2013 in parts of the world there are nature people who fear to worship in the open, even covens and groups who actively seek members through venues such as metaphysical shops and bookstores still do so in such a way that the physical locations of their covens are kept secret!
I have known well-known craft leaders who received threats of bodily harm on an ongoing basis, in fact it became so expected that it seemed like a natural part of their lives. Many craft leaders hired body guards, especially those with groups based in the southern region of the states, I can recall controversy as early as 1994, in many groups lower level members were forbidden to speak of the craft beyond the boundaries of their circles, I know a few who did and not only were they fired from their jobs, but exiled from the very groups that had been their craft family for years!
We as witches safeguard our teachings, we hold sacred the street names of those involved in our groups; therefore, it is not uncommon even today to only know someone by his or her adopted craft name, my adopted name is Phelan, I am a public witch, most of my close friends and family call me by my street name, my students address me as Phelan and while I am actively known in Wiccan and other Witch circles as Phelan, this is the name that I am most comfortable with, for it says a lot about my character, integrity, honesty and my ironclad will to survive as a Gay Witch and leader of our community, in spite of those who may not like me, I am here to stay, I carved my niche a very longtime ago and it will be a very longtime before I retire from my professional practice of witchcraft or the spiritual worship of my witch path!
While I adopted the belief that we are bi-duality, I also believe that the energy of the Goddess and God are interchangeable and each of those entities have their time and place, they each have their season and this has been a major directive in my practice and magic, even more so in my spiritual worship.
My personal altar is not a traditional wiccan altar, keep in mind that I do not adhere fully to wiccan practices, for instance you will often find a white candle representing the Goddess on the left side of my altar and a black candle representing the energy of the God on the right side, but, there may come a time and need for those roles to reverse and I am comfortable enough in my beliefs to allow my magic and my spirituality to freely take its course, for duality to exist in the Goddess and God, so must the light and dark exist in each of them as well and where there is darkness the light will illuminate our path! Blessed be, Phelan