If you have found your way here with no previous knowledge of me, this page is for you. For many others it may appear a bit yada-yada and “We knew that, Anni.” I will see if I can add anything in here to surprise those who are yada-yada’ing.
I am a gallimaufry.
That word appeared in my e-reader recently. One of the really cool things about those gadgets is the ability to “Heh, whoa, I don’t know that word!” and do a quick dictionary search. The Oxford Dictionary tells us it is “a confused jumble or medley of things,” with the usage example of “a glorious gallimaufry of childhood perceptions.”
It goes on to say the word origins might be archaic French for “unappetizing dish” or Old French for galer/have fun and mafrer/eat copious quantities. Other references refer to it as a stew of many ingredients, usually of things “handily available.”
It would be an honor to be considered a medley of things. No doubt some would consider me a confused or confusing jumble and perhaps even unappetizing, especially when I am not in the mood to appease. I prefer, though, to opt in for that Old French root of having fun and there being copious quantities. That sounds like a pretty darned awesome description of life – joy and abundance. And a stew from whatever one can get one’s hands on. Nothing exotic; just what is within reach, simple and pure, mixed gleefully, but with enough seriousness of intent to give it spice.
The religion of my family was Christian, although in a passing Easter and Christmas kind of way. There was no harm, no foul in my young years when it came to that. In fact, the simple and beautiful faith of my grandparents has always been an inspiration; I just did not believe as they did. This led to a rather frantic search for God through my teens. All religions of the world and from different cultures and times fascinated me, but never at the level of belief.
Then Goddess whispered in my ear “I have always been here,” and by the simple truth of her love I was led to her worship and service. It was a heady time in life, being away from the family home and exploring the world in a time of “I am woman, hear me roar.” Until meeting my first feminist spiritualists I was unaware Goddess was being worshipped in a contemporary setting. It was intriguing, amazing and captivating; and in those early Goddess circles I explored the true depth of belief and faith.
Maturity shifted my conception of the Divine as solely feminine. In learning to love myself I became more aware of existence as a benevolent possibility, and that included the concept of the Divine as both feminine and masculine. I searched for a religious expression that encompassed them both, and it was not long before I met my first Wiccans. In the world they introduced me to there was a God who lived and died and tied us to the land and to each other. He taught the power of the ultimate sacrifice and of perfect love. There was also a Goddess who seemed more complex and more complete; as complex and as complete as every woman I had ever known. She taught the power of that which does not change but cannot be separate from that which does. Under her influence I became more whole within myself and more expansive within my relationships to others.
In that Wiccan tradition I was mentored by my elders and a magnificent circle of coven mates. The root of my personal devotion is deep within their embrace to this very day. My dedication to the old gods and the old ways has remained unswerving. Every one of my brothers and sisters from that first circle, most having passed over, live on in me; they are part of my soul – we are one soul. With their support I initiated through a formal degree system, and in time would become priestess to that coven and to others that followed.
In the decades since I have been involved with a variety of formal and informal pagan circles, usually in a leadership role; and great and impactful teachers and mentors influenced the journey. These dear men and women took me under their wings; they taught, scolded, inspired and loved me. I am continually blessed with the opportunity to honor them. Indeed, this web site and my inspiration as a writer is the result of the gift of their wisdom.
I am a witch, a lover of the land, a priestess, a crone, a seeker, a seer, a celebrant and a child of the Goddess.
I am, borrowing from the dictionary quote above, a glorious gallimaufry.
I feel quite sure you are, too.
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