By Kathryn Dyer
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her mommy and daddy, her big brother Corwin and her beautiful cat named Starweaver.
Meagan was waiting for her daddy to pick her up from school one day. It was cold and she was very unhappy. She couldn't wait for her daddy to get her to help her feel better. Soon she saw her daddy standing at the doorway. She ran to hug him. "Whoa there," said Michael, "You almost ran me over! What's the matter honey?" He lifted Meagan's chin and looked into her tear-filled eyes. "Some, some other kids called me names today!" cried Meagan. "Oh, honey," said Michael as he gathered her up into his arms, "Let's go get into the car and you can tell me all about it. It looks like it really hurt your feelings." Meagan nodded and hurried into her coat.
Once she and Michael were in the car she started to tell him about her 'most awfullest day'. She told her daddy how she had been telling her best friend Cindy about making candles for Imbolc. Some other kids overheard her and started calling her 'witch' in very mean voices. On the way home Meagan cried and cried. Her daddy started to look very upset himself.
When they got home, they found Corwin sitting in the living room playing the recorder that he had gotten for Christmas. "There you are!" said Corwin, looking rather disgusted, "Dad, do you know what she did? She went blabbing all over school about being a witch. Two of the guys in my class were talking about it. Why does she have to be such a big blabbermouth?!" Michael looked at Corwin sternly and said, "Meagan was talking to Cindy about making candles for Imbolc, I hardly think that counts as blabbing all over school. Do you remember how hard it was for you to keep from telling everyone about rituals when you were her age? Meagan feels very hurt because some kids don't understand our religion and were making fun of her. As I recall, you felt the same way when the boys down the street teased you about learning to cook even though you like cooking. I think you'd better go up to your room and do your homework while your mother and I talk to Meagan about what happened." Corwin looked at the floor, "Sorry Meagan. I'll tell mom you're in here on my way upstairs." and with that he slunk out of the room.
Meagan's mother Elizabeth came into the room frowning just as Meagan settled onto her daddy's lap in the big armchair by the fireplace. "Oh my," she said as she saw Meagan's teary face, "Corwin said that you'd been teased at school today. What happened honey?" Meagan snuffled her nose and took a deep breath, "I was telling Cindy about making candles for Imbolc and she asked me what it was and I was telling her when some stupid boys overheard me and started calling me a witch!"
Meagan burst into tears again because remembering made her feel bad again. Michael kissed the top of her head. "I know that it's hard when other people say things to try to hurt us," he said, "Why do you think they were teasing you?" "Because they're mean!!" said Meagan. Elizabeth took her hand and said, "I don't think that's it honey. Do you remember when we told you why you shouldn't talk to Gramma Lee and Granpa Scott about rituals?"
Meagan nodded, "Uh-uh, 'cus they're Christian and they're scared that we'll go to hell and so they get really mad when we talk about it." Meagan's parents smiled at each other. "That's right Meagan. They don't understand why we are pagans and when people don't understand things sometimes they get mad instead. Lot's of people are afraid of things they don't understand but they don't like being afraid and so they'll get mad to keep from being so afraid", said Elizabeth, "Do you think that those boys understand what being a Pagan is?" Meagan shook her head.
Michael hugged her close. "Are you feeling a little better?" he asked. "Yeah, I guess so", said Meagan. "Well", said her daddy, "What would you like to do about this? Do you think that we should talk to your teacher, or to the boys?" Meagan thought about it. The boys teasing did make her feel bad but she knew that she was not a bad person and she really liked going to rituals. "No", she said to her parents, "Maybe if we leave them alone for awhile they will not bother me. When Bobby teased me about my hair at day camp I just pretended like he wasn't there and pretty soon he stopped doing it. Maybe these boys will do the same thing." Her parents smiled at her. "That's a really good idea Meagan", said Michael, "Let's leave them alone for awhile and see what happens."
Elizabeth stood up, "So are you in a good enough mood to make candles now?" she asked. "Oh yes!" said Meagan, her face brightening as she jumped up from Michael's lap. Meagan and her mother went into the kitchen. Just then, Corwin came thumping down the stairs with something in his hand. "Here Meagan," he said handing her a small circle of metal, "I was saving this for your birthday, but I thought it might cheer you up. I'm sorry I called you a blabbermouth". Meagan looked at the disc in her hand. It had her name on one side and runes on the other. "Thank-you Corwin", she said, "What do the runes mean?" "Oh," said Corwin, "This one stands for you and this one is for protection and this one is for happiness.
So, mom, are we going to make candles now?" Elizabeth nodded, "Remember to keep away from the stove Meagan, it's going to be very hot!" They all worked hard to make candles for Imbolc. They made green for the earth, yellow for air, red for fire, blue for water and purple for spirit. They also made white candles for the Lady and Her Lord. Meagan helped pick out the scents for the candles. She had been studying oils told her mother to add patchouly for earth. She decided they should add lavender for air and cedar for fire. Meagan wanted lilac for water and sandalwood for spirit. But she couldn't decide which oils to use for the God and the Goddess.
She looked at the list of oils in her parent's Book of Shadows. The Book of Shadows contained lots of information, like rituals and lists of herbs, oils and runes. She saw that carnation and jasmine both stood for Imbolc. Carnation was listed as a masculine herb and jasmine was a feminine herb. When she asked her mother what that meant, Elizabeth told her that masculine meant 'male' and feminine meant 'female'. So Meagan decided they should put carnation and jasmine in the candles for the Lord and Lady.
"Momma", asked Meagan, "Why *do* we make candles for Imbolc?" Elizabeth set aside the hot wax. "Well," she said, "do you remember what I said about what we celebrate at Imbolc?" Meagan nodded, "We're celebrating because Winter is starting to go away and Spring is coming back." "That's right," said Elizabeth, "and we light candles to remind the Sun to come back to us. On Saturday we'll have an Imbolc ritual and light all the candles so that the Sun will know where to come back. If you remember to take a nap on Saturday you can stay up and go to Circle with us." Meagan was excited. She loved to go to Circle and she especially loved to sing the chants to honor the gods.
Just then, Starweaver jumped onto the table. "Oh no!," cried Elizabeth, "Star, get down, you might get hurt by the hot wax! Meagan, you'd better take him outside so he'll be safe. The candles will have to cool and harden now. Corwin can help me clean up." Meagan picked up Starweaver the way her parents had taught her, holding him under his chest and holding his back legs so that he would feel safe. She and Starweaver went outside to play.
Soon, it was Saturday. The boys at school were still teasing Meagan but because she didn't pay any attention to them they weren't finding it as much fun as they had at first. It still made Meagan feel bad and she had written a story about how she felt and that made her feel better.
On Saturday Meagan helped her brother Corwin put the candles all around the family room. In the winter their Coven met in the family room because it was too cold to circle outside. Meagan saw their High Priest Jeremy put a fire extinguisher by the place where the gate to the circle would be. That made her feel better since there would be so many candles lit tonight. Soon it was time for ritual. Meagan took a bath and got into her robe.
When she went downstairs she saw that all the candles had been lit. The regular lights were out and the room looked like a fairyland.
After circle everyone helped clean up. Meagan yawned. She went over to Isabella who had been made an initiate in their tradition. Isabella had been studying a long time to learn all the things that their tradition said a first degree initiate should know. Meagan knew that she had to wait until she was grown up before she could become an initiate. In their tradition a person had to be 18 before they could become an inititate but Meagan's mother told her that she could go ahead and learn many of the things that an initate had to know. She was already learning about oils and herbs and things.
Meagan went to kiss her mother goodnight. Just as she was going to kiss her father she yawned even bigger than before. Michael smiled at her, "Excuse me everyone, I think a little girl needs a proper escort to bed". He picked her up and carried her to her bed.
As Michael tucked her in, Starweaver jumped onto the bed. Meagan cuddled up with him to go to sleep. She decided to dream about the magic land of pancakes where the rivers are made of syrup and all the leaves are different flavored pancakes. When her mother came into check on her she was sound asleep with a smile on her face.
Her week had started out bad, but ended up very, very good.
(Click here to see the page that I got the story "Meagan's Imbolc" from).