Thank you so much for joining me in this process of healing and learning. What you are about to read below is a part of a series of letters to my younger self.
This project began when I was connecting with a dear sister of mine and she asked: "What would it look like to write letters to your younger mystic self?"
That idea really struck a chord with me - to imagine my younger self receiving these letters felt like such a gift, like sweet medicine.
And I desired to share these letters with you, my dear community, as I imagine that perhaps, a younger or current version of yourself may also wish to feel into these words.
Dear 17 year old Mystic Elle,
This is the year you rush home after school to have some quiet time to yourself, alone, as you pray the rosary, enthralled by the idea of daily mysteries, and read from the Bible. You’re committed to finishing at least the New Testament to get a feel for what this is all about.
After the laying-on of hands experience in Catechism, in the basement of your Catholic Church, of all places, something shifted within you. There were guests visiting, from another church. You knew they were going to ask you to volunteer to be the person to experience something, and when they circled around you and all of a sudden you felt like you were about to fall over, about to faint, and you weren’t sure what exactly was supposed to happen. So you asked them to stop and explain, and you discover that the fainting is what is supposed to happen...so you become even more curious. The quest that you have felt since you were small feels more important, more urgent, now more than ever.
What it really is, this quest of yours, is a thirst for anything and everything spiritual. As you work at the little shop after school and on weekends, you’ll have the luck of having space and time to explore books on energy healing, the power of plants, Indigo Children, and a wide range of spiritual traditions. On Sundays, listening to Delerium, Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt on the 5-CD changer, you would get paid time and a half to ring up a couple of customers and read these books, much to your delight.
All of this, while becoming best friends with the daughter of a Wiccan Priest and Priestess. You will hang out in her room, talking about your different spiritual experiences, and realize that to create a spell is just another way of praying, of asking the beyond for something, of setting an intention.
One thing that I must prepare you for is that while you think that it's perfectly natural to want to explore different religions and practices and faiths, that your parents will not agree with your choice to deviate from your familial religion. This will feel frustrating beyond belief - to want to explore different churches and place of worship from a whole gamut of cultures, but to be forbidden to attend. Continue to practice developing your own connection with the divine. Find the temple, the synagogue, the cathedral, the altar within yourself. Check out books from the library and dive into the delight of learning. You will come to realize that above all else, your individual connection with all that is holy will be what is most important. Soon, while you are in college, the time will come for you to have absolute freedom with your spiritual exploration. It seems so far away, but in reality this experience is so close.
I know you’re trying to figure out what you want to go to school for. I know you’re debating between becoming a youth minister, an atmospheric environmentalist, a website designer, and a teacher. It all feels so incredibly crucial, right now. Know that no matter what, you will make the right choice. Something magical happens after college graduation, where your whole fate isn’t dictated by your majors but instead by your life experiences, by your passions. Know that it’s okay not to do only one thing for the rest of your life after school. It will be okay to flow between one job to another, to eventually make your own work, to allow your passions to lead you forward. One thing that will continue to lead you forward throughout this life is your pull towards the mystery of spirituality and creativity, towards what lights you up within, towards that still and potent place of deep inner awareness.
I know that things seem really disjointed now, and like you’re being pulled in a million different directions as you continue to learn and uncover, as the scene from behind the veil continues to become more and more complex. I ask you to sit with what seems like infinite potential and possibilities and to just allow the experiences and wisdom to come forward. Please continue writing your poems about the divine, continue to find friends with whom you can share your experiences. You have always been a seeker, and as you continue to seek, you will realize that perhaps, the only real answers can be found with you. And that your answers can be different from someone else’s answers, and the two answers can co-exist at the same time. And it’s all okay.
Your Self in 2017