April Watson

“Without a Spiritual Leader” by: April Watson

(Part 1)
What If?
If you were a Christian, and I was a Witch, If you knew nothing about me, would you ask me to switch? If I needed a friend, would you help me to stand? Would you lend me a hand? If I needed someone to talk to, would you lend me your ear? Would you comfort my pain if I shed a tear? Would you help me out and do your most? Would you pat my back and raise a toast? I you found me out nd my faith you now knew. Would you still help me? What would you do? Would you hate me and scorn me and leave me to fall? Sometimes I think it’s beter if you didn’t know me at all. So let’s take a minute, and go back to the start and forget all the things that tear us apart. Let’s dwell on what’s common, being blind to the fact of what path we follow and make a pact. If you are a Christian and I am a Witch, I vow that I’ll never ask you to switch.

(Part 2)
In the years since my incarceration, I have been involved in a variety of groups. Each one of these groups had one thing in common, a sonsor/spiritual leader. With the exception of the Wiccan services at C.I.W. Why do we need a sponsor? It’s been my experience that a sponsor/spiritual leader is much more than a babysitter with a set of keys. A spiritual leader provides guidance, inspiration, and support. They lend a sympathetic ear, chronos, support leters for those of us being considered for parole, and impotant re-entry assistance. They also provide a link to the outside world, which is so important for those who have no familial support. Just as family visits, phone calls, and personal letters assist us in our rehabilitation; so does contact with the community especially our religious community. Wicca is a dynamic religion, largely devoid of religious dogma. As such, it is important that practitioners are kept abreast of current developments in the pagan community and in pagan thought. Also, as Wiccans, we are responsible not only to ourselves, but our families, coven, and community, as well as the planet. This is where we could really use a sponsor/spiritual leader. Being a spiritual leader can be such a rewarding experience. One of the sponsors from another group I have attended has stated repeatedly that she gets back more than she gives. we as pagans are naturally curious about the world, and I believe that other pagans would welcome the opportunity to become educated about mass incarceration and in particular the challenges that we face eac day. This is a win-win situation for all. A suitable leader would be a a person of any pagan radition who is willing to set aside the time and who has at last a few years of practice under their belt. As it stands our High Priestess is over worked and spread thin. We need your help. I hope that this enlightens our plight and hopefully my fellow pagans will step up to the plate.

April Watson
DOC #W94003

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