I'm not really sure if I'm going about this the right way, but I'm giving the Pagan Blog Project 2013 a shot. I'm a little late, but I just found out it was happening this year, so here we go.
My name is Wyllow, and I have a serious book problem. I'm surrounded by books and it's like I can't stop myself from acquiring more all the time. I am a total bibliophile, a book junkie, and I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have them.
I have a decent selection of books concerning Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism, and other topics like astrology and divination. For years I turned to my books when I felt stuck and needed some guidance, and for the most part they were invaluable. I built my path on what I learned from them. Even if I didn't find an answer within their pages, something about flipping through them would get my brain working and my creative juices flowing (so to speak), and eventually something would come to me. But, as with so many things in life, books can only take you so far before you have to actually do something.
We can learn about so much by reading about the experiences of others, but at some point, we have to put aside the books and put what we've learned to use. Only by doing can we figure out what is really true for us and what works best for us. You can read about ten circle casting methods, but until you try some, you won't know what works for you. You could read about countless traditions and never find one that is right for you because maybe, just maybe, you need to create your own path/tradition. I know how comforting it is to stick to just learning, but I also know how rewarding it is to venture out of the comfort zone and begin discovering things about myself, growing in my spirituality and getting creative with my Craft.
Sometimes it's hard to move past the learning and into the doing, and boy do I know it! I normally am not opposed to change, but when it's my spiritual path that's changing, I cling to what I know and burrow into my books in a pathetic attempt to avoid the change. I search for answers I already know, I flip through book after book looking for explanations, and so on. I know the books can't help me, but still I can't stop myself from turning to them time and time again. I've spent a lot of time worrying about how to label my path and what I can or cannot do, based on what others have said, and a lot of that came from my books. But, my books also helped me realize that it's ok to create my own path, it's ok to not label my path, it's ok to venture off into unkown territory and forge my own path forward.
My books are my friends, my teachers, and my mile-markers. As I look back at my time spent with them, or flip through notes I've take while reading them, I see how much I've grown. Not just because of the things they've taught me, but because of what they couldn't teach me, that I had to learn for myself.