I have told the story a million times, and you can say there are holes, but I hope I can bring to life my experience for you all, and get some opinions now, years later.
I am nineteen now, but this happened on my fifteenth birthday. I had decided that it was time to make my very first Wiccan Circle. I was excited, and got about either people to go with me to do so.
Despite it being quite dark outside, we decided to do it in the woods. We wanted a little peace and quiet and privacy from disapproving parents.
I knew the woods well, along with most of my friends, so we chose a small clearing just beyond the forest's edge. I believe I learned how to make a circle from this website, and so I implemented what I knew, and things I just felt were right.
I had sage to cleanse, and sweetgrass to bring in the happy energies, a bowl of water, a feather, several candles, and the earth was already there. I chose to represent Akasha, and allowed my other friends to represent the rest. Three friends waited outside of the circle until I was to invite them in. So as I began to portion where I would be making my walks around the circle, I invited them in so I could close things up and begin the invites.
It was really dark until all of the candles were lit, but it did a number on illuminating the woods- and the moon certainly helped.
Now despite what I am going to tell you next, I can assure you, this was one of the most emotional and eye opening experiences of my life, and I do not regret it.
I can't quote, but my words at the time had to be something like, "I will allow no negativity within the circle. Only what I invite, and all positive energy." I was repeating that, and then it happened.
At the time, I lived in East Texas. I can say it COULD have been a wild animal- a rare bear, or a common panther that we frequently sighted, but the truth is, I don't know.
As I repeated my chant, I began hearing these footsteps. It was paired with a breathing that sounded more like a growl. Like, as it breathed in and out, you could hear the low vibrations, and I remember growing very stiff to hear it. And it only got closer. Everything in the woods sounds bigger than it is, but this was NOT something small. Not with that growl, and not with the sound of those heavy feet. Or paws. Or whatever they were.
But I am telling you. It got so close to me. I froze at the head of my circle and I stared for a moment, but it was not there. I swear, you couldn't see anything. But it was so close. I could feel my eyes starting to tear up because it was so intense and it sounded less than a few feet away. Dark. Or not. I should have been able to see something that big, and that close. I cannot stress that enough. I felt it was so close I could touch it, but I was looking at empty clearing.
At that moment, I was thinking two things. It is either something that might have... Sensed what we were doing? A supernatural something that got curious, or something not so friendly supernatural that got curious. Or it was a damn panther and that wasn't good either. But either way, I knew not to run. If it was Supernatual, safer in the circle. If it was natural, safer not to run and play chase with it.
Thinking all of this and with my heart absolutely racing, I started up again. I got stern and I repeated. "I will allow NO negative energy into this circle." Over and over again.
I continued, and within seconds, I heard maybe three steps, and then silence. It was just gone.
Everyone was shaken up, but we finished up what we came out to do, and it became one of the biggest moments of my venture into Wicca.
I will add this one last thing. I was fifteen. And it seems like something that, over the years, could become warped in your head...
A few months ago, I had my friend from Texas visit me in Delaware. It was long overdue, though we hardly talked. She had been there that night.
For a long time, I didn't tell my story, but somehow Elena [my friend] and I got on the topic. She got quiet and then she mentioned the thing that approached us that night. I just stood their shocked and then I started to just break down because after... Years of not talking about it to anyone it had happened with, I got confirmation that I hadn't let my mind get the better of me. All of this actually happened.
You have no idea how hard that hits you.
But this is my story. It is, to date, to most dramatic tale I have to tell. So I guess what I have to say now is...
Is there lore behind this sort of encounter? Could I have drawn something in by creating a circle? Is this a common thing..? Or a one time occurrence? And if anything... What do you think it was? A large, curious East Texas animal? Or maybe something more?