Witchin Wednesday- My Witchy Beginnings

 


Today I'm starting a new feature- Witchin Wednesday.

On Wednesdays, I will start featuring posts about all things witchy.

Today I'm going to start at the beginning. My beginning as a witch.

As a child religion was a curiosity to me. My mother was a Christian, read the bible, taught me to pray before bed, and read Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories to me. These were Christian based tales that were more heartfelt than preachy. I can count on one hand the number of times my mother took me to church, so I was never indoctrinated into the cult of Christianity.  She taught me God was good and forgiving, that God was love.

As I got older I realized most people used religion to judge, exclude and hurt those who were different. I was different. I felt different. I didn't fit into their narrow parameters. I didn't buy into their stories.

I started reading about different religions. All patriarchal, men dominating women, Women should bow to their husbands as they bow to god and all that crap that just didn't fit my narrative.

My household consisted of my grandmother, my mother, and me.  My mother was a strong independent woman. She could do anything. Fix anything. Use power tools, build things. Bowing down to men or male deity wasn't on my agenda.

It was the 80s. Women no longer had to be housewives and mothers. Women could have careers and do whatever they wanted. 

My life was all about female power. 

And I was always interested in the woo-woo side of things. Ghosts and spirits were discussed without a doubt to their realness. My grandmother was from backwoods Alabama and though there were never any words used that described magic or witchcraft she certainly had the air of a granny witch and her own unique way of doing things that were magical to me. 

I started researching witchcraft.  There was no internet for me to browse on back then so I had to go to the library. I was lucky to have a wonderful open-minded librarian who would order whatever books my curious mind wanted. One week I would want to learn French, the next acupuncture, then aromatherapy, and eventually, witchcraft and Wicca. 

The book that sealed it for me was Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment by Laurie Cabot and Tom Cowan.   

What a life-changing read. There are many things from that book that still stick with me today. That I have carried with me on my journey.  I read the book when it was first published in 1989. I was 13 years old. 

Description of Power of the Witch:

The earth, the moon, and the magical path to enlightenment. Written by a practicing witch who conducts classes and seminars on witchcraft—the oldest Western religion, a means of power and enlightenment, and a healing art.

“Laurie Cabot has written a fascinating account of a beautiful and sadly misunderstood religion, witchcraft. She has with her life and work done a great deal to legitimize this ancient pagan form of worship. I am among the ecumenical Christians who have discovered the truth about witchcraft, that it is neither demonic nor evil. Power of the Witch is a marvelous introduction to the magical and highly ethical world of wicca.”—Whitley Strieber


After reading Power of the Witch I devoured any and every book I could.  I originally identified as a Wiccan. 

The rede of  "An ye harm none, do what ye will." fit with my belief system perfectly. Why limit yourself? Why care so much about what other people do as long as they are consenting adults and no one gets hurt?

Being a witch/Wiccan in the 90s wasn't easy. I was a teenager that had a belief system no one else I knew had. None of my friends were witches back then. I was the weird girl. There was no social media, no chat groups, no places for witches to meet up.

If I wore my pentacle I was called a devil worshipper and Satanist. I was told I would burn in hell quite a few times. 

As I look back on it now....wow, the sheer audacity of perfect strangers saying that to a child is just awful. Some things never change though. My son was called a dirty Pagan at school. 

Even though I didn't know any other witches I was lucky enough to have not just one, but two metaphysical stores in my area. They had witchy books, crystals, incense, and all the tools I could want, if I could afford them. Which I couldn't so I just got books. But I loved walking through the stores and dreaming, making wish lists in my mind.

One of my first books was Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft . It was amazing but also overwhelming. I still have the book today but I feel I lost many years of being a practicing witch because this book and several others made me feel like I needed a bunch of tools and supplies to be a witch. Silver Ravenwolf's To Ride a Silver Broomstick is another book I got way back then and still have today.

Bell, chalice, bowl, cauldron, mortar and pestle, incense, candles, oils, herbs, robes, athame....

I was a poor teenager. I couldn't afford all that stuff.  But I kept reading and learning. I started improvising. Kitchen finds became witchy tools. A wooden box with a lid became a portable altar I could keep under my bed and set up when I needed it.  I learned that intent mattered more than tools and accessories. The power is in the person. Tools, moon phases, days of the week- all those are bonuses. Power boosts. They can be used to direct and power up your spells, but the real magic is within the witch. 

As I got older I became witchier, less Wiccan, more Pagan and eclectic witch. And very private. I never joined a Coven or talked much about my life as a witch. I practised in private but not really in secret. My family knew I was a witch, but not really what that meant. 

As my children got older they started getting curious and they wanted to know more about being a witch. I started going to the local Witches Ball, Pagan Picnics, and Witch's Tea Flint events. I met other witches and like-minded souls and fully came out of the broom closet. My family joined me at events. My two youngest children now walk their own paths of discovery. 

Now I know many, many witches, Pagans, and Wiccans. And I continue to learn day after day new things and new ways to be a witch. To incorporate that witchiness into my everyday life. It is a constant learning experience. 

On Witchin Wednesdays I will share some of my journey with you, details the paths I have walked, the things I have learned and I'll share some of my Witch Crafts with you. 

And please, feel free to share your own journey in the comments. 


6 comments:

  1. That's an interesting history Roxanne. My daughter and I, too have been told we will burn in hell for being atheists so I can relate.

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    1. I've never understood spewing hatred at strangers because they are different.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I always wonder how folks find their way to witchcraft. Your take on Christianity and how it seemed to be used more as a weapon against those who were different than as a tool for teaching people kindness is exactly what pushed me away and helped solidify my path to witchcraft.

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    1. The past several years have really put Christians and their hate in the spotlight. It is scary how they they think they are doing God's work. That they are so righteous.

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  3. I can't remember the last time I clicked through on a post in my feedreader faster than I did this one. Thank you, my fellow witchy soul, for sharing more about your path and practice with us. I wholeheartedly look forward to future installments in this series.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

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