Day 6: “Where did you learn about witchcraft from? Was it something that just appeared in your life, were you born into a witchy family or did you learn on your own?“
Oh, I like this one. Okay, okay.
My introduction into witchcraft was a little bit strange in some ways, but not strange on the whole. It all began with my Mama.
She used to hang sachets on the front door to protect us, and on the night before our (my younger sister and I) first day in the latter half of primary school, she placed a small rose quartz crystal beneath our pillows to draw love and friendship to us.
I was exposed to witchcraft at a young age, and thus it has never been something that I have feared. Instead, it has always intrigued me and I have always had a love of the occult; of paganism and magick and the supernatural, – of all things strange and dark and wonderful.
Years and years ago, I found a box with a red folder and some little packets in it under my Mama’s bed. The packets were herbal sachets and within the folder, was absolutely lots of pieces of paper with spells on them! Love spells, protection spells and potions galore! There were instructions on how to astral project and how to mix and use flying ointments. Mama told me that I could take the folder and read through it, so I did. Well actually, the first thing I did was organise all of the papers. My Mother has terrible document keeping skills, let me tell you that much. It was a mess.
Not long after pilfering the folder and retiring to my bedroom to scour through it all, did something start within me. I know it sounds melodramatic, but it’s almost as if something woke up. I can’t really explain it without it sounding like either poetic drivel or a badly written scene out of a YA novel.
My Mama gave up practising and settled on soft paganism instead. She is still a Kemetic pagan, and has charms and beliefs pertaining to that, she just chose not to practise witchcraft anymore. I understand why. She had myself and my sister to care for full-time, as I developed type 1 diabetes at 3 years old and spending time and money on magick was no longer an option.
She did, however, encourage me when my interest piqued during my early teens as did my Grandma. I thought she would be somewhat disapproving of the whole venture as she was a devout lifelong Catholic but,… she wasn’t. She pushed me to read up on anything and everything I could find and she would stay up until the early hours of the morning discussing it with me. She would quiz me on crystals and ask me about herbal remedies and teas. She watched me do simple candle magick by the fire and she pushed me to be the best witch I could be.
During high school was when I discovered Wicca. I read up on it, liked it and investigated it further. For a while, it seemed to be my thing but… soon afterwards, I realised that Wicca is quite a strict religious system and as I got a little older, the constraints appealed to me less and less. It didn’t feel right just having a God and Goddess (at this time I hadn’t truly figured out my pagan path) and trying to find a coven seemed like something I didn’t want. I also didn’t like the hierarchical mechanics of it either, as strange as it sounds.
After some soul searching, I came to the conclusion that I am not Wiccan, nor am I a specific type of witch. I am an eclectic solitary secular witch. I practise a craft that I have forged as my own and I do it alone and without the inclusion of any deities. Once I decided this, all seemed to fall into place. My love for all things strange and magickal made sense; a feeling of being incomplete dissipated. My love for the darkness and for stormy skies and dense forests made sense; my affinity for learning became relevant and significant and I had found myself. I have found the best and truest version of who I am and this version is my favourite so far.
Wicca served as a gateway into the craft I love and practise to this day and although I no longer am Wiccan, or really ever was, and there are some things I don’t agree with within the faith, I’ll always be grateful for the world it opened up to me