I’ve had Pagan leanings ever since childhood – inasmuch as I respect nature, care about the environment and kill only when I must (and even then I am loathe to do it – but wasps, unfortunately, leave me with no choice if they get into the house). I’ve even battled and beaten phobias in order not to freak out and kill harmless creatures such as spiders and moths. I love forests and green fields and water.
I am a true child of the Earth.
Reading a blog the other night stirred something in me to get all my books out again and even buy a few more. I study my Craft more than I practice it and – as with every other belief system – I will never learn everything there is to know.
I am not a brilliant Witch in any way, shape or form. If you can remember the Worst Witch book series from childhood I’m probably on a par with her! I have to be reminded about most of the festivals; if I were to cast a protective circle for Spellworking I would need a compass; I need the information leaflet if consulting Tarot cards (I have the Arthurian Deck, which is just beautiful and ideal for my tiny hands – and I also have the Angel Oracle Deck, which aren’t Tarot and have lovely uplifting verses on each one).
However, I can make home remedies out of ingredients from my garden. I can make oil for rituals. On occasion I have made something called Banishing Oil for friends who were dealing with negativity and depression, and cast healing spells on crystals, which I am slowly learning to work with. Mind manipulation, though, is not my thing; I’m not the one to approach if you want a love spell because I will tell you off for being selfish enough to want to play with someone else’s head and heart.
I know of one other local Hedge Witch; I’ve never spoken to her – I’ve only seen her picking Rowan berries from the trees in the autumn (and I have no clue as to their useage, given that they’re poisonous). Like me, she’s a Solitary – but I’d love to catch her in conversation some time (being all but housebound for the last few years means I haven’t bumped in to her).
Because I am a rubbish Witch I have never had an altar and wouldn’t know what to do with one! The athame that my husband bought for me is still in its scabbard in my sewing cupboard and I haven’t even consecrated it yet. Because I am rubbish and don’t really know how (I know it involves salt and water and passing it through the smoke of a candle but that’s it).
Mostly I am a Witch in the sense that my idea of heaven is to dance barefoot on dewy grass or sit quietly in a shady glade close to a stream and let my mind empty. I suppose you would call it meditation of sorts. I revel in the quiet beauty that is all around us if we only stop to look, and I am lifted by the song of a Robin or a Blackbird.
I do not have a black cat (although I used to, many years ago) or a tall hat, and we didn’t jump over a broomstick at our wedding reception (although my mother-in-law, who is herself somewhat Pagan, wanted us to and was willing to provide the broomstick). My husband is an atheist and I needed to respect the fact that he doesn’t believe what I believe and has no wish to participate in any of the Pagan traditions.
I refuse to take up my pentagram and bash anybody over the head with it. Faith of any variety is a choice and is not something to be forced on others.
I do know that at least one of my followers has an interest in Paganism though, and would point the curious at the works of the late Scott Cunningham, who wrote one of the most popular books on Wicca ever written (Wicca – A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner).
I’m considering setting up another blog to record things as I learn more. Would anybody be interested in reading?