Did you ever wonder what motivates a person to begin to identify as a WITCH? Well here is a brief(ish) rendition of my own story.
I have been told that 1 person in 25 is a natural witch. This is a calling so undeniable and present from such a young age that those who I have spoken to who consider themselves natural witches, myself included, can usually recall always feeling “different” from their peers in some undefinable way, and once they surrender to the calling there is a huge sense of relief, acceptance, and inner peace. That is not to say there are never moments of doubt or uncertainty, but attempts to leave this path are usually temporary and sometimes even result in personal stress on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Most find the calling so strong that they soon return to their witchy ways, and this is often accompanied by a sense of “coming home”. I liken this “calling” to the way some people are born artists or musicians, doctors or dancers, atheletes or teachers. You know the people I’m talking about. Those who seem “born into it”, who from a young age know that all they want to do in life is care for sick animals or work on cars. Their passions drive their actions and feed their souls. These are the lucky ones. I think most people are so out of tune with their true selves that it can take years to find their path, and sadly some never do, ignoring their inner natures until it is too late to act upon. Additionally I think witches in society are just as valuable and indeed necessary as doctors, mechanics, professors and entertainers. We are an important thread in the vibrant tapestry of society, and it is our responsibility to live a life which honors ourselves, Mother Nature, and the all…
I think the easiest way to tell my own story is to share a letter I wrote to an independent author after reading her novel “Dragonhorse and the Seeker of the Forgotten Knowledge” which I highly recommend. Here is a copy of the original letter, which I wrote shortly after giving birth to Mayla, my eldest daughter.:
Dear Mrs. Denice Garrou,
I feel compelled to write to you having just finished your book Dragonhorse….
First let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Sara, I am a 26 year old new mother to a beautiful baby girl who lives in California with her husband and small dog, Nala. I have always been interested in mysticism and the metaphysical, for as long as I can remember. Also, for as long as I can remember, I have loved horses and rocks/crystals. As a child I rode on an Arabian mare named Kobi we leased from a nearby ranch, where I also volunteered, working with the more neglected horses, and practiced my horse whisperer techniques I had learned from a Monty Roberts book! Sadly, I have never owned my own horse, as circumstances have never been right, but I still hope to have that pleasure in the future. I also collected rocks and crystals. To this day I have stones I’ve had since before I was in the double digits that I simply cannot part with. My husband probably wonders why there are always rocks stuffed into my bags whenever we move!
I love to read and the most exciting thing for me as a child was when Barnes and Nobel was added to our local mall and I discovered the “new age” section of the bookstore. I was not brought up religious and fortunately my family never raised an eyebrow when the books I selected were titles such as “A Witches Guide to Fairy Folk”, “How to See and Read the Aura”, “How to Develop Psychic Touch”, “Animal Speak”, and so on. However as I got older, around jr high I think, for no other reasons than my own insecurities, I began to feel extremely self conscious about my interest in magic (which I believe is simply a persons natural state of existence and capabilities). So I would sneak over to the new age section when no one was around and read secretly in my bedroom about casting circles and writing spells.
Now, despite my interest in earth based religions, magic, healing, and other such topics, I never really began practicing or delving into any such practice, as Wicca, paganism, Celtic magic…all topics I read about and was interested in, but weren’t quite resonating with me. Maybe it was the formality of the spells, the chants, the rules, or maybe it was just my own prejudice and the shameful fact that I was torn between the fact of wanting to be a witch and at the same time thinking people who claimed such practices were “weirdos”. So I quietly kept my own beliefs to myself as the years went by. Then, when I was older, probably a junior or senior in high school, my mom gave me for my birthday a book called “Natural Witchery”. She said it reminded her of me. My mom is not a witch, (that i know of), and I remember being both excited and a little embarrassed by the gift. But that was the first time something clicked with me. This book described a practice based solely on your intuition, personal experience and relationship with nature, and I liked it. It still contained spells and rituals, but it was more along the lines of what I had been searching for. I kept this book with me, (I still have it now), but unfortunately at that time I was more concerned with getting into college and subsequently, living the college life-style, (aka…partying way too much). My spiritual quest had been put on the back burner, but not forgotten.
This august I gave birth to my daughter Mayla. Being a mother really got me thinking: What kind of mother do I want to be? What is it I want to teach my child? While academics are no doubt important, I have always thought there are more important things to teach children. I want her to know how to be in tune with the subtle energies around her, how to see the magic and miracle in everyday, how to heal herself and others, be self sustainable and compassionate…
I am lucky enough that my husband has fully supported my decision to be a stay at home mom, and since having her I have resumed my “studies”, of developing aura sight and meditations, healing and psychic touch, and other natural abilities I hope to teach and nurture in her. I am writing to you because these past few months things have been happening at such a rapid pace and I just cannot keep the succession of events leading up to the purchase of your book and the effect it has had on me to myself.
This October two things happened which I feel created a domino effect in my life. The first was my dad giving Mayla and I two small gifts out of the blue. For Mayla, it was a small orgone to put in her room, for myself, an orgone necklace. He told me both had been blessed with Reiki. Now I had never heard of Reiki, or orgones for that matter. He briefly explained both to me and that was that. I found the ideas interesting but spent more time researching orgones as I found them beautiful and wanted to make my own. I kind of just disregarded the Reiki aspect to be honest. However, a few weeks later, a girl who I am friends with on Facebook, (we must have gone to college together but truthfully I’m not quite sure how I know her), posted something about her Reiki master giving classes. For some reason this time the term stuck with me. It really rang a bell. Then I remembered my necklace. I rushed to find the little card that had come with it, and there it said “each item has been blessed with Reiki”. That’s where I had seen the term! I felt a very strong urge to learn more, and over the next few days schemed of a way to learn Reiki myself. The main hurdle was the cost of classes, we are now living off of one income only. But wouldn’t you know, there just happened to be classes being taught less than five minutes away from me that were based on donation only! I called my mother and told her about the classes and she decided to join me. So on Nov. 16th we each donated $50 and became level one certified under a woman whom I am very pleased to have as my Reiki master. Since that class I have been practicing every day, with saying and meaning the principles, meditating, and giving Reiki to myself and family as well as reading several different books on the subject. It has been under a month since I was attuned and already I feel so different. More peaceful, centered, and just overall positive. I feel great! I really could relate to the whole concept of Reiki, as it fits perfectly with my own ideals of the natural divinity we are all part of.
So- I was on Pinterest the other day looking up “Reiki” to add images to my Reiki board. This eventually led me to search the term “Reiki master”, under which I came across an image whose caption read “wisdom of the divine feminine”. This term hit me hard as I had once read an article in a magazine with a similar title that I very much enjoyed. I then searched this term on meetup.com and this led me to the group “the women’s spirituality meetup” which had been created just this month and has but one member, the creator. Researching her I learned she teaches “mystical dance”, which again, stirred something inside me as I love to dance, especially flow arts like belly dance, poi, hoop, aerial tissu, and aerial hoop. I dance around by myself or with Mayla quite often at home. So I started looking up this mystical dance stuff which led me to the studio it is taught at called “The Sanctuary” which offers yoga, Reiki, massage, and various other classes including ‘crystal healing’. Again, something that struck a cord in my heart. I got on Amazon and looked up “crystal healing” then sorted the results by customer reviews. Your book was one of the top ones.
Even though I was at the time looking for a book about crystals, your book caught my eye because of the horse and gypsy on the cover. As well as loving rocks and horses, I also have a special place in my heart for gypsys, and there were suddenly two together in front of me when I had been searching for the third, so on a whim I clicked on it, saw the good ratings, and downloaded a sample which I immediately started reading. Imagine my surprise as I read the prologue…to hear you speak not only of Reiki, but to the exact circumstances of that which I had been feeling my whole life. It really is like something I can’t describe clicked in that moment. Like being struck by lightening. I had to stop and write what was happening down in a journal I’ve been keeping since the Reiki class. I knew I had just fallen down the rabbit hole. Especially as I started reading, (I bought the book as soon as I had finished writing about the preface), and was again shocked to have Shion speaking of the persecution against women (which is something I am also passionate about and part of studying the divine feminine), as well as the atrocities against the “indigenous people”. For the past week or so I have felt a profound connection and true, almost crippling at times, heartache for the Native American people. I had actually discussed it with my husband, mother, in laws, and even brother in passing, mentioning how tragic the loss of such a beautiful culture was to the world, and started watching a documentary about the portrayal of natives in film, simply because I was for some reason very drawn to them in that moment, perhaps because I know I have Native in my heritage. And to have them described so eerily similarly in your story with the gypsies…
I don’t know if this is all really making sense, but one thing is just leading me to something else that will also have a profound impact on my life. I feel as though for the first time in my life I am truly on the right path. I feel as though I have remembered something. Remembered who I am. Since I started reading your book I have started using magic again. I say again but really I mean for the first time, because it never felt natural to me before. It always felt hokey and forced. Now I am suddenly so comfortable with it. I see the ritual aspect of it as a method simply for directing attention. And when attention is focused anything truly is possible. I have been suddenly struck with ideas that I feel in my bones about the things that are woven into my everyday life. Like when I am singing a lullaby to my daughter that my mother sang to me, and I’m watching her eyes droop shut and realizing all the women of my family’s past generations are connected by this song. This song has comforted countless infants and sent them off to their dreams. And if not this specific song in this specific family, than the mere act of a mother singing to her child, of lullabies being passed down from one generation to the next. Chanting. EnCHANTment. There is magic in that. Or of teas. It suddenly hit me that teas, while sold and enjoyed almost everywhere by everyone and being a part of the norm, they really are a beautiful blend of nature that, with the right intent, could have potent effects. What if these different blends and varieties of teas are just what this ancient wisdom has had to become to survive? I suddenly thought the same about cooking, music, art…it is all miraculous…and with intention, so so powerful. Not only am I thinking these things, but I am feeling more connected to nature, wanting to know more and more how to live with her and protect her.
I feel like I have gotten off track and started rambling. But I really wanted to thank you for your story and the door it has opened for me, or should I say in me. I don’t know what it all means yet, but I don’t think that happening upon your book about witches and dragons while I was looking for a book about healing crystals was just a coincidence. I was led there by a very specific course of events (and granted, some pretty advanced internet algorithms I’m sure. But that’s besides the point hehe), which each seemed to unlock something within me. Nor do I think my life is going to be quite the same from here on out. I thank you for such a gift.
Denice was kind enough to respond immediately, and recognized me for what I was, encouraging my development of the craft. We even became Facebook friends, and she posted on my wall something to the effect of “thank you for the friend request! Let me know if you ever want to talk about, well….you know ;)”.
I was mortified.
I promptly thumbs upped her comment to show I appreciated her support and then deleted it. I was not ready to come out of the broom closet to my family and my peers. I was not even sure what this discovery meant for myself. How would I explain to my husband or best friend who this woman was and what we had to talk about? I also began to doubt myself. Was I going crazy? Grasping at staws? Was motherhood making me loose my mind? And at such a young age! Was I tossing my lot in with a cult of weirdos and social misfits? I literally felt a brief sense of panic following the illuminating and liberating epiphany I had had about being a witch. However, the very next morning, after waking with a sense of tredeptation, I logged onto Facebook to see if any damage had been done to my social image as a result of Denice’s comment. The first thing that popped up on my news feed was an article someone had posted about hospice workers revealing the top 5 regrets people have on their deathbed. Wouldn’t you know it, the #1 regret was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life that was true to myself, rather than the life others expected of me”. I took this as a sign of the universe kicking me in the ass, and the rest is history. This all happened five years ago, and it has been one magical and wild ride ever since.
Today, as I write this, I look around myself and marvel at what aligning with the Universe and trusting in the Goddess has manifested in my life. Challenges and obstacles, for sure, but more than anything, an overwhelming sense of beauty, abundance, and heartfelt gratitude.
It is 7am, I am sitting in our vintage trailer I’ve re-designed into a gypsy vardo and designated as my writing space. The baby monitor is on but the girls remain asleep. The girls. I have two daughters. Two beautiful baby girls who absolutely light up my life. There is nothing I had ever wanted more in my life than to have two little girls and my greatest wish has already come true. Along with their daddy, my husband. A man with a heart of gold and the patience, presence, dedication, and overall strength of a true champion. The handsome man who was there to bravely catch both of our children alone, with his own hands, when each time my birthing times progressed so fast they entered the world before the midwives had arrived. The man who accepts me with all my flaws and treats me like a queen despite them. Who loves me unconditionally and whom somehow manages to steal my heart away time and time again, growing sexier as the years go by. Our king who provides for his family and supports me unflinchingly in the only thing I have ALWAYS been certain I wanted to do as an adult; be a Mother.
Cool morning air flows in through the trailers screen door and rustles the wide green leaves on the sycamore tree dominating the view of outside of the trailer door and window I am facing. Once I asked the tree her name, and she gave it to me, but I never really took it much past that. Now I am looking at her, seeing her again for the first time, how she moves and how she feels, how she gives a place for the birds to come and sing to us, which they are doing at this very moment, and I think, “I am going to make friends with this tree.”, having been inspired by Chelsea Steinauer-Scudders’ article in Emergence Magazines entitled, “Befriending a Tree”.
A steaming cup of green tea is within reach and I have a heavy, hand-knitted blanket, made and gifted to me from a brilliant aunt, thrown across my lap. I turn my head to the right to take in the view outside the trailers long, back window and look out across our land. Our land. Or at least as much as land can really be owned by anyone, and to be clear, I don’t believe it can. But I like to think of it more like the legal right and honor in this day and age to be the responsible keepers and ambassadors to a tiny eco-region of our Great Mother. For this privilege, I feel so blessed every day.
It is a little piece of property, not quite a full acre, but it is beautiful. The tan sand literally glitters with minuscule pieces of granite, quartz, and silver, washed from the high peaks of the San Bernardino mountain range we a nestled up against, whose dramatic form dominates the views to the South, close enough that I can make out the individual pine trees standing tall atop the ridge-line.
Right now the pale brown ground is speckled with green, and if you look closely as you walk, you will find little splashes of color, reds, blues, purples, and yellows, the deserts tiny wild flowers. It is springtime, and to be honest, this spring seems to have missed most of its greening. Compared to the the past couple of seasons we have spent here, this year seems far drier, silvers and browns already making it look like summer has arrived when past years saw this time of season almost lush with the amount of green spring growth that carpeted the desert floor, (and later matured to vicious weeds). I know it is due to the drought. We lack water here. and we barley even had a winter this year. It seems the plant people are really starting to show the symptoms of this depravation. But that is another story for another time. For now, I appreciate and enjoy what is.
To the North, the direction the back window of my writing sanctuary is oriented, an inspiring vista of open desert landscape, dominated mostly by the distant expanse of the massive dried lake-bed and off-road destination, ‘El Mirage’. And Clover, my horse, there she is, head down, eating her breakfast. Bless the Goddess, I have not only two little goddesses now in my life, with the man of my dreams besides me, but a horse! A real horse of my own, a regal little mustang who moves like magic, is smoother than honey, and is challenging and teaching me in all the right ways. I see her every morning as soon as I look out the kitchen window and watch her as I wash the dishes. Still in disbelief. Is this life even real?
And then there is Iya, the wolf-looking dog I dreamed of befriending as a child, and my first “real” dog. (Moment of silence for Coco and Nala. The two little fluffs I had the privilege of previously loving).
Iya, (named so by Mayla, my eldest), whom we have had since she was 3 weeks old, (she will turn two this October, and the story of how we ended up with her when she was far too young to be away from her mother is again, another story for another time), has truly become one of my most brutally honest mirrors, and also my best friend. Something subtle and almost undetectable has happened over the past few days that is strengthening our connection in leaps and bounds, even despite having been her mama for over a year now. I can’t describe it except to say it has been a shift in my own energy, to which Iya is extremely sensitive to.
And then there are Arwen and Vanessa Ives, our two absolutely adorable Nigerian Dwarf milk does, who turned out to NOT be pregnant as they were said to be when I purchased them, but add such a sense of charm and hilarity to our tribe I’m not even upset about it…
Our little tribe huddles on this modest spot of land that despite being in the “desert” is positively bursting with life. Birds of every color call this yard their territory. Reds, blues, yellows. White, browns, blacks. Feathers and voices of every color make up the background symphony I delight in each day. I am particularly fond of the massive and mischievous Ravens, who play by their own rules and are never far if I’m looking for some magical inspiration. I try to tell them to stop harassing the red-tails who hunt over our area, for I adore the raptors as well, but the Ravens of course ignore me. They don’t have time for a silly human such as myself. I humbly watch them as they dance and sing through the skies and can almost feel how wonderful it is to have the desert breeze lifting you effortlessly into the heavens.
Then there are the rabbits. Adorable cottontails and jackrabbits so huge they make you do a double-take just to be sure it wasn’t a coyote that darted into the brush. The coyotes. Coyote, you are such a dear friend and source of wisdom.
Ground squirrels, chipmunks, kangaroo rats, mice, bats, owls, lizards, snakes. Together, we each make up a thread of this ecosystem, and I delight in sharing this space with them all. Even the insects have found a special place in my heart. The ants of every size and color. Spiders ranging from the size of a confetti flake to the size of my palm. I used to be terrified, TERRIFIED, of spiders. Thankfully, at some point in my adult life I realized this was an absolutely ridiculous fear and that my life would be a whole lot more pleasant if I laid this phobia to rest. Now, when I find a spider in my house, I leave her be. Perhaps attempting to connect with and commune with her a bit, for they have their own kind of magic, an energy that is particularly suited to weaving stories and connecting threads. They have become a sort of ally and mentor, and I welcome their presence now, appreciating both their mythology and their contribution to the health of the planet.
And my house. Our first official home. The sacred ground where I brought life forth for the second time. The place that shelters us from the deserts violent winds, frigid winter storms, and blistering summer sun. Where we sleep, eat, love, relax, and build our life together. It is small, easy to manage, and absolutely perfect for us. We, (meaning Andrew, at my request <3), recently painted it green. I LOVE it. I am trying to convince him to let me paint the front door purple, but thus far, he remains unconvinced. While I truly enjoy traveling, vacations, and exploring new places, I can honestly say that there is no place I would rather be than my own home sweet home, even if I know in the future I am going to want more space for more horses, and more access to undisturbed wilderness… I have plans to turn our home into a mini ranch and native perm-culture garden. And I love the joy it has brought us over these past couple of years.
I take all of this in with humble appreciation for the abundance that surrounds us. I know it has been made possible by the generosity and support of our friends and family, the hard work of my man, and the trust and faith in myself, each other, and the unknowable plans the Universe has in store for us.
There is magic in the everyday. There are little gems of pure bliss waiting to be discovered in every waking moment. This is what my magical path has taught me so far. And I cannot wait for the adventures and the new lessons ahead.
For those interested in the book which truly changed my life, here is a link to purchase it on amazon: Dragonhorse . If nothing else it is a very entertaining read, and you are helping to support a homegrown author and independent publisher, which is nice of you and will score you good karma.
How did you experience the calling? Were you afraid of the challenges it would bring to your life? What changes have you undergone since donning the witches’ mantle? Tell me in the comments, I am so eager to hear of others experiences!