Just after my divorce, I joined a spiritual book club. Each month, I’d get to pick a new book to be delivered or, if I didn’t choose, they’d send me the book of the month.
One month, I forgot to put in my preference so I was sent Witch Crafting by Phyliss Curott. I wasn’t excited about the book but I flicked through anyway. It was one of those lightbulb moments where right in front of you, you find the answer to what you were seeking (even if you didn’t know you were seeking it).
That book changed me. Changed my life.
The contents of the book resonated and for the first time ever, I realised that I was a witch.
What I believed and how I saw the world was mirrored on the pages of a book.
It felt as if I had finally discovered a missing puzzle piece to who I was and it gave me an identity, one I had never considered would belong to me.
Having been raised in a family devoid of any interest in spirituality, I had no clue that there were ‘real’ witches. Up until that point, I’d been trying so hard to fit in with the ‘ordinary’ view of the world that I’d stuffed my weirdnesses down deep and played at being normal. The books I loved – divination, paranormal, ancient history – were up in the attic, placed up there by my ex-husband. They came down and I began to embrace a long-neglected part of me.
About ten years ago, I began blogging at Witch Blog. I wrote nearly every day on witchy things and life in general. It made me happy until it didn’t.
Blogging hadn’t changed but I had.
I told myself stories that if I wanted to be a successful writer (or successful at anything), I would alienate people because they would see ‘witch’ and not be interested in looking any further.
I wrote in my newsletter a few weeks ago that I had been feeling directionless for quite a few years and part of that has been because I haven’t been true to my spiritual path. I have hidden away from being a witch. Not completely, I don’t think I could not be a witch, but enough to avoid me being labelled as ‘just a witch’.
I’ve put myself away in the attic, hiding part of who I am because I was afraid. To be honest, I was worried people would judge me on my beliefs rather than my merits. I didn’t want to alienate people and yet, I alienated myself.
At the end of last year, I went to a closed ritual and the Craft Elder said: “to be a witch is to stand in opposition.” That hit home.
It takes courage to stand in opposition to traditional beliefs or to openly admit to not seeing the world through muggle eyes. History is full of sorrowful stories of people persecuted for not falling in with the crowd and witches have historically been one of the targets.
Yet, if we hide away parts of our spirit to make other people more comfortable we pay a disservice to ourselves. We become a watered down version of our true essence. And, just as important, we deny the opportunity for other people to recognise a kindred spirit. Perhaps for them to realise, just like I did when I read Witch Crafting, that they are not alone.