“How are you a quiet rebel? What do you do to rebel against the ordinary?”
I’ve had many conversations with pagans and non-pagans about not being ordinary, or the word more commonly used ‘weird’. I’m very proud to be weird! But actually, when you think about it, what is normal or ordinary? On entering the world of paganism, you’re hit by a huge number of different pathways and with that labels. Why do us human beings like to be put into boxes? Does it make us feel wanted or needed, or do we just like to fit in somewhere? When I first started on this spiritual journey a gazillion years ago, I started studying Wicca. Finding witchcraft felt to me like ‘coming home’. At the time, Wicca was the only structure of learning that was available via books, so I studied and practised it. Once that new-fangled internet thingy took off, I was offered online courses of learning, again in Wicca – but I took up the challenge. I loved all my studies in Wicca, they gave me a very good base to work from. However, I realised early on that Wicca wasn’t quite the right fit for me personally. I like to do my own thing and I definitely began to trust my intuition from a very early point. I also don’t like being told what to do (seriously ask my husband). And, although Wicca doesn’t have rules as such, it does give guidelines for working with deity, laying out your altar and the like. I wanted to rebel… I felt the need to stretch my wings and push out to explore. So, I did… After completing the three Wiccan degrees, I went off on an adventure. Well, more than one adventure. I studied whatever I felt drawn to, which included: Druidry, Hedge Witchcraft, Shamanic practices, Hoodoo and I even did a workshop as a Viking Shield Maiden to name but a few! From each journey I delved into, I took away the bits and pieces that worked for me. A bit of a spiritual pick n mix. Adding practises from each pathway into my own. I love learning, I love studying and I love attending workshops and talks – everyone has a different take and I will always come away having learnt something new. I have continued to study and dip into other spiritual boxes, taking what I like and discarding that which doesn’t resonate with me. Some would throw their hands up in horror I know, but I must do what works for me. It is my own spiritual journey and very personal, so it must be right and sit comfortably for me. Do I have a title or a label? I am a Witch. If you want to slot me into a heading of some sort, then I would say Kitchen/Hedge Witch. I work in harmony with Mother Nature, I don’t necessarily work with the sabbats as such. I fell off ‘The Wheel’ a long time ago. I felt restricted by dates on a calendar that didn’t tie in with the weather or nature. One winter solstice it was so warm we didn’t have to wear coats, and I had pelargoniums still flowering in the garden in December (I am pretty sure Mother Nature is menopausal). It’s hard to associate that with a date on the calendar that says its winter. Now I prefer to work with the energy of the season, the month or even the week or the day, stepping outside to see and feel what sort of magic is in the air. Don’t get me wrong, I still think we should all learn about the sabbats. They work perfectly for getting together as a group to celebrate (any excuse for cake is a good excuse as far as I am concerned). But, I prefer to do my own thing. My magical tools are whatever I have to hand, or nature provides. OK…I do have quite a few pretties as well, handcrafted deity statues created by very talented artists, wands that have been gifted to me and a million candles. But the whole host of paraphernalia that I purchased in the beginning; chalices, athames and bells – have all been given away. They looked lovely, but I didn’t use them. When I create a spell, I use what I have, my garden and my kitchen cupboard provide all the herbs, spices, flowers and plants that I need to work magic. I recycle jam jars to create witch bottles and turn fabric scraps into poppets. My magic is worked at my dining room table or in my garden. Magic is added to the food as I cook in my kitchen. These are my sacred spaces. I am a witch, it’s who I am, what I am and how I live my life. I don’t believe there is a right way or a wrong way. I must trust my intuition and do things my own way.