I have been a witch all my life, I just didn’t realise it when I was younger. I was brought up to believe that my religion was “Church of England”. Having said that, we never went to church except for weddings, christenings and funerals. We never really talked about religion at all.
In early childhood, I clearly remember being able to “sense” things before they happened or to just “know” things without being told. I never talked about this with anyone as I thought it was all perfectly normal, why wouldn’t I?
When I was about 7 I had a beautiful white cat. He had one green eye and one blue eye. His name was Mischief and he used to sleep on my bed every night. Long after I had gone to bed he would nose his way in through my door, jump up on the foot of my bed and then turn round several times before curling up at my feet. I loved that cat. Sadly one day a man came and knocked on our door to say he had run over and killed a white cat and the neighbours had told him he might belong to us. It was my beloved Mischief. However, every single night without fail, from that day until we moved house about 3 years later, I heard and felt Mischief come through the door, jump up on the bed, turn round and settle down at my feet. I was never upset by this only comforted and again I just thought of it as normal.
Moving forward to my teenage years, I became aware that I sensed things that others did not. I kept most of my experiences to myself deliberately now so as not to be thought of as crazy. I had dreams that came true, saw and/or heard people walk through the house that weren’t there, “knew” what people were doing even when I couldn’t see or hear them, heard the phone ring before it actually rang (when it was someone close to me) and most of all could sense others feelings and when they were not telling me the truth.
My father could “Charm Warts”! Maybe not a gift to shout about but handy none the less. At 14 I discovered I had the same gift !! My father also bore the “mark of a Witch” or a third nipple (as does my son). We used to joke privately about him being a witch – he never went to church either – I have often wondered if he actually was a Witch but sadly he is no longer with us to ask!
I went through some very dark times in my late teens and early 20’s after the death of someone very close to me. It was at this time I started to question religion. All religion. I realised that none of it made sense to me. I tried very hard to believe in something and read everything I could find. I eventually decided to just be me instead.
I was soon labelled as a hippie, whether it was my clothes, the way I acted or the fact that I refuse to “hate” people I will never know. Others have referred to me as a “Spiritual” person. I just think of me as being, well “Me”!
It was many years later that I discovered Paganism, I started reading and was hooked from the outset. It seemed to me that much of the pagan ways and hippie ideals were very alike, add in a touch of Hinduism and Buddhism and things started to resonate on a deep level. I have to say that not everything was quite right for me as although the basic way of life was on a par to my existence, I was more interested in healing than praying to gods and goddesses. That is when I finally realised I was in fact a witch and always have been!!
I used to worry about the reaction I would get when telling people that I’m a Witch. It’s sad that even today some people believe the hype about Witches. I’m just an ordinary person who believes in the power of the mind, in helping others, making and using natural remedies whenever I can, healing others, being tolerant and understanding, being mindful, meditating, respecting nature and animals and most of all just being kind to my fellow man (and woman). If that makes me a Witch then I’m a Witch and proud to be one.
As for actually coming out of the broom closet. I have never gone around to my family and friends and said “Hey guess what! I’m a Witch!”. Other people don’t come up to me and say “Hey guess what! I’m a Christian! (or whatever)”, or make other declarations about their personal faith. I have found that when I have met other Pagans or Witches … they just know. Sometimes a stranger has spotted a piece of jewellery I’m wearing and commented before indicating their own. Anyone who visits my house can’t fail to see my pentagrams, altar, pictures and other obvious signs …… well actually they can fail to see them if it’s not something that means anything to them! I wear pentagrams and crystals but very few people actually notice. I have told friends and family as the subject arises and I have had people ask me outright if I am a Witch, to which I always confirm that I am.
In a fair and just world there wouldn’t be a need for anyone to be “in the closet” for any aspect of their life. Sometimes though life doesn’t quite work the same for all of us. Be out and proud if that works for you but if your circumstances, for whatever reason, mean you have to stay in the closet – then do so without guilt. There are still ways you can practice discretely, even if that’s just chanting silent thoughts. Whatever works for you.
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