“You’re a witch; we are witches; you come from witches.”
I was in my thirties when, during a phone conversation, my mom said these words to me.
“Okay, mom,” I humored her and shrugged it off. I didn’t even think about it then, as a single mom putting myself through school, and working full time. Mom said weird things all sometimes, and I had no idea what it meant to be a witch. I didn’t have time to think about what it meant to be a witch. I was trudging, waist deep in trying to achieve the societal expectation of what it meant to be a successful person in the world. I was, in my mind, falling behind having done everything backwards; married young, had children, ended my marriage, and then realized I didn’t have a career. Trying and failing all over the place took a lot of time and effort, there was no time for witch curiosities.
My dad had died a few years before. I didn’t equate what Mom said to the altars I made and prayed at just after his passing, not even realizing they were altars. I delved deeply into books about spirituality and shamanism. I lit candles, meditated, I walked barefoot on frozen winter ground. I sat beneath trees and waited for answers. I was, myself, answering a calling during these cold winter months, but it wouldn’t occur to me until years later.
When my mom said we are witches, I didn’t think about my early obsessions with astrology, past lives, ghosts, mediumship, and everything mystical, the local tarot reader who told me once that I was a channel and a psychic, or even about how I had always been sensitive, too sensitive, people said. I’m sure she considered all of this, but I didn’t give her the chance to explain. I didn’t think about the tarot readings I gave as a teen, or equate it to how different I had always been. I buried any sign of being different as best I could and for as long as I could. But what remained hidden even from me while in plain sight, was that everything I did brought magic into my life in some way. The books and articles I read, my need to be in nature, meditation, yoga, visualization, self protection, fascination with death and an afterlife, past life regression, moon altars were all linked to an innate knowing that I was part of something bigger, but even when I was practicing magic, I wouldn’t admit to myself that was what I was doing.
I ignored the calling every time she whispered my name, the goddess that calls us to magic. Self-deception is a powerful obstacle; we only see the truth when we are ready to, and the truth does truly set us free. Though I ignored her, I know this: we cannot miss what is meant for us, and sometimes the path we take may seem to take us in a direction opposite of what we ultimately feel is meant for us. But along the way we learn what we don’t want, and we find the deepest desire for what we do want. And what’s more, I still lived in the magic, consistently, even if I wasn’t admitting it to myself. I couldn’t easily sync with the flows of “normal” life, and the patriarchal corporate systems I was working within created deep anxiety. I was fighting a battle against myself and my highest wisdom.
I once told a coworker I schedule meetings in the morning because that was when I felt the sharpest, most focused. She looked at me like I was bonkers. Her expression said loudly, “that isn’t what boss b*tches do.” I clearly wasn’t a boss b*tch. I had no desire to be one. I wanted to follow the natural rhythms of my body and mind, I wanted to move slowly through my morning rituals, focus on my work in the morning and do the more mindless paperwork in the afternoons, and then… cry in my car on the way home out of overwhelm and the dawning understanding of the out-of-syncness of the life I was living.
Someone asked me once when I started practicing magic. I was about 4 yrs old, playing pretend, making spells in rainwater that collected in our little red wagon. The deeper truth is I was called to magic and its practice as a young child. I was called again and again. I ignored her call, my highest self beaconing me to wake, but she knelt silently beside me and waited patiently and lovingly for me to find her, to embrace her. There are many lifetimes of magic within me and I’ll spend what remains of this lifetime remembering her lessons, and sharing them with you. Stay with me, I have much to tell you about this journey toward a magical life.