When I hit publish on that last post, magic happened. Ha. But no, something special did happen. First, I felt an immediate opening. A falling into place of something I'd shut out. In fact I almost came back and rewrote it before deciding that no, it was a good marker for me. Next, I got private messages, emails, and the wonderful comments left here and on Instagram. Some of them surprising.
I wrote that post in a hurry. It was a tentative step into exploring something but obviously it was trivial. I mean, I've never actually believed that witches are like Willow or Piper, I was writing about popular culture's take on the subject and how it served to bring witches back into the open for my generation.
Fictional witches are often all about the magic. Then and now. Magic that conjures and changes, makes miracles in a puff of smoke. Wands, cauldrons, spells. For me, real witches are something else. Something that changes with geography but holds within it earth medicine. A sister to shamanism.
I've received emails from friends and acquaintances who have family witches in living memory. I don't. Although, it occurred to me, I do have an uncle on one side (no longer earthside) who was a "wolf-loving pagan" (his words), and another on the other side who by his 60s (he's now 80) was, to the absolute amazement of all who had ever met younger him, a Reiki Master who imported crystals for a living! Interesting that it should be the men who were open about this stuff. But not surprising.
As for the women, I know very little about them. My dear sister-aunt is of course a very spiritual, earth-loving plantswoman like her mother before her. Green fingers, thumbs and toes, both of them. But I've no known blood claim to wise women or healers.
That said, I'm the product of these islands and I'm very aware of the earth that built me, physically and spiritually. It's been a life-long love affair with Nature, my true comfort zone, that has got me to this place where I can confidently build my home in Witchery.
It's the land, the plants, the other animals, the weather, the spirits, the intuition, the fixing, the healing, the feminism, the wholeness, the ritual, the 'superstition', the edges and the ways. And there's so much more to say but I had to come and keep this moving. More soon.