Solitude

It has been a year since I was last active here. I started this blog one year ago with a great deal of enthusiasm and hope which was shortly crushed and crumbled by the realisation that when I was told I cannot trust anyone on this path, I did not listen and instead I blindly marched onwards trusting everyone. I regret nothing, although I must admit it is frustrating to look back and realise how much time I have wasted on ‘witches’ who deserved none of my time, none of my stories, none of my help, none of my books and spells because they fed me lies and fed what I considered to be a friendship ignorance, and in exchange I lost one thing I will never get back – my time. The truth is, and I may be judged for saying this, but I don’t know if I care anymore; few of the practitioners who call themselves “witches” are, in fact, witches. Not every practitioner who claims to have been practising witchcraft for 25 years has actually been practising witchcraft for that long, the same way as not every witch who claims they have a family lineage of witches actually has it. Some simply love painting themselves as the ‘real deal’ and it became so hard to find someone genuine when everyone now has been practising traditional witchcraft for 20+ years despite being in their late 20s, has a dead great gran who was a witch and dances with the Devil under the full moon. I simply got tired, so I give up. I learnt that my personal experiences should be kept for myself and not shared. What I experience during rituals should only be written in my book and nowhere else.
As excited as I was and am to share my experiences, I won’t allow myself to since humans get very envious of other individuals progress, and it suddenly somehow became easier to curse and hate instead of simply remaining indifferent.

My practice, no matter the stage of it, is something intimate, something personal I can’t share with anyone, especially online, despite making the terrible mistake before. My craft is mine and mine only, and I’m being greedy because it took so much for me to get here. I’m still learning, still growing, and I wish I had help, I wish I had met someone to help and guide me but as of now, it is just me constantly brewing, constantly trying, learning, and experimenting.

So, what has happened throughout this dark half of the year that just passed? I learnt from the terrible mistakes I made, fell in love, got lost, harvested a lot of herbs, brewed a lot of tea, and after a whole year of failing at spirit flight, I finally started to see some strings of progress. I learnt who not to trust and have accepted the solitude, the loneliness, and the heartache. I got lost in the woods and sang folk songs to dryads, and to whoever else was there to listen and even built the courage and wrote letters to Janet. I tried to keep myself strong, brave, and focused.

As of this space, it will remain as it is for now, my virtual journal in which I will still post tangled entries and feelings although I will no longer post personal experiences and anything that is too personal as the strength of the witch sometimes lies within the secrecy of the craft. I made the mistake of oversharing in the past and it destroyed me; I will not make the same mistake again.

I’m not saying anything new, nothing mind-blowing and to be honest, I feel a bit hopeless in posting this as I have lost my motivation but I’m pushing myself for a bit longer, maybe it will be worth it. As of now though, trust no one, question absolutely everything as no question is stupid, be as curious as you can be, explore as much as you can and tell no one, enjoy and celebrate your own progress with yourself and the ones who love, care and truly understand you.

S.M.

Witch Coal

I hear the waves crashing on the rocks in the distance, building up the tension. The fog is getting thicker and thicker and no soul wanders about but my own. I learnt not to have a ‘favourite weather’ as great things can be done during both the dark days covered in thick, suffocating fog and the hot sunny days of June. I must look mad wandering about like this but I feel weird. I need a witch friend, I miss Janet and I feel lonely so I’m here, trying not to feel like this is a bad thing. I’m tired of one sided friendships, of fake, temporary ‘seasonal friends’ and I guess due to that, I would rather be away and on my own. I’m looking for hag stones hoping I could find a way out of here, escape and meet the Queen like Andro Man did. There are so many thoughts intruding so I just let them come, no one’s here anyway.

There were three thuds in the attic floorboards and it was done. I waited up there for a while looking at the rooftops and the sky wondering what did I do to get here, to do this, to feel this way, I was happy. So so happy.

I remember telling him how I could drown him. He laughed saying he never swims so I smiled telling him he doesn’t need to for me to drown him and we both laughed, he took it as a joke but it wasn’t. You need no water to feel as if you’re emotionally drowning, to feel like an absolute wreck, like a ship that’s sinking and there’s no way to escape since fighting the current will get you drowned, no charms to keep you safe, you have no choice but to let it all that happen.
He thought I was all just pretty smiles so he drowned.

I’m scared I’m just like the others. A pretty cover with an edgy sounding title but with no context, no history, nothing else but that. I’m scared at times that the things I do have no meaning.
I feel like I may be an imposter. Another one of those fake psychics, another want to be. I dread the thought so much so I’m looking for witches coal instead, for seashells, for stones, for sea glass, for treasures I promised I’ll be back for. I seem to do better when there’s no one around me to influence my madness, when I’m not updating anyone on my whereabouts, on how I do and how I feel, when I’m not online to check on everything and everyone, when I’m locked in my witch burrow and my hunted attic, where my madness seems to thrive.

I stalk dead witches because they come to me in my dreams. Despite not knowing each other, I feel as if we danced together once and perhaps we still do, so I go and pay my respects. I go visit them with cakes, alcohol and bread and listen to their stories. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to the feeling of missing witches I never met, missing certain events and faces I had never seen during my waking life.

But how do I know if I’m the real deal? What if I’m simply another want to be, another fake, a fraud? As much as I’m trying not to focus on this, not to think of it I can’t. It’s a valid feeling, something I must consider, something I must prove otherwise I might live a whole life knowing there is such a thought at the back of my mind. I can’t unthink it and if I don’t have this then I have nothing. I feel like this is what keeps me alive – the progress, the charms and making my own incense, the challenges, the mysteries, the tales and the otherworld. Sometimes though, I feel pulled to the otherworld so I just sit and stare at the sea or I stare through Hagstones but I guess I’m meant to be here, like this, I guess I’m meant to be me.

I just feel like it’s not as easy as walking to the nearest crossroads chanting some words and a new witch is born. I feel like it’s more to this than just that but there’s no one I can open up to without feeling like a fool or without feeling that I shouldn’t burden anyone with my things or without being paranoid so here I am, on the attic floor staring up towards the Devil statue, towards the horn dagger that lays next to Him, towards the only Ones I felt I could open up to for so long and even now, even this way I still feel like perhaps I don’t have it and I’m scared. I’m scared, so so scared. There are voices in my head asking me if I wouldn’t be, why would I be doing this or that or that other thing but I can’t focus, I don’t want to think of the answers I just want to be here because here’s where I feel Him, here’s where I can at least dream of Him, here’s where I have all the books, all the oils, incense and powders. Here’s home, in this drafty witch mess of mine. I don’t want what everyone my age wants, I need this, right here. This is more important, this is the only thing that ties me to me, the only thing I know I won’t fail at, the only thing I know I can be the absolute best at, and without this, I’m not me, I’ll never be me without all this.
I was once told He tests His witches. I looked up and saw His statue looking as if He’s grinning down at me so I start laughing. I feel mad, the best kind of mad so I’m trying to tell myself this must be why I feel this tornado of feelings and I smile. I smile because putting everything from this perspective makes me love my madness and this drafty cold attic I’m in.

It still is the dark half of the year. Things feel off and I guess I should learn how to stop questioning, I guess it’s part of the process, part of ourselves. I guess we just need to give ourselves time to be still and quiet and asleep just like nature is at this point.

I’m on the shore, it’s winter, it’s freezing and foggy but I’m here watching the waves, plotting which king’s boat I should sink next and what charms I should whisper to the sea. He’s testing me, so I smile while picking up the witch coal. I have this small cotton drawstring pouch filled with charms, talismans, amulets, small seashells, and dried moss so I add the small bits of witch coal inside. I’m happy I embraced the storm, I embraced the madness and enjoyed the solitude. All those feelings, this battle of resisting the current which nearly got me lost and drowned finally starts to make sense. I was resisting a current I was never meant to fight against and couldn’t find it in me to accept the journey as it is.

I used to hate the sea, the cold, this feeling that I can’t stay away from now. Before leaving, I told her I’ll be back to look for more treasures she pulled from beneath.

S.M.

Reclaiming What’s Mine

One of the first things I did when I first started practising was opening a blog. I really wanted to talk and get to know other practitioners, see if they felt similar feelings during certain rituals and overall share opinions and thoughts but I was an introvert and talking or getting to know people can be quite awkward and overwhelming, so a blog was the best option. I had this personal space where people could read some of the experiences I felt safe sharing. Around the same time, nearly a decade ago now, a ‘priest want-to-be was guiding me through the ‘left-hand path’ and I won’t deny the fact that some of the books he recommended along with other information were useful as they truly were but from being this very close friend I cared and looked up to, he became someone I couldn’t recognise anymore.

I have this habit of sometimes going through old messages and as I was reading some of them, I stumbled upon “I just really want to reclaim what’s mine” and I realised how much I need to write this, how much I need to open up. On my first blog, I used to encrypt certain messages in the body of text, this time I decided not to for the sake of my underage self who lost count of the endless nights she was falling asleep crying, picturing her own funeral and no one around knew the pain she was going through. I’m typing this for myself, I don’t need anyone’s approval or pity, I just need to make this public for my own verbal freedom, I need to free myself. I’m tired, sick and disgusted of allowing him to hold my freedom in the palm of his hand. I’m not on this Earth to please anyone but myself and the ones I love and being threatened with cheap words won’t do anymore.

Before starting, I must add again the fact that I’m doing this for myself and myself only. I am not in any way trying to get back to whoever hurt me in the past but rather, I’m seeking my verbal freedom. I’m doing this because metaphorically he chained me, locked me and the truth in this birdcage for years and when I finally escaped and spoke about it, I was terrified, but I realised the more I speak about it, the more my wings grow. If you have ever been sexually assaulted and/ or groomed, you might know what I mean; that infernal silence that keeps you quiet for years because you’re scared. I’m scared still at times but for the sake of my mental health and my freedom, I’d be willing to jump off a cliff. I’m not proud I’ve been through this and I’ve been hiding and disregarding this for so many years and it did more damage than good. I hate the fact that I had to go through this but looking back, that opened my eyes and fuelled this fierce soul I never knew I had. I like to believe that the choices we make impact our future to a certain extent so, in a sense, without all the damage he caused, I wouldn’t be standing here right now, reclaiming what’s mine.

Nearly a decade ago, I truly wanted to explore witchcraft, the darker aspect of it and so, I stumbled upon him. He was the only one who seemed trustworthy. Anyone can paint whatever image they want online, and he managed to paint himself that way and no one ever found out who he truly was. He made up a fake identity in order to protect his real one, but I didn’t know that as he never told me. I should have known that at that age, no wonderful man gets off a white horse, kneeling in front of you to help you out, I should have known but I didn’t although, he knew I was much younger. So why should I be the one saying “I should have known better” when I was very underage and very much a kid, shouldn’t he be the one that was 3 times my age, known better? It’s disgusting thinking that I considered him my friend and used to defend that friendship. What’s even more disgusting is being able to look back to his twisted games, the ways in which he managed to groom me, telling me that Nabokov’s Lolita is a love story, and that kind of an age difference shouldn’t matter. I trusted him and I recall once telling him how unlike most girls in my class, at the time, I had no time for relationships; I was in love with my practice to the point that I would breathe the good, old, witchcraft books and he knew that. It never crossed my mind he meant anything bad as at the time, I did not realise he was grooming me. I didn’t realise that either when I started defending him in front of my parents and friends. Eventually, we met, and I showed him some of my secret ‘witchy’ places and my high expectations were slowly breaking as his energy didn’t feel the same way he was making himself sound. He didn’t feel authentic and there were so many sirens deep inside that I didn’t listen to. He suggested trying to conduct a ritual together to which I said yes, being excited to finally get to work with another practitioner. There was no ritual, but he made me think there was. I hurried there, going against my family, knowing it’s worth it, he’s a friend, what possibly could go wrong? Everything. He let me get ready for the ritual, he prepared everything, as if there was one but there wasn’t. I froze and I remember nothing but puzzle pieces floating in the air, memories that make no sense now. Hours later, everything was lost. My family understood it all wrongly, my friends suddenly turned against me and I was alone, and I needed to talk to someone. I ended up keeping in touch with him so he played his game further.

I recall all the horrible things that followed but something that marked me forever was my desperate urge of finding my path, my practice. I felt lost, I felt as if he took my path, my practice, my tricks and ways away from me and I was desperate to find a way to get them back but each time I would try and practice anything, it wouldn’t be the same. At the time, I did horrible things to my body because of some of the things he would tell me but all that time, I was more concerned about my practice. I was not terrified of dying but I refused to live a life in which I’m not practising my path, in which I’m not myself, not a witch. There were nights in which I was praying to the Christian God once again, as I was when I was a kid, but no one listened. I now look back and like to think that in the dark of the night, God didn’t hear me but the Old One did. I didn’t practice anything for years after that, being convinced I was a lost cause and simply wasn’t meant to be a witch.

Scotland became my home half a decade ago, time in which I explored the lands, read folk tales and even seen old women still being wary about the Good Folk. The land changed me as I spent more time alone within the Scottish Highlands than I did with Scottish people so when he tried to play his games on me once more, he failed.

It must be fun being a powerful man that just sits back, enjoying his cigars, watching an underage girl, a kid suffer from body dysmorphia, PTSD and trauma. Gosh, imagine how fun it must be for humans like that, the easiness with which they can just expect people in my situation to keep quiet so they’re safe, cosy and whole.

I like to believe that these lands adopted me, nested me deep into the freezing Highlands so when I found my way out of the swamps, the lochs and the woods, I was no longer who I used to be. By the time I found my way out and was walking the city cobblestone, I forgot that he existed. I forgot that you existed, and I don’t hate you, I don’t love you, I simply no longer care about your existence on this Earth.
I’m terrified, scared but happy I managed to write all this without giving up, I managed to regain what was mine to begin with. I’m not the oldest within the craft but writing this made me realise how lucky I am to be here, finally on my path, practising what makes me happy and whole. I can practice this crooked path of mine without getting flashbacks of his practice. I’m finally free and claimed what’s mine. I lost so much but found myself in the end and somehow, that freed me.