A story of Alters & Magic

Pagan Alter
I was raised in a Catholic household, Irish Catholic to be exact. My Grandmother Monica was a devote Catholic woman from Kilkenny in Ireland and my Mother, Kathleen (pronounced Kat-Lin), being half Irish brought me up to go to Sunday school, Midnight Mass at Christmas and have my holy Communion & Confirmation all through my childhood years. However, from the age of five I would question life in my girlish existential way, I’d tell my mum not to shout at me because perhaps in a past life I was her mother and therefore our souls are equal (no joke) and I’d collect stones, twigs and dried leaves to create a pot of nature magic. It was also at five I had my first premonition. At 13 I desperately pleaded with my Mum to own a Tarot deck and I made my own cauldron from a broken water fountain bowl. At the time, all this freaked my mum out and she’d say “What is wrong with my child!”
However, now my Mum has become more open minded, whilst still a proud Catholic she also has healing crystals, Buddha statues, her own oracle deck & cleanses her home with incense.

I believe in magic, not magic tricks or the over exaggerated, fantastical magic in films, but magic in the mundane. How everything is connected and everything has energy, I find peace in the old Pagan traditions and I find the concept of deities fascinating and actually makes more sense than worshiping one “God”, for in essence the gods and goddesses of the Pagan communities around the world are simply personifications of the natural world and these deities do not declare themselves as perfect beings either, they have a primal and humanistic quality to them, they are relatable and reachable, they don’t sit on a far away cloud pointing the finger at our sins and they don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are-wild, unpredictable & beautifully primordial.

I believe in honouring the earth and trying (in this modern life) to respect it as much as I can. I find old remedies, herbal tinctures & old wives tales from all over the world fascinating. I adore talismans, animal symbolism and dream interpretation. I love reading about fairytales and their psychological significance, I love thinking about reincarnation or ideas about what happens when we pass. I believe plants are wiser than us and that they have a language or social network we can not see or grasp with our blinkered minds. I believe astronomy and astrology are two sides of the same coin and that ancient civilizations like the Babylonians and Sumerians were on to something fruitful. I believe “God” is everywhere, in every atom, in every space, in every creation, in every miracle and in every scientific discovery. I believe in the healing power of crystals, even science is catching up with evidence to support using crystal quartz in a machine to cure cancer. When I look at the moon I feel powerful, recharged somewhat and I enjoy receiving subliminal messages from the universe.

People call me a “Witch” as a way to understand what I am, we need labels in this world. I guess I am a Witch, for the word means “Wise” and even the old word “Wyrd” (weird) also means Wise or “to become” or “to have worth”. My skills lie in dream interpretation, Tarot reading and dancing or creating sacred/symbolic art, I value nature symbolism, animal spirits and finding goddess signs on my travels (specifically mermaids or anything tantric). I enjoy creating little alters for me to look at whilst sat in my bedroom and pulling daily tarot card readings for my day ahead, everything I do is meaningful, like Japanese tea ceremonies and I guess this is one of the reasons people fear or misunderstand “witches”, witches do things with meaning, everything in my life has to be cherished or sacred, I can not just “get on with it” as a meaningless consumer. I have to learn and gain more knowledge about myself and the world like “Why do I like this flower? What is the symbolic meaning of this flower in other cultures?” or “Hmm I know the health benefits of this herb but didn’t know it’s spiritual significance!” This is how I think and feel every day and I feel utterly shit when trapped in meaningless small talks or in a job that does not cater to my soul and I don’t understand why so many people opt for that life? To talk about money, that lamp they just bought for £50, how they look forward to Friday but hate Monday’s, the need to keep up with the Jone’s, the ridiculous questions asked over and over again at parties and gatherings, the lack of empathy for global issues but instead twitter on about their baby doing a poo, the selfishness, the greed, the vicious cycle of work-weekend-getting drunk-buy stuff you don’t need-work.

I want my life to have meaning to be of “worth” to experience the sacred in clouds dancing in the sky, to cherish ancient philosophies about life and to live without fear of the masses seeing me as an outsider.
A friend recently inspired me to go on a similar spiritual path to her, she is being initiated as a priestess to Greek Paganism and I am going to do the same, this is something for myself, it is a very down to earth practice to add to my life and simply encourages me to delve deeper into my knowledge of Paganism which is a spiritual path that is earthcentric and very practical. Many people who will read this will think I am utterly balmy and that’s OK, I personally find it utterly nuts to get angry over something you’ve ordered off amazon but it’s delivered late or totally insane to shout at a waitress because your food is incorrect or for pointing the finger at people like me because we refuse to worship money and material things. Ridicule me all you like because if we both looked in the mirror, I am not the one living in a fantasy world, I know who I am and I don’t need things to make me believe I am real or that my life has value or to fill some kind of void. This is me stripped bare, who are you when you take away the money, the house, the job you hate, the endless amount of shit you buy and your ego?
I believe in practical magic, the magic of watching herbs unfurl in a cup of tea, the magic of making love in a thunderstorm or the magic of listening to a song on the radio that makes me think of my best friend and in that exact moment she calls and I say “I was just thinking of you.”
I believe in world beyond the materialist veil that numbs us to our core and dumbs us down and I am not afraid anymore to be magically me.

Wicca Witch craft Plymouth Devon

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