Was it in middle school, when a girl on my bus let me borrow–and ultimately keep–a copy of A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk? Or maybe it was before that, when I was reading the Circle of Three series in elementary school. I never even finished it until a deep dive on Amazon in college earned me used copies of every book in the series that I’d been missing. Or maybe it was when I was a little girl, playing in my backyard with a teddy bear surrounded by twigs and plants as I tried to bring it to life.
I think we all start out with some kind of magical inclination in us, that imagination and openness to all the possibilities the world has to offer. I might have lost that at some point, but to be honest, it wasn’t a true loss and it wasn’t for very long; at most, it was just a temporary loss of interest. For more than twenty years, my imagination has run away with me, and it still does and it’s still fun. It’s part of why I write. I might not be trying to make my teddy bears sentient anymore, but my magic has shifted and emerged in new ways.
There’s not much I don’t believe in–or at least, not much that I disbelieve–as far as the strange and unusual are concerned. I have watched every episode of Ghost Adventures and Ancient Aliens numerous times, and I’m always adding new paranormal books to my Goodreads list. And along with ghosts, aliens and other oddities and outsiders, witches and witchcraft have always held a special place in my heart. It’s only in the past few years that I’ve embraced the “witch” label myself, but that nature has always been inside me, and as of late it’s really been manifesting itself in my everyday.
It started with faeries and Harry Potter, The Craft and Sabrina, the Teenage witch, and now it centers on the hearth and home. If asked, I’d proudly proclaim myself to be a cottage witch; it fits my motherly, nurturing personality perfectly. I’ve always loved cooking and baking for others, and it only makes sense to me that the love I’ve been putting into every roast chicken or chocolate chip cookie or loaf of bread that I’ve made over the years has been more than what it seems. I’m not just speaking my love language when I do these things, although that is also a huge part of it; I’m doing a spell to make someone’s day a little brighter. I’m creating with the intention of changing the energy in a space with the simple act of a home-cooked good.
And now, as I expand to creating and combining more thoughtfully with my cooking and working to cultivate my own herbs garden, I’m also diving headfirst into all things witchcraft. I’ve been requesting books from the library and making particular selections as far as books to purchase for my collection. I’ve watching countless hours of YouTube videos. I’m writing down anything and everything and pursuing a more in-depth focus on the topic. I’m spending so much cherished time bouncing back and forth between playing with Finn and taking notes in a witchy bullet journal. Those are probably the two activities taking up the majority of my days right now, and I’m loving it.
Maybe it’s a little silly, and I definitely spend time wondering what people close to me must think; for the most part, I expect laughter at my expense, but I don’t much care. This is what’s calling to my soul right now. Every hour that I spend reading, taking notes, and artfully transferring information into my witchcraft notebook makes me feel so damn good. Why give that up just because someone else doesn’t get it? Do I think Brigid and Cerridwen are or were real people? No, not really. But do I find the thought of them inspiring and motivational in regards to their corresponding attributes? Absolutely. They’re worth some pages in my book if their presence is going to help me take my nurturing personality to another level. And if I want to toss some herbs and a crystal into a little pouch and call it a charm bag, it’s not going to hurt anyone. (Probably not even if I throw it at them.) So it’s worth giving it a go if I think it will help me sleep or have a little more control over my wallet.