Friday, 6 September 2019

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How I Came to Study Witchcraft

21 white taper candles lit in the dark, against a pitch black background
Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash.

How I Came to Study Witchcraft


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Today I'm going to talk about how my interest in witchcraft came about, and what led me to my spiritual path.

As a child - as kids do - I adored magic. In movies, in stories, I loved it. When I discovered stage magicians, I fell in awe. Not yet understanding slight of hand or illusion, I lapped it all up, fully believing what I saw was real. Paul Daniels was my hero, and I was lucky enough to see him live, and I was just completely astounded. Even as I grew older, and discovered it was "smoke and mirrors," I was - and still am - amazed by the clever trickery. I don't want to know how Dynamo, or any magician, does what they do, I want to revel in the wonder. Yes, magicians are my favourite acts on Britian's Got Talent every year.

A white hand opened palm up,  with the ace of clubs, ace of hearts and ace of spades floating above it, spread out, facing the viewer -the cards are on fire, with smoke wafting above them - all against a black background
Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash.

My interest naturally shifted when I discovered as a teenager that magick (the k to differentiate between the slight of hand magic mentioned above) was real. I stumbled into a New Age shop in Bluewater called Serendipity (no longer there, and my world opened. I had Spells for Teenage Witches by Marina Baker, Samantha's Witchery and Samantha's Oraqle, both by Samantha Hardie (all now out of print), numerous astrology books on my sun sign, Pisces, and The Dreamer's Dictionary by Stearn Robinson and Tom Corbett. I read and read, but I was never allowed to actually do anything - no spells, and no tarot, hence not having any books on tarot despite a strong desire to learn more. My mum is religious, and she very much had the opinion that you don't mess around in things you don't understand. It's not that she thought it was bad or evil, but she didn't want teenage me doing something wrong, making a mistake, and, well, having things go disastrously. With Mum's rules, I ended up moving on to other interests, despite Witchcraft and the occult being something I've been drawn to ever since.

I was raised by a Christian mum and an atheist dad, and was allowed to make my own mind up about what I did or didn't believe. As a child, I believed in God - with no offense intended, much like I believed in Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy - and ended up going to a Catholic school. t was there, while learning about Christianity, and the Catholic faith in particular, that I had some questions. Those questions led to disbelief when answered with "You just believe!", which became a lack of belief. While at times I wished I was religious, because of how I've seen faith help my loved ones during tough times and wanted the same comfort, it just wasn't something that worked for me, and I couldn't make myself feel something I didn't.

Atmospheric photo taken in a forest, with the sun light streaming through from the right
Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash.

However, from a young age, I had always had an affinity to nature. When on boating holidays along the Norfolk Broads, I adored exploring the forests along the bank - both in during the day, and at night with a torch! I've trekked through forest whenever I've had the chance since, feeling both so very much alive and so calm, serene, and content. Forest just feel like home. I also love going to the beach during the Summer, even though, being someone who really feels the cold, the sea breeze always had me huddling into my jacket. At any age, I would collect stones and shells, play with the sand, and feel in awe of the power of the sea. While I used to play in the park close to where I live as a child, as a teenager and older, I would go specifically to sit by the lake, watch the sun play across it as the swans and ducks glide over it, reading or writing poetry under the shade of a tree.

And I've always believed that there's so much magick in nature - an even if most people call it science. Sunlight refracting through rain to create rainbows. Tiny, little, individual and unique snowflakes. The aurora borealis. Humans bodies and how they work - how we heal; how sophisticated our brains are; how it just takes one egg and one sperm for someone with a uterus to grow a tiny, little, new human. In nine months - nine! And the fact that we're all - and everything in the world - is made of star dust. And the moon! How it affects the tides and menstrual cycles. And, really, you just need to look at the moon to see it's magnificance. These and other infinite miracles in our world are, to me, magick.

Close up photo of the moon, but with a pitch black background
Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash.

So while religion wasn't for me, I couldn't deny the power of nature. I mean, it just makes sense, look what it can do! I've been feeling this more deeply over the last year or so, acquiring more books. And recently, remembering that the tarot reader (whose name I have forgotten, forgive me, but I've seen her on TV numerous times, especially on This Morning) at the book launch for Everlasting by Alyson Noël who noticed in my aura that I have some psychic ability and should get my own tarot deck, as well as Moïra Fowley-Doyle sharing some of her practice on her Instagram, and just feeling like nature and magick was inexplicably right, more than anything else I've been exposed to, I could no longer ignore the call. And so I've been reading, studying, learning, and starting my journey on my spiritual path as a witch.

So this is where I'm at now. Tomorrow I'll be sharing some mini reviews of some of the beginner's books I have read, and others will be getting full length reviews over the coming weeks. I may also blog about how I'm doing with my study and practice as I explore my spiritual path, or I might not depending. But already I'm feeling so much more fulfilled, and things are making sense. I'm so excited to continue down this path, and journey it will take me on.

Over to you graphic

Do you have an interest in witchcraft and/or the occult? Are you a witch yourself? If so, what was your journey to witchcraft like? Any books you can recommend to me?

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