I have always been fascinated by eclectic or New Age spirituality, thanks to being the spawn of a pair of liberal "dirty hippies." Some of my earliest memories are pretty weird: picture five-year-old me running naked and wild at what can only be described as three days of camping-cum-spiritual excursioning in the Welsh valleys with a cult of other dirty (literally this time) hippies - I'll be sure to write more about that whole strange adventure in another post. Anyway, on top of that and many other family festival trips, mum was very keen to surround me with magic. She would leave tiny gifts and letters "from the fairies" everywhere, and of course I loved it.
Fast forward to summer of 2016; me and the madre are on a girl's trip to the beautiful city of Glastonbury, by far one of our most favourite places in the world. Every other shop on the highstreet is selling some mad esoteric crystal yoga hoo-ha, and incense hangs like a fog over the roof tops.
In case you can't see properly, those jars are all full of various herbs - a green witch's dream come true!
We're staying in this incredible B&B called 'The Covenstead', owned and managed by this fabulously sinister witch named Adele. The place is filled to the brim with amazing witchy artifacts, from ram skulls and broomsticks to altars and athames. It's like a museum of curiosities, and you can't help but get the sense that every third object probably has some deadly curse attached to it. Adele herself is a glorious visage of cascading jet black hair, high cheekbones and olive skin. She's also roughly 6ft 2, making her every bit the imposing High Priestess.
Some curios from the Covenstead
It was in this magical house that I ended up falling down a rabbit hole of Wicca and witchcraft. We'd met another mother and daughter team in town, the latter of which had recommended me some books to read if I fancied giving the whole witch thing a go. Of course, being where we were it was not hard to track down copies of her suggestions, and I eagerly carried my haul back to our room. I can't begin to describe how excited I felt when I read these books. It was like someone had articulated all of my core beliefs into words, and was telling me that there are a sea of people who think the same way about spirituality as me. Organised religion had never really been something I could get on board with, but that was the beauty of Wicca; it's disorganised, it's all about acquiring new knowledge, and YOU are the one in control of how YOU practice it. Furthermore, it was rooted in a long-standing history (I love history) and involved all sorts of cool knicknacks and trinkets (I fucking love trinkets).
The next thing I knew, I was in Adele's special ritual room trying to have a stab at casting my first circle. This eventually led to me tentatively knocking on her door (at this point she was still quite intimidating) in the hope that she could give me some tips on how to not accidentally summon a demon. She peered around the door at me with her dramatic eye brows, wondering why the fuck I was bothering her at 2am. Luckily for me, what then ensued was a lovely, lengthy chat about how to properly conduct spells - she put me in my place pretty quickly about being far too inexperienced to pull this off safely. She also gave me some insight about the tarot; I wish I could remember more of this conversation because I know it set me on a very important course, and also because it was so wonderful to be in intimate conversation with a real witch. At any rate, we were interrupted by my thoroughly-shaken mother; she'd woken up to me having gone missing from our room, and when she'd come downstairs she'd found one of my books lying open. Upon picking it up to try and gain a clue, somehow the first word that jumped out at her from the page was "invisible"; she convinced herself I'd managed to cast an invisibility spell on myself! We still chuckle at that after all this time.
Flashing even further to present day, and my reputation of being "the wacky witchy friend" in my social circles is now a long-running gag. I've amassed a lovely collection of tarot decks over the years and now, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, I have really honed my reading skills. Now more than ever people are seeking guidance and affirmation; I do not claim to be able to predict the future (personally I think anyone who does is a bit irresponsible), but what I will stand by is how remarkably useful the tarot can be at throwing up different ideas and drawing attention to problems that haven't been acknowledged. On top of this, it's presented in a way that makes you feel like you're tapping into a rich, ancient history full of symbolism and mystical deities.
The timing of bringing this blog and website into fruition is not random. A couple of weeks ago I was hit with the awful news that Adele, my magical, marvellous High Priestess, had passed away (under "mysterious circumstances" no less!). It made me regret never having taken the time to go and visit her again, although hopefully she's still keeping me in check from somewhere beyond the veil. Life's short, dudes, so lets fill it with what we love and use our intuition to help us get through all the random chaos. I hope you find something helpful on this site, or at least learn something new while you browse.
Blessed be, friends!