Archive for July, 2014

Contact from a goddess? Or fluffy imagination?

Contact from a goddess? Or fluffy imagination?
Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »

Goddess Brigid - Jessica Jewett Online I am not one of those people who thinks everybody has a matron goddess or a patron god. I don’t even believe it’s required in the bigger picture. My grandmother rarely worked with deities at all, while my mother has a very close relationship with certain Egyptian deities. In fact, I was raised to revere those Egyptian deities even if I didn’t choose to follow this path. My cat is named after Anubis, for example. My mother is highly sensitive about the way Egyptian Magick is portrayed in the media. It seems a little weird to me—or it did when I was younger—because our ancestry came from UK tradition as far as I can tell. But every path is individual. It’s not for me to question or interfere.

In the beginning, as a teenage girl, I looked to Isis. I believed it was my duty to follow my mother’s path once I finally stepped away from the Christian church. Isis felt very maternal and an easy transition for me because of the parallels with the Virgin Mary. I never formally dedicated myself to Isis but I turned to Her when I needed guidance. Looking back on it, I believe I worked with Her of my own initiative but She was not my matron. I rarely think about matrons and patrons because I wasn’t raised with emphasis on that being important. It just wasn’t a priority.

Isis - Jessica Jewett Online

Recently, however, I’m starting to wonder if I have a matron goddess reaching out to me. I hate to even think of that because I don’t want to – number one, label something that powerful when it might be imagination; and number two, come across as disrespectful to the real intent of the deity. But there have been some highly unusual incidents happening directly to me as opposed to the rest of my family. These incidents are not connected to Egyptian Magick as my mothers experiences were when she was younger. I’m not following my mother’s exact path after all. I feel like I’m being called elsewhere.

Goddess Brigid - Jessica Jewett Online Without getting too detailed at the moment (my uncertainty keeps me quiet on specifics), I have been having highly unusual dreams and visions full of symbolism that I’ve been recording in a notebook. Most of the symbols are matching up with Brigid, although I don’t feel right about jumping to conclusions just yet. My instinct has always been on the side of caution because I’m uneasy about accidentally attaching the wrong name to a spirit or deity. However, I’m getting a lot of Brigid signs in my waking world of late too.

Things came to a head on the day of the full moon. I put out jars of water that morning to make sun water and, later, moon water as preparation for a cleansing ritual my mother taught me years ago. I have things that have been boxed away for years and they need to be cleansed.

Anyway, that’s not the point of the story.

Around midday, I noticed my cat playing with something in the dining room and when I started to investigate, a lizard ran straight for me and darted under my bed. We rescued the lizard and released her outside after making sure my cat didn’t hurt her too bad. My grandmother used to tell me that lizards coming into the house were “showing us visitors from the other world” and I shouldn’t be afraid of them. A lizard has never come into this house since I’ve lived here and I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was some kind of clubbing over the head for me.

By itself, I would think nothing of it. Compounded with that specific day, the uncertainty I’ve been feeling about my path, and numerous other incidences and visions–I sat up and took notice.

Goddess Brigid - Jessica Jewett Online

I think I’m having problems trusting myself. I feel certain that there is something I’m supposed to understand at this point in my development, and I do feel a closeness with Brigid, but I’m afraid of making mistakes. I’m afraid of making the wrong interpretations and reading the wrong signs. So I’m going to give it more time and then I’ll go into more detail about my experiences. They feel too fresh and intimate to go that deep into it now.

But I do feel that things are shifting.

(To view my blog specifically about being a witch, please follow The Witch in a Wheelchair.)

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The Weirdness of Rejection

The Weirdness of Rejection
Posted by Jessica Jewett 4 Comments »

Golden Knotwork Pentacle - Jessica Jewett Online Up until the last year or so, I have largely kept quiet about my spiritual path. I don’t particularly know what made me start being more vocal about it at this point in my life though. Maybe it’s a desire to find more people like me since I really don’t have any in Georgia. Maybe it’s finally reaching an age where fitting in with “normal” people just doesn’t matter so much to me anymore. Whatever it is, I came out of the broom closet, you could say, with guns blazing.

The problem is I gave society too much credit. I expected that because I’m generally accepting of everybody’s different ideas and beliefs, people would return that courtesy. My granny taught me to treat others the way I want to be treated. That’s not really true though. Even people close to me brush it off with jokes in their subconscious or maybe even conscious attempts to invalidate the way I live my life. I’m no different to myself than I was a year ago but to them I’ve changed and they don’t know what to make of it. Whenever something goes wrong, there are jokes about blaming the witch (me). A lot of people have dumped me on social media. Some have left parting gifts of Bible verses, while others try to engage me in debates that are thinly veiled attempts to prove that my path isn’t as real as theirs.

It’s all very weird to me. I haven’t done anything different with my life except put an open label on what I am. I haven’t suddenly jumped from one religion to another. My family has been living this way for generations but because I attached the witch word to myself in public, I’m somehow tarnished and religiously dirty.

I used to think hiding the fact that a person is a witch is strange but now I see why it’s done that way. We live in a progressive society that is still willing to burn people for being witches. This is not to say I will go back into the broom closet. I won’t. There’s a rebellious streak in me that has to fight ignorance and injustice wherever I encounter it. I am, however, aware that I’m being educated right now in moderation, compromise, and picking my battles. Creating this blog is part of those lessons. I have given it to people in my life and said if you want to learn about what I’m going through, you can read about it here. That way those who are genuinely interested can have a look and those who are not won’t see the offensive witch posts on Facebook or other blogs. Compromise.

As much as there have been people throwing Bible verses at me and challenging me to look silly, there are also a lot of people who have been great about it. I came out of the broom closet and several people said it makes sense looking back on the way I live my life. They don’t live that way but they understand that it’s right for me. Those are the people who give me hope.

On the other hand, word has gotten around my neighborhood and some of my Southern Baptist neighbors are afraid of me. I can’t win them all, I guess.

I’m not looking to convert people at all but I think people automatically jump to that thought because Christianity is big on converting people. It’s what folks down here understand. Spread the ministry, create more Christians, etc. That’s so far from my goal that I don’t even think about it. My goal is to simply be able to say, “Oh, I had an interesting experience with ritual last night,” and that topic be okay like, “Wasn’t Sunday’s sermon great?” is a topic that nobody thinks twice about. I don’t want to have to hide what I am or what I believe out of fear.

I have a tendency toward naïveté when it comes to seeing the good in everyone. My mind likes to think everybody is as loving and accepting as I strive to be. So when I get rejected, it hurts much deeper than it should because I’m often genuinely stunned and taken aback that people can be stubborn and obtuse.

They used to call me The Innocent when I was a child. I think it’s probably true.

(To view my blog specifically about being a witch, please follow The Witch in a Wheelchair.)

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Yes, I am a witch, and it’s okay!

Yes, I am a witch, and it's okay!
Posted by Jessica Jewett 2 Comments »

Grimoire - Jessica Jewett Online Just how did I find my path?

The short version of a long story is I was born with natural mediumship and empathic abilities, making several of my childhood priests reject me. I tried to be Catholic for much of my childhood because my grandmother was very concerned about appearances and hiding the things that were different about our family. Since she was good at pretending, I thought, as a little girl, that everyone else was good at pretending too. Asking the wrong questions in Sunday school cause self-worth problems as you might guess though. I got kicked out of Sunday school somewhere around age eleven or twelve because I was asking too many questions about seeing spirits and where Egyptian deities fit in since my mother has always kept tools for Egyptian Magick in the house. I really didn’t understand the divide between women in my family and the Church, yet I kept trying to fit in and be normal.

I don’t really remember how I started going into the natural way (my mother always used this phrase the natural way but I never knew it was different). My best recollection was feeling rejected by Christianity and naturally drifting into what my mother and grandmother already lived despite my grandmother confusing me with a public mask of a perfect churchgoing woman.

When I finally opened up about the things I could do around puberty (spirit encounters, feeling other people, etc.), I found out that every other woman in my family has different abilities too. Even some of the men have been naturally gifted. My mother is a medium, as is my grandmother, and so on and so forth. My grandmother can also see auras and she has precognitive sight. I started doing genealogy as a separate interest and soon found documents (letters) written by other maternal ancestors in which they spoke among themselves about communication with spirits, herbs, holistics, writing prayers as poetry (?), and other things that I’m still trying to understand. My maternal line is divided between Ireland, England, France, and Germany, but most of the “natural” people seem to have come from England and Ireland.

Nobody in my family ever used the word “witch”. My grandmother, at best, referred to herself as a healer sometimes and a sensitive at other times. Despite presenting herself as a churchgoing woman, there were always books about how to use herbs, plants, dream interpretation, astrology, and so forth. I learned the importance of the moon cycle and how to properly interact with it from both my grandmother and my great-grandmother, yet nobody ever used words like “witch” or “paranormal”. She always had strange cures for things that I used to roll my eyes at when I was little even though the things she did to me always worked. She said she learned a lot of it from the African-American sharecroppers on her Missouri farm in the 1950s as well as her own mother and grandmother during the Depression and skills acquired from much further back.

My best guess is that my maternal line is full of “witches” going back before America was a country. The way I grew up, following moon cycles to do or not do things in everyday life, knowing about plants, herbs, animals, knowing about the other world, knowing “god” was female as much as male, etc.–it was all the natural way. That’s what they called it. My mother in particular always looked at Christian church as unnatural and something to be avoided but she never stopped me from exploring it. She always told me to find my own way and, as it turns out, my own way is in the footsteps of my family members who came before me.

I’ve been in and out of dedicated learning and practice since I was about fourteen. I’m thirty-two now. I don’t really know what kind of witch I am yet but I’m learning that Wicca doesn’t exactly fit with what my family believed. There was never any mention of the threefold law or the rede, for example. All mentions of higher powers, deities, spirits, etc., always sound like they’re right here among us as opposed to a far off place in the sky. That’s what I know to be true as well from my own experiences. I don’t think what we’ve been doing is Wicca since that seems to be relatively new. My family history with this kind of thing goes back to rural people in France, England, Ireland that intermarried once they came to North America in the 1600s and 1700s. I’ve heard it called folk magick in some places and Celtic witchcraft in others and traditional UK witchcraft in still others. I’m not so sure labels matter all that much as personally carrying on traditions and skills that I’ve been learning my entire life.

Unfortunately, my granny has been suffering from dementia for about ten years. I have no one to teach me on a deeper level, so I’m learning on my own. That’s even harder down here living in the Bible belt.

(To view my blog specifically about being a witch, please follow The Witch in a Wheelchair.)

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