Archive for 2014

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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Accusations of a fraudulent psychic

Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »

Theresa Caputo, Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo. I’ve been sent a couple of articles about the private investigator gathering evidence of her fraudulent activity on her clients. Such accusations have been floating around against her since she began her TLC show and I’m really not that shocked. It is interesting, though, that the investigation has become somewhat official if the articles I’ve been sent are true. The things she’s accused of recently are not any different than what any other “TV psychic” gets accused of–or even less famous ones.

I’m not her greatest fan. Far from it. I do think her show is cleverly edited to weed out her misses. I once blogged a review of her show early on that questioned the morality and etiquette of what she was doing, and her passionate followers were so abusive that I had to shut down comments on it. Tensions run high on both sides of the Caputo fence just as they often do with any psychic or medium with increasing fame and wealth. However, there’s a big difference between constructive merit-based criticism and horribly abusive attacks. Whenever these accusations begin to happen, all¬†of us come under attack because if one psychic might be scamming¬†people, then all of us must automatically be doing the same thing. We are almost always lumped together even though we are all individuals with goals and dreams of our own.

The long established mob mentality (both for and against) is a big reason why I’ve largely quit doing readings in the last eighteen months. If people book with me, fine, but I haven’t been advertising even though I’m struggling to pay my bills now. I’d rather not go back to it, to be honest. Doing readings for a living since I was sixteen has taken a huge toll on my health. The majority of legitimate psychics and mediums suffer with chronic health problems and many die young. My health has been in such bad shape for the last couple of years that I still have readings from months ago that need to be done. But I’m not going to feed people false information if my health is affecting my abilities. I will fulfill my obligations once my health stabilizes. Research is where my heart and soul lie these days. Reincarnation, longstanding hauntings, etc. Research is not the violent bloodsport that being a public psychic or medium is.

But I digress.

Theresa Caputo may or may not be scamming her clients. I don’t know. Like I said, these accusations get thrown around about every psychic or medium who makes it into the media. Sometimes the accusations are justified. Sometimes they are not. Even if I’m not her biggest fan, I still don’t like the comments I read on the articles that were sent to me. The language from people safely hidden behind their computer screens was beyond abusive, rude, and horrible. As someone who has faced occasional anonymous hate emails from strangers with similar language, I can unfortunately empathize with her should she stumble onto those articles and read what people say in the comments. This is not to say I personally believe she’s a legitimate psychic. I’ve seen quite a lot to make me question whether she’s unintentionally (or intentionally if you go the sinister route) doing cold readings even when they appear to be accurate on her show. I don’t believe in witch hunts though.

That is why I will never speak of a psychic or medium that I don’t personally know outside of the sphere of constructive merit-based criticism. Even if the private investigator does come forward with evidence of her fraudulent activity beyond a shadow of a doubt, I will never be able to bring myself to use abusive language. I can’t even make myself use abusive language about murders or thieves or any other type of criminal. That’s just the kind of person I am. I feel empathy for everyone no matter what they do, because at the end of the day, we’re all human beings on a spiritual journey. Making mistakes or doing bad things is part of the learning process. Don’t get me wrong–I do believe people who do wrong should face consequences. If someone like Theresa is openly scamming people, she should face consequences for what she’s done. I still don’t believe that gives me the right to use abusive language about a perfect stranger.

This world would be a much more peaceful place if people would approach the most awful situations with empathy and compassion instead of abuse and venom. Rise above it. Be an example for good instead of hate.

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If I’m remembered for nothing else

Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »

Jessica Jewett I got a message from a friend. I won’t waste any time. I’ll just show you:

I met a little boy with your condition at the hospital today. He was very sweet and excited to hear that I knew someone else like him. He wanted to know what you did. His mom started tearing up when I said you were a painter, a writer, and a civil war historian. He has to use a wheelchair and when I told him you used one too, he got the biggest smile on his face. His mom later pulled me aside and thanked me for showing him that he can live a fulfilling life. You made a little boy very happy today.

Sometimes I forget that I actually do affect people’s lives. One person can make a difference. And if I’m remembered for nothing else, I’d like it to be for what the mother of that little boy said.

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