The Aging Witch

This weekend I celebrate my 39th birthday and I gotta tell ya, it feels really weird. I’ve been telling myself that I’m “almost 40” for a couple of years now. I’ve been doing this so it won’t feel so surprising once I actually get there. As I face the final year of my thirties, this aging witch, has been wondering a lot about age.

I started my first coven when I was seventeen; well coven might be a strong word, there were three of us that started doing rituals together at that time. In my early twenties, I lead full moon gatherings with the women I worked with and some friends. I started teaching people I didn’t know about witchcraft in my mid-twenties and in my early thirties I started teaching in the Reclaiming Tradition, about hoodoo, spellwork, Goddesses, and more. And I’ll tell you what, before every single class, the thought goes through my head, “who am I to be teaching/leading/offering this?”

aaa

Experience or Age or What?

For a long time I blamed my fears on a lack of experience. I just didn’t have enough experience and someday, after years and years, I wouldn’t feel like that anymore. As the years went by I started to blame my feelings on age. I started to think that someday when I was older, I would finally feel confident, and without doubts on what I had to offer. These feelings of self doubt never stopped me from teaching, leading rituals, putting myself out there, but they did create a shade, an outline of my shadow; my relationship with that tricky imposter syndrome.

Now I look back at my almost 25 years of experience being a witch (thank you high school boyfriend for dumping me at 15, so I could come to this path), my over two decades of being in leadership, and I am starting to admit that I do know what I’m doing. And I say this with the proper amount of ego, a right size of pride, and knowing myself. I’ve been doing this a long time, I have a lot of offer, I know what I’m talking about, and I’m a good teacher.

If only I’d allowed myself to hold this decades ago, what might I be like now?

Cultural Expectations

It is impossible to explore all of this without looking at the over-culture and its expectations on what it means to turn 40. We are youth obsessed and I notice myself wanting the wisdom that comes with the lessons that only aging can bring, but I’m also afraid of the aging process. I am fearful of the invisibility that comes with being an older woman in our world. When society tells me that my only value is my body and looks, even when I know better, I feel these concepts wrestling inside of me. The value of youth, the value of aging, the value of experience. And the fact that I am using the word “value” with all of these descriptors.

My life now is not like what I would have imagined it to be when I was fifteen. I don’t feel old, which I thought I would. I know some people reading this will be like, “Oh you’re still a baby!” and for others it will be like, “Yikes, 40, you’re old!”. I feel both of these things. I feel young and still so inexperienced. There is so much that I don’t know and don’t understand. And yet, I feel wise, I have learned a lot, and I feel called to share that with others.

Thirty-nine feels like a liminal year and magic happens in the liminal spaces.

"Hmmm. Reference Mummer's Parade every Gregorian New Year's Day, Phila. PA. Signed, Gemini here😉"

Yule Traditions You Probably Haven’t Heard ..."
"You really roped me in with your comments :) I'm familiar with the Valiente spell ..."

How To Use Knot Magic In ..."
"Let us knot forget (sorry, couldn't resist!) Doreen Valientes beautiful knot spell in her book ..."

How To Use Knot Magic In ..."
"Weather gods, like Taranis, were pretty common all over pre-christian Europe. You probably already know ..."

Cernunnos: Rarely There And Ever Present

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment