There were many significant things in my childhood that helped to define who I was as a person, artist and witch. Somethings like spending time at the beach, springs and living on the edge of a swamp had deep influences on my genre of craft. Besides being an Avalonian and Water Witch I identify as Polytheistic. For as long as I remember I have known there are gods and spirits that were feminine. I grew up in a fundamental Christian home, and was baptized in a pool. Like that chemical filled water my relationship with the church was littered with toxicity and abuse. I knew there was more out there and I would eventually be driven by a mad urge to follow my path and leave everything else behind.
There were a few supernatural occurrences in my younger years that showed me who I was, where I was going, and that the barren path laid out for me was not the one I would travel. Though it wasn’t till my early 20’s that I would start to figure that out. On one fateful day I was sitting on the couch when a man in black walked through the room and right through the wall and tv. He was a supernatural being, having no feet and being able to walk through walls. I called him an angel, because I knew he was benevolent, in later years I explored the idea of an ancestor, and the King of Fae, but he remains a ghostly man in black. His appearance gave me a deep knowing that there was a spirit world that was vast.
Perhaps being born under Cancer and being a water moon child, combined with sleeping upon the waters every night in a water bed that set my prophetic and precognitive dreams in motion. It was strange to have deja vou as a child. Though later it would all make sense. I first remember having pre-cognitive dreams at the beginning of puberty. They continue on and off depending on my mental and spiritual state. The pre-cognitive dreams are important because again, it gave me the deep understanding that the church was a barren wasteland that was not part of my path and later gave me the strength and understanding to know there was more than just a single male tyrant in the sky sentencing people to hell for all eternity for being who they were.
My time in the church was an agonizing saga which I will not go into at this time, but it is worth mentioning that there were times that I intensely studied the bible and parts of it influenced my path. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that these studies showed me what I was drawn to and the experiences would serve me well later on. I mention this because when I was about 10 I studied Daniel in an in-depth class with a thick binder and notes. This was influential because at its core it is a book about magic, prophecy and initiation. There are also parts of the bible that deal with magic, necromancy and often declare the existence of other deity.
Still under the age of 18 and living at home I prayed each night, forming a circle at the table holding hands (also influential when it comes to circle casting, and the use of magical rings) but when I prayed it was to a god, a male. It is important to note here that at the table was a single man and 3 or 4 women (depending on the time frame) At the end of each prayer we would say “Amen” which is pretty typical, but then I would add “and a couple of women”. I had realized there was in fact “A man” at the table, only one, the rest of us were girls… At first it was a joke, at least that is how it started, but there was more to it. I had no idea, how true this mantra I repeated would become. Shoot! I had no idea that I was saying a mantra or what the heck that even was. It was said at least 1 time a day for years. Later in my adult hood I realized that it in a way was a honor the divine feminine, or perhaps a goddess. It was a way of recognizing the divinity in us, the women at the table. It was in my own way a way to honor the feminine side of divinity. I had always known that there was a higher power that was of the feminine nature, why not honor her in my own way.
When I was about 16 I started working at Michaels, where I would spend the next almost decade working. I worked there through art school and later on and off. I became obsessed with fine art. I don’t know if it was the newness of it, but certain paintings made me feel things I had no idea how to process. It was beauty, love, intrigue, confusion and wonder. While working in the art and framing sections of Michaels I would often sort through the art, putting them back in the right places and organizing them. I remember flipping through the art prints and falling deeply in love with paintings like “Iris” by John Atkinson Grimshaw, Midsummer Eve by E. R. Hughes and any number of Waterhouse paintings. The classical artist, the Pre-Raphaelites and others that featured beautiful enchanting faery women and goddesses caught my eye, there was something about these paintings of magical women, women that for some reason felt familiar and like home. Like somehow I belonged to it, I belonged to her. I didn’t really understand the pull at the time, but it lead me on a path to pursue the fine arts. I immediately started painting faery women and groups of 3 or 9 maiden. I was driven to focus my art on these forms, wings, women and nature. It was here that I understood deeply there was female divinity and that my path would include the goddesses and they weren’t going to let me forget it!
When I was in high school we had to do oral reports, you know the kind where you dress up and pretend to be the person you are reporting on. So for some reason I decided that I would be Aphrodite. I don’t remember why, other than I had a small obsession with her and other classical Greek/Roman female forms. This was the first taste of divinity that made my heart sing. At the time I didn’t have an inkling what ritual theater was or really who Aphrodite was, all I knew is that I loved her. Later she would become a big part of my path in her guise as a water goddess. Aphrodite, and then Gaia first caught my attention and showed me a loving spiritual presence. What it meant to be held by a loving female touch, what it meant to heal and to see divinity in my own shape and similar form. It was here that I began to question why if we were made in gods image and women were the creators of life why everyone kept calling god a “he”. If God was really a man, why do men not birth life? Simple answer at the time…. God was female.
MORE PAGAN ORIGIN STORIES AT PATHEOS PAGAN
How I Found Paganism: The Origin Story of a Druid Priestess by Melissa Hill at Dandelionlady
While in Japan I had a fierce awakening, now understanding that there is a goddess or multiple goddesses, nymphs and faery to honor and work with as divinity meant that this was profound time for me. I stepped out of being solitary and found a circle that met on the Air Force base. We circled in a sacred hidden grove and on the beaches. It was here I fell deeply in love with “HER”. Gaia caught my attention. She in a way stalked me, she knew the path I was to follow and the work I have and will do. She gently led me down the path and to the shores where I began my practice as a Sea/Water Witch. It was here I fell in love with the ocean goddess who made herself known to me in many ways that I could not ignore. I finally felt whole and I also understood my path better. Later I would uncover more synchronicities that would lead me down the path of water and to working with the Avalonian and other groups of 9 faery women.
My time in North Carolina was important as well. While I had already found divinity at this time, it was the instruction from a Watery Fire Storm and a Green Flame that taught me how to be a witch, how to honor the earth and worship divinity. I was brought in and given an amazing education, ways to improve myself, heal and explore the unknown. The foundation had been carved out up to this point. It was here that the foundation for my craft was cemented in stone. It laid the foundation for my priestess work and how I could finally honor and serve as a Priestess of these Watery Spirits. It was one of my teachers at this time that said “You should work with Morgan La Fae” It was a bit of a light bulb moment, I thought, of course I would! It felt right and I have been working with her ever since.
It is also worth noting that Sulis has been an ever present water spirit in my life as well. Visiting Bath several times and having been drawn to her and her temple as a child. She was one of the spirits that drew me to the watery path. These last two portions of the story could be a post in itself, but we will leave that for later. Really this is a love story, one that involves falling in love with beauty and sacredness, water and the earth. It is about being honored for being a woman, and honoring divinity as sacred and whole through seeing myself in the same way. Dion Fortune an influential mystic Avalonian once said “a religion without a Goddess is half way to atheism” and is true, for me it was a necessary part of my path and who I am. I was empty until she filled my cup; I was angry, hurt, broken and scared. I screamed out to the universe to save me from the abuse and trauma that I had experienced and it was “She” that reached down, took my hand and showed me the love of a mother, the love of a woman and the love of the Divine Feminine.