I found witchcraft in my late twenties when my ‘mother’ phase of life was in full swing. It was also a time of personal chaos so finding a path to follow that felt like coming home gave me grounding. Like most people who have been hit with a lightning bolt of clarity, I was eager to explore this new world (or old world). I started off by reading books on Wicca but they didn’t quite hit the spot so I followed an eclectic, solitary path.
Witchcraft and the ‘mother’ phase can be a delightful adventure, especially if you’re creative. I enjoyed crafting and fusing food with magick (which I still do). I didn’t think too much about the inner work that accompanies a spiritual path – I just enjoyed the fullness and freedom of crafting my own practices. I had a popular witch blog where I’d share recipes, spells and life’s (mis)adventures.
Over recent years, I’ve been questioning why I no longer feel the same joy on this path as I felt back then. It wasn’t that everything was new but more that I had discovered who I was (the signs were always there but my eyes were not open).
The books, full of spells and tips for witchy life, that line my bookshelves are rarely cracked open these days. I seldom buy anything for my spiritual path and while I still go to Pagan fayres, I go for the talks rather than merchandise. Even Glastonbury, which was once one of my favourite places, seems to have lost its lustre and gained an air of commercialism.
I’ve felt that there must be something wrong with me to not light up at all the shiny baubles in witchcraft shops or want to rush to buy the latest tarot deck. My view of witchcraft and of myself as a witch had subtly shifted and I have been searching for the past enjoyment when I’m not the same person as I was 17-years ago. I’m very aware that the stereotypical witch, particularly the new #InstaWitch, is not who I am.
This change in my spirituality has coincided with moving into the between time of mother and crone. I crave something deeper than flipping open a book and chanting a few words. I seek inner power and most importantly, I seek myself. That isn’t to say that these aren’t available to anyone at any stage of life but where I am, this is what’s important to me.
Bodies and cycles change for women at this time. Like my shift in focus on my spiritual walk, this has been subtle. Shortening cycles, heavier flow, disrupted sleep, tiredness and a harder leaning into my natural introverted nature. Finding peace can be challenging – it was easier to accept a body accustomed to being fully in the ‘mother’ zone. Far fewer surprises and a regular pattern month-after-month.
Shifting from a well-worn path, both physically and spiritually, to something new and unpredictable (until a time it isn’t) has its blessings. I’m more aware of myself, not in the self-conscious way that plagued my maiden years, but with a deep appreciation of the cycles of life.
I took for granted both my initial zeal for witchcraft and the physical stability of mother years. I never gave much thought to change: it’s easy to do especially when you have a busy family life (or busy life in general). When change did arrive, I wasn’t prepared. As I said, I kept wondering what was wrong with me. Why didn’t the same things as before hold the same appeal? Was I bored with witchcraft? Had it been a phase? Was I really a witch?
So many questions.
To be in this time between Mother and Crone is an honour that many of my foremothers never achieved. From a witchcraft perspective, it creates a space for self-reflection and self-enquiry. We can use this time to find ourselves and tentatively leave the comfortable slippers of the mother behind to slip into the unique, custom designed shoes of the Enchantress.
Our spiritual paths are not linear, sometimes they are particularly circular or crooked. You never begin a journey to end as the same person who embarked on the adventure. And, you’re most definitely not even the same person when you’ve reached somewhere in the middle.