How I Knew I was a Pagan Witch: My Origin Story

How I Knew I was a Pagan Witch: My Origin Story October 24, 2017

I knew I was different from most other people.  When I was five, I sang, “aw women” in the Christian church when everyone else sang, “aw men” (or amen, as I later learned).  I felt it was so unfair – everyone was praising the men, and the women were just as deserving.  Who would praise them?  I asked myself.  I decided I would.

Pentacle, Tama. CC0.
Pentacle, Tama. CC0.

I can trace my first spirit-tingles to a couple of years later when I read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.  I stood in the kitchen by a scenic springtime window and read the stories of the gods and goddesses.  They sparked such a strong feeling in me — it felt like a light breeze was blowing within my body.  My heart overflowed with a strong and inexpressible yearning.  I was so overwhelmed, I had to put the book down.

Modern cover of Edith Hamilton's Mythology
Modern cover of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, Amazon

When I picked up the book again later that night, I went to the same spot, hoping to feel the same magic.  As the blue dusk saturated the backyard, I read about Artemis, the moon goddess.  It gave me the same glowy feeling in my heart.  A deep bliss and understanding took over.  That was where I discovered my path, where my soul awakened and bloomed, like yeast in bread.

As a child of an optimistic new-age mom who believed in fairies, herbs, and the power of organic food, I was in a good place to grow.  After my mother got a divorce and the Christian church treated us like crap, we started going to a new-age church.  It taught me that thoughts and intentions have power.  I learned about affirmations and meditation, and became aware of my own power.

My mother seemed to know my path before I did.  She gave me my first tarot deck when I was eleven and bought me an astrological birth reading for my sixteenth birthday, things she didn’t do for my younger, seemingly non-pagan-pathed sisters.

Tarot, CC0
I used tarot cards as a teen.  Did you?  Photo CC0.

Over the years, I attracted friends who were like me.  I went to a weekly witchy circle in the basement of a pagan sundries shop, met my faerie godmother, and eventually, went to an illustrious pagan gathering.  Those big rituals, with hundreds of people raising energy at the same time, stirred my heart so much.  My soul rose up.

I felt something similar to the feelings the Mythology book gave me from so long ago.  Only, instead of feeling like a rustling breeze, it was like a thrilling thunderstorm crackled and blew in my heart.  I knew I was in the right place — my soul felt at home.

Wormwood Pentacle Mandala, photo and refraction by the author
Wormwood Pentacle Mandala with Green Men. Photo and refraction by the author

For a while, I had an aversion to the ‘pagan’ and ‘witch’ titles, but all that has changed recently.  Now, I feel claiming those titles is powerful than ever.

I use the term ‘pagan witch’ because my path is eclectic. The term ‘pagan’ covers all facets of my spirituality. It honors my diversity, but differentiates me from practitioners of pure Wicca.  Sure, I sometimes use adapted Wiccan ritual techniques, but I also channel energy through meditation, communion with nature, sun and moon cycles, prayer, chanting, dancing, and more.  The pagan witch label is broad enough to allow freedom of expression, and it’s empowering.

So what about you — what’s your origin story?  I’d love to hear it.  Comment below and let’s discuss.

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