My way to the water

My way to the water May 24, 2017

Each week in the Water Witches group over on Facebook I post a question topic. A few weeks ago I posted about finding our way to the Water Witch path. I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to respond to many of the question topics myself.

So how did I find my way to the Water Witch path? Well that is a long winding river through some very interesting places. I will do my best to capture here the important details, however there will no doubt be missing pieces both because I can’t capture the entire process in a blog post and some pieces are personal and omitted on purpose.

Image by Annwyn
Image by Annwyn

Before I tell you about where it all started, I want to tell you about before that. About my childhood and how some of those interactions shaped me and contributed to this watery path I would claim later in life. I was born to a young British woman who came to America on a boat and an American Sailor. My childhood was a strange mix of folk superstition and fundamental Christianity. It was a family fact that my older sister and I, at an elementary age, saw a ghost walk through the house and that there was a house spirit that would open doors. At the same time we were inducted into the ways of fundamental Christianity which placed a negative light on these things and brought harsh punishments for stepping out of the norm.

At around age 11-12 I began to have vivid pre-cognitive dreams. In an odd twist of fate I spent my childhood in Florida, close to the beach, rivers, creeks, swamps and springs. We spent the weekend at the beach and since I was home schooled I often had the chance to visit the springs and creeks during the school day. I lived at the edge of a swamp and I often fished, caught frogs and snakes in jars, collected plants and other oddities of nature. I seemed to attract the strangest sorts of creatures like large water snakes, eagles, large spiders, rabbits and frogs. This was a significant portion of finding who I was. I also had a waterbed for the bulk of my childhood, which meant I slept on water each night and though that might seem like a pretty mundane thing to note after listing these amazing experiences in the natural magical world, it is just one more tick mark in the things that led me to water witchery.

The teen years were barren and full of strange turmoil. However the moment I left home just days after turning 18, the magical world came knocking again in a veiled and strange way. The first was, that I met some ladies that would invite me to join a sorority while I was working at Michaels. At the time I was in need of housing and they invited me to live with them. Apparently they needed more sisters and they thought I (“the hippy girl”) was cute and invited me to join. Though I never rushed or sought out a sorority, ADPi came to me. They were the first recorded women’s secret society, later turned sorority. I went through their initiation process and though it lasted less than 2 semesters because I ended up leaving school for a while, an initiation is an initiation (at least for me) and it had the effects of a magical initiation. I did eventually finish my degree but I spent a significant amount of time at other schools one through an exchange program.

Shortly after, I was given a deck of tarot cards from a work friend and I began to learn how to use them for myself. Later I began to study the tarot in depth and began to read oracle decks, sea bones and scrying. Divination is a large part of my path both as a Witch and Priestess.

It was on a shore in Japan that my path solidified and I began to fiercely train. At first by myself, then with a group and later on formally with a coven/tradition. When I arrived in Japan, my focus was on dance and while I truly was focusing on dance my spiritual studies exploded, accidentally. I had been a solitary witch for sometime, then one Samhain tide I thought, “I wonder if there are witches on the island?” So I used trusty Google and found witchvox…. sure enough there was a circle that met on the military base. I started attending circle and I enjoyed working with the people there. I learned a lot while I was there, but I still hadn’t found my magical groove so to speak.

Image by Annwyn
Image by Annwyn

It was on a beach in Japan that the military circle had adopted and where we often went to clean and pick trash that I was walking. I was walking by myself speaking and humming lightly to the water and there at my feet was a white crane, it was badly decomposed and most of the skin and feathers were missing but I could tell what it was. It was a profound moment of understanding and communion with the spirits. Shortly on another coastal town thousands of miles away my Witchcraft path would be cemented in my personal history and change who and what I was forever.

We moved back to the states about 3 years later, back to the small coastal town in North Carolina. I began looking for other witches and found teachers who trained me in a formal year and a day program with initiation. Here is where I really began to figure out who I was as a witch. The training I received also laid the foundation for the rest of my work. It was a very solid foundation and gave me the guts to create magic and even go back to school (Anthropology) and improve my research skills. Over all I am much more confident in my magic, path and who I am because of it. I also received my Reiki training by a teacher that made me work for it. This wasn’t a quick ordeal; the class was in-depth and we were doing energy work on each other by the end. By the end of my Master Teacher certification I had written papers, done case studies, and had created my own teaching manual. Coincidentaly enough my first two attunements were on the beach less than 500 yards from the ocean in a beach side metaphysical shop, by a teacher who was incredibly watery herself. After my studies ended because of completion and another move, I ended up joining the Avalonian Mystery School and studying Avalonian Magic under Mara Freeman.

The wheel of fortune turned yet again…

We then found ourselves leaving the military life and heading to Arizona. Arizona had its very lows but it had the most amazing highs. We will just forget the lows and head straight into the highs. I got involved with the dance community once again it wasn’t too long that I began to teach at the local studio. Here I gained the most amazing community of magical dancers. My coven was forming at the same time and with such a great cross of communities you can probably see which direction it went! We consider ourselves to be Avalonian Witchcraft.

Alongside all this I longed for the water, and I began to search it out. I found that there is quite a bit of water in the desert and some of it was considered to be sacred. My favorite being Montezuma’s Well in the Northern parts of Arizona. No surprise as it was only 30 min from where I had lived while being involved with the sorority. As our coven grew I began to develop a strong personal practice of Water Magic.  I pulled on my training, in depth research and personal experiences and began to create a water based path.

Image by Annwyn
Image by Annwyn

There are many watery paths to take out there, not just one. There can be specialties with in the Water Witch umbrella. For example the Orisha are very popular right now, but they are not a pantheon that I work with. I am an Avalonian  (more about this in another post as well) and so my path and personal history follow the motif of the European water faery, and similar folk tales. I am drawn to the homeland of my ancestors and the folklore and mythology from England, Scotland Wales, and Brittany and France call to me.

Through researching what I was fiercely drawn to I found there were hundreds of years of magical practices surrounding worship of springs, and the spirits that dwelt there. It circled back to my child hood and the springs that I spend so much time floating on. I remember the manatee and being marked by a jagged rock in a triangular shaped scar on my foot, barely visible in my adult hood but there never the less.

Now I work almost exclusively with Avalonian and Brythonic water spirits, with a few exceptions. My path as an Avalonian Water Witch involves working with water spirits such as Morgan la Fae, Melusine and Sulis but also the King of Faery Gwyn ap Nudd and the Sun deity Belenos. Of course there are other water faery spirits that I work with but for now they shall remain nameless. I center my praxis around the water, scrying, sacred bathing, water rituals, and working with water spirits. However it should be mentioned that the other elements are not disregarded. I work with floating candles and incense coals for fire, incense for air, (myrrh is a favorite!) and stones for earth. More about all this later as well.

So this was my way to the water…..

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