When she comes for you, you cannot hide, for she knows all of the secret places.
When she comes for you, you cannot deny her, for in doing so you will deny yourself.
When she comes for you, you will tremble with fear, awe and love.
When Mama comes, you will want to go with her.
Mama came for me in a dream, or rather in a nightmare.
Running. I was running along endless corridors lit only by fire, torches held in wall brackets that cast long, flickering shadows. There were no doors and nowhere to hide from him, my pursuer. He was gaining on me and I was slowing. With that knowledge, the foresight that comes only to the dream self, with that certainty, I knew he would catch me, and in doing so, would destroy me.
When all hope was lost, Mama came for me. A door opened and I stepped through. She stood in the centre of the darkened room and I knew her straight away, whispered her name, croaked it. She looked at me, this wild woman with whitest skin and darkest hair and wide, wild eyes. She told me what to do.
‘Run.’ She said, ‘Do not look back.’
Fear clutched my heart though I knew she would save me, knew it instinctively, with every fibre of my being. Before I turned away, I saw the man enter the room. I saw Mama descend upon him with tooth and nail.
I turned and ran, whispering her name, chanting it, never looking back though the urge to do so was strong, so strong I thought my body would betray me, but it did not.
I awoke, hot and cold at the same time, heart racing and gasping for breath, covered in a film of sweat.
Mama is that darkness inside of us all. She is our own protectress. She is that other who lurks deep down inside, who takes over when we are meek and scared. She is that deep well of strength inside of us, the darkened pool we draw from when we feel like we cannot go on, when the struggles of life seem too much. She urges us ever forward, never back.
Mama is what they are afraid of, those who would control us, cow us. Shame us.
She tells us to break out of those constraints placed upon us, to bust out of those neatly compacted boxes. She tells us to shun being lady like and to instead embrace our womanhood, all of it, and to not apologize for any of it.
She is the dark inside of us, the place where we can be our truest selves, where all labels and roles are stripped away until we our left with the essence of what we are, the truth of everything we are and all that we may become.
I say do not fear this darkness, though I know you will. I do. Perhaps the limitlessness of what we may become is frightening, the acknowledgement of our potential, the cutting away of dead material that serves only to hold us back. Those things become our comforts. We get used to them, as unnatural as they are.
This coming year, learn to embrace the dark, to embrace her, for she is ever there, even in the light, for Mama is both. She is always with us, waiting for us to recognise her.
When Mama comes accept her, embrace her and her darkness for in doing so, you are accepting yourself.
My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter.