I have always felt a distance between myself and others, even as a small child, as far back as I can remember.
At first, with my child’s mind, I put it down to my being so very visibly different to anyone else at school. I was the only brown one. My hair wasn’t straight and shiny like the other girls. I wasn’t a Disney girl.
That’s how I thought of the other girls, as Disney girls. The Disney girls wore pretty dresses to school, had their hair held up in ribbons and clips. For toy day, they would bring the latest toys and dolls to school. Their mothers would pick them up from the school gates, their hair permed and blonde. I was only in the infants, around six or seven, and when I think back, I can’t help but be proud of the observant, strange little girl I most surely was. Yes, Disney was the right term for those girls.
I was never jealous of the Disney girls, though, because I knew I wasn’t like them. I was not a Disney girl.
I did have friends at school, just a couple. I can count the friends, the real friend, I’ve had through the years of my life, on my hands. Outside of school though, I preferred to stay home and lose myself in the world between pages. Books were such magical things, able to transport me to distant worlds, to worlds where girls and boys like the Disney girls were boring and bland and nothing exciting ever happened to them.
It was in the last year of primary school and my first year of high school that I made friends with some of the other kids where I lived. I still didn’t fit in, but oh how I wanted to.
I tried to fit in, to change myself, make myself more likeable, less weird. Less like myself. In those years, from my early teens to my late teens, I shamed myself, trying to make people like me, people who only liked me for what I could offer them, for the things I would do for them.
Many years later, the girl, the woman, chose to stop running from herself. Instead she embraced the truth of what she was, her truth. My truth. Since then, things have been easier for the woman, for me.
Many of us to whom the wild calls feel lost in the mundane world. We cannot always describe it, sometimes not even to ourselves.
Do not be afraid of these feelings of otherness for that is what makes us what we are. We witches are not like other people, we are not normal. We are not mundane. We are so much more!
I sometimes wonder, if I knew back then what I know now, how different would things may have been. I think I would not be half the witch I am today, for our struggles are what shape us. It is through our own experiences from which we receive the toughest and most important lessons.
Though these lessons can be hard to endure, the wisdom of them is only apparent afterwards, when we have overcome the obstacles in our way. They prepare us for the way ahead, a training camp for the would be witch, preparing us and equipping us with the tools necessary for forging our own way.
There will be struggles you will face as you make your own path, your own witchcraft. There will be sacrifices, there always are. Cutting yourself away from the bonds that no longer serve you, or hamper you is a must. Most people in your life, the ones that matter, will accept who and what you are. They won’t understand it, not really, and who can blame them when, sometimes, it is hard enough to put into words yourself, just how deeply witchcraft affects every aspect of your being.
People will question you, ask if you’re really a witch. They ask it with a predatory smile, waiting for you to utter the words. You can see the mocking glint in their eye. Do not be afraid to get rid of two faced, dishonest people. Do not be afraid to rid yourself of those who make you feel like you are not good enough, or mainstream enough, or anything enough. You will feel so much better when you no longer have to explain yourself, the most intimate part of yourself to anyone, least of all those who would use it against you.
I promise you that when you have gotten rid of the dead wood, it will be like you can breathe fully. Embracing all that we are is so wondrously liberating.
I used to think I wanted to belong, wanted to fit in. Oh how foolish we are sometimes! Belonging is not for us witches for we are wild things. We belong to the wild.
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.