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New Eyes, Extra Colour

New Eyes, Extra Colour

New Eyes Extra Colour Emma Kathryn Obeah Woman Whispers The House of Twigs Spring Witchcraft

‘Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.’’

 ~ Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

February is one of those months where it is still mostly winter but sometimes, you can sense spring coming, feel it in the warmth of the sun and the wind that doesn’t numb your face or pinch at your ears and nose. There’s no better sign though than the emergence of flowers: the bright yellow of daffodils, the white of the snowdrop or the lush purple of the dog violet. We see them every year, indeed are nothing new and yet every year, when they emerge from the earth, the first glimpses of colour beside the browns and dark greens of winter, there’s something about them that makes our hearts soar and our souls sing. It’s like greeting a friend you haven’t seen for a long while, familiar and comfortable but different.

And it’s not just flowers, it’s the same with all seasons, with all sabbats. How many times do I find myself, just as a new season or sabbat roles saying just how much this is my favourite season or sabbat, realising just as the words are on the tip of my tongue (or pen), that I say it about all of them? Everytime! And the words aren’t a lie, no truer words were ever spoken (or written), but there is something about returning to that which we have experienced before, and seeing it through new eyes, eyes that are more experienced and perhaps a little more humble. Where once in my youth I might have plucked the flowers from the ground, in awe of their beauty, now, with patience and experience I leave them where they grow, knowing that to do so is better for them, the environment and ultimately myself.

The same is true of witchcraft. 

In my younger days, filled with the arrogance of youth and the certainty of what I liked and didn’t, what I wanted to open myself to, there was much I left out, for various reasons. My opinions were solid, so sure of them was I. And yet now, some years later, I find myself looking back on my younger self, a rueful smile at how sure of myself I was. Of course now I see the sense in opening myself up to experiences, thoughts and opinions that are so different from my own but sometimes, oftentimes, when we are young we don’t. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all, that’s what youth is, however, as we gain more experience, it is worth coming back and reexamining that which we might see as old, looking again at that which came before, returning again to our roots.

Reassessing what we thought we knew through the lens of our experience is the bread and butter of witchcraft. Our paths are ever ongoing, they never end. There is not some end game or final result, which once achieved, we just stop, our witchcraft practices complete. That’s not how witches do. Instead our journeys, all varied and equally beautiful for their differences, are spirals, like the cycles of the seasons. Each the same yet different. Like the cycles of the seasons and the surety that the daffodils will bloom in spring, each moment, each lived experience changes us so even if we encounter something we have met before, it is never truly the same for we are never truly the same. Our experiences change us, for the better and for the worse, but whichever, there are wisdoms gained and lessons learnt from which we emerge the same and yet different.

When asked for advice about witchcraft, I often advise folks to go back and reexamine what came before, whether that’s books or particular practices. This is advice I take myself as well and for good reason. Firstly, before suggesting a book, ritual or other practical activity, it’s important I reassess it through the lens of my own experiences. Such a topic came up when I was talking to the folks over at Magikcool Podcast. We spoke about some of the red flags and things to watch out for in witchcraft which, when young, we might miss altogether, or be too scared to ask about for fear of looking silly. Sometimes we don’t recognise the warning signs for what they are and it’s only when looking back through the lens of our experiences when we see them for what they were. Hindsight is a marvellous thing, isn’t it? And secondly it does me good to challenge any ideas I hold onto. An example of this is Scott Cunningham books. I remember getting a couple when I first started practising seriously, I don’t remember which ones, only that I got them because his name was one that kept coming up as an authority. God how I hated those books! So much so I never finished the first nevermind started the second. But later on, years later in fact, I went back to them and read them through, and though I still disliked them for their writing style, the know-it-all, almost arrogant writing, I had to admit, the material was good. We can learn much ourselves through examining what we thought we knew through the lens of what we have lived and experienced first hand.

And it doesn’t just apply to books, but everything. Do not be afraid to go back and see old things with new eyes, for this way true magick can be found. Take the spring for example. In my garden the snowdrops grow in clusters, as they ever do, and the dog violets already grow beneath the boughs of the linden tree, and will soon begin their creeping across the lawn, as they ever do. The first daffodil is just beginning to bloom and others will follow, as they ever do. All of these things occur every spring. They are not new and yet each spring they are gloriously new, just as the season itself is expected, like the arrival of an old friend, but new nonetheless. Familiar and comfortable, but different and new all at the same time. Seeing through new eyes, with all the extra colours we never noticed before.

‘It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.’

Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

  • Author Posts
My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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