Hello all! I hope that you are all having a wonderful and magickal year thus far. I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment and introduce myself to new readers of Astra Anima. What better way than by telling the story of my own magickal journey?
About the Witch
I’m Brigitte, the magickal writer behind Astra Anima, and an eclectic pagan Taoist witch. I was raised in an Eastern religious tradition (my father moved toward Buddhism as I moved toward Taoism), but even though I was brought up in those traditions, I never felt like I completely fit in. Still, my ideas about life, death, and ‘the Universe’ are very much informed by Taoism, so I’m include it in my official witch title at the moment.
I became a witch when I was in 8th grade (so about 13 years old) and met my best friend who became my first coven leader. We were in a coven for the next six years that eventually grew to have four regular members and, at the largest ritual, a total of about a dozen people. This is where I learned a lot of my pagan witchcraft foundations as we celebrated the Full Moons and Sabbats. I remember sitting in her bedroom with a copy of Scott Cunningham’s Earth, Air, Fire, Water taking copious notes in a cheap spiral notebook. We would sneak into the local park or clamor over the chain link fence behind her house into the scraggly the woods for our Esbats. There was one Sabbat we did at the beach where our grill was pulled into the ocean; I will always remember her chasing it into the water, dodging the hot coals that floated out as she retrieved it.
Halfway through college she moved away, and I practiced magick, much more sporadically, on my own for a few years. Around the time she moved away, and our coven disbanded, I left college, and got a job. There I made two friends who asked me to teach them magick. I was about 19 years old, so I shouldn’t have agreed, but I did. For one person it went fine, for the other, less so. She had a talent that naturally leaned toward a darker path, and soon become very absorbed it in. I had no idea what to do with it, and avoided even gray magick for years. I practiced very sporadically thereafter, now I think it must have been mostly out of guilt. Finally, I went back to college.
Durning by second stint in college I dated a muggle, and my witchcraft slowly faded away. My first job out of college was at a metaphysical bookstore, so my paganism remained, but I’d only work magick on rare occasions. After I left the bookstore and got my first ‘real’ job, it all but stopped. I stopped referring to myself as a witch, took off my pentacle jewelry, and started identifying as a Taoist instead.
Happily, I went back to openly practicing witchcraft and identifying as a pagan witch a few years ago, after my partner and I started dating. He had similar experiences to mine, and follows the Druid path. Having a partner to celebrate the Sabbats with has been a tremendous help, and not long thereafter a close friend joined our coven, as well. As of Thanksgiving 2017 I am officially ‘out of the broom closet’ to everyone, both personally and professionally. The last person that I (and really it was a we) came out to was my partner’s mother, who I assumed would be awful, but instead just dealt with it in stony silence.
Taoists practice an EBBA (Earth Based Belief System) so that’s why I consider myself to have been pagan these 24 years, whereas, of those 24 years, 12 of them have been spent as a witch. Even though I now lead (aka organize) a small coven, as a witch I am a solitary, since I feel the most comfortable that way. I am also a teacher by profession (5 years and counting) and teaching witchcraft is my passion. Since I could never teach witchcraft as a profession – probably – this blog is that for me.
This ended up being much longer than I anticipated! If you read all the way to the end, I thank you. Let me know if you have any questions “about the witch,” or leave a comment if you want to share your own witchcraft story!