How better to celebrate the release of Book of the Dead, the first in my brand-new SpellSight series, than by interviewing a real-life modern witch?
But first, I have a confession to make.
When Amethyst first told me she was a witch, I thought she might be more than a little odd. And not odd in the “You’re so cool and original!” way – more like the “Cross to the other side of the street when I see you coming” way. But, thankfully, I got to know her better, and she was such a wise, levelheaded, peaceful person, I decided it was it was time to figure out what being a witch was all about.
Upon digging deeper, I discovered the sanest practice I’d ever heard of.
Natural Born Witch
Q: When did you first realize you were a witch?
A: I started young, and my natural instinct was always towards this. I didn’t know what it was; I didn’t know it had a name until I was older, but I always knew being of the earth and connected to the earth and following patterns really felt good.
Q: When you say you started young, what kind of things were you doing?
A: I think it started when I was about six years old: I was talking to trees and talking to bugs a lot. Talking to the universe and having a fascination with how things grew, running into my yard at midnight to pick certain plants. I didn’t know why I did the things I did – it just felt right. I was always bringing wounded animals home, and helping them get better.
The Stigma is Real
Q: Some of this innocent behaviour almost got you in trouble with the police when you were a bit older, right?
A: Yes, my friend got mad at me, as friends do, and told her mom (about some of the things I was doing), and her mom called the cops on me. And God—how old was I? Eleven, twelve? She had told them I was invoking Satan and I had cursed her. Luckily, the cops thought it was ridiculous, but were I guess forced into a situation where they had to come talk to me. And then they see me—I’m an 11-year-old or 12-year-old. They even kind of rolled their eyes and said we recommend you just stay away from them.
But this was one of my great big, glaring moments of “Huh. This is a weapon.” She literally called the cops saying that I was going to curse them, and hex them, and they came out. What country are we in?
The Devil Made Me Do It
Q: You just mentioned invoking Satan, so let’s talk about that. A lot of people still believe witches are Satanists. Do you want to set the record straight?
A: We don’t believe in Satan. We don’t believe in Hell. If there’s going to be a Hell, we’re in it. We’re living it, so what are you going to do about it?
* Note from J.H.: I discovered this during my own research. Linking witches (or really, anyone who was a threat to the patriarchal Church) to Satan and Satanism was an easy way to make them seem evil and discredit them. Witches never had anything to do with Satan, which is actually a Christian construct, not a pagan one.
Q: So no Satan – got it. What do witches believe in?
A: We have the goddess and the god, and it’s very equal, because you need both. It’s a partnership, but there’s (a belief in) the divine feminine, so a woman was most likely to be the head of her household.
We revere the planet and the Mother and the bounty of the Mother, and the point of all that is that when the planet is hurting, we need to pay attention.
We don’t pray to get answers. Our deities walk with us. So it’s more like, “I’m going to thank you for giving me my bounty and I’m going to keep trying hard to make you proud, to do it myself.” Our Mother wants us to do it on our own, while providing us with the means to do it.
We don’t look for blame. What is Satan in the modern world? Well, if you did something wrong, it was “the devil you made you do it.” No, honey, it was the tequila. The tequila made you do it. (laughs) So we’re very accountable, generally speaking. Are there witches and Wiccans out there who aren’t? Oh, yeah, because humanity.
Magic Requires Intention
Q: I think most of us want to believe that there’s more to life than everyday existence. People want to believe in magic. So I have to ask, and I know you’ll be honest with me: is magic real?
A: Magic is absolutely real. We’re all magic. We just stopped believing in that piece of ourselves. We’re walking water. Intention is the key. Why am I doing what I’m doing?
I’ll give you an example. You’re in a really bad mood. You had a bad day at work, and everything bad just kept on happening, and now you’ve got to cook something tonight. So you’re already in a bad mood. How good is that cooking going to turn out? Probably not that much. Now, does it have to do with your stove, your pans, your food? Or is it because you’re in a bad mood and your intention is not in it? Now, conversely, you’ve had a wonderful day, you’re feeling your power, you’re feeling great, you feel the potential in the world, and you’re going to do some cooking tonight. It’s probably going to turn out really fucking fantastic.
So if you’re looking for a simple example of how much influence and intention we have, that’s a very basic example of it. Can you make things happen because your will is strong? Sure.
I hope you’re enjoying the interview! Do you have a question for Amethyst? Any witchy readers out there? I’ll post Part II of the interview next week. She said so much good stuff, and I learned so much, that I didn’t want to constrain it.
It’s no exaggeration to say this interview changed my life. Thanks for reading!
***Laura from the GhostWriters books stars in her own series!***
As a hereditary witch, Laura Device was raised to trust the deities.
But what happens when they can’t be trusted?
The high priests of ancient Egypt have vowed to protect one of the most powerful weapons on Earth—a collection of spells known as the Book of the Dead. For thousands of years, it’s been safeguarded, but Laura learns of a terrible plot to steal the artifact.
Job Jacobs, a sexy necromancer with a dark past, is Laura’s best chance of keeping the Book from falling into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, he’s also her ex.
Embroiled in a conspiracy where nothing is as it seems, Laura and Job must overcome their differences.
Will they succeed? Or will an unexpected enemy seize the Book, putting the world in peril?
Buy Book of the Dead here (links are affiliates).
PS: If you liked this post, you’ll love my interview with a man who once worked the graveyard shift with a ghost!