I am a witch.
I cast spells, perform rituals under the full moon and burn sage when something stressful happens in my life.
It sounds bizarre, I know. But I promise you that it’s not like Harry Potter, I don’t have any ghost friends and I can only dream of going to Hogwarts. I also don’t sacrifice goats in the middle of a forest or hunt demons. Modern-day witchcraft is much more subtle.
I got into Wicca (which is the pagan religion that influences most of my practice) about two years ago. I was studying for my Junior Cert pre’s and I felt overwhelmed by everything. I sat in my room close to tears every night because I was so stressed out by the seemingly never-ending list of things I had to do. On one such night, I did something that I had never in my life done before, I kneeled down and prayed. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time.
I was raised Catholic but I never felt very connected to that religion. I was trying to pray but I didn’t know who I was praying to, I didn’t even know if I believed in God. It was through asking questions like “what aspects of life do I most appreciate?” and “how can I remain calm in overwhelming situations?” and finally, “how do I feel connected to the world around me?” that led me to Wicca. But simply kneeling down, closing eyes and taking a few deep breaths had already helped so much.
The main premise of Wicca is to love the earth and yourself. You are not told what is sacred; you must decide that for yourself. You have complete control over what you want to believe in. It is a religion of love, gratefulness and peace. What I love most about Wicca is how you can pick and choose what works for you. For example, I don’t find that potion-making helps me but I love using crystals which officially, Wicca doesn’t recognise.
I like to take aspects of many different spiritualties. I try to follow the Christian view of loving your neighbour, do Buddhist meditations and cast Wiccan protection spells. I believe that faith is such a personal thing, there is no one size fits all. Because of everything that’s going on in the world, I know that a lot of people reading this are feeling overwhelmed. Here are some Wiccan practices which help to calm me down. This is not me trying to convert anyone but I think mindfulness is universal, regardless of your spiritual background.
- Light lavender incense- it reduces tension and anxiety.
- Invest in an Amethyst crystal- it is a healing stone which promotes peace and positivity.
- Take a bath and add a few drops of chamomile essential oil- it will help you get a better night sleep.
- Light a candle and close your eyes, taking deep breaths for ten minutes- it will clear your head.
- Make a list of intentions e.g. I hope my family stays healthy and happy or I hope I get all my schoolwork done. Sleep with it under your pillow and then throw it out the next day- this helps you realise what’s important to you but also that not everything is under your control and that’s okay.
- Write down what you’re grateful for/ beautiful parts of nature- this helps you appreciate the world.
(If you would like to know more about Wicca, there’s a fantastic youtuber called Harmony Nice who explains it further and gives great advice!)