I’m a witch

Anna, 24, has been a witch for six years. She tells The Mix about spells, frogs and why a real witch would never curse anyone.

True Stories

girl with eyeliner

"I don't like the word 'magic'"

It’s always the frogs. People love the idea of the frogs. When you tell someone you’re a witch they nearly always say: “Oh are you going to turn me into a frog then?” You can either explain carefully what witchcraft is about – and some people want that – or you can have a sense of humour about it and respond with: “Yeah, and you can see my broomstick in the corner of the car park.”

Becoming a witch

The majority of people who call themselves witches do so because they’re followers of the Wiccan religion. I discovered Wicca when I was 18. I was in a shop in Whitby, the kind of place that sells gem stones and candles, and I found a book, a kind of beginners guide to Wicca. I’d heard of Wicca before, from things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but when I read the book everything just clicked into place. I’d never really been religious before; Bible stories just seemed too made-up to me. But Wicca’s focus on nature and the seasons – things you actually experience – made sense.

I haven’t encountered much prejudice and I haven’t heard about much from other members of the Wiccan community either. There’s a festival every year in Croydon called Witchfest. We’ll all be walking down the road in our cloaks and we get a few comments, but mostly the locals seem to enjoy it. That said, when I first started talking about being a witch I only told close friends. Then it turned out that one of my best mates had been a Wiccan for years, but hadn’t mentioned it in case we laughed at her. My parents thought it was a phase, in fact I think they still do. They phone and say: “And how’s the Wicca?” And I reply: “Lovely, how’s the Church of England?”

What do Wiccans do?

There are lots of different strands to Wicca. You can practise alone, like I do, or in a group, known as a coven. But there are certain things we all have in common. We all believe in a god and a goddess. Some witches feel the goddess is stronger, but I think the two are equal – a lot of Wicca is about things being balanced. There’s also a rhyme, the Wiccan Rede, which sets out some guidelines. One important line is “An it harm none do what you will,” which means you can do what you like, as long as your actions aren’t damaging anyone else, whether that’s physically, mentally or spiritually. I think that’s a pretty cool way of looking at things. The Rede also covers the Law of Three, which is similar to karma. Wiccan’s believe any action you take will be returned to you three-fold, so if you do a good deed then the good comes back to you three times over. The Law of Three covers bad stuff too, so it really is very unlikely you’ll ever find a witch has cursed someone.

We believe in and sometimes practise magic. I’m not really very keen on the word magic – I think it’s misleading and I try not to use it. I interpret magic as positive thinking. If, for example, I’m making a good luck charm -it’s the personal energy I put into creating the charm itself that’s important, rather than anything inbuilt in the cloth or the herbs or whatever I’ve used. That’s the essence of it for me.

Spell for stage fright

One of the best things I feel I’ve done as a witch was helping out a friend of mine. I knew her at university and this girl had the most amazing voice, she was a trained opera singer, but she suffered from really terrible stage fright. She had it so bad she was always sick before she went onstage. One night she came round to my house and I got her to paint everything that worried her on to a cheap plate. Then we smashed it to pieces with a hammer and buried it in the back garden. It was only a small ritual, but it really helped her; she stopped being scared. It was a few years ago, but she bought it up again on Facebook the other day.

Of course, if I’m being silly I’ll say my best witching moment was discovering I could fit a whole bottle of wine in both of the inside pockets of my cloak. It does come in useful.

If people are interested in witches, I’d recommend buying a beginner’s book on Wicca. You might think we’re all mad, in which case it really isn’t for you. But if something catches your interest, read more. You never know where it could take you.

Photo of funky girl by Shutterstock and posed my model

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015