Witchy Women – Maeve Madrigal interviews… Me!

Who is Maeve and why would she want to interview me?

Like a lot of people, we met on Facebook, and our friendship is long-distance… Maeve lives in Spain. She is an astrologer, tarot card reader, occultist, ritualist, and Priestess of Tribu Mamáluna, or the Mamaluna Tribe, a gathering of witches under the influence of the Mama Moon… and still, Maeve is so much more. Which goes to show that no matter what continent we’re on, we all gather under the same moon. I followed her on FB and she followed me, and she wanted to know more about my practice as and concept of being A Witch.

We intended to do a Zoom meeting, then tragedy overcame Maeve’s life, and she had to regroup because of it. So we did the interview “on paper” as it were, and here are the results.

How did you start on your magical path?

I remember when I first moved to Idaho with my family, I would spend a lot of time in the woods. I would talk to the nature spirits that I imagined were there… oh! but they really were!

I got distracted by school and boys. I had a daughter when I turned 17. Then when I discovered feminism, many things clicked for me. Especially when I learned that some women gathered to honor the Goddess, rather than the patriarchal God of Judaeo-Christian fundamentalism. It was like coming home!

That was a long time ago – the 1980’s! Goddess spirituality has evolved a great deal since then. The group I currently Circle with now is very eclectic, and very loose as far as “tradition”… we all live in a very rural part of the country, some of us 50-75 miles away from each other. And none of us are youngsters.

The kind of magic I practice..

… is very practical and every-day. It is in my every action – or non-action. I do not do rituals very often by myself, that is more for Circle at this time. But I do burn sage and other sacred herbs, and I play my hoop drum (actually the drum plays me). I find the mystical in the common. The spirals in nature, the thousand shades of green, the screeching of an eagle. The taste of wild fruit.

Green Magic for me…

… is my personal relationship with the plants & shrubs, herbs & garden veggies, and especially the trees. I live in a forest. I have an herbal products business, where we make all sorts of salves & balms, kitchen herb blends, and other seasonal items. Green Magic. Practical. Fulfilling.

My relationship with plants…

… is also personal. When we grow veggie starts for spring planting, I greet them as my children, which they are! My husband is part of this, he is an equal partner with the plants. I don’t know if he talks to them though, probably not out loud.

With wild plants, it is still personal, but different, because they don’t depend on me, so the relationship is more reverential I suppose.

Witchcraft was not practiced in my family or community…

… although my Italian grandmother used a special “overlooking” prayer for when any of the kids got sick. My auntie and cousin learned the prayer, but I did not. They said it has to be taught in person on Christmas Eve. They are no longer alive, so I don’t know if anyone else in the family knows it, too bad.

When I finally realized I was a Witch, there was no “initiation” or covening. At the time, I was married to someone who was not supportive of my path, who thought that “chanting” was mind control.

I did not share my path with others at first, but after a few years I just didn’t care who knew. You have to be true to yourself. Most of my friends and family had learned to expect the unusual from me anyway. Who needs people in your life that would put you down? After all this time, and living in a rural community, most people who know me know what I’m about, and I feel respected (by the people who matter to me).

It feels like a long time ago when I started out on this path, and it was. I was in my 30’s, and now I am nearly 66.

What I like most about my spiritual journey…

… is FREEDOM.

That I have the freedom to choose.

That being A Witch is about truth and honesty and freedom.

And about touching nature. It doesn’t have to be an idyllic setting. Even if you live in the city, there is always Nature somewhere.

A bird. A tree. A turtle. Viruses.

And really good chocolate!

You asked if I believe in the need for a teacher and an initiation.

No, I don’t think you need either of those to “be a witch”. You either are or you are not.

However, if you want to learn a specific teaching, or tradition, or path of knowledge, that is different.

If we consider initiation to be a sort of recognition of study and practice and proficiency, then I would say it’s not much different than getting certified to do CPR or something similar. You must keep your certificate current if you want to stay associated.

Continually educating yourself in whatever it is you want to learn is highly recommended, no matter what. You are never too old to learn something new.

I am a loner who needs her Circle Sisters*. Sort of a conundrum, but we are each all like that so it works for us. I have never been initiated, but I have had many teachers, and everything I have learned informs who I am as a Witch. *(We have not held our Full Moon Circles like we used to before the pandemic. We are all middle aged or older, some of us have become widows, and we simply don’t get around like we used to either… such is life!)

In my opinion, here are some qualities I find essential to being a Witch:

♥ Knowing that everything, EVERYTHING is interconnected.

♥ Using that knowledge to create… in your own way… the Life you want to live, in accordance with free will, and harming none. (This does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t use protection magic; you should by all means do so if necessary. But you should also lock your doors at night and keep your wits about you.)

♥ Be Creative… and remember that everyone creates differently. Some people might use yarn. Some might use paint. Others might use numbers, while others use their kitchen. Loving yourself, loving life, it’s like ripples on the water. If you identify and use your skills, you create, and it’s magic.

♥ Excess in moderation… enjoy the ice cream AND cake, but maybe not every day!

♥ Cultivate a healthy sense of humor. Seek out things that make you laugh. Make funny faces at each other. Make them at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously, life is way too short. If you don’t like something, change it. And laugh at yourself along the way.

This path is not indicated…

… for bigots, racists, or any other patriarchal oppressor. You don’t have to understand a person’s choice, but you do need to leave them be (unless they are encroaching on your personal space or freedom). I also believe it’s important to stand your ground regarding your own personal choices and boundaries.

To boil it all down to it’s essence, being A Witch is realizing are all children of the Goddess; we are all individuals deserving of respect. And that starts with respect for yourself.

Blessed Be!