Interview with a witch
SPIRITUAL PATH: WITCH / STUDENT ALCHEMIST
What got you into this?
Just drifted into it about 18 years ago. There was a night-class on 'Mythology, Witchcraft and Shamanism' and, at the end of the term, most of the class decided to stay together and work magick in a group and we stayed together for a couple of years
In a nutshell, what's it all about?
Understanding the way Nature works, through tides and currents and tendencies and learning how to use that understanding to bring things about in your own life
What attracted you in the first place?
It was always there. I was always interested in mythology and I have always distrusted orthodox religions and I just believed in magick. And, even now, with all the blather about neo-paganism, I am still more interested in magick than I am in being a pagan and living the PC pagan lifestyle
Do you have to study long and hard and go through all sorts of initiations and rituals to get accepted into a like-minded spiritual group?
You have to study a lot because there's a lot of reading you need to do. It's a huge discipline if you want to do it thoroughly. I have had one initiation into a Wiccan group and I'm expecting to be upgraded fairly soon but it's not about initiations, it's about what is happening inside you. That's where the power lies
Would you say it's a religion or a personal spiritual philosophy?
I wouldn't be in it if it was a religion and I argue against people who would have modern witchcraft classed as a religion. It is a personal path, your own current. You are looking for your own perfect wave. Sometimes belonging to a formal tradition like Wicca helps, but sometimes you get sick of the fundamentalists even Wicca throws up
Are you part of a group or a sole spiritual warrior?
I'm not part of any coven at the moment but I guest regularly at two or three, but I am hoping to start my own coven in the next few months
Do you believe in reincarnation?
I'm not bothered about it. Other people do and that's fine. But I want to do this life properly and not find excuses in Karma or whatever. If I'm rubbish, I'm rubbish because it's me and not because it's the result of a past life
Do you believe in karma?
Again, I'm not bothered about it but I'm happy for others to believe in it. For Hindus, it's a huge concept and I have such respect for the Hindu metaphysic that I won't argue against it.
Do you believe in magick? Oh, dear me, yes!
The crazy world-view it gives you. Dancing naked round bonfires at 3 in the morning, swimming in the moonlight, spending time in caves, enjoying drugs as a sacrament. Hanging around with weirdos. Living outside society
Moany, whingy people sometimes. And, sometimes, people who get the idea that, just because they've got such and such a magickal degree or initiation that they're some big-shot.
What other sorts of people do you meet along this spiritual path?
The women are excellent: strong and independent and beautiful. The men are a bit sad, with a lot of them looking for mother-replacements
Dressing up factor?
Both up and down. Loads of excuses for robes and make-up heavy jewellery and looking really impressive. But there are also lots of opportunities to take your kit off and let it all hang out
Any nice young men on the scene?
Let me know if you find any... There are some quite predatory older men (if you like that type) who will promise you great powers if you shag them. I think you need to get into one of the boy-traditions, like Crowleyism, to meet any nice guys.
What do your mates think of it all?
I'm not much bothered but, generally, everyone I know is sort of left-field so it's just one odd pattern among many
What's your spiritual motto for life?
'Always keep a party between your ears'. That was a line from the Fonz. I also like the Rasta line 'Everyting is Everyting'.
What advice would you give young women who are interested in this spiritual path?
Get going. It's very much a woman's world and you can get away with so much bollox you won't believe it...
Can you recommend any enlightening books on the subject?
Anyone interested in Wicca should read stuff by Vivianne Crowley and should steer clear of all American writers (especially those with names like Honeysuckle Moondew or Constance Running Bear and other such nonsense). Aleister Crowley is best for boys but he is such a prat, any sensible women should leave him for later. Just read anything. You will find what is true for you and you will spot the charlatans...