They’re more powerful than ever and they’re spreading the love, one spell at a time…
Words: Liz Frost
Anne-Marie Saunders, 44, from Middlesbrough has always seen magic in the world
“I used to play make-believe witches as a child, but I was in my early 20s when I read about Wicca and realised I was probably one in real life. I’ve always felt there was ‘something else’ to life. Mum said that as a toddler I used to talk to a little old lady who wasn’t there, and I once astral projected whilst I was asleep in bed, to under the kitchen table. The next morning I was able to relay their conversation word for word, when there was no way I could have overheard. To me the world was a magical place, full of possibilities beyond the physical realms presented to us.
I’ve always pursued spiritual development, either in books when younger or by going to meetings as adult, and now teaching it myself. I left my job as a mentor in education a couple of years ago to pursue my long-term dream of being self-employed as a holistic therapist. I also teach workshops and run groups about witchcraft and spiritual development, from a log cabin my husband built for me in the back garden.
Part of my decision to leave my job was a desire to be true to myself. I see witchcraft as a lifestyle, so it was already incorporated into my days in so many ways. Honouring the seasons and the land, keeping traditions alive, honouring our ancestors, being aware of the moon. All these things are simple ways to bring magic into the mundane. Something as simple as lightning a candle to send love to someone is a form of witchcraft. Or making a protection pouch full of herbs, crystals, oils, symbols and blessing it under a full moon. I wear crystals and have them in my home and I have discrete items all over my home that people might not even realise are related to witchcraft – like the Norse Helm of Awe stone I keep by my door, for protection, good luck and abundance.
I consider myself to be an eclectic witch, which means I draw from different forms of Wicca. My approach to my groups, is to try and bring witchcraft into modern times, but still honouring the old ways. We are solitary witches and everyone is equal, there’s no place for ego or hierarchy, we empower each other and celebrate our uniqueness, having the independence to follow our own paths, but with the backup and support of each other. It’s a perfect blend of cooperative empowerment and works really well.”
To find out more about Anne-Marie, visit facebook.com/kismet.holistics
Emma Thomson, 27, from Edinburgh, felt an irresistible pull into witchcraft
“I have been practising witchcraft since I was around 12 years old. It all started when I was at school and I kept seeing glowing lights of different colours in my mind’s eye. They were so distracting that I couldn’t concentrate in lessons. Around the same time, my aunt visited a medium, who told her that one day I would be a powerful witch. I was really taken aback and a little afraid, so I just tried to put it out of my mind.
Then one day, out of the blue, whilst wandering the aisles of a bookshop, a spell book fell off the shelf and landed at my feet. I picked it up and leafed through it, feeling a sense of fear and excitement, as though I was about to step over into another world. I knew I wanted to bring it home with me, so I begged my mum to buy it.
The first spell I tried was a healing spell for my uncle, who suffers from schizophrenia. He was going through a distressing episode and I asked for some peace and relief for him. A couple of months later he was back on track and I felt like it was largely to do with my spell. It was such a buzz to have been able to help someone.
I continued doing small good luck spells and healing spells for my family and almost straight away, the glowing colours disappeared. I knew it was the universe trying to show me something; trying to urge me onto this path.
Three years ago I started doing oracle card readings along with the spells. Then I started seeing images in my minds eye and realised I am clairvoyant too. The first time it happened was during a live-feed tarot reading on social media. I saw an image of my client’s dad, who was in spirit. He wanted to pass on a message about a special box this lady’s sister had lost. She confirmed the story was true and knew the box I was talking about. After that, I received messages everywhere I went. I’d be walking down the street and be overwhelmed by spirits wanting to communicate with those around me. I had to learn how to hone it and focus only on the ones I wanted to engage with.
My step dad used to do tarot readings and is clairsaliance (mediumship through sense of smell) so he was able to help me understand what was going on with me. Now I’m a reiki practitioner and oracle card reader, as well as a clairvoyant, so I combine my witchcraft with my other abilities to give a satisfying experience to my clients. I have grown spiritually over the years. I’ve dabbled in work in care homes and office jobs, but this is what I was always meant to do. To anyone who is thinking of giving Wicca a try, I’d say go for it! It can be daunting, but once you get the hang of it it can be really empowering.”
For more information about Emma, visit facebook.com/emmaspsychicpage