Notes made while reading “Towards the Wiccan Circle” by Sorita d’Este.
1992 – I have an intense mental experience (daydream?) that convinces me God is female and magic is real.
I begin to concentrate really hard on things I want by visualising them in my mind, and manage to convince myself that I can make things happen.
I make up prayers to God, and draw Her symbol (which to me is a triangle, point down) everywhere; on my school books with pens, on my forehead with creek water, in the dirt with a stick.
For my birthday, an aunt gives me a set of stone runes in a pouch; I dabble with them because I love the idea of divination, but ultimately they fail to enthrall me.
1993 – With C., V., and L., I create spells by drawing shapes in the dirt with a long broken tree branch, and then covering them with daisies or pine needles or conkers.
Religious Education (of the C.o.E. sort) is compulsory at my primary school, unless your parents demand you opt out. I’m bored senseless because it doesn’t seem relevant to me, and often skip out to sit in the library with my one Catholic friend.
I ask my parents “what religion are we?” and am disappointed by their non-answers. I go to the Good News Club after school. I fail to find the answers that I need.
1994 – I predict my aunt’s pregnancy, and accurately guess the baby’s sex.
My cousin has a pack of Zener cards, and we take turns guessing. I find I get a very accurate visual of the card if I can empty my mind enough. At one point, I get 15 correct in a row.
1997 – T. hands me “Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide”. I devour it, return it, and ransack the public library for more.
I read “Mythology” by Edith Hamilton, “The Golden Bough” by James Frazer, “The White Goddess” by Robert Graves, “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell. I don’t understand much, but I’m hooked.
I watch “The Craft” at the cinema.
I buy my first deck of tarot cards, in the Rider-Waite-Smith style.
1999 – W. mentions that his sister is Wiccan, so when I get home, I go online to do research on Wicca.
For the first time, I spend my pocket money on books about witchcraft: “Wicca; A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham and “The Spiral Dance” by Starhawk.
After I get my first job, I buy “Drawing Down the Moon” by Margot Adler, “Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millenium” by Vivianne Crowley, and “The Witches’ Bible” by Stewart and Janet Farrar, all of which I read over and over.
I create a website where I display things I’ve learned about Wicca, my opinions on various subjects, and resources for study.
2000 – I join a city-based group of young witches, and make a couple of trips to meet with them before returning to my solitary ways.
I buy Marian Green’s “A Witch Alone” and follow her 13 month study path, joyfully and successfully.
I cast my first spell: I draw a heart into the sand at the beach, and as the tide rises high enough to wash it away, I imagine a message in a bottle floating to my true love.
I meet B. He’s also into Wicca, and we chat via messenger and email. I fall for him, and we begin a long distance relationship.
I am given my second tarot deck, featuring dragons.
2001 – I move to the big city! One of my teachers wears a pentagram. We talk around the subject of witches and paganism without ever being specific.
My magical practice expands after reading Agrippa’s “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”.
I begin researching ceremonial magic, particularly the Golden Dawn, Thelema and Aleister Crowley.
I buy two novels that inspire me: “The Sea Priestess” by Dion Fortune and “High Magick’s Aid” by Gerald Gardner.
I meet M. and L., friends of B. who both identify as Wiccan. We share books, including Juliet Batten’s “Celebrating the Southern Seasons” – which really shapes my relationship with the land.
I make it my mission to buy a copy of every/any book about witchcraft & paganism as practiced in NZ or Australia.
2002 – B. and I attend the NZ Pagan Fest hosted by Nature’s Magick, camping near Miranda. It is ridiculously stormy, but I meet Janet Farrar and have a great chat.
I buy “Book of Shadows” by Phyllis Curott, and her description of group work stirs a longing deep within me.
I am encourage by an online contact to read Paul Huson’s “Mastering Witchcraft” and the practicality of it is incredibly grounding.
2003 – B. and I attend the NZ PaganFest near Matamata. My favourite part is staying up all night having drunk chats with a very clever female druid. My ex-school teacher dances as part of a Morris group, and we have a brief catch up. I meet Philip Carr-Gomm who has recently released a very interesting book about combining Wicca and Druidry.
I begin researching Druidry, particularly that of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, but also RDNA and ADF traditions.
I read books by Philip Carr-Gomm, Ross Nichols, John Michael Greer, and Emma Restall Orr.
My interest in Celtic Britain crosses over with my interest in Ancient Rome and combines with my devotion to a moon goddess whom I identify as Diana, so I begin studying the Religio Romana, a.k.a. Roman Reconstructionism.
2004 – I begin my B.A. at Auckland Uni, majoring in anthropology because I want to learn more about the intersection of culture and religion.
I raid the Uni library for books on Ancient Roman religion by Scheid, North, Beard, Turcan.
I start to identify as a feminist, and return to my witchcraft roots; this time in the tradition of Reclaiming à la Starhawk and Feri à la “Evolutionary Witchcraft” by T. Thorn Coyle (but mostly with the teaching of Elf, Eldri, Loreley, Darkhawk).
2005 – I go to a lecture by Carol Christ, hosted at Massey Uni by Kathryn Rountree, and have some amazing discussions with fellow pagan witches, and with other anthropology students.
L. inducts me into a Church of All Worlds online Nest. I enjoy the group stuff so much that I want it in real life.
I contact C. online to ask about training with him. Before we can meet up, R. is diagnosed and I no longer have the heart for magic.
2007 – I get a new job and my boss also happens to be Wiccan. She rekindles my passion for witchcraft, and slowly I begin following the course of the moon and the seasons again.
2008 – Looking for structure, I begin to study lessons in Correllian Wicca before realising that it isn’t a good fit. I resolve to stick to my naturally evolving solitary practice.
B. asks me to marry him, so I move back to Auckland to be with him.
2009 – The year of figuring out who I am.
2011 – The year of pain, part 1.
2012 – The year of wedding planning.
2013 – My daily practice takes shape: ritual cleansing, grounding & centering, prayer, meditation, offerings.
2015 – My Sabbat celebrations take on a cohesive form, greatly influenced by Ed Fitch’s “Rites from the Crystal Well”.
I buy a crystal ball and have some amazing trance visions.
2016 – I develop an interest in other forms of Traditional Witchcraft and their overlap with Wicca. I re-read Doreen Valiente and Marian Green, and follow the path through Robert Cochrane and Andrew Chumbley to Michael Howard, Nigel Jackson, Orion Foxwood, Lee Morgan, and Gemma Gary.
I contact C. & C. to ask about training. They’re in the middle of a bunch of changes so not taking on new students. I am prepared to wait.
2017 –The year of death: V, B, L and N. Also, the year of pain, part 2. Finally, the year of depression and anxiety. Let’s just call this: The year of facing the Shadow.
My interests in herbalism and healing deepen and widen.
I make perfumes, bath salts, lip balms with magical intentions as well as herbal decoctions, salves, teas, and poultices for medicinal purposes.
2018 – I am determined to create the life I want. I choose to be brave and take chances.
I meet with C. & C. to discuss becoming a part of their new student intake.