Witchy witchy 

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A while ago I came out on Twitter as Bi, now I’d like to come out as a witch and a bi, single mother of a witch too! No, I’m not joking and don’t expect an apology for ‘turning my back on God’ either. I told a friend of mine that I had returned to the ‘old ways’ and she responded with a delighted yay! 

Witchcraft is something that I’ve been interested in since I was a child. I’ve always felt a sense of otherness about the world. Studying science reinforced this, rather than dismissing it as nonsense. Everything is energy and everything is connected and look at all the cycles of life, water, rocks! Creative force 🙂 

  By admitting how I feel, I know there will be those who laugh and mock me and those that turn away from me, anti witch propaganda has been going on for centuries now. Much against my better judgment, I was confirmed as a Christian in 2008 (I think!). This was as a result of my ex husband wanting to be married in a church and the desire to become a vicar, ha! I was so taken in by it all but one thing I lacked was the sense of god’s presence in my life. There was no inner feeling that the Holy Spirit was guiding me. I prayed and prayed and prayed ….. I begged to be free from this vile man and yet nothing improved. I could talk the talk but deep down I didn’t believe the talk. The church let me down in a big way  too, from the man who preyed on me to the vicar whose denied that I told him I had been raped and the Chritian friends who left me for dead. Not forgiven or forgotten. 

I don’t blame Christianity for any of my abuse, why would I? Also, my separation from Christianty is not just about the negative experiences. What it did do was slowly take away everything that made me, me. I became bland and lost my connection with Mother Nature.  I gave away my books and all my paraphernalia as I had some odd notion that these items were intrinsically evil – they’re not. Also, whilst I’m on subject of evil….witches cannot worship the devil as ‘he’ is a creation of Abrahamic faiths (I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong). My besom was left behind in the shed of a house we rented when my children and I fled from my ex husband. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’d burnt it, he like to burn things. 

Whilst I have read many books on witchcraft, I tend to steer towards a more informal, hedge witch approach. I’m not into crystals (the wannabe geologist in me says that rose quartz cannot bring you love but it does look nice!) or tarot cards or any of the stuff you see in new age shops cf Glastonbury ….. Witches of the Middle Ages never had access to such items so I don’t feel that I need them. I’m also not sold on all of the gods and goddesses either. I guess I’m not much of a modern witch! Modern paganism feels like Chrisianty but with a different book.

What I like about my interpretation of witchcraft, and I stress it’s not mainstream thought here, is that I can be a part of nature and say thank you to the universe for existing. There’s no good/evil debate or men telling me what I should or shouldn’t do with my body. I chose the path I wish to, not the one I was told I had to. 

There’s a huge history of female shamans, a belief system and way of life that has been almost erased by men. It’s something that I look forward to learning more about. 

On a lighter note, I see myself as more of a Granny Weatherwax than a High Priestess of Avalon! No odd robes or headwear for me, oh no! Instead, you’ll find me in leggings and a baggy jumper admiring the dew drops on Lady’s Mantle.

Tea and hugs 

Exxx 

Letter 

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Dear UK Editor of IBTimes, 

I was very disappointed to read the wholly negative article on the policy launch of WEP yesterday (20.10.15) written by Abi Wilkinson.

As a working class, benefit claiming, survivor of domestic and sexual abuse, single mother; I can safely say that yesterday was a momentous day for me and many women across the UK. To dismiss the WE party is to dismiss my voice and I have waited a long time to be given a voice! I finally feel listened to and taken seriously. No other political party can claim to listen to their members and allow them to influence policy as WE does. WE trusts us.

I regard ALL women as my sisters, call me naïve and idealist if you like, whatever background they happen to be born into or life they happen to find themselves in. WE is there for women who do not earn high wages by tackling the gender pay gap, parental leave and access for all to work place tribunals. WE recognises the importance of carers and the unwaged. WE will be examining the various guises of carers to see where inequalities lie. Polices will grow and adapt as WE does.

As for parliament, surely no one can think that having more women MPs will not result in change for women? And change for the better! A 50:50 parliament is a must. WE may well be non-partisan but that will not prevent the party from seeking election. I am more than confident that WE will choose women from all walks of life to run for parliament or council seats (and support them to do so). A change is the air, women have had enough of being ignored, being told to go away! The article you published simply plays into the hands of the male, political elite who wish to dismiss WE as ‘yet another pressure group that will do nothing’. WE are going nowhere!

To adopt the Nordic approach to sex work is incredibly brave. It was always going to create controversy. WE states that it wishes to end demand for the sale of sex but also seeks to protect women who do so. Women will not be prosecuted for selling sex, couple this with the key objective to end violence against women and it strikes me as very progressive move. These women do matter to WE, their safety is as important as any other woman’s. Please read the policy document (esp. page 33) as I cannot hope to convey all the points made in a letter.

I would like to invite Abi Wilkinson to attend local branch meetings and meet the people who are on the ground, fighting for women’s equality. Talk to us, engage with us rather than dismiss us.

 

Kind regards

Erika Garratt

WE Swindon Branch Secretary.

 

 

National Poetry Day 

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Yes – I know it was yesterday but here’s my contribution that I wrote today anyway…

High chance of rain
When you’re trapped by the ever decreasing circle that is age.

Longing for a chance to turn the next page. 

The Autumn 

The Winter 

Light fades from inside 

And to carry what’s left

Is a burden unwanted 

A memory bereft 
The mirror is showing the self that you are 

In your head there is beauty forged from a star 

See goddess

See dreamscape 

Love freely from pain 

It’s a thick, guilty shame 

But your choices have fixed you, 

There’s a high chance of rain.
So, it is set that this road you are on

Is not the one wanted but the one that has won 

Just bury 

Just swallow 

And those feelings inside 

Are where they should stay 

Never speak of tomorrow 

For it’s always today. 

Exxx