The Modern Medium
by Anne Tennyson
I am a modern woman, a feminist, mother, entrepreneur and writer. I am also a witch. I no longer hide this fact in any way. This journey to who I am began a decade ago, but I was always raised by strong women. Women who always told me that we were witches, and to believe in fairies. We rejoiced in the strength of our education, and the fact that we all rejected the patriarchy of western religions. I was raised to revere science, the environment and the earth. Birds, animals and trees were my holy trinity. It wasn't until I became an adult that I realized this was not the norm.
I tried to understand my friend’s churches, going to youth groups, and church services. I bristled at all the mentions of “HIM” and “Our Fathers”. I could identify most with the Virgin Mary, and all the female saints of the Catholic church, but still never found my way within the walls of a Christian institution. My step-mother gave me a fiction book when I was 12 years old called, “The Mists of Avalon”. Once I had devoured that book, my life changed. I realized all the lies we had been fed over millennia about the old world religions, and how they had been unfairly stamped out. Once I made my mind up about that, I left Christianity and never looked back in an honest way.
I have dabbled with it here and there out of curiosity, and seeking fellowship, but still never left my base of knowing that MY Goddess was a woman, the earth, the mother.
Around a decade ago, I was leaving a very abusive man. He had raped me, stalked me, thrown all my tarot cards and crystals away, calling me a satan worshipper in court, where we were fighting over our children. He used my alternative religion as an ax to beat me with in the eyes of the courts. I withered with no spiritual guides, and no hope. I had been conditioned to reject who I really was, that it was bad, and evil. His version of religion was the ONLY way, and if I rejected it, then I was a terrible mother according to him and his family. Looking back I can barely believe I ever subjected myself to that torture.
I was also in the grip of a progressive battle with alcoholism, but I finally hit bottom and sought help. In my 12 step program, they urged me to find a higher power. I had lost my connection to my Mother, my Goddess. So drowned in alcohol and trauma, I grasped at my old faith. I slowly began to climb out of my self imposed exile from the spirit. After some time sober, I began to explore my old faith again. I cast off the judgements of others, and embraced my natural attraction to Wicca and Paganism.
As a child I used to see spirits, talk to ghosts. I received my first tarot cards at 13 and read them for myself and others till my late 20’s when that abusive man threw them away. A few years ago, I started talking with a friend who did paranormal investigations, and tagged along for fun. During that hunt, I saw and felt the presence of a little girl. She was following me and pulling on my hair. I opened the door to her, and have not closed it since. I pursued a mentor, in a noted local psychic medium. We worked on my gifts and after several classes, she told me that I already knew what I needed to know, that I just needed the confidence to go out an practice it. So I took her advice, and struck out on my own.
I started working with herbs, spells and doing readings again. I speak to crossed over loved ones for people struggling with grief. I work with other women in recovery who struggle with finding a higher power, when they have also been beaten bloody with the bible. I spend a good part of every day learning and researching my craft. At this point I am a solitary witch, but I am relocating to an area where my faith is more accepted and more open. I incorporate my intuition and rituals into daily life. It has given me a strength and power I never thought imaginable.
I no longer fear judgement, nor shame. When questioned about my faith, I have the correct historical answers, and also the foundation in biblical writings about healers and seers to counter any close-minded arguments they try to have with me.
I have researched my own genealogy and discovered generation upon generation of incredibly strong women, royal women. Healers and women of note who changed the world, who were unafraid to challenge the status quo, and who were martyred because of it. I honor them with speaking my truth. I honor the women who practiced in secret, and under the table for generations by living out loud right now. I love without limit, and my partner honors me for it. I found someone who not only calls me queen, but treats me that way.
I have danced in a Bronze Age stone circle in Ireland on The Summer Solstice, and I have anther trip planned to Iceland this summer for the solstice, to spend in a sacred hot spring. I celebrate the old Holidays, not the neo-Christian bastardized ones anymore. My family is also all in, my husband respects this and worships in his own way. My daughters are now beginning their own journeys into discarding the effects of existing in a male, Christian dominated society, and coming in to their own as whole women, and finding their own versions of the faith.
If I had not found this way, I would still be just merely existing. Maybe not even alive, because embracing my heritage as a witch, wise woman, healer and Wiccan saved me. It gave me a faith that made sense to my scientific, doubting brain. It gave me waterfalls and trees as my cathedrals. It opened a door to my past, and flung open wide a future that I can believe in. It showed me past lives lived, and dreams in which I learn these sacred truths.
There is no “wrong or right” way to be a witch. There are no books of rules, or codes of conduct. There is a trust between my faith and myself that cannot be broken. I don't have to fake it. I believe wholeheartedly in the feelings and trust my instincts. When someone tells me that I’m “intimidating”, which happens quite often, now that I am my authentic self. I take it as a compliment. It means I am comfortable in my own skin, and unafraid of my own truth. Being a witch gave that to me, and walking the path of a medium and intuitive has proved over and over that I am on the right path. None of the dozens of people I have done readings for, or helped with life coaching have ever complained I was wrong. Quite the contrary, they all come back to me, amazed.
I hate to say that this moment in time, with the state of the world, pushed me over the edge to be on the front line of a revolution, but if not me, then who? Won’t you join me? We are the granddaughters of the witches that you did not burn…and I’m out to prove them the ones we should have listened to all along.