There’s an old saying about witches and their cats: “Every witch needs a familiar”. It’s believed the cat (familiar) and the witch are drawn to each other intuitively and form a lifelong connection.
As a former cat owner, I’ve jokingly refer to myself as a witch who needs a ‘familiar’ and these comments have sometimes caused an expression of disquiet to pass over the faces of people around me.
“But you’re not really a witch, are you?” they’ve asked. You can tell just the word, witch, conjures up unsettling images of supernatural spells, dark places, steaming cauldrons and women with nefarious intentions and wart-topped noses perched on broomsticks. She might even have green skin (if you watched The Wizard of Oz as a child).
At this point, I usually make a joke and lightly move the conversation on to other subjects because I know they feel confronted and perhaps a little afraid of what I’m saying.
I don’t usually refer to myself as a witch because it’s not a term I’ve felt overly drawn to. But I know that in centuries past, someone with my psychic skillset would have been called a witch. In those times I might have been sought out as a healer, a soothsayer, a maker of potions and so on. I may have been feared, ostracised or burned at the stake for my naturally-occurring gifts, even if I used them to help others.
In those times it was wise to keep a low profile.
If you fast forward to the 1960s and 70s, women with metaphysical gifts were depicted in television shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. Samantha and Jeannie (the respective main characters) were bright, creative and energetic women who were forced to hide who they truly were because their husbands could never feel comfortable with their special gifts and worrying about what the neighbours might think was a big concern.
Shows like these gave my mother’s generation very clear messages about conformity and that openly claiming your metaphysical gifts could not occur in mainstream society. The underlying themes of masculinity being unable to hold space for gifted women was also very revealing (but that is a subject better dealt with in another post).
Fast forward to Halloween 2018 and many little girls across the world donned black hats, wigs and false noses (with the obligatory wart) and (cackling witchily) they moved from house to house asking, “Trick or treat?”
Clearly, the somewhat negative perceptions of witches persist today.
The women I know with metaphysical gifts (and I know quite a lot of them) do not look different from any other person you might meet on the street. They do not have green skin or nefarious intentions for the world around them. They are flawed humans who have special gifts they use to help others and make a difference to the planet in whatever way feels right for them.
They may call themselves witches or herbalists, clairvoyants, psychics, channels, healers, shamans, lightworkers, empaths or any other name that feels right to them.
Their gifts in another time and place would most certainly have defined them as witches.
It’s part of my mission to draw the veil back from the mystery of metaphysics and help others understand that psychic and energetic skills should not be feared, but should be embraced and owned. As I sit here in my make-up and stilettos, writing this post, I also want people to know we are often living in our suburban homes or apartment buildings and participating in mainstream life, just like you.
We’re not weird and we don’t usually have warts on our noses. Some own cauldrons (shout out to my close friend S, you know who you are) but a lot of us don’t. Others work with crystals while some have never used a metaphysical tool in their life. We are all as diverse and unique as the rest of the human race.
And fortunately, in most places in the world, we can no longer be burned at the stake.
Lucretia is an author, psychic channel and transformational teacher who helps women harness their intuition so they can live their Soul’s Mission. You can find more of her work on Facebook and Instagram.