The Witches of Woodcote

People call us the witches of Woodcote, me, my sister and my mum. Sure we have long white hair and a liking for the supernatural but we don’t do spells, we’re just a bit arty. In the old days that wouldn’t have mattered; we would have come to a sticky end in the ducking pond anyway. We’re just lucky we live in this day and age where in fact a bit of woo woo is quite normal. 

I’ve come to recently realise that ‘standing in my truth’ is what stops me from going under, in other words, really focusing on my own self and my values will ground me in times of trouble. I can be who I am and won’t get burned at the stake for it – I can even believe in magic if want to. When all around is chaos and people hurt me, I can find strength in my own centre. It has always been there. I remember the being I was at five years old in the playground, and I know that I haven’t really changed – inside. People gave me labels, like ‘mad’ and ‘scatty’ when I was a teenager, being from a ‘broken home’ as they called it in those days, and not having a fitted carpet and a colour telly, as well as having a beautiful flowy cheesecloth swathed painter of a mum made me different. All I wanted then was to fit in. 

I’m sure you have been given labels too. I’ve been called ‘bossy’ in recent years, and I know it’s the menopause that led to it, because when you feel like you’re going to be swept off the rocks at any moment, you’re inclined to hold on for dear life and need to make sure that everyone else is safe too. Letting go would be the best option I know; most people are quite capable of getting on with their own business. I could break free and ride the waves, even enjoy the ups and downs perhaps, swim into my strength, not have to fit in, dare to be different, steadfast, no misunderstandings, because I would know my own mind and live my best life as I kayak into the unknown with confidence. ‘Fortune favours the bold’ as they say. 

As an honorary witch I enjoy Halloween, for me it’s about remembering the dead, we light candles to invite the souls of our deceased loved ones to come and visit and we light fires to ward off evil spirits. It symbolises the end of the harvest time and the descent into winter, the dying and resting of nature. I feel maybe we should take a cue from the natural world and slow down a bit. Is that woo woo enough for you? I can go on!

I love the cute little witches and wizards who stand on the doorstep holding out their plastic treat collection buckets. They’re very polite and are always accompanied by the obligatory embarrassed adult, saying that though, the last few years the ghouls have been a bit thin on the ground even with my Jack-o’-lantern grinning away in the window. Covid has put paid to the visits. I’ll still buy sweets, but like as not I’ll end up having to eat them all myself.

Here I’ll be with my candles, chocolate buttons in hand, enjoying the season and hoping that you do too. Real freedom is about having full respect for yourself, witch or not-witch. Shout it out to the stars, the cows, the milkman or anyone who will listen because you are strong, and you can get through anything as long as you remember to stand steadfast in your own truth and appreciate other people’s.

Step fearlessly into your courageous spirit!

Mandy Mo

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

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Lifting the lid on not-mum lives and having a peek inside

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