I was born in Columbus, Ohio and now live in the Treasure Valley region of Idaho. My father was a Macedonian immigrant and my mother was an American woman of mixed Irish, English, Dutch, and some form of Native American descent. I’ve heard different names/tribes given over the years so I’m really not sure which nation it is I’m connected to. Because of that, I don’t often claim it, I just acknowledge that it’s there.
My passions even from a young age were always writing, creative expression, learning, reading, and music. I expressed these through various means: singing, dancing, books, crafts, and learning to play instruments.
My childhood prayer, aside from wanting to learn how to whistle (which I’m still not very good at) was learning how to read. So I took to it with much gusto and while other three- and four-year-olds were playing, I was studying my letters and learning how to read and write. By the time kindergarten came around, I was well ahead of my classmates in this area and had to be sent down the hall (during play time!) to take part in the reading/language arts education of the second-graders.
Knowledge –the search for and discovery of it– was rooted into my being and has been for as long as I can remember. I have always asked ‘why?’ and have always sought an answer.
It was because of this that religion also began to appeal to me. Even as a child, I remember wanting to know everything about what was ‘out there’, where we came from, and why we were here. Also, as a child, I believed I could speak to trees and animals, move undetected in the woods behind our home, float throughout the area with my feet not touching the ground, and remember glimpses of episodes in history that I was not yet exposed to. I had dreams where upon waking, I knew something secret or hidden that had been revealed to me during sleep. I felt more comfortable going barefoot through the soft grass and climbing trees than I did playing with toys or watching television. I used to drape myself in clean bed sheets, turning them into ‘togas’ or ‘robes’ of some sort and putting one of my mother’s heavy necklaces around my forehead like a circlet so that the main jewel rested between my brows. I dressed like a priestess before I ever knew what a priestess was.
Conventional religion had its own effect on me. Especially since for my first years, it was the only real faith I was exposed to. I went to church with my older sister, who was Mormon until she married, learning about “Heavenly Mother” and “Heavenly Father”. I went to church with my father who practiced the Macedonian Orthodox tradition of formal rites and swinging censers that perfumed the air. I had aunts and uncles who were Baptist and Catholic and I attended church with them. Later on, in grade school, I went to church occasionally with friends of various denominations and learned what it was like to sing without instruments being played or to pray from a book. A few years after that, I became actively Christian at my older sister’s church (the one who had formerly been Mormon) and for a few years, danced and sang with the Evangelicals and Pentecostals.
I’d always had an interest in fantasy elements, myths, legends, and history. Though several people who were quite active in the church I was attending kept talking about the dangers of things like watching cartoons that had magic in them (Smurfs, He-Man, Disney movies, etc.) I was just too willful to give that up. I didn’t see the harm in it and because I couldn’t see what my religious practice had to do with avoiding such things, I started to reconsider my religious practices. I also had experiences that no one else seemed to understand. When questions that I had of church leaders, other members, and even my own family weren’t being answered, I began to seek them out on my own.
As a young teen, I went to Buddhist temples and a Gnostic shrine or two. The thing was that even though I practiced Christianity, I still felt the divine presence in ALL of these places.
But, I never felt it as strongly as I did when I was a little girl playing in the woods, listening to birds, talking to trees. So, when I entered high school, I found exposure to what is known as Witchcraft.
It wasn’t through meeting anyone who practiced it however. Instead, it was through asking questions of teachers who knew the rules as to what they could and couldn’t say in regards to religion, and yet still allowed me to learn for myself and through taking on projects (that I chose on my own) and assignments that led me into a deeper understanding of it.
In Latin class, we studied the mythos of the Romans and learned of the founding of Rome by the brothers Romulus and Remus. We learned how they were suckled by a she-wolf, according to the legends, and how they were a descendant of Aeneas. Also, it was explained how Aeneas was a son of Venus.
Well, it was obvious that Rome was founded – thus history records the Roman Empire and all its glories and faults. So I asked my teacher, “Where does the myth end and the history begin?” She smiled and shrugged, and said I’d have to figure that out for myself.
Also in high school, in history class, we had to do an oral report and presentation. I chose the origins of Halloween since it was something that interested me and it was around that time of the year.
I came across words like Druid, Samhain, Ritual, Otherworld, Pagan, Witch, and the like. I did the presentation and got an “A”, but my interest was still piqued. So, I studied further. I delved into the Puritanical times in American history to the Salem Witch Trials. Then, back further still to what is commonly referred to as The Burning Times: a period in European history from right after the Black Death (c.1340) to the 1700s when Witch hunts were at their peak.
I remember wondering, what it was that spurred such hate and fear and the desire to torture and kill so many people? Why were so many killed over this idea of Witchcraft? What was it all really about? And later on… Does it really exist?
I spent a lot of time in the public library, researching everything I could find about history, folklore, mythology, dreams, science, philosophy, psychology, shamanic practices and finally Wicca/Witchcraft. It wasn’t ever like I converted to it. It honestly felt like — and still feels like — it was merely a practice and system for what I had always known and believed. Being called a Witch was just me. It fit.
Practically all of the Witches or Pagans I’ve spoken to respond with the same sort of ‘coming home’ experience. We don’t convert to Witchcraft because we were already Witches. We just discover it.
I first dedicated to Wicca when I was seventeen years old, in the early 90s, after having studied and learned about it for three or four years.
My first teachers were a Gardnerian High Priestess and an Eclectic Shaman Priestess of Witchcraft. Later on, I worked with ADF Druid groves, eclectic covens, the Black Forest Clan, and various other priests and priestesses of different Pagan faiths. I do not pass on lineage or teach either Gardnerian or Black Forest Clan tradition, though I am happy to connect people with qualified members of those traditions. Through years of personal study, religious practice, meditation, and living as a working Witch I came to understand and finally accept a deeper calling for this path which is to serve as an educator and priestess myself. Since I wanted to have training for these tasks, I spent a lot of time with members and teachers of different traditions. Through these studies, I came to a stronger realization of myself and what it was I was supposed to be doing. I honor all of my previous teachers for helping with that.
I continued studying, focusing now on learning how to serve the role myself as teacher and clergy to the community. I was ordained in 2007 after being raised to the third degree within an eclectic Witchcraft coven system and given licensure to perform clergy duties with the title of Priestess. I moved from Ohio to Idaho after that and continued learning as much as I could, adding Buddhism and a different tradition of Goddess work to my experience.
I have taught classes and workshops, written articles for publication in local papers, and nationally for a popular internet news source. I’ve assisted in leading public Pagan and Wiccan rituals, and have led some public ones as well. I’ve assisted in leading covens, and led one of my own for several years. I’ve organized and led study groups/circles of practitioners, and done public speaking and interviews on the truth to Wicca, Paganism, magic, and the Goddess traditions. I worked for a few years at a local Pagan/New Age store in Boise, ID and enjoyed answering questions and helping people. I serve the community by performing weddings/handfastings, funerals and memorial services, counseling and mentoring, house blessings, and rites of passage. I have also volunteered for Pagan/Wiccan hospital visits and prison ministry.
I have studied and practiced various forms of Paganism and magic over many years, but I am traditionally-minded and prefer to keep my practice and religious views centered on Euro-Wiccan concepts. My personal system and the system I teach (perhaps it will be a Tradition of its own someday) is based in western and northern European tradition. It is Pan-Celtic, which is both continental Europe and the British Isles. Personally, but outside of Wicca/traditional work I also choose to work with and honor the gods of my Slavic/Mediterranean heritage and my ancestors. Bast has a special place in my heart (and home – because my cats demand it) though I don’t work with the Egyptian pantheon all that much outside of her. A large part of my practice is magical and medicinal herbalism. I also actively practice European folk magic as well as Appalachian Conjure and Folk Magic, Pennsylvania Dutch Pow-Wow, and American Hoodoo. I have studied Western Astrology for the past thirty years and sometimes I include astrological principles in the timing of different works, but it’s not an absolute necessity. I also read tarot professionally.
I hope that this blog helps in your own personal discovery. Whatever path that may take and I am happy to answer questions or offer what advice I may, if any.