The Witch lives on Edge of the Woods. She has a humble, simple home full of herbs and the warm smells of cooking and nourishment. Soft wool rugs and the gentle in-out breath of her dog, who relaxes in patches of sunshine. Wind chimes, deep and sonorous, meld with the sounds of birds, the brush of wind through the leaves in spring and summer, creaking of bare branches in winter.
There are those who, unsatisfied by the impersonal tradition of the Church, leave the cold stone streets and seek out the Witch’s home. Their footsteps crunch through leaves and twigs, as they leave the road and follow the signs and winding pathways, flowing with the tracks of forest creatures, weaving in and out of trees and rocks.
Mostly they are greeted by a small swift dog, who may well be part fox; she runs out with soft tail swishing and joyful sounds. As they enter across the threshold, they are met by plants and colorful artworks, good scents, and welcoming offers of drink and sustenance.
With relief they take off their outer coats, capes, shoes, and come more naturally into the healing space. The fox-dog curls up beside some, sits at the feet of others, or may stand protectively by the door way, watching.
What happens in the Witches’ house? It varies and flows with the person, but all receive the focus, attention, and care of the Witch herself. In her space they may expand and yet still be held. Express their fears, hurts, sickness but then also find and honor what is strong, and sure, and potent in their being-soul. They are not judged. Or lectured to. Or laded down with sinful proclamations. Instead, they are invited to take a step, a glance, towards their embodied, soulful self. Her Magick is simple; attentive, listening touch. Calming presence. Nurturing without smothering. A touch and attention that many who come have never felt in their life. This itself is transforming.
The space in the Witch’s house, the time and attention, though variable is always sacred. She weaves a Magick around them that fits and honors each’s own being. This is Personal Church. The place many come to reconnect not to some distant, invisible, father God, but their own sacred divine immanent self. Not through prayer but through touch. Breath. Warmth. And sometimes, the licks and soft fur of a loving dog. Through this, they come back to themselves. From this, they can return to their life with more. Their own healing is supported, encouraged, heard, reflected back. They rest. They release. They remember.
The Witch too, is remembering.
Remembering the times of burning, that led her to keep her Magick small and disguised. She got so good at this even she forgot for a while what it truly was. And now she Remembers too, the wolf-days, the wild magick, the lure of the forest that led her to healing and danger at once. When the art and images, incense and poetry, stories and friendships were valued, honored. The times of silence. The times of reflection. The times alone, to feel her own self, not through her work-art, but held by nature, rocks, grass, scents. Her fox-dog rolls on the grass, covering in smells, tongue lolling with joy born of running, stretching out. Panting breaths of a creature fully alive, sucking it all in and then curling up to rest. Her fox-dog is Witch too, craftily and lazily reminding her of time. Time that gets squandered in busyness, in survival hunts that have gone for too long, become habitual. Rest. Be. Reflect. Nourish.
The Witch too attends Personal Church. She is held in other’s attention, those who want to see her be full, be real, be soulful. They honor what she does for the people, for the tribe, and they hold importance on her as well. “Do not let yourself be consumed. You must offer the same sacred welcome to your own soul as you do for others. You will get sick and lost if you do not. Withdraw, reflect, rest, remember. You will still survive. More than that; you will thrive.”
And so the Witch returns to her Edge-house, pensive, determined. “The time of pretending is almost over. I must live in alignment, I must be real, I must feed and nourish my own soul. I will hold this witch-work with the value it truly has. Not as a hidden substitute, a fake-value, a safe gimmick. The sacred-space of the personal gods, embodied, felt, expressed as us, in us. I will be proud, I will be certain, I will hold these simple-deep Magicks with the reverence they deserve. For those who are transforming, journeying, becoming – they will never find their medicine in the traditional impersonal religions. They need my companionship, my space, my witch-house on the edge of the woods. And as I help them remember, together we bring this truth back to the world.”