“How are you a... ‘witch’?” PART ONE.

I’ve wanted to write about this for quite sometime, but the moment has never felt right. Today it does.

Those of you who follow us closely probably know that I identify as a witch. I’ve had many people ask me about this...

What do I mean by “witch”? Am I joking? How does one become a witch? I’ve been accused of doing the devils work. I’ve had people roll their eyes and scoff at me. I’ve heard people whisper “That’s the witch that has the flower shop” as I am walking through stores.

For every moment of resistance, I’ve had 100 moments of acceptance. I’ve had women come up to me in my store and hug me and cry and say thank you. Thank you for having the courage to say it out loud. They felt like they had been seen simply by me expressing my own truth. This has been the sweetest gift I could ever ask for.

This story is long and winding, so it will be broken up into parts. I’ve battled a bit with how to tell it, but it’s all coming to me now.

When I was a little girl I was convinced I was a witch. I thought I had magical powers. I went to a catholic school 1st through 12th grade. Obviously the occult was not acknowledged, and absolutely frowned upon.

I had to wear a uniform. White button up dress shirt with a plaid skirt. We could wear black or brown dress shoes. Socks had to be white or navy. Self expression wasn’t exactly encouraged.

I insisted upon wearing black pointed boots that laced all the way up. They were my “witch shoes”. It was my own little defiance. If I had to be in these suffocating clothes with these suffocating rules and all this dogma, I was going to have shoes that helped me remember my power.

Around the fifth grade I started getting teased for being a witch. I liked to hold seances at recess. I would build little altars made of twigs and rocks and treasures... sometimes even a lock of my hair. Summoning spirits or angels or any being that wanted to join me. Looking back that was actually very dangerous (😂), but I didn’t have anyone to teach me... I was winging it, doing whatever felt right.

After getting teased just enough, I put my shoes away. I stopped having rituals. I stopped believing I had powers... I stopped believing in magic.

A few years later, I was about 14, I went to a carnival with my friends. We visited all the tents, ran around like up-to-no-good teenagers. We visited the “Fortune Teller” tent last. She had a crystal ball, tarot cards, and everything was adorned in red velvet.

She pulled a card for each of us, even read some of our palms. For the life of me I don’t remember what my tarot card was.

But I do remember that as we all walked away from her tent, she stopped me.

She said “You! Girl!”

I turned back to her, my friends kept walking on.

She looked me in my eyes and said “You’re like me. You have the gift.”

I just stood there, frozen. Eyes wide, no words.

She said “You’ll see. Now go on.”

I walked away. Scared, but so thrilled. She saw me... truly saw me for who I was. In a single moment my spark had been reignited.

I kept that story to myself. And I didn’t acknowledge the true witch in me for another 13 years.

There’s more to come... stay tuned.

Magdalene Finwall