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Sunday, October 28, 2012


Researching Real Witches 
by Kiki Howell

            I’m often asked, why witches? Why the pagan stories with all the Wiccan spells? Why the paranormal tales with witches who can make things happen with just a thought? How much research do you do? Oh, and are you Wiccan? How do I answer, well, I shrug. As far as the stories go, I ask, why not. Wicca fascinates me, always has. I do a lot of research, for my stories and just because I love to read books on the subject.

            But, to answer these questions truthfully, and I’m not sure I could even to myself. I’m still working on the answer. I could go back through my life, tell you as I child I was obsessed with shows like Bewitched. The idea of wiggling my nose and getting whatever I wanted was a strong dream for an over-active imagination like mine. Now, to wiggle my nose and clean my house, well, I’d just about give my right arm for that ability. LOL Any TV show, movie, book, my whole life that I could get my hands on involving paranormal witches, the ones who could make it storm with just a thought or shoot real fire out of their fingertips, I watched and read, and re-watched and re-read.

            So, obviously Wicca interested me too. But it wasn't until I could call it research that I actually started buying the books. Prior to that, I just read them in Borders when I was alone. Didn't feel like being questioned about something I had no answer about yet. As with any religion, one needs the time to study and think and feel if it is right for them. Yet, once I started reading the non-fiction books on Wicca, mainly those published by, I can now tell you what I do love about the Wiccan religion.

            I've read sooo many good books: Witchcrafting by Phyllis Curott, If You Want to Be a Witch by Edain McCoy, Mindlight by Silver Ravenwolf, The Way of Four by Debroah Lipp, The Caouldron of Memory by Raven Grimassi, The Path of A Christian Witch by Adelina St. Clair, etc. My bookshelves are brimming, and my kids now laugh each time another comes in the mail, “Another witch book, mom.” I’m already a certified Feng Shui Practioner, so working with the elements and energy is no stretch for me. I've even heard it said that Wiccans have been practicing Feng Shui for centuries. It even shows up in their books, especially one’s by say Kitchen Witches.

            I have always had a thing about candles, water, and the moon—feeling the energy from, the power in each. In fact, my ability to read energy is what got me into Feng Shui in the first place, so anything nature-oriented or pagan, is quite familiar.

            Yet, I remember reading one of my first Wiccan books on becoming a solitary witch. In the book it spoke of gaining self-knowledge, self-respect, just simply knowing who you are and then choosing your beliefs. I was blown away. In a household where we celebrate both Christian and Jewish holidays, and tell our kids they don't have to pick, and never have to feel they are picking between mom or dad, it made so much sense.

            I've been lucky enough in the course of my writing career to meet many pagans and witches. I've had the privilege of learning from them.  I've met many wonderful witches along the way. Some I've gotten to personally converse with, and a few I’m privileged to now call friends. As well, I've found many websites and blogs to continue to learn from. Of course, these interactions bring about more book recommendations, like right now I’m reading  Witchcraft: Theory and Practice by LY De Angeles which was recommended to me by a wonderful woman, Magaly Guerrero.

            Anyway, am I a practicing Wiccan? I guess the answer at the moment is no, not officially. Am I getting closer to this practice, adopting more and more of its practices as my own? Yes, definitely. I have learned so much that Wiccan practices, rituals, shows up in my Feng Shui practices. And, I do see it creep into my now more eclectic, more pagan holiday observances. I’m still learning, still researching, and I haven’t made any concrete decisions. I call myself Metaphysical, and leave it at that. I don’t want to be rushed. I’m no longer a religious all or nothing person, spouting back what I was told to, as I was once being taught to be. I am thinking for myself, have a belief in a higher power, in the energy all around me. I pray. I’m spiritual. But, I have no need to define myself right now. Of course, that is too long of an answer than most care to get. For them who just wish to judge me anyway, a shrug will do.

            How does this all connect to my writing. Well, maybe I’m relieving those teen years, I’m only forty, but you know, on a collision path with a mid-life crisis, right? *giggles* Maybe my writing lets me try things on for size, see who I am and who I’m not. I also write for escape, and if a spell or something strikes me, gets me thinking, then it usually gets used in a story. I have given myself the personal challenge over the past few years to write more reality based, Pagan/Wiccan stories. I like the challenge of having to stay in the real world with the spells used, of having to get the research just right.

            What I can say for sure, is that this need to learn of the Wiccan religion is not fading. I will continue to read and study and search. What will come of it? Well, who knows. I've gone far beyond caring what others thing. I will continue to do what I do and ignore the masses who think it their right to lump me into some precise category of their own making so they can stand on their judgment box and look down their noses at me. Sorry, getting down off my own soap box now *grins* I think I’ll go with the advice of Detective Hallet in Practical Magic? “Why don’t you do what you do, and I’ll do what I do, and we will see where we end up.”

Thanks so much for coming over with that Guest Blog Ms. Howell. It's always nice to meet other interested in Wiccan ways. For the longest time I was an Eclectic Wiccan, and still hold all the beliefs dear to my heart but I don't practice anymore. I'm more integral in my spiritual ways now. That said it was very interesting hearing your story. Happy reading! ;)

ALSO don't miss the 4 StarReview of Hidden Salem

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