I’ve not read it or been told, I just know; witches don’t share the details of their magical workings. You’ll read books of spells, books of correspondences, practices and rituals you can create for yourself, and manuals and guides for you to create your own magic, but the magic of an evening beneath the moon is for the witch alone. Her personal feelings, gains and knowledge gleaned are for her benefit, for her to mull over and learn from, as it should be. Except for Lizzie Martin.
In the Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, Lizzie Martin shares it all, just like the characters in Dion Fortune’s fiction. It was through Dion Fortune’s books, especially Moon Magic and The Sea Priestess, that I felt compelled to write stories of my own about real people and the magic they create in their lives.
Lizzie Martin includes you in her world, and that includes her magic. In The Naked Witch, Lizzie extends to you the privilege of her Sanctuary…
‘At the bottom of the garden, she squeezed past the oak and rowan trees and opened an old wooden door. Smells of pine, incense and wet wool greeted her. Rowan called it her ‘Mum Cave’. Lizzie called it Sanctuary. Neither carefully synchronised calendars nor lists adorned the walls. No colour co-ordinated work outfits or labelled files filled the cupboards. Swathed in rich tapestries and layers of ancient rugs, Lizzie’s escape was the home she longed for. An ancient chaise longue, draped in rugs and throws spread along one wall. The corner opposite held an exquisite, dust free altar. In the centre sat a curvaceous wooden figure of the goddess.’
Near the beginning of The Orphan Witch, Lizzie shares with you her simple ritual, and her feelings on this Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween…
Inside her Sanctuary, safe in her circle, Lizzie made a bed in her lap with her cloak for the chicken. The bird trotted around, mimicking a cat following its tail. Cooing contentedly, she nestled down. Two white candles burned on the altar, casting an eerie flickering light, quickly guzzled by the fog of frankincense. The mist swirled, set in motion by splutters from the candles.
Wrapped in sheepskin, Lizzie sat on the hillside, watching the moon bathing the land in shadow. Sheep huddled among the giant boulders. Men and women stood around the standing stone on the hilltop behind her. Darkness was coming. It was time to return to the valley.
She climbed to the peak, the crackling of the fire welcoming her before its blessed warmth. Tonight they would keep the dark away, for one night at least.
The comforting aroma of ancient books stirred Lizzie and she looked down to the tome open before her. The ticking of her heart sped up. The pages turned in a blur, glimpses of the past bleeding through. Marsha waved from a luxury yacht as did her Granddad, recognisable by the watch chain he always wore in photos. Faces flickered, the pages speeding up, sucking Lizzie into the past with them until she sat wrapped in skins again, looking up into a beautiful, dark brown face framed by oiled and braided plaits. The word ‘mother’ burst within her and Lizzie knew. On the night we remember and revere our ancestors Lizzie was not alone. This was her mother; the mother of us all.
In The Flowerpot Witch, Lizzie invites the reader to Tal-y-Llyn lake and her ritual for Imbolc…
Backpack bouncing, Lizzie set off across the uneven grass. She grimaced over the stile, her ribs screaming at her, across endless streams and springs gushing from the earth, onto the track around the lake. Large stones and rocks littered her way. She stopped often, enjoying the fresh wind on her face and the glints of sunlight bouncing off the water. Diverting from the track, the land was rutted and boggy. Her thighs ached and her ribs burned, climbing over the grassy mounds and ridges before dropping down towards the lake.
There was little flat ground, but she was sheltered from behind, the only wind blowing off the lake in front of her. She trapped the flapping, white altar cloth with her goddess statue from her Sanctuary. She’d never get the candle in the Goddess’ arms to stay alight, but she’d planned ahead and brought two glass jars and two chunky candles, one white and one orange, already charged with chamomile, myrrh and cinnamon which she placed on the cloth along with a handful of white ribbons, a cloth bag, a jar of milk and an old but serviceable horseshoe.
Standing on the tiny beach, the cold wind tugged at her hair and the cloth bag in her hand. She grounded herself, and then cast protection around her before kneeling at the altar. A warm stillness hung over her circle of protection.
Blessed Brigid, Triple Goddess, Protector
Preserver of All Memory and Knowledge
Lizzie lit the white candle.
Goddess of Fire and Fertility
She lit the orange one.
Welcome to my circle.
Lizzie knelt before the pregnant maid, mesmerised by the candle circlet adorning her tendril curls. Swathed in a cloak the colour of new leaves, her arms wrapped protectively round her belly, the goddess looked into Lizzie’s eyes. Wisdom, compassion and understanding connected the women and Lizzie found the courage to speak.
The long days of Winter are behind us
With your blessing, we look to the Spring.
From the cloth bag she withdrew multiple stones, offering each to Brigid to be blessed.
Sweet lady, Goddess of light
Bless these rose quartz so they may bring me wisdom
To heal with love and compassion.
Bless these citrines so they may drive away the darkness
Bringing light into the hearts of those who need it.
Bless these rubies in memory of the fire of life that glows in your belly
And the promise of life to come.
She picked up the horseshoe.
Bless this iron horseshoe
Above whichever door it hangs
May that house be a happy home.
At her altar, around each stone and the horseshoe, she tied a white ribbon before picking up the jar of milk and stepping back onto the beach, in front of the goddess. Opening her arms to the wind, she breathed in the beauty of Brigid and sent up her prayer.
Dearest Brigid who nurtures the seeds through the winter
Bringing the promise of Spring
Blessed Goddess who gives and shares
Showering us all with your enchanted, empowering light.
I honour you and give you thanks
Offering back the milk of innocence
To ensure new births and new beginnings.
She unscrewed the lid and dripped the milk onto the stones and in the lake.
Goddess of fire and light
Grant me the courage to see the truth in my life
And to understand the truth when it is shown to me.
On every Spring day
When the sun shines
I will remember you.
Begin your magical journey with Lizzie Martin and The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series.
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