My name is Tabatha (yes, that’s my real given name, not a magical name) and I was raised in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky practicing Granny Magic. I can’t say that anyone knew that’s what they were teaching me, but I learned it all the same. When I was 7 years old I was asked to heal someone for the first time, a baby with thrush. My mom asked to me to blow in the baby’s mouth three times to make the thrush go away. Completely confused I asked how that was gonna help. She looked at me like she wished I hadn’t asked so she wouldn’t have to say the words, and then she said “Because you ain’t never laid eyes on your daddy, and if you were the seventh daughter of the seventh son, or vice versa, but you never seen him so you can do it. Now blow in his mouth.”.  It worked by the next morning, completely, and ever since I’ve been on this path.

For years I tried everything I could think of- telepathy, telekinesis, card readings, contacting spirits. I was only 11 then but I had a hunger for it. When I was 14 I learned what I was doing and a name matched it- Witchcraft. My sister discovered a source for books on witchcraft, and she brought one to me with such wild excitement, like she had found a hidden, yet forbidden treasure. Her being five years older than me made it possible for her to get her hands on precious taboo information. She hadn’t been living out on her own very long and was reading a magazine with an ad for witchcraft books in the back of it. She ordered one and we began reading, obsessively at times, and gathering knowledge everywhere we could gain it. Sometimes I got into trouble with my book collection. It was not allowed in our family for sure. My mom had become a member of a church, a cult-like church no joke, and she was very much dictated. We had been members of this church and my mom absolutely panicked when she discovered that first book. Fast forward many years, and mom had broke free from the church and embraced kind of a hippie-nature-like way, and now my collection of books and my behavior doesn’t even make her bat an eyelash.

Our small bible belt town was impossible to find occult knowledge in. Unless you were trying to be some preacher’s wife or score bootlegged liquor or something harder you didn’t really fit in, but I never wanted to fit in. I’ve been seriously studying witchcraft for 24 years now, and unknowingly practicing longer than that. I’ve decided that one path alone cannot hold my full attention. I seek out knowledge from everywhere I can find. Now I’m a mother of one growing young man and four cats, and wife to the best man I’ve ever known. It’s not easy being different in a small town. We don’t attend church and living in the bible belt with everyone talking I suppose everyone knows that. It becomes so obvious here that if you don’t share other’s Christian beliefs then you cannot have friendships and your children will be guaranteed to have judgement placed upon them as they are left out of everything. It makes your social world very secluded, for which I love and hate.

My social world has become the solitude that gardening gives, the love from my strong husband, amazing son, and fluffy cats running through the yard and house, and the occasional request for my knowledge as a witch. Growing flowers, herbs, and vegetables gives me a lot of joy and I love using what I grow for spells and medicines. I make candles with herb and root infused beeswax, soaps with flower essences and petals, powerfully infused oils for anointing and dressing, and salves and elixirs from potent nightshade plants many witches are too frightened to touch but wish they were brave enough to.

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