Vanessa The Teenage Witch
July, 1998 - Dolly Magazine
By Kate Jobling
Most people think witches are either old crones with
warts and hooked noses or cheerleader types with good
intentions and a broomstick, like TV's Sabrina.
Vanessa's reality is nothing like that. She classifies
herself as a witch due to her love of nature, psychic
powers and belief in magic. Other than that, the life
of this 18-year-old is quite normal.
"For me, being a witch holds a certain joy in nature,
full moons and certain seasonal festivals. We just celebrate
life and nature in a different way — through spells
and meditation — which sets us apart from other people.
"As a child, I had a lot of psychic experiences which
I assumed were normal, like clairvoyant experiences,
premonitions, post-cognition (knowing things about people
that they haven't told you), auric sights and sensing
vibrations in the atmosphere. But as I got older, I
realised it wasn't something that happened to everyone.
"Mum was always into eastern religions and encouraged
me to express my spiritual ideas. Dad also had his own
cultural beliefs and never tried to stop me developing
my own. I guess I grew up in a very liberal environment.
"I started looking for literature on psychic phenomena,
and reading things on witches and witchcraft struck
a note in me. A friend's father was a witch and he introduced
me to the concept of using tools and ceremony to concentrate
my psychic energy. From the age 13 I started to regard
myself as a witch, and through my teenage years I've
been reading and meeting people and developing my ideas
on what witchcraft means to me.
"At school, people became suspicious because of the
way I dressed and the comments I'd make. They started
treating me in a hostile way — I was ostracised and
seen as an evil person. Teachers thought I was just
a problem child and sent me to counsellors who saw my
beliefs as being just a rebellious phase.
"I did have a few friends who were proud to have a
witch as a friend, but others called me the devil and
"Being a witch is not the kind of thing you announce.
There are times when I don't tell people I'm a witch
'cos that instantly puts you in the weirdo category
— people think you're strange and totally unreliable.
I don't care, though; I don't need to justify myself.
People do tend to give me a certain amount of space,
as if they don't want to upset me, but I wouldn't hurt
anybody! I'm not like that.
"The whole philosophy of the witchcraft that I practise
is about worship and love of nature, as well as the
universal energies that contribute to making you who
you are and the world what it is. It gives me a feeling
"I'm a solitary witch in the sense that my intuitive
ability comes naturally and I never needed people to
explain it to me, but their explanations and experiences
helped me not to feel so alone. Basically, I'm just
a liberal-minded person who's continually trying to
learn and expand my horizons. I see my being a witch
as a gift I've given myself, and I appreciate who I
"For me, witchcraft is an appreciation of a pagan heritage
and a worship of nature. It's also a psychic function
which is connected to the natural world. It is not something
to be feared — we are not an evil force. Witches were
blamed throughout history for things and were often
public scapegoats, especially during the Middle Ages.
These days, witches are just people with a certain ability
and a unique view of life. It's something that I express
with a great deal of sincerity. It's not something I
own but it's what's right for me."