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Vanessa The Teenage Witch

July, 1998 - Dolly Magazine

By Kate Jobling Vanessa holding burning incense

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.

Vanessa holding an athame

"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 a Satan-worshipper.

"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.

Vanessa holding a pentacle

"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 of appreciation.

"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 am.

"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."

Dolly Magazine July, 1998

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