Monthly Columns

Witch Hunt

 

There are witches all around us. You can find them anywhere…

The Witch on Wheels has been documenting her findings.

 

Meet Barbara King

 

 

Barbara King travels in a skoolie named the downsizer when she’s not at home North of Boston. I met her this past winter during her 20 weeks in Florida where she was learning “to slow down and just be.” We read each other’s tarot cards and enjoyed some long conversations. Barbara is experimenting with retirement [ie minimalism and freedom], which would give her more time to explore this country, make new friends, and possibly discover her future long-term road family. Along the way, she spreads goodwill and a little magic.

 

1. Do you have a magical name you’re willing to share?
No.

2. In what state do you reside?
Massachusetts, but leaning into becoming a full-time nomad.

3. How do you make your living?
In real estate mainly for the last 20 years

4. Are you out of the broom closet? Have you felt threatened?
I am open about my path and wear a fairly large pentacle. I have never felt threatened, but have definitely had encounters with some who wished to either save me or outright called me evil.

5. When did you first know you were a witch? How long have you been practicing?
I was raised Catholic, but can remember my first spell – a love spell of course – cast when I was maybe 11.
Something involving an apple and ribbons. Funny I can’t remember where I learned it; something I read I suppose. More seriously, I became fully dedicated to this way of being in my spirituality when I was 31.

6. How do you define your practice? Do you follow a specific tradition?
I don’t practice any particular tradition, nor follow any strict routines. What I know, I have learned mainly from books, reading endless blogs, personal meditative revelation; but also from many individuals over the years with whom I have shared either one on one discussions or less often group gatherings and rituals. Of course, I must mention my long time friend and spiritual mentor, Missie. I call myself a kitchen witch, by which I mean that if I do choose to perform rituals or spells, I will use whatever I have at hand:
herbs from my kitchen, candles, strings, vessels, stones, etc. from around my home, both inside and out.

7. What one object must be on your altar for it to be an altar?
I don’t keep a standing altar, but when I cast a circle I always put something in each quarter corresponding to its element – again from what I have on hand, usually.

8. Do you have a daily practice?
Right now no, but there have been times when I do. Most recently for instance, when I was traveling, I was reciting “The Charge of the Goddess” by Dorothy Valiente to start each day.

9. How do you respond when someone asks, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” 
It has been a long time since anyone asked me this inane question; maybe I have learned to see them coming?

10. Do you have a familiar?
I sometimes say so of my cat, Artemis, but I don’t really mean it in any traditional sense. She is really just a companion.

11. What gifts, skills or powers do you share?
I read tarot, but my truest skill is that of grounding, for anyone who is scared or scattered.

12. What was your most magical experience?
I have had many spiritual and mystical experiences, premonitions, visions, out-of-body experience; but the most magical is easy: motherhood.  Especially of my daughter, who was born wise and is a natural witch who often heard my thoughts when she was a child and saw spirit animals and seemed to sometimes pop in and out of this realm. 

13. What is your favorite

Sabbat: Beltaine, mainly because I love summer and sensuality, but also because May 1st is my birthday, or vice versa
Element: My least favorite is Air, because things of Air so often elude me.
God: To me “God” is sort of an existential All; but for a small “g” god, The Green Man.
Goddess: The Great Mother, also synonymous with “God” to me
Animal or other totem: Cats, cougars, crows
Tool: Tarot; and intention
Book: “The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion, and Power in Celtic Ireland” by Mary Condren
Tarot deck or card: It varies, right now it is the Crone Deck – a gift from The Witch on Wheels!
The card would be the Heirophant.
Gemstone:  Many! Emeralds, amethyst, garnet, and just lately, turquoise
Ritual garb: Nudity; also a handmade wool cloak
Fictional witch: never really thought about it
Music / performer: Natalie Merchant, a great artist
Spell or ritual: Walking alone in nature and cooking; cooking is its own magic.
Piece of wisdom: Start where you are, with what you know; none of us can see too far ahead.
Simply be open to following the path as it unfolds.

 

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike

thewitchonwheels.com

All my life I have known magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the black-candles-and-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions, tarot, herbs, candle magic, gems, and, as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have returned to an eclectic solitary practice. When accepting the mantle of crone, I pledged to serve and teach. This is what I do from my skoolie – a 30-year-old school bus converted into a tiny house on wheels that I am driving around the country, following 72-degree weather, emerging myself into nature, and sharing magic with those I meet. Find me at thewitchonwheels.com, Facebook and Instagram.