There are witches all around us. You can find them anywhere…
The Witch on Wheels has been documenting her findings.
Meet: Connie Duffy
“We are healers and helpers,” said Connie Duffy, who only does positive magick. She will do mini rituals before going on motorcycle rides with friends, before work every day, on her dogs and anyone who needs a little pick me up. She gives mini reiki sessions, calls on the Goddess for help in her classroom, is energized by pine trees, and has gardens full of medicinal plants. An Aries, she uses fire magic. “I go in and I blow up shit – positively!!!” she said, laughing. “I’m not afraid to do anything.” That includes altering ingredients in a spell if it feels right, as long as it’s not negative. Learn more about my friend Connie from her answers that were transcribed from a telephone interview.
1. Do you have a magical name you’re willing to share?
I choose to keep this private.
2. In what state do you reside?
3. How do you make your living?
Math teacher at a technical high school.
4. Are you out of the broom closet? / Have you felt threatened?
Yes, I am out and no I have not felt threatened. Although it did help that people knew me beforehand. I remember saying to a few friends, “Would you have thought differently of me if you didn’t know me?” Their response was, “Probably.” It saddens me that in this day and age, people are still so judgmental. As long as you’re a good person and try to do the right thing, nothing else should matter.
5. When did you first know you were a witch? How long have you been practicing?
When I was 27, I met this really interesting guy and he introduced me to the Craft. I was really excited about how I felt and started to dabble. I read a lot of books and began to educate myself on basic rituals. I started performing rituals on my own and I found that I had a real knack for it. I read, “Only do good and it will come back at you.” Every time I did a ritual for a friend, results happened within a couple weeks or so. I said, “Oh my god, this really works.” Then I tried to find people who practiced because I really wanted to learn from other people. When I first started hanging out with different groups I found that I was actually doing more than they were. I was more educated on calling the corners and the basic format. I met new people and made new friends and did magic with them. I started hanging out at Curious Goods in West Haven and I was going there a lot. I regularly attended Monday Magick classes for a period of time and I loved going there and I still do from time to time. Then I met you guys (a group of about 90 women mostly based in Connecticut) and I went from there.
6. How do you define your practice? Do you follow a specific tradition?
I’ve always been drawn to Greek mythology. The Greek pantheon is the one I normally call on — the Greek gods and goddesses. In addition, I am also drawn to the faeries and other magical creatures. I will often time gaze at the sparkles dancing on the ocean as I’m floating and take comfort knowing that I am surrounded by magical energy.
7. What one object must be on your altar for it to be an altar?
Definitely fire!!! Inside the house I always have candles burning and outside I use the fire pit. When having friends gathering around the fire pit, I always circle the fire pit with incense sticks and quietly call the corners and state my intentions — usually for health, happiness and security for them and others I feel could use it. Also anyone who know me – SPARKLES (aka faerie dust)!!!
8. Do you have a daily practice?
I pray every day. First, as I leave my home and my dogs, I ask my God and Goddess to protect them. When I arrive at work, I sit in my car, air draw two Reiki symbols and I say, “Keep me safe, keep me calm, keep me strong, and keep me happy.”
9. How do you respond when someone asks, “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”
I say good witch because there’s good and bad in everyone. I just explain that in my religion, whatever you put out into the universe you get back three times — so why would I put out anything bad. I would never wish anything bad on anybody. Instead I’ll say, “Protect me.” or “Bind her from doing evil.” or “May you get all you deserve.”
10. Do you have a familiar?
Actually I do. My dog Jessie was my familiar. I had a very, very deep connection with her and when she passed away it was heart breaking. At first, she welcomed warm embraces and soon demanded it. When she wanted some “mama energy,” she would roll on her back with her arms spread, belly exposed, and make grumbling noises. I would scoop in with my head on her chest and then she would squeeze my head as if to give me hug. Her energy was overwhelming. I’ve always felt that my other dog, Dakota, is my protector, but not in a lovey way. He was never receptive to Reiki or any type of physical contact. I feel his love, but he can only demonstrate this love through protection. Then we got Zazzle. It’s weird because she’s taking on Jessie’s persona. I feel like Zaz is my familiar now as well as my protector. She, too, welcomes mama embraces and sharing energy and can always be found very close to me or within a mama shout
11. What gifts, skills or powers do you share?
I believe that just because you’re a witch, doesn’t mean your good at all witchy things. I quickly found that tarot wasn’t my thing. During my journey, I have developed a knack for gardening. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have many inside plants, and during the warmer months you can usually find me dabbling with seeds, moving plants to different areas of my yard, and most recently, sharing plants with others. I became interested in drying herbs and making teas. I love doing reiki on people at school or for my friends. When motivated, I make little, magical gifts for people. I will research and find the right stone to meet someone’s need and charge the stone. I always make sure to have the person’s permission before I set my intentions for them. I also have a strong connection with my partner in crime, Eve. Whenever I need a pick me up, I will find myself driving to her house, A New Page (a metaphysical store in Middletown) where you can usually find her, or inviting myself to visit her for the weekend at one of the out-of-town jobs she works. We have even gone so far as to deem each other “vercation buddies.”
12. What was your most magical experience?
Oh, I’ll never forget this as long as I live. It was with a Wiccan group I got involved with in Massachusetts. I remember one Halloween they had this elaborate maze set up. The ritual was in this huge field. They had stations set up, teaching you things. It was so awesome. I felt so powerful. When you go into the maze they tell you you are going into another world, and to absorb all the magic. Then at the end they tell you you are crossing back over, and I didn’t want to cross back over. I wanted to stay there. I didn’t realize until later the connection I have with pine trees. Every time I am in a place with pine trees, I’m very energized, and that place had huge pine trees.
13. What is your favorite:
•Tool: Ritual baths. My bathroom is the power room in my house. I get all the elements going and it’s a magick show in there.
•Animal or other totem: It changes. I’m in-between right now. In the past I have been drawn to energy of the praying mantis, lady bug, and hummingbird — mostly flying creatures.
•Book: My go-to book is a little green book. Basic Magic or Magic for Beginners, something like that. It was the first book I ever got.
•Tarot deck or card: Tarot’s not my thing.
•Gemstone: Changes on a daily basis…I am drawn mostly to abalone shell, amethyst, purple sunstone, and carnelian.
•Ritual garb: For formal rituals, I need to wear my hat, which is a one of a kind, made by Salem witches. It called to me.
•Spell or ritual: I like the basic ritual stuff: getting all the candles set up, the incense sticks, calling the corners.
•Music or performer: I’ve always liked Enigma. The first two albums. That music really gets me in the zone.
•Piece of wisdom: Be nice and appreciate nature. I love going outside and feeling the energy around me. From taking in the power of the ocean while standing on the beach during a full moon to listening to the peepers or birds while feeling the cool wind kiss your face in your backyard, it’s there. You just have to open yourself up to it, and open yourself up to all the positive things around you. There’s magic everywhere.
About the Author:
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.