Interviews,  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: Janet Coffa Holt

 

Janet was one of about 100 women, primarily from Connecticut, who belonged to a loosely structured sisterhood, and later joined the coven I was in. I appreciate her fiery personality, lack of filters, and understanding of both magick and human nature. Janet introduced me to Kali and Ganesha, and is one of few witches who, like me, prefer spells that rhyme. For more than a decade, through good times and bad, I have found her to be strong, devoted, and true to her word. The answers below will tell you a bit more about her.

 

 

 

1. Do you have a magical name youre willing to share?
 Silverdragon. I had taken a Pagan 101 course a long time ago that helped me learn more basic stuff and connect with other witches. It was during that time that I received my magical name. It was a wonderful experience.

 

2. In what state do you reside?
  Connecticut

 

3. How do you make your living?
I am disabled, unable to work.

 

4. Are you out of the closet? / Have you felt threatened?
Yes, I’m out of the closet. Early on, I was timid, confused, and weary of what other people thought. I realized that the longer I was on this path, the more “out” I was. I didn’t care what anyone thought. This was a very important part of my life and it was no one’s business. If you have any questions for me about my path I will answer them honestly. I’ve never felt threatened.

 

5. When did you first know you were a witch? How long have you been practicing?
I knew in my heart that I was a witch during the back and forth of hopping in and out. For me, I went through ups and downs trying to figure out if this was the path I was supposed to be on because I come from a Catholic background and there was quite the guilt trip I put myself on. I started getting serious about twenty years ago. It took a while for me to get there. I jumped between Catholicism and witchcraft in my early 20s. I come from a bunch of Sicilian women who had plenty of superstitions. I suspect there were witches on my mother’s side of the family.

 

6. How do you define your practice? Do you follow a specific tradition?
I’m eclectic but I tend to follow Roman and Celtic goddesses. I’m pretty open. If it fits into the puzzle that is my life, if it works, I bring it into my practice. There’s no one genre. I take it all, I use it all. If the only thing I do in a day is light the candle on my altar, I’ve connected. Some days are quite busy. My mundane life has an enormous amount of magick in it. I live it. My magick is always with me, inside of me, waiting to come out when I need it.

 

7. What one object must be on your altar for it to be an altar?
For me, a pentacle

 

8. Do you have a daily practice?
In the morning, I set my intentions for the day. Sitting on the couch with my coffee is my coming into awareness of the magic in my life.

 

9. How do you respond when someone asks, Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”
I look at them funny because I find that an amusing question. I’m a good witch. Of course I am a good witch. It’s not often that I would use baneful magick. I do what I feel is right to protect myself and my family, which includes my close friends who are family to me. I try to do the next right thing in my personal life. Just don’t cross me.

 

10. Do you have a familiar?
I thought I did, but she passed. I don’t think I have one right now. I do have my cat, Luna. She is young. I don’t think she’s there yet. Maybe the next cat.

 

11. What was your most magical experience?
My most magical experience was probably very early on. I learned how to move smoke. I learned how to do something that I never realized I could do. Seeing something occur with my own eyes – that’s when I realized it was the real deal, that I had abilities. The longer I stayed on the path, the more things continued to be validated – and it still continues to happen. I get validated that this is the real deal; you are doing the right thing. I am on the right path. I love being a witch.

 

12. What gifts, skills, or powers do you share?
I’m a reiki practitioner; it gives me the ability to help people. I found that to be my calling a long time ago, when all the magickal things started to happen. I act as a spiritual counselor. It just happens that people always come to me and tell me a lot more than I’d expect from someone who doesn’t know me that well. I think I’m also a good spell writer. I like to make them rhyme, or at least get close to it. There are so many words in our vocabulary and I also play with words from foreign languages to make it work

 

13. What is your favorite:
-Sabbat:
Samhain. It’s the end of the year and the beginning of the next. Here where I live, it’s when everything starts to go to sleep. I learned a lot about honoring our ancestors through Samhain. I’m Sicilian and there are a lot of witchy customs and traditions. I have attended silent suppers at midnight on Samhain eve. We all brought a picture of a person or people that were deceased that we wanted to honor. It was a beautiful gathering.
Element: Fire.
God/Goddess: It depends on the season and the characteristics they have when something is going down. Kali for serious clearing of the psychic field, Ganesha for removing all obstacles, and Cernunnos as the horned god of the forest and consort to the Great Goddess.
Tool: Wand
Tarot deck or card: The Hanged Man
Gemstone: Diamond – sparkly and clear 
-Spell or ritual:
I like doing spells for prosperity and abundance to keep the energy flowing.
Piece of wisdom: I came out of the broom closet with a trumpet and had to blast “magick is real” to everyone who would listen. I was a little bit too rambunctious. I was so excited and so happy. Still am. The people who were supposed to be in my life just started to appear. I don’t know if being so loud and obnoxious about it was my ego, but I would tell my younger self in those early years to be more humble and keep my faith more to myself. And always keep an open heart and an open mind. There is so much to learn. Ask me anything. I will tell you whatever you want to know about me. I’m an open book.

 

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike

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.

thewitchonwheels.com