Pendulum Practice

I’ll be honest, I grew up in a very religious environment where everything was based on appearance and mimicking the right language. When we were called upon to pray aloud in public, there was a formula, with certain phrases everyone used because that was how we demonstrated what good Christians we were.

If our level of spirituality came into question, we would be summoned to an administrator’s office to be interrogated, and if our responses didn’t measure up, we might be “discipled” through private weekly counseling sessions for an entire year. We might even end up on “spiritual probation,” where they could spontaneously decide to expel us for the tiniest infraction or if we just didn’t show what they considered to be enough “growth.” Once a student was on their radar, that person was watched constantly. So getting the lingo right, however insincere or superficial it felt, was important.

I think that’s why I had a certain skepticism when I started reading the language and methods involved in a lot of magickal rituals out there. As drawn to witchcraft as I was and as much as I wanted to believe, it felt like play-acting to me, just like all those years of forced hypocrisy at school. Was there actual power here, or was I just learning a new set of lines to pass myself off as “witchy”?

Then I picked up a pendulum. A tangerine quartz point I hung from the clasp of a broken necklace. I can’t say I felt a real connection with it, but it was in easy reach on my dresser.

I felt silly.

I held the chain and whispered “show me yes.” It immediately went into a pronounced clockwise circle.

Fine, I thought, I must have moved it unconsciously.

“Show me no.” The circling instantly slowed, stopped, and turned into a left-right swinging.

Whoa. I *didn’t* do that.

“Show me maybe.” The swinging stopped and the crystal started a small, anti-clockwise circle.

It confirmed my name. Denied the false age I offered. It answered more questions, and it was correct every time.

It shook me up, y’all. It was the proof I needed that this was not make believe.

This week, I found the amethyst pendant I bought about twenty years ago. It was my first crystal, and I felt such a strong connection with it that I had to go *back* to the shop after leaving the first time without buying it. I feel like it’s the one I should be using.

It may take me a little while to get over my aversion to repeating someone else’s words. Maybe that’s a sign that I need to focus on creating my own spells and rituals that feel genuine for me. But my experience with the pendulum has definitely confirmed that I’m on the right path.

New Moon, Blank Slate

I’m a beginner cottage witch, just starting on this journey. I hope to document my learning process and experiences on this blog.

I’ve always loved the “witchy aesthetic,” and I became mildly obsessed after learning that I had family members tangled up in all sides of the Salem Witch Trials, but it wasn’t until last year I finally admitted to myself that this was more than a style choice or historical interest.

There is something ancient in me that rises with the wind and responds to the sea. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, when a witch’s eyes stare back at me. Sometimes I feel it running from my bare feet down into the earth like a current, and I wonder if I’ll be able to take another step or if I’ll be rooted to the spot. The amazing thing is that it’s been there all along — quiet, unacknowledged, unlabeled.

Now, I see it. I embrace it. I claim it. I call myself “witch.”