My supernatural experience could really be classed as a culmination of events. Which, viewed from the outside, were obviously leading to such a place. And maybe some of you might understand.

When I first decided to actually become a witch – about ten years ago – I thought it would be like walking through a magic door into a new world. Instead of just reading about the Craft I would actually be practising it; committing 100%. And – wow..!

I was a high school teacher and had begun to hate the stress and politics of the job. In a loveless marriage which seemed solely based upon how much money I earned. My spells were about breaking free.

This happened. Everything changed. The day I resigned she asked for a divorce.

But my craft working was based around Right Hand Path Wiccan principles, ‘do no harm’ etc. The consequences of my actions/spells appeared to be creating pain and suffering for a whole lot of other people. The guilt and confusion started to kick in. ‘What have I done?’ It was like I hadn’t reached out for personal survival through magick but simply been a selfish bastard instead.

Also I had stepped outside of society. I found myself working in night shift care jobs which seemed yet another form of slavery and oppression. Though I tried to be compassionate and kind with the dying. Once co-workers found out I read Tarot and was ‘witchy’ I was in demand for readings and advice. But you are still regarded as ‘other’ and it began to bring its own set of problems.

I became drawn towards the dark Greek goddess Hekate. I couldn’t relate to all this ‘white’ magic anymore. Being nice and turning the cheek to those who were being two-faced and back-stabbing.

Predictably I had also started drinking heavily and abusing valium. Pretending that it was all some kind of ‘cakes and ale’ pagan celebration. But I knew deep down that my spell-casting, invocations and craft work were weak and tainted. I just really wanted to be – more than anything else – on my own, to heal and get a direction in life back. But I was being dragged into all sorts of messed-up situations which I was too stupefied, anxious and hungover most of the time to avoid. I truly believe the maxim ‘Hell is other people’.

I have a Victoria Francés poster of a dark witch. I remember sitting in my flat at sunset, glass of wine in hand, watching her eyes shimmer with defiance, and I wanted to be the same. To defy and rebel. To be beyond it all. To escape. Again.

Not long after this the drinking accelerated badly, to a bottle of whisky + a day. I sent some crazy, offensive texts during a ‘black out’ which were the gift my current employer had been waiting for to get rid of me. And none of my fair-weather friends were to be seen for dust…

That weekend I went for a walk to the graveyard with my eleven-year-old daughter. It was April and the cemetery was beside the sea. The ocean was this dark colour, everything on land green and alive. The wind blowing through the pine trees, the clouds so bright.

My daughter didn’t realise the extent of what was going on, as when she was with me I toned it all down for her sake. But I knew that I was being incredibly selfish, slowly killing myself, losing control of my existence. Humiliated and a pathetic loser. Certainly no longer a witch.

We were walking along the paths, up to the top, moving amongst the tombstones. And I felt this presence hovering above the graves. Something ancient and powerful. I was aware it was Hekate. It was as if She had summoned me there.

I knew that She was offering me a chance. There was no judgement or even any mercy in Her demeanour. It was only a stark decision to be made. A severe promise to be taken.

In that strange light I made the decision. I chose Life. And I made a sacred promise to Her.

When I went back with my daughter we poured all the alcohol away. And I have not touched it for over 3 years now. Or drugs.

I took up the Left Hand Path and have been exploring it ever since. Realising it spoke to me. Breaking away from the past and all those I felt were attacking, cursing me. Thus my interest in the Black Witch Coven. I am doing much better things in my life.

Author: Andrew J, Scotland