On being a witch : the pagan mama

On being a witch : the pagan mama

October 2, 2018 10 By Shan Ellis Williams

I was born on the thirteenth, at thirteen thirteen. If that wasn’t a huge message to my unsuspecting mother then I don’t know what was.

I wasn’t born with a pentagram birthmark, or a teet for feeding familiars on my torso. My childhood was unremarkable, for a few years there I went to Sunday School as I was told, and learned from the Bible. Quite an interesting book to be fair, lots of parables and life lessons. But as I grew older, I made a conscious decision. Not to be different, but to be me. I would like to add here before I write any more, that I don’t enforce my belief on the children. One doesn’t believe in a god or diety, one does, the other will be taught choices. Because above all, I believe in respect, choice and knowledge.

For many years, I felt awfully confused. I was a scientist and the logic in me decided that there couldn’t be one ultimate deity. But the laws of randomness and evolution meant that there must have to be a greater reason to why we were here. The inner turmoil was palpable. One grandmother a stoic catholic, one a puritan Christian. What would my ancestors say if I couldn’t decide what I was?

When my reading and knowledge on paganism in my early twenties expanded I began to find my place. And the rest is history.

pagan, wichraft

“Finding my place”> Finding where I belong[/captio

Principals of pagan belief

Let me put a few things straight ok? I do have a broomstick, but it’s used for sweeping. I have a ginger cat, three kids and I don’t cast curses on people I don’t like. You’re pretty safe. These are my principals of belief. The earth needs looking after and respecting. Something that feeds us, homes us and clothes us deserves a little bit of kudos. I love embracing the changing seasons and there is a magic of it’s very own in there.

My belief structure is built on love and respect, and this is what I teach my children. Everyone is different, we are all hardwired and bought up with a set of beliefs. Question those beliefs. Don’t idly believe in anything, and don’t follow blindly like a sheep. You are here on this earth for a very short time. It is a time of personal growth and for you to find where you’re happy and comfortable. We’re all here to learn, nut never tear anyone else’s belief system to shreds. That may be all they have. Always try and help people out when you can.

On the theme of respect, what you give out you get back usually in threes. If you think positively, project positivity and support, nurture and lift people up, this will all reflect upon you. The moment you start wishing ill will on others is the moment it begins to work it’s way into your life. Be careful what you wish for!

I think my attitude is of aligning myself with the forces of nature but again knowing my place. Nature always wins!

Pagan friendship

Too true!


This is something I’ve lived with for a very long time. I’ve questioned it time and time again. I’m sitting here this morning having had a particularly vivid and strange dreams where by I was with my daughter outside my home looking down over Anglesey from the top of our mountain. We could see a huge storm, and on the horizon were multiple tornadoes. We got inside holding hands just in time to avoid some of the tornadoes, which were mostly harmless up here, but looked so violent from afar.

These dreams have been with me since childhood. Ok you could say I’m a vivid dreamer, but how do you explain that my 14 year old came to me this morning having dreamed of tornadoes and saying something’s about to change. Yes it’s creepy. But I told her that I knew. And it has something to do with her life not mine, which freaks me out as I can’t do anything apart from be there to hold her hand.

I remember dreams. I’ve known before I’m about to meet someone special, or move house, or if something a bit strange is about to happen, because I’m told. No I didn’t see last weeks lottery numbers, or next weeks, because that’s not how it works. I just drink gin and I know things 😉 My daughter seems to have inherited this through no fault of her own. Faulty genes? She knew nothing about these dreams of mine until she had received her first, and then I told her it was nothing to be afraid of.


My mother used to laugh at me when I told her that I’d just had a conversation with a passed relative. Due to this dismissive attitude, I think for many years I blocked out the ability to converse with the dead. I had to be thrown into it full on to kind of open the door again. I can’t summon up auntie Jean who lived in Birmingham, but I am sometimes very aware of other people’s people in my personal space. I don’t know if I’m more interested in developing this. To be fair it scares me sometimes. I won’t lie. But I’ll always be able to tell someone what’s in their house and where. Maybe not the why.

Herbs and roots

I used to have really green fingers, but that got lost for a bit until recently. I’ve always had a way with herbs and plants. I’ve also got an interest in them too what cures what and why. I wanted so much to be a doctor when I was younger because I wanted to heal.

I’ve learnt by experience that all the women of my family have the ability to listen. This in its own way is healing. I tend towards natural and cruelty free remedies before heading to the doctors. Also have a healthy respect for animals and old remedies – so I won’t be making any poultices of olde in a hurry!


A healthy respect for the past. This is what I’m teaching my kids too. Learn from experience. If someone treats you unkindly, learn from them, thank them and then walk quickly away. Respect that there is something they’ve experienced that makes them act that way. Don’t judge, but don’t suffer fools gladly either!

Thank you so much for reading!

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