I am a Suburban Witch longing for more than what Capitalism has to offer, cultivating a relationship with garden and land.
I am a devotee of Hekate and Anubis; there are other gods and beings that I am devoted to in other ways, but there are many others that I have left behind- the Canine gods have always remained.
I am an animist, and have always viewed the world through Animist eyes, but I started calling myself a witch at the age of 12. I had always felt an affinity for the spirits, for animals and for plants. From the earliest of times I remember always collecting feathers- from the garden, from the school yard, from the side of the road- they had always held magic for me, even before I understood how deeply powerful that magic was.
As a child, before discovering Witchcraft and paganism I had many powerful dreams. Magic was in my blood, in my bones, and I had to express it, let it out. The spirits were calling and I had to answer. I had lived in the liminal spaces that are governed the spirit world- a haunted home filled with a darkness that turned into a vortex of destruction and desolation, and a home filled with the magic and power of the nature spirits.
Cemeteries and Wild Nature called to me. The spirits therein seemed to sing the tune in my bones like flutes. The spiders, the wild flowers, the spirits of the weird and wonderful would trace their pattern on my soul, but it would be a while before I began to explore outside of Wicca.
After the Death of my father I began to tread a much different path, a path of the gods that had been tracing their patterns in my veins since before I could properly recognise them. Suddenly all my Gothic accoutrements and love of the macabre began to take on a deeper meaning.
I have been writing poetry since I was 12, inspired by Tolkien and preteen angst. Much of my older poetry is angry, vitriolic and somewhat embarrassing, but after a while I started writing devotional pieces for my gods and the spirits.
I have a degree in the Bachelor of Performing and Visual arts. In my third year I majored in English Literature and Art History and in my final year I majored in Arts Marketing and Management, and Art Criticism. I have done two years of Fine Arts as part of the credits of my degree. Much of my focus was on Feminism, the body and gender.
During University I began to experiment with esoteric art. I would lace some of my paintings and drawings with dragonsblood ink and would often use wine to induce states of artistic frenzy. Unfortunately University also drained my passion for art- when art becomes something that is marked for a grade it loses its potency and power and becomes nothing more than a fight against another institution. My art began to suffer and I changed my credits so that my passion wouldn’t be stifled completely.
It was only when I moved out on my own in 2012 that my art and poetry started to develop in the direction I wished to take it, and I still experiment with the lacing of my paints with magically charged substances. My art is influenced by folklore, mythology, witchcraft and a feminine and feminist worldview.
I am a gardener and grow many traditional garden and kitchen herbs like Rosemary, Lavender and Mint. I also grow fruits and berries, and veggies where I can, like strawberries, blackberries, potatoes and tomatoes. Among all these edibles and medicinals I also grow the more noxious and poisionous plants such as Euphorbia Miili. Datura stramonium, Oleander, Brugmansia, Hellebore and others.
I take my pen name “Nightshade” from the Solanacaea family of plants. While many of the plants are edibles like tomatoes and potatoes, it also includes the deadlier plants like Belladonna, Mandrake and Henbane. Like the title “Witch”, I embrace all the qualities and connotations of Nightshade. While others may think it folly to have what may deemed a “magical” name, there is wisdom in keeping some things secret, like personal identity, secret ingredients in Grandmother’s recipes, and specific formulae for spells and ointments.
My Witchcraft is spontaneous, poetic, artistic, wild. It is the witchcraft of cottage witches and Spirit worship. I dance with Jackal Gods, Wolf Gods, Serpent Gods, liminal gods, gods of dance, death, love and passion. I honour the small gods, the small spirits, the spirits in my garden, the spirits in the feathers, the spirits in the parks and the wild growth in the velds and along the side of the roads. I honour the ancestors, the dead, and I give offerings to the restless and unknown spirits too.
I live in the southern hemisphere and I celebrate the seasons as they happen in my yard, not as the books tell me to. I follow a Wild path, much influenced by the writings of Clarissa Pinkola Estes and the spirits on my doorstep.
It is my aim to learn more about my Scottish, Irish, Polish and Dutch roots, particularly through folklore, fairy tales and folk magical and witchcraft practices.
All works and posts on this site are Copyright © of Nightshade author of The Purple Broom