About Me

I am a Suburban Witch longing for more than what Capitalism has to offer, cultivating a relationship with garden and land.

So much of what I have written about myself on this page over years has changed, and changed again, but some things always remain the same…

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 Β© of Nightshade author of The Purple Broom

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28 thoughts on “About Me

    • No problem! Many pagans can relate to what your experience, and it is often hard for people to admit to feeling that way. I’ve read some topics about a fallow period over at another blog I’m following. I’ve even experienced it myself!

  1. Thanks for stopping by at my blog, I thought it was about high time that I popped by to see what’s what! It’s great to read about someone else’s way of life, and how being a witch in the Southern hepmesphere is different to how I live. I look forward to many more posts from you πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you for visiting & following my blog, especially after just the first post! Love, love, love your blog. We seem to share a similar life and Craft outlook. I look forward to exploring your blog in depth!

  3. Hope you can answer my question. I’ve been reading something that says that I should “center” myself before meditation but I don’t know what it means. Do you know? What’s it’s purpose? Something about balance (center)?

    • Yes, Centering is about balance :). Ivo Dominguez in “Casting Sacred Space” gives this definition “Centering is the finding of balance and true identity within yourself while being open to the flow of energy. Centering involves bringing different parts of the psyche into focus and conjunction with each other.”

      Often centering is spoken of alongside grounding, so one would ground and center. Grounding is “a process of dynamic contact with the Earth and its edges, boundaries, and limitations. Through a combination of relaxation and energizing we allow our subtle energy to condense and solidify.” Anodea Judith “Wheels of life”. Ivo dominguez writes that “Grounding is connecting with our bodies to affirm their importance before shifting our focus outward to encompass the physical, and more than ourselves. Grounding is also an affirmation of interconnectedness of living things on Earth”

      A very simple grounding and centering exercise that I do before meditation and ritual is to sit in a comfortable position and envision the redness of my root chakra. Within this warm redness lies a fertile seed. The warmth of the root chakra allows the seed to grow, from the seed, sprouts roots, these roots I envision pushing through the base of my spine and into the earth. I envision them going deeper and deeper until they have touched the core of the earth.

      From the seed is also the green sprouting from the top, it reaches up through each of my chakra points aligning them and cleansing them with it’s healing energy, it pushes up through the crown and reaches to the sky, (depending on whether it is night or day I often envision my branches moving toward the moon or the sun), feel the light of the sun or moon through your branches and the warmth of core of the earth through your roots. Let this warmth and light touch every cell of your body. I concentrate on the moment of connection, I am centered and balanced through each of my chakras, and my roots hold me firm while my branches move gently in the breeze.

      A nice and simple form of centering which I do throughout the day in order to remain clear and be aligned when I am feeling unbalanced combines mindful breathing with a short mantra. I simply stop whatever I am doing and breathe. With each inhalation I know that I am breathing in and with each exhalation I know that I am breathing out. You can breathe in the energies of love, peace and balance, and breathe out tension, anxiety and disorder. When I feel completely in the moment and in the here and now I say “I am the center, I am balance, the universe spins and I spin with it”. You can combine this with grounding as well if you wish.

      I hope that I was able to help with your question πŸ™‚

  4. Hi, discovered your blog last week, and finally had some time to look properly! Being a fellow South African witch, and fairly new to the path, it is great to find you! Merry meet, and blessed be.

    • Merry Meet. You can follow me on Facebook if you want to know a little bit more about me, the link is on the side bar. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t updated much on Facebook or here, but I’m always available for a chat if you wish to talk to me about anything. If there is anything you would like to know or anything you need help with I can help where I can. It is indeed very nice to meet a fellow South African Witch! Brightest Blessings )0(

  5. I’ve only just stumbled upon your blog, and read a bit over my morning coffee. We share some aspects of life, and I am honored to know you. Many blessings to you, soul-sister.

  6. Pingback: My Witchy Background | thepurplebroom

  7. Have you read Women Who Run with the Wolves? Reading it was like riding a ocean wave for me. Your site is fascinating. Thank you for liking my post “Unleashed” and bringing me here.

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