you & me

The Witch, She Dances.


I used to dance in the basement of my childhood home. Sometimes it was ballet-like or modern, but mostly it was a wild dance up from ancient memory.

Caroline Casey once told me in a reading that I have a wild woman in me, that I needed to let go and dance my wild dances just for me. Blame it on Mars in my first house.

It’s been years since I’ve been done by the dance, and the wild is now on the inside in the form of a fibroid forest on my womb. This wildness is reaching out in desperation. I’m seeking my power without instead of within.

My Family, My Path

I had been holding the wildness at bay. Earlier this year, I noticed one of the ways I was doing this was to reject the witch in me. I don’t have to be a witch, but as a Pagan I’ve purposely put that idea aside.

Witchy or pagan ways run in my family. They would have never called them that of course. My mother had second sight. My father prayed at the lake, fishing rod in hand, just as much as he prayed at church. His sister called all the animals in need to her doorstep. Another aunt became a witch every Halloween, her wandering eye never quite capturing you.

20 years ago, I heeded the call to follow Nature and the Pagan path. I had all along thought of Nature as my comforter and teacher. It’s where I felt most at home. The Goddess didn’t come into play at first. And I never claimed being a witch or followed Wicca. I always did my own thing.

Perhaps that’s what is most witchy about me, my need to do things in my own way in my own time. No one forces me. If they try, I rage.

I claimed my role as priestess and oracle. The archetype of queen rises within at times. But witch, I’ve held that image, archetype, role at bay.

The Queen, the Priestess, and the Oracle

We all have these archetypes within us, and I believe they create a very powerful framework within which to work our magic in the world.

The Queen of England, like all British monarchs, is anointed on three areas of her body. The anointing of her hands is to bless her work in the world. The hands held out in work are at the level of the third chakra, our will. Her breast is anointed to bless her work as priestess, using her heart to guide her. This is the heart chakra. And her third eye is anointed so that she may use a greater vision as well to guide her.

But there is something missing.

We live in a world that wants us to transcend our lower chakras. They tend to be associated with animal instincts. We’re talked out of trusting our gut instinct.

The second chakra is in the area of our womb and sexual organs. This is the area of our creative power. The first chakra, the root, is our basic grounding point, both on this Earth and spiritually. Not only are these missing from the anointing of a monarch, they are missing from our way of being in the world.

Creative power has been allocated to the Creator and a few special humans. You’ve probably heard many people say they aren’t creative. But this is a lie. We’re all creative.

Many of us also live with a free-floating anxiety of being unable to trust ourselves, the world or Spirit. At some point in our lives, our trust was betrayed, and now we live in fear.

These parts of ourselves have been deeply wounded by personal experience and by the collective, which has derided our deep wisdom and rootedness. Society has warned us to not trust our instincts and innate power. It has told us we’re not creative, and that we must put our heads down and conform. Life is difficult is the mantra of the many.

Told to trust no one, we use fear to keep us safe, but it has only kept us from actually living.

It’s time to rage. It’s time to welcome in the witch.

The witch, she dances by firelight or moonlight. She dances to create her world, to create her life. She lets the dark move her, and dances to release her pain. She dances to celebrate life. She dances for the sheer joy of it. She knows her power, and is fully grounded in the Earth and the stars.

This powerful dance is missing from my life. I have yet to acknowledge the power to create my life on my terms. It’s time to claim my power, my responsibility.

Death and Rebirth

The wheel turns. Death comes. Three days before, my body is racked with sobs of deep emotional pain. One day before my birthday, a phone call.

Suddenly I’m 14 and frozen by another ringing phone. I cannot answer. When I finally do, a family friend tells me mother was in an accident. She’s okay.

This time, I won’t answer. I can’t speak to this friend, so I call my brother. Mom is dead.

The distance is even greater now than the nearly 4000 miles and 10 years since we last touched base. Or is it? Has time and distance been collapsed to a still point between birth and death? In death there is birth.

Soon after, I begin to revisit this witch idea. I’ve spent years studying Science of Mind, a philosophy that speaks to creating your life and taking responsibility for it. This is what a witch does, though her methods are different. She calls it magic, and she dances.

I’ve moved from my head to my heart, but the wisdom will finally unwind when I move into my belly. For years now, that wisdom energy, that snake Kundalini, has been dancing in me when I meditate. What if I dance from my womb? Will the snake finally rise and meet the sun, complete the journey, and join Earth to heaven?

I won’t know unless I dance. This witch, she dances and life is released.


A poet and writer, Joanne Elliott calls herself a Word Priestess. Since ancient times, women have been healers. Some heal with their hands or herbs, some through counsel, some with music, and others, like Joanne, with words. To her, words are powerful magic and medicine. Though she is mainly a writer, she also works in the world as a Priestess of Ma’at in the Fellowship of Isis and a Licensed Practitioner through Centers for Spiritual Living, home to the Science of Mind philosophy, faith and way of life. Her mission is to encourage and inspire creatives to fully embrace their creative power, and know freedom, fearlessness and fulfillment. You can read and learn more about her work at her website.


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