One day my younger brother and I were exploring the back forty. We lived on 86 acres near Wetumpka Alabama. He found me a beaver stick to ward off offending spider webs which often meant ginormous spiders. I was enthusiastically swiping away at the air between branches, boldly going where no man (or girl) had been before. The large stick came in handy for poking in the depths of mysterious holes in the ground too. You never know what might be living down there- but my young imagination was just ripe with curiosity, fairly bursting at the seams to find the creature that inhabited such holes. So there I stood industriously poking into a large deep hole in the woods.
Just then my brother turned to me and said, “You’re a Witch Doctor!”
I just looked at him with big round eyes trying to figure out if he was intentionally trying to insult me. You never know with brothers, they’re just like that.
“Why am I a Witch Doctor?”
“You just look like one.”
And that was that.
As time went by I would be called similar things. My oldest brother would just call me a Witch....and laugh with glee! Brothers are just like that.
And since then several people have called me other things, Shaman, Pejuta Win and white witch just to name a few. I’m really just me. Who a person is, is often more complicated than what they do or the names people call them.
But what I love to do most is create. Create art, create herbal medicines, create dairy free cheese, create a perpetual garden, create, create, create. I won first place at my first art competition at age four and again at age 12. I didn't receive first prize for either because they thought my parents helped me. My parents never had time for that. So early on I learned that art would be rewarding mostly to myself.
The definition of Witch Doctor is: somebody who practices healing, divining, or other magical powers.
The definition of Witch is: to cause or change something by use of the supposedly magical powers.
The definition of Shaman is: a spiritual leader who is believed to have special powers such as prophecy and the ability to heal.
The Lakota meaning for the word Pejuta Win is Medicine Woman, but in this situation meant ‘one who has a relationship with the plants.’
The definition of White Witch: a witch whose supposed magic is designed to do good or to counteract evil.
To be sure, it is certain that I am the ‘type’ of person that would have been burned on the stake for being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. I’ve thought of it many times, not because I believe myself to be a Witch, but because I know that most of the women who were burned at the stake were simple herbal doctors and midwifes. Women who understood the gift of God’s Creations and were using it to help keep family and friends as safe and healthy as possible.
I mean really! God created us and He also created what we needed to heal. It’s pretty simple really. But how many years has it taken to get to the truth?
When I started learning to recognize and use herbs for medicine I’d get phone calls from people wanting love potions or wanting to get rid of somebody. Honestly?!
I told the person wanting the love potion that I could indeed make them up one (oddly I do know one), but they needed to know that if they used it on another person, that person would dog their every step in life and if they ever fell out of love with them, well tooooo bad.
“So, how much of that love potion do you want?” I asked.
He stammered, “I don’t really think I need it.”
“Wise choice.” I replied.
Recently at a friend’s wedding I ran into Preacher Steve who told us about the Witch Doctors in Haiti. Those are bad bad guys. They believe in powers of darkness. I’m not like that. I know true power only comes from a Loving Creator.
If we seek magic in life, we need not look far, because magic is happening every micro second of every moment, created by a Higher Power so Great we cannot even imagine, but Who is reflected in every particle of creation. It is a course that very few really take, but it is the yearning inside everyone.
I never bothered to ask what life was truly about until my younger brother died. It pulled the rug right out from under my world. It changed the whole course of my life. The magic of life was reflected in my brother’s eyes and after he died, he shared his magic with me.
And I will attempt, in these pages, to share some of that magic with you. It is my greatest hope that you too will experience more of the magic of life and share it with others, so that we will all reflect that greatest of loving power that comes from our Creator.
Stay tuned. I will share more stories like this one in future blogs and in my new upcoming book, 'Witch Doctor, My Life Story.'
A recent visitor called me an angel. That about floored me...I don't think anyone has ever said that. She also asked me if my parents always know I was a genius. What? This is quite a different reaction than times passed. Then she told me I reminded her of a famous autistic woman...okay now we're getting somewhere.