I must have been about 14 years old when I first stumbled upon the thing that got me interested in Witchcraft. I had an obsession with vampires (bear with me here!) and had been reading Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. As a laugh, I decided to look up Dracula in an encyclopaedia and was pleasantly surprised to find that he was actually based on a real person; Prince Vlad Tepes (who was known as Vlad Dracul) of Walachia. This got my heart and mind racing! If Dracula was real, what else was real that I had previously thought to be fiction? What about Witches…? I quickly picked up the ‘W’ volume and flicked through the pages till I found what I was looking for. I read that Witches were, essentially, nature revering people who worshipped both a God and Goddess (where they were religious, that is) and that Witchcraft was an offshoot of Paganism… I picked up the ‘P’ volume and it went on from there.
I was, at that time, doing religous studies as part of my school curriculum and had a wonderful teacher in that subject, so I asked him why, if we studied Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, et al, we didn’t cover Paganism at all? He smiled at me and said “It’s not on the curriculum… but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some research on your own.” Well, that was that! I studied religiously (hahaha) and ended up writing an exam paper comparing methods of worship between different religions. I included Paganism in my paper and was awarded an ‘A’.
After 2 years of reading about it, I decided I liked a lot of what I’d discovered and decided to try actually living it, rather than just reading about it. Thus started 2 more years of studying, learning, absorbing, questioning and questing. I followed the seasons, became more aware of myself and the world around me and loved all of it. At Imbolc after my 18th birthday, I performed a self-dedication and I’ve never looked back. I chose the name Mabon as it is the festival closest to my birthday (I was born just a few days after it) and just really liked the sound of the word. I felt it suited me and I still do. Even now, many of my oldest friends call me Mab. Some say it suits me better than my ‘real’ name. I reply, “That’s because it IS my ‘real’ name!”
Now, after all this time, I still feel that all this is new to me, that it’s still very much fresh and vital. I love to watch the seasons change, and take delight in the simple things. My interests haven’t changed all that much; I still read all the time (I’m never far from a book, even when I’m out and about!), still love writing, still adore artsy-crafty things like cross-stitch and calligraphy, and I’m always in the kitchen, trying out new recipes on my hubby. I’ve managed to work all this into the Craft I practice. I like to keep things as simple as possible on every level (it saves getting confused – LOL) and love nothing more than relaxing in a hot, lavender-scented bath with a good book, some music, candles glowing and oil in my burner.