A Primer on Paganism

Ever wonder why all the caricatures of witches include long noses, ears and chins? Susun said it is something that naturally happens when you reach very very old ages -- a buildup of extra cartilidge -- so these women in the Middle Ages who might have lived to be 90 or a 100 were more than anomolies, considering how short the life expectancy was for people of that era. Those who didn't understand how the witches were healing themselves, feared them.

Weed is a green witch -- another way to think of a green witch is as an herbalist. She teaches her apprentices how to make magic potions and how to cast spells. She even taught me how to cast one. More on that later.

While she does have brooms, she told me that a witch's broom is only a staff of power in disguise. No, they don't fly -- I asked.

Green witches are at home in the woods -- and Susun is certainly that.

We walked through her parcel of land, which used to be an old rock quarry, through what seemed like an enchanted forest. We got to the only flat mesa and stood on rock that had been carved out by the glaciers -- the heart center of her land, as she put it. It is her grand altar.

She showed me how dancing in a circle in opposite directions can loosen up the energy of a space and then taught me what she says is her most powerful spell.

Now, before you think I've sold out of the correspondent gig and become a warlock like ones you see on "Bewitched," there is one simple thing you should understand about witchcraft -- karma.

Several witches believe that any spell they cast will come back to them threefold. If you are truly interested in using your powers of witchcraft against something or someone instead of for the improvement of others, there is an inherent interest then in killing your enemy with kindness, not by wishing harm upon them.

So for example, if you really couldn't stand someone, you wouldn't try to inflict pain on them because you might feel that pain somewhere else in your life threefold. Instead, you might wish them a wonderful opportunity somewhere far away from you.

So the spell she taught me to cast on a boss I might not get along with included the following words, "I (insert your full name) exist in the universe. My boss (insert name) exists in the universe. There exists a connection between my boss and I that brings about pleasure and beauty." Thats it, simple as that.

Whatever the fate of my boss, it's probably not as bad as that of the wickerman.

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