canny folk, Interview Audio

An interview with Lu Christie: Artist, Witch and Modern Day Elder.

Before I even moved to Totnes and I was still commuting, I fell in love with a witchy house behind the nursery garden. Beautiful treasures outside and in the window; you can feel the love and warmth spilling out onto the street with a faint air of ‘get fucked’ for those not welcome. Throughout my time here I have admired it, some of my wee charges have talked to me about the witch who lives there. I’d seen her around with her wild hair, layers of skirts and a glitter of mischief in her eye. She looks like the kind witch from a children’s story, just like her house.

I knew one day, when the time was right we would connect. This enigmatic, enlightened goddess is the one and only Louise Christie.

As usual with me, that connection was started through a dog (dogs being one of my power animals, but more on that another day). This time it was my part time dog:

Lu’s dog, Jasper is a gentle giant, a silver weimaraner who wears a scarf in winter to keep his neck warm. Jasper and ‘O dog’ were playmates as pups. One day when walking with my furry friend (a goddess in her own right), ‘O dog’ recognised her pal, they started playing just like puppies despite being 8 and only having one good leg left. Que one of those chats you have with other dog guardians when dogs are doing their own thing. We talked about Dogs (obviously), Totnes, people, art, life, nature and everything in between. We know a lot of the same witchy folk. That was it for me. I’d fallen in love with Lu the same way I’d fallen in love with her house: I wanted to know her story, how did she get here? what does she think about living? loving? spirituality? feminism? people? witches?

Jasper and Lu in their kitchen.

The more we got to know each other, the more I realised: this woman has fucking lived! She has so much experience and wisdom to share! I wanted to tell her story but where to start?

Not so long ago I turned 30, I’ve been transitioning and reflecting on moving from my maidenhood to the role of mother within my community (you can read some of my reflections about that here). Lu and I discuss this often, wrapped up in the 18 other conversations we have going all at once. Lu herself has just had a milestone birthday and is transitioning from her mother role into chronehood. So, that was it. I want to tell of her maidenhood, her motherhood how she feels moving and transitioning now, her reflection on it all (well more I wanted her to tell me, so I could share with you)

Lu is an artist, mother and canny AF source of wisdom. A true elder in our community. I visited her home to talk to her about the journey up until now and how she feels about the transition into the next phase.

Usually I only take about half an hour of audio, Sat on the floor in front of her hearth there was never any way this interview was going to be less than 2 hours.This is the longest interview I have done so far and rightly so, I wouldn’t dare rush an entire life story so please do enjoy reading it.

My first and favourite question to ask is always: “how do you define the word ‘witch’ and what does it mean to you?” This is what she said:

‘witch’ means to me, somebody with enhanced awareness and feelers into life, in a more advanced way than the ordinary. Also, the ability to use their own skills to manipulate situations where needed; good or bad. So, as a collective term it could be a cunning woman or man.

Really it’s about knowledge as well: knowledge and awareness in the old ways- in the ancient ways. Not by science but through spiritual awareness and absolute connection with nature. on a very close level so that, that [nature], is the teacher and the witch is the conduit of communicating and using it

I asked Lu if there was ever a moment where she learnt the word ‘witch’ and identified with it. She explained how she grew up in Africa. Lu’s parents emigrated to Africa in the 50’s when she was 6 weeks old in search of a more prosperous life as so many English families did. So, her influences were not the same as our very British ideas of witches or what I picture when I think of witch.

Where Lu was, the witches are witch doctors. Her mother’s best friend was a doctor and one of the biggest hurdles she had to overcome was the witch doctors medicine. After playing ‘the good witch’ in the Wizard of Oz; she began to think about what is the good and the bad. However, being brought up going to church she felt it was an ‘anti’ thing so kept her interests private, there was no literature available to study and identify with, so its hard to pinpoint a defining moment.

As a child, she spent a lot of time sat under her favourite tree drawing (something she still enjoys doing to this day). She became interested in the English love for fae, the traditional fairies at the bottom of the garden; a lot of her artwork are these gorgeous Fae creatures, but this wasn’t represented in her environment either:

In Africa, they have stick insects and scorpions or whatever it is in the undergrowth and I love the insects! I used to always play with insects, I love the wings, and I love the idea of flight, that fascinated me.

I feel there is definitely a cross over between Insects and the Fae (this is actually portrayed beautifully with stick insects in Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro) their fluttering wings and otherwordly-ness

Despite not having this idea of witches available in her environment, Lu’s says it’s always inherent in her life. She’s always been attracted to the world of alchemy, symbolism and writings on esoteric beliefs, how it empowers people. She explained how in Africa, the beliefs are animistic ( the belief that everything has a spirit. This is seen in many religions).

At some point, someone must have told her she was witchy and that she comes from witches (Like me and many others Lu is a descendant of the Pendle Witches, how bloody fabulous!). This sparked an interest in herbs and witchy characters:

I like the idea that there’s a power in them. It’s not to do with vanity and surface. It’s to do with what comes from inside. Also, I like the idea that…Well, I didn’t like the idea that only males were so evident, certainly in African society. The males are the drummers at the front. The males are the witch doctors. The males are the ones that govern. But underneath it all. Aside from that, there’s always the females who gather and make things happen. And I think that’s witch, to me, If you’re using it as a female.

We talked of our personal journeys and how one has to learn to be responsible with witchcraft. First you find your power and realise it is yours. Then, you have to find balance and understanding:

It’s a responsible choice to make. Very responsible. So you reach a point where you know you can mess around and say, I’ll do this or I’ll do spells or I want that and then you realise how vital it is to be honourable, and then boy do you slow down and change. You have to measure everything I think and by the age of 21, Oh, I mean; Well, I went into beauty therapy and makeup quite young; by the time I was 19. And then I had experiences where people said “are you healing me?” when I was doing their makeup. And that was a little bit freaky by the time I was 21; I did some training with Matthew Manning, one of the top healers really in the world. I thought I better go and find out what what is going on, because I just needed to be in control of that really or understand. Make sure I was using things well and [I was] having these sensations and feelings and my whole face used to rash if someone came in the room I didn’t particularly like, these hot red rashes. I had lots of sensation my hands. Ironically, a lot of it went when I had Josh and went through childbirth. I think you dedicate it to whomever you wish really.

Lu came back to the UK at age 16 with her mother and her siblings and one trunk of belongings each, her Father, sadly, did not return. They came back on one of the last chartered ships, can you imagine how alien it must have all seemed? especially the North of England (sorry my northern friends)! Her Uncle took her to visit Rochdale where she had been born. Lets just say she wasn’t blown away by the delights of the North.

Arriving back in the UK, Lu already had her passion for drawing and painting, for theatre, insects and helping animals. However she craved all the things denied to her due to culture and British status abroad such as access to a kitchen. this was personified in the form of her grandmother whom she was keen to get to know:

I knew my grandmother could knit, sew, cook, write. She was very good at math. She was only five foot tall. She was born on fireworks day. She was, I found, really interesting and I’m supposedly quite like her, but she was tiny and a real firework. But I just saw so little of her but I craved that time around the kitchen: [in Africa] ‘teach me how to make this, teach me how to stir that, teach me how to.’ I did try and do it myself. Like I say, I started baking, that was the thing I tried to do. I used to bake because I didn’t have to cook. I thought well I can make cakes, I can do that, I’m allowed in the kitchen to do that. So, you know, kitchen and hearth are very important to me.

Lu also discovered her nack for growing things, even declaring she would become a farmer but this was not socially acceptable. In discussion with her mother, Lu suggested as she came from a line of teachers, she could become a teacher. Her mother suggested looking into make-up as Lu loved women, women’s things and art. She was introduced to a woman who did make-up in England to get an idea. While speaking, this woman was waving an electric blue mascara and that was it. like a magic wand casting a spell. she said “yes! I want that, I want that, Give me that, I want it. So I’ll do make-up.”

So, she came to England to go to Beauty College. Hoping in her interview that she would be refused so she could chase her dream of studying art instead. Not knowing how she would merge the two only a few years later.

A beauty course in those days was 3 years and taught everything including massage, piercing waxing etc( these were not the areas Lu was passionate about). She got a job in a Salon and worked there for a year before looking into a job at a finishing school. (my personal idea of hell!) Young women of status were sent to be polished. Taught how to sit, how to walk, how to speak, how to arrange flowers, how to behave (no fucking thank you) Lu’s job was to teach them how to do their own hair and make-up so they would be perfectly done up whenever they were required to be.

This is where the rebellion crept in, it was the beginning of the 80’s so Lu said “bugger this, lets get cool!” She started using bright colours and corn plaiting . This lead to her being chosen to work on ‘Miss England’ for television, moved to London and then…

So punk came in at the time I moved to London. I was living in Covent Garden, working in Knightsbridge, and then punk came in and I thought it was absolutely incredible. All this hair, and then the new romantics came in, very big shoulders and beautifully sculpted shapes of clothes and very alternative really, frilly shirts romantic like they would have pirates and stuff now but but nothing tacky. And Vivienne Westwood started then. The shop that really did it was called PX and that was about five doors up the road from where I lived, so I was always in there. Trying on these strange trousers and things like this and then I kind of wore them to work. The head of this school called me and he said, “We don’t like the way you’re dressing” because you know, basically, it was too extravagant for them. “The mothers are not going to send their daughters here, are they if they look at you” and I said, Well, you know, first of all there’s no one that’s qualified in this place except me. And, you know, this is how young people should experiment, I do believe this. They should dress up and experiment with their image. It’s crucial between the age of 16 and 25 I think, somewhere in there, to start experimenting as, it’s a standard practice. Also young people experiment with their accent with everything that they need, to form what they want to be and so to make young girls come in, and they had to walk up and down in front of us and we mark them verbally, out of 10, three times a week.

You had to sit with your legs crossed in a certain way and get up in a certain way. We all have to call each other, Miss so-and-so.Very, very formal. I did the debutante balls and all of this sort of thing. And it was all right but I didn’t really want to be in that part of society, particularly.

I think there’s a freedom and I think at that time, the 80s, it was at the dawn of much expansion politically, socially, in many ways, and that, certainly in the music industry, which I ended up going into with people like Malcolm McLaren, and Boy George. These are the people that were just coming out. So, I would go to a club and they would be there. It was about a lot of dressing up, and I found this really interesting and then. So I left the finishing school. He called me in and he said:

“what is this you’re wearing?” I said it’s a blazer. Or you know, “where are your pearl earrings?” “why is your hair like that?” because this is the latest style. “It should be tied up neat” so I left. But I already had another job.

Bravo Young Maidenish Lu. Bravo indeed.

From here, at the age of about 22/23 (I know right!) Lu took a job with renowned hairdresser Trevor Sorbie in Covent Garden. She took over the role of receptionist as she was waiting for a room to be made available for her to do beauty. Often she sat drawing between work. She was introduced to a friend of Trevor’s who already worked in make-up:

This women said to me; ‘I can see you can draw but can you do make-up? And at times like that somebody is giving you a huge gift even though it’s a big insult, you can turn it around, and so I always say thank you. Because I realised they’ve given me the ticket to push me to the next stage.

From here, Lu began working as a make-up artist. Living in a studio off Drury Lane with her boyfriend, an aspiring photographer. Lu worked with the house models from Trevor Sorbie’s salon. There she met Barbie Wilde who was always up for letting Lu experiment and explore her art. Together they would play around with some of the more ‘out there’ ideas and produce test shots for their portfolios. this added to Lu’s love of working behind the scenes. After cutting some wigs for Trevor for a show, Lu was offered a job in the Salon. which she turned down because she didn’t want to work with hair alone. I find this incredibly inspiring, to have been so brave as to turn down a job she would have done really well in, to follow her passion with such certainty. And boy did it paid off!

So here’s our Lu, maybe 24/25 in the middle of moving house, working as a make-up artist but trying to determine her path. she was living very hand-to-mouth her rent was £7 a week and she walked or bused all over the west end for work and then…She gets a call:

So Trevor’s PR lady rang me one day, I was moving house in London, to a Peabody which was very poor people from Victorian times, housing. We had no mobile phones in those days, but she phoned me somehow and said, the makeup artist hasn’t turned up, get to the Palladium. So I had to get a taxi to the new flat or the old flat, pick up my makeup boxes, find my cool trousers from PX and get changed quickly and get down to the Palladium.

What was the job at the palladium I hear you ask… only Adam and the Ants! as in ‘prince charming’ Adam and the bloody Ants! Huge in my household growing up due to my Mum I wonder if that’s where my passion for over the top makeup and fashion started. Thanks Mum.

So its the late 80’s/early 90’s and music videos were becoming a BIG thing. Lu had worked with other big bands but always in still form for record covers and such. Upon seeing the set, the actors and the scope of what she could achieve. She knew this was where she wanted to be, she had found where she belonged (Hooray!)

Lu’s career took off. She got a job working with Picture Music International , which lead her to working with artists and bands free- lance. In those Days the only platform (apart from music videos) really was ‘Top Of the Pops’. The BBC didn’t allow free-lance artists, so the band would carry her cases and sneak her in as an assistant, such was their love of her and her work. From here she met a director called Storm Thorgerson, A big name in music video’s and the music world in general. Lu became part of his team. They worked together for about 12 years on huge projects with big artist and she had a fabulous career. Literally living the dream. and this still in her Maiden years!

I’ve always wondered how she ended up here though, in this (equally enchanting) little hippy town. Why did she give it all up? How?

Lu told me of how much she loved her career. Even though it was mental; some of the things she was required to achieve. She did achieve it and she was never bored. The scene changed, she worked for MTV. Still very much at the top of her game. Lu had a desire to learn special effects make-up (which she did, in her own time, despite being told no, because she was fucking unstoppable), and also she wanted to have a baby.

all the bands would say, ‘Oh, that’s so uncool you don’t want a baby’ and I go, I do and they’d say ‘you don’t’- I do. But I also knew that once, I made that step. Even though I had work, booked, I did the Beatles Anthology for four years. and the day that Josh arrived, I was supposed to be doing one of them. He came a month early and I was booked on that day. I said [to the hospital staff], I’m supposed to be doing Ringo! And they said, Give her gas and air, I said no, no somebody needs to ring the company which is just up the road, and say I’m having the baby, but interestingly; Jools Holland, he interviewed [The Beatles] for the whole thing; I always remember he said to me, “have you got your bag packed?” the week before and I said, Oh, Jools its not for another month. And he said, “our baby came six weeks early. Get your bag packed”, so I washed all the things, but I hadn’t packed the bag. So whenever I see him on TV I think-such a good man and thank him for saying that, because he’s very caring.
So yes, once I became a mother. I took Josh to the window in Hammersmith and I said: this is Hammersmith. Welcome to the world and then I said: I’m not going. I’m not going back. No. And this child, I’m not leaving him and when he goes to school I’m going with him. And they all said ‘well Yes dear, Yes dear.’ But That’s exactly what I did.

I refused work. They asked me to go into the next load of Pink Floyd films and it was up north and I said yeah I’ll do it, if I can take a nanny with me. I’ll book a room for her. And I need sometime at lunch off, and about six o’clock, because I was breastfeeding. And they said ‘Who do you think you are, the Queen?!’. So I said, I’m out. I’m not handing the child over, not seeing him not knowing him. I’m not doing that. So, I just kept refusing work, and then I left London. by the time he was two, I said, I’m going. I took him to meet his great grandmother, who was the daughter was suffragette. And I left London and I didn’t tell anyone where I was going. I didn’t give out my address, not to anyone from work.

And that was it. Lu had chosen to close the door on her busy succesful career and with it her maidenhood (not that it is a step, it is definitely a gradual transition). I love that she achieved it all so young, was so driven and so confident even when deciding to throw all that passion into motherhood and leave London, she did so bravely.

From here we see Lu’s transition into the next stage of her life, as the mother. Traditionally these are seen as our summer days. Having chased experiences and explored who we want to be; We now are assured of who we are. We have gained knowledge and wisdom enough we can grow in this stage, nurture our passions and family, put down roots if we feel the need to, begin to teach and to share all that we have learnt so far.

Lu moved to Surrey first, though she says she did not enjoy Surrey itself, she moved to be closer to family and bought a house in Farnham.

I knew I was closing the gate on that era of my life. I knew that once I closed that gate. I could look back through it but I would not go back. I couldn’t go back into film; I’ve done things since then in film and taught and all these things, but not the way I worked before, which was all the time,at that level, because motherhood was too important. So I just started again and thought: I don’t have to wear black designer clothes all the time. I don’t have to have a manicure all the time, I can wear skirts. I can cook, I can change my light bulbs, I can grow things, I can have a garden. I don’t have to go avoiding the press, I don’t have to.

I have looked after people my whole career. I don’t mind looking after very famous people or politicians or royalty. I don’t mind, but it’s nothing like looking after your own child. The most gratifying thing. I think children are the most valuable, they were at that time, the most valuable thing to me in the world. I didn’t realise, once you have a baby they’re not all as attractive because yours is the most beautiful. But at that time I thought that putting your effort into children was the most valuable, honourable thing to do in the world.

This passion for children and how valuable they are, led Lu into teaching an art class at Josh’s school, which she loved, but she noticed that in Surrey there was a similar preoccupation with money and status, which she disliked, so it was time to move on to greener, more wholesome pastures. Enter, my beautiful sunny Devon and Totnes

My friend Spike, great character, was a photographer, and she went to a camping festival. She came back with all these photographs, and I’d never seen anything like it. She said ‘you’ve got to come, you’ve got to come’. and I didn’t go for a few years because I had no money. Then I went, I bought a bell tent and I went, and I really loved it. I had no money to take Josh away and I didn’t want to take him abroad to stay in a self servicing apartment. So I thought let’s camp, and I thoroughly recommend it for anyone for their children, it teaches them so much. So we used to go to festivals, and then I started working in children’s areas in festivals, one after the other, doing art really as much art as possible.

We went to this one called Campus, which is in Honiton. A woman came up to me at the Steiner school cafe. She said ‘are you Totnesian?’ and I said no, it’s not called that it’s Zimbabwe. She said, ‘No. Are you Totnesian?’, and I said, No, it’s not Rhodesia anymore. It’s Zimbabwe. Is it my accent? and she said, ‘are you Totnesian?’, and I thought, we’re not getting anywhere here! I said I don’t know what you mean, sorry. She said, ‘Are you from Totnes? You look like you come from Totnes.’ I said, I don’t know what that is. She said ‘it’s a town. There are more therapists there than shops’ I said it sounds chronic, but I then went around everyone at the Children’s area there that was working; I was working with the teenagers as well. Doing fashion shows and things. And I said, Are you from Totnes? Are you from Totnes? Are you from Totnes? I couldn’t believe how many people were from Totnes! I thought there’s something about this place where the people live there, and then they go on holiday together. Never, ever, heard of people in a town going on holiday together. Ever. So I decided I’m leaving Surrey, I don’t like it, I’ve tried it three times, people are only interested in which car they’ve got, and the rat race. They would tease me because I loved herbs. When I was breastfeeding which I did for a long time, I just read books on herbs, growing herbs. And they’d tease me about herbs. ‘oh, Do you want to go to Totnes because you like herbs?’ you know, just these demeaning comments really, and at that stage I started wearing the skirts and layers of purple. Finally, after the film world. I could just wear what I want. So I looked like proper hippie I’m sure, or alternative.

Lu in front of her bell tent with a little Josh making mischief in her skirts.

Totnes is a small hippy town. Less so now since we lost the arts college but it was like a little Glastonbury when I moved here only 9 years ago.

So, Lu aged 40 decided she was going to move here without ever even visiting. She had 5 days during half-term to find a place. She looked at 2 and the house she lives in now is the first one she saw, and it is spellbinding!

Exactly how I want my own to home to look: full of wooden bowls, charms and trinkets. There are runes and spells painted on the walls, the ceiling, even the fridge. It’s so cozy and welcoming. The walls are lined with books and Lu’s art, lots of fae creatures snoozing. In her studio there are more brushes than I can count. Every time I visit, I come away feeling nourished and supported. She’s even painted me for Halloween a couple of times! Being in her house is like something out of a Terry Pratchett novel. This place and this woman were destined to be together she says she knew it was for her as Josh was jumping over a little honesty bush in the garden and told her they needed a garden like this.

Once she’d landed in Totnes, confident no one from London would find her here (In fact she turned down some work on the BRIT awards because it was the week she was here looking for a home), Lu looked for work to support her and little Josh. She landed a project in a local school via a neighbour but lo and behold she ended up in film again within a month! This time with a local film production company but she managed to keep her hand in teaching and working with local groups on arts projects and supporting children. Marrying her two passions together. Later, Lu took a role teaching make-up in the local college where she worked for 10 years. which brings us up to roughly present day. See, I told you, this woman has lived!

Having celebrate her 60th birthday and being sort-of-semi-but-not-really retired. Lu is transitioning into what is known as chronehood. Though the images conjured by the word ‘crone’ don’t feel positive she is an elder, a queen. In a tribe, the elders carry the knowledge. It is their duty to pass it on as it is ours to listen and take heed. We should ensure they are respected and cared for. An attitude I fear we are losing as we grow more and more separate from our old ways. I live my life with the understanding that I will be a crone one day. It is my duty to learn as much as I can now so I can share it later. Like Lu, I want to have some stories to tell, sage advice to share, lessons to live by. I asked Lu how she felt about her transition now, as it is happening:

Earlier, [before I started recording] The other friend came in asking ‘Should I wear this and should I do that. It does happen, it’s happening a lot with me now. And maybe it’s because I’m around but also, I am accepting that.

When I turned 60 recently, I fell in love with the snail. I realised that was all about slowing down I also had a head injury which slowed me down. So physically, mentally, spiritually, health wise, in every single way, especially with the world as it is as well; This position is absolutely pivotal. This is needed, very much now; the elders. So I think the elder aspect is… it’s a nice word and the elder tree is lovely. And all my accrued wisdom really, it does come into play every day. I find myself telling people, there’s this thing or this book I read, or look up this or, it’s to do with that. And you don’t have to say very much, you don’t have to say ‘well, what you really want to do is…’, you kind of listen and then you just drop in these, little beads or nuggets that they can clock. You can see it clock in their head, you know, like ‘what’s that?’ and that’s really what I think it’s about. Especially when I taught, my absolute mantra was to be triggering their imaginations to be inspiring. I was very lucky I won awards for that. Teaching was being inspirational so not just anecdotal when I did this and I did that. If people want to hear that, that’s fine. This is a long rambling tale, probably no one will really want to hear that. But within that, it’s how you deal with certain aspects or, you know, the aspirations and dreams we have.

This is exactly what I wanted to get across by sharing this woman’s story and look she laid it all out so neatly for me: If the purpose of a witch is to support her community. It takes the community to seek that support. Simply by talking to Lu about her life and how she feels, what she thinks. I have learnt a lot about bravery, about empowering oneself not waiting for opportunities and actually, to turn down the ‘safer’ options. You get what you settle for. the whole point of life is to live it so we can continue to nurture the next generation it is a chain reaching back through our elders and ahead of us, by passing on our knowledge we add another link to the chain. As children and maidens we are taught and supported by the mothers, who supports and teaches the mothers? The grandmothers!

Lu and I talk a lot about women, femininity and power. Both being strong (and tall) women and witches to boot, it is a view that we share: The importance of women in a community, in the world.

We are not anti-men (I consider myself an equalist) but there is definitely a shift coming (death to the patriarchy!) whatever comes woman supporting women will be important. Society, particularly the circles Lu travelled in to begin with didn’t have much space for women like us. Lu made space for herself and through her teaching she challenged others, encouraging girls to take off their make-up and be brave in their skin. To know that they are beautiful always and in all ways. Also, to really use it as art many of her students are very successful and stay in contact with her. We talk of the goddess and goddess women and how it is our duty to lead by example.

As an Elder Lu is passionate about still challenging the status quo, supporting others yes but she blazes a trail by being forthcoming with her opinions and honesty. It is a good skill to be able to share ones opinions without being offensive. I believe there is so much we have yet to learn and to have the perspective of someone who has had such incredible experiences is a valuable gift often overlooked.

The pension age in the UK has just risen again. To me this is outrage, to Lu it is worrying. How are our Elders going to have time to share with us if they’re still expected to work 40 hours a week, which is just unsustainable anyway. Perhaps that is a rant for another time. We should treasure the knowledge and wisdom of the upper part of our community the same way we treasure the naivety and thirst for knowledge we see in the youngest members. This to me, is something we must bring back if we are to continue.

I asked Lu for her thoughts on becoming and elder. If she felt established or still transitioning…

It’s not something that you step in one day, from that one to this one. I think the very valued element of life is purpose. And I think maybe that’s why lots of people are unhappy; Their purpose is not right. And with older people they need something to do, they need to be needed, everybody does. So to me that’s your purpose.

But finding your true purpose is not an instant thing, it’s something which maybe nags along for a long time or, you know, maybe it’s sediment and then the bubbles have to come up and then you go ‘ah I See’ the more they rise, it becomes clearer. Or maybe the water becomes clearer or whatever it is. So, we also have to see ourselves in relation to other people. So, at this time, I’m starting to look at who’s around me. Who do I like being with? Who do I converse with? Not, what do I think I ought to be doing? Which I will punish myself for doing constantly, but who do I really like the company of.

Also, the older you get, you start looking back, not forward and with the Climate Emergency as it is it’s terrifying to me to think we’ve got 12 years before we could be shish kebab.

But how does that feel for younger people now? Our job If you like, our purpose as elders, is to actually not freak but start being able to really speak and listen to each other, try and figure out the best way forward and maybe as females as well. So, I’m plagued like a lot of people I think, by that situation and the anxiety that lies beneath. But as a crone you don’t just sort of step straight into it. What we don’t have is ritualistic ceremony, which is a shame. So imagine your first period you had some sort of celebration or something that’d be great instead of all ‘don’t tell your father’ and to wear this and blah blah blah. Don’t do sports and that actually isn’t this a wonderful thing?

I picked up on this point. I’d love to see more ritualistic, female, coming of age ceremonies. I know that some pagans and other communities are bringing back menarche parties. Baby showers are happening in the UK now, I guess that’s one. 30th birthday parties feel big to me because of it and again, you can read about my experiences Here.

But what about chronehood? Lu threw a snail themed gathering for herself, at which, someone asked if anyone wanted to say anything about her. I believe just about everyone did. They celebrated and emoted all the ways she was impactful and inspirational to them. Though she found it “paralysing and alarming” (as most of us would sadly) to receive such compliments was beautiful. So that is her suggestion. Not forced or necessarily grand but a moment where a person is celebrated and told “this is your time” perhaps somewhere spiritual with lots of tea and cake.

We talked about how so often people, particularly women, fear aging. But not us. It’s good to know who will be there for you, and have that reassurance of who will take care of you should you need it; but this next stage of life will bring a whole new bunch of experiences, lessons to pass on a new adventure.

So there you are, just some of the incredibly inspiring life and views of this fascinating woman. I am aiming to get her on social media more as I think she has a lot to say, so watch this space.

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Peace Out Witches

Love Kate

Lu painted my face to be Susan Sto Helit
And we gender bended Jack Skellington
Kate! The pumpkin Queen!