“Have you ever heard of Wicca?”

“Then Roxie said something that I don’t understand so I hope I have got this right,” Vanessa continued. “She asked if you could get the sisters together because there was an urgent need for a new dynamic in the Warehouse situation. Does this make any sense to you?”

“It makes perfect sense” replied Alexandra, “I shall see if I can get the sisters here on Friday evening. It’s a full moon on Friday which is a perfect time to instigate a process of transition.”

“Can I be really nosey,” said Vanessa “who are the sisters?”

Alexandra looked into Vanessa’s eyes very intently for what must have been a full two minutes before her face relaxed and the familiar smile returned. “If you really want to know about the sisters there is a price to pay. I have started to paint that sketch I made of you and Sensi together. I am fine capturing Sensi as I have done so many times before, but I have been struggling to do justice to your form and especially your essence. If you are prepared to model for me for a while, I shall explain about the sisters and what Roxie is asking from us. Is it a deal?”
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Vanessa barely hesitated and in a few moments she was laid out naked on a silk sheet draped over an antique looking chaise longue. Alexandra settled in front of her with some charcoal to sketch with and an easel and she started to explain about the sisters whilst Vanessa listened with a growing sense of wonder.

“Have you ever heard of Wicca?” she asked Vanessa.

“Isn’t that something to do with witches or devil worship?”

“It is to do with witches and absolutely nothing to do with worshiping the devil. The Devil you understand is a perverse construct of Christianity. They use the concept of the Devil to divert blame from their mythical Abrahamic God for all the harm, cruelty and misery that people inflict on each other. The physical form of the Devil used by Christians would be familiar to the Greeks and Romans who worshiped Gods of nature like Dionysus, Pan and Faunus. It is also a familiar image to those who follow Wicca as it represents the male aspect of the forces of nature that pervade all living things. It helps those who practice Wicca to visualise such forces. Much that is called magic that is associated with Wicca is created through channelling the natural forces that surround us all through a process of visualisation.”

“So are you telling me that the sisters are a witches’ coven?” exclaimed Vanessa in amazement.

“Got it in one. Most covens consist of male and female members and use the dynamic between the male and female aspects of nature in their work. The sisters are an all-female coven; many of us have suffered abuse and violence at the hands of men and find it easier to practice our Craft without the presence of men. We are led by a high priestess and we work primarily with the mother goddess aspect of the Earth and the natural world. We also draw upon the male aspect of our own natures that resides deep within the psyche of every woman.”

“Unlike the patriarchal Abrahamic religions and other religions created by men, Wicca understands and celebrates the power of the female aspect of the natural world. Wicca as a religion could be said to be a fairly modern phenomenon as much of its structure comes from the work of Gerald Gardner in the 1940’s and 50’s. Many of the traditions and practices of Wicca are however very ancient, preceding Christianity by thousands of years. You are probably aware that nearly all the important Christian festivals come from previous pagan and Dionysian festivals based on the movements of the sun, moon and planets and their impact on nature.”

“So is Roxie actually asking you to put some kind of hex or spell on Justin Stempson?” asked Vanessa.

“No, Roxie wouldn’t dream of asking us to do something like that and we wouldn’t have anything to do with such an idea if she did. Our practice involves focusing on creating a desired positive dynamic; we will have nothing to do with anything that is deliberately intended to cause harm. There are very few witches that would be associated with such practices. Creating negative and harmful energies frequently rebounds upon those who would desire to control them. Giving a more simplistic viewpoint that anyone can relate to, would you rather conjure up feelings of love within yourself or hate? Hate damages not only those who are targeted with it but also gnaws away at the psyche of the person in which it arises. Many Wiccans believe that any dynamic that is deliberately created through practicing the Craft rebounds threefold on the person that created it. It would be rather unwise to lay yourself open to the possibility of your intention to do harm rebounding back with three times the impact. It is far better to send out positive energy such as healing, love and compassion. What Roxie is asking us to do is to create a positive visualisation for the future of the Warehouse and for those who reside within it.”

“So would this involve casting a spell on the Warehouse or something of this kind?” said Vanessa “I’m sorry if I sound a bit surprised but I don’t believe in magic and I am a bit taken aback to find that you do.”

“Do you believe in energy?”

“Yes of course.”

“Everything in creation can be considered to be energy stored in different forms” said Alexandra. “You and I are stored energy, our brains pulsate with electrical energy and energy permeates everything in our natural world. In natural magic we believe that together we can create a harmonisation between ourselves and the energies in the natural world around us. Through concentrated thought and visualisation we believe it is sometimes possible to directly influence the world around us because we are all intrinsically a part of that world. You could consider it to be something like the theory of the butterfly effect. This suggests that through the complex interconnectedness of all things, an event as small as a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world could influence the formation of a hurricane somewhere else.”

“So you are saying that Wicca is a religion that tries to change the world through a process of influencing the natural energy that surrounds us?”

“It’s far more than that Vanessa. The primary purpose of Wicca is to help each of us to discover our true natures. Once we understand our true nature we can understand the nature of the world around us and can both influence nature as we are influenced by it. The conscious part of our minds is just a very small part of our psyche. There is a whole world of instincts and emotions that influence everything we think or do that we do not properly understand. Have you every stood in a forest and felt some kind of spiritual awakening inside?”

“I know I often go to nature when I am trying to escape the stupidity or frustrations of work and the people
around me” replied Vanessa, reflecting on her recent walk on Hampstead Heath.

“Why?”

“I don’t know, just feel somehow different, it seems to put things into a proper perspective. I love the feeling of detachment when I am standing on a high hill or walking on the seashore, it seems to put the trivialities of daily life into a different perspective.”

“Something inside you is relating to the energies in the natural world and it’s helping to create a better sense of harmony within you,” said Alexandra. “Wiccans believe that there is a spark of the divine in all of us and that through ritual, contemplation and meditation we have the potential to become one with the nature of the divine that permeates everything in the universe. Most of us are very far removed from understanding our true nature. Wicca is therefore primarily a religion of self-inquiry and self-knowledge that can also be used to positively influence the world around us.”