It was October 30th, the day before Halloween. Gretchen walked the halls of her school, her eyes downcast. She looked sullen and sad. “No one notices me,” she was thinking. She trudged along to her next class, holding tightly onto her books and talking to no one. She sat down in the corner desk of the last row for her Ancient Civilizations class, and slid down in her chair as far as she could. She brushed her long bangs forward, obscuring her face, and hid.
Little did she know that she was being observed. The person doing the observing was a witch named Matilda. Matilda was invisible. She was vibrating with such a huge amount of energy that she was floating on a higher dimensional plane. She decided to visit the grumpy girl in person once she was alone in private, and give her a pep talk. As a witch, Matilda is able to step down her energy levels for a short time, making herself visible on Earth.
Alone in her bedroom, Gretchen had just put on her Hello Kitty pajamas and was about to get into bed when her cat Jasper suddenly sat straight up. He stared intently at the middle of the room. Gretchen sat down on the bed next to him. She tried to see what the cat was looking at, but she didn’t see anything.
Then, suddenly, Gretchen saw a mysterious flash of green light. It was so bright that she had to close her eyes. When she opened them, she was astonished to see a witch standing before her. She had wild black hair, intense green eyes, and an old-fashioned black dress on with fancy lace and ruffles and a corset tied with a black ribbon. She wore old-fashioned lace-up boots and black-and-grey striped tights. She wasn’t carrying a broom, though.
“I’m Matilda, a witch,” she stated matter-of-factly. “I was watching you today at school.” She frowned slightly. “It seems you don’t know that you are a witch.”
“I’m a… I’m a witch?” Gretchen asked uncertainly, her voice cracking.
“Yes, dear,” the figure told her, then waited for her reaction.
“But I don’t dress like you. And I don’t know anything about being a witch. And I don’t have a black cat,” Gretchen protested, motioning to Jasper, a black-and-white tuxedo cat. She noticed Jasper seemed to love this unexpected visitor. His gaze never left her and he had a serene expression on his face. He wasn’t scared at all.
“Well, things are a little different these days,” Matilda explained. “You live in the modern world, not in the 1500s like I did. In my day, witches were healers and were sought after by people who needed help, either physically or mentally or spiritually. We were master herbalists and brewed potions – like teas – to help our clients heal. People paid us with home-baked bread or vegetables from the garden, a simple barter system.”
“So you helped people?” Gretchen asked.
“Yes, all the time. That was my job. I lived in a wooden lean-to shelter on the edge of the forest, where I could gather wild mushrooms and berries and plants for my healing potions. I dressed like this to be recognized as a witch. Twice a week, I’d walk into town and meet with my clients. And, yes, I had a black cat, Chester, who followed me everywhere. It was very fashionable in those days. But your cat here is perfect for you.”
Hearing this, Jasper sat up even straighter and started purring.
”So, what happened? Were you killed for being a witch?” Gretchen asked, no longer frightened of this other-worldly woman, just intrigued.
“Yes, but that’s a story for another day,” Matilda answered quietly.
“But why?” Gretchen pressed. “You were helping people.”
“There was a church in the small town and some of its followers decided I was evil. I wasn’t a Man of God. Yet, I knew how to do things,” Matilda explained, her eyes sad.
“Like heal people?” Gretchen piped in. Matilda merely nodded.
“That’s so sad,” Gretchen murmured, petting Jasper for comfort. “But how is it that I’m a witch?”
“You are a powerful woman. You just don’t know it yet,” answered Matilda.
“So a witch is a powerful woman?” questioned Gretchen.
“That is exactly what a witch is. Now I want you to visualize what your day at school tomorrow is going to look like,” Matilda instructed.
“OK,” replied Gretchen, imagining herself having fun at school, talking to classmates in the hallway and eating lunch with some of the girls in her gym class. She used to be friends with them, but lately she had shied away.
“I want you to see yourself walking tall and sitting up straight, making eye contact with people, even saying hello to people you don’t normally talk to,” Matilda suggested.
“OK,” Gretchen replied again. She already felt lighter, more optimistic.
“And how do you feel when you see yourself this way?” the witch asked her.
“I feel happy,” Gretchen said.
“Good. You are learning the Power of Visualization. It’s one of the most important powers witches have. If you can dream it, you can live it,” Matilda explained, sounding more like Oprah than a scary witch.
At that moment, Gretchen looked at her alarm clock on the bedside table. It was 12:01 pm. It was now Halloween, the day Gretchen learned she is a witch.
©Ellen Auchter 2015