Hello, I'm Sam, founder of Wolf and Wing, and I wanted to share with you a bit of my story...
I have always had this close connection to plants and animals, for as long as I can remember.
A lot of it was fostered by my dad, a fellow nature lover, and some of my earliest fondest memories are seeing tiny froglets in his giant hands, the grass snake he found on a Brownie pic nic and how everyone else ran away screaming... the hedgehog he carefully rescued, the baby squirrel my mum adopted, the rabbits and ducks we lived with when I was younger...
My childhood wasn't *quite* My Family and Other Animals, but we had our moments.
And as I grew I became aware, gently, that not everyone related to the rest of the natural world in the same way.
I tried to find my place.
In animal rights...
In nature conservation...
But I was always a bit of a weirdo, on the edges. Unable to find words for my world view, or others that quite related to how I moved through life.
In my first and second degrees, I chewed around academically, examining how humans relate to and treat other animals, but not quite finding the words even then...
When I was around 11, I was also deeply witchy - my gran bought me my first pack of Tarot cards, I loved runes and crystals... but, for various reasons, I became ashamed and nervous about that side of myself.
I abandoned myself.
I became an aetheist, and for a long time I felt that was my truth. That all that we see was all that exists... and I was also, coincidentally or not, pretty depressed and anxious a lot of the time.
Changes started to happen.
My granddad past away, I left my job and then my relationship and home to start again. I began connecting with more spiritual people...
But still couldn't quite find my place. I read Neil Gaiman books and proclaimed "THIS IS MY FAVOURITE NATURE WRITER!!" Because he could see the magic that I could feel too.
Am I a Buddhist...?
A little bit.
And then I found my word, by boiling it down the the essence of what I believed, without any extra prescribed religious practices or rituals...
I am, and have always been:
I thought perhaps what I am didn't have a name, but finding it was like finding a missing part of myself.
I re-met my 11 year old self and thanked her for holding the torch for me, and am making amends for abandoning her.
With the help of the wonderful Oda Sonju of The Remilding Family and Jessi Magick of Wild Essence, I was able to find more resources about animism and then witchy things that appealed to my non-conformist, eclectic nature, including books by the brilliant Emma Restall Orr.
There's this beautiful sense of newness, as I read and discover more and find new words for the things I feel and believe.
AND there's this ancient 'but of course' feeling, as nothing has exactly changed, I've always been this way, I'm just naming it and CLAIMING it more....
So, that's me.
An eclectic animist witch!
How 'bout you...?