There are some places in the world that can only be described as “Magical.” The Connecticut River valley of Western Massachusetts, also known as The Pioneer Valley is just such a place. There’s something about the energy to this place that encourages the spirit-minded, Nature-inclined, Hippy-types that often correspond with a Pagan outlook to life. I was born and raised in the Valley, have lived all over from North, South, East, West, and Center, and I know I would not be who I am had it not been for the powerful energies of this place and their effects on my early days of occult exploration.
I am an apothecary’s daughter; raised by one of the many Herbalists in the area and much of my childhood was spent wandering the woods around my house. Development has eaten up the fairy woods and gardens I found hidden behind trees and pricker bushes, but the feel of the place is still there. Only now do I realize how much I instinctively ‘knew’ about the world around me, only to forget as I got older and mundanity sank in. I tried to re-learn everything from books, but nothing really resonated wholly with my views. Little threads of ‘truth’ slowly became visible and I have spent the last 15 years figuring out how to weave the tapestry into something coherent.
And for the most part, I’ve succeeded, at least as far as my own personal views are concerned. I don’t pretend to know what others should believe, or the realities of the world as I see them being the Be-all and End-All. There are some things I recognize as near-universal and that cross cultures, belief systems, and even scientific measures to hold a position of legitimacy. I draw inspiration and knowledge from credible sources, various mythologies, Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG), and even Pop Culture. I have an animistic view of the world, mainly based on the experiences of my childhood that hold no possible explanation other than ‘Everything has a Spirit’, and I also recognize that we humans have shoe-horned the Gods into archetypes which, while sometimes limiting, do hold up to scrutiny. But they still are separate entities on their own, living on another plane of existence. Why can’t it be both?
There are also dark secrets and spirits hidden in our forests and towns. There is so much history in this valley, much of it bloody, that we are living in a lake of spiritual activity. Residual and active hauntings, hidden Native graves and home-sites, abandoned mental hospitals and factories, corrupted land spirits in dire need of healing, and one cannot forget the human element; There are just as many nasty and cruel people here as there are kind and loving, just like anywhere in the world. The energies of the Valley don’t discriminate on who they influence or support, and I have seen some shit in my lifetime here.
I chose the moniker PVWitch because I wanted to embody the whole of the lands I love; the light as well as the dark. The Valley is nourishing and supportive, but it can also be a sink-pit of energy with stagnant pockets that need to be purged or cleared out. In this blog and in my future courses, I hope to pass on some practical knowledge that will prove useful for as wide an audience as are interested. In doing so, I hope that more people, local and far-away, benefit from the energy of the Pioneer Valley either directly or through the things I teach.