I often get asked how The Pagan Way came about, so I wanted to use this space to tell you my journey.
I was always the weird one at school, you know the ones right... a little bit different. I didn’t care which boys were popular, what was the latest fashion or what crazy big ass hair sprayed, blow-dried fringe was the ‘in thing’…yawn…boring. I instead found an interest in reading and absorbing information from those closest to me.

My Nanna and Grandad had some strange books, really old, dusty, fusty smelling books that look like they might crumble into dust if you touched them. I can only remember bits and bobs about what I read in those books, but they weren’t the sort of books you would find on a shelf in your standard bookshop, not back then anyway.
I remember telling my Nanna when I was around 9 years old that I had (what she simply called) a ‘vision’. She said it so, just…so matter of fact. It scared the living daylights out of me at the time. So, I had just finished a bowl of ice-cream and as I lifted the bowl to my mouth, there was a flash of an image. Playing in the background was Phil Collins, groovy kind of love. My Nannas response to this information was where the first seed of interest was planted. I began to study her, quiz her…a lot. I knew there was more to her than she was telling me, and I knew that I was very much like her. Sadly, my Nanna passed away before I was able to find out more.

Before I go any further, with regards to that ‘vision’ that I had, I saw that same image again a good few years later. You know back in the good old days when you actually had to get photographs printed…well, I was thumbing through a pack I had just picked up and there looking straight at me, was that very same image. It was my daughter as a baby, in a fireman’s lift position on her dad’s shoulders. I hadn’t noticed it when I took the photo but sure enough, it was now looking straight at me. It hit me like a bolt of lightening that this was the exact image from that vision all those years ago. I'm not going to lie, it kinda spooked me. I’m not sure if it is any relevance, but the song that was playing in the background, Phil Collins, groovy kind of love…this was the first dance song, when I married my daughter’s dad. To this day I have no idea why I picked that song, it wasn’t even ‘our song’… See, told ya I was weird!

So anyways, growing up I'd always had a Rose Quartz tumblestone and an Amethyst cluster, I don't know if maybe I was attracted to the colours or subconsciously to their energies. My mum always had crystals laying around and to me they were so fascinating.
When I was teenager, I remember my mum going to a crystal healer for a treatment, she said he placed several crystals in various places on her body and then put his hands over each crystal in turn. She said the warmth coming from his hands was incredible and he wasn’t even touching her skin...so another seed was planted. I wanted to know more. I started collecting crystals, I wasn’t fully aware of how to tap into their energies but sitting quietly and holding them seemed to work for me. I knew which ones made me feel calm, gave me more energy, helped with headaches etc.
Back in the early 90's, as a young teenager I found myself in a witchcraft shop, I was in heaven. I must have been in there for hours. I can't explain how I felt in that shop, other than to say that I felt like I was 'home'. Some of the books in there reminded me of my Nanna's books. I bought some tarot cards and a book called The Candle Magick Workbook by Kala & Ketz Pajeon ~ a brilliant book which still has my notes in from back then, it sits proudly on my book case as a reminder of how far I have come.

A few years later a very good friend of mine bought me The Good Spell Book by Gillian Kemp, when she gave it to me she said “you have something inside you that can help people, you are a true witch”....if you ever read this page Roz, its all thanks to you. As my thirst for more information got the better of me, I signed up to a Wicca home study course with BSY and another one through New Moon, I flew through the courses (no pun intended there) and really got to grips with the whole Wicca 101 thing.

I learnt how to write spells and collect ingredients etc and I then set up an account on yahoo auctions and sold a lot of little spell kits, jewellery etc and continued in my journey on witchcraft.

 My mum gave me a personal sized leather filofax book, I ripped out all of the pages (much to my mums horror) but I kept the pink note paper that came with it and the index. This book was to become my very first book of shadows, I used a gold pen and decorated the front of the book. I put my spells and recipes  in it, most of which are still used to this day.

Having read a lot about oils whilst studying, it reignited my interest in aromatherapy. In my teens I had become very ill due to Endometriosis followed by a series of infections and ended up very poorly. My mum again (bless her) bought me Aromatherapy For Women, by Maggie Tisserand (which I still have) and without that book I don’t think I would have had any interest in oils at all. I came to rely on Lavender and Clary Sage (also my crystals), to help with pain and sleep problems, even now the smell of Clary Sage is comforting some how. So I had developed quite an interest in oils which over time I had forgotten. I enrolled on an Aromatherapy course which I again flew through and enjoyed every minute of it. I spent hours at my kitchen table reading my books and coming up with essential oil blends to help myself, my friends, my family with all very different needs and health problems.

I have been fortunate in having other witch friends, when first starting out I had one witch that lived near me and she was amazing in what she taught me, very patient and very knowledgeable too....so to Pip (who owned mystics and magic many years ago) thank you for everything. Also a big thank you to Gwen who ran crystal cavern in Ilkeston, another amazing witch with a wealth of information and the lovely witch who had a great shop in Weymouth (although sadly now closed) you have all helped me along the way and I am eternally grateful to you all.
I will never fully know if I am a hereditary witch, I just know that there was more to my Nanna than she let on. All of my knowledge has come from my own hard work, lots of study and seeking help and advice from fellow witches. I have collected many books along the way and my favourite author by far, is the amazing Ellen Dugan. I urge anyone interested in wicca, witchcraft etc to find Ellen’s books and do as much research as possible.

In 2011 I took my 1st Reiki attunement and I charge all of my items both magickally and with Reiki as the energy they produce is nothing short of amazing. I have customers commenting all the time on how powerful the energy is....in a good way :-)
Since then, I have continued my studies. I am a certified Crystal Healer which I use extensively in my work when helping myself and others. I have hold a few different crystal healing certificates. I don't believe you should ever stop learning. I never will lol, I have studied both Holistic and Magickal Herbalism , Reflexology, Acupressure, Colour Therapy, Flower Remedies, Mindfulness and so many more. I am also now Reiki Level 2.

So that’s my personal journey and how The Pagan Way began.
Blessings Emma xx