- Vol. 08
- Chapter 10
Grandma often talked about the moon. She told me about all the famous poets that had written paeans to the moon, especially the moon that shines a silvery light on lovers and protects them in their trysts.
Then she laughed and said it was all nonsense. Grandma was a witch, and she knew all about the moon. She drew her power from the moon through Hecate; triple bodied, saffron cloaked Hecate. From Hecate she gained all the lore of plants, and the moon guided her secret work. She said that I would be a witch too and I must learn the plant lore. When I asked why mummy wasn’t a witch, grandma just shrugged and said that the gift sometimes skips a generation. She had learned from her mother, but her mother learned from her grandmother.
Grandma began by teaching me to recite the phases of the moon.
First Quarter Half Moon
Third Quarter Half Moon
And so back to the beginning.
Hecate had decreed that each plant had to be picked at the correct phase of the moon, whether from the meadow or the wood. Some were picked and dried for later use. Some plants had to be picked fresh so the potion could only be made on the particular night of the moon.
I helped grandma and learned my lessons well. But I was puzzled and asked her why we never pick plants on the Full Moon. Grandma said that was Hecate’s special night when she came and danced with the witches in the wood. She said that I would be able to do that one day.
There were certain plants that grandma had kept me away from but as I grew older, she introduced me to aconite, belladonna, dittany and mandrake. She said that I must decide which potions I wanted to make and which ones I didn’t. I could choose who I wanted to help and who to turn away. I was responsible for the result of my potions.
I loved becoming a witch, but daddy had other ideas. He said that there was someone he wanted me to meet, a nice handsome boy from a good family. They were wealthy people but very nice and do a lot of work for charity. But I told daddy not tonight.
Tonight, will be full moon. Tonight, I will dance with grandma and Hecate and the other witches by the yew tree in the wood. Tonight, I will be fully witch.