(Yep. That's me, not particularly witchy or gardener-like but
I will update it soon with one more suited to a Village Wise Woman.)
Let's get the basics out of the way first. My name is Johanna. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I currently live in a modest home in the Philly suburbs with my husband of over 20 years, my college-aged son, a mischievous cat named Took, and a longtime pet turtle named, but of course, Tippy. I am surrounded by my magical garden and a diverse "village" of family and friends who often seek out my advice on gardening, folklore, herbal remedies, recipes, and the occasional tarot card or rune reading. Hence, the title of my blog, "Village Wise Woman".
I am a witch, have been for over half of my life now. Although I was initiated into Wicca, I have long since traveled onto other paths and no longer label myself as any certain type of witch. I find myself drawn to and work with many different deities but the one who calls to me the most is Mother Earth, Gaia, the Great Mother. So, I'm just a witch, a nature-worshiping witch. (Okay, so I labeled it.)
I am a gardener and a Penn State certified Master Gardener at that! I began gardening quite a while ago, just with a few containers of herbs and tomatoes and a flowering shrub or two. It has since grown into a near-jungle of pollinator-friendly perennials, fragrant culinary, healing and magical herbs, more flowering shrubs, and a small tree or two. I am an organic gardener, use no pesticides or herbicides, have my own compost pile, and have collected rain water in a barrel for several years now. My gardens have received two special distinctions over the past few years. It is not only a National Wildlife Federation certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat but, most recently, a Penn State Extension Master Gardener certified Pollinator-Friendly Garden.
I am an amateur herbalist, making home herbal remedies for what may ail family and friends from herbs and flowers grown in my own gardens. I have decided that, once my son leaves home, I will become a Master Herbalist. I think it will pair well with that Master Gardener certification!
I am a writer and budding author. My work has been included in several Pagan anthologies, including Pagan Writers Press Presents Samhain (2011), Pagan Writers Press Presents Yule (2011), Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans (Moon Books, 2014) and Naming The Goddess (Moon Books, 2014) as well as in the Spring 2012 edition of Circle Magazine. I started working on a book a few years ago and it still awaits completion and publishing. Someday! I am also a monthly contributor to the Penn State Master Gardeners of Delaware County Newsletter, writing a column on the lore and legend of plants.
I am an activist, a fierce defender of human rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, animal rights, and the rights of the environment, nature and Mother Earth. I am constantly working to better the world around me, to restore the green places of the world, by starting in my own backyard and educating those around me on how they can help to heal this planet that we all share.
I like to consider myself a domestic goddess. I love to cook, clean, organize, balance the checkbook, keep the family calendar, cleanse the house of nasties, both those physical and ethereal, and decorate the house for every season, sabbat and holiday. However, I hate ironing!
Also know that I am a geek. I love Star Wars, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings and probably know way too much trivia on the three. I am an avid reader, sometimes reading two or three books at a time, making small piles of books still to be read around the house. I have a touch of OCD so I like everything in its place and, if it's not, my whole life feels off balance. I also like schedules, To-Do lists, and calendars. I am a dreamer, an optimist, and always hope for the best. I am a glass-half-full kind of gal.
I started this blog several years ago to document my journeys on the Pagan path, through the changing seasons of my magical garden, and through the ever-changing life of my small Pagan family. I wanted others to get a glimpse into the everyday life of a witch. I'm not so different from my neighbors. I do all the same things they do but probably with a wand, broom, smudge stick, candle, protective rune, or whatever magical boost I can give to the daily routines, duties, and chores. Ah, the life of a Village Wise Woman.