Southern Witch: Exploring Pagan Beliefs and Practices in the Rural South

I’m a lifelong southerner. I’m also a witch. I assure you that it’s possible to be both. Paganism is alive and growing here in the land itself and in our folk traditions that have been passed down for generations. This blog explores the unique joys and challenges of being a witch and priestess of the Goddess in the Deep South, a place where the crossroads meet.

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Tarot, Tea, and Thee

I’ve often thought the world might get along better if we all stopped for afternoon tea. Sadly, Americans just aren’t into that, since a traditional tea would be served around 3 or 4 p.m. That tends to be a rather hectic time for many, as kids are getting home from school, or the workday is coming to a close and deadlines have to be met. Instead of relaxing with a warm cuppa, we often see how far we can push ourselves before dinner.

Maybe that is why I’ve always romanticized the idea of an English tea, even before Downton Abbey was born. It’s not the dainty cups or the finger sandwiches or the scones—it’s the pause and the connection with others, assuming they put down their smart phones.  

Tea also goes really well with Tarot. It even sounds great together—Tarot and Tea. It rolls off the tongue. It makes you think of a quaint shop with all sorts of oddities and old books and a table in the back where Earl Gray is being poured and cards are being read.

Since I love bringing people together, I started serving tea one Saturday or Sunday every month to local witches who want to talk Tarot and practice their divination.

I expected it would be an afternoon of fun, nothing terribly serious or heavy. Tarot explores the unconscious, however, and what lies in there isn’t always soft and fluffy. Sometimes it has claws and fangs. So while there is plenty of laughter and frivolity among witches sipping tea and slinging cards, there is also a fair amount of vulnerable sharing, openness, trust, and holding space for each other’s stories.

That’s another reason why tea is the best accompaniment. It’s comforting. As we look into the scenes being played out on the cards in front of us, we’re looking at our own lives, too. We’re seeing what we know and haven’t acknowledged, what we feel and haven’t integrated. It’s why we read Tarot in the first place—to help ourselves heal.

Holding these gatherings has taught me that others will only be as open as I’m willing to be, so I do my best to drop my walls. I’m learning to teach from my heart, not from my head. I talk less about Tarot in theory and more about Tarot in practice. Books have already covered more than I ever could in one lifetime anyway, but what they can’t offer is connection. They can’t offer that moment with another, when you are both present to a divine message, an inner knowing that ignites the fires of personal transformation. I will serve a thousand pots of tea if it means that witches continue doing this, for each other and the world.        


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Jen is a pagan blogger, poet, Reiki practitioner, and aspiring massage therapist. Her passion is exploring and celebrating the Divine Feminine through art, shamanic ritual, and intuitive readings.


  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer Sunday, 11 March 2018

    OMG what an awesome idea! Thank you for doing this for those around you, and for sharing with the rest of us.

  • Jen
    Jen Sunday, 11 March 2018

    It's truly my pleasure. If you ever have any questions about hosting a Tarot & Tea of your own, feel free to ask. :) I've found that it gives witches in rural communities like this a place to feel accepted and welcomed.

  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer Sunday, 11 March 2018

    I'm disabled so getting out and about, or sometimes even wanting others around, can be iffy at best and difficult sometimes. That said, when I get my health under a bit better control (I've only JUST finally applied for disability and have stopped working), I /was/ thinking of trying to get something like this going with my circle (and open to others). It really is a great thing, I think. And yes, thank you - I'll be sure to ask!

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