Hello! My name is Emily but many people know me as Mama Em. I got the nickname in high school because I was always the one taking care of everyone else, making sure everyone was good, and giving advice on literally every topic. After that, it just kinda stuck.
When I was about three years old, I started talking to “imaginary” friends. I told my parents all about these friends and their back stories. As I got older and started school, I was told to stop pretending, so I stopped talking to these non visible people. Fast forward to puberty, and I was ready to commit myself because more and more of these non existent people were trying to talk to me almost daily.
In middle school, I had an amazing geography and history teacher who, as he taught his class about different places in the world, also taught us about the faiths of that region – always stressing that no one religion was correct or better than any other. This, paired with the daily struggle of hearing disembodied voices, sparked a fascination in religion and a desperate desire to find one that could help me figure out what these voices were and how to handle them.
I spent countless Sundays trying out new churches and talking to spiritual leaders I was told everything from ‘you must not listen to these voices, for they are the devil’ to ‘we think it’s best if you don’t return to our establishment.’ So with no idea what to do next, I turned to the public library. I spent hours upon hours devouring the entire religious section. Each faith I studied had interesting values and selling points, but none felt right for me.
One day, just as I was starting to feel utterly hopeless, a book about Paganism literally fell off the shelf and info my hands. I sat on the floor there in the library and started reading. I had always assumed that Pagans worshipped the devil, because that’s what mainstream society lead me to believe. Yet, there on the floor, I discovered that Pagans do NOT worship the devil, they don’t even BELIEVE in the devil! Paganism is believing not in one God but that God is in ALL things that live and breathe. To everything there must be a balance. I was hooked. I was HOME.
Not sure how my parents would take the news of my newfound Pagan fascination, I studied and practiced in silence and secret. I found that so much of what I was learning of this old religion mirrored aspects of the morals and values I’d grown up with as a Christian. I started finding tons of information on mediumship, which finally made me feel more comfortable with the voices I had been hearing all of my life. I was finally finding answers, and I wasn’t crazy!
By the time I was a junior in high school, I had found that folk magick was the most natural way to ‘pray’ that I had ever felt. I loved the idea of communication not directly with one God, but with the universe as a whole, and all at once. I read and studied herbs, oils, crystals, candles, and more. Some of my friends caught onto the fact that I was dabbling in what they considered evil witchcraft, and it didn’t take long for those friendships to end. But where some ran scared from the unknown, others bonded stronger and closer to me, knowing that who I was as a person was nothing close to evil and that religion does not define oneself. Some of the truest and dearest friendships I have ever formed were during that time, and I am proud to say that they still exist strongly, nearly 20 years later.
High school behind me and marriage o the horizon, I was finding it increasingly difficult to hide my true self. What I had finally come to understand and accept as spiritual communications were more and more frequent, and I realized it was time to come out of the broom closet. So I told my husband, my family, and the friends that hadn’t already figured it out. To my surprise, I found myself lovingly accepted and encouraged by everyone. Finally, I could be ME, and breathe easily.
By my mid twenties, I was delighting in my way of life, spiritual communications, and starting my family. As I rocked my baby girl in my arms one day, I realized that if she too were to face the spiritual challenges I had faced my whole life, she would need a more accepting and educated world to do it in. So I became hell-bent on helping the world understand the real aspects of paganism, witchcraft, folk magick, the afterlife, and more. But of course, going door to door and witnessing to the masses was not going to be the best way to go about it. So I took a deep breath and told everyone I loved, ‘I’m going public.’
First thing I could think of to do was to spark conversation amongst those I knew personally. So I changed my religion on MySpace. Sure enough, people started asking questions and I was happy to answer them. Even my younger sister, who at the time, was very involved in a baptist church, started to understand and accept that I was no devil worshipper, but rather a pretty normal person just well connected with the universe. There was nothing evil in what I was doing or what I believed. In fact, most of it mirrored Christian ways. (For good reason, but we won’t get into that debate today!) I was happy to love and support anyone s lifestyle and religious preference, and most people I found were willing to do the same for me. So that was it, I was out, and people knew I was a Pagan Witch, who could speak to the dead (though not on my terms, more on theirs!) I was out. I was public.
A few years later, I was sitting with my now nearly kindergarten aged daughter and my two year old son, thinking that there needed to be someone out there in the world who would offer support, guidance, and a safe haven for those growing up spiritually confused and scared to be themselves. I also felt strongly that there should be a place to shop for ritual supplies and other items that wouldn’t drain your bank account, because I for one was growing tired of only being able to add to my collection one piece at a time due to how extremely high priced and scarce Pagan supplied seemed to be. Pair that with my extremely crafty nature (no pun intended!) and an etsy store was born.
I started making candles, jewelry, decor items, and more. I did card readings, energy works, gave advice. My store sales grew, my internet reputation grew, and I needed to expand beyond the rules of the etsy markelplace. Thanks to a generous holiday gift from my parents, is was able to create an entire we store all my own, and fill it with my personally made items, as well as ritual supplies, home decor and more, from several wholesalers that I developed relationships with. It’s been five years now. I do my very best to keep prices low and reasonable, and my client base spans the e tire globe at this point. My customers keep coming back, stating that they love doing business with me because it’s obvious I’m not out trying to get rich off of the masses. I really care about what I’m doing and the spiritual growth of myself and others. I’m there for you, for questions, to purchases, to after care and follow up. I’m happy to be part of my customers lives and to develop bonds and friendships with them.
I didn’t set out to get rich or famous and believe me, I’m neither. Well known, I’ll give you that one. But that was never the goal. The goal was education and acceptance. That’s what I set out to do, and it’s what I’ll keep doing. Working hard to make every faith, background, and religion accepted, understood, and tolerated. Working even harder to debunk old myths and misconceptions, help others realize and accept their gifts, whatever they may be, and finally, helping the world to see that no one way is right or wrong, as long as the intent is good. And I build that new world with one brick at a time. One person at a time. One mind at a time.
Until we meet again!