Musings of a Challenged Witch

If you are one of those people who naturally pulses with psychic energy, frolics with the fey, communes with the herbs, and chats with the dead people who pop in and out of your kitchen – this article is not for you. This is for the rest of us. The silent number of witchy folk who are not those people.

This is for those of us whose living rooms are peopled with dead plants instead of dead people; the ones guiltily grabbing a fast-food burger on the way home from work in lieu of home-cooked, organically-grown, magick-infused delights that open your chakras while tickling your tastebuds—because frankly, we couldn’t cook our way out of a witch’s pyramid. I stand for those of us in perpetual “WTF?!?” mode while our brethren and sistern are off shapeshifting somewhere.

My name is Cat Ky Crone and I am a…”challenged”…witch. I think we need our own club.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not devoid of abilities. I can visualize the hell out of an orange and it is true that most anything I work for winds up manifesting pretty nicely in my daily life. Still, given the state of my witchiness on so many other levels, I always feel like my results must be due to some kind of divine affirmative action.“Well, you know… she’s one of those challenged ones, so better give her a bit of a boost. Bless her heart.”

There are advantages, of course.While my empathic colleagues are buffeted right and left by the angst, drama, and throbbing emotions all round, I lumber along blissfully unaffected and unaware. When my tuned-in witchy folk are freaked out by some non-corporeal trespasser or the awful energy of a place (“Ye, Gods, something horrible must have happened here!”) it’s really easy to do the banishing work fear-free, because, frankly, I’m not feeling or seeing a thing. ‘Yeah, yeah, get the hell out.Buh-bye.’ Ho-hum. Just like cleaning my house at home, and about as exciting. They tell me it works. Maybe they’re just trying to make me feel good.

I’m not saying we challenged witchy types can’t learn to open to these things somewhat: I did eventually, with much practice and angst, eventually reach a point where I can feel that puffy push-back at the edge of an aura. I did eventually learn to see a generic auric outline, but the fun color-coding that would be so helpful when trying to assess whether this guy offering to buy me a drink would be worth my time or not, remains out of my grasp. When I call in the Gods and Great Spirit in ritual, I can indeed feel the power gather round. Finally. But it seemed to take way longer for me than for most of my fellow witchy students and it feels like a muted version compared to what many of them describe. My spirit guides for the most part remain a generic voice in my head instead of fully-developed companions with clear names and defined personalities. And when someone does show up in full form and Technicolor in my meditations, I of course assume it’s just me making it all up, right? Has to be.

But here’s the thing I am slowly—VERY slowly, with no small amount of kicking and screaming—coming to terms with: Every. Witch. Is. Different. It’s the old story of the elephant feeling like a failure because he can’t climb trees. Yes, a whole lot of witches are empaths, psychics, mediums, and gifted healers who can assess and clear my blocked chakras in the time it takes me to pour a cup of coffee. But not all of us are.

I spent so much time agonizing over what I couldn’t do that I completely ignored what I could do. Turns out I’m the opposite of an empath. (Is there even a word for that? I don’t know.) I don’t absorb other people’s energy, I project mine out to them. My thoughts come out of strangers’ mouths. Truly. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood in the Starbucks line waffling between two choices, only to give my drink order and have the barista read back to me the other one I’d considered but not actually ordered. Either Starbucks is full of really psychic baristas (definitely a possibility!) or I’m projecting my thoughts in ways I hadn’t consciously considered. I can get my daughter’s attention on the opposite side of a college stadium just by thinking, ‘Look at me.’ Admittedly, that’s kind of cool, so why do I downplay it? I have spent most of my adult life persuading people as my profession: lawyer, teacher, leader, lobbyist. Is it possible that my successes in those arenas just might have something to do with this gift I never saw as a gift, because I was too busy trying to be the psychic empath I so desperately wanted to be and so obviously wasn’t? (Duh. Metaphysical two-by-four to the side of the head.)

I am a master manifestor. Just writing that seems so wrong, but it is true.  What I put out into the world that I want nearly always eventually happens.Except in the relationship arena, in which I happen to suck. Might have something to do with having the God of War camped out in my Relationship House in my natal chart. But romance excluded, what I work for generally happens. How the hell is that not “witchy” enough for me? And isn’t it just slightly possible that some of those psychic empath folk whose bedrooms are crowded with uninvited dead people and who are constantly having to shield themselves against the world’s emotions just might, on occasion—for a short time—want to trade their gift for mine? What a concept. And how sad that the only way my gift looks “worthy” is when considered alongside the possibility that someone else might wish they had it.

So a shout-out to all of you out there who consider yourselves somehow “less than” because you are the odd witch out: Know that you’re not alone! By all means, do the work to improve in those areas that are not your natural forté, but try to let go of that imposter syndrome poison that so easily spreads and kills your magick. (And yes, I know that is way easier said than done. Trust me.)

Spend some time every day focusing on, and being grateful for, all that you can do. Sometimes, that stuff doesn’t look, sound, or feel like “magick” at all. Sometimes our gifts are hiding in plain sight as “just” everyday strengths, skills, and talents. And sometimes, they’re pretty awesome. Maybe—just maybe—we shouldn’t take them for granted.

Cat Ky Crone (aka Cat Kelly) is a retired attorney and current co-owner of Heart, Body, & Soul, a manifested metaphysical shop in Columbia, MO.She is also an ordained minister in the Temple of Witchcraft and teacher of in-person Mystery School classes at her shop, living proof that even “challenged” witches can succeed. For more information about Cat’s shop and class offerings, go to or email her at [email protected]

Temple of Witchcraft