What a Banshee is:
The official meaning from Barbara Walkers Book, The Woman’s Encyclopedia
of Myths and Secrets - Banshee: 'From the Gaelic bean-sidhe,
woman of the fairy-mounds. The Irish banshee was a ghostly White Lady whose
cry forewarned the death of a family member. In Brittany she was the Bandrhude,
or bane-druid. She was identified with Macha, Queen of Phantoms, third person
of the Morrigan's Trinity. That is, she was the Crone from of the Goddess
who summoned her children to death. According to the Farrars Banshee
is "Queen of the Fairies".
Why I'm a Banshee:
ME IN A FEW WORDS: Psychic,
Psychopomp, Occultist, Buddhist,
Victorian, INTJ, Numerology - 7, Tarot Card - Queen of Swords, Goddess
- Isis, God - Hermes, Music- Kate
Bush, Dead Can Dance.
I chose Banshee as my Pagan name for many reasons.
First I love Faeries for they are the incarnate of magick, and shapeshifting.
One moment they may be playing a trick, another moment singing you to
sleep. Identifying myself with the "Queen of the Faries" I
tend to be more reserved and selective about the tricks I might play.
Second, Banshee's forewarn death (change). Being a professional psychic
I felt this name fit well. Everyone's life is in a constant flux of
death and rebirth. Each night we go to bed, we die to the old life and
each morning we awake, reborn to the new life. Banshee's as entities
are deeply caring souls, who mourn for the soon to depart. They do not
shriek, they wail... they cry to express their sorrow for those who
the transforming soul is leaving behind. I suppose that is the Buddhist
(and Goth) in me, realizing the suffering of this world (samsara). Banshees
are of the night, the dark and of the subconscious mind. They do the
work of Psychopomps, helping the dead to "the other side".
I very much identify with Psychopomp energy, and walk between the worlds
myself. Other Psychopomps include the Gods Hermes, Anubis and Morpheus.
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since very early
childhood I have experienced psychic visions and astral travel. I also
suffered from major nightmares from my earliest memory. I have since
learned that this is a condition called "Sleep
Whether the nightmares caused me to be psychic or I had them because
I was psychic I do not know. Yet I do not think there would have been
one without the other. My mother also had similar dreams, and similar
gifts. We would talk about weird feelings we would get when something
was about to happen, and why we didn't trust someone, etc. We also talked
about the nightmares. It is her understanding that my grandmother also
had them, but she won't discuss it with us.
When I was 15 I began going to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".
At the age of 16 (1989-90) I acted the part of Magenta and began dating
the Riff Raff guy who was also a High Priest of Wicca. He and I were
together for a year and a half. This was my first introduction to the
Wiccan faith, and the pagan community. I attended rights of what I would
now call High Magick, with Ken
Deigh who founded the Sheya Tradition. It was powerful and thrilling.
I never knew the Gods where just a mediation away, that energy is everywhere,
etc. Yet due to the community and the attitude of those personalities
involved I rejected Wicca, and paganism as a way of spirituality for
myself. I found I shared little in common with them on an emotional
and ethical level.
At age 17 (91) I moved to Columbus Ohio for a few months. In the basement
of the home I stayed in I found "Buckland's
Complete Guide to Witchcraft." I began to study it, and talk
to others in my household about Wicca. None of them were very spiritual,
yet they had some books I was welcome to borrow. I suppose it is still
a fad to say you're a witch, even if you're not.
this time I began dating a High Magician who lived in Dayton (Rick Lee).
I then moved back to Cincinnati. I was still studying Wicca, and did
my first circle that year. I remember my altar was made of a wooden
crate, and I put a string of blue sequins (left over from a magenta
costume) around myself and the altar for protection.
My inborn curiosity about the Occult (secret) led me to the study of
psychic phenomenon. At the age of seventeen I began to investigate my
psychic gifts with the Tarot cards. My mother's friend gave me my first
deck. I would give myself a reading each day, record the messages it
was giving me, and go over the list in the evening. I found for every
day use, it was pretty accurate. Then I noticed around my 18th birthday
the Emperor card was coming up in most of my readings. In my deck it
meant I was to meet a man with money and worldly power. The night I
went out to celebrate my 18th birthday (92) I met such a man. His name
is Robert, a man with money, involved in politics, basically he's the
guy everyone knows. So from that point I was convinced.
Soon after I began to read cards for family members and friends, all
the time keeping up on my Wiccan studies. Later that year I met my first
fiancée (Chris Burnet). He was Wiccan as well. We studied together
and our spirituality took on forms that I did not know possible. Chris
and I dedicated ourselves to the craft and practiced rites with friends.
Some of my best spells came from that time in my life.
I have been a professional psychic since 1992. I was barely 18 years
old when I began working at "The
Warehouse Night Club" as a Tarot reader. Working at a nightclub
was a very demanding job for a psychic, not to mention an 18 year old.
At first I did not know all the cards by heart, so I had to look in
my little book which complicated the process. I learned the cards quickly
and think this "trial by fire" was one of the best ways to
learn. I would go through the whole 78 card deck for $5.00 . This could
take me anywhere from a half hour to over an hour. A few years later
I had a local celebrity psychic read by my side the "The Warehouse",
he could not handle the pressure or the energies and left early. I was
also lecturing about Wicca, and reading Tarot at various psychic fairs.
In 93 my fiancée Chris and I moved to Columbus together. While
living there I worked in a witchcraft/pagan store called "Salem
West". The owner A.J. was a typical Leo. It was nice to be
working and participating in a shop environment. Hopefully training
for when I open my own ( I had wanted my own store since I walked into
Bell Book and Candle which used to be on High St. in Columbus). While
there I feel I did more teaching than learning on a spiritual level.
I began my first set of classes on psychometry and learned how to teach
small groups in a tight setting.
On New Years of 94 my fiancée Chris and I went our separate ways.
I went back home to Cincinnati, and began to branch out into the pagan
community again. I also resumed my post at the nightclub. I wasn't home
too long when I began to frequent the community radio station WAIF.
You see on Fridays in the early morning there were two pagan shows.
I would hang out, and participate when needed. I was interviewed on
the subject of Faeries on "The Witching Hour." This was my
first real interview and although nervous I found it to be enjoyable.
The man who did the last radio show of the evening was Mike Manor. His
show was "Night Talk with the Nighthawke", more about him
One day of that year I ventured to Kinko's to get some copies of pagan
graphics I liked. There quite by fate I met a woman named Sherry. She
looked at my papers and asked me if I was a witch. Turns out she too
was a witch! Sherry was almost my mom's age, but we became fast friends.
Not two weeks later I was at her house attending a coven circle. Through
Sherry I met Ellen Parker and my long time friend Lydia Justice. Sherry
and I attended my second pagan festival together. It was Beltain (better
known as "Hell-tain" for the weather that year) at Trusty
Pines, sponsored by Green Dome Temple. I saw
a handfasting for the first time, it was Mike Manor and his wife Euphrates.
now the year would be 1995. I had met my Reiki master Tony Agee and
received on 6/22/95 my Master Teacher attunement. You may still see
my Reiki Master reading Tarot at "The Warehouse". Reiki is
something I use on an almost daily basis (consciously anyway). I find
it very healing and calming part of my life. I have attuned 15 people
with this gift since 95. As a child I was ill very often. As I grew
into an adult the frequency of sickness tapered off some, yet I still
fell very sick at least 5 times a year. Since Reiki I am shocked when
I get a cold! In 95 I also gave a lecture on Spell Craft at the University
of Cincinnati, as a member of Green Dome Temple.
I spent the year of 96 and some of 97 learning about Buddhism, and A.C.A.
(adult children of alcoholics or dysfunctional families.) I received
a lot of healing through my experience with A.C.A. I would suggest the
works of John Bradshaw to anyone who wishes to learn more about family
patterns. I knew my family was wacky, but I learned so much more through
the meetings and the sharing of experiences. I also became a minister
of U.L.C. This enabled me to practice my healings and wed couples legally.
met my Guru Maria Rose, through my Reiki Master. At the time she was
62. A proper lady from South Africa with a charming British accent.
My mother and I attended her lectures, meditations and yoga classes.
Yoga and mediation through the Kundilini practice really lifted me to
another plane in my spiritual development. I took refuge and became
a Buddhist initiate in January of 97. My altar under went curious changes.
I now have statuettes of Venus, Isis, Bridgid, Buddha, and White Tara,
along with a prayer wheel, a collection of Buddhist chants and an assortment
of Wiccan items.
Also in the year of 97 I met Alanna Maloney. We had both been working
psychics in the Cincinnati area for some time. Alanna worked with the
same age group (more or less) than I did. One night I was hanging in
a coffeehouse (ANGST) when she strolled in. Someone came up to her and
asked her when she was going to read their cards. I got a bit defensive
on the inside. "I am the only cool, young Tarot reader, darn it."
Heh. Our paths crossed again when a mutual friend of ours began a spiritual
discussion group. I knew him (Steve Nevatni) from my old "Rocky
Horror" days (3 years acting as Magenta). As soon as she opened
her mouth I knew we where going to be friends. When we finally talked
she told me how people used to mistake her for me, or ask her "Do
you know Banshee? She works at the Warehouse
" and how that
used to get her goat. We laughed.
August of '97 my estranged father ascended. My new friends were a great
comfort though my time of grief. Soon after I married Adam to Laura
(whom I had met through Steve and Alanna) in a beautiful ceremony, at
a ritzy hotel. I received a lot of acknowledgment of my gifts. That
day I felt accepted as the Priestess. During this time I met my husband
over IRC. This became the busiest time of my young life. On Halloween
(Samhain) I was interviewed and got my picture in the local paper. Why?
Cause I am a witch. I also appeared on FOX television the morning of
all Hallows with Alanna and some of my coven members at Sherrys new
store "The Keltic Knot". That Monday we picked up Mojo from
the Airport, for our first meeting. He stayed seven days, and we easily
fell in love.
I was still working at "The Warehouse" yet the readings went
up to $10. and got much shorter. There came a time where I felt like
"Jesus among the lepers" as I whimsically described it. I
was growing and changing spiritually and found that the negativity of
the people and the environment did not help me grow. Mojo had a daughter
in Delaware (where he is from) so to be with him I left Cincinnati again.
and I lived with his mother and two brothers in a house on 63 acres
of wooded land. I liked the nature of the sanctuary, but I was bord
out of my mind. I found out I am a city girl after all! I went to NYC
in exchange for a Reiki attunment. That was interesting. In August I
came back to Cincinnati to join Alanna and her Fiancee Bill in marriage.
Mojo and I planned on getting married in October of 1999. Yet as soon
as we moved into a place of our own in September 1998 I became pregnant.
We married on March 21st by Mojo's brother Billy, who had attained a
ministers license through the ULC. Since his daughter Mary was moving
away with her mother and her mothers new husband, Mojo was open to the
idea of moving to Cincinnati with me.
a few days after we married I saw that Sherries store "The Keltic
Knot" had a website, so I e-mailed her to see how she was. She
said she had to sell the store and was moving to Arizona. Mojo and I
had planned to move back to Cincinnati in October, but Sherry would
have moved away by then. I told her I was sad that I wouldn't get to
see her before she moved. I thought nothing more of it until that night
when I had a dream. -In the dream I was talking
to Sherry over the phone and she said she would let Mojo and I buy the
store for $11,000.00 . She said we could also have the house so we would
have a place to live.- When I woke up I told Mojo
about the dream and how vivid and specific it was. We talked all day
about the possibilities of buying the store. It seemed as if it would
solve our problems since we wanted to move back to Cincinnati but did
not have a place to live or jobs to support us.
Many legal papers and lawyers later on April 15th 1999 we were the owners
of "The Keltic Knot". I was very pregnant and worked in the
store alone for the first couple of months, so Mojo could tie up loose
ends in Delaware. He arrived in June, and the baby- Dylan Lore Brown
arrived on July 3rd.
first year in the shop was a difficult one full of learning the business
end of matters. Many times while on the register I had told people "I
am a psychic not a mathematician" (most psychics have issues with
math). We changed the name of the store from the fluffy "Keltic
Knot" to the more serious and Victorian"The Occult Shop".
I felt the name "Keltic Knot" did not describe who we were
or what we were offering to the public. I opened an on-line store "The
Occult Shop" for those who prefer to do things on-line, or
were too far to travel to the shop. We began holding classes and of
course I offered my Reiki and psychic services. I have since found most
people learn about business before they get into the world of owning
a spiritual store. I came at it from the other end. I think for this
reason the money has not been as great as it could be.
I began attending festivals again and meeting
more pagans. I no longer worry about what path others are on or their
ethics. I stick to my own set of ethics and hope to attract to me others
who are like minded. There are still many in this community who are
unsavory to me, but I keep walking my path. I am very glad that I did
not abandon the path back in 1992 because of those who I met. I suggest
to newbies that they stay solitary for atleast the first year, before
they seek community. This way they can create a bond with the Gods of
their own, and find the path that is best for them without the opinions
I write the horoscope in Citizen
Magazine, which I find quite enjoyable. In August of 2000 I started
"The Coven of the
Illuminated Shadow" and my High Priest is Mike Manor (who did
"Night Talk with the Night Hawke on Waif radio). In October of
2000 we put on a "Witches
Ball" at the Southgate house in Kentucky. Six-hundred people
came out to join in the fun. It was an amazing night, we all worked
very hard and plan to do it every year. That month I also launched The
Parchment Pages" which is a data base of local pagans, healers,
psychics, and the like. In June of 2001 we are hosted our first Pagan
with guest Isaac Bonewits. In April
of 2001 I began "The Occult
Shop Oracle" which is a newsletter for the shop and the local
community. I had been doing something like it on a website for over
a year, so I thought I may as well put it in print. I still offer Psychic
readings over "The Real
Witches Network". Out of these
projects we have formed "The Greater Cincinnati Pagan Community
has branched out into the world of Voodoo, and has quite an affinity
with it. His spells are very popular. Mojo is a wonderful father and
a great friend to me though we are no longer together as lovers as of
February or 2001. We still love one another, but are more like family
than husband and wife. In March of 2001 I met Absinthe,
a mysterious goth type who lived down the road. He has been into ceremonial
magick for a few years, and is very spiritual. He and I are now together
and so far things are peachy!
Recently I have been looking further into classic
Occultism. I have many issues of "Theosophy Today" magazine
from the 1920's-50's. I am also the proud owner of six "Occult
Digests" from the 30's and 40's, and a few other original occult
books from the 1800's. I am intrigued by the "table tappers",
Blavatsky, secret magickal orders, Mediums, Houdini, Mesmer and others
of that era. I also enjoy the works of Carl Jung, Dion Fortune, and
One day I hope to be an author, and inspire others
on their paths.