￼Here, Rachael Nielsen, 28, tells the story in her own word.
When Mum’s friend whispered in my ear, I promised to keep her secret between just us.
I was only 12, but she’d confided in me and I took that seriously. Both of my parents were therapists and missionaries so, growing up, I thought my ability to connect with people came from them.
Going for sleepovers at friends’ houses, I’d spend hours talking to their mums. ‘I’m struggling with the divorce,’ one told me.
It was strange, but every emotion, each trauma, I felt like I was going through it too. ‘You’re really good at understanding people,’ Mum said, one day. Mulling over her comment, I realised I was a little different. None of my friends talk to adults like this, I thought.
In my early 20s, I started picking up books searching for answers about who I was. Absorbing people’s emotions, highly sensitive, good listeners are all traits of an empath, I read. An empath is someone who emotionally connects with others, feeling exactly what they do. ‘That’s me!’ I realised.
Reading more, I learnt that people with this gift are often witches. Is this who I really am? I wondered, staring at pictures of witches being burned at the stake.
Soon after, I moved to Melbourne. Wandering around the streets one day, I couldn’t shake the idea that I was a witch. Just then, I passed a bookstore and was drawn inside. Floor-to-ceiling shelves were filled with spell books.
Sitting on the floor, I flicked through pages and pages and it all made sense to me. This is who I am, I thought. I am a witch. Next I went shopping for everything I needed. Crystals, incense, candles, cauldron… I bought it all!
I don’t think I’ll need that, I laughed at all the pointed hats. Back home, I set it all up in one space I’d use as an altar. Spreading a black cloth over the table, I was ready to cast my first spell. Thinking about how people had always confided in me about their heartache, I knew I wanted to help others find love. I posted an advert online, and amazingly, five people replied.
Filled with nerves I was worried my spell wouldn’t work, but I brushed off my feelings and offered my first client a love manifestation spell. Listing qualities and traits she wanted in a partner, I’d use a spell calling men who fit the bill into her life.
Finding out she’d been single for years and was exhausted with online dating, I could feel the loneliness radiating off her, but I was confident. ‘I’m going to help you,’ I said. Slipping into my most comfortable black dress, I swept on a shade of black lipstick and tapped my painted black nails. Then I placed a single red rose, pink salt, a rose quartz crystal and selected herbs onto my altar before lighting a red candle. Next, I chanted my spell. ‘Done,’ I told her, blowing out the candle.
The next week I saw her number pop up on my phone. I bet it hasn’t worked and she’s calling to complain, I panicked. ‘You’re a genius Rachael,’ she gushed down the line. ‘Four men have asked me out on dates.’
Feeling her excitement, it boosted my confidence, so I offered love spells to others who answered my ad. As my phone buzzed off the hook my clients were telling me of their new lovers.
Overwhelmed, it gave me the confidence to try other spells. Wanting to be sure to only practise ethical spells and not remove people’s free will, I don’t use my magic to do anything they don’t want. I simply light the path between potential lovers. Then they do the rest!
One day, I got a message from a busy mum with two young kids who asked me to help her lose weight. I’ve recently started a new office job and the kilos have piled on, she explained. Grabbing herbs from my garden, I dressed my altar, then created a weight loss spell.
A month later she called screaming with joy. With no extra exercise or change in her diet the weight she’d gained had simply dropped off. ‘I can’t believe it!’ she said, thrilled. ‘Thank you.’ I was just happy to use my gift to put smiles on people’s faces.
As a full-time witch I practise new spells every day. Whether it be to boost people’s confidence, help them find love, or even lose weight, I have just the spell for everyone.
Witches aren’t all curses and pointed hats. But I do have a broomstick in the corner. I just have to find a spell to fly that thing!
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