Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 16,472,692

April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops

April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective

March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!

March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness

March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright

March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects

February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are

February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?

February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings

February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)

January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected

January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence

January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression

January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild

December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed

December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)

December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots

December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward

December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism

Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?

November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy

November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?

November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?

Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return

The Celtic Tree Calendar

Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs

November 3rd. 2013 ...

The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?

October 27th. 2013 ...

Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 15130

VoxAcct: 309334

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 593

Times Read: 1,199

RSS Views: 0
An English Witch in Syria

Author: Aaliyah
Posted: September 2nd. 2012
Times Viewed: 1,199

Back in 2009, I moved to Damascus, Syria in the Middle East. I moved there for work reasons. I was an English teacher. I am originally from London, England, but I have always had an obsession with Arabic culture, even attending Arabic classes when I was a teen, despite never having been to the Middle East before.

Of course, Egypt was my first love, until I actually went there and the difficulties of being a woman alone dawned on me, as I was being harassed left, right and centre. In the end, I fled and conclude that it’s great when you’re with others but a nightmare alone.

So back in London, I got on the net, and searched for other positions in the same region and came across a very mystical looking Damascus. Ancient and the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, the pictures of old buildings and roads whose names were mentioned in the Bible drew me in. I was in love and was soon on a plane over there after being successfully recruited to work in a great language school right in the heart of the capital.

On the plane it did cross my mind, how I would continue my spiritual practice in this country where it is often assumed the women were covered head to toe in black, and women have no rights. I was a spiritual dancer. I was teaching other women about the power of intention, about Witchcraft and Tarot and how to make Mojo bags! What would I do in this country and would the infamous secret police arrest me? [The latter turned into a legitimate worry actually, as I slowly got to know the spiritual face of Damascus. A woman working as a psychic had been arrested for knowing things before they happened. It turned out that they were worried at just how much she would know about the government!]

Anyway, the first thing I got to know about Syria, in a spiritual sense, was the religion. In my very first week, I was told off for asking a man whether he was a Muslim or a Christian. The truth was that I was surprised that he was wearing a cross. I didn’t know that Syria was full of different faiths and that Syria is the only country in the Middle East where people of all denominations live side by side in the same apartment blocks. They often don’t even know their best friend’s religion because they just don’t ask. It doesn’t matter to them.

After three years living there, I have Muslim – all sects – Christian, Druze, Buddhist and Jewish friends. That early telling off made me think though. I realized that Syria isn’t what people in the West think it is in terms of Spirituality. There was more to uncover.

One thing that is stereotypical, but I’m afraid quite true, is that marriage is probably the goal that most Syrian women aim for. It determines their entire futures but in no way does it limit them. They still study, travel and work. However, every single girl in Syria wants to know whom she will end up marrying one day! They are obsessed with finding out their futures. As you can imagine, coffee cup reading from Turkey and tealeaf reading from Iraq is very popular there and you can find a reader anywhere. I met a palm reader and astrologer in Aleppo. He had many customers who were famous Arabs.

My best friend took me to a woman who was a strict, traditional Muslim, who would take her prayer beads, put her headscarf on and start praying verses from the Qur’an. Suddenly a child’s voice would speak through her and you would speak to this child and ask her questions like ‘does so and so love me?’ and she would give an answer. The woman was in a trance at the time and it was a very strange thing to witness but she could be quite accurate. She was making a lot of money and mothers would take their daughters to see her to find out whom they would marry. I remember once, an example to portray just how typical it was for people to ask about marriage - I asked about an influential woman in my life and she thought I was a lesbian!

She would also make rituals for them to do to get people to fall in love or pop the question! I guess you could say it had to be some form of Islamic Witchcraft but what I found particularly beautiful was that she would also give verses from the Bible to include in their rituals. Sheikhs in Mosques were also famous for putting love spells on people. They actually use the word ‘spell’ in Arabic to describe it.

My best friend was Armenian Catholic from Syria and one day she saw me give a Tarot reading to an English friend and she asked what I was doing. I soon discovered that I was probably the only person in the whole country who had a pack of tarot cards and if I ever got them out in a public place, people would flock to me and ask for readings! Anyway, she and I became very close and she was interested in what I was doing and liked the idea of lighting candles and making wishes out in nature. So we would get on a bus to Sednaya that was a small town built around a famous monastery in the mountains. We would climb up and wish for love and say thank you to the trees and leave offerings and then pray in the church for love again! She really got me into the Arab way of thinking!

Coming from England, the main thing that really threw me in Syria was the lack of green where I was living. Damascus is just ... yellow! And when you do go out of Damascus, the greenery is often littered with plastic bags. And I mean hundreds of plastic bags everywhere! They are all that the shops would use and so the discarded ones just ended up on the streets and under trees. Shopkeepers always commented that they know who the foreigners are because they refuse to take their plastic bags! They found it very funny because it just wasn’t common knowledge how bad they can be for the environment. However, I was happy to learn of a cafe that a friend was involved with, called The Environment Café in the old city area of Damascus, that did projects on the dangers of throwing away batteries in schools. I worked with them on projects regarding plastic bags and how to limit their use.

As Witches, I feel we are supposed to see the beauty in everything, even if it is religion or a country that seems different from our own. I thought I would wither as a Witch in the Middle East but it was the opposite. I left my Tarot cards in London and ended up reading water and scrying for people instead! I discovered an amazing talent for it. I realized my potential among the ancient ruins at Palmyra and felt close to Jesus in Maloula where the people speak Aramaic. I prayed and stayed at a monastery with the most amazing nuns and understood more of my own Islamic background (being half Turkish) .

Spirituality is more honest, raw and alive in Syria than in certain places I have lived all my life. This is why I wanted to tell you about it. When you watch the news and see the country in civil war right now, this is not a bunch of Muslims killing each other. These are people, like you and me, confused, just wanting to live to see their own future come to fruition.

Stay blessed.



Location: London, England

Author's Profile: To learn more about Aaliyah - Click HERE

Bio: I left for Syria in 2009 and returned to England a couple of months ago.

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Aaliyah... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Aaliyah ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).