Raised By Witches: The Morality of Witches
by Pat Carbonell

Pat Carbonell is taking a week off to tend some personal issues. Her daughter, Jo Carbonell is filling in for her until she gets back.

Raised By Witches: The Morality of Witches
by Jo Carbonell

From my own observations I've discovered that I learned Morality a bit differently than most kids my age.

RESPECT: My mother didn't teach me little things like "Respect your elders" by telling me to, she showed me why. When my grandmother turned 60 her doctor told her to cut down on her smoking to 3 cigarettes a day. Her reply was to not even bother. She quit cold turkey and 20 years later, has not picked up a cig. I respect my grandmother because she raised 4 kids and helped raise 5 grandkids, including putting up with me for over 21 years. I respect her because she's lived so long and gone through so much that she has a vast amount of knowledge you can't find in a book. I respect her because she taught me about Blues, Jazz, Musicals, and my love of listening to her stories. I respect my grandmother because she's the only link I have to the life that happened before I was born. I respect my grandmother because she earned it.

THE SEX TALK: At the tender age of five I asked my mother where babies came from. She calmly explained to me, with drawn pictures, that babies came from inside a mommy's tummy. It took me an entire year to go back and ask how they got there. I was once again led through a detailed explanation, including drawn pictures, and thus decided that it was gross and I never wanted a boy to touch me. Thankfully, once Puberty hit, I changed my mind.

Jo%27s%20Photography%20Archives%20087%20pic1.jpgSELF DEFENSE: When I was six I was the unfortunate victim of beatings on the way to school everyday. My main bullies were my younger cousin (by a whole whopping 6 months) and his best friend. One day I came running back home crying because my cousin and his friend had a pop-gun that shot blanks and made really loud noises. They held me down on the sidewalk and shot it right by my ear until I began to cry from fear. So my mom was fed up with sending me to school and then me coming back home halfway through my walk crying because of my stupid little cousin and his stupid little friends. So at the age of six my mother and uncle taught me "Self Defense". My first lesson was how to drop-kick a boy so that he lands on his knees on the ground. I didn't go to school that day, instead I got lessons. BUT the next day, my cousin's little friend was my first victim. They came up on me and tried to beat me up and instead of taking it, I grabbed my cousin's friend by the shoulders and kneed him right in the nut sack! He hit the ground and began to cry. My cousin stood amazed for about two seconds before he saw me looking at him and then he ran for it. I never got picked on by him again. {My first day back in High School I ran into my cousin's old friend and when he saw that I was bigger than him, he decided he desperately wanted to be my friend.}

My mom always told me that you should never start a fight, BUT if someone starts one with me, I BETTER DAMN WELL finish it. I always have. I'm not a violent person. I'm actually a sworn pacifist by choice, but I'm not stupid. Knowing that I would have to defend myself sometime in my life, probably more than once, I chose to learn as much about fighting and self defense as I could from anyone who would teach me. As of right now I know how to throw a punch, deliver a well-placed kick, stab a man with a set of keys and gut a man with a katana or a hand blade. I never would unless my life or someone else's were in danger, but I feel safer knowing I can.

At the age of eight I was taught about "adoption" and how it applied to my life. I'm an only child. I will probably remain one for the rest of my life. At the age of eight I got my first best friend, Angela. She came from a very dysfunctional family full of abuse and neglect. Angela was the main victim of her home. She did whatever she was told and never complained because it might get her hurt. Angela and I became very close, like sisters. My mother soon started calling Angela "her other daughter" and I suddenly had a sibling. We were inseparable. Because of the bond I had with Angela, I felt that I had to protect her at times.

Jo%27s%20Photography%20Archives%20068%20pic2.jpgAs I said above, I was taught to defend myself and someone else if they were in danger. Angela was the first person I ever had to defend. At the age of 12 I had to stand up to an adult for the first time, an adult that was NOT my mother. I was at Angela's house for a family get together. Her whole family was there and me. Her uncle had come to visit from out of town and he was swapping stories with the good ol' boys in her family. Angela and her mother were in the kitchen making dinner as I sat at the table with the men. Suddenly Angela was screaming. I looked and her mother was hitting her repeatedly with a metal pitcher and screaming at her that she was useless. Angela tried to back up, but the pitcher just kept being swung over and over again. Angela backed up from the kitchen, through the dining room we were all in (no one reacted), and all the way down a 10' hallway to Angela's room where she cowered in fear on her bed as her mother beat her. I realized that no one was going to do anything to save her, so I did. I stood up from the table, looked at all the men and in my creaking voice said "You are all cowards!" I walked down the hallway and just as Angela's mother raised her hand with the pitcher one last time, I grabbed the pitcher out of her hands. Thankfully she was a very short Irish women and at age 12 I already towered over her. I held the pitcher over my head and said "Do YOU want to know how it feels?" She was in shock. I was completely calm, but she could see the anger in my face. I told her that if she ever touched Angela again, I'd make her wish she hadn't. To my knowledge, she's never touched her since. Today Angela is a mother of two wonderful children and her eldest is my godson, Gregory. I like to think that if it wasn't for me, she probably wouldn't have gotten this far.

My mother taught me to stand up for others in trouble. Angela was the first person I ever defended and it made me realize that other people in the world needed to be defended too.

Jo%27s%20Photography%20Archives%20305%20pic3.jpgMy mother also taught me about Love. Not the type where your parents go "When you grow up, you'll fall in love with a nice man/woman and you'll get married and live happily ever after." My mother taught me about the other types of Love, like Platonic Love. The type of love you feel with someone you can't have as a lover. There is nothing wrong with loving someone, but our society says there is. My mother taught me that "friends can be lovers" and vice versa, but it doesn't mean they have to marry you. She also taught me about Love for my planet. As a child I wanted to grow up to swim with the sea animals. My mother fed my imagination and hopes with National Geographic issues and news about SeaWorld down in Florida. My first trip to SeaWorld I learned a little truth about the big bad world. I got to take a backstage tour of the pools they kept Shamu and the dolphins in. At the time I was starting to pick up Animal speech in my head. As I was listening to the dolphins it occurred to me that I was understanding some of what they were saying. One of them said something about a "fish sandwich" and I found ti rather odd until I looked around me. Twenty feet from me was a Food Stand that was advertising "Fish Sandwiches". It suddenly occurred to me what the dolphins thought. It made sense that they would think that if they didn't perform well, they would be fed to the humans on a bun. I suddenly wanted nothing more to do with the world of captured animals and moral less Marine Biologists. My love for animals increased, but my respect for people diminished a bit.

At the age of 18, the day after I graduated high school, my mother took me to my first Protest. It was at Goddard College in Vermont. My mother was a student at the time. We were protesting because they were firing 16 teachers all at once. The problem with this is that in firing some of these teachers, a lot of students had their academic plans screwed up majorly. Some of these teachers taught the only classes provided for some of the majors provided at the school, such as Women's Studies, Environmental Sciences, etc. I spent the entire day talking to students who were also protesting, taking pictures of my first protest and calmly listening to the grips of the students while being angered at the Dean who was nodding off during our protest meeting. Unfortunately, the students did not win this one. The teachers were fired and students had to look at other colleges to fulfill their graduation requirements. It taught me that you always have to fight for what you believe in, but it doesn't mean you'll always win.

I may not have learned things like "respect your elders because they are older than you" because I was learning "No one gets automatic respect until they've earned it". While other kids were learning to "protect yourself" I was learning to "defend the defenseless". My mom taught me a lot of things that I've noticed other people don't know. Being a witch I learned very young that the world is not perfect. I learned that childhood doesn't last long and growing up takes no time at all if you let it go. But because my mother forced me to think for myself, respect those whom I deem worthy of my respect, and fight for those who can not - I think I turned out pretty well for a happy lil' heathen.

Thanks Mom. You rock!



My daughter is Wiccan even though her Mother and I are both non-practicing Catholics. What confuses some people is that it doesn't bother me. She's got a better set of values than some "saints in training" that I've met over the years.


Hey Jo,

It was a great article. You have learned a lot in your many years. Learning what you have and the way you have is what makes you the person you are today. You have always beent there for me no matter what. You a great frined and most importantly, your the best biggest sister an only child like me could ever have. By the way Pat, you did one hell of job rasing this wonderful young women, shes GREAT!!! You have treated me like on of your own and that has made all the difference. Thanks for every thing mom, and my big sis JO!!

Kiss, Kiss, Love, Love,



Timmer: Thank you for the comments. Your daughter sounds like a lot of wiccans I know. The comment I hear most oft about so-called Christians is "What happened to 'Love thy neighbor?" and the most I hear from the christians is "Don't you guys sacrifice animals?" -It only proves to me that one finds enlightenment in the oddest of places.

and no, we don't sacrifice animals.


Chris: You're a suck-up and I love you too. *noogies!*


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