In many spiritual traditions there is a custom of choosing, or being given, a name to signify a commitment, initiation, or allegiance to that path. When it became clear to me that I needed to start to put my voice and work out into the world the name Sego Strega came quickly to my mind and felt like a gift of a new name to use in larger community.
Sego is from the Sego Lily (or Mariposa Lily), the state flower of Utah, but more importantly she is a hardy indigenous plant whose bulbs offered nourishment to the original people of these lands. Energetically she helps us soften, trust the feminine and heal deep wounds caused by our own self criticism and judgement. I chose her instinctively as she embodies this western land I have lived my entire life and the type of self healing work I help facilitate.
Strega is the Italian word for witch (I am not full Italian but have some Italian ancestry and it is also a land where I lived and a language that I speak). This is a name that has taken me awhile to claim and even longer to say out loud. I am a witch. Witch in many many traditions is a wise woman. Witches were/are the healers, plant workers, and caretakers of their community. I also love the term witch because it is not appropriated from a culture that I do not come from. Witch is a nearly ubiquitous term as all groups have some version or name for the wise women/healers/magic makers/herbalists/etc. in their communities. Witch is the term ascribed to my European and Celtic ancestors who practised herbalism and healing arts. Adopting the identity of witch has been a powerful claiming and connecting to of my foremothers and discovering their traditions that predate patriarchal systems. It is a way of helping heal the witch wound that we all bear- the wound inflicted whenever and wherever our ancestors were colonized, cut off from their old ways, cut off from the earth.
I am Sego Strega. I am a witch deeply rooted in this high desert land. I am a witch seeking my ancestors, working to heal old wounds. I am a witch learning the wisdom that my body, my DNA, already contains. I am a witch reclaiming the earth, the divine mother, the web of life.