“There is no art in turning a goddess into a witch, a virgin into a whore, but the opposite operation, to give dignity to what has been scorned, to make the degraded disireable, that calls for art or for character.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~
The dictionary defines a Witch as:
A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
A believer or follower of Wicca; a Wiccan.
A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.
Informal. A woman or girl considered bewitching.
One particularly skilled or competent at one’s craft: “A witch of a writer, [she] is capable of developing an intensity that verges on ferocity” (Peter S. Prescott).
v., witched, witch·ing, witch·es.
To work or cast a spell on; bewitch.
To cause, bring, or effect by witchcraft.
To use a divining rod to find underground water or minerals; dowse.
[Middle English wicche, from Old English wicce, witch, and wicca, wizard, sorcerer.]
witchery witch’er·y (-ə-rē) n.
witchy witch’y adj.
Society describes a Witch as old, ugly, evil, riding brooms, stealing children, posses people, putting hexes on people, being followed by her familiar who also does evil. At Halloween we see pictures of ugly hags with green faces, conical hats, and long black attire.
The bible inaccurate states: “Do not suffer a Witch to live.” Had the bible been correctly translated all those years ago, people would know the true statement is: “Do not suffer a poisoner to live.” The era and time the bible was written, poisoning was pronounced and one of the worst crimes you could do. Man in his wisdom however, decided Witch was easier for the average person to understand.
So, a whole society was ripped apart by an inaccuracy, unfounded fear, and a lack of knowledge. Now, a whole group is stereotyped as evil, satanic (that one is my favorite – there is no devil in the craft), and going straight to hell. Again, no devil in the craft, no hell to go to. Wake up people this is the 21st century after all.
Having said all of that I’m on a crusade. Fitting isn’t it? A crusade to debunk a perpetuated stereotype. Perpetuated by stupidity! I’m working to reclaim Witch and restore it’s rightful place in society.
If we follow history we’ll find that Witches started out as the wisewomen of the tribe. Using herbs, and nature to cure, divine the future, incourage successful hunts, grow crops, give advice, and the list goes on. They were well respected within their community, often being the last word in the times of turmoil. Men also played the role. When you look back you find the older a person was, the wiser they were, the more the tribe/community turned to them. Those are the Witches we condemn with a perpetuated stereotype.
The older I get the more frustated I become. When you tell someone that you are a practicing Witch they inevitably do one of two things – they either shrink back from you with a look of “you’re crazy!” or, they begin to ask questions. I’m fond of the people who ask questions and am always willing to take the time to answer them. The ones who shrink back, they’re elevated to my “You’re an idiot” list. Where they remain until they can prove that their stupidity is only skin deep.
I’m not like the Jehovah Witnesses who go door to door trying to convert you. The last time I knocked on a door it was because I had a flat tire and needed to borrow the phone. I’m not like Christians who will immediately condemn you to hell and tell you you’ll never see heaven if you stay on your current path. I question a god who loves conditionally but expects his followers to love unconditionally. Something seems unfair there.
I am admittedly polytheistic not monotheistic. I believe it makes me a well rounded person. My belief system welcomes everyone which is why it draws such a diverse crowd. Gays, lesbians, transgender, the outcasts of society, they all find a haven in the craft.
When I say the craft I’m referencing many belief types. Some of us choose to call ourselves Witches. Reclaiming the word to disprove a long held derogatory stereotype. Some of us call ourselves Wiccan, or Pagan, or Shaminic, or Wizards, or Warlocks, or… the list goes on. We choose these names simply to define who we are.
Our belief systems to ask you to believe in them. Our habits don’t hunt you down to try to convert you. We except other belief systems, even when they don’t except us. You’ll find the majority of us welcoming, helpful, nature oriented, vegetarians and or vegans with a true drive to save the world. If that is evil or bad then we’re sorry but we can’t apologize.
We live by one code – Harm None. Pretty strict when you start breaking it down.
As I work to reclaim the name of Witch. To bring it back into the light where it belongs. I’m sure I’ll have my days where society gets on my bad side. But, I will also share my knowledge and my true beliefs. You’re likely to see similarities in your beliefs and way of life. Remember, I don’t ask you to believe as I do. I’m not trying to convert you. I’m simply sharing my journey and would be happy to have you along.
So…..shall we begin?