I want to talk to you about spells.
I’ve been sitting here trying to write one for the past half an hour. I’m not having as much luck as I normally do. My mind keeps wandering to a statement a friend made. They commented that ‘they would be afraid to piss me off.’
Now, I’m not normally a grouchy person. And to be honest, I laughed their comment off. I knew it wasn’t meant in any derogatory manner. Their comment came from that place inside most people. The place where an outdated stereotype lays in wait.
Not all people have this place. I run across a vast majority of people who ask questions, and are genuinely curious. Even my friend knows better, but within her is this place. A place of movies, books, and church doctrine. A deeply engrained vein of ill-conceived misinformation.
It is not the individual’s fault this vein exists. I do place some blame on the movie industry for perpetuating a stereotype. However, I place more blame on us. The Pagans, the Witches, those of us who follow the off-beat, non-mainstream, spiritual path we follow. We have the ability to change, and thus change everything.
Instead of going off on my usual rant…which I see a strong start of above. I want to take you through the assumptions and stereotypes…from a Witches perspective.
1. All Witches are evil.
Ya….not so much. You always have those bad apples. The ones who give the rest of us a bad rap. The truth is…. As a Witch we have one tenet, on rule, one abiding charge: Harm None.
Do you have any idea how hard that is to live by? Really think about it for a minute. There is so many ways you can cause harm. The biggest way is what you say or think. I’m the worst at internalizing things. I wake up on a week day morning and my first thought is: “I don’t want to do this today!’ That negative self-talk sets the tone for my whole day. It becomes self-fulfilling. It is causing harm.
When someone seeks you out to talk, whether it is work, personal, family member, etc., and you pull your phone out to check it. You’re doing harm. I’m guilty of this one and was called out on it the other day.
We have fleeting moments where our ability to listen and communicate can make the biggest difference. We don’t always know when those moments are…but are you willing to miss them? I seem to be missing a lot of them lately. Not only am I harming myself by placing value on the wrong thing, but I’m devaluing the most important parts of my life…the people in it.
I’ve had the debate with Christians – the ten commandments vs. harm none, morality vs. ethics. If you really look at the ten commandments though. Well, except the whole “Thou shalt have no other god before me” part. I find it rather dictatorial and narcissistic. You give a whole species free will and with one sentence take it away from them. Anyway, that’s a whole other rant!
If you look at the other commandments though. There is not one of them you can’t break down into ‘Harm none.’ Take the tenets of any religion and break them down. You’ll find, at the core, harm none. It is a simple concept. A core concept. One which should be a human concept.
That leads me to my second misconception:
2. Witches will hex you, or put a spell on you.
We will put a spell on you….if you ask us to, if we ask your permission, or if it will benefit you in some way. We’ll put a spell on you/do a spell for you to help with your health, to find love, to find the perfect job, to escape a bad situation, etc. We will not put a curse on you, or hex you. Granted, there are those who would argue if you hurt our family, or familiars, you are fair game. I’m of the mind which says harm none, no matter what…
I’m no saint. I’m sure if the situation arose where harm was done to a family member, a friend or my familiars, I would lose rational thought. My instinct would be to lash out and ‘get even.’ It would be then my values and morals would be tested. I like to believe, in those situations, I would fall back on what I believe: Harm None. I hope I never have to find out what I would do.
The thing is…as a Witch… my whole purpose in life is to help people. Whether it is helping them understand why I’ve chosen this path, or helping them get over their cold faster. I am a life valuing, nature loving, herb crafting, passive Witch.
On to number three:
3. Witches familiars will steal your soul, or any number of other things.
My familiar, Jinx, will harm a fly. He’s my happy hunter. Get him in a ritual though and he becomes guardian and protector. He often approves, or disapproves, of my spells. He walks the circle to make sure its cast correctly. His place is set on the altar, and he knows exactly where it is and when he needs to be there.
He comforts me when I’m sick, and argues when I don’t give him enough treats. There is a special bond between us. For the most part though, he’s not ‘other people’ friendly. I couldn’t send him out into the world to harm someone – he’d go, but would likely get distracted at the first bird he saw. Plus, I would be more worried about people harming him.
Familiars are family. They lend you their strength, courage, wisdom, and cat sense. Their input on spells is invaluable. We would be lost without them…and we do everything we can to keep them close, safe, and well loved.
Every time I write about the stereotypes and my complete distaste for them. I rediscover the reason I’m a Witch. I don’t have the heart to be anything else. So….back to writing my spell! Wish me luck!
Blessed be my friends!