To Witch or Not to Witch?
That is the question. I’m going to be perfectly honest here. I’ve been part of the metaphysical community for a while now. I’ve been co-chair of a metaphysical expo for 8 years, and the owner of a metaphysical center for 3 years. I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot. Through it all, I’ve prided myself on not taking on too many labels because I didn’t want the baggage associated with the label. But at the same time, I understand that labels help us humans connect and better understand each other. When we ask each other, “What do you do for a living,” we are really trying to quickly understand what we spend a great deal of our time doing. We can glean much about a people simply by the job they do. Of course that isn’t the entire story, but a label is never the complete story.
Where was I? Oh yes. The word witch.
Taking on the label witch has historically come at a hefty price. Some people were falsely accused of being witches and killed. Others were actually witches and killed. Religion has been used for centuries as an excuse to deem someone as “other” and a threat. Pagan customs have been vilified. Is it no wonder that anyone would be cautious when approaching such a charged word? And what exactly does the word witch mean? Some people think it’s about a black hat, warts, and a broomstick. Other people think it’s about worshipping the devil. For me, being a witch is absolutely not demonic or satanic (some people may mix these concepts together, but that isn’t me) and many people I know who embrace the word witch agree. It’s not my fault that television and movies like to mix Satanism and witchcraft together.
I’ve struggled in the past year to adequately define the word witch.
I’ve assisted customers who are drawn to witchcraft, and I’m not sure we would all agree on a definition. I felt like perhaps I couldn’t claim the word witch because I hardly perform spells or rituals. I enjoy spells and rituals, but I don’t feel like I need them most of the time. After struggling with this predicament, I came across the Weiser Field Guide to Witches the other day and was flabbergasted at the definition of witch: “Witchcraft is the craft of the wise. Witches are the wise ones; the ones who know. Witches are knowledge seekers. To know is not the same as being smart or educated. What witches possess or strive to attain is deep spiritual knowledge, the wisdom of Earth, sea, and stars. Witches are privy to Earth’s secrets. They possess knowledge of traditional lore whose roots first emerged in the depths of time.”
Boom. Mic drop.
The definition of witch from the Weiser Field Guide to Witches speaks directly to my soul. My spiritual path has always been seeking knowledge. I read many books from a young age. I loved anything containing magical elements. In high school I began meditating, learned how to read love fortunes with playing cards, and even helped a friend make a Ouija board out of a pizza box.
In college I studied eastern religions, met someone who was Wiccan for the first time, and continued to explore spiritual beliefs. As an adult, I’ve led psychic development groups, been on paranormal investigations, performed energy work, read from the Akashic Record, and taught classes. Every single thing I do is for deep spiritual knowledge. I understand and respect the Norse god Odin for sacrificing an eye for knowledge. I believe I would be willing to make the same sacrifice.
I will never know all of the answers. But I hunger to learn everything I can about the crazy, wonderous, magical universe. The more I learn, the more I realize that I know nothing. I’ve had this yearning for knowledge for as long as I can remember.
How foolish I was for thinking that the word witch didn’t apply to me. I can feel the energy in every crystal. I listen to the trees. I can read from the Akashic Record, the astral library of knowledge. I look often to the archangels for assistance in my life, for healing, protection, and everything else. I feel the magic all around me. When I go to Pagan events, I feel comfortable.
The wonderful thing about spirituality, and not religion, is that it can be deeply personal and flexible. I consider myself to be an eclectic independent witch because I am a blend of everything I have learned. My version of witch may be just for me, and that’s okay.
Do you feel the call of the witch? If so, I encourage you to check out our monthly Witches Cauldron Gathering at Illuminations and/or the annual Midwest Witches Conference. In October, The Iowa City Metaphysical Expo is featuring popular Pagan author Jason Mankey. I invite you to check out all of these events!