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What it means to be a Witch???

Share your in depth thoughts...
What DOES IT MEAN for the FUTURE of that Survival - outside of the Techno - Library of Knowledge, and Modern 'Imagination'???

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Replies (9)
    • To moi, to Be a witch is to be in union with Nature & still function in the present century; break that down to daily functions, actions and way-of-life. Choose behaviors “in-synch“ with union. It’s sort of zen-like. We don’t prosper outside of knowledge and imagination, but because of it. 

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      • To my mother, "it's what they call us." 

        At that age, I  didn't understand the implications of her statement. She continued, "it's what they call women like us. Women who know they're a part of nature. Healers..."

        At that age, I was involved in water rites taught to us by Mamas in the community. We call them Mama This, or Mama That. Baba This, or Baba That... some people called them Ms. or Mrs. or Mr... but those of us who were under their instruction during our pubescent years, learning about our Ancestors and engaging in rituals which call them to us, and other rites of passage... to us, they were Mamas and Babas. And we did get some funny looks, from other kids within our community but who were not involved in what we referred to simply as rites of passage. It was just normal to us. It was never called witchcraft by anyone. 

        When she said, "it's what they call us," that's not what my mother drew my attention to. I was an adult before I recognized what these rites and gatherings might be called, by others. She didn't even draw my attention to the altars in our home (which, in adulthood, I would find myself ridiculed or feared for). What she drew my attention to, instead of any of that... was her endless collection of herbs. 

        I'd been reading some fantasy book at that time and that's what made me ask her, "mommy... are we... witches?". In the book, a girl who lived with her mother in the woods learns from her mother about various herbs. They're healers (with the daughter under the mom's instruction). It seems very run of the mill until it isn't... the girl's gone to get herbs for the mother when their home is attacked and the mother is killed because they're accused of witchcraft. A normal day turned into a tragedy my sheltered, young mind couldn't wrap my head around.  At that time, I'd flip a coin as to whether or not I'd read a book's synopsis or just read the book, so I was not expecting this turn of events. The mother and daughter reminded me of my mother, and myself. And one of the things I really just could not understand for the life of me was why on earth were they were called witches... I thought witches wore pointy hats and had hooked noses with warts and that frogs were involved (probably causing the warts). I didn't think that what the mom and daughter were doing constituted witchcraft in any way.

        I was fascinated by witches in a way but when I thought of witches, the concept just never included anyone who looked like me. What I practiced wasn't witchcraft in my mind, but I came to learn that in others' minds, that's what our spiritual and religious practices would be described as. To me, it was "if you want _______, then you gather ________ and then you_____" but to others, those were spells and charms. I'd always studied scriptures across faiths, and began to see so many similarities between one thing and the next, even between the secular and nonsecular. I came to determine that the difference between occult and religion, spells and prayers pretty much amounts to who's doing it. The taboo surrounding this was not something I was exposed to until I started being accused of being a witch by acquaintances, friends, and strangers alike in the mid-2010s. I felt like suddenly, it was a Whole Thing and I had to figure out how to define the term for myself as others insisted upon defining me by it. For me it's a part of my culture, clandestine in nature, and defined by mystic practices and communion with spirits but I know that to the mainstream culture in my country, that is plainly witchcraft.

        I've come to settle on this as a general definition: Being a witch is being someone who uses the power of their will and those other powers they recognize and develop within themselves to manipulate the universe (in an all-encompassing sense), themselves, their environments, etc. It's not something that's necessarily prescribed or claimed as an identity, but it often includes communion beyond the veils of common perception and rituals which exchange and concentrate the energies of various sources (including the witch) to meet various ends. Witches are close to these sources of power, these entities and Gods and spirits and beings indwelling and otherwise, and these sources are, naturally, generally recognized as a part of nature if not nature itself. 

        I think that what falls under this definition may or may not be referred to as witchcraft, depending on who is doing the labeling or the identifying. 

        In this sense, the internet has both a lot and nothing to do with it. There has never been an agreed-upon definition of witchcraft and it will never be one thing and not another. It simply isn't prescribed. This kind of activity predates the word "witch," the languages from which "witch" gets it roots, and the sense of witchcraft being nonstandard. The limitations imposed upon the term and those who engage in activities that fall under its purview are much more arbitrary than I think many of us realize or care to recognize. And these crafts aren't going anywhere. Furthermore, they have always been subject to change over time.

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        • Thank you for sharing your experience, I've always been curious about the lives of children who are raised around witchcraft.

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          • Being a witch allows me to connect with nature. It allows me to connect with my ancestors. It allows me to tap in to the earths energy to perform energy work. Being a witch allows me to be me. 

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            • I am new to the Wiccan community, and I., a black male. I am wondering how I would be able to get help on being an active member of Wicca


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              • Hi and welcome Tremaine. Of course you can get help just by asking a Q about your interests. Also you might browse the posts in topics like “how to be a witch.”

                https://witches.community/page/discussions-category?category=5

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              • It means we have eye(s) that see; Minds alike...

                For me, it means alone. Solitary. Connected. One.


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                • For me it's a path: a way of connecting with the natural world. A path: less taken. A path to knowledge beyond understanding. A path: that was once common; then nearly forgotten. A path: that is still everywhere for anyone, who seeks a genuine connection with the natural world. 

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                  • Might as well ask "What does it mean to be yourself?"

                    Witchcraft is on it's own is a rather ambiguous term with a lot of conflicting cultural baggage depending on who's asking/talking. However for my purposes I adopt the label because it's about the closest thing to my genuine indigenous cultural heritage as I'm likely to find in a spiritual/religious context, without getting mired down the road of pagan reconstructionist anachronisms. I also like the down to earth aesthetic.

                    Apart from the above and the self-exploration and self-actualization involved in doing the hard inner work of self-transformation, I particularly associate witchcraft with wisdom. To me it's mostly about prying under the surface of things to find out the inner mechanics of how nature works, including particularly, human nature. Yet not in a merely theoretical way, but in practical application. It's the psycho-spiritual equivalent of experimental science. I will follow that where ever it leads, even if I must necessarily discard a lot of my preconceptions, superstitions and wishful thinking in the process. So far, it's been an extremely successful harvest, even if the sacrifices along the way have been equally dear.

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