Witch

When you think of the word “witch” what is your first thought?

Is it of the ugly old woman with the tall black hat flying on a broomstick with black cat?

Is it of the green faced villain from the Wizard of Oz?

Is it of a boiling cauldron and the three hags dropping strange ingredients into it?

If you said “yes” to any of these, then you have been influenced by the popular stereotypes that have been perpetuated for the last 500 years or so. Those tall black hats, black cats, cauldrons and brooms were all once used by female beer makers but were used against them when men wanted to take over the brewing of beer. The church took those icons and turned them into images of “witchcraft” which in turned were used to kill millions of innocent people all over Europe and North America.

Today, most people think that witches and witchcraft are just metaphysical hocus pocus practiced by new agers. That’s fine, most people can think that all they want, I actually would prefer it if they did. Those of us who call ourselves witches and practice witchcraft, know there’s more to it then that.

I am a witch. I practice witchcraft. I don’t have a black hat but I do have a black cat, cauldron, and a broom. No, I don’t “fly” on my broom but I do use it to clean my sacred space. My cauldron is used to “brew” my magic.

But back to the question, what is a witch?

Simply put, a witch is a practitioner of witchcraft. A witch can be male, female, or somewhere in between. They can dress however they want, use whatever tools they want, work any kind of magic they want.

Witches are still considered to be on the fringes of society. What they do is still not fully understood by society. They are fear and revered in societies across the world. The age of the internet has been good for witches as they can get more business for their talents from anywhere in the world.

Check out this video about witches in Romania:

Are Witches Pagan?

Some are but you don’t have to be. You can be Christian, Muslim, or Atheist, and still be a witch. There are all sorts of different ways to practice witchcraft and you can use any belief system to do it. The only thing you need is an intention and understanding of sympathetic magic.

Witchcraft

The most delicious part about being a witch, is your ability to create spells to manifest your desires. There’s all sorts of ways to create spells, rituals, potions, charms, and other objects of power. Anything you want, you can create, you need only put in the effort. Keep in mind, that magic is a tricky thing and if you are not clear in your mind about what you want, the magic might bring you something you weren’t exactly expecting.

There’s a warning with witchcraft though, whatever you decided to manifest, will come back to you. In Wicca, they call this the threefold law, which states that any action you take in the name of witchcraft will come back to you threefold. This is a good way for witches to think about what they do before they do it.

I can admit that there have been times when I have either wanted to use magic as a way to get vengeance and then there are the times in which I have. You see, I don’t get mad, I get even and using magic as a means to do this is not healthy and kind of detrimental to your good health. Not only will you eventually feel bad for what you have done but you may inadvertently create similar harm to yourself.

I once had a friend who was wildly out of control. She was lying, stealing, and cheating and causing all sorts of mayhem in her path. I created a binding spell to help prevent her from doing any further to herself or others. It worked but it managed to destroy our friendship. She never knew that I did this to her but I did and that was enough. I was young and didn’t understand mental illness or how it works on the brain and thus, I didn’t know that really all she needed was to talk with someone and get the right medication to help her. This is a spell that I deeply regret as I have seen the cascading effects of the spell. There’s no way for me to undo it either without stacking the effects, believe me, I have tried.

The moral of this story is, think before you cast. Speak with your deities, converse with trusted members of your coven, or talk with non-practising friends and family about practical non-magical options. I would advise that anyone who practices witchcraft and calls themselves a witch to always seek the non-magical methods of problem solving first. If you must add magic, use supportive magic on yourself and not others unless asked to do so. Never perform magical on a non-consenting individual, including pets. As much as you may want to hex Trump right now, hold off, you have no idea what you might bring about in the process.

Normally, I would never discuss my past uses of magic but in the spirit of education, I will share some of my stories on this blog. I keep most of my spell work recorded in my Book of Secrets. I will share a little how-to on keeping a Book of Secrets, or otherwise known as a Book of Shadows or a Grimoire, in a follow up post.

If you have any topics that you would like me to share, please comment and let me know.

Blessed be,

Priestess Spiritsong

Beginner Rituals

Rituals provide a template to guide our emotions and actions according to situations. Thereby, they bring a sense of familiarity and order in our life. The purpose of a pagan ritual is to bring our focus to effect personal and environmental change, particularly changes in consciousness.

Ritual: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

Rituals provide a template to guide our emotions and actions according to situations. Thereby, they bring a sense of familiarity and order in our life. The purpose of a pagan ritual is to bring our focus to effect personal and environmental change, particularly changes in consciousness.

Wiccan rituals have one of the simplest ritual formats you will find. Each step is clearly marked out and has a purpose. My former teacher used to describe holding ritual like throwing a fancy party for some distinguished guests.

First, you clean your house:

Clear the space of negative energy
Cleanse the ritual tools

Then you decorate:

Create a sacred circle
Set up the altar

Make sure you have security for your guests:

Summon the elemental protectors

Be sure to send out the invitations to your guests:

Evoke the Gods if you want to have their support for your ritual. If you want to draw the Gods into you, then you Invoke them. For for information read my post about Invoking vs Evoking.

Oh, your guests are hungry when they arrive, better thank them for coming and feed them:

Give thanks to the Gods
Give offerings

Now, time for the entertainment:

Perform magic or other work

Party is over, better say goodbye to your guests:

Say farewell to the Gods

Pay the security team and thank them for their help:

Give offerings to and release the elemental guardians

Lock up the house till next time:

Open the circle and release the energy

Once you have the basic format of a ritual, you can improvise and alter it as much as you like.

If you have any ritual formats that you would like to share or have a blog post about yours, I would love to read them. Please post them in the comments.

~Priestess Spiritsong Dreamweaver