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Five Most Common Questions to Ask a Witch

Updated on May 28, 2015
Have a seat! Oh, wait, let me move the cat...
Have a seat! Oh, wait, let me move the cat... | Source

No Such Thing as a Silly Question

Welcome! For the most part, I take the stand that there is no such thing as a silly question. People can ask me anything and I will attempt to answer to the best of my ability if I know the answer. Sometimes people have a sincere interest in something but are too timid to speak up. Sometimes they fear being met with derision. That is no way to encourage dialogue. So, no such thing as silly questions. In that spirit, here are the top five questions I have gotten asked and the answers. Please note that these are my own thoughts and are not universal or true for all Witches. I try to note that by saying “most” or “many” Witches before a statement but it isn’t always possible. That being said, this is for all of those who have wanted to ask but didn’t. Pull up a chair, the tea is on, so sit a spell. You may need to ask the cat to vacate the chair, though.

Witches generally love nature and spending time in it...but don't worship nature.
Witches generally love nature and spending time in it...but don't worship nature. | Source

Question Number One: Do you worship the devil?

No. Just, no. Witches do not believe in that particular entity. As Sandra Bullock’s character in Practical Magic, Sally, stated - “There is no devil in the craft.” In fact, many Witches will tell you that they don’t actually worship their deities. They have a relationship with them. It is like having a very wise friend that you can talk to and work with towards a goal. The devil is from another pantheon entirely. Unless you work within the framework of that pantheon, then the devil has no bearing. That is like telling a Baptist that they actually worship Apollo. It doesn’t apply. For those who then claim that the devil disguises himself as other beings, again, no. Sorry. That is like telling the Baptist that Apollo is actually disguising himself as their god in order to deceive them. It is not in the belief system of that person so it will not compute. I will also state no offense meant to Apollo - I simply used his name for illustration. I am not, repeat, not equating him with any being known as the devil.

(Follow up question here: Do you worship nature?) Witches, indeed, most Pagans, have a strong kinship with nature. We believe that we are connected to all things. Nature also follows a rhythm. It awakens, it thrives, it produces, it readies itself for sleep and it goes dormant. As stated above, Witches do not really worship, but rather we work in harmony with other energies. Nature provides a model for us to observe. It also allows us to follow a rhythm of our own as we take time to plant seeds (actual crops or ideas or whatever), nurture, tend and harvest. A Witch’s relationship with nature and all within is often very respectful, sacred and caring. But no, we do not worship nature.

Spells are often classified as focused intent.  We don't turn people into newts. Or frogs.
Spells are often classified as focused intent. We don't turn people into newts. Or frogs. | Source

Question Number Two: Do you put spells on people?

The perception of spells that are given from the movies and TV are quite different from what a practicing Witch does. Many Witches strongly believe that it is wrong to do anything for another person without their consent. This even includes healing. Free will is very important to most Witches as is personal responsibility. Therefore, no, Witches do not go around putting spells on people. I would never cast, for example, a love spell on a specific person. If someone asked me to do so I would explain to them why it is a misguided idea. The better idea is to set an intent and work with energy to be more compassionate and loving towards yourself. When we love ourselves and are confident, it tends to attract love to us. I would also explain that it would work best if they did this for themselves and I’d offer to show them how. Now, about spells. No, they won’t change your eye color. They won’t give your enemies warts or turn them into newts. Spells, very basically, are a manipulation of energy to attract a desired goal or outcome. It will attract the energy that you are sending out, so it is in the best interest of the Witch to put out good energy. Some Witches believe in “The Law of Three” (that whatever you put out comes back three times stronger) and some don’t. But most can agree that the energy has to go somewhere. Therefore they are very precise with spellwork and mindful of possible outcomes. It is also my experience that the longer someone has been practicing, the fewer actual spells they do.

Dancing naked under a January full moon just sounds painful. I'll keep my clothes, thank you.
Dancing naked under a January full moon just sounds painful. I'll keep my clothes, thank you. | Source

Question Number Three: Do you dance naked at the full moon?

This one usually gets a disappointed look when I say that most Witches do not practice sky clad, or nude. Some do, of course, but most of the Witches I have come across do not. The concept of sky clad came from the father of modern Wicca, Gerald Gardner. Now, I must point out that being a Witch does not automatically mean that one is a Wiccan. Think of it as two different spokes of the umbrella of Paganism. Some Witches are Wiccan but not every Witch is a Wiccan. Back to Gerald Gardner. He is credited with being the founder of Wicca. He was also a naturalist, or nudist. So, it was understandable that he would bring this into his spiritual practice. I will also remind you that a large number of practicing Witches hailed from colder climates. Think about it - yeah, exactly. Not fun to be freezing certain parts of your anatomy. So, practicing naked or not is a personal choice.

The pentacle is a symbol of the elements. It is ancient and sacred to many Witches and Pagans.
The pentacle is a symbol of the elements. It is ancient and sacred to many Witches and Pagans. | Source

Question Number Four: What does your pentacle mean? Isn't it an evil symbol?

The pentacle is a very old symbol. The Christians used it and in the 1500’s it was illustrated on knight’s shields (such as in the case of Sir Gawain). It wasn’t until very recently that the pentacle, or pentagram (pentacle is a pentagram surrounded by a circle, a pentagram is the five pointed star itself) was associated with “evil”. It is believed that occultists of the 19th century began using the ancient symbol inverted to denote Baphomet, the goat headed god. It was also adopted, inverted, by early Satanists (no, not devil worshipers, there is a distinction, but that is for another conversation). It became associated with the occult and therefore deemed “evil” by the church. Today, it is a federally recognized religious symbol for the military and can be placed on military graves. What the pentacle symbolizes is the elements, Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit (points on the pentacle, Spirit being the single topmost point). The circle of a pentacle denotes unity. There are some who will say that Spirit pointed up is the correct way, with Spirit at the highest point. They say that if the point is inverted it signifies an imbalance, placing Spirit at the lowest point. Wiccans may use an inverted pentacle to show the level of initiation. Most commonly, however, the point for Spirit is pointed up and that is how I wear it. My pentacle is actually small. I wear it because it is a sacred symbol to me, not for shock value or effect. If someone is offended by it, they should understand that it is very meaningful to me. I would never presume to be offended by someone else’s religious symbol and I would never, ever tell them to remove it. That would be rude and arrogant of me, wouldn’t it?

Most Witches love animals. And, as in the case of Guinness here, their furry babies are adored and spoiled rotten.
Most Witches love animals. And, as in the case of Guinness here, their furry babies are adored and spoiled rotten. | Source

What are your reasons for wanting to know about Witches?

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Question Number Five: Do you sacrifice animals?

No Witch that I know or know of does. Again, many Witches, Wiccan or not, follow the Wiccan ideology of “Harm None” as best they can. It sounds simple but it is really very difficult to follow to the letter. Most modern Witches do not feel that it is right to take the life of a living being because we want something or because we wish to curry favour with a deity. Sacrifice means that you, personally, give up something - not that you take it from an innocent party. Most Witches do not feel that our deities wish for such a thing. Offerings are appreciated but take the form of flowers, libation or something similar, as if you were giving a gift to a friend. Normal friends, I hope, do not require a blood sacrifice to keep them happy. If so, you may be hanging with the wrong crowd. Most Witches love animals and many are involved in rescue or help animals in some other way.

Thank You For Visiting!

Sorry about all the pet hair. Here, take this lint brush. There are, of course, more questions. They will wait for another time. I have tried to answer your questions as honestly and as clearly as I could. Things that seem mysterious can also seem scary. It is my pleasure to help demystify some of these things. Hopefully you come back to visit me again for another chat and some more tea. Blessings on your path, whatever it may be.

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    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 24 months ago from Australia

      Is it true its mainly just fashionable to claim witch hood? For example the term witch was a negative word given to harmless lonely female herbalists centuries ago by those who wanted to demonize vulnerable old ladies. Really you should be called a psychic or a herbalist. To use the word "witch" seems to be deliberately outrageous/fashionable.

    • SM OBrien profile image
      Author

      Sharon OBrien 24 months ago

      That is an excellent question. Honestly, this Hub was originally going to cover that very topic. It took a long time for me to accept the title of "Witch". As for the history of the word, that is another topic for another hub as it is too deep to gloss over here. The journey was an interesting one for me and may be covered in a future Hub. Labels are so limiting but often they are necessary to sum things up neatly. It would be cumbersome to go about saying that I am a healer, psychic, teacher, adviser, practitioner of the magical arts and follower of the old ways. I'd likely loose the person before I got finished. Like my pentacle, Witch is in no way a "fashion statement". As for being outrageous, anyone who knows me knows how very far from that I truly am. I don't bring up my path in normal conversation and I don't talk about it unless I am asked. If someone sees my pentacle, which is a modest size, they may ask about it and about me. I am also out of the broom closet, active in my community and have been interviewed for radio, print and internet news so they may have seen me around. Many of us are reclaiming the title that was sullied by other religions. It is a craft, a way of life and something that I walk with every day. It is in my very being. Other Witches may understand me when I say that it was whispered to me that this is who and what I am. Also, it is a description first applied to me by other people before I even considered it for myself. Many paths, such as Christianity, Judaism, etc also have negative connotations depending on the region. Thankfully, I live in a place, and time, where the word Witch is no longer a scary and negative term. Most people today are more enlightened and the term is becoming more and more commonplace. (Another future hub will address the problem of movies and TV portraying Witches as evil supernatural beings so frequently). To me, I use Witch because that is what I am, plain and simple. I am at a stage in my life where being fashionable or going for shock value are not even on my radar. I have learned through decades of life that you have to be true to yourself and not worry about what others may think about you. I also hope that if someone meets me knowing that I am a Witch, or discovering it, they will walk away with a better understanding. They may say, "You know, I met a Witch and she was just like anyone else." Thank you for your comment - it was a good question.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 24 months ago

      Very true, I get those questions all the time. You nailed the answers here.

      As for the word 'Witch' being negative, it was. So was Pagan at one time. So was Lutheran at one time. Words evolve, and in the 19th/early 20th century, people began accepting a new definition of Witch, and we of the late 20th/early 21st century simply inherited it.

      In the modern sense of the word it describes what we do-- which is actually not synonymous with being psychic or herbalist (most psychics or herbalists do not practice Witchcraft nor would they consider themselves Witches) .

    • SM OBrien profile image
      Author

      Sharon OBrien 24 months ago

      Exactly my feelings and thoughts on the word, WiccanSage. You summed it up very eloquently. Thank you for your input!

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 24 months ago from Freehold, NJ

      A well thought out article that dispels many of the stupid prejudices existing today.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 24 months ago from Australia

      I appreciate your ideas. I knew a lady who claimed to be a "witch" and she was a talented gifted person with real powers. She was real. So I don't doubt there are others. She was a white witch however and said there were other bad kinds as well.

      However, I am sure that the actual word "witch" was not reclaimed as original "witches" did not use that word to describe themselves therefore to use the word today does connote style or fashion. Nothing wrong with fashion of course.

    • SM OBrien profile image
      Author

      Sharon OBrien 24 months ago

      I can agree to a certain extent as your idea of fashion and mine may differ. True, Witch was a title used by others. Therefore it is being reclaimed in a positive way by those who identify. Again, labels can be so limiting.

    • profile image

      carouseless 20 months ago

      The phrase "When we love ourselves and are confident, it tends to attract love to us. I would also explain that it would work best if they did this for themselves and I’d offer to show them how." is very interesting. It there possibly a hub where you explain this concept? Thank you!

    • SM OBrien profile image
      Author

      Sharon OBrien 20 months ago

      Thank you for the awesome idea for my next hub!! I will try to put that out ASAP!!

      A good place to start is to observe your self-talk. We tend to speak to ourselves very unkindly. We would never say to another person "Wow, that was a really stupid thing to do" but we say things like this to ourselves all too frequently. We need to treat ourselves with compassion. Whenever I catch myself saying something like the above comment, I then say "Delete that!" and I replace it with a good thought such as "I was not being stupid - I was just not being fully mindful." When we are kind to ourselves, it tells the Universe that we are worthy of respect and we attract that energy to us.

      Thank you again for the comment!

    • profile image

      Angel 13 months ago

      How can u be a witch with power?

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