- Religion and Philosophy
Questions Witches Often Answer
Every Witch is Different
A lot of witches deal with the same questions from people but because so many of us have our own practices, the answers to these questions might differ radically. Still, it's important to get a variety of answers to better understand how diverse the witchcraft scene really is and I'm more than happy to answer these five common questions from my own perspective.
Do you practice your own brand of witchcraft?
Do You Worship the Devil?
Honestly, I can't even tell you how many times I was asked this in high school. In those days I was very new to witchcraft and I always had a book on the topic with me. Naturally, this prompted some questioning from curious or fearful classmates.
The simple answer: No.
I don't worship the devil because I don't believe in him. Most witches probably don't, especially if they're affiliated with a pagan religion like Wicca. Most pagans reject the Christian framework that pits one good deity against an evil counterpart. Instead, paganism offers belief systems that worship/honor multiple gods or goddesses, revere nature, or even work with spirits like ancestor guides or faeries.
The complicated answer: There are Satanic Witches.
Because witchcraft, as a practice, is not technically affiliated or owned by any religion, there can in fact be witches that do worship the devil or perhaps even follow a philosophy like LaVey Satanism. There can also be Christian witches, although there is some debate as the legitimacy of these practices - both within the Christian and pagan communities.
In summary, the average witch you encounter very likely has nothing to do with Satan or the devil.
Do you put spells on people?
If you do a quick Google search for something like "witchcraft spells" you're going to get a ton of hits offering free spells but also links to people willing to perform spells for you. Oftentimes, they charge a pretty penny and have little to no qualms about casting on other people. Please avoid this, lest ye be scammed.
Most witches do not go around casting spells on other people left and right. Despite what Hollywood has shown you, it's impossible to turn someone into a mouse or frog with the wave of a wand. We can't magically grow your hair or make someone you're crushing on fall madly in love with you.
Besides, even if that were easy to do - you watched The Craft right? Look how badly that turned out.
That being said, witches can and sometimes do cast spells for people with their consent. I've been asked to do healing spells, find lost pets, and even do house cleansings. But I have never charged anyone for this service and I have never done any of this without first being asked or getting permission.
But let's not forget the topic of cursing and hexing. Many witches steer clear of this sect of magic because they adhere to something like the Three Fold Law or another system of karma, and don't want to deal with any possible repercussions. I do not fall into that category but in order for me to be willing to place a curse on anyone or anything, the reason had better be dire.
Do You Dance Naked at the Full Moon?
No. Definitely not.
You see, I live in Minnesota and it's only warm here about three months out of the entire year. It'd be pretty unreasonable for me to twirl around completely nude under the full moon in the middle of December.
Aside from a few Wiccan covens that might still indulge in this practice, skyclad is something that is up to the individual witch and his/her own comfort level. Some prefer to perform their rituals while naked and indoors and some prefer to wear specific clothing set aside for magical workings.
What Does the Pentacle Mean?
Within the pagan and witch communities, the pentacle often represents the five elements of air, fire, water, earth, and spirit, and encircled it is the connection of all these things; the symbol of life and the Divine.
In the early days of the Church it was used to represent the five wounds of Christ and later on it was adopted by a variety of other groups including occultists and spiritualists in the 1800's and in it's inverted form it has been incorporated into the Baphomet and the Satanic Church.
So the pentacle may have different meanings to different people, but it is a well recognized symbol for pagans as a representation of their beliefs.
Do You Sacrifice Animals?
In the days of old, there were indeed many pagan tribes that slaughtered whole herds of cattle or sheep to their gods in exchange for success at war, a good harvest the next year, and the quelling of diseases among the people.
Nowadays though, animal and ritual sacrifice is highly uncommon among pagans and witches alike. Most of us regard life as sacred and do not believe in killing anything to please the gods or the natural world. If a sacrifice is to be made in a ritual, it is often a personal sacrifice. In order to honor a force, we give up something in our life - like sugar or booze or bad habits. Popular offerings to deity include milk, honey, wine, baked goods, incense, and handmade crafts - you'd be hard pressed to find a god or goddess these days demanding a slaughter.
Most witches like animals and often have pets. Some of us even keep an animal as a familiar.
Every witch you ask these questions to will likely have some differing answers and all are valid. That's the beautiful thing about the craft, we shape it with our will and experiences and allow it in turn to craft us into better beings.
I hope you enjoyed what you read here and definitely check out Sharon's answers to these common and important questions! http://smobrien.hubpages.com/hub/Five-Most-Common-Questions-to-Ask-a-Witch