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My Child Says They're a Witch, Should I Be Worried?
What it means to be a Witch
What does it mean to be a Witch? This is a good question. Being a Witch will mean different things to different people. Those who follow a Pagan or Wiccan path are proud to be called a Witch, while others take offence, only because of the publicity it carries.
You might ask, 'Okay, so what does being Pagan or Wiccan mean?'
Paganism has been around for centuries. The definition of Paganism stated in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is :the state of being Pagan, : a religion that has many Gods and Goddess, considers the earth holy, and does not have a central authority.
Paganism today is a term used to describe many different religions. You have those who follow Ancient Celt, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Rome, Hawaiian, or any religion that follows more than one god/goddess, and those who follow a little of all (eclectic-meaning wide-ranging). It was common to have multiple Gods and Goddess to pray too. Every religion has their own gods/goddess who represented everything on this earth, from the sun, moon, rain, crops, fertility, war, peace, etc.,and they celebrated the changing of the seasons.
We still celebrate pagan holidays today, only now they represent Christian holidays. The Christians did this to convert Pagans into Christianity. For example, Christmas, which for Christians is the birth of Jesus, but for Pagans, it the winter solstice or Yule, it is a Pagan tradition to burn a Yule Log in the hearth.
Halloween or Samhain (pronounced 'sow-in') is a pagan new year celebrating the end of harvest and the start of winter. Other holidays include; Imbolic, Feb. 1 to Feb.2 ( Groundhog day), Beltane, April 30 to May 1 (May Day), Ostara March 21 (first day of spring), Lughnasadh July 31 to August 1 (for Christians it's Lammas meaning "loaf-mass") Mabon, September 21 (first day of fall),
Once Christianity came about, those who followed more than one God was considered a Heathen and was told their religion was not the right one. They became ridiculed and punished if they did not change to Christianity. The famous Salem Witch Trials of 1692 is a good example of the fight against witches, which actually did not kill any witches, only Christians. Over the centuries Pagans kept to themselves and hid their religion behind closed doors for fear of being killed.
Someone who calls themselves a Witch is nothing to fear. Those who follow this path, worship the Earth. They do not sacrifice animals or young children. They do not pray to the Devil, and they do not fly around on broomsticks. Movies and books have portrayed witches in the light of both good and bad, but that is what movies and books do, they throw out there what people want to read or see to capture the imagination.
Witches do perform spells and rituals. Most are done to give thanks to the God and Goddess. They also have spells and rituals for holidays, protection, happiness, love, banishing evil, luck, and the list goes on. Every religion has their own ritual(s) that they perform. Even Christians perform rituals, like baptizing, weddings, funerals, and they also do spells, but it is in another way other than what Witches do. They pray. A prayer is nothing more than words spoken to a higher power other than yourself. Witches have a BOS or Book of Shadows. This book is like the Bible to Christians. It hold spells and rituals that a witch either makes up by themselves or from other witches. They also use herbs in their spells and rituals. Herbs, as we know, have properties that can heal. The drug companies even use herbs in medicines that we buy at the stores over the counter. Believe it or not there are Christians who call themselves, Christian Witches. They follow both Christian beliefs and use Pagan spells to heal.
There are those who do give Pagans and Wiccans a bad name. They sell themselves out in the world to make money. They do this by selling love spells or try to put a curse on someone who makes you mad. A true Witch does not harm anyone. Wiccans (and Pagans follow this as well),are good examples of this, they follow what is called 'The Wiccan Rede'. They also follow a threefold or sometimes fivefold law. Basically, it is a law stating that no matter what you do, good or bad, it shall come back to you threefold, or three times as good or bad.
There are some good books to read about Pagans and Wiccans for young readers and for parents. Amber K has an activity book for young children called 'The Pagan Kids Activity Book', published by Horned Owl Publising, 1998. Raine Hill also has a good book for the whole family called, 'Growing up Pagan: A Workbook for Wiccan Families'.
So, if your child comes to you and states they want to be a witch or is a witch. Don't fear or become too judgemental. Being a Witch is a good thing. Witches help protect the Earth and give back what they use. They have good morales, just like Christians, and strive to be helpful and kind.
Pagan Families and Children, By Paganperspective
© 2014 Kelly Godwin