All You Wanted To Know About Witches II
Welcome and Blessed Be!
Here we'll continue our journey into the magical world of witches, plus answer some burning questions I bet you have. Please keep in mind these are the views of one witch only.
There's no wrong or right way to be a witch as long as you keep to the side of goodness. So feel free to comment if you disagree, or ask questions I haven't answered yet. This time around, I'm using my own pics, so enjoy!
If by some odd chance you like a pic well enough to copy, please give credit where credit is due and a link back.
Embrace the beauty of nature
More Witchy Myths
Witches live for centuries. No, try decades, or less. We are human, our religion doesn't make us immortal or mean we live longer. Think of well, Methuselah. How many Christians or Jews do you know who are that old? None, sweet an idea as long life may be, we all have to join the ancestors.
Witches can shoot fireballs! Nope, not even if you saw a self-proclaimed witch do it. That's stage magic, not the real thing. We've all seen docudramas about vampires. They may proudly identify as creatures of the night, even have fangs installed. But they can't fly or change into wolves either.
Witchcraft is all about power. So not true. It is a real religion, and the goal should be walking with God/dess daily. I'm not saying you won't meet power trippers or people who read one too many D&D manuals, but by and large we are a religious folk more interested in loving ourselves, our famalies and the planet. Also every other blessed thing we see.
Wiccans are Fluff Bunnies! Depends on how you view things, but we sure don't feel fluffy. Sure we are kind, sweet, and adorable. We avoid revenge and don't curse people. But helpless we are not. We just choose to protect ourselves through banishing and binding that seek the aid of the Goddess for the highest good. I myself like being compared to the magical hare.
You're a witch? Cast a spell for me! That is so rude, OK? Stop acting like a grabby three year old. We are not magical ATMs.
How do witches learn stuff?
Lots of ways! Someone recently asked me how Wiccans can learn anything since we don't seem to have covens. Well, some folks do and they learn that way. But we also learns from books, other witches, and most importantly by doing.
You can read all the spellbooks you can get a hold of, and that's a fantastic idea. Watch tons of videos, belong to tons of cyber covens. But you only learn who you are, where your talents lie, and to build a relationship with God/dess by doing. That means making rituals, casting spells (prayer remember?) and spending quiet time with Divinity.
A wise and wonderful witch once said in an article that every positive action or wish is magic. So we learn from everything we do. We hopefully learn to put others first, to have compassion, and to use our special talents for others.
Special talents? Think of your own prayer group. I bet there is a guy that seems to heal people before his prayers end. A gal who can find jobs for folks with a week or so of prayer, and more. Well, witches do the same thing.
So of us find we are great healers, or our magic works best when working in the kitchen. Some are best in fancy high magic, some seem to have a gift for repairing things. But we can't learn without doing.
We also learn that magic is not about power, it is about love. Seriously. Love for others is what powers magic. We love those we heal, we love those we shield with magic. We love those we pray for. We even love the sometimes dangerous folks we banish and bind because we are putting them in the hands of Goddess. (Same exact thing and process as Christians praying a rapist or child snatcher is caught, by the way.)
We love ourselves too, so it is OK to ask Goddess for a bed to sleep in, a roof over your head and food in your belly. You can ask for love to make it worthwhile and a good job you enjoy. If you want to hear her musical laughter ask to win the lottery.
What does Blessed Be mean?
Well there are these blessed bees, see...
Blessed Be is the same as God Bless You. Wiccans part company with it, wishing one another well. Sometimes we are so full of cheer we wish non-pagan to be blessed too. And no, it isn't some sort of spooky magical spell. It is simply a sincere way to say goodbye.
Some of us will also say God Bless or God Bless You which means the same exact thing. Of course I've noticed God Bless is not something you are allowed to say in public anymore. I personally do it anyhow, pray for people too 'cause I'm a rebel like that.
Why are witches tree huggers? - 'Cause hugging wild skunks stinks
Seriously? We see Divinity everywhere! I get so excited because I see God in the wind and trees. He lives in the rocks, dwells in the soil. There isn't a critter, place or object that isn't sacred to him and the Goddess.
But not just witches feel this way. A lot of Christians and other folks see God in nature too. So think of our outdoor covens just like your outdoors churches, because they really are. Nature is the ultimate gift we humans were given, and many pagans feel we should be good stewards. Meaning we don't dump garbage or cut down trees willy nilly.
Witches feel we can draw power for prayer from nature. Depending on the prayer we may use a herb, rock or flower to help us pray, or cast magic. Same thing, remember? Some witches use only live plants so they have to go outside.
Some prefer dried herbs and take items from nature, but always give thanks and give an offering back. They also return most things to nature in time because everything belongs there and should join the circle of life/death/life.
Why won't a witch keep doing spells or rituals repeatedly for me?
Because you're being a greedy-greedy, that's why!
OK, I've run into this quite a few times. People will befriend a witch online, only because they want to ask her for a ritual. Then another, then another, and so on. I'm explaining why this doesn't work and will lose you your Wiccan friend in the end.
ONE: We are not God/dess. We cannot solve your problems with the wave of a wand, no matter how much we might like to. Since Goddess knows a lot of people with the major gimmie gimimes bolt once they get what they want. Think of how you would feel if people were only nice to you until they got what they wanted. Not fun, right?
TWO: As I've tried to explain before, magic works a lot like those sneakers that had pumps on them. Repeatedly doing spells, prayers or rituals for the same thing often causes your efforts to explode and have a negative outcome. The only exception being long term healing of terminal illness. You have to learn to wait for results, as hard as that can be.
THREE: We never use magic where common sense tells us other solutions will work better. Your friend might suggest therapy, meditation or doing your own rituals because she knows that's what you need. Going out and meeting people is better than casting for love, handing out resumes better than job magic and so on. Magic should be a last resort, or assisting to your efforts.
I've often found people get angry when I try to explain they need to DO something to help themselves, but it is true. You might also need to connect with your ancestors, be being called by God/dess, or even need to start a religion you are fascinated by. I know more often than not I get more results by serving my Vodoun lwa than I do my magical spells.
Both are rituals and it is easier, really, to do a ritual and let them tend to things.
FOUR: Magic does not work like movie magic. My casting a spell will not cause: A) The perfect lover to come to you instantly, B) Relive any long term problem you must deal with yourself. You most likely know what these are before you ask. A witch cannot cure depression, for example. We can suggest herbs, meditation, or talking to a therapist. But we simply cannot just clap our hands and cure you.
Also we cannot solve your money problems, find you a job, or anything else. The best your Wiccan friend can do is ONE ritual and perhaps a prayer, but if you really want constant magical help you have to become a witch yourself.
You will then learn we have problems like everyone else. Magic will not solve every problem, Goddess doesn't grant you a bon bon life for being the best witch ever. We all as humans have to learn to stand on or own two feet, and deal with our own problems.
If you really get to know a witch you'll see she might be looking for work too, or dealing with terminal illness, depression, or about to lose her home. She may even have far more serious problems than you. These problems fall to all of us, regardless of religion.
In the end the most powerful help you can get is praying for yourself to your chosen Higher Power.
STUFF PEOPLE SAY TO: Pagans, Neopagans, Wiccans, Witches, etc.
Aren't Witches Culture Vultures?
I'll take ignorant outsiders for 300, Alex
A lot of people in other religions rudely, and incorrectly refer to Wiccans as culture vultures. Without so much as picking up a book, or getting to know a real, living breathing witch. They've never attended a ritual, or tried to find out why Wicca seems so eclectic.
Wiccans I can assure you, don't steal. But as witches we act like lights in the astral realm, often attracting spirits, gods and goddesses from outside our own paths. We certainly do not want this to happen, we have enough to do with our own religion, thank you kindly. But because we believe in love we welcome them in, providing the energy they have feels right.
We then set out to learn all we can about our new friend, and that is where the trouble starts. Since we won't lie, we will tell people of the religion we are talking to who has shown up, what we need to know, and of course, we are witches.
Then the fireworks start. Even before we can say: "Of course I'm asking because I want everything right as to your traditions, which I respect." The poor witch who was just trying to find out why this personage was at her circle gets called a culture vulture, hated, shunned, even cyber stalked. Let them figure out that you don't believe in revenge if they do, and things become so much worse. For the record no witch would embrace a religion that belives in revenge, period. We sometimes find these details out far too late.
So a lot of the time a witch is stuck with a spirit she now wishes would leave. She isn't about to give up Wicca and join a new religion on account of one spirit. Certainly not if revenge, hatred, or other negative activities seem to be something members embrace. What in the name of Goddess happened to all the peace and love she heard about in books? What did you think she would do when you behaved so badly towards her? Thank you for it? She has done her research, most likely knows the culture and what she was taught, but it isn't for her.
You can't expect a witch to join a religion where she doesn't feel welcome, has been attacked by the members of, or to join a religion because one facet attracts her. We don't all become devout monks because the teachings of the Buddha comfort us, nor do we or should we just abandon Wicca because some interested spirits showed up.
Now if you are asking why we have say, several different god statues, that's easy.
We work with each aspect of the God we feel connected to. Those we honor like us, but not all faces do. So you may see a witch who has a god from Italy here, one from China there and so forth.
We feel that to ignore or shun a face of the God/dess is the utmost disrespectful thing we can ever do. If we are being called, truly called, we must answer with love, even if it is a face we'd rather ignore.
Of course no one witch can join all the wonderful religions these gods come from, nor should she. Working with what the God wants us to see is not stealing. It is honoring the lessons He wants us to learn.
Or she comes from many cultures and honors the God in a from from each one. I respect and honor Pan, Odin and so forth because those are my cultures through bloodlines. But I do so in a manner any Wiccan would do, which doesn't include finding a working cult for each one and joining.
We may also honor the spirits in the area where we are, such as Native American spirits, local spirits and so one. But again, we don't steal. Witches often know all they can about a culture because we know what it is like to be hated and treated as an outsider.