Mmh… It’s been a strange week thus far – and it’s still only Monday
Earlier today, I read a post from Crystal L, over at Not Quite Wicked. There is a link to a lady Brenda Crozier who is responding to the little question of whether or not to be a part of a coven. Actually, she’s responding to the fact that some say you are only a true Wiccan if you are a member of a coven. She isn’t in a coven, and that’s up to her having free will and all…
Her lovely description of her own faith is threefold: Her spiritual path is Pagan. Her religion is Wicca. Her practice is that of a witch.
The discussion she has started here, not only for Not Quite Wicked and myself, but for others too, is that if you are not a member of a traditional wiccan coven, you can’t really call yourself wiccan, or can you?
It raises for me a point, which disturbs me on a spiritual level, but also on a more global level. That is, if a group of like minded people can’t agree on their own religion or spiritual belief, then what hope is there?
I was once taught, in my first job as a trainee hairdresser, that I must never get into a conversation regarding politics, religion or football. This, my boss told me, is how wars begin. I laughed, but it’s true.
I stick to the rule regarding politics. My lips are sealed unless with family.
As for football? I support Liverpool, if you don’t like that, I’m not sorry.
Religion however, I like to discuss this subject.
Is this because of my line of work (no longer a hairdresser, by the way…) As you know, I have been a therapist, and a teacher for spiritual growth. This doesn’t give me permission to preach, nor does it entitle me to convert others into my belief system. However, it has given me insight into other peoples thoughts and views on the subject.
I find it extraordinary that people will question me about Paganism and what it is to be a witch, with either out and out disgust, a curious raise of an eyebrow as to why, and of course the obligatory relish of “Teach me everything, I wanna be a witch!”.
Others have tried to convert me.
Once I was actually feared. A person requested to be seated at a different table to me at a wedding, because I scared her! (The Wicked Witch of the West music got hummed to me a fair bit that night! Lol.)
Having said that, I have many friends of many faiths, and our discussions are always enlightening, eye opening, occasionally challenging. They are always uplifting!
Sure, there will always be purists, there will always be traditionalists, and alas, the fair weathered folk, in all religions. But, to say a witch is not a witch, unless they have been initiated into the craft, is sheer nonsense in my book of shadows! (As with my football team, this is my opinion, my love, my thoughts.)
I myself, have been Pagan for thirty years, a practising witch on and off for the most part, and a wiccan for some of that time. I am what you might call an eclectic witch. I honour the God and Goddess in equal balance, I honour the turning of the years wheel and nature, I practise spell crafting, I write in my book of shadows and I continue to learn, even after all these years, I still need to know more.
I have questioned the fear and worried about the connotations of witchcraft and Pagansim, and compared the craft to devil worship, terrified that I was somehow wrong or dark! (I was about twelve at this point!)
I have hidden away in the broom closet, too scared to tell others of my belief. (Late teens)
I have practised solitary and within a coven. (20’s and 30’s)
When I was wiccan, I taught Wicca. I am no longer wicca. (30’s)
My spirituality is older than something that began in the 1950’s. My faith reaches through time and space and weaves it’s way throughout history, through many countries and cultures.
As the ancient shamans before me I have shifted and taken many forms.
My faith challenges me, it nourishes me and encourages me to grow, it empowers me.
My faith has given me strength to fight illness, and conquer it.
It continues to teach me.
I see how my friends faiths and beliefs do the same for them. They do not stand in judgement of me, nor I them. So why are there people out there of the same faith as this woman who are judging her? And sadly, not just her. I have heard one too many stories now, and been a part of this conversation and discussion before, too many times.
I had a quick chat with Crystal L, and suggested we start a blog hop, about this subject. “What is a witch?”
October is on the horizon, and Halloween (Samhain) draws ever closer. Would any one be interested in joining us? It seems like the right time for it.
I need to check out how to start a hop – It involves some kind of linky tool, I am told… Research I shall!
If you are interested in joining in the discussion, leave a comment here or over on Not Quite Wicked, and let’s find out what it is that makes a witch, a witch, whatever your religion, belief, or football team!
*There will be rules – Mainly that no one is hurtful or malicious to any one else’s belief. But that will be outlined on the next post.
Until then, have a happy week, and try not to start any arguments about football. 🙂