I’m absolutely thrilled that there has been a response to the blog hop. It’s the first one I’ve tried to organise and wasn’t sure if I was doing it right! So here are a couple of links of those who have so far taken part, I would love it if you would take a moment to read them and maybe comment too. I know time is precious, and the blogs keep us all busy in our already busy lives, but I think they are worth reading as I’ve discovered some things about other people that helps me with my own belief. Which, in itself, makes me a happy bunny!
Here they are:
The Rose Laden Magdalene
The Wayfaring Otter
However, with the deadline for this part of the hop not until the 17th of October, please do check my page “Blog Hop” as I will add more posts from others as and when they appear. They are all titled Which Witch Blog Hop, and will all be tagged as such too.
Now, for my own Which Witch.
I was twelve years old when I found my way into witchcraft. It was 1984.
That’s 31 years. I have been a Pagan witch for nearly thirty of them, having settled on the craft as my spiritual home easily and quite quickly.
During those years, I have danced a little with spiritualism, I’ve gone to church, I’ve visited temples of one form or another. I like to learn what others believe in. I like to be informed. During those times, I have also had my faith tested and I’ve turned from it, especially during dark times. Those times when you need your faith even more.
I always found my way back. My way home. Back to the old path. I call it the old path, as you’ve probably heard others call it, because to me, it is an ancient belief system. Stretching back through time and space from the Shamans. Native Americans, Inca, Egyptians, of course, the Vikings, and more recently Wicca.
It is the word Wicca. The whole reason for me doing this blog hop. Can you be a Wiccan if you weren’t initiated into the craft by a coven?
The simple answer is of course No. Wicca is a word created by a man, Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s, which is derived from *wica and *wice. The male and female for witch. Basically, he took the word wica, added another c and developed a religion.
*words that seem to be lacking in definition over the years, I seem to recall them being of Anglo-Saxon origin.
So, in actual fact unless you have been initiated into the craft of Wicca, you can’t really call yourself a Wiccan, can you!
Gardner says he was initiated in 1939 by the New Forest Coven. however, there is no concrete proof of this, and as he was already involved in his own studies in the old religion previous to this year, I feel there are too many holes in the story. Some of the history is lacking. However, according to GG, a true Wiccan (remember it’s his word) can only be so if they are initiated into the craft, his craft, by a coven member and to his rules.
His rules for Wicca, are quite simple. Everything is secret unless you are accepted into the fold. His fold. His way. Personally, I think the man was a pervert.
Sorry. Just an opinion.
If I want to learn about the secrets of the earth, the universe, life, death, and rebirth, I’m going to try my hardest to seek the answers. However, I don’t feel it necessary to strip myself naked, shag some bloke, play with my faeces, don a hood and chant in Latin. These are initiations deemed worthy by GG to enter into the club.
Don’t get me wrong, this is history, history that changed witchcraft and the opinions regarding this beautiful religion. Gardner’s Wicca went mainstream, it spread like wildfire throughout England and America, and introduced so many people to the faith and helped so many people. He took something that was hidden and secret that would have quite possibly remained that way. He gave it a new name, devoted his life work to it, and taught others so that they may teach others.
I just think he went about it the wrong way. Whilst allowing the world to learn and understand, and finally accept, this old world religion, he created a divide. A divide among witches.
While the Wiccan is only allowed to be used by those chosen few, you can still call yourself a Wician.
Yeah! Let’s be pedantic.
Let’s be that bloody minded. If you say you’re Wiccan, yet haven’t been initiated into Gardner’s club, then others will say you’re wrong, that you’re not a true witch. Really. There isn’t enough trouble through religions across the globe on a daily basis, of one extreme or another, are we really going to be that pedantic? Are we?
With all the confusion around Paganism already, there has to be fighting within the circle as well?
Here it is simplified:
Paganism is an earth based religion. It is old. Ancient. It is within, and at the very root of All religions. It can be followed back, depending on the branch within Paganism, to the Shaman. It can be traced back throughout the world in all its rich culture and beliefs: The Incas, The Egyptians, The Vikings, Native Americans, The Greeks, Romans, Celts and more. It is as old as the earth. Because it is the earth. The natural order of the earth, the animals that dwell upon it and the seas that crash against its shores.
Paganism is an umbrella term for the many different paths of various magical beliefs. In fact, the word Pagan wasn’t used until religious persons began to describe the non-believers. The heathens, the atheist and the infidel. The range of beliefs beneath this Pagan umbrella are just as diverse as the religions and faiths that don’t fall under it.
Whilst there are a great many practices including Wicca, Druidism, Shamans and Eclectics, this is the crux of it:
If you believe in the turning of the years wheel.
If you honour your ancestors.
If you believe there is something beyond the human and physical world.
If you pray or meditate to a universal source that is both within and without your physical body.
If you believe in balance, equality, love, and trust for all beings.
If you honour yourself by seeking knowledge and aspire to better yourself, and to help others.
Then, you are probably Pagan. Most definitely in my book.
If, in addition to the above:
You honour the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit.
You practice magic in the form of intentionally focusing energy.
If you have studied or are studying the various meanings and uses of herbs, colours, numbers, signs and symbols, animals, etc.
If you look to the Moon, the Sun, and the Stars for answers of a spiritual nature.
Then, you are probably a witch. It is the way you do these things that will make you a particular kind of witch.
And, after all of this.
Does it really matter?
If you practice magic or not, we are all on the same journey with no destination set, travelling through space and time on a great big rock.
And if that’s the case, whatever your belief; enjoy the ride.
As long as you harm none – Do what thou will.