There has been some buzz within the witchy community in regards to witchcraft being trendy and mainstream right now. And while that may be true, I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. Some of my sisters and brothers feel strongly against this, and I completely understand where there coming from, because I too felt that way for a minute.
First, I’ll address some confusion on what exactly defines a witch:
- Collecting crystals and stones, even adorning them on your person, does not make you a witch.
- Having psychic abilities does not make you a witch.
- Dressing in all black, wearing a pentagram necklace, and maybe even attempting to cast a circle does not make you a witch.
- Simply referring to yourself as a witch, even if your entire Instagram page is set up with a witchy theme, does not make you a witch.
But I also see another side to it. We all found our way to the craft by different means, and none of those ways are wrong. Maybe some some young person felt inspired to explore the craft after seeing another witch’s Instagram page. Either way, if it brings you clarity as to whether or not you choose to practice, I don’t see any harm in it. Now, I can see how someone going around claiming to be a witch, yet spreading hate and judgement, or even spreading false/misunderstood information about the craft can be damaging. And I AM against doing this. If you are feeling called to explore witchcraft/wicca/paganism, I think I can speak for most witches when I say this; do your research and check your intentions. Understand that the way is sacred, and has been around for thousands of years. We are the original healers, and have been forced to remain underground (figuratively speaking) until recently. Thousands of witches (some of whom were not even witches), have been killed for our beliefs and way of life (google ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ to really understand just how bad it was). We take our commitment to the craft seriously.
So, please try to understand that if you are claiming to be a witch simply for the attention, I urge you to stop and to look deeper as to why you feel the need to do this. But, if you truly are feeling called to explore the craft, then that is wonderful! Grab some books, go find a quiet place outside where you can connect with the elements, and get to studying! Maybe even find a mentor, or a local coven that would welcome you. Or perhaps you feel more inclined to remain a solitary witch. Personally, I have practiced solely on my own from the start, with the exception of my dear friend and High Priestess who initiated me, through a truly beautiful and powerful ceremony, into the craft over a decade ago.
Walking the path of the witch is a choice, and a tradition of lineage to others. Personally, I do come from a long line of practicing witches (although, I am one of the first in many generations to follow the craft), but it was a calling from my ancestors that led me here over ten years ago.
It can be easy to develop a misconstrued idea of what a witch is. Of course there’s the whole pointy-hat Hollywood version of the witch, of the old haggard woman who lives in a thatch-roof cottage in the deep dark woods somewhere, huddled over a steaming cauldron, and casts curses upon the nearby village (full disclosure: I LOVE Hocus Pocus and have since I was young and I always will! No shame! haha). And then there is the newer idea of a witch; the version that, I believe, social media has sort of led the way for. I don’t think I even need to go into details of that version; you know what I’m referring to.
Basically, what it all boils down to is this: outwardly appearance does NOT define whether or not someone is a witch. It goes much deeper than that.
Those who walk the path have made a commitment to the way of the Old Ones. We are connected to the energies, and through study and practice, learn to harness and manipulate the elements to create a reaction out of our intention (you could also use the word ‘manipulate’, but I feel that could bring about a negative connotation). We understand the rule of three and of ‘harm none’. We study, we practice. And no amount of watering-down of the image or idea of a witch is going to take away from the sacredness of it. Each of us holds our own magic, and our power is not determined by the judgements and assumptions of others who simply don’t understand. No amount of trendy witches is going to deplete the energies of the Old Ones, Mother Earth, the Lord and Lady; the Universe as a whole.
Stay true to your practice, spread the truth of witchcraft (without judgement), and those really called to the path will find their way. Everyone else, will eventually wander away from it. We are the original healers, and the world needs us now more than ever.
Love and Magick,