the w word: what witchcraft means to me

the w word: what witchcraft means to me

For having a blog about spirituality, I sure have done a good job of tiptoeing around what my spirituality actually is.

I mean, you can probably guess. I’ve alluded to it before, always stopping just short of saying “this is it!! here I am!” I usually refer to it in joking terms, partly because I don’t take myself too seriously but also because I guess I take myself a little too seriously, too. You can’t just throw around the word “witch” without people having some kind of a reaction, whether it’s “me too!” or “um, you think you’re Harry Potter?” Some people object to the term (and the witches, for that matter) for religious reasons, and honestly I didn’t want to make anyone feel awkward or unwelcome on my blog because they don’t agree with my particular path. Some things are universal and I like to think that many of my posts can be applied to any spirituality without conflict. But I feel like it’s at the point where I’m limiting myself on purpose because I don’t want to push people away and well, sometimes you gotta just risk the pushing.

So, witchcraft. It’s a term I struggle with too, really, both in real life and online. There are so many connotations, so many preconceived notions and mental images of warty green women cackling around a cauldron that it’s hard to take someone seriously when they call themselves a witch.  Obviously I am not one of these warty green women – I think I’m pretty normal in the grand scheme of things. So then what is witchcraft and why does it even matter?

Well, another reason I’ve avoided labeling myself publicly as a witch is that I don’t have a good answer for those questions. It can be so many things, and at the same time it doesn’t have to be any of them. It can mean believing in auras or energy, it can mean communing with spirits, it can mean meditation, tarot, crystals, herbs, yoga, spells, paganism, incense, candles, you name it. And at the same time none of these things necessarily mean that you’re a witch – in fact, people from all walks of life and all religious backgrounds use some of these things in their spiritual practices without it being weird at all. It can also mean Wicca, which needs its own explanation; for my purposes we’ll just say that while I dearly love my Wiccan brothers and sisters, that’s not how I would define my practice.

To me, witchcraft is owning your place in the universe and knowing that you’ve changed the world just by being in it. It’s believing you’re worthy of good things and recognizing that you have the power, through your intentions and your actions, to bring those things to you. It’s being in tune with nature, respecting the planet, celebrating the changing of the seasons and reflecting on how far you’ve come. It’s getting in tune with your higher self, sometimes using tools such as tarot or meditation, and listening to your intuition instead of fighting it. Some witches use wands, some have altars, some cast circles or dance naked under the moon – and some simply think good thoughts into their coffee and call it a day.

There are so many different ways to be a witch that it’s impossible to name them all, but at the end of the day I think it all comes down to knowing your power and making things happen instead of letting life happen to you. You don’t have to do it every day. You might not need your practice all the time. You might do all or none of the things I’ve described and that’s completely fine. But there’s a strength that comes from knowing who you are and I gotta say, I’m feeling that way more than nerves about publishing this post right now.

To my friends who are traveling a different path, I promise I’ll never try to isolate you. I respect all beliefs and I feel that they can all coexist, that WE can all coexist if we focus on what we have in common. I think a lot of the things on this blog are relevant to many different spiritualities, and heck, even if yours doesn’t have a name you might be able to relate – no pressure to label! But I also understand if witchcraft is too weird for you and you need to bow out now. No offense will be taken – I thought all this stuff was hella weird when I first found out about it, so I feel that.

Most of you are probably like “omg you have not been subtle about being a witch at all and everyone already knew all this,” but I think it’s important for me to put it all out there so we’re all on the same page – and so y’all know a little more about what I mean when I talk about my practice! I’m planning a lot of posts that are more true to my path and hopefully you like them – I’m pretty pumped to start digging a little deeper.

If you want to learn more about witchcraft, be careful. A lot of the more mainstream books and authors contain a lot of cultural appropriation, misinformation, and opinions presented as fact. I would actually recommend that you make a Tumblr blog and browse through the “witchcraft” tag and similar ones! While of course you always need to check your facts when you just read stuff on the internet and of course there are some not-so-nice folks out there, my experience has been hugely positive and I’ve been exposed to SO many different kinds of witches – the possibilities are endless! And of course, you can always drop me a line. I’m far from an authority, but I can probably help talk you through some stuff and direct you towards resources that are specific to what you’re into.

If you’re sticking around, I love ya. Thanks for being the actual best. I won’t pressure you, but I’d love to hear a little about your spiritual path – does it have a name? how did you find it? Leave a comment if you don’t mind sharing!

6 thoughts on “the w word: what witchcraft means to me

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! Anyone who spends any amount of time in my house could probably figure it out but I never really say the word in my real life. I think that's the beauty of online communities though – even if not everyone agrees with you, or even respects your beliefs, there are always people put there who do.

    I consider myself a cottage witch, which is sort of like a kitchen Witch but more focused on the home than the kitchen alone. I was first exposed to Wicca by a friend's mom in junior high and it was all uphill from there lol!

    1. I totally agree! I've really found online communities to be much less judgmental than real life, mostly because I have a lot of control over what types of communities I'm a part of – you can't exactly choose your family or anything like that!

      I LOVE cottage witchery! Your blog makes me feel like you live in a tiny cottage in the woods even though I know that's not the case, haha! That probably means you're doing it right <3

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I totally get writing a spiritual blog and being afraid that naming your spirituality will alienate some people or make them feel unwelcome.

  3. I think people would have to be living in la la land to not walk into my place and see where I park my broom – figuratively speaking of course..(it’s by the door wearing rosemary and sage this week). I am def. eclectic. If it feels right then I use it.

  4. I am a older beginner, needing guidence. Since a very young age I have known things are going to happen, or happened. As i have aged more intense and real. Only recently, thur a post on wild witches posy found out what you call a person like me, empath. Wow I was so happy to have a word to describe me. If I told someone, she’s crazy. But I am not. It is overwhelming for me at times, but learning to deal with this gift. Very interested in the witchcraft, wiccan aspect. Need to know as a beginner the best way to start and what to read. Not overwhelming craziness.any guidence appreciated. Thank u ou

    1. Hi Janeen! You’re not crazy at all – there are plenty of people out there with gifts like yours <3 All it takes is practice! If you're looking to get started learning about Wicca, I recommend the book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. It's a great reference that teaches you many basic concepts in a very accessible way. I hope that helps! 🙂

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