What Is A Witch? Defining Witchcraft For Both Past And Present Day

What is witchcraft? Is it separate from magic or a subsection of it? Are the terms “magic” and “witchcraft” interchangeable? If not (or not always), what makes them different?

First of all, a fast etymology lesson. Witchcraft itself comes from theOld English word wicce (wicca in the masculine form), which specifically refers to a “female magician, a sorceress”. The masculine version is not much different. Either way both terms mean “a sorcerer, wizard or magician who practices witchcraft or magic”. In short, if you dig down into the roots of the term, both magic and witchcraft are more or less completely interchangeable.

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Witchcraft Has No Gatekeepers

Ten years ago if you had asked me to define Witchcraft I would have probably given you a rather generic answer that included a Goddess, the sabbats, and most likely magickal practice. I would have been rather passionate about it, but hopefully not so close-minded that I wouldn’t have accept answers differing from my own. Today when someone asks me that question I tend to shrug a little bit and answer with “whatever one wants it to be.”

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What Makes it Witchcraft .1

Cyndi Brannen of Keeping Her Keys recently posed the question, “What is it that makes Witchcraft…Witchcraft?” I love this question because it not only allows us to see the tremendous variability in what Witchcraft involves for different people, but it also encourages me to revisit my own core beliefs. Sometimes, in the craziness that is life, we can lose focus of the fundamental elements that make up our identities as Witches. When feeling overwhelmed or stuck along my path, I have found that it’s immensely helpful to return to this core, to the basic nature of your Craft – in whatever variation that may be. You may be surprised by what new things you can learn!

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What Makes It Witchcraft .2

This morning I’m in a local forest preserve, water bottle in hand, standing at a three-way crossroads waiting for my husband and the dog to return from exploring what I know is a dead-end path. The moon is in waning crescent phase, three nights out from full dark. Alone at the crossroads, I pour a small amount of water at each intersection giving thanks for Hekate’s presence in my life, asking that I may continue to feel Her presence and that I may serve Her well.

A summer breeze, cool and momentarily lifting the humidity, filters through the trees and across the crossroads as I finish my triune prayer, drying the sweat from my skin. The breeze continues to freshen; small fluffy seedpods release themselves from their trees and drift like soft, spangled stars to the ground. I smile and thank Hekate for Her favor; my husband and the dog appear from around the bend, and we continue our walk.

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Drawing Down the Sun

I think sometimes as a witch the moon tends to get pride of place and the sun perhaps takes a back seat?  But it is an incredibly powerful source of natural energy and magic.  If you assign to the ‘general’ school of thought about gender (although it differs in cultures and beliefs) the sun is a very strong masculine energy that balances with the feminine energy of the moon.

How does the sun make you feel?  When the sun shines on a beautiful spring day after we have been subjected to rain, wind and snow.   Turning your face and feeling the warm rays of sun.  Having a picnic in the park or sitting on the beach on a warm summers day.  Makes you feel mighty fine, that’s how it makes you feel!

To read further please click the link below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/beneaththemoon/2018/07/drawing-down-the-sun/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan&utm_content=37

 

To Keep Silent

The witch’s pyramid is a concept with a lot of mystery around it. The actual origins of the witch’s pyramid have been hotly debated, but the first writings come from Eliphas Levi in his Transcendental Magic. The pyramid is made up of four corners or pillars. These four pillars come together in a point, just like a pyramid, as a focus. Combined the pillars direct the power of the witch – the power of magick. The four pillars or points of the witch’s pyramid are: to know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent.

 To continue reading please click on link.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thewitchesnextdoor/2018/07/to-keep-silent/

Jewelry as Protection

I was leaving for a rally the other day. Which one it was, doesn’t really matter. Won’t be my first, nor will it be my last in these turbulent times. As I was getting ready to leave, I went to my “accessory tray” (a family joke with my sons, as I am obsessive about everyone having one of these. Where you drop your jewelry, change, keys, etc.) I absent-mindedly began armoring up.

Yes, armoring up.

To read further please click link below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/witchindeed/2018/07/jewelry-as-protection/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan&utm_content=37

 

 

Self Care Both Practical And Mystical: Techniques For Defensive Coping

It should go without saying but taking care of yourself is crucial for anyone in any viable spiritual, mystical, or occult practice. Now more than ever it is crucial, especially if you’ve decided to do your part in ways either practical and/or magical in order to help out with the current state of affairs.

For you, for anyone feeling more stress than usual in general, I have the following tips:

To read further please click on the link below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teaaddictedwitch/2018/06/self-care-for-practical-and-mystical/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan&utm_content=37

 

The Path of Paganism

 

Path-of-Paganism-800x1200

An Experience-Based Guide to Modern Pagan Practice
by John Beckett
published by Llewellyn Worldwide
April 2017
320 pages
available from LlewellynAmazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Paganism is a way of seeing the world and your place in it. It means challenging the assumptions of mainstream society and strengthening your relationships with the gods, the universe, your community, and your self. The Path of Paganism provides practical advice and support for honoring your values and living an authentic Pagan life in mainstream Western culture.

Discover tips for establishing or deepening a regular practice. Explore how your spirituality can help you deal with life’s inevitable hardships. Learn the basics of leadership roles and other steps to take as you gain experience and move into more advanced practices. With questions for contemplation as well as rituals to help you integrate new concepts, this book guides you through a profoundly meaningful way of life.

To continue reading please click on link.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/book

 

Discernment, The Spirits, And You: How To Separate Invocation From Ego

This is a topic that comes up again and again for people involved in mystical practices and experiences, magicians, witches, and pretty much every occultist and psychic out there: how can you tell the difference between daimons, deities, and your ego? I’ve blogged in the past on discernment and why it’s necessary, but how do you actually make sure that you’re not taken in by self deception? What steps do you take and what should you expect?

Here’s my list of things to do and/or look for:

To read on please click on link below.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teaaddictedwitch/2018/07/separate-invocation-from-ego/