The Witch

WOTC Extra (a) – The Good Witch

The Good Witch

The “Good” Witch Thanks to the magic of movies, it’s nearly impossible to separate the Good Witch archetype from Glinda in The Wizard of Oz. This type of witch waves a rose-colored wand and all the problems of the world float neatly away. She smiles a disarmingly innocent smile and trusts wholeheartedly that all of the world’s ills will eventually fix themselves through the law of return.


Alternatively, you have Samantha from the television series Bewitched, refusing to use her powers except in emergencies, and only if they’re used for “good.” What made the “good witch” archetype work in the popular mind forty years ago was the fact that she didn’t interfere and hesitated to wield her power, effectively immobilizing any sense of threat. She wasn’t trying to be special; she wanted to be normal.


For the modern Neo-Pagan, Wiccan, or Witch, this creates an odd challenge. What is truly “bad” or “good” about the “good witch?” Some beginners’ books on Wicca give the roundabout impression that a spiritually proficient life is nearly idyllic. It is almost as if the writer is saying, “If your life isn’t like this everyday, you’re doing something wrong.” Meanwhile, it’s hard not to think, “Hey, you! Your life isn’t like this either!” Most people’s lives aren’t the material from which Hallmark cards are made.


Why do we create mundane or magickal yardsticks up to which no one can possibly measure? That is the true danger in the “good” witch; she’s got a very tough, if not impossible, act to follow. None of us are completely enlightened, or we wouldn’t still be here, going through another round of life lessons.


Meanwhile, the “good” witch archetype stands there, looking pristine, never shaken, always grinning as if there’s not a care in the world. How many of us can say we ever look like that? The Good witch archetype externally gives the impression that perfection just comes naturally (except perhaps for the glitter). But real witches know better. We know that true magick takes more than a bucket of fairy dust to manifest.


Another concern I have with the “good” witch is the all-too-simple instructions she gives. “Follow the Yellow Brick Road . . . don’t stray from the road . . . .


Additionally, in her unshakable optimism, the “good” witch can often be taken quite unaware by life’s significant ups and downs (the turning wheel). It’s great to expect the best, to put energy toward good things. That’s part of feeding the Law of Return. However, there must always be a rational balance point—a place to which you return to regroup when the rugs gets pulled out from under your broom. No witch worth her wand would be caught dead tripped up on a floor with tusseled hair and had a wrinkled robe, but that’s exactly what can happen if the good witch gets too out of touch with reality. Sometimes things go wrong, but when that happens, just pick up your broom, clean up, laugh, regroup, and get on with it. May that is exactly why Glinda’s mantra for Dorothy was, “there’s no place like home.” Perhaps Kansas was Dorothy’s regrouping point once she got some perspective.



A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life
Marian Singer

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – The Bad Witch

 The Bad Witch

First, let’s consider the “bad” witch in terms of what lessons the archetype teaches:


The “bad” witch never seems to be afraid of her powers, nor does she question them. This implies a rather casual acceptance of magickal gifts as natural and readily available once mastered. What would our lives be like if we simply trusted in our spiritual nature as fully as she does?


The “bad” witch rarely hesitates to use magick to improve her fate. She sees her magical abilities as a birthright and sees herself as wholly worthy of what those attributes bring. In this, we are reminded that the human ego serves a very real purpose. We must know and honor ourselves if we hope for any type of positive result from our workings (as within, so without). More importantly, we have to use our magickal methods and ideals if we ever expect either to impact our realities.


The “bad” witch laughs—rather, cackles—in the face of adversity. You won’t find this lady whining and wringing her hands over a poorly dealt hand. Instead, she sharpens her nails and her wits and tries another angle, flying off to that task fully anticipating success. Now, that’s confidence!


The “bad” witch speaks strongly of the way we as a species perceive power. Why must a woman’s strength, confidence, and conviction be hidden behind old age and/or a displeasing visage? Because anything else would threaten the status quo. I’m pretty sure that if The Wizard of Oz were rewritten today, we’d discover that Dorothy was a young upstart, intent on taking over the wicked-witch’s business deals. By the way, this new-improved wicked witch would wear a three-piece suit, carry a brief case, and ride a Hoover!


The archetype of the bad witch does have its darker side, the side that embodies energies that most modern witches strive to avoid. In the “what goes around, comes around” scenario, dark magick, while it may be successful, cannot only swing back to bite the user but it also negatively affects the user’s aura in definable ways. To use the analogy of a radio, unless you’re completely tuned to be evil and nasty, that type of energy is going to create static in and around your life, just if you tried to force an AM signal through an FM channel. Dion Fortune explains this very well in Psychic Self-Defense:


One of the most effective, and also one of the most widely practiced methods of occult defense is to refuse to react to an attack, neither accepting nor neutralizing the forces projected against one, and thus turning them back on their sender. We must never overlook the fact that a so-called occult attack may be evil thought-forms returning home to roost.

Someone wielding negative magick will eventually see that figurative “wheel” turn around and come back to himself or herself. That alone becomes a pretty nasty prospect. Next, consider the kind of feelings someone would have to put into baneful magick. What sort of memories would they have to evoke? What kind of energies would that person call to himself or herself? If you stand too close to that type of energy, or stand in the wrong place at the wrong time, just as surely as if you were standing too close to a raging fire, you’re going to get hurt.


Many people cannot figure out why anyone would choose to go to the “dark side” after weighing the consequences. It seems obvious that any sensible practitioner would carefully avoid baneful magick.


However, there is an allure in dark magick, one that comes from wielding power without worrying about tomorrow . . . one that comes from the spirit of selfishness that grows fatter the more it gets fed. Make no mistake. We all walk a very fine line between good and bad, but the farther over that line we go in either direction, the harder it becomes to distinguish where it was originally.


Additionally, there is also a chance that some people were pushed into what could be considered “dark” magick out of desperation (such as feeling helpless when a loved one got hurt, and running out of mundane ways to try and help). Or people may do a good thing for a bad reason. It’s a good thing to want to help others, but sometimes that turns into enabling. There are moments in every person’s life when they’re pressed to a wall, when they feel as if there are no good choices, or when they feel the need to fight back. Most of us have faced that moment of truth. What then? No one wants the Threefold Law to hit with full force with negative energy.



A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life
Marian Singer

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Witchcraft | 1 Comment

WOTC Extra – Mess Up? Clean Up!

Dragon Comments & Graphics

Mess Up? Clean Up!


The mage recognizes that for every action there will be an equal and opposite reaction somewhere. That’s a law of physics over which we have no control. So watch the sky overhead, the ground under your feet … monitor the illusions through which you’re trying to move, and keep moving. When things happen because of your actions, take responsibility (not just in magick, but in life).

Be aware that everything has consequences, from taking out a loan or getting married to making tonight’s dinner (or not). Well-crafted metaphysical methods define limits in some way to balance potential consequences. The boundary of our magickal constructs may be a person, an effect, a means to achieve the end, or the time at which the effect dissipates. Additionally, the wise witch is careful to restrict, deflect, and dispel potential contrary reactions that could harm herself or innocent bystanders. At the end of the day, even with precautions something can go wrong. Messed up? Don’t wring your hands and say “poor me.” Get up, dust yourself off, clean up, learn everything you can from the experience, and fix it.


A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life
Marian Singer

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – When You Mess Up—Clean Up

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When You Mess Up—Clean up: Action, Inaction, and Consequences


There is a saying that goes, karma simply is. Karma is not an external force that imposes justice; it is a system of checks and balances that has no particular time frame. Karma also has no agenda other than illustrating the principles of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice, and personal responsibility. It is as impersonal as physics. It is the universe’s way of balancing itself out in any direction.


There are several types of karma. The first comes from all actions in previous lifetimes. Think of this like a cosmic debt or bonus that you add to, or take away from, based upon your daily behavior. The second type of karma is from actions in this life. Third is what might be called “instant” karma, things that manifest daily, such as a person getting arrested for breaking the law. In this last example, we can see where karma’s lessons come through experience; linking our action or inaction with results and responsibility.


Returning to my previous example regarding using magick for personal gain or revenge, karma asks questions like the following:


Can you live with your choice? Can you look in the mirror and be comfortable with what you see?


What kind of person do you wish to be?


Are you ready to accept the responsibility for what you’re doing, plus all possible repercussions?


These are three good questions to ask any time you’re feeling uncertain about your motivations, and how best to proceed. However, in talking about action, inaction, and consequences, I think there are several other points to consider:


Sometimes life simply happens. Say you’re in an accident and someone dies, but you live. Unless you purposefully and willfully had some hand in creating that accident, or in speeding that person’s death, there’s no karma involved for your current incarnation. In fact, there was very likely no karma involved in the accident. Death is a natural outcome of living! I only mention this because all too often people look for deep, spiritual meanings to things that have none.


There are many situations in which we do have some level of responsibility. In that case, it’s time to take steps to ameliorate the damage. Being “sorry” is not enough. Apologies do nothing to fix things, other than perhaps making the person who did wrong feel a little less badly about it. Until we’re ready to act on those things for which we’re responsible, we have learned nothing. It’s comparable to a child who continually engages in bad behavior because he or she thinks that mom and dad will either (a) give them positive or negative attention for it, and/or (b) forgive them. When they’re old enough to understand the consequences of their actions, kids need to know better. They mess up, they clean up. This is a philosophy that applies very nicely to Wiccan situational ethics. If you’ve messed up, fix it to the best of your ability.


There are going to be some things you cannot fix. Say you initiate a huge fight with a family member. Afterward, you do everything in your power to seek out forgiveness and improve communications. If that person rebuffs your efforts, the karma is no longer yours to bear. Leave the door open and move on, knowing you’ve diligently and honestly sought peaceful closure.


Despite the power of magick, there are many things for which one must work physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to remain as a cocreator with the divine. Within the broad Neo-Pagan community, there seems to be a creeping sense of entitlement. People expect magick to move mountains even when they’ve invested very little personal effort. For example, the creator of a ritual strongly suggests beginning at sunrise for the greatest amount of success. Well, to heck with that! We want to sleep until noon. Is it any wonder that such a ritual would go awry? While not all rituals require strict timing, in this illustration a timing was strongly advised. Without proper intent and honest effort, there’s no reason for manifestation to happen. There was no real energy invested to begin with. The old saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” applies to magick, too. Be ready and willing to work for magickal manifestation.


Finally, what about those moments when our back is, indeed, up against a wall? A soldier will tell you that when shooting is about to start, you do something. This isn’t the time for indecision. Such hesitancy on a regular basis creates the victim mentality in which you will remain on the sidelines of life as a proverbial wallflower. Yes, it’s possible to make people angry through action. It’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason, but to constantly do nothing isn’t the perfect answer either.



A Witch’s 10 Commandments: Magickal Guidelines for Everyday Life
Marian Singer

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: , | Leave a comment

WOTC Extra – Balance, Keys to Opening Your Psychic Potential

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Balance, Keys to Opening Your Psychic Potential

The keys to opening your psychic potential


“This isn’t about being perfect ; it’s about loving yourself, others, And the God and Goddess. It’s about getting closer to your spirit and in turn, to the Them.” – Carolyn


Being in balance Balance is one of the hardest things you will ever have to achieve and continually try to achieve in life. It’s hard to be in balance in a world where the slings and arrows of life seem to be coming from all sides. I get it, I’ve been through my share and I’m sure there is more to come. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to write this if I didn’t experience the pinnacle of loss or unbalance on several occasions in my life. This isn’t a shake your finger do the right thing piece! This is more of a try to do your best, scenario. I am not the poster woman of perfection that is for certain and this certainly isn’t about being perfect in any sense of the word.

I think we are sometimes so hard on ourselves and others because we mistake perfecting spiritually, with perfecting physically on the Earth plane. Two completely separate things. I have yo-yoed in my weight, smoked, drank, worked too hard , worked too little, and have stressed to the point of having panic attacks. Fine. I have also quit smoking, lost weight, worked out, ran a 5k, gone hiking, ate raw vegan, didn’t drink, and practiced my spirituality each and every day.

Neither of these options makes me worse or better than anyone else, it makes me human. But as humans, we need to realize that it is the positive, loving actions that make us feel more in tune with our higher selves. That help us to vibrate at a higher level. There are no judgments here. If we are doing what is positive, we will tend to avoid the things that no longer serve our spirit. By doing the things that are positive for our bodies, minds and spirits, we come closer to our spiritual self.

Often, there are times when we are going through something that pulls the rug right out from under us and we will vibrate at a lower level. Losing the desire to do those positive things and wanting to wallow a bit in our sadness or self pity. It’s ok for a day or two, but let’s face it – if it lasts longer than that, you’re going down a dark path. When this happens, we need to cling to our spirituality, even more so to make us strong and get us through it.

The ultimate lesson we should learn is self love and loving others. We often judge others when in fact we are truly judging ourselves. Like a mirrored reflection, we see ourselves in others. When they are doing things that remind us of what we once did, or are currently doing, we treat them with disdain. We just don’t want to admit it or still have yet to overcome it.

Instead, we lash out, point out their faults and criticize judgmentally. We never turn that mirror around and look at ourselves first, either because we can’t see it, admit it, or aren’t ready to face our demons. Sooner or later, we must face it, in order to heal and evolve. Remember, what is done in the dark will almost always be brought to light.

Loving yourself teaches us to not be so hard on ourselves. Why should you care about what others think when you have made your mistakes in life? Hell, most of the mistakes I have made have hurt me more than others! Do you think they haven’t made their fine share of mistakes? Forgive yourself and them. Do your best to fix it, and then let it go.



Psychic Witch: A Witch’s Guide to Psychic Ability
Carolyn Balbi

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Psychic Energy

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Psychic Energy

“It is with sheer determination that the change we seek unfolds. It is with sheer feeling that we can be as we see ourselves. The best we can achieve is already within us… waiting to be expressed.” – My Lead Guide Sonia


Where meditation, affirmations, centering and keeping our egos in check are part of the process of raising our vibration, energy is the catalyst. Energy is the force that resides within us and all around
us. Without it, we cannot raise our vibrations, exchange energy or feel the energy of others around us. We can sense it, feel it, send it out and receive it, but what is energy exactly?

The definition in my Merriam Webster Dictionary states: 1: Vigorous action: Effort 2: capacity for action 3: a fundamental entity of nature usu. Regarded as the capacity for performing work 4: useable power (as heat or electricity); also: the resources for producing such power.

That’s all fine and good and very true, but what is energy in a spiritual sense? Do the above meanings apply? What does energy mean to you? I mean, if we are made up of energy, then certainly the above definition applies to us as well – doesn’t it?

A simple exercise to try and feel energy is by simply taking both your hands, palms facing each other without touching and to see if you can sense the energy being exchanged between them. When I do this, I can feel the very air stop in that allotted space just for me. It is then followed by a tingling in both my hands and then a warmth or heat is created. That is energy. You can’t see it (not with this exercise), but you know it’s there because you feel it.

As a Witch, you know how to use energy, but as a psychic Witch, you will learn that it will assist you more than you realize. We are energy; we are an input, conduit, and output for all energy. All energy is associated with light and has a color based on its vibration. That is why it is important for you to understand what colors mean to you, the chakras, or energy points within the body and also your aura. But, I am jumping ahead. For now, let’s discuss our energy and how to utilize it.

We are pure light, love, and energy. We emanate at a vibration, a frequency, and like all levels of creation, we can raise our energy to elevate our vibration. By doing this, we are closer to our higher selves; who we are at the peak of perfection. Our essence will go on long after our physical bodies have died. As Albert Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created nor destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.”

It is the same law throughout the Universe and beyond. We are all connected by this energy. This energy, this vibration, exists in each and every living organism and we all share its essence. And if that energy and that vibration are the essence; then the light is an expression of that essence – carrying with it the vibration and energy that reflects it.

When you look at a reflected mirrored image of the sun, you can see all the colors of the rainbow in reverse. We are but mirror images of our spirits, reflections of light and energy but in flesh form. As a psychic, it helped me to understand how our loved ones manifest on the physical plane.

When I see spirit, the first image that emerges is a beautiful white light – energy in its purest form. From that light, which I can only describe as a condensed milky white light, colors emerge. These then turn to shape and form, until the spirit who wishes to manifest is fully present with me. They use energy to emerge their reflection and spiritual body, physical in form. Made up of pure energy and light to manifest on our plane of existence.

That is why they will sometimes seem transparent, because they are glowing from within to emerge from without. Though seemingly transparent, they can still touch us and we can still feel them, either by sensing their energy or through physical touch.

Understanding energy is a major tool in our psychic abilities. It is a guide for our psychic feelings into the people, places and things we encounter, but energy is a tricky thing. It’s funny how some people will not admit to how much energy plays a vital role in our lives on a daily basis. You walk into a room and it feels heavy, you can’t put your finger on it – but it’s as if you know at any moment that lightning will strike.

It’s a negative feeling , the energy is low and for the sensitive person and psychic, this will affect them greatly. I have literally gotten ill walking into a negative environment and basically just leave because of it. When you are in a discussion with another individual, you are exchanging energy. Your energy and their energy are separate but begin to dance with one another.

Now, when both are in a positive place, you begin to feel that sense of joy and happiness associated with being around this person, elated and in sync. That is a good feeling. Sometimes mistaken for infatuation, perhaps love. In truth, it is just your energy merging with another in good harmony.

Whether energy is exchanged in conversation, through creative work, while cooking a meal for family, fighting, or making love, it is constantly exchanged within, without and through us. The same occurs when we are dealing with a very negative person. We need to learn to control our energy, we need to understand that energy is exchanged and that we need to protect, amplify, or release energy in order to sustain our own.

Using prayer, meditation, balancing your chakras and extending your aura will keep you in tuned to the energy around you and to your own. You will learn to decipher what is someone else’s negative feelings apart from your own, so that you are able to do what is necessary to protect yourself.



Psychic Witch: A Witch’s Guide to Psychic Ability
Carolyn Balbi

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Let’s Talk Witch – Two Opposing Views on Being A Christian Witch

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Two Opposing Views on Being A Christian Witch

View No. 1: Can You Be A Christian Witch? Answer: No— Ellen Dugan

I am often asked about this controversial topic while I am at an author event, teaching a class, or speaking at festivals. At first I could not figure out what the fascination was with my answer , but as my quick, snarky answer never changes, and the reaction is always gales of laughter, I began to realize that folks just enjoyed hearing me say it. Can you be a Christian Witch? My standard answer is, “Can you be a Baptist Jew? No, you can’t. So get off the fence —it’s one or the other.”

Oh my , I have probably just offended someone . Well, I get offended when some chick in a white eyelet sundress wearing Halloween-costume fairy wings and sporting a big crucifix around her neck stands there simpering at me, wanting me to assure her that she won’t go to hell just because she is dabbling with a bit of Witchcraft. After all, she just loves faeries and magick. It’s all so pretty… but she can still be a Christian, right? Don’t forget, she has lots of magickal books; they are so cool. Plus she has seen every episode of Charmed. Good grief.

In my opinion, no, you cannot be a Christian Witch. Why? Because Witches are following a polytheistic religion. We believe in and worship more than one god; we believe in the god and the goddess and the many faces thereof. We believe in karma, in reincarnation, and that our actions in this life are important. We are not “forgiven” for any misdeed ; instead , we know that we are responsible. Witches work hard on maintaining their magickal neutrality. We embrace the sacredness of life and of nature, communing with spirits and believing that prophecy and visions are, in fact, not only real but a part of our spiritual rights as humans. Also, Witches do not believe in proselytizing ; we do not recruit or convert others.

There is no fear in the Craft, but it seems to me there is a very real fear at the core of Christianity— the fear of divine retribution from an angry, jealous, and vengeful god. Before someone accuses me of Christian bashing, I invite you to research the history of the church’s conversion of the masses. Countries, territories, and entire races of people were converted by force or they died. Anyone who was different or worshipped differently was branded a heretic and met with an unfortunate end. There is a long, bloody, and violent history to Christianity. Even the crucifix is a symbol of torture and suffering. Roman Christian soldiers emblazoned it on their shields and banners as they moved into and conquered new territories. This was a way to advertise just what would happen to the people if they did not fall into line. Let’s be honest here, in ancient times the common folk could not read, but they understood what that symbol meant when they saw it: death by crucifixion.

And don’t get me started on the burning times, also known as the women’s holocaust. While the numbers of the victims vary from several hundred thousand to millions, depending on who you ask, it is true that across Europe many lost their lives from being accused of practicing Witchcraft. The bottom line is those atrocities were real. The torture and murder of women, men, and children all to save their souls in the name of Christianity is sickening.

Still think you can be a Christian Witch? Then again, I invite you to take a realistic and honest look at the guidelines of Christianity. Divination, visions, a belief in reincarnation, communing with spirits, any sort of magick, and, of course, the belief in more than one god and/ or a divine feminine is frowned upon most strongly, which is a nice way of say it is forbidden. There , in a nutshell, is your answer. You cannot claim to be both a Christian and a Witch when these two belief systems are in such direct theoretical opposition from one another.

I do respect other spiritual paths. We could all stand to have an open, honest dialogue with each other. However, I am standing by— and standing up— for my spiritual beliefs. As an author, I am in the unique position of having had the opportunity to meet different sorts of magickal folks from all over North America. That whole wanna-be-Witch-chick-in-the-white-sundress scenario really happened, and I get hit up with variations of this question almost daily. How would you feel if you were confronted with that on a regular basis?

While I appreciate that Witches are so popular in our culture, thanks to television and fiction, the truth is that Witchcraft is a spiritual practice— and one that should be respected, not played with. There is nothing more dangerous than a magickal dabbler. People who play with the Craft because they think it’s romantic or cool typically cause chaos. It annoys me to no end for folks to take my religious practices and turn them into what they imagine is a sort of fun hobby because they are looking for a thrill.

You do not get to have this both ways. Embrace the spirituality of the Witch wholeheartedly or stick with your own religion and stop playing with the Craft. Witches know that our spiritual path is not for everyone, nor should it be.

View No. 2: Can You Be A Christian Witch? Answer: Yes— Tess Whitehurst

Here’s why I believe that you can indeed be a Christian Witch: when it comes to spirituality, I absolutely refuse to subscribe to rules regarding what names you can and can’t call yourself, and what those names may or may not mean to the world. I belive we’ve had quite enough of that as a culture. Not to mention, there are as many ways to be a Witch as there are Witches. And since spirituality is an utterly, utterly personal thing, I believe that there are also as many ways to be a Christian as there are Christians.

Joseph Campbell said, “Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”

By “trouble,” I assume that he means everything from petty squabbles to discrimination to violence and even war and murder, which are all ridiculous ways to behave when what you’re really at odds about is a metaphor for the Divine. And the way I see it, saying you can be this but then you can’t be that is a symptom of getting stuck in metaphors and interpreting them as facts.

And so, yes, by many conventional definitions of the words “Christian” and “Witch” (of which there are many), I understand that it might not make sense to say that you’re both at the same time. But I am not interested in conventional definitions. I am interested in creative spirituality: in finding what inspires you personally and not what someone else told you should inspire you or what a narrow definition dictates. What’s more, when we’re talking about the Great Mystery (one of my favorite names for God/ dess), we are, to quote Joseph Campbell again, talking about “that which transcends all levels of rational thought.” So by its very definition , if we are actually talking about the Great Mystery or any way that we may interpret or celebrate the Great Mystery, it will almost definitely not make any rational “sense.” (If it did, it would not be the Great Mystery . Consequently, we would be talking about something else entirely.)

Now that my philosophical rant is out of the way, I’d also like to point out that where I live (California), because of the large Mexican population, there are plenty of Catholic practitioners of something that may not always be called Witchcraft but looks pretty much like the same thing from where I’m standing. I first learned about this from my visits to botanicas. Have you ever been to one? We have them in or near just about every town, regardless of size. California towns that have no New Age bookstore will quite often have at least one botanica. If you ever get the opportunity to go to one, do! They’re magical! Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice is every kind of tall jar candle you can think of, from Catholic saints to Yoruban orishas to magical intention candles of countless varieties. (Please be advised that many of these candles, like “Come to Me Lover” and “Shut Your Mouth,” do not honor the free will law and will come back to bite you in the butt if you burn them with the intention to manipulate another. I, uh, guarantee it… yup, definitely won’t ever do that again. Honestly , I’m lucky I survived my baby Witch years relatively intact.) You’ll also find herbs, statues, incense, candles, soap, rosary beads, scented waters, and pretty much any variety of spiritual or magickal supply you might need in a pinch. Often the owner of the botanica (or someone who works there) will also offer alternative healing work of some kind.

If you examine the roots of this Catholic/Yoruban/ folk mixture, you’ll see that , like many ancient and indigenous spiritualities during times of Christian conversion , South American folk beliefs were not completely eradicated but rather assimilated and syncretized to Christianity— in this case (because South America was colonized by Spain), Catholicism. And so, in much the same way that the goddess Brighid in Ireland is said to have become Saint Bridget and Avalon became Glastonbury, the Great Goddess of the Americas became Mother Mary and folk remedies and practices became infused with Christian iconography. The African influence found its way in into the mix too (via the Carribean), hence the orisha candles.

All of this just goes to show that as comforting as it may be to imagine that there are cleanly drawn lines between what constitutes a “Christian,” what constitutes a “Witch,” and what constitutes any other name you might have for any particular spirituality or cosmology, this is simply not the case. You might as well say that all Christians have to stop having Christmas trees or burning Yule logs in December , as these traditions are derived from ancient Pagan customs. You might also say that I have to stop calling on Saint Francis of Assisi every day to watch over my cats, which is something that I am absolutely not willing to do. (Incidentally , Saint Francis might be called something of a Christian Witch, although if he had declared such a thing during his lifetime, it would certainly not have gone well for him. He talked to the birds and wrote poems about the sun, moon, stars, and elements, after all.) Spirituality is fluid, words are just words, and we are all one big human family. You could get hung up on distinctions, but why?

Call yourself what you want to be called, just don’t get stuck on your chosen label( s). Interweave whatever inspires you into your spiritual path, and allow others to do the same. Do what thou wilt. Harm none.

Every Witch Way: Spells and Advice from Two Very Different Witches
Ellen Dugan; Tess Whitehurst
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Wicca, Witchcraft | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Rites of Passage

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Rites of Passage


Wiccans have several rites of passage, the most common of which is initiation. Others include the marking of important phases of life such as birth (wiccaning), coming of age, marriage (handfasting) and death. A rite of passage unique to Wicca is Eldering or the honoring of elder Wiccans.

Wicca is a religion by choice. For this reason, initiation takes on great importance since it marks a formal entrance of a free-willed individual into Wicca. Some Wiccans have a collective, celebratory ceremony, whereas others are happy with a simple, solitary meditation. Whichever way it is marked, it is a greatly spiritual moment, marking the beginning of a religious journey.

Various traditions and individuals have different ways of performing a Wiccan initiation ritual. Under British Traditional Wicca and other similar traditions, there are usually three degrees of initiation.

There is also a prescribed period of dedication before the first initiation. During the dedication period of a year and a day, a person promises to make an effort to study Wicca as much as possible. After that, the first degree initiation may be held. For coven initiates, there is usually a ceremony in which an individual is granted entrance into the Wiccan community. A first-degree Wiccan initiate then becomes responsible for his or her own spiritual well-being. The second and third degrees in Wicca mean an increase in the level of responsibility.

Another interesting, commonly performed Wiccan ceremony is handfasting. This rite is performed to join together two individuals in the eyes of the God and Goddess. Wiccan handfasting ceremonies are as varied as regular wedding ceremonies. They are usually performed in a circle like other Wiccan rituals. The hands of the couple are tied together for symbolic value. A common wedding vow amongst Wiccans is a variation of the beautiful phrase “for as long as love lasts.”

Wiccans have a naming or wiccaning ceremony upon the birth of a child. Although this child may not choose to be a Wiccan when he or she grows up, his Wiccan parents wish to keep him or her under the protection of the God and Goddess.

A fairly newer rite in Wicca is to honor those who have been on this religious path for more than 20 years. It is called eldering, and is a sort of a retirement for a senior Wiccan from a position of power. In the ceremony, the elder tells stories about his or her journey of Wicca. He or she shares experiences and gives advice to younger Wiccans. A passing away or death rite is also observed by many Wiccans. Usually this custom is started before the Wiccan’s actual death so that he or she may take part in it as well. The practices vary with each individual but are designed to make the dying Wiccan’s passage easier.

Wicca Made Easy: Simple Spells for Love, Money, Luck, Success, Weight Loss & More!
Sarah M. Lancaster

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, The Witch, Witchcraft | Leave a comment

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