Let’s Talk Witch – The Mundanes

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Witches often use the word mundane to mean any person who is not a Pagan. That is to say, “them” as opposed to “us.” It is not meant as an insult (at least not most of the time) but rather as an explanatory label, as in the case of “Oh, yes, my husband Joe is a mundane, but he’s pretty flexible about me going to rituals.” (Apparently the “official” word is cowan, but I’ve never heard anyone use it. In fact, since Harry Potter came out, you’re much more likely to hear the term muggle.)

But what does the word mean, and why do we use that word and not something else?
Interestingly, if you look up mundane in the dictionary (as I knew you were all going to do if I didn’t do it for you), you will find the following definition: “of, relating to or characteristic of the world or characterized by the practical, transitory and ordinary-commonplace.”

You can easily see why we apply this label to them and not to us, since Witches tend to be anything but ordinary and commonplace. But it is also an indication that there are a lot more of them than there are of us; the world is made up of mundanes, not (alas) Pagans. In fact, the word comes from the Latin for “world.”

The word also implies the notion that while mundanes are “of the world,” we Pagans tend to be more involved in the otherworldly, or at least more aware of and in touch with those things that are not so much practical, transitory, and ordinary.

So in a way, by defining those who are not us, we are defining ourselves. We are all at least in part mundane-we are connected to the everyday world by our jobs, our relationships with non-Pagan others, and by the ordinary necessities of survival. But we are also Witches and live in a world that the mundanes who surround us cannot even imagine.

Deborah Blake, Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful  World of Witchcraft

One thought on “Let’s Talk Witch – The Mundanes

  1. interesting I did not look at the word in that manner , when I speak mundane , Im speaking of ordinary life , the things most of us do each and ever day (rue teen ) I did not know the word could or should or apply to a derogatory..or as sect.. interesting , words change …


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