The Witch is in...

Viking Witch & Freyja's Daughter

Wilma Van Den Boomen of Freyja's Daughter Tarot

Wilma Van Den Boomen 

Irreverent Witch, a deck of Tarot & a splash of Magick...

The first time I called myself a 'Witch' was the most magical moment of my life.

by Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America

So you want to be a Witch?

Witchcraft and Paganism is becoming more mainstream and acceptable in the current era.  Significantly more accepted than when I began my journey 30 years ago.  So this is just a cursory bit of information on my journey as well as some basic information of Witchcraft and Paganism to give you a few directions and resources to further explore this path and decide whether it is right for you.  

There are as many types of Witches and Pagans as there Christian denominations, so do not for one minute think that what I am writing or my experience in anyway encompases all that this path has to offer.  This is just one Witch's journey, experience and path.  Ultimately, choosing this road is an exciting one, but also a difficult one, but well worth it for those with the desire or willingness to travel it.

Born a Witch

I am a firm believer that I was born a witch, that this path is an integral part of my journey in this life, and in fact has been a part of who I am for many lifetimes.  In recent years I have come to recover memories of past lives, and in those past lives I was a witch much like I am today only, I would never have outwardly stated or expressed that as I am doing today.  Being a witch was a dangerous thing to be for women in the past, so I was more of a midwife, healer and wisewoman back them.  

But it is so freeing therefore to be able to now exclaim to the world the truth of who I really am, to stand in my power as a woman and take on the mantle of the witch and to fully embrace, embody and express that to the world.

1980's Satanic Ritual Scare

I was always interested in the magickal and spiritual, and used to enjoy using the Ouija board as a kid with my cousins and friends. In fact after my 14 year old birthday party when I had a sleep over with friends, and we played with the Ouija board, one of my friend's mothers contacted my mom and asked her if I was a witch.  My very Catholic mother was not happy nor impressed by this, and of course since I was an adopted child, the women insisted that I just might be given my mother couldn't be sure of my background.

This is the typical ignorance and prejudice of people that comes from the place of fear over all things supernatural and occult.  I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's at a time when there was alot of mis-information around the supernatural and occult and in fact there was a huge movement of belief in satanic abuse which I believe was influenced by Hollywood and movies. 

Although there has been and are people who subvert the practice of witchcraft for their own nefarious purposes, it is certainly NOT indicative of the vast majority of people who identify as pagan or practice witchcraft. One certainly wouldn't accuse all Catholics or all Catholic Priests of being child abusers because of the actions of a few bad people, or label all followers of Islam as terrorists.  In a world of sensational media, it is important that we seek to respect and understand all persons beliefs and practices and not be overly influenced by the negative representations of their belief systems.

Fortunately, we have more information, and more people willing to come forward with their magickal work and experiences and we see more psychics and mediums who are NOT just grifters trying to defraud, but real, everyday people who wish to help and connect people with loved ones or spiritual messages that help.

WHAT IS A WITCH?

This is a complicated question, for there are as many variety of witches as there are races of people.  Paganism is an overall nature-based religion and many pagans would also identify as witches, (not all) but not all witches may identify as pagan.

Witchcraft in and of itself is a practice.  One may practice the behaviours and tools of witchcraft without necessarily subscribing to any religious beliefs.  Although, most persons who practice witchcraft have a supporting religious belief system that influences and supports their practice.

 

Neo-Paganism 

a variety of traditions that include Wiccans, Hedge Witches, Kitchen Witches, Gardnerian & Alexandrian Witches, Corellian Witches, Dianic Witches and Reclaiming Witches. 

These are all witchcraft & pagan traditions that came to light or flourished after the repeal of the Anti-Witchcraft laws and the publishing of witchcraft books in the 1950's & 1960's.  Gerald Gardner was influential in the start of that movement.

Hereditary Traditions

witches who came from family or cultural traditions that were hidden but kept alive and practiced for years in secrecy.  So these include Traditional witches, Voodoo, Stregheria, Cornish Witchcraft, Icelandic Witchcraft, and Aboriginal Practitioners to name a few.

This is just a cursory overview, and certainly NOT definitive of all witches but to give you an idea that witchcraft and persons who practice witchcraft come from a variety of cultures and traditions.  

MAGICIANS 

persons who practice Magick techniques and may or may not identify as pagan and often times focus on High Magickal work exclusively.  Witchcraft can be natural magick, or everyday kitchen witchcraft or it can utilize High Magickal techniques.  

Aleister Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn are examples of Magicians focused on High Magickal techniques and practice.

a Variety of Tarot Decks, Oracle, Lenormand, Tarot Books & Witchcraft Books

WHICH WITCH IS WHICH?

It is my opinion that witchcraft is neither white nor black, but that the character of the witch and the intention of the magick is what indicates the flavour of the witchcraft. 

 Intention is everything in witchcraft and magick.  So I do not consider nor call myself a white white.... because there are times when hexing is necessary and I refuse to limit myself from the tools of magick that I may need or access in defense of myself or those I love. But I am also an individual of empathy, compassion and good character so I would never intentionally nor maliciously do anything that would hurt or harm someone, unless they deserved it by their own evil or harmful behaviour and actions. 

It is my opinion therefore that a true witch is both shadow and light.  She walks the realms and paths of both worlds, and is able to understand and utilize the tools of magick necessary for the task at hand.  

The Dark Goddess requires her priestesses to take on the shadow work and difficult tasks that come with the dark and shadow aspects of life.  It is the shadow work in my opinion and the willingness to do this work that makes witches a necessary part of society and special practitioners of the work of the Dark Goddess.  However, since there is a prevalence of descriptive witch terms thrown around the web, I have offered them here for insight and reflection: 

White Witch

It is my understanding that a person who views themselves as a "white witch" is someone who strives to deal with white magick.  Is strongly connected to the rule of "harm none" and the "rule of three".  

That is the idea that any energy sent out into the universe comes back upon the individual times 3. 

I am not entirely convinced of this idea, as it seems to me to be outwith our current understanding of physics and science.   Energy is neither created nor destroyed and merely transformed to a different state.  So the idea that you send energy out and it miraculously comes back times 3 is an idea I am skeptical of.  

I do however believe that one can send out energy and seek to influence a law of attraction to bring to oneself what one is seeking.  But I digress.  

A white witch generally works wiith light energy and often will not deal with the left-hand pathworking or delve into shadow work. Hexing is also not an area of magick they would feel ethically comfortable doing magick work in.  

Personally, I see this as missing out on a significant aspect of witchcraft and magick, but that is my own biased opinion speaking.

Left-Hand Path

The left-hand path is generally in reference to that magickal working that deals with what is commonly referred to as "Black Magic".  

So it is dealing with hexing, and shadow work.  But it is most often associated with pagan traditions that identify with the Satanic traditions and Luciferianism.  

They may also often do magickal work with demons and dark spirits.  My own work with demons and runins with the lower vibrational entities has sparked my interest in this pathworking, and believe that it is an interesting and necessary part of witchcraft and important for witches to understand and experience.  

Not everyone is cut out for this work, but they should at least seek to have knowledge or understanding of this much maligned path.  

We need witches and magicians of all areas and categories and demons and lower vibrational entities are as much a part of our world as fairies and angels, and one needs to not fear them but understand them and to work with them, even if only to protect oneself from them. 

I am probably doing a grave disservice with respect to describing this interesting path, but there are significantly more books and information on this area, and I recommend a google search or Amazon search if it is something you are curious about.

To Hex or Not to Hex?

This is a controversial issue, and you will find many witches who are steadfastly against utilizing any magick or witchcraft that would seek to restrain or harm another.  I am not one of them.  I believe that we have magickal tools for a reason, and that there may be times when we need to utilize them in defense of ourselves and others.  

Ultimately, if you are a person of empathy, compassion and good moral character, your inner moral compass will be what guides you upon the decisionmaking path with respect to this issue.  

Part of being a witch is creating an ethical and moral magickal code that is in keeping with your religious teachings and for me, in keeping with the intentions and goals of my matron Goddesses and what they are seeking to teach me, and where they are leading me in my life's journey and goals. So I believe that this is a very individual path that each witch must come to consider for herself. 

Paganism and witchcraft is not a path or religion of dogma, and ultimately requires it's followers to do a lot of thinking, reflection and inner work on their own understanding and belief  system.  

This is why witchcraft and being a witch is not suitable for everyone, because the expectations of learning, self-reflection and personal growth and significant and a long and complicated journey. Not everyone is intersted or capable of doing or willing to complete the tasks required.

Learning Witchcraft

If you believe that you are a witch and wish to learn more, there are a lot of resources and information now available for you to access to get more information or to provide further training.  

Below I have listed a very good and reputable training system that is very reasonably priced that will offer the basic knowledge and take you through the typical requirements of a first and second degree witch.  

Alternatively, there are many online covens that you can join that will also offer you a community of fellow witches and a means to connect with other like-minded individuals.  Search on Google, or Facebook is a usual place for witches and covens to gather and share information and a do group work. 

There are many general pagan and witchcraft books available for the beginner witch, but as you go along and learn more, you will begin to find out what traditions and paths are calling to you, and then you can steer your reading and knowledge in that direction.  

I am most closely aligned to the Dianic traditions and the Reclaiming traditions, so most of my reading and religious beliefs and practice is aligned with those traditions.  I enjoy attending Reclaiming Witchcamp, and there are many Pagan festivals and Witch-themed conferences and camps that offer an amazing focused and transformational experience.  These are highly recommended for not only the magickal experiences on offer, but as a means to network with other witches.

I am also very interested in and connected to my cultural Nordic background, so my practice is also heavily influenced by Norse Paganism and my pantheon of choice is the Nordic one.  

You will also go through the process of honing your witchcraft, magickal interest and Deity connections.  I find this a very fascinating and interesting time, because it is a time when Diety and Spirit are present and assisting you in uncovering your magickal self and path.  

So if I have any recommendation, it is to read, read, read and explore what is calling you and what works for you. I also discovered that my matron Goddesses were very instrumental in this process, and that once I had dedicated myself to my matron Goddess, She just naturally assisted and steered me in the direction of the experiences and life lessons I needed too hone myself into the witch and High Priestess  She wanted me to be.... you may find this is the same for you too.

Good luck on your magickal journey, and Blessed Be!

Wiccan Witchcraft First Degree

Witchcraft Year 1 

This course offers a complete first year, online degree program for anyone and everyone. The path of Wiccan witchcraft offers essential knowledge for new students of the craft. By the end of this book, you can decide if Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism, or maybe a fusion of all of these is your calling. Plus, receive a Certificate of Completion when you have finished your first year degree.

Wiccan Witchcraft Second Degree

Witchcraft - A 2nd Year in the Craft. 

This course will introduce you to the basics of Witchcraft with a Wiccan fusion. Step-by-step beginner exercises are included to help you start your journey safely and to show you exactly what to do in order to achieve your full magical potential. Plus, you can apply for a Certification of Completion for 2nd Degree Witchcraft.


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