Eleven years ago I wrote a piece about what it means to me “To Be a Witch” because I was wrestling with the title I’d claimed for myself as a teen, trying to work out whether I really felt like I was entitled to it. In recent years I’ve gotten more wrapped up in the tension between its history and the way it is used today, but still, it is what I am. I have recently reached a new stage in my magical journey and so I’m reflecting on what I choose to carry with me into the next chapter… Looking back over what I wrote then, it is still true, so I’d like to share it with you, once more, tonight:
I wonder what it takes to be a Witch, what it means.
I feel like it is a title that should be earned, and I feel that you earn it by working on yourself, constantly working to be the best you can be as a human being; as part fey, part animal, part divine.
I feel that it represents an inner power, earned through clearing yourself and connecting to the realms beyond the physical, beyond the so called ‘mundane’. To be a little Fey, deep down.
I feel that it involves a balancing act between the light and the dark, in yourself and in the world.
I feel that it involves a deep sense of Pride which, in its true form, includes humility. Pride is knowing your place in the world, knowing your value and valuing all other beings in the world, knowing everything has a place and a function and is sacred, including yourself.
I feel that it involves acting in alignment with your values, your beliefs, walking your talk and speaking your mind.
I feel that it involves constant attunement to the flow of nature, the flow of magic, coming back to yourself when you notice you are distracted, reconnecting at every moment possible.
I feel that it involves magic, striving to know your True Desire, True Will, who you are fundamentally, and changing consciousness (and the world) in accordance with this.
I feel that it means someone fiercely joyful, deeply compassionate, righteous in their anger when necessary, powerful in themselves, truly honest and eternally loving.
I feel that it involves doing your best, not Perfection, but a process of improvement.
I feel that to be a Witch is to do all these things, and with a particular flavour, of deep forest greens and cool nights, of full moons through starlit skies, of Northern landscapes before the snow. The emerald lands of home.
I strive, every day, every moment, to do these things, to live connected, aware, to reconnect when I find myself scattered and distracted, to know myself and act in accordance with my Self, to be passionate and compassionate and full of joy. Mine is not a path of yellows and oranges, of sand or smoke or baking sun, but of cool deep forests and winter’s rain, of the hearth fire that holds the damp at bay, and the sun which warms but rarely burns. I am not perfect, but I am in process, and so I claim the title ‘Witch’by Halo Quin, June 2010
It is all to easy to get wrapped up in the academia of things, and whether or not something is correct. And that does matter. But also, so often there is something utterly essential in remembering what is in Truth. Within magic there is an important piece about being True to your self and having faith in your Truth, in knowing when to trust your feeling, or more accurately intuition, about something. And in reaching into the heart of the matter and finding spirit there.
So I still stand by this today.
I am a witch, of the cunning folk, I am fey and human and divine. I dance with the gods and the shining ones, and weave magic with this heart of mine, I sing the song of the forest-folk, and honour the dead of my clan, and under the light of the moon, sun, and stars, I've enchanted since all time began.
Do you call yourself a witch, dear reader? Or a druid? Or magician? Or Seeker? Or maybe something else? What does it mean for you? Drop a comment below.
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Kali x said:
Thank you. I needed a little reminder this day/week/month.
I never really claimed the title as much as it was bestowed upon me. Other people have been calling me “Witch” since I was a child.
Some may have meant it as an unkind slur, but I took it and ran with it. I read the fairy tales and then I tried to seek out the truth.
I was only asked this week what kind of Witch I am- I always stumble around the answer, knowing that if I have to explain too much, they probably wouldn’t understand.
So I told her something like this –
I reject the formality of Wicca, their path is not mine. I have no coven – every now and then my path crosses with another and we may weave a little magic when we speak.
So I am defined as a Solitary Witch, a Hedge Witch perhaps or maybe a Kitchen Witch.
Words and labels. I embrace and reject them equally.
There is power in the title. Even if the people calling me names do not fully understand what they are saying.
I do not follow any particular deities, I speak to whoever might be listening. I praise and curse them all- depending on the circumstances.
The gods do not require me to believe in them, I only need to believe in myself and that is tricky enough.
So I have conversations with the little people, the lesser gods and the universe at large.
I do not need the supposed correct tools of the trade- I will use a whatever is handy as a wand, and a knife is always a knife-
it is intent that makes them instruments of magic.
I play with the title too.
There is some fun to be had with it.
Power comes from the laughter as well as the fear. I literally wear the hat and play with people’s perceptions. They may tap the side of their heads and call me other names too without realising that they are just adding to the mystery.
And there it is….The mystery.
The mastery of mystery.
That is where I try to dance- in the gaps that science cannot (yet) explain.
Each day takes me further along my path.
They can keep calling me a Witch
(or a weirdo) and I will embrace the power that comes with that title and continue to honour the imaginary as well as the reality.
I make offerings to the little folk and delight in the wonder of rainbows and full moons.
I always enjoy meeting others in the craft and learning new snippets each time.
Thank you again, Halo.
Every meeting with you has been a delight.
I look forward to next time.
Until then, take care out there.