Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna
The question of today is: who is a “real witch”? There is a growing number of (mostly young) people who identify themselves as witches, but who of those actually should have the right to do so?
Well. First of all let me say that I really dislike it when “real witch” elitists come up with a crapload of ultra-precise criteria that practically only fits them and maybe some coven members, then diss everyone else.
On the other hand, watching a movie or series(The Craft comes to mind) and as a consequence wearing some magic looking pendant and gothy clothes doesn’t exactly qualify one as a witch either. That is cosplay. Or being into goth fashion. There is nothing wrong with either of these, but it does not make one a witch. Being a witch involves not only wanting to be one and dressing up like (a fictional) one, it also involves belief, knowledge and action.
Another case that comes to mind is teens who “decide to be witches” because they are sick of being Christian. They then proceed to Facebook Pagan/witchy groups or other forums, and post stuff like: “I am going to be a witch now but am so scared because God will punish me!” and so on. (Real example.) In this case being a witch directly clashes with the person’s belief system and one of them has to go. Being a witch involves conviction, and confidence that the path is indeed your path. Another similar example is “I’m a witch now. God and church gonna be so angry but I don’t care lol” (Also real example.) In this case the person is not really a witch. They just want to be bad by their religion’s standards.
Th decision to be a witch is gradual, and does not happen at a moment’s notice. It involves soul searching, thinking, observing our world, research, learning…It may often be something that was always there since childhood, and we slowly grow into it. The key is: effort and time, and putting our heart into it…
…and keep on doing so. The last but perhaps most important factor is dedication and commitment to the path. Being a witch is not like a hat that is fashionable for a month, then end in the back of the cupboard. It is a transformation. The taking on of an identity.
Finally, two rules that I believe can define being a witch:
- Know thy craft. Do some research and some thinking. Decide what you really believe, and own it. Don’t be a witch or anything else “because it’s cool” or “because x told me that’s the way to go” or so on. Define your own path, with reason and meaning behind it. Of course you will not start with knowing much. Everyone has to start somewhere. But take the effort to read and ask questions to more experienced people! In the age of the internet, it has become possible to access communities quite easily. Aspiring witches, please respect the elders, and elders, please respect your students! Then the community can be constructive for everyone. Perhaps I should rephrase this to: Be willing to learn thy craft, and be responsible for your knowledge.
- Walk the talk! You call yourself a witch. So act like one! That means putting in the effort to work the magic when needed, honouring any deities/spirits/beings you work with, and generally incorporating your witchiness in your everyday life.