The Truth about Witchcraft and Wicca Today -- From a Modern Solitary Practitioner’s Perspective.
“What makes one a Witch is not a secret, or magic, nor is it initiation. It is ‘something’ in the very soul of an individual that makes one a witch. I am a ‘Soul Witch’. For the very breath and blood of the earth is woven into my soul, in the past, the present and the future. In magic we find life, in life we find death. The secret is what lies between darkness and light. May you discover the balance.”~CC Wolfe
Why are so many people drawn to Witchcraft and Wicca?
This is from my book: Shadows of a Witch, for the Witch that Seeks Balance and truth, under my spirit name of Shewolf Silver Shadows.
I think at some point in time you have to discover
an understanding of the basic foundations or
concepts of other religions to understand your own
religion and how it differs from others. I also feel that
you need a general understanding as to why some
people are drawn to certain paths while others are
drawn to different ones. So, let us take a look at why
folks seem to be drawn to Witchcraft and Wicca.
Ignorance is not bliss. It is always helpful for a solid
foundation of a balanced witch to learn as much as he
or she can.
Why are people drawn to Witchcraft and Wicca?
It is my personal opinion that many people are drawn
to this type of path for several reasons: one, being that
the mystery that has shrouded and surrounded the
Craft for centuries draws the curious, always has and
always will. Two, there is no doubt that some are
drawn to this path because they feel they will gain
‘magical powers over others’ or be able to
‘bend others to their will’. So yes, some are drawn
because of selfish or self-serving reasons – darker
reasons that are also a side of the Craft, a harsh
and dangerous side. The third reason would be that
many are drawn to this type of path because those
most ancient pagan religions had the duality of both
God and Goddess, in essence, a balance that is
not offered in more stoic religions.
Many are drawn to Wicca because they have a choice of which deities, or Gods and Goddesses that they will follow, work with or worship, or no deity at all. That freedom of choice is also very powerful thing in religion.
I did practice the Christian religion for many years and to this day I still find much of it beautiful and rewarding. Even if I am not more educated and have learned some of the very dark and ugly aspects of the Bible and its followers. Anyway, as a Christian I was always missing something, the balance! Christianity is a very male oriented and dominated religion. Don’t get me wrong there is feminism in Christianity and there are important female aspects as well, but the balance was not there for myself personally and I think many find this path because of needed balance.
The MAIN reason I believe so many are drawn to this path… wait for it…
I believe the main reason is quite simple, those of us that have walked the Pagan path in past lives, still retain on a soul level knowledge and a connection with this path and it draws people back! So, what I am saying is, that ah ha moment that many find when learning this path, is that connection that feels so right, is because of a connection from a previous life.
Truthfully, some of the younger ones find this path out of curiosity and as a means to rebel, only to find it is amazing and then they start their real studies!
Some simply come to find out what all the new hoopla is about and learn some and move on, others learn and love it and stay.
The fact is Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism over all is growing faster than the rest of the world really knows and that is the truth.
Everyday use Incense or Candle blessing.
I tend to burn candles and or incense on a fairly regular basis,
and never do I light one without blessing it first. Partially out of
respect, and partially, why pass up a means in reinforcing my
homes protections or dispelling negativity?
I do want to note, that when I bless a candle for ritual or in-depth
magic this is NOT the blessing I use, for I gear those more
specifically for whatever the ritual or magical working is for.
What I am about to share is basic, simple and to the point for
work on an everyday use.
For a candle, most often I use a candle in a jar for everyday
use, it adds ambiance to my kitchen or bathroom and fills the
house with a sent that I love! I do not anoint an everyday use
candle, and remember, I am not claiming my way is the ONLY
way, but it is what I have done for decades now and am sharing
here with you, the reader. I tend to think that many practitioners’
overdue things, when simple is often just as affective.
Simple Candle Blessing:
I take hold candle in my left hand and using my right hand, my sending hand, since I am stronger right handed (I am ambidextrous actually) I use my middle finger, it just is longer and seems stronger, and I close my eyes and spin the candle in a circle so that while I say my blessing I circle the top of the candles wick. And I say:
"I bless this candle in the name of the god and goddess, for all evil, and sickness and negativity to flee (or go away) as I will so mote it be."
Plain and simple and to the point for what I need, and not wasted to just burn for scent!
Simple Incense Blessing:
As for incense I hold the incense in my left hand and light it with my right, while lighting it I say:
“I bless this in the name of the god and goddess for al evil, sickness and negativity to flee.”
Please note, I never blow the fire out, I shake the incense wand or cone.
Also, I never blow a candle out without say… “I mean no disrespect; though you are out in the physical may you still burn on the astral.”
SPECIAL NOTE: Please always keep fire safety in mind when burning any candle or incense!
Burning these blessed candles or incense help keep my home/space clean. However, I do still do a cleansing from time to time. All of this is covered in my book, Shadows of a Witch, for the Witch that Seeks Balance and Truth, in more detail. And I do hope to get much more information either in this blog or on other pages of this site. Hope this helps! Magic does not have to be over complicated in so many accounts, especially every day magic :)
Initiation – Dedication – Self Initiation
Let’s talk about Initiation, dedication, and self-initiation for a moment and its importance, or lack thereof as a Witch. Let me make note right from the beginning of this blog post that there are pretty strong opinions on this in the Witch community. Within the religion of Wicca there are those that will not consider you to be a Witch or a Wiccan unless you have been initiated. Well, I personally say, don’t let go of a beautiful religion, that of Wicca, just because a few people don’t view you one way or another. Remember, spirituality is something that is personal and private and that others cannot tell you that you are or are not, feel or don’t feel, experience or don’t experience. The only one that matters, in all reality, is you! No one else knows what matters or is spiritual or important to you except you!
As I have stated on this site, in my blogs and most definitely in my books, this is my truth and the bottom line or fact is that truth is something that is different and unique to each individual. Why? It is different based on our level of learning/education, on our upbringing, on how society effects and affects us as individuals, and on the life we have lived up to this point. NONE of us are the same, or have been affected by the same things or totally taught the same things and so we all will see, think, and feel differently about different things!
What I am sharing with you here, is my personal opinions based on MY education and experiences; my thirty plus years of practicing or studying Wicca and Witchcraft as well as other religious beliefs. Feel free to agree or disagree, it is not going to change that what I share that follows is what I have taught my own students and what I will continue to do so.
Initiation is NOT what makes a Witch a Witch! It takes a hell of a lot more than a High Priestess or High Priest or any one ritual to make a Witch a Witch. I also believe that dressing in black, flaunting a pentagram and calling oneself a Witch is not what makes one a Witch. (Not that there is anything wrong with dressing in black and wearing a pent, I love black.)
What I am trying to say is that the way you dress is not what makes you a Witch, nor simply calling yourself a witch does not make you a witch, and yes, I have seen both examples and for the most, I bite my tongue and keep quiet, it would require more time than I have to dedicate to those individuals to teach/explain to them otherwise. However, if you’re up to it, read on, and I’ll share with you.
Within the religion of Wicca, most Wiccans and Covens
believe that you have to wait at least one year and a
day before you can be initiated. I understand the thinking
behind this concept. The intent is that the novice or
person that wants to be a Witch is supposed to study
and learn and grow in this year and a day space of time.
It is also important that you take time to be sure this is
truly the path you wish to be on. A year and a day shows
that you are dedicated! And think of all you can learn,
from the right teachers in a year!
However, my honest opinion, even when I was a Wiccan
High Priestess, is that only you will know when you are
ready for initiation. For some, it may truly take a lot longer
than a year and a day of study, and for others, it could be
a few months. We all learn and retain and grow in different
ways and at different rates. You want to know a secret?
I have walked this path in one shape or form, studied,
practiced, learned from a coven, and from solitary
practitioners of both Wicca and Witchcraft, I have taught,
and I have read scores of historical documents and
books related to Wicca, Witchcraft, magic and science,
and I still DO NOT KNOW IT ALL! What I do know, in
all truth, is that the more I learn, the less I really know!
What? Because I am wise enough to see that the more
I learn, the more I realize that there is so much more to learn!
Back to initiation, if you are in a coven, you will have to adhere to coven laws, no matter what I share with you here, and I agree with that as a practitioner. But what I share here is geared for the Solitary Practitioner. Only you will know when you are ready for a Self-Dedication or Self-Initiation. How will you know? Crazy as it sounds, you will feel it. You will feel educated enough in the ways of the Witch or Wiccan ways. You will feel like you understand enough and are comfortable enough with what you know and what you can do. You will feel a need inside of yourself to either dedicate yourself or initiate yourself. You don’t have to know it all to reach the point when you feel that this is right; I don’t think we ever learn it all! You just have to reach that point on your path and in your learning where something inside of you reaches out for a new beginning, for some sort of confirmation or commitment.
My personal advice, don’t rush dedication or initiation. Make sure the time is right and that you are ready. This is not something that just happens overnight or after reading your first book or two or after a few conversations with a Witch or Wiccan. However, it may not take that whole recommended year and a day either! Slim chance it could take a couple of years, or a few months, the point is, only you will truly know, if totally honest with yourself, when you are ready. Even in most coven situations you either pass levels of learning or you must ask to be initiated thus letting the High Priestess and or Priest know you feel ready, and then they decide if you are. Whether solitary or coven, initiation is up to you for only you know what is in your heart and soul.
Dangers of the Wiccan Rede
How can there be dangers with the Wiccan Rede when it stipulates “Harm None”? The dangers come when the Rede is taken too literally and not just at face value of being a guide! You see – all too often I have seen Wiccans that take the Rede to the extreme and try to truly harm none, not a single living thing. They do not realize that in trying to adhere diligently to the law of harm none they are essentially hurting themselves and that is still breaking the law of harm none!
I have seen Wiccans converting and becoming vegetarians or vegans so that they will harm none. Not all body types can deal well with a vegetarian diet, so could be causing harm to their own bodies. Also, do they not realize a vegetable is alive and that to harvest it is harmful as sending a cow to slaughter, harm on different scales, but harm all the same right? I know that carrot does not scream as loudly as that cow or chicken I guess.
I am not saying do not eat because you have to cause harm to a plant or animal, what I am saying is use your head here! I believe in the cycle of life, the circle of life. We are born, we live, we die and in the living others must die to sustain us -- survival of the fittest. The bird eats the bug, the cat eats the bird, the larger animal eats the cat and on. That larger animal dies, and guess what eventually gets to eat a little of it? That same type of bug that the bird ate in the beginning! Circle! We have to eat for nourishment, we have to protect ourselves from harm, not just try not to cause harm.
I cannot speak for someone else, but if my life or the health and safety of my loved ones are threatened, the Rede wouldn’t stand a chance. I will protect me and mine! I am a she wolf when it comes to protecting those that I love.
What I am trying to say, if you are Wiccan, the Rede is a wonderful piece of advice to try to live as best as you can by. But DON”T GO OVERBOARD! Use your head, use common sense. If a mosquito is biting me, instinct says kill it, and I do. If I can avoid killing something by catch and release, I do that as well. Find some balance!
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