Human beings have this unusual ability to form preconceived notions and judgments. These notions and opinions are frequently influenced by what we have been taught by parents, religion, books, music, and other forms of media. Sometimes they are formed through limited personal experience too.
The idea of the Witch is one that tends to arouse in people’s imaginations, all sorts of biased thoughts and imagery.
For example, even the stock image used on this page is an unnecessary stereotype.
Another example is Halloween. Witches are traditionally seen as evil green hags that put curses on people.
- What if I were to tell you, however, that the majority of people who claim to be witches are, in fact, good?
- What if I were to explain to you that for many, being a witch is the epitome of walking a genuinely spiritual path?
- What if I were to explore the idea that for most people who practice Witchcraft, there is a high degree of intelligence and a deep philosophical mind?
- What if I were to tell you that the average Witch loves the natural world, loves life, and a desire to do good in this lifetime?
The Truth About Witches
The fact is someone that practices witchcraft, in any form, is often taking on a myriad of roles. These roles include healer, student, teacher, advisor, priest/priestess, magick worker, and spiritual explorer.
The modern-day Witch is both a spiritual person and a scientific one, carefully weaving together the spiritual experiences they have and dedicated personal scholarly research.
Let us explore these roles in detail to understand the modern Witch better and remove from the conscious and subconscious mind those prejudices that may have unintentionally and unfairly been planted there.
Witch as Healer
Most people that practice as a Witch are interested in healing. This includes healing both the self as well as healing others in some form.
The study of a healing discipline (and many times, multiple healing disciplines) appeals to many who practice as a Witch. Examples would include, but are not limited to:
- Quantum Physics
- Angel Touch
- psychic healing
- medicinal and magickal uses of herbs
- shamanic healing
- Western medicine
Witch as Student/Scholar
Almost every Witch is a life-long learner, if not a scholar. They engage in a life-long personal learning and growing process. It is truly never-ending.
Study is incredibly important to someone who practices the way of the Witch. Keeping records of magick spells and the conditions around them is essential. Knowing that a spell works best on a full moon vs. a waxing moon is critical. Understanding a specific ritual is more potent during a Mars-ruled month or even hour makes a difference. Knowing that visualization is better when a candle is light, or a particular type of music is playing can make all the difference between one coming to physical manifestation or merely staying within the mind.
Most also research gods, goddesses, astrology, tarot, numerology, herbs, spices, flowers, mythology, history, and many other things. Many write beautiful and profound books and articles that center on various aspects of the craft and life.
Witch as Teacher
Many people who practice Witchcraft are also teachers. It is not as in teaching a classroom full of adults or kids, but as in teaching themselves and their one-on-one interactions with others. There is a desire to help others learn and grow. There is a desire to pass along knowledge and information.
Teaching moments are plentiful and not always overt. Many times the lessons a Witch teaches are subtle and not fully grasped by the conscious mind until much later.
Witch as Advisor/Counselor
An advisor is different from a teacher. An advisor offers information, advice. This advice is meant to help someone. Teachers do this too, but the Witch as an advisor is more akin to counseling.
In other words, the Witch is very keen on listening as opposed to talking. There is also a great deal of respectfulness shown to those who come to them for help. There is the ability to be present with someone and shower them with unconditional love and positive regard. This creates an environment
Keep in mind that teaching may occur in any daily interaction. Advising usually only occurs when one is sought out for advice. As a general rule, many who practice the Witch path have others eventually come to them seeking their advice and input.
Witch as Priest/Priestess
In many Witchcraft traditions, every practitioner is seen as their own priest or priestess. Of course, when it comes to Covens, there is a High Priest and High Priestess that generally leads them, but many in the Witch world hold firmly to the belief that a person is their own priest/priestess. That is, they are their own intermediator with the divine.
They don’t need someone to talk to the divine for them, they are perfectly capable of doing so themselves. Witches don’t need someone to forgive them on behalf of the divine; they can seek forgiveness directly from that source. They don’t need another person to do rites or rituals to celebrate or work with the divine, they can do them themselves.
Witch as Magick Worker
Every Witch learns the art and science of magick. Magick is to Witchcraft what prayer is to Christianity or other religions. Remember, magick is spelled with a “K” to separate it from illusionary or stage magic.
While much more could be said about this topic, for now, just understand that if someone is a practicing Witch, they are studying and applying magick to their daily life.
Witch as Spiritual Explorer
Finally, every Witch is a spiritual explorer – a truth seeker if you will.
Daily life becomes a spiritual experience. Nature, indeed, all people, are connected to the divine.
Various spiritual experiences are sought out and engaged in from shamanic trance and journey work to designing and casting the right spell. Meditation is enjoyed and practiced as is working with the chakras and other Eastern systems of mysticism. Some study ceremonial magick and the kabbalah, and others focus mainly on one or two aspects of this vast spiritual world.
What About Traditions?
Finally, it’s essential to understand that there are many branches of Witchcraft.
The easiest way to understand this is to think about Christianity. Under the Christian umbrella are Eastern Orthodox, Catholicism, and Protestantism. Under them, there are also offshoots – each having the same fundamental beliefs and worldview, with some slight changes to flavor their religion differently.
Some Witches hold very strictly to traditions they come from, and so they have a particular method and way of doing things. Other Witches are purely eclectic mixing and matching beliefs and practices as they see fit and appeal to them.
While there are from time to time arguments about who is a real Witch and who isn’t, for the most part, all Witches hold to the same underlying belief of “If it harms none, do as you will.”
Thus, joining a Coven or even starting one is not a requirement to be a Witch. Having a personal mentor or teacher is also not a requirement. Embracing the roles previously mentioned and engaging in the serious study of the spiritual path is a requirement of all who seek to walk this rewarding, but frequently misunderstood way of life.