Friday, December 3, 2010

To Be a Witch

A while ago, when I first discovered the path of witchcraft, my oldest son (then 5-6 years old) asked me if he was a witch like me. Then he asked if witchcraft is a religion like Christianity - one anyone can choose or deny regardless of what culture or religion they were born into - or if you have to be born a witch, having the ways of magick in your blood and in your family history (obviously not his exact words). My little Empath has always been very intuitive and understanding, far beyond the average for his years, so I knew that whatever answer I gave him would have to be a good one, as it would likely stick with him for most of his life.

Truth be told, I had never really thought about it before, so I smiled at him gently and said, "Well, first of all baby - you always have a choice. Born into it or not, you still have to choose whether or not you will use it."  Good - one point made, "But you know honey, Mommy is just learning about what it really means to be a witch, so I don't really know the answer to that one, right now. Can I do a little more studying and let you know when I figure it out?" He thought about it for a moment, frowned and said, "Okay, but can I help you find it, 'cause sometimes you take too long."

Needless to say, that really got me going. I didn't have internet access at the time, so I started reading. I must have read through more than 30 books over the next week, specifically looking for the answer to his question - and most books completely skipped over the meat of the subject (if they even brought it up at all).  I tend to stray away from any books that have a clear-cut, adamant stance on the details of the who, what, and how of witchcraft. In my opinion, if the teacher believes there is only one hard and fast, right way to do things - it isn't the way for me. Unfortunately, however, reading only from teachers with an open perspective, tends to leave a lot to be desired when searching for concrete answers. Sometimes learning about something you don't believe in helps you to determine what you believe in.

I am happy to say, that one book I stumbled across, did finally address the subject in a way I could actually learn from. It has left a lasting impression with me, and surprisingly enough, it was from one of those books that I still look at today as being a bit fluffy and over-dramatic for my taste. Still - the author addressed things in a way that was refreshingly different from the Wiccan authors I had been reading - she wasn't afraid to tackle the tough questions. Although I can't say I recommend her book in its entirety - Ly De Angeles', Witchcraft Theory and Practice, does offer some fantastic exercises as well as an interesting take on the philosophy of witchcraft. The section entitled "To Be Witch," has a really fantastic explanation of the "born a witch," concept, to which, I owe much of my of what I still believe on the matter today.

  1. A real witch is a Natural witch - you either have it or you don't. There are many who suffer from "wanna be" sydrome out there, but we all know who they are.
  2. A real witch doesn't flaunt it, his or her workings are private and sacred - there is a difference between the activist or the pagan living a shame-free pagan lifestyle, and the show-off.  In my experience, the show-off is almost always a fake.
  3. A real witch has a natural realization or innate understanding of the energies of the Universal Current (even if he or she can't yet put it into words). As Ly De Angeles wrote, they represent (rather than worship) the Goddess and God, without being fixed or boxed in by specific ideology. In other words, for the real witch, spiritual practice is a natural extension of all that they are - no dogmatic law is required.
  4. A real witch is BORN a witch. In other words - if you are indeed a natural witch, and chances are, you just know it, then somewhere down the line of your family history you will find another witch. It is in your blood. 
  5. A witches magickal abilities may lie dormant, buried in the subconscious, if the witch his/herself is not yet ready to yield them. Development of your power as a witch comes only from patience, practice and an earnest openness to the energies that drive them. It IS possible to be a witch and just not know it yet.
Now, lets just think about those last two for a moment - they are pivotal to this discussion. Even if that 4th statement seems a little elitist or presumptuous, please hear me out... I think most will agree, without getting into historical details and theory, that the vast majority of followers of the Old Religion were either converted to Christianity or forced into secrecy hundreds of years ago. Until just recently, it was simply unsafe to be a Witch in the world that we lived in.  So, it stands to reason then, that if witchcraft really is a hereditary gift, that it would not be unlikely, that in many lines the gift has gone unacknowledged, easily, for ten to fifteen generations (or more). It is also likely, that as somewhere down the line we do all share a common ancestor, we ALL have witchcraft somewhere in our family tree. So, the real question then, is not "Am I a witch?",  but "Am I ready to acknowledge that I am a witch?"

What do you think??? Anyone???

Namaste and Blessed Be



  1. I am just curious but what does she mean as a Real Witch?

    I am a person researching paganism, wicca and witchcraft in the hope of finding some spiritual wholeness I haven't felt before so I am a little intrigued about this concept

  2. As a huge fan of Ly De Angeles, I have to say I agree with her whole-heartedly. The first time I read one of her books (many years ago), it was the first time I'd found someone whose beliefs mirrored my own.

    I love this blog post!