Word of the day: Witch.
Yes, the term is gender-neutral.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on topics that are quick to be shunned and chucked away where the spiderwebs can find them. From cultural practices, behavioral psychology, and of course spirituality vis~a~vis religion. One that interested me immensely due to a familiar background is the new age wave of witchcraft.
The definitions I gathered?
- The exercise or invocation of alleged supernatural powers to control people or events, practices typically involving sorcery or magic.
- The work of crones who meet secretly at night, indulge in cannibalism and orgiastic rites with the Devil, and perform black magic. (this one has, of course, prevailed in disparate historical and cultural contexts
- An ordinary person’s free choice to learn and practice magic with the help of the supernatural.
- A person who has dedicated their life to learning about the connections between things. He/She studies the different cycles and their place in them. They learn how to use the energy in themselves to make changes in the world around them – Isobel Bird
Being African, my brush with the term ‘witch’ is followed by other negative connotations such as “evil”, “old hag”, ”night time activities” and of course ‘death’. These stereotypes of the word have stretched globally into folklore that has eventually been further deepened by Hollywood and even our own African media channels. In Zimbabwe we even have a newspaper that makes it a style of their’s to report local news related to exposing ‘witches’ that live and destroy amongst us.
Word : Wicca
Wicca is the organized religion based on ancient witchcraft. Commonly identified in the West (Europe and America), this religion has revealed a lot of what witchcraft stands for. You’ll be surprised to discover that Wicca and Paganism pre-date all other religions by thousands of years. It was in connection with worship of the Earth (animals and all), it’s elements (Water, Fire, Earth and Air) as well as the Divine who was being worshipped through all his/her (chuckle) creations. This is where the Baphomet figure was born but that’s a reveal for another day. Wiccans DO NOT believe in the devil or Satan. The devil is actually a Christian concept. Now back to the word Pagan.
Paganism is an umbrella term meaning someone who follows a religion based on Nature and the Universe. Wicca is pagan, all the ancient religions were Pagan including the Romans, Egyptians, Celts, Greeks, Native Americans, Vikings, Norse, African Traditional Religion and Aztecs.
Below is the Wiccan rede or ‘commandments’ if you must.
See? No sign of ‘Kill all’ or ‘Poison your relatives at night’. None of it. If anything they follow the rule of ‘Bring no harm’. The very basis of witchcraft is a deep love for nature and the ability to see magic in places where most others do not. It refers to the practice of manipulating the energies of the natural world to secure a desired result.
“Witchcraft encourages reverence of the natural world and respect and achieving balance with nature. Black witchcraft refers to the corrupting manipulation of these energies for personal gain without regard to the balance. Witchcraft was taught through an oral tradition, and individual witches, or covens of like-minded witches, often practiced their craft very differently from one another. Witchcraft does not require formal initiation into a group, and most practicing witches are informally self-trained. Experienced witches may serve as mentors to younger witches, but again such training is normally informal and intuitive. ” – The MoonLightShop
So now what to do with all this new knowledge? Learn some more.