ThePaganExperience.com provides weekly writing prompts for pagans in blogger-land and this week was a “bonus” November week that invited writers to discuss any topic. I decided it would be a good week to get in on the fun and express something that’s been on my mind:
Am I really a witch?
Yes, I admit that it seems like a silly question for someone with a blog titled “Witch Can Cook”, but I really do ask it ; especially after sloshing through the pagan “blogosphere” – the comments section specifically. “Witch wars” and sarcastic/haughty/malicious attacks with similar negativeness seem to pervade wherever there’s a human given the opportunity to express an opinion. It’s not so much that said individuals hold any power over my feelings of magickal worthiness; it’s that for someone wanting to contribute anything she can to promote the magickal community, I realize that I don’t identify with many of the pagans out there. Would they then identify with me? Would they consider me a witch?
The question is also driven by my own thought process and the application of personal spiritual logic in the face of my scientific interests. In many ways, the more I learn about particle physics and the complexities brought by relativity and quantum theories, the more I find merit in the concept of magick being a manipulation of existing energies towards intended outcomes. It makes sense to me that, if everything in the uni(multi?)verse is made of energy, the energies of things everywhere would have signatures which interact with the energies of all matter around them. In my mind, astrology and other association-based magicks have more or less simply been able to categorize how those interactions manifest into a human interpretation. Jupiter has an amplification-type signature, Saturn has a limiting signature, and so forth.
However, while the energy of magick makes sense to me, and a concept of a “Source” from which all that energy is derived makes sense to me, I have difficulty with the various embodiments of that energy in the forms of…deities. That internal debate in itself does not preclude me from considering myself pagan; however, the title “witch” seems to require more certainty.
I understand the psychological interpretation of deities – that one way of explaining them using pantheistic terms is to say they represent archetypes and symbolize various states of the human “condition”; but I don’t actually feel that way about all the deities. I actually feel that at least one set of them existed as real physical beings on this planet at one point in ancient history. I further believe that many pantheons around the world can be narrowed down to that same set, their existence and histories having been interpreted into myth and carved by various cultures. [I hope to do a thesis or dissertation on this one day – love me some Phoenicians!]
What’s the problem? Well, I have a block over how to “work” with gods that I think are actual human-like beings. I have the same issues with ancestor worship. So I’m in a spot. I want to speak to and call upon various deities – especially those that I identify with; but it feels strange to me to do so just as it would feel strange to pray to my living aunt or grandmother.
Do witches have problems like this?
Sure, if I look through enough blogs, I’m sure I could find someone that has a similar interpretation as me. For the most part however, it sure does seem like most witches view their deities as real “Gods” – big “G” types – while I see some as actual beings that exist elsewhere as extra-terrestrial types and others as manifestations of the same singular source energy.
I’m also not well read on modern witchcraft or pagan history as so many others in the blogosphere are, and I don’t really care to debate where a tradition traces its roots back to. Whether it was created to celebrate my vision of Source or someone else’s vision of Pan or a Bible-belter’s vision of Jesus – if it makes me feel connected to universal energy and abundance…does it matter? Well, besides for discussion with theistic in-laws. Yuck.
Truthfully, I don’t think humans have ever really understood universal Source energy, so how they interpreted its existence or usage is really not that important to me. There are a lot of things they did that we find abhorrent today… Why argue over the things we’ve decided are okay to adopt into modern practice? After all, no one is really a true practitioner of any old religion. And why would you want to be? I think that our purpose here is to evolve towards higher vibrational beings. It doesn’t make sense to me to limit ourselves to what humans of earlier generations did if it doesn’t make sense with the progression of human consciousness.
That being said…Am I really a witch?
I personally think so. After all, I believe all things have energy and work with that energy to achieve outcomes. I follow the Wiccan Rede (unless you think it means I should be vegetarian/vegan). I mostly follow the sacred space/circle casting/spell working outline that is common to most Wicca-oriented books on the market. And, I think most importantly, I consider myself to be a witch.
That’s it for now… Thanks for reading!