I’ll be doing four prompts a week, on Wednesdays, tagged #WitchyWednesday on Twitter. These prompts are sourced from a Tumblr post by user Baduhennasraven. I’m happy to clarify anything and respond to any questions or comments. Feel free to contact me as well!
Here’s this week’s prompts:
- Do I want to practice something similar to my ancestors?
- Would I like to work with a group some of the time, all of the time or not at all?
- Which aspects of witchcraft appeal to me most, which the least?
- When do I feel most magical?
Here are my answers, and I am by no means short-winded:
Do I want to practice something similar to my ancestors?
Not really. I’m not so much a hereditary witch. I mean, my family line has some quirks to it, as all family does, but magical ability seems to follow along just the same as mental health problems: some people have them, some people don’t.
One of my siblings I would honestly say is about as magically inclined as a turnip. Another is an openly practicing pagan. Another still describes their faith with a shrug, a vague hand wiggle, and the tendency to be a decent person.
Beyond that, the family faith is an eclectic mix of Jewish people who also put up Christmas trees, practicing Jewish, a couple of Italian Roman Catholics, and whatever my birth father’s faith is. I haven’t the foggiest and haven’t thought to ask since we confirmed the truth of my paternal roots earlier this year.
Would I like to work with a group some of the time, all of the time or not at all?
The simple answer is some of the time. Almost never, honestly, unless it is at a festival or bonfire.
The long answer is thus: I started as a solitary practitioner, and that is where I feel the most comfortable. However, I did formerly have a coven of three other people. And at one point I was vaguely under the tutalage of a Draconic/Hoo Doo priestess, but it didn’t work out. At all. But that was also when I was twenty and in the middle of some really negative stuff in my life.
The main take away from this would be: with covens come people, with people comes both positives and negatives. Yes, you get a support system and community if you practice with a group. However, you also get possibly non-compatible personalities, interpersonal drama, and the just general headache of dealing with other people.
Which aspects of witchcraft appeal to me most, which the least?
Let me start with what I don’t like: the gatekeeping. People enjoy the us-versus-them mentality a little too much for my liking in general, but when it comes to witchcraft, there are people that will try to flat out invalidate others because their system/faith/beliefs are different.
I also don’t feel that a formal dedication to “The Craft” or one particular deity is absolutely mandatory. Have I done it? Yeah, twenty some-odd years ago. Would I care if a witch is a Fourth Degree Gardnerian witch or a self-taught witch? No. Having formal degrees is great for some, but it can lead to unnecessary problems, in my opinion. That being said, some people enjoy the structure of organized faith. I just don’t happen to be one of them. I am my own high priest/ess.
Along with the gatekeeping and the degree system, if your witchcraft/faith in general is not inclusive and intersectional, it’s doing it wrong. Inclusive in this case means that it does not deny based on anything like gender expression, sexual or emotional orientation, or race. Intersectional means that people, in this case witches, of color are acknowledged to have a different experience than that of white/non-POC. In my not so subtle or humble opinion, feminism, like faith, should be inclusive and intersectional. But that’s a rant for another time. As a white, queer, Jewish human that appears female, I have certain advantages; but also some disadvantages. However, I’m not the best voice on inclusive, intersectional witchcraft. If I find a good one, I’ll link it.
What aspects of magic/witchcraft appeal to me? The constant state of learning and personal growth, for one. The cyclical nature of learning something new, delving deep into a new world of information and coming out the other side with new skills and coping mechanisms is a beautiful thing. One of the wonderful things about magic is a practitioner always has the capacity to learn and adapt.
Another is the stuff. I’ll admit to loving my shiny things and pretty rocks. I’m basically a crow with student loan debt. I love the feel of my athame in my hands. Not that I use it all that often, but I love it. I adore the waft of a freshly lit stick of Nag Champa incense or the burning of sage. I love making things, spell cards or jars, inscribing candles, the lot of it. I like my trappings and trinkets, my rituals and accessories.
Also, the potential for variety is appealing. No one’s path is ever tread the same. Everyone can band together under the pagan/Wiccan/witch label if they want, but there’s no obligation to do so. And within witchcraft, there’s so many layers and types (I nearly said ‘flavors’), the possibilities are endless.
When do I feel most magical?
This is more of a tricky one for me to answer. Honestly, it’s probably when I’m reading tarot cards for someone else or doing a full ritual spell. Conversely, I also feel magical when I’m in the kitchen, cooking or baking. So I guess I’ve got the whole “find the magic in the mundane” aspect down.
Some further reading, if you’re interested: here’s an interesting Wikipedia article on modern Paganism views versus the various historically exclusion-centered faiths when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ folks. And another on going outside the binary on witchcraft. Again, if the umbrella of your faith doesn’t cover all heads, something’s missing in my opinion.
That’s all for this week, folks. Blessed Be and take your meds!