Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reader Question: How do I know if I'm a witch?


Q. How do you know if you're a witch and how do you know it is worth the risks? What are the dangers involved in being a witch? - A.

A,

Thank you for reading and for taking the moment to ask a question!  It's always appreciated.


What exactly is a witch?

Before I begin, let's strip away any preconceived notions the term "witch" might entail.  Being a witch isn't like what you've seen in the movies.  We don't fly around on a broom, make things levitate or shoot lightning bolts out of our hands. A witch would appear to be any other person you've ever seen or met.  Witches are not necessarily Wiccans and not all Wiccans are witches.  Not all witches are even pagan.

Defining exactly what is a witch is difficult because the term means many different things to many different people.  In my opinion, being a witch is a metaphysical state of being that implores you to do good, to seek out the interconnectedness of nature and attempt to collaborate with its potential for changes.  Collaborating can be anything perceived by the Witchcraft community as magickal - from cooking to healing salves to candle magick to protection sachets and beyond.

If you are interested in further reading, I deeply suggest you scour the web and your local library for more answers.  Witchvox.com and, surprisingly, http://paganwiccan.about.com are great starting sites.


Is being a witch dangerous?

Aside from some burns from a pan or candle that I've received over the years in my occasional frivolity, there is nothing inherently dangerous about Witchcraft given a proper course of study.  The following are what I believe to be the real risks involved with continued practice of the craft.

1. Some people have negative views on pagan religions and Witchcraft.  The reason many witches practice in secret isn't because we're doing something "wrong," but because the ramifications of being found out could be dire.  If you have disapproving family or friends, it could cause a severe rift in your relationships.  Only you can determine if that potential is worth it.

2. A few people who call themselves Wiccans or Witches may not be fully honest about their intents.  Above I explained what I believed is the definition of a witch.  There are others that still believe in the Hollywood version and live their lives accordingly.  If you decide to follow the path, choose your companions in it wisely.

3. Being a witch requires emotional, mental and spiritual maturity.  Before practicing, you should be old enough that you're not hiding your view from someone in your own home, mature enough to be emotionally stable and sound of mind, and well educated in your practices and beliefs.  Know that what you do may not work out in the way you wanted to, but it works out in the way the universe intended.  Read as many books as you can get your hands on.  Surf as many reputable sites as possible.  I spent literally years studying before I fully started practicing.  Don't rush into being a witch in haste.

4. Being a witch can be emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausting.  Properly grounding yourself, building your spiritual defenses and managing your emotions will help avoid this.  An excess of energy used or withheld can cause a variety of minor side effects that can bother you throughout your day, such as migraines or nausea.  If you educate yourself about this, you will be better prepared for it.

5. There are some minor physical risks, but nothing out of the ordinary.  If you're burning a candle, there are some fire hazards.  Make sure you have it on a stable candle holder with a way to extinguish the flame if it gets out of hand.  Being out in nature means you'll be exposed to the same risks everyone has outside: bug bites, poisonous plants, scrapes and bruises, etc.  Educate yourself on how to treat minor burns and cuts, and take all necessary precautions to keep yourself happy and safe.  If you have a true emergency, stop everything and go to the emergency room.  The divine will understand; your physical emergency takes priority over your ritual.  After ten years of practice, the worst I've done is set fire to a bowl and smothered it with a wet towel.  It wasn't great, but it wasn't an emergency and I was prepared. 

6.  One can become over-reliant on magick as a way to solve all of their problems.  Here's a good rule: If it can be solved with some action outside of the Craft, do it that way.  In my opinion, the craft is only needed if it is out of your hands. I wouldn't go out of my way to perform a spell to turn off a light switch.  The universe would sarcastically look at you and say "Really? The switch is right there. Do it yourself." And that's why magick doesn't work like in the movies.

All in all, being a Witch is safe if you are properly educated.  If, after educating yourself, you are still afraid of the term or concerned for the safety of yourself, your soul or your loved ones, then the path is not for you.


Am I a witch?

So how exactly do you know if you're a witch?  Unfortunately, it's not something someone else can tell you.  A witch is someone who self-identifies as a witch and who wholeheartedly believes in their personal craft.  It is when you decide to be a witch that you become one.

If you feel that pull and are interested in the sort of path I described above, it might be time to begin your studies.

Best of luck to you on your path.


Ready to learn more?  Try my article on where to begin, or check out my complete reading list for pagans, Wiccans and Witches!


14 comments:

  1. hello, sorry I did not respond sooner, I was away. Thank you ever so much for your thoughtful response to my questions above. Your response has helped me imensley I have been struggling and your answers have helped me more than you could ever know. So if you ever feel unsure if this whole blogging thind is worth it. Please know you have helped at least one person find a bit of much needed peace.
    thank you ever so much.
    a.

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    1. You're perfectly alright. I'm so glad I could help! If you ever have any other questions, just let me know.

      Thank you again!
      -Marietta

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  2. Great article.It helped me clear out the differences between witch and wicca.Also I feel it describes paganism,begin a witch and the 'call'/feeling for the path perfectly.It's funny this is exactly what happened to me too....
    'As I read, I discovered that I had long believed in what was in these books. I simply didn't know prior to the research that there was an entire belief system built around it.'

    Blessings and thanks.x

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I'm so glad this entry could help you. Best of luck on your path!

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    2. So I really do not no anything about wiccans and I never really payed attention to the little incentives I have that could make me a witch or wiccan until last night a friend told me he thinks I am wiccan I have had people in my family tell me I am but I really never paid to much attention to it neither the signs I just thought maybe this is normal or I am weird. When it rains or there is lightning I feel so close to the earth and so comfortable. When my feelings get hurt and someone just hurts me the middle of my hands and my feet get this weird feeling its almost painful like stabbing but at the same time tickles. I always feel ghosts every were I go and I feel like for some odd reason they have some connection with me but I never no what it is. My dreams seam so real my whole life I've had nightmares and sleepwalk. A lot of times ill think of something forget about it wonder why I thought about it then later it would actually happen if that makes since. This is all new to me I normally just push my wondering to the side but I kinda want to no also why I have these things.

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  3. I love the down to earth, real view you've put out here. It matches my thoughts pretty spot on!
    I've had only slight struggles explaining myself to people, never sure what to tell them. I decided about a year ago that i was a Witch, not a Wiccan. Unfortunately, it's still easier to refer to myself as a wiccan to some people. Those close to me know the difference though. :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I completely sympathize. Wiccan seems a little less intimidating than the reclamation of the word witch. We have different pop media associations for both. The phrase "Cunning Folk" was used for positive witchery in Great Britain. I'm likely not quite describing it right, but I would suggest doing some research on the term. You might find you can identify with that publicly more than Witch or Wiccan. But either way, best of luck to you!

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  4. I don't know that I may or may not be a witch but I have had alot of things happen that I know, seen, or don't that are not explainable. If I am a witch, what happens if I use my ability to wish someone ill who has wronged me in such a way it has taken family from me? Does that curse me for life if I finally use it to wish ill will on someone? Bc I have never true ill will on someone, though I have done it lightly with it happening. Though I did not truly know I had that natural ability.

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  5. I don't know that I may or may not be a witch but I have had alot of things happen that I know, seen, or don't that are not explainable. If I am a witch, what happens if I use my ability to wish someone ill who has wronged me in such a way it has taken family from me? Does that curse me for life if I finally use it to wish ill will on someone? Bc I have never true ill will on someone, though I have done it lightly with it happening. Though I did not truly know I had that natural ability.

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  6. Someone close to me keeps saying, i swear youre a witch. I say if i am, i dont know it. I am in tune with nature, i obsess over natural healing and holistic approaches. I believe i am a healer without my skills fine tuned but feel as if that is what my calling is...i have dreams that tel me truth, i can sometimes predict things...some say i look straight into their souls...idk..can someone help me figure this out?

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  7. I feel a little bad for wanting to be a witch when I'm a Christian, but I feel really... good being a witch! I love Jesus Christ and I believe in Him, but I just don't know what to do.

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  8. I really love jesus too but I also feel I am a Witch... I have a strong connection with nature and animals... I can feel things and predict in dreams... I also connect with people who have a sensibility to see future or dead...I ask them do you see things and they tell me (someone once told me we can recognize each others because we are on different vibrations)...I also feel it when the moon is full or almost full...(that is weird and I tell my mom I think the moon is full lets cut my hair a bit)... I am getting more and more interested into witchcraft...I once predicted someone was pregnant... and I told my mother that my sister's friend was going to have a daughter (someone I havent talked to in years) and 2 days after my sister called my mom to tell her that our friend was pregnant and the baby was a girl. I predicted there was going to be a fire in my building and 2 weeks after there was a fire in the middle of the night. I dont know much about witchery but I think I am a witch even if I love jesus... I have never told anyone... I usually wake up around 5am to climb a small mountain and watch the sunrise.I walk alone in the wood and I see racoons and rabbits... People who knows me dont know I am a witch but they know I am different.I have a cat and our connection is really strong (she is black and white). I rescued a blackcrow, a squirrel and a wild bird. Birds come and eat in my hands, etc. I really think I may be a witch but I have to learn more about it..

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  9. How do you know which witch is which? Am I a Wicca or am I a Pagan? What signs or personality can one know which path to follow?

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    1. http://www.witchywords.com/2015/02/reader-question-what-is-difference.html

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