Sunday, October 9, 2016

Your Witchcraft is not My Witchcraft



All witches practice differently; that we can agree on.  There is no one book guiding us towards a certain path.  Our innate connections and magick vary widely.  That's the beauty of witchcraft.

So why must our Crafts feel the same?

So often within pagan and witchcraft communities, I run face-first into the brick wall of "love and light."  Don't get me wrong: If your practice is full of positivity and happiness, and that is truly the direction you seek, I applaud you.  That is your choice.

But your choice isn't mine.





If I wanted a spiritual or religious path that taught me to love fully and entirely, to hug everyone and move forward with the best, most positive of intentions at all times, I have a wide array of selection that does not include my version of witchcraft.  I chose this route because I am a violent storm over a turbulent sea.  I don't want to clear the storm; I want to learn how to ride the waves.  I chose this path because I am a raging wildfire.  I don't want to put the fire out because what good is barren land to me?  I want to control that fire and utilize it.  I chose this path because I am not always good.  I am not always bad.  Sometimes I just am.  But sometimes I'm terrible and sometimes I'm honorable.  I chose this path because I believe all of that is the spectacular combination that makes me who I am.

My witchcraft is raw and uninhibited, free to experience the entirety of the human spectrum.  It is love and hatred, rapture and rage.  It is every emotion in between, every gray-area, the entire range of feeling.  It is who I really am, not who I wish to be or what I think I should act like.  My witchcraft encapsulates my true self.


Through my craft, I have become comfortable with my both my successes and my faults.  I have learned to embrace both as a very real and necessary part of my witchery. It is by facing who we truly are that we learn what we can become.  And what we can become does not need to be rainbows and clouds of cotton candy.  Life is not rainbows and clouds of cotton candy.  Life is chaos, sometimes in the best way and sometimes in the worst.  By being able to face ourselves in the most real way, we are able to utilize our weaknesses as strengths, our flaws as useful traits.  We are able to persevere.  And this is the heart of my craft.

I do not put up a facade of happiness and light in my witchcraft.  I embrace the unclean and unhappy along the clean and good.  I do not let negative emotions simply roll off of me.  I am not a suede jacket sprayed in hydrophobic chemical so that I stay perfectly neat and new regardless of what I experience.  I am a dusty, dirty, worn out jacket that has weathered the storms and enjoyed the sun.  I have been tossed, stepped on, caught on door handles, ripped, splattered with food and yet, somehow, I am still the most comfortable, functional jacket you have in your closet  - because of my craft.

Because of this, I do not gently ease you into my rituals or carefully dance on eggshells for my spell work.  I do not roll my lessons in sugar.  I do not offer my witchcraft up easily nor do I practice with just anyone.  

If you want love and light, and solely that, there's certainly nothing wrong with that.  But you will not find that here.

If you want raw, unadulterated honesty of a witch in her craft, you're in the right place.

25 comments:

  1. I know I never really post comments here, since I talk well text you daily. I just had to say that this article is really good for those who like the fluffy bunny magic, but that is their choice to make it fluffy bunny. Still a good read.


    Ps: The flame we had going that night was the best.

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    1. I don't know if I'd equate "love and lighters" with Fluff Bunnies. The FB phrase gets thrown around too easily. Love and lighters are usually very well studied witches and pagans. The push for you to conform to the same from any kind of witch, whether knowingly or subconsciously, is what I detest. And there are subtle statements I've ran into recently that do just that.

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    2. I have always said I am gray because I embrace both sides and have been greeted with horror on occasion when I make it. I believe, that all of us have to find our balance in our own way. And to be to far to the light or to far to the dark creates imbalance. Many people aren't comfortable looking into their own darkness. I'm not always either but I have to try. Thank you for this article. You say what I mean with a bit more articulation than I am capable of.

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    3. Thank you so much, Rhonda! I have to agree with you that there's a certain balance to be achieved - at least in our versions of the Craft. Though I use the term "light," for me, it's more looking at the reality of the situation. I am neither good nor bad, perfect nor malevolent, but somewhere in between. There are no two polar opposites of a coin in me. It's all one thing: Me. Thank you for your comment!

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  2. I Love this. Too many times have I read blogs that insist a witch must be one way or another. Witchcraft is just like those who practice, wide and varied as the individuals themselves. Some people are neatness and clean lines, others are dirt and chaotic spaces. To say we all must be one or the other is to make us boring and stagnant.

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    1. Absolutely agreed, Kristina! Well put!

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  3. Whatever prompted this post, You worded your feelings beautifully. Thank you for your raw, honest words. Every year that passes, I care less for societal conformity (in my craft and my life) and I wholeheartedly appreciate your post. Thanks for sharing! <3 Vanessa

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    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa! I've certainly seen the other side of the argument as well - witches whose craft is too death and negative and curses for me. I'm not against any of that by any means, but it's also not my craft. I just tend to find less judgment in those individuals. This is generally the wall I hit the most. Thank you again for your comment!

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  4. Well said! I feel the same and it's good to know others do also. Many people think this is a negative attitude to adopt but in reality, it means we know and accept our true selves. I love your blog a little more after reading this. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I'm so glad this resonated with you. I don't know if all "love and light" people are necessarily not accepting their true selves; that may be who they really are. But if I tried to pursue a love and light craft, it would definitely be a facade. It's not who I am. My goal with my practice is to reach the most raw center of myself, dust it off from the dirt it has hidden under and nurture it. Sometimes nurturing it means love and light and all of that. Sometimes nurturing it means being a horrible person in order to protect myself or change my environment. Sometimes it means simply being able to coexist with all of the choices - good, bad and in between - that I've made in the past. If my craft makes me cover a part of that up, then what's the point of being a witch, right?

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  5. I feel the same way. If Love and Light is your path, blessings to you. But every time I read/hear the phrase, I cringe a little; just like when Christians say "I'll pray for you." I appreciate the sentiment, but it just doesn't carry the meaning the speaker is hoping I'll feel.

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    1. I certainly understand that. I come to take well wishes at face value: They're words spoken that mean well from the person speaking them. It's like choosing to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Happy Hanukkah or Blessed Yule. They're all well wishes for the season, but comment nothing on your personal religion. Nothing wrong with them being said. But when it becomes a matter of force - telling me how I should practice or teach, how wrong I am for having human thoughts and a human heart and feeling a certain way in approach to my craft - that's when I go on the offense.

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  6. I regularly read your blog, but this might be the first time I've commented. This post is very well written and rings true for me. If someone wants to live a life of "love and light" that's fine for them, but they shouldn't expect everyone to walk the same path as them, with the same "love and light" attitude (and I try not to use the term in a condescending way, here, a lot of time context can be skewed, especially when reading something online. Emotional value can be misplaced). I've never been one to walk on only one side of the spiritual line. I walk the middle. Sometimes I'm love and light, sometimes I'm hate and dark. That doesn't make me a bad person, nor does it mean I'm not a "True" Witch. Everyone should be free to follow their path as best they can, without dictating to others how to walk their's. Our paths are our own to follow; there are no "tour guides".

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    1. Thank you so much, Maiingan! I absolutely agree. My version of witchcraft is about experiencing the full range of what it means to be human - errors and successes, hate and love, fear and safety, and everything in between. We have a tendency to view things in binary form - if you're not purely good, you're purely evil. No one is really like that. That's a very fantastical view of human nature. I'm here to experience human nature for exactly what it is, whatever that means, regardless.

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  7. You took the words right out of my mouth! Paganism is the only path that's ever spoken to me, and sadly, too often I become discouraged when I read books that pretty much say you "are not" a real witch unless you wholly follow the path of love and light.

    Don't get me wrong--I'm not some evil person using the craft to harm others...but like you said, we're human. Trying to be anything other is exhausting. I believe this life is many, many shades of gray, and that belief is part of how I practice.

    Thank you for putting this feeling into words, and so well, I might add!

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    1. I absolutely agree, Taylar! Thank you so much for your comment. I truly appreciate it!

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  8. Perfectly said! I wouldn't be here reading if you were all love and light that's for sure ;)

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  9. Thank you Marietta for this Blog (this post and the countless hours of interesting reading here, you should publish a coffee table book of your best posts haha) It's really refreshing to see someone being honest and practical about everything and not pushing an agenda/criticism on people who practice differently.

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Anon! Maybe someday!

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  10. I enjoyed reading your post and found it very thoughtful, though I am not sure I entirely agree with it. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a witchcraft practice focused solely on positivity. When you write, "If I wanted a spiritual or religious path that taught me to love fully and entirely, to hug everyone and move forward with the best, most positive of intentions at all times, I have a wide array of selection that does not include witchcraft," I can't help but feel somewhat pushed out of what you feel witchcraft should be. I don't believe it's right to impose you own will on the universe, but that's my belief. I also have a very dark well that I can draw from, but it also comes from abuse, so I turn away from it. I don't particularly like the sign-off "love and light" either, but I haven't been able to find a good alternative. I have really enjoyed reading your posts and it's nice to hear how people articulate differing opinions on something that is clearly so important to all of us.

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    1. "Don't get me wrong: If your practice is full of positivity and happiness, and that is truly the direction you seek, I applaud you. That is your choice."

      "If you want love and light, and solely that, there's certainly nothing wrong with that."

      I agreed with you in the article - there's certainly nothing wrong with having a purely positive Craft. The problem comes when someone with that viewpoint forces their Craft onto me. This was a direct response to that, which is why the article is so harsh and passionate. But please don't misunderstand that passion as my trying to force my Craft onto you. In that statement, which has now been revised to clarify in the article, I meant that it doesn't include -my version- of witchcraft. Again, this piece comes purely from a reaction to being ostracized for my beliefs. I would never do the same to someone else. If your craft is love and light, go for it. It just isn't for me.

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    2. Yes, I totally get that you don't want anyone else's opinion forced on you and I completely respect that. Thank you for responding thoughtfully, I really appreciate it.

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