by Joanna DeVoe
Witch. Have you noticed how trendy that label has become?
That really bothers some of my friends, especially when it’s used in the context of fashion. Witchy editorials, repurposed animal skulls, big black hats and crystal-encrusted everything seems to be de rigueur in certain circles these days.
As a witch who actually practices Witch Craft on the daily, this trend does not bother me one bit. Here’s why…
Witch Craft is a deeply healing, profound spiritual path, and some of the folks intending to merely appropriate the look of it might one day accidentally stumble down the proverbial rabbit hole that is the internet and land on some quality information.
They may even find that it resonates in a way that literally changes their lives.
How could I begrudge anyone that?
And really- I don’t begrudge even the most superficial desire to look like a witch, because witches are cool and we have awesome bling. If that’s as far as it’s going to go for you, so be it. Have fun!
Witches don’t proselytize. We aren’t looking for new converts.
However, I do think that there are a few things that people of other faiths (or no faith at all) can learn from those of us walking this path, and that is what I am going to share with you now.
#1 Magick is real.
Let’s just get this one out of the way first, because I know it’s what you most want to know. Do modern-day witches practice magick and does it actually work?
The answer is yes and yes.
Many witches spell magick with a K in order to differentiate real magick from the illusions of stage magicians. I am one of those witches.
My personal brand of magick is about co-creating your reality with the Universe, and the philosophy behind it is very much like that of The Law Of Attraction, which you may have learned some years ago thanks to the phenomena that was The Secret.
The difference is in the depth of introspection and a very specific stimulation of the senses, which could involve anything from burning incense and chanting to mindfully dressing a candle or creating a healing poppet using materials that are in energetic alignment with the desired outcome.
This is something that anyone can do with enough focus.
The classic definition of magick is to create change in conformity with one’s will.
That definition has since been expanded into something that looks more like creating a change in consciousness in conformity with one’s will, which is really the same thing, as any changes made to your internal reality will be reflected in your external reality soon enough.
That’s what we mean when we say, “As Within So Without.”
The cool thing about magick is that this principle works both ways.
You can effect real change from the inside out or from the outside in, and it’s fun to experiment with both.
#2 Honor the Life Death Life cycle in all things.
Witch Craft has so much to do with studying and harnessing the energies of nature. It is our greatest teacher and a constant guide.
One of the most potent lessons nature has on regular offer is that of the Life Death Life cycle.
Not only does every living thing eventually die, but every death feeds life, whether that is in the form of food, fertilizer or, as some believe, reincarnation.
Witnessing the cycles of nature is therefore a great comfort to witches in times of loss. It is a constant reminder that in every death there is new life.
This applies as much to the passing of a loved one as it does to the end of a friendship, home or career.
Witches use the elements of nature to support ourselves through these transitions with grace.
We also like to perform rituals in order to call in the energy of death, to purposefully lay to rest that which no longer serves and make room for something new.
We typically do this at times in which our intentions will be reflected in and perhaps enhanced by the cycles of nature, during the dark phase of the moon, for example, or the long nights of winter.
This allows us to move through life at a brisk, healthy pace, staying present to what is and grounded in the realities of change.
#3 There is no reason to fear the shadows.
There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in…
Leonard Cohen said that. More precisely, he sang it. Perhaps you’ve seen one of the countless memes created from those infamous lyrics?
If so, you probably have at least an inkling as to why witches court the dark.
Witches work with something called “The Shadow”, a term borrowed from the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung.
The Shadow is made up of the rejected parts of yourself that are so deeply buried in your subconscious you scarcely know they exist, and yet they follow you everywhere you go… much like a shadow.
These aspects of yourself have been rejected because you (or more likely someone in a position of authority when you were very young) deemed them shameful.
Shame is one of the most painful emotions known to man, therefore we tend to do everything we can not to feel it.
The thing though about The Shadow is it will not be denied.
It will reveal itself at the most inopportune times, blurting out embarrassing things at a party or triggering you into a rage over the smallest infraction.
That’s not because The Shadow is evil. It’s because it contains your most precious gifts, and it’s trying to give them to you.
Witches regularly venture into the dark in order to claim these gifts.
We know it as the place where shame becomes strength, vulnerability becomes courage and old destructive patterns can finally be healed.
So you see? The path of the witch, at least the kind of witch I am and like to know, is not so different from that of any sincere spiritual seeker.
We may utilize more exotic bells & whistles, but in the end…
Witches are people, too.
Witch Craft is our way of processing the ups and downs of life, making the most of our innate gifts and honoring the energies of this planet we call home.
Sure- we can rock some awesome threads and tarot cards are super rad, but ultimately it’s the wisdom we’re after.
If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.
About the Author:
Joanna DeVoe is the kooky creatrix behind KiCKASS WiTCH : Putting The K In Magick and the weekly podcast, HiPPiE WiTCH : Magick For A New Age. She also has a FREE eBook by that name, HiPPiE WiTCH : Peace, Love & All That Good Sh!t, and regularly speaks and writes about taking a psycho-spiritual approach to magick in order to create the kickass life of your dreams.
featured image – source
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