Reclaiming the Word: Witch

After the great conversations I’ve had with people following my post on Reclaiming the Word: Psychic, I decided to look at others ways I could identify myself but don’t because of societal stigma or other reasons.  One such word is “witch”.

So what does it really mean when someone calls themselves a “witch”.  This word has so many negative connotations and associations with it – a history that spans generations and is filled with grief and sadness.  But let’s look at this word practically and in modern terms.  What does a modern witch look like?

Wiccans, Pagans and Witchcraft

First, something that needs to be distinguished right away is that not all Witches are Wiccans.  Wicca and paganism are religions.  These are two religions that happen to value and promote witchcraft, but that does not mean that you must adhere to these religions to be a witch.

A witch is a non-denominational term.  You can be any religion or even no religion at all and call yourself a witch.  Yes, there are Christian Witches.  There are even Buddhist and Hindu witches. To be a witch does not mean you need to practice any sort of religion.

But, now let us throw this into the mix – some witches use their religious or spiritual affiliation in their craft.  The two become intermingled and thus it becomes hard to distinguish the fact that witchcraft is, at its essence, not a religion.

What is a witch?

So now that we have that out of the way – what exactly is witch?  I will start by saying do NOT google the definition!  I just did.  It is filled with all those negative associations that have been attributed to the word throughout the centuries.

How I define and use witch – a person who practices witchcraft.  Witchcraft is the focused use of energy to accomplished a desired result.  How do you like that definition?  Kind of sounds a little bit like the Law of Attraction now doesn’t it.  Maybe a little less scary?

And, let’s further complicate matters even more by saying that there are many different types of witches and people have different methods of practicing.  Some use their focused energy in the kitchen to create scrumptious foods that have healing powers.  Others focus their energies during ceremonies to honor their particular religious deity. Still others focus their energies to divine the future.

So how do I practice witchcraft?  Other than the obvious of using tarot as a tool to divine the future and see where the energies currently are, I like to use spells and make charms or bags created with different herbs.  These are the tools I use to focus my energy on a desired intent.

Do you call yourself a witch?  Do you practice witchcraft?  How would you define a witch?

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