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When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch

Author: The Redneck Pagan
Posted: August 12th. 2016
Times Viewed: 4,291

So as I sit here musing about the fact that I am still really lost when it comes to my faith and what path I am supposed to be on, or want to be onÖ I donít know. Iím stuck with one resounding question; How the hell did I get this lost in the first place? Iíd like to think Iím a smart person. I have two college degrees, work in a job that requires intelligence, have always done well in anything I have set my mind to (well ok, maybe not math, but I did pass so that counts) nd Ö and I set my mind to being a good witch.

I read, a lot! I have read Cunningham and Buckland, Starhawk and Z. Budapest. I read Dugan and Ravenwolf. I read the Farrars and Gavin Bone. I read the first modern witch, Gerald Gardner and books by his High Priestess, Doreen Valiente. I read books by witches, druids and heathens. I have read Christian writers, Jewish writers and Muslim writers. I have even looked at atheist writers and grappled with the question of atheism myself. All of these bright cookies who have been passionate to write about faith and here I am in a mess of them, resonating with a piece here and a piece there.

Ten years ago, I was so eager to be the best witch I could be. I devoted myself to readings, to gathering tools and practicing the rites. I planned and created some beautiful rituals and altar spaces. I even have a room in my home devoted to magical workings, although lately itís turning into a crazy catchall for random stuff I find around the house. I have a black cat that seems to love cards and stones and she watches every working I do with intent interest and focus. Sheís been very affectionate of late, lots of cuddles and purring, as if she knows how lost I am.

I keep thinking back to that image I have of the perfect witch in my mind, and how short I fall from it. I mean I fall really short. And that sucks, because I have built this image of the perfect witch in my mind for years and I am very attached to this image. This witch is beautiful. Itís a female witch. (Iím not saying the perfect witch cannot be male, I just identify more with female because I am female.) I donít have a clear idea of where her house is, but it is a house with some yard.

Her yard is amazing (think like, Practical Magic yard and garden) , with lots of flowering plants in perfect health, with a beautiful garden full of rich soil and blooming herbs and vegetables, ready for her to add to her magic. She has little altars set up with offerings for the fairy folk and the nature Gods. She works in her gardens daily, always in a flowing skirt and never seeming to get dirty. Always cheerful, happy with a peaceful and generous heart. She has a cat or two or three, all perfectly groomed and who never stray far from her side.

The inside of her house is absolutely magical. She has little charms and magical concoctions tucked into every room. Her house hums with magic as she has perfect altars honoring the Gods and the ancestors everywhere. It is a clean and tidy space, with her herbs, parchments and candles well organized in cute little cupboards and bookshelves. Her furniture has a Victorian feel to it and every one of her items is a unique piece of art. She makes all her own skin care and health products by hand, using very little manufactured products. Her clothes are all flowing beautiful dresses and skirts and she has dainty magical jewelry for every occasion.

Her Book of Shadows is a beautiful and well-organized volume, well written in a graceful elegant script by hand, from a fin nib feather pen of course. She is well loved and respected in the community and everybody likes to get little goodies and treats from her. She sits in meditation and yoga on a daily basis and has beautiful rituals that connect her to the Gods and help direct her. She can read any deck of cards she wants and even can read tea leaves and palms. She gives wonderful advice and has the allure of magic in every step.

She has done her fair share of ritual works and teachings. She has taught little kids the basics of herb and stone magic and has helped usher teenage girls into adulthood. She has done baby blessings on newborns and requiem rites for the dearly departed. She has stood in a circle of witches, her hands thrown high on a full moon light as the power of the Gods descend into her body, giving out wisdom and encouragement. She has initiated hundreds into the old ways and has helped start many on the path to magic.

Itís a beautiful image isnít it? I wonder how many of us have this image in our minds of witches? How many of us have built up this image of the perfect witch in our minds, and have been disappointed when we didnít find her (or him) . Even worse, how many of us have compared ourselves to her and berated ourselves for falling short? We cannot seem to help it; it is human nature. We have to have an ideal, something to put on a pedestal. The problem is that image.

I have built that image, day after day, in my head. I put that image up as the ideal, the end goal and you know what. I am nowhere close to it. My yard is gorgeous, donít get me wrong, but my gardening is really hit or miss. I have a busy life so it often gets a littleÖ wellÖ weedy. Plus, my climate means that some things just will not grow. My house is more of a crash pad some days so there is stuff everywhere. Iím not always the best housekeeper and there is probably dust on my altar and shrines as we speak. I have several half-finished Books of Shadows and other books scattered everywhere; some I have not touched in years.

I am nowhere close to being an elegant woman. I tend to wear lots of jeans and t-shirts, swear too much and my handwriting is atrocious. Iím not overly physically attractive as I am short and a bit overweight. I canít wear dainty anything or I will break it and when I garden I usually come back in covered in dirt. My furniture is an odd mix of hand me downs from family and new items here and there that my dogs have caused some form of damage to. My housework skills remain somewhat questionable and I keep forgetting about that damn last load of laundry in the washer. While I would love to make all my own products I donít seem to have the time to devote to it so I end up with a lot of Supermarket specials for cleaning and hygiene products.

I am not initiated into any traditions and cannot honestly say if I have ever talked to the divine or if itís all in my head. I can barely meditate and fall down a lot when I try to do yoga and there is nothing in my house that is organic, free range, or whatever. I have talked to a few people here and there as new pagans, and donít mind sharing my experiences, my likes and my dislikes but I am nowhere close to being able to teach. And on my one public ritual I got so nervous I cast the circle the wrong way and used the word ďincestĒ instead of ďincenseĒ not even two minutes into the ritual.

I love my image of the perfect witch, absolutely love her. But Iím beginning to think she is not healthy for me. Actually I'm not sure this is even a realistic ideal for any person to try and become. Maybe I need to re-evaluate this image...


The Redneck Pagan

Location: Lacombe County, Alberta


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