Eclectic Witchcraft: Mixed Blessings
Article ID: 8984
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,613
Times Read: 18,005
Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 6th. 2005
Times Viewed: 18,005
I am extraordinarily thankful for the blessing my Great Grandmother gave me. That even in difficult times she held true to her beliefs and knowledge in raising me as a Witch. Even when it had to be hidden from the world. You dared not tell anyone, friends or family, that you were a Witch. At that time, most people maintained extremely negative beliefs toward anyone who might call themselves a Witch, especially in the South where the ideas of Witchcraft or Witch still meant evil as well as damnation to hell.
As a child growing up, I would never hear any names or terms for Witch or Witchcraft. Witch was not a word defined by terms or traditions, it was just a part of who you were. It was that element from deep within your spirit. That part that lends energy unto all by the powers of the Earth, Sky, Water, and Fire. If you allowed yourself to share within it, that gift from our Mother Earth.
My Great Grandmother was a Witch, raised as a Witch, or Wise Woman, by her mother, who was, in turn, raised within the knowledge by both her mother and father, as it continued back through the generations of my family. It was not a question of what kind of Witch you were. Because that would have been a simply ridiculous question. You were either a Witch or one of the outworlders. (Outworlders are those people who, for whatever reason will not, or cannot, see the magick all around them).
As a Witch, you might, and most likely would, have knowledge from your direct family histories and traditions. Yet, you would have also gathered knowledge from the area you lived within and the cultures you were around, while sharing the old knowledge and new learned understandings with the next generations. You would be a Witch of both the Old and New Worlds. In present day terms, an Eclectic Witch, a varied combination of family history, ethnic beliefs, training, knowledge, and traditions.
Recently, during a conversation with someone who did not realize I am an Eclectic Witch, the comment was made that she didn't respect those Witches who called themselves "Eclectic." Because, as far as she was concerned, it was a term used by Witches who didn't really have any idea what they were. I have also heard it argued that Eclecticism is simply an excuse for those who do not have any traditions of their own. "I don't think so!"
I am an Eclectic Witch. That does not mean that I do not have a good grasp on the Craft or that I can't make up my mind. It means that I choose from within all the extraordinary elements of the many aspects and beliefs that make up my faith; that, as a Witch, I have chosen from within my life and wisdom therein to blend together all the many understandings that make up my own personal and spiritual path.
The idea that the reason someone is Eclectic is a lack of knowledge or that they are somehow less within the Craft is a wretchedly incorrect misconception. The truth is, most Eclectic Witches are extremely knowledgeable and well studied within many differing aspects and traditions of their Craft. They have not one, but many traditions that they work within.
I cannot imagine anyone telling my Great Grandmother that because she was a blending of many traditions, she was somehow less of a Witch. Or, that because she didn't call herself by any name or title, she couldn't have a clear understanding of the Craft. My Great Grandmother was unmistakably and most truly a Witch. Her diverse heritage came from living in the Ozarks, being Southern, Cajun, French, Native American, and Irish. She was beyond doubt an Eclectic Witch.
I have personally had the honor of working with and learning from various traditions. All of them have amazing history and customary backgrounds. With not one receiving, or giving, any less respect because of differing points of belief. With all sharing their blessings and knowledge freely, so that we might learn and grow in understanding, one for the other. I have found that it does not actually matter what name we give our spiritual beliefs. We are all a mix of cultures, time, history, and traditions, all equal. Seldom will you find any two Witches who believe exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, no matter what the tradition they may practice within.
For myself personally, to be Eclectic means that I have the freedom to choose, selecting and utilizing individual elements from a variety of sources. There is an intensity I have found when you decide for yourself what you truly believe in, allowing no others to tell you what you should believe. You know inside your own heart what is true; it is that which makes you feel spiritually complete within your own personal devotion.
But whatever we call ourselves, be it Eclectic, Wiccan, Celtic, or one of the hundred other wonderful names, let us all stand together as one powerful force within this universe. We must look beyond our titles and join as one encircling influence for all. (I cannot tell you how many times I have heard other Witches nit-picking on each others' beliefs with the playground antics of, "I'm better then you are, " for whatever reason they may feel is appropriate.) We must not allow ourselves to be caught up in the outworlders’ terms of dominations or sects. Once we begin to degrade or lessen any other for what tradition or title they may call themselves, we damage ourselves. In this, we are only doing harm toward all who proudly call themselves "Witch."
We are Witches; it is not important what tradition we call ourselves. We are all part of a spiritual world that can be seen far beyond any black and white reality. My path may differ from yours, but it is our differences, as well as our similarities, that shall allow us to walk together across the veils of existence, though all time.
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lady Abigail - Click HERE
Bio: Lady Abigail is High Priestess of Ravensgrove Coven, an eclectic coven of solitary witches in the Orlando, Florida area. She was raised in the Craft by her Great Grandmother, a Cajun Witch, who taught her the powers of Earth, Nature and Magick.
Lady Abigail has studied and taught in herbs, metaphysics and Magick for over 38 years. Her articles and poetry have been featured in various Pagan publications.
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