Popular Pagan Holidays
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Dark Half of the Year
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
The Beltaine Storm
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Yule and the New Year
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
Lughnasadh: The Deeper Meaning
A Celtic View of Samhain
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
Witches Lost in Halloween
Samhain and the 'Witch Questions'
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
The Best Thing About Death
A Summer Solstice Primer
Imbolc...or As The Wheel Turns
A Story For Autumn
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
The Samhain Experience
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Imbolc Musings: We're All Broken
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Mabon..Balance and Reflection
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
The Blood is in the Land
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
The Call of the Crone
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
Back to Basics: Imbolc
The Lover's Flame-Beltane
Parting the Veils of Beltane's Quickening
Ode to Ostara
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
The Maiden's Breath: The Vernal Equinox
The Light of the Harvest: Lammas
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Ole Old-As-The-Hills (A Yule Story)
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
The Hermit's Light: Celebrating the Autumnal Equinox
The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel
The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
Observations for a MidSummer's Eve
Mother's Flowering-The Summer Solstice
Are Holiday Decorations and Spending A Cloak for Guilt?
The Meeting at the Crossroads-Samhain
A Samhain Selfie
New Years' Resolutions for Witches
Holiday: All ...
We Want them Back! (A Pagan View of the Holidays)
Turning The Wheel By Choice
Holiday: beltaine ...
Beltane -- Holiday Details and History
You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane
Beltane -- Enlightening Links
Beltaine - Our May Morn
Beltane: Return To Feeling
Mother Earth and Sister Moon: A Beltaine Story of Creation
Holiday: imbolc ...
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Article ID: 14230
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Kylia Heartsong
Posted: October 10th. 2010
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Ah, to be a Witch in October…
It's kind of like being...a Turkey at Thanksgiving! It's the time when we, as Witches, are most often cast into the public eye. The media, which have been more than happy to pretend we don't exist all year long, come out of the wood work clambering to jump on the Halloween bandwagon with some sort of article or documentary that includes an interview with a "real" Witch. Unfortunately, the media has little, if any, interest in discovering what those of us who refer to ourselves as Witches are really about, unless of course, there happens to be some kind of ritualistic murder, grave desecration or equally heinous crime. Then we may be suspect, but it's usually the Satanists who get the blame! No, in my humble opinion, their primary interest lies in finding the one person who is willing to step out of the proverbial broom closet into the spotlight, and whom most closely resembles the Hollywood "Witch" stereotype. And, find them they do! Unfortunately, despite our attempts to reassure the general population otherwise, this only serves to confirm what has been suspected about us all along...that we are part of the lunatic fringe!
I must be honest though, we do attract our share of crazies and those seekers who are simply interested in Witchcraft or Wicca for its "cool" factor. And, we Witches do all sorts of interesting things, don't we? We dance under the full moon, cast Circles with sharp, pointy knives, go through tons of incense and attend amazing clothing optional festivals! It is pretty cool, actually! Sadly however, many of these path seekers may have little in the way of actual experience or knowledge of our historical background. And while it may be fun to "dress the part", unless you really know your Craft, the last thing you want to do is publicly discuss an already misunderstood practice with those people who are more interested in, "what kind of broom do you ride?”
So what do they really do in October, those Witches? Well, I'm sure like most people, many of us will do the usual stuff one does on Halloween, rifle through our kid's Trick or Treat bags for the best candy, watch scary movies or perhaps, attend a Halloween party or two.
Many of us however, will also be celebrating the Festival of Samhain. Samhain, pronounced, "sow-un", is the Wiccan Sabbat honoring our beloved ancestors and those Witches of good character who have gone on before us. It's said to be the time when the veil between the Worlds is most thin.
You might find us sitting before a crackling fire, under a beautiful crescent moon, the scent of incense carried by the night's breeze. Fallen leaves swirl around us, as we huddle close, keeping each other warm. Gazing across the Circle, we look into the many beautiful faces of those friends who have become Clan. A steady drumbeat echoes the sound of their voices; the flames illuminating their tears, as they chant the names of those loved ones who have since crossed the veil.
I know that for some, this might sound like a strange practice. Yet, every Sunday millions of Christians attend religious services in which they reenact Christ’s Last Supper. They are invited receive the Holy Eucharist and partake in the “body and blood of Christ”. Now, if by some quirk of fate you’ve never heard of Christ or this practice within the Christian mass, it does sound a lot like cross between Sanguine Vampirism and Cannibalism. And yet, it is an acceptable religious practice in our society. For Christians around the World this is just a normal part of their religious beliefs. Of course, we are familiar with Jesus Christ and understand that it’s neither of these things, but is symbolic of taking Deity into one’s self. It’s a beautiful sacrament, but no more so than the Wiccan “Great Rite”, the symbolic sacred marriage of the God and Goddess.
And, what about the practices of other mainstream religions? In Judaism, ritual circumcision is a practice that has been passed down from generation to generation. It is believed to be the first Commandment given to God by Abraham. "And on the 8th day he shall have his foreskin circumcised" (Leviticus 12:3) . For those of the Jewish faith in our society, this is a perfectly acceptable practice as well. For someone unfamiliar however, it might very well be mistaken for the same type of genital mutilation that is commonplace in some Muslim countries.
Yet as Wiccans/Witches, if we were to engage in something even remotely similar to that which is practiced by either faith, it would be perceived as something “evil”. But…I digress.
For most of us, being a Witch is not just cool, it's, well...life. And it's a life that includes not only beautiful moonlit rituals, but also all those little mundane aspects that most people define as "normal". Getting kids off to school, food shopping, going to work...walking the dog. But, cleaning dog shiii..um, poop off one's shoe hardly ever gets ratings.
Most people aren't interested in "normal" anyway. Normal is boring! They want drama! They want scandal! They want to hear about all those things they just know we're doing behind closed Coven doors! Orgiastic rituals, devil worship and blood sacrifices! Oh My!!! Now that's entertainment, my friends! Sorry to disappoint, but personally, my life simply isn't that...um, entertaining.
So, why would any sane person refer to himself or herself by a name that strikes fear in the hearts of some and induces uncontrollable fits of laughter in others? Why would one subject themselves to those cocked head, quizzical expressions that our dogs oft times give us when they are trying really, really hard to figure out what the hell we're talking about? What would possibly compel a seemingly (And I said "seemingly") normal wife and mother living in the suburbs of New Jersey to declare herself a "Witch" and endure the stigma of 400 years worth of misconceptions?
Ritual Circumcision - http://www.circumcision.net/
Copyright: This essay is registered and protected under MyFreeCopyRight.
Location: Raleigh/Wake Forest, North Carolina
Author's Profile: To learn more about Kylia Heartsong - Click HERE
Bio: Kylia Heartsong (Tracy Frasche) is an initiate of British Tradition Gardnerian Wicca. Born on Beltaine, Tracy’s lifelong affinity for the occult arts led her on spiritual journey culminating in the discovery of this beautiful Path we know as Wicca. She has been practicing for approximately 16+ years, give or take a year and a day. In addition to her own Tradition, she is interested in Intuitive Magick, Traditional Rootwork and Shamanic Healing practices. Her other passions include reading, photography, antiquing, gardening, creative writing, poetry and Zumba (Latin/International Dance fusion) .
In speaking out publicly as a Wiccan/Witch, Tracy hopes to educate the general population about the misconceptions surrounding the Wiccan religion and the practice of Witchcraft.
She is a Jikiden Reiki practitioner certified at both the Shoden and Okuden levels. She is also a certified Reiki Master/Teacher in the Usui System of Natural Healing. She has recently completed course work as an “End of Life” Doula.
Tracy, along with her husband of 24 years, their two children and many, many…many furry babies, reside in Bergen County, New Jersey.
You can read more of Tracy’s musings at:
Other Articles: Kylia Heartsong has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
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