Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Ye Olde First Assignment
Article ID: 12022
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,203
Times Read: 2,807
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Author: Blaze Phoenix
Posted: December 9th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,807
Note: Following is an essay that I wrote in response to a question my first formal mentor asked me to consider prior to our first class. The question was “What is a Witch?” I wracked my brains for days over it, started writing out a list of other people’s responses, and scrapped it. In desperation the day before it was due, I went out and did a long walking meditation on the question, wrote the essay to follow, and handed it in the next day.
Since I wrote it so long ago, I have found some of the insights within it, many of them only half-realized at the time of its writing, extremely helpful in making path-related decisions along the way. I present it to the reader in hopes that it will speak to you in similar fashion, and that you will be encouraged to consider the questions contained therein and write similar answers for your self.
In no way do I intend that the answers I came to are the one and only grand true gospel of witchcraft. Quite the contrary, and I only mean to encourage thought and conversation in presenting it here. Without further ado, following here is my First Assignment:
A witch is something difficult to define. The only common theme amongst all the definitions I could find, and from the people I’ve known that use the title, is an alternative approach to reality. However, as I have known quite a few non-Witches matching that criterion the similarity is not useful in defining the word “Witch.”
The next point, though similarly useless, is an interest in studies commonly labeled “occult.” Again, however, I have known many people with that interest who do not use the title of Witch, and still others that do yet do not practice magic, or engage in divination, or really do anything “occult” at all!
Neither does religion work. There are Witches of every stripe, from Atheist to Zoroastrian. Counter-intuitively, I have even met Christian Witches, which to most ears would sound like an oxymoron. In short, no definition I can come up with includes all Witches without including non-Witches, excepting the circular definition that a Witch is someone that says he or she is a Witch.
That being said, in the process of asking the question, I began to suspect a better phrasing that was more helpful. “What kind of Witch do I want to be? Or better yet, “What kind of a Witch am I now?”
One of the most useful pieces of spiritual insight I’ve ever been given up until the time of this writing came from one Pastor Dyer. It was essentially a formula composed of three questions:
“Where am I?
Where do I want to go?
How am I going to get there?”
I see no reason to leave aside such a useful to just because of the source.
I have committed myself to the path of an Alexandrian Witch. This carries with it a certain minimum of requisites. These include (but may not be limited to) the keeping of my oaths. That is my primary duty, as I see it.
Within the process of questioning, I also discovered a set of ideas that I am still sorting out, but I will make a stab at explaining anyway. To be a successful Witch, there are (at least) three modes of being I feel I must retain.
These I will call the Scholar, the Poet, and the Explorer.
The Scholar is concerned with knowledge. He researches the thoughts of past and present teachers. He keeps notes, compares symbols, studies and (hopefully) learns from the written and spoken information he finds.
His primary gift is foundation.
The Poet is concerned with connectivity. He gazes on what is found and applies the knowledge of the Scholar holistically with an eye that sees deeper than the surface. He seeks understanding on an intuitive level.
His primary gift is wonder.
The explorer is concerned with experience. He is a mover, a doer, and a be-er. He seeks wisdom from process rather than goal. He refuses stagnation, as that would put an end to adventure.
His primary gift is curiosity.
If I ever find myself devoid of one of the three, I will not be acting as I feel I should as a Witch to my own detriment. An Explorer/Scholar is an Occultist. A Poet/Explorer is a Mystic. A Scholar/Poet is a Dreamer.
Therefore, to consider myself a Witch, I must be willing to leave aside fear and journey on into new experience with the Explorer. I must carefully weigh what I take with me as I go, because as any traveler will tell you what’s in the luggage changes the trip.
I will accept the experiences as they come, and do my best not to judge them as “good” or “bad” as long as I brought wisdom out with me on the other side.
As the Scholar, the most difficult duty is that of keeping an open mind. Surely, there is false information, but even that is useful if one stops to ask why it is false. An untruth may therefore lead to more important truths. It is also important to guard against intellectual arrogance, a costly folly. Any source of good knowledge is worthy of attention.
It seems to me that the only way to insure I remain a Poet is by taking the time to do so, and frequently. How easy it is to go through a journey and rush right to picking it apart! To be true to the Poet I must never become so busy with the Explorer or unassailable with the Scholar that I can’t feel who I am being in a moment. As a Poet, I must slow down.
In conclusion, I was asked what it meant to be a Witch. I apologize that I could find no pat answer to that.
I think there are more benefits to being a Witch then I could possibly imagine or list here, but I hope amongst them are knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.
Location: Portland, Oregon
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