I'm A Witch Too
Article ID: 14928
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Rev. Julio A Baez
Posted: March 11th. 2012
Times Viewed: 3,619
Greetings to all. This is my first essay here or anywhere online when I think about it. I've had an account on Witchvox for 9 years and have a personal and clergy profiles, plus 2 group profiles, and have listed classes and public rituals. I've been a Pagan Witch for over 15 years. Self taught and self initiated. I do not claim a tradition or a hereditary line even though I do have (probably like most others) a grandmother and great grandmother that were known village Witches/healers/Cunning Folk in Puerto Rico. My path is very eclectic. I have enjoyed reading lots of essays on this website (I love Witchvox!) . Some I've agreed with others not so much. We all have opinions regarding all aspects of Modern Paganism. From the elements to Gods and Goddesses. From circle casting (to cast or not to cast) to our history. From the Rede (follow, don't follow) to Christo-Wiccans (this one's fairly new to me) . The topics are almost endless. After reading so many wonderful perspectives and opinions about my religion and other Pagan paths I thought I'd write an essay or two. But where to begin? Fine, I'll start at the beginning and tell a little about me and maybe a little about what I believe in, and maybe a little sound advice at the end? Yeah that sounds right for my first essay.
I grew up Pentecostal. My parents are "old school" so I had my share of real beatings when I misbehaved. As a middle child I was a little invisible so my older and younger siblings took the brunt of it. We went to church every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and twice on Sundays. It was sometimes used as punishment. My father was an alcoholic for a good deal of my childhood. But when he wasn't drinking he was into Christ. Very devout he taught Sunday school and at a seminary. I left my birth religion at 16 and was in spiritual limbo. I partied a lot! Didn't know it then but I was searching for myself.
After a close call with the law I joined the Navy. My first duty station was Keflavik, Iceland. I met my first Wiccan there. After a misunderstanding, we became close friends (at least for a year) . I read some of her books, played with the runes (first time ever) , and she used me for sex magick. After about a year she literally disappeared. She shipped out and never told me. I went back to my old ways for the most part and finished my service. Although I did explore the world and visited many ancient places on tours while in service I wish that I had been Pagan then to truly appreciate it.
A few years after the military, I moved to Vermont. A year later another Wiccan was placed on my path by the gods. She reintroduced me to Wicca. This time I was really in search of "something". What that something was I didn't know at the time. I read all her books and this time something inside me was moved. I bought my own copies. A year later and after a lot of inner work I did a self-initiation. The rest of course is history (my story is long and difficult) .
We all have our own way in which we came to our path. Our experiences vary from Witch to Witch and Pagan to Pagan. Even with those differences it warms my heart and fires up my soul whenever I go to public rituals or weekend events and see the brotherhood and sisterhood amongst us. I am aware that there are conflicts from time to time. In my neck of the woods I have yet to see or be involved in any sort of "witch wars" or other conflicts (knocking on wood over here) . I pray it continues to be this way.
So after all this time and all my experiences I sit here and ask myself. What does it mean for ME to be a Pagan Witch? It means being free. Free from everything and everyone. I now have personal power. Power to transform myself and my world. It means have an understanding of the Universe both seen and unseen. A reconnection to Nature. A rediscovering of the me that was before I was made to conform, to "grow up". Being a Pagan Witch means that I honor and work with the deity not just worship and pray. As I believe it, it means seeing the Divine within as well as without. Not just in me but in others, in all of Nature. It means being as playful as a child and as serious as a scholar.
Being a Pagan Witch keeps me balanced and happier than I had ever been. Of course I like everyone else have problems too. Some of my own making. But it means that I look at them and handle them at a different level in a different way. I'm not perfect I do make mistakes. After all I am human! But as a Pagan Witch and a public one too I need to look at and handle things differently than if I was in the broom closet. But that's another entirely another essay.
Being a Pagan Witch is not easy. Being a Witch is not an easy path no matter what religion the Witch follows. Some say that it's a calling. Others believe that you are born this way or that it's in the blood. I believe it's a combination of the above. I do feel called by my goddess (Hekate) . I have had a personal gnosis and have read (and own) hundreds of books relating to the subject of Modern and ancient Paganism.
To those new (and old) to the Craft I urge practice. Practice what you read and "preach". Find those books that intuitively feel right to you. Read them, reread them, theorize and philosophize about them. Try the exercises in all those "101" books you have. But above all you live and practice your Craft. It's not just a religion you practice once a week or just on the Sabbats or the Full Moon. Being a Witch of any kind is a way of life. It becomes your life. Work alone or with a group. Find a teacher or not. That's all up to you. You are truly your own priest, priestess, or minister.
Whew, there I guess my first essay ends here. Was this essay or rant? Maybe a little of both. More of an intro from me to you. May Goddess and God; by whatever name or names you call Them, Her, or Him; guide you all on your paths. Blessed Be to all.
Rev. Julio A Baez
Location: Chittenden County, Vermont
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