Saturday, February 28, 2015
Blessed Frosty Morning, My Beloveds!
Recently, I've read some fairly derogatory comments posted about the Wiccan religion. It's not like Wicca hasn't had it's fair share of negative reviews, but these are coming from within the magical community.
There are some who believe that Wiccans lack the ability to be taken seriously as practitioners. We're too light, too flowery, too fluffy. I'm too amused. I don't think anyone who knows me would describe me that way.
Apparently, if we aren't practicing Goetic magic, drawing on the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon and summoning demons to do our bidding, we are nothing more than amateurs. Not to state the obvious, but Wicca is an Earth based religion that incorporates magic into its practice. It is not, in and of itself, a magical practice. Witchcraft is the practice of magic. If you are part of the Pagan and/or Witchcraft practicing community, this is common knowledge.
Back in the day, Witchcraft was the practice of Shamans, herbalists and other medicine folk. The Native Americans didn't use The Key of Solomon; their magic came from the Earth. They developed a relationship with the land and their deities.
I've read some books on magic that, quite frankly, made my head hurt. Not that they weren't interesting, to be sure. I love learning what others find to be successful in their practices, but at times I've come away with the feeling that the same could have been achieved with a lot less in terms of bells and whistles. To be honest, I know many Witches who use a wide variety of magical techniques and find their practice no more or less effective than my own. Magic is not exact science.
If you claim your practice of magic is more potent or successful than that practiced by anyone else...I call Bullshit! I learned a great acronym recently, K.I.S.S. (Keep it short and simple).
I will say that there are some out there calling themselves Wiccan or Witches, who most definitely make complete and utter asses of themselves. They reflect badly on the rest of us. That said, is this not true of any other religion? Well...is it? Kirk Cameron and Tom Cruz come to mind.
I recently joined a Wicca/Witchcraft group on Facebook, in which this question was posed to it's members, "What is the first thing a new Witch should learn?" Some of the responses made me cringe! I read everything from smudging, to shielding, to casting a circle, to spell casting, creating a Book of Shadows.
The most prominent of answers were "The Threefold Law" and "The Wiccan Rede". While I do believe that these are both important parts of our history, are they the "first" thing any new Witch needs to learn? Not.So.Much.
My personal opinion on both of these is simply this. The "Threefold Law" is nothing more than the basic tenet reflected in almost every other religion, "Harm None", "Do Unto Others, "do naught unto others what you would not have them do unto you", "what goes around comes around". I remember reading that this was Gerald Gardner's attempt to have a similar "Golden Rule" for the Wiccan religion and to appease the Christian's concerns about the growing interest in Witchcraft. I don't believe magic, for good or bane, set forth into the World will return times three. I do believe the Threefold Law was meant to be a lesson in common sense and integrity, It's definitely not the first thing one needs to learn as a Witch. It's the first thing one needs to learn as a Human Being. The Wiccan Rede is a lesson in both the lore of the Craft. and personal responsibility. It's a lovely read. Still not the first thing someone new to the Craft needs to learn.
No, in my opinion, the first thing anyone who pursues this path needs to learn is "Know Thy Self". What do you hope to gain by becoming a "Witch/Wiccan?". As with many who come into the Craft, is it something you were drawn to or are you rebelling against a parent, spouse or previously practiced religion? Do you want to cast spells on people or imagine you can? Or do you simply like the idea of referring to yourself as a Witch? Be honest with yourself. I can tell you that if you enter into this Path for the right reasons, you will find fulfillment. If not, you may be quite disenchanted.
Know your craft. No, I don't mean how to cast a spell. This is the last thing you should be focused at this stage of your "career". Read! Read everything! Reading a book or two on Wicca will never make you Wiccan, anymore than reading a book or two on anything will make you a scholar. Learn as much as you can and then you can apply your knowledge.
A true Witch doesn't just choose a title to wear on their sleeve, they strive to earn it. Last most important thing to learn..Patience!
In Darkness, Light!