Other Q&A

How Do I Become a Witch

I’ve had this asked several times and I really just wanted to address it formally in writing. How do I become a witch? That is a loaded question, but I’m going to try and take it on. I’m not anyone of consequence in the magical community so my word isn’t law. I would take it with a grain of salt and do your own research.

Let’s start with some personal history. I had a traditional Christian upbringing. My mother was Catholic, my father non-denominational. I grew with up Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Willow and the Halliwell Sisters from Charmed as my role models. Then came along Harry Potter and who didn’t want to be Hermione? But these give you a false sense of what being a witch and doing magic is all about.

No one can really tell you how to become a witch because there is no right or wrong way. Witch is just a word, but it is a powerful one. It can empower people but it can also alienate you and inspire fear in others depending upon how they perceive the word. You can take my upbringing for example. My parents, when I dabbled as early as 7 or 8 writing spells in a notebook, they pushed me away from it saying that it was wrong and I should pray for forgiveness. Yet, when my mom met someone who was Wiccan and made her judgement before she knew what religion he practiced, it wasn’t so scary. He opened her up to a new perspective. However, had she not been open to it things might have ended badly. As in their friendship over and I might have never made my way back. I think nothing of it when someone says they are a witch the same way I think nothing of it when someone says they are Jewish. I respect all religions as I wish to be respected for my practice.

You can be a witch and practice no formal or recognized pagan religion. You can be Wiccan and not be a witch. It’s a very slippery slope. It is all in the manner of declaration and recognition. Some practices, a coven for example, may say that in order to be a witch or a recognized member of their society you have to go through a Wiccaning. It’s like a baptism just not Christian based. Several groups have different names for it so if they use a term and you’re not familiar with it, just ask. Other people believe you have to practice every single day for a year plus a day. It proves your commitment to practice and to their community.

I did none of this. I am a solitary practitioner and only sometimes do I join in with others and their celebration of the Sabbats but it is typically family only. The family friend whom I first learned from and maybe my mother. I have a few friends who practice who live elsewhere and on facebook we will exchange the usual salutations but I do all of my work myself. I do not desire a coven nor do I desire a rank (teacher, Priestess or High Priestess as found in covens). All I did was believe in myself and that I found my path. I don’t concern myself with formalities but if anyone asks I say I’m an Eclectic Solitary. I will label myself Pagan, though not Wiccan and depending on my mood a Witch.

As for what you should do, it is not right for me to say, do this or do that and you’ll become a witch. Research the different traditions, there’s Gardnerian (Wicca), Alexandrian (Wicca), Celtic, Hellenistic Paganism, Druidism, Shamanism, Wiccan, Germanic, Slavic, and Nordic just to name a few. You can be polytheistic (many Gods/Goddesses) or monotheistic (one) and despite what some hardcore pagans believe you can be Pagan and Christian. You would just use Jesus as your male deity. Go to your local library or book store and look in the New Age section (if you’re wary about asking someone where to go, just ask for the Religion section and it’ll be in there). You should find a good starting point.

You make your own path in this world, it isn’t for me or anyone else to tell you. You’ve got to find it on your own. You’ll know when it feels right and you can worry about figuring out the labels later. Just worry about keeping the balance between dark and light and being respectful and it will all work out for you in the end.

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