DISCLAIMER: As mentioned below, witchcraft means different things to different people. What makes me feel like a witch, and practice my beliefs may be completely different to how another witch would practice theirs. Neither one is less or more valid than the other, there is no right or wrong answer.
I had to carefully select my title for this post because while I would be happy to tell you everything about witchcraft, it is an incredible diverse topic that means slightly different things to every single witch. There is no way to cover everything in just one post.
A witch is not someone who can create fire from their hands, nor turn you into a frog
To me, a witch is someone incredibly intune with their surroundings, emotions, and the power and symbolism of both. With this, they combine the two in order to improve their quality of living.
Being a witch is incredibly freeing as you can practice your craft in whatever way works best for you. It can range from simply carrying around a gemstone all day to give you luck, making a herbal tea to promote a certain mood, or meditating in front of a candle every evening and asking a favour from the universe.
However, there are some guidelines that the typical witch follows. This is to make sure that they are not being unethical with their craft. For myself, I have simplified the Principles of Wiccan Belief set in April 1974 by the Council of American Witches. I follow each and every rule, but have amended them slightly in order for me to better understand.
- I am not a witch just because I call myself one. A witch is someone who conducts themselves in such a way that is wise and without intentional harm to others, or their natural environment.
- I recognise that as a human being, my intelligence gives me a unique responsibility towards nature. This is why I choose to seek harmony with the environment, and am aware of the importance of caring for it.
- Everyone can be a witch and learn about the incredible depth of power that is in everyone, and everything. The ability to practice witchcraft is naturally potential to all. A witch simply taps into the power that is pre existing, and can be strengthened with practice.
- There is a natural balance to everything, which holds a great deal of power. It exists within ourselves, and all around us. Balance is the ideal state of being, and is only achieved through the interaction of two polarities. The way I understand this is through the acknowledgement of light and dark in every situation, such as being too emotional, and being too logical. However, no one is better than the other, and balance only is achieved when the two work together. This is called Creative power.
- I recognise both the inner world, and the outer world. I.e. the power within myself, and the power all around me. The interaction between the two is the basis for all magickal exercises, and therefore are both necessary for my fulfillment. Neither is to be neglected
- There is no authoritarian hierarchy – everyone is equal. However, I will honour those who teach, and respect those who share their knowledge and wisdom with me. I acknowledge those who courageously lead.
- I agree to live my life, and shall fulfill it through evolving. I will take care of myself and develop physically, psychologically, and spiritually. I will conduct myself in a way that sees the incredible meaning of the universe and choose to respect it. I will not end my life cycle prematurely.
- I do not claim that my beliefs are any more valid than another’s, nor do I think that they are the only way. I do not seek to deny the freedom of others, and therefore do not suppress other ways of religious practice and belief
- There is no such thing as black and white. I don’t accept the concept of absolute evil. I will never seek to gain anything from the suffering of others, nor do I accept that personal benefit can be derived from the denial of another person’s benefit.
- We must seek in nature only what contributes to our health and/or well-being.
Witches Aren’t Evil
While I do not believe anything is evil, as stated above, I acknowledge that there is a prejudice towards this particular view, and some stigma about witches being evil.
To try and warn people off of believing this, I thought it would be beneficial to mention the main tenet of witchcraft. the Wiccan Rede: “‘An it harm none, do what thou wilt” – essentially do what you will, but do not do anything that will harm another.
Another reason why I say that witches are not evil is the fact that even if they did not follow all of the principles, it is simply illogical for a witch to do anything with the intent to harm another. This is because of the Threefold Rule / “The Rule of Three”.
The threefold rule states that whatever a witch puts out into the world, be it negative or positive, will come back to them three times as strongly.
I hope this post has given you a better understanding of what a witch is. This is my first post, and I am planning to create many more posts linked in with witchcraft in the future to provide you with more examples of how the craft is practiced, and more specifically how I practice.
If you want me to clarify anything, feel free to ask me in the comments. Just keep in mind that I am one person with my own interpretations and beliefs which may vary from person to person.