When I was five I stood in the rain. A year later, at the age of six, I became obsessed with the outdoors and being surrounded by trees. Turning nine I found lighting candles and sitting by fires connected me to something I could not describe. I realised I was a witch the day I stood in comfort as the wind turbulently rocked the boat I travelled on. An exhilarating show of nature’s powers.
Everyone assumes being a witch means having extraordinary powers that can defeat their natural enemies. The werewolves, vampires, demons. In truth, being a witch is far more exciting than that.
The laws of Wicca have eight words ‘an ye harm none, do as ye will’.
These are words from a tender age I have stuck to regimentally stuck to. This was without the knowledge that such a belief system existed. I knew only of Christianity. So, hearing the word witch conjures up the belief of ‘devil worshipping’. Saying this to anyone who practises Wicca or Paganism would, of course, leave them laughing uncontrollably. It seems so ridiculous that we would be associated with a Christian characterisation of evil.
I guess that is exactly what it was. Associating an opposition, a different way of life, with something you can understand. This was evident in the purges carried out during the rule of Constantine the Great. This isn’t the first time this method has been used. Throughout history, those persecuted for their differences were greeted in the same way. Diagnosed as something incomprehensibly evil.
To be clear, Satan is not a Wiccan or Pagan god. He does not exist to us. However, if you feel eternal damnation and pain is the way to steer you away from what is right and wrong then that is your choice. One I will respect. It is not my place to judge anyone or any religion.
However, it is not my belief. My belief is simple. ‘An ye harm none, do as ye will’. Easy to follow, isn’t it? In short, don’t inflict mental or physical pain to a human or animal.
My religion is in the elements My place of worship is anywhere nature graces.
However, I have come to understand in the years I have worn the pentagram how secluded the Wiccan community has made themselves. Thankfully there are some through the screens across the world who are happy to share their knowledge and time with each other.
Many live very alienated lives. Or perhaps, agent lived would be a better description. I know myself I have done it. Covered up the pentagram, hidden the candles away. Ensured all Wiccan and Pagan books were safely out of the reach of everyone and anyone who knew me.
It’s exhausting being two people at once. The socially acceptable person who nods along every time Love Island is mentioned. Or discusses the Real Housewives of Cheshire at great lengths.
Then there’s the real person. The one who plans their Sabbats (to note even a Word document is trying to get me to change this to Sabbaths!). Samhain, as others are finding outfits to represent the terrors of the world, I plan my New Year. What it will bring. What ritual I will perform. Yule is always fun, whilst others are wondering what gifts to give I’m always thinking what can the next part of this year bring me.
Until recently, I never realised what a double life I led until a friend discussed with me her new found spirituality. It has been nice for a change to have someone to talk to about the Sabbats. To discuss how the change in the air feels without fear of being mocked.
I guess in writing this I’m hoping more Wiccans will join me in celebrating our belief by talking about it openly with each other and those who want to listen.
Love to all