What makes a person a witch?
What is it that gives a person a right to call her / him self a Witch?
Is it some degree that has been bestowed upon the student at some time after an undetermined amount of learning to be deemed appropriate by someone else who has been studying longer? In my opinion, the recognition from other Witches is a very small part of what makes a person a Witch.
In the nearly thirty years that I have called myself ‘Witch’, I have come to know what it is that makes me a Witch. I can not tell you that the definition is the same for everyone. I know that my views are deemed unpopular and are probably controversial even among some of my peers. I understand that it takes a certain degree of understanding to be able to use intent to influence surroundings, to ‘bend’ things to your will, and cause no harm by intent. I know it is a serious thing to take a student or to be a student.
To be called a Witch is to be looked at differently. To be a Witch entails things such as casting spells, performing rituals, yes. But, the more secret things are much more simple, yet much more significant and often more difficult to master.
To be a Witch means to want to become a better, more evolved being. It means that you are willing to make sacrifices, and to see the journey through to the next lesson. I can’t say, here, that it is to see the journey through to the end. There should be no end, only a continuous cycle of change, evolution and finding knowledge in order to make oneself a better being. An endless progression of learning, having what is not necessary to personal evolution burned away, leaving behind a more evolved, more compassionate soul, capable of gaining wisdom and of using it…Not just of having that wisdom. It is to see this Earth as a living organism and to honor Her and all of Her children, the best of your ability. To become a Witch is to become a person who can endure having what is not necessary burned away because it is understood that the burning is actually more like a ‘honing’ of a beautiful blade.
To call oneself a Witch means to look inside at that which is the most difficult to gaze upon. It means that you face your own demons, understand them and integrate them into your self. From this we become whole. I don’t know anyone who has only one demon. So, the repeated opportunities continue to evolve us.
To live as a Witch means great rewards. It means to learn the definition of humility because if you don’t, the Goddess has a way of humbling you and it isn’t always pretty. It isn’t easy to be humble in the face of recognition sometimes. Our baser human emotions and habits like to be able to bask in the glow of that recognition and take credit. Yes, credit should always be given where it is due. And, again, yes, we should be able to accept the credit when it is deserved…and move on, realizing that it is for the greater goal of personal evolution and for the whole of the community. But, to take it too far is to risk moving backwards along our personal evolution. Building up a ‘holier than thou’ attitude is not a step toward evolution. It is not a step toward becoming a better being. We all make mistakes though; each an opportunity to learn and gain more wisdom.
As my life progressed, I have discovered many things, a process by no means unique to me. All of those who seek to better themselves discover more about themselves than about others. Now that I think about it, they are interrelated; ‘the more I learn about myself, the more I am capable of learning about others and, consequently, the more I can assist, serve’. Early on my Path, I began to help others when they would ask for it. Looking back, I regret nothing. I used Magick to assist change in my environment and in that of others
So, what does a Witch use Magick for?
Speaking for myself, Magick is used to cause change, plain and simple. We change ourselves and we change the world around us. We use it to make things happen. Sometimes, things happen to us that we were not expecting. I have had experiences I would not wish on anyone happen to me in the course of my life that were directly related to my Path and my journey. How do I know that they were directly related? Well, some things are just that obvious.
Then there are things that happened early in my Journey that I had no idea were part of my ‘honing’. They, also, are things I would wish on no one. It seems everyone has their own tests on this Path. I understand, looking back, that those things were necessary in order for me to be who I am today. They were integral parts of my schooling, my Path. I accepted these things, these changes as part of my evolution, knowing that it is all part of my ‘becoming’ a more complete being. It means that, independently of the opinion of others on this Path, I know in my heart that I am who and what I am supposed to be. More importantly, I regret nothing, because I know it was all significant.
It was and is all part of becoming and being a Witch.