It never ceases to amaze me, the preoccupation that some Witches have with ‘things’. By ‘things‘, I am referring to material possessions and the ‘preoccupation’ part refers to the importance placed on them.
When I was starting out on the Path of the Old Ways, I had a good friend who was part of the first coven I was involved with. This coven was amazing and I gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience. The coven was not to last, though, and broke up. I can’t remember why. From there, I continued my spiritual education with one of the members, the aforementioned good friend. We will call her Bonnie.
Bonnie was married, financially well-off and had evidently been a Witch for a few years. She had a nice house, probably more than 2,000 square feet, not including the garage, and at least a couple hundred books on Witchcraft and related subjects. She also had the usual tools that a Witch uses; Athame (ritual knife), Chalice, censor and so on. But, her attachment to things went far beyond this.
She had dozens of crystals and stones, some very large and expensive, all for magickal purposes, you see. So many more than I could count. They adorned her shelves and tables. She had wands, crystal balls, and trinkets of all kinds. Statues in images of Goddesses and Gods inhabited her home and yard. Clothing with a witchy theme and Native American items of all kinds filled her closets and decorated the spaces and the walls within the home. And let’s not forget the dozens of rather expensive pieces of jewelry that she would wear off and on, through out the time I knew her. She would bring these things out as she thought of them and when she got a new one, would show it off to me. I, of course, was enthralled and thought that I would love to be able to afford such beautiful things (if I didn’t have to live so financially ‘close to the bone’), to make my home more energized, to make myself look more like a Witch was supposed to, or to just make my home appear more metaphysical, as Bonnie’s home did. Being exposed to this sort of thing made me think that having these things was a mark of a true Witch. To be able to advertise my inclusion into this community had to have some merit, right?
During the next few years, even after I ceased to talk to Bonnie because my family moved away from the area, I still put a great importance on my personal arsenal of Craft possessions, modest as it was. There was a staff that I was making, even though I did not know when I would have the opportunity to use it. I was collecting jewelry, even though it was a much bigger collection than I would ever find the time to wear. I placed such importance on things that I was preoccupied with the gathering of them and lost sight of the ‘why’ or ‘why not’ I should be gathering. If I thought it was beautiful, I would want it. If I thought it would be a good advertisement for the Path, I would buy it, come hell or high water. It seemed that everything that I touched and desired, I would end up owning. And, this was not a good progression of events. It reinforced a misguided silent instruction from someone who did not know she had caused it.
Then, as things will, an event occurred in my life that made me have to chose between these possessions and something that I felt was more important; relationship. It seemed that the person that I was with at the time that this event happened (and on the demand of this person), felt that these things were a detriment to my state of mind because of who had purchased them for me, long ago…An abusive ex-husband. The current person was adamant that I throw all of these things out. I really did not wish to because now they were part of my life, my history, and I had made them mine. But, throw them out, I did. And as much as it hurt to do so, I learned a valuable lesson.
I have heard that some Witches are asked that, if we can do Magick and get what ever we want, they why aren’t we all rich, or at least well off? It has never been asked of me. But, I have heard of others being grilled thus So, after careful thought and with my personal back ground creating a unique set of references for me, I can answer that question like this;
All Witches are not rich. It is not because we have tried to cast a spell and failed. It is not because we have not cast the spell at all, perhaps having a doubt about its power and fulfillment. It is because, as we evolve as spiritual beings, we realize that material possessions are not what make us. What we HAVE is not how we define ourselves. It is who we are inside that defines us. It is our hearts, souls, minds…Our BEing. We are, each of us, a bright light, waiting to become something more than we are. It is through learning, causing our spiritual evolution and ‘becoming’ that we change into a better ‘us’. That isn’t to say that we should not enjoy affluence, mementos, sentimental objects or things that resonate with us on this physical plane. And, that isn’t to say that we should not have what we really need, when we need it. Each person’s Path is different, unique.
All I am saying is that, as we evolve, we Witches realize that possessions are not what mark us as a being that is evolving into something more spiritual. It’s what is inside that causes our light to brighten and shine, each of us a part of that stardust to which we will, someday, return.
This was about MY lesson. It was about what I had to do to become who, and what, I am. I have no regrets in the context of this lesson because ultimately. I am the sum of all of my experiences. Not just the spiritual ones but the physical ones, too. I realized that to have that much of a preoccupation with things was not going to help me achieve my goal. And so, I changed my course…with a little nudge from a person along my journey’s path.
Yes, I have a few ‘things’. It does not hurt me to have them. I wear a few different necklaces, when I feel I need the vibrational qualities that they can lend me. I have a few articles of ritual clothing that I alternate between based on the color of the article of clothing and the event that I am attending.
But, I realize that these things do not make me who I am.