We all know witches are real…. Wait, we do, don’t we? I’m not talking about the warty, green-faced, Halloween kind (although I’d love, love to give that broomstick-riding thing a try)…I’m talking real, live witches who practice Wicca and other, related forms of neo-paganism. I’m not an expert in or a practitioner of any of these disciplines–can’t seem to make religion stick to me–but I find them interesting, inspiring, and worthy of respect.
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To be clear, then, when I say I believe in witches, I mean I believe in many of their beliefs. I think their point of view is a healthy one–nurturing and full of promise. In case you’d care to know why, I’ll be more than happy to count the ways…
One: they love nature and seek to live in harmony with it. Considering that we’re one species among the masses, I have to think living in harmony with nature is the way to go. Personally, when I’ve been disconnected from the natural world for too long, I feel it. I become ungrounded. Lost.
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Two: they view the Earth as our mother. Not a bad point of view to take, considering what naughty Earth’s children we’ve been for the past…oh, two centuries or more. I feel connected to my fellow human beings and my fellow creatures…this Earth is our provider and our home. None of us would be here without it, and none of us will be here if we destroy it.
Three: they follow the Three-fold Law. Also known as the Rule of Three or Law of Return, it states that “Everything you do comes back to you, times three.” So, that mean little thing you’ve been thinking of doing? Might want to rethink it. On the other hand, that person you’ve been helping, out of the kindness in your own heart? Good on you (and unto you).
Four: they believe in the strength and value of womankind. We’ve come a long way, ladies, but we still have a ways to go. Whaddaya say we continue to boost each other up? (That tearing-each-other-down stuff is just so…yesterday. Bleh.)
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Five: their practices and beliefs are strongly connected to the moon. As a woman, my body and its cycles are pulled by the waxing and waning of the moon. Pretty cool, am I right? I think so. Even after I’m no longer fertile, I plan to maintain that connection. In modern paganism, the moon is representative of the goddess, so all women–young or old–should feel strengthened by her energy.
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Six: they live according to the Wiccan Rede. “Do what you will, so long as it harms none.” (It can be expressed in varying wording, but the central concept remains the same.) This statement, although it might seem permissive at first, casts a pretty wide moral net. Yes, you have freedom of choice, but your decisions must take into account the others who might be affected by your actions, both now and in the future.
Seven: they believe the divine can be seen in every part of nature. Every creature, no matter how tiny, has value; every itty bitty morsel of the natural world, down to the tiniest pebble, is part of a greater whole. All of nature matters and is deserving of respect.
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Eight: worship can be solitary or practiced with a group. As an introvert (INFP/J), this is music to my ears. Speaking of music, it and meditation are often incorporated into worship. Yet another cause for celebration.
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Nine: intuition and healing are valued and practiced. What can be bad about becoming better attuned to yourself and to others? Taking that knowledge a step further–using it to help heal–is one seriously positive endeavor.
Ten: neo-pagan religions are decentralized. There is no designated leader, no governing body, no written set of rules that all must follow (though most, if not all, adhere to the Wiccan Rede and Three-fold Law). Neo-paganism is not a one-size-fits-all religion; it can be tailored to meet a group’s or an individual’s needs.
Eleven: they believe in the value and equality of both men and women. Not only are the masculine and feminine honored, they are valued in terms of how they interact and support one another.
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Twelve: they believe sex, when practiced consentually and responsibly, is a healthy, powerful part of our human experience. Whew. Such a refreshing stance for a religion to take, no? Hooray for this one.
Thirteen: the divine lives within everyone. We are able to bring that benevolent, creative power forth, and we’re able to use it to influence our own lives and each others’ lives–all for the better.
So, yes, I do believe in witches and I believe in giving them their due. They are all about living in harmony, without doing harm.
Personally, I think humanity and Mother Nature could use a little more witch love.
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Happy Friday the 13th, all!