At this time of year, the Craft always seems more meaningful to me, more personal, than at any other time. Given how this sense of personal empowerment tends to resonate among various practitioners of many different paths, I decided to include an article I found a while back by Hecate:
You are not a witch because you buy witchy stuff from eBay (much as we all love a bit of witchy stuff). You are not a witch because you wear a pentacle, or get a tattoo, or buy and read books on witchcraft from Amazon.com or from a cute feminist bookstore in your town (much as we all love to read some witchy books). Stop allowing your lust to substitute for a daily practice.
You are not a witch because you wear robes or elven jewelry or because you have black fingernail polish or because you burn incense in your apartment or because you learn to read tarot or palms or tea leaves. Stop allowing your physical image and your fear of death to substitute for a relationship with the divine.
Yes, Younger Child loves all of those things. But Younger Child, alone, cannot make you a witch.
You are not a witch because Lady Something Luna Something Hawk Something Ravensomething Moonglow pronounces you a witch or because you complete some on-line “mystery school” course. You are not a witch because you’ve been scourged or annointed with oil or because you’ve said some sacred words. You are not a witch because you’ve gotten the five-fold kiss. Stop allowing other people to exercise power over [you].
You can BECOME a witch with no paraphanelia at all, just by going outside under the full, or dark, or quarter or half or three-quarter Moon, or under the sun, or at dawn, or at dusk, or whenever, and saying, with intention, “I am a witch. I am a witch. I am a witch.” But in order to BE a witch, you must do more. Otherwise, you, as a witch, will fade, rather quickly, into nothing.
In order to BE a witch, you must help to turn the wheel. You must sit down daily with the Goddess and the gods and develop relationship. How scary is that? You must ground. Also, scary, especially when done daily. You must be present, as a witch, as often and as frequently as possible. Ditto on the scary. You must do the work involved in developing a relationship with the land, the watershed, the trees, the herbs, the wildlife, the rocks — everything — in your sacred space. Again, scary. You must change the world with magic, challenge those in power, heal the sick and powerless, provide the imaginal and charged image of the wild woman living at the liminal space between village and wood. You must do what is dangerous, you must see and worship the divine in the mundane, you must be willing to allow magic to creep into the modern world through the temporal port of your own warm human, bloody body. It’s all as scary as shit if you actually commit to doing it on a daily basis and not just when you feel like it.
It’s neither as easy, nor as “fun!” to be a witch as many modern people imagine. Mostly, to be a witch is work, work, work, not necessarily exciting nor technicolor work, although, Goddess knows, on occassion . . . . To be a witch is to wake up every morning, even the mornings when you need to dash into work, and to do a witch’s work of relationship, grounding, physical presence. To be a witch is to stop and turn the wheel, even when a million “mundane” concerns call out to you. To be a witch is not to own stuff nor to read stuff nor to wear stuff nor to go to stuff. Sorry. To be a witch is to commit to work, difficult, repetitive, spiritual work and to do it over, and over, and over and from one season to the next and to the next and to the next.
Are you a witch? I am trying to be.