The links are starting to go up for the Witch Witch Blog-Hop over at my friend, Saxton-Corner’s blog, Way of Wytch. I promised I’d participate, and even said I wanted to write a new post because I knew some of my ideas on the topic had already changed, I just didn’t realize how much was going to change before I could get it written.
In truth, this about the 5th time I’ve re-written this post because my views are changing so rapidly.
It’s hard to call yourself out publicly, but when I wrote my initial post on this topic, it was in defense of a friend. There were a lot of emotions tied up in what I said and I admit it could have been a little better thought out.
To be honest, now probably isn’t the best time for me to be writing this post because of being in the middle of all these drastic changes in my own spirituality, but I’m a Witch of my word, so here I am. I’m just going to do the best I can with it, lol.
Over the course of the last week, I’ve run into a number of people addressing aspects of this topic and I’ve come to see that at least some of the controversy seems to be about people who are solitaires and call themselves Wiccan Witches and the Traditional British Wiccans who are members of, and initiated by, a Coven.
I used to consider myself a solitary Wiccan. My path began 20 years ago with a book by Scott Cunningham. There were no Covens in my area, so I self-dedicated and went from there, considering myself a Solitary Wiccan Witch. I did not know anything about Traditional British anything back then and still don’t really know much about it now other than it is a path that you must be initiated into by a Coven to follow. I did not learn Traditional Wicca or Witchcraft.
What I do know, is that 20 years ago in the deep southern Bible-Belt, there was very little information on paganism at all other than (American? Not really sure how to specify the difference on that one) Wicca. I wouldn’t realize until several years later that there were so many paths.
Wicca, as I learned it from reading Cunningham, and paganism, were synonymous for me. Call it ignorance or lack of available resources, it was what it was.
I’ve come to realize that I’m not Wiccan, although I think there’s a lot to be learned from that path, and not just because I wasn’t initiated by a Coven.
My path has evolved many times in 20 years, and it is continuing to evolve. It’s not always a comfortable process, and this is becoming the most drastic spiritual shift I’ve experienced since leaving Christianity and embracing the Pagan path.
I used to think that what people called themselves was unimportant. With all this in-fighting about what people can/should call themselves I’ve had to revisit and reevaluate that idea.
So, what do I think it takes to be Wiccan? Well, by the original definition and intent, as I’ve come to understand it, I think to be Wiccan in the sense it was created in, that you should belong to, and have been initiated by, a Wiccan Coven.
Do I think you can practice the concept and spirit of Wicca as a solitary practitioner? Absolutely. I’ve come to feel that it’s really a matter of the difference in practicing Wicca as a religion verses practicing it as a form of spirituality.
As far as being a Witch, of any path, is concerned, I do feel that you must practice Witchcraft in some form to be a Witch. I don’t believe you must be in a Coven to be one.
Personally, my spell-work is very limited. I do consider myself a Witch because even though my focus is on domestic Magick, I still deal with, and utilize, energy.
What most would consider actual spell-casting, is generally limited to simple candle Magick. I use color, herb and scent associations and that’s usually it.
I perform most of my “work” in my everyday life with cooking, cleaning and petitioning my deities and spirits for aide. “Formal” or “Ritual” Magick just doesn’t get used much in what I do because what I do works for me and I generally don’t see a need for anything more complicated.
As I’ve already said, this became a much more complicated post to write than I thought it would be. My thoughts and feelings are still changing. I know the second half of the hop is supposed to be what you’ve learned and how your thoughts may have changed and it sounds like I skipped ahead to the second part but it’s only because this hop seems to have caught me at an awkward moment in my own path and I had to work with where I was.
I’m sorry if my thoughts seem disjointed. Apparently I’m still learning.