Saturday, April 26, 2014

Modern Day Witches

Witches have captured the popular imagination through television, films and books. People say:
Witches are ugly
Witches have warts
Witches sign pacts with the devil
Witches are sorcerers
And then, we all know,
Witches must be stupid because they fly on their brooms on Halloween, straight into trees.

In reality, the word witch stems from the Anglo Saxon language and means wise one or wisdom. In days of old, witches were considered founts of wisdom and were sought out for curing diseases of the mind, body and spirit. Often outcasts from the villages in which they lived, they were nevertheless brought into the fold in times of trial and tribulation.

Witches can be green witches, meaning they practice herbalism, possibly magickal herbalism and work on healing.
Witches are sometimes solitary. Solitary practitioners as it sounds, practice alone rather than with a group.
Witches can be a part of a larger community of practitioners and practice with a coven.
There are people involved with white witchcraft, which is considered benevolent and beneficial
Some witches are into the dark arts, which is pretty much as it sounds.

I have plenty of friends and professional associates, who are authors that are modern day witches. I have never seen one that looks remotely like this:

Or this:

Witches are not supernatural sorcerers though we engage with the supernatural. I have not met a witch that has made a pact with the devil or who has sold their soul to demons or the devil. Witches are human, though they work in a supernatural realm. We have human frailties, wants, desires and weaknesses. One thing for certain, witches are not the hideous figures seen in various forms of the media nor are they all evil, in fact I don’t know any evil witches.

You might or might not be able to shake off your stereotypes and preconceptions of witches but you should know what witches are and are not before judging. Most of us are deeply involved with all the cycles of nature and seek to preserve as well as conserve Mother Earth who many of us think of as Gaia. Often we believe in a feminine divinity, the pagan gods and goddesses. Our trinity is Maiden, Mother and Crone—the various stages of life. Our celebrations revolve around the Wheel of the Year and are called Sabbats and Esbats. We do like our brooms, which we call besoms but without fly agaric, we do not fly upon them. And that my friend, is one woman’s definition of a witch.

A to Z Challenge—W is for Witch


  1. I love witches . . . the real kind of witches. It's such a shame that the world has developed such a hideous image of them. Out of all the religions I think those that witches follow are the most beautiful. I'm not Wiccan, but I could easy see myself practicing Wicca.

    1. I really appreciate your openness Chyrs! Thank you for your kind comments and for having an open mind.

  2. Thank you.... this is something I knew very little about. Interesting that there are "green witches", and that they are involved in natural healing - they have been caricatured and fictionalized, even demonized. As I read this I was grateful that you chose this as your topic. Thank you.

    1. Yes Donna there are all kinds, It is a spiritual path and many are involved in healing. I thank you for your comment and can't wait to see what you blogged about today! It's Saturday and I'm wearing many hats & playing catch up.

  3. Interesting, enlightening post. Thanks! I love your Frank Lloyd Wright quote!

    1. Thanks so much Linda, and for stopping by! I'm so glad to meet all of the new bloggers from the A to Z challenge. I really liked your post today. Frank Lloyd Wright is really big here where I live. His home and studio is in my town along with a few of his homes and a temple.

  4. Guess a lot of these preconceived notions can be credited to the fairy tales we were fed on.But with the surge of so many alternative healing practices I'm sure witchery has its own merits.Thanks for the useful info...time to give the witch her halo :)

  5. Vinodini, I think you're right about the fairy tales. I took a course in them and they have really evolved in changed over the years. You'd be surprised how much! LOL, I think a halo would be a bit out of character.


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