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:
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