Why a religion?
I am writing this for people who have hardly ever given a thought to witchcraft; who think witchcraft is a thing of the past – things we read about in fairy tales like Snow White; people who think witchcraft is all about obscure magic, something to do with a long hook-nosed evil old woman, looking over some pot on a fire on which she is brewing a potion and right now just threw a live frog into it.
Hang on, people, Witchcraft is a real thing.
But it has nothing to do with an old wicked woman who eats children. (All your stories – Hensel & Gretel, Snow White and all, are misinformed and pure fantasy)
They do not fly on broomsticks.
They do not put poison in apples to kill pretty innocent girls.
They do not mate with the devil.
They do not wish anyone bad. At least, not more than any normal human like you and your neighbour’s mom!
It took me a long time to decide why I should write about Witchcraft on my blog. Can Witchcraft be called a religion?
The very existence of religion is to give some comfort to hold on to in the face of risk or fear.
We are afraid of other human beings. We are afraid of how they may harm us. We are afraid of the future. When something bad befalls us, and we can’t seem to place a reason on it, it’s ‘inexplicable’ things that other people may have done on us. They must have done something bad on us.
Most Wiccans agree that while Wicca is a religion (if you don’t know about it, no worry, I’ll write about it soon. Maybe), whereas witchcraft is only a way of life.
The reason I choose to write about it on my blog is because from every aspect of it, it does fall into a cohesive belief system, deeply individualistic though it might be, can be understood as one body. So what does witchcraft give you to hold on to when you have to face life?
It gives you, you.
So, yes, I will give it the respect of a religion.
When did it start
Witchcraft finds its origins much earlier than most religions today. It dates back around 40,000 years, to the Paleolithic period. It has obviously been growing in its form since then and today, it looks very different from what it did a thousand or five thousand years back. Obviously.
Before it was demonised in popular culture, Witchcraft was also known as ‘craft of the wise’ because it was deep, wise craft practised by the wiser ones in the society, the ones who were in alignment with nature, the ones who understood how it functions and why it’s important, the ones who had the knowledge of herbs and medicines, whom you could turn to for counsel. These were the people highly regarded as healers in the village and community.
These practitioners of witchcraft understood how nature was prime to anything else and there was more to it than we can see or feel. Human beings were only a small part of nature, the wholeness of which was more important than anything else.
Until a 1000 years ago, it was a very common thing for people to go to a witch to seek help for any medical illness or for life- & family-related problems.
What is Witchcraft
The word ‘Witch’ comes from Old English, which means ‘wise woman’.
Witchcraft believes in shaping your reality, the world around you, the way you want it. It may sound manipulative. And maybe it is. Through internal powers, the Witch shapes the external circumstances. So basically, Witchcraft can be fundamentally understood as a path that does give you a reason to complaint — because if you can create your reality, you will create it the way that is best for you. Hence, you are taking responsibility for your own self and you do not need to depend on others to do anything on which your happiness depends.
Witchcraft is power. But it’s the beautiful kind. Not the kind we see politicians manipulating the world for. Or terrorists shooting innocents for.
Because you see, dependence is a powerful tool of social control but Witchcraft disrupts it. When you know that you can shape reality through magic, you have a means of resisting any attempt to make you dependent.
A witch believes in nature. He/She reveres the elements of Nature such as earth, fire, air and water. Fire cleanses. Water purifies. Earth gives herbs to heal. Air is our connection to nature as we breathe it deep in – it is considered a divine blanket by the witches. Nature has always allowed self-sufficiency in humans, a reason for which witchcraft upholds it.
Witchcraft uses the energy of the world through its elements to sustain life on this planet. What’s evil about that?
Witchcraft is a path that promotes an individual’s ability to think, act and do what he decides. It supports and nurtures free thought and will and thus, requires one to be wise, considerate of the consequences and be learned. Witchcraft, by taking from nature, needs a knowledge of the earth and nature. By giving power to create reality, witchcraft is a path that teaches responsibility. We acknowledge responsibility for our own actions – we cherish the success or we suffer the consequences.
Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Three. The law of Three is that everything we send out into the world will come back to us multiplied by three. Everything. Good deeds we do will come back three times to us in various forms. And so will bad deeds. Even bad thoughts. Therefore, witches, the real ones, would not cause harm to anybody because that would come back even worse (because three times larger).
The nature is divine for a witch. Every single entity within nature is therefore divine for a witch. It’s not just living things like you, animals and animals. For a witch, even a stone by the side of a river is not to be harmed.
Witchcraft is a way of tuning into the energies of life; it is a connection with source energy. Everything is a living thing in witchcraft because it carries a vibration. Everything deserves love, reverence, respect, and protection.
Hence, the concept of sacrifices is not supported by witched. They do not sacrifice animals or even plants.
Witchcraft, therefore, is a deeply loving religion.
It considers one’s human body as divine. And therefore, one must deeply loving one’s own self. It requires removal of all kinds of fear and fearful actions like jealousy and low self esteem. One’s thoughts, actions, emotions, and prayers create energy and vibration. The better these things are, therefore, the better will be the energy that goes out into the world and comes back from other beings to us.
Every witch I have spoken to overuses the word ‘healing’ so much so that it tells what their main obsession and purpose is: healing.
Witches believe that all living things have two parts. An oversoul and an undersoul.
The oversoul is beyond our body and this life’s experiences. It is what we are, who we are, in a forever state. This means that our oversoul has much deeper knowledge than our conscious mind realizes. It is our connection to our oversoul that allows us to have abilities like clairvoyance, psychokinesis etc.
On the other hand, our conscious experiences of this life are through our undersoul, right from our birth. Needless to say, since the undersoul adds to the overall experience of the oversoul, it is a part of the oversoul.
In many Pagan religions, the undersoul and oversoul have been portrayed as lovers -Siva and Sakti in Hinduism, Apollo and Diana in Mediterranean and Adonis and Venus.
That is why, when you connect your mind, body and spirit, miracles happen as the Universe responds to your powers.
There is no dogma or doctrine that dictates witches. They are free. Witchcraft is in fact an individualistic religion.
It is quite possible for all of us to still believe that witchcraft is a thing of the past. But it’s not. In fact, followers of witchcraft and paganism are rising.
It’s a simple enough path to follow and perfectly coincides with all that we people are worried about these days. Since going to the Sunday masses has not really shown good results over the years, there are many who swear by the witchcraft.
Even today, it is a peaceful and individualistic path. For example, if you’re cash strapped, a simple affirmation or lighting a candle to the Moon Goddess is what witchcraft will suggest you to do.
In fact, every time you see a wish coming true, in witchcraft, you must do a selfless act for someone else as a gratitude offering to the Universe.
These spells or affirmations could also be self-fulfilling prophecies but so be it.
Dependence is a powerful tool of social control. When you want to establish yourself on fear, the first thing you do is take power from your subjects away.
This is the tool that Witchcraft disrupts. Because when you know that you can shape reality, you have a means of resisting any attempt to make you dependent.
It was not until 1000 AD that the practice of Witchcraft and witches invoked the wrath of priests, Christianity, and people. Witchcraft, seen as a religion of the ancient which worships the feminine, earthly, and masculine aspects of God, was considered as anti-Christian and a heresy.
Witchcraft may have existed thousands of years ago as a protection against the crude forces of nature, at the mercy of which we lived. But when organized religion came in to the market, they couldn’t let such a democratic religion just be. This was so empowering. Of course power has to be taken away from the people when you want to establish yourself on fear.
For sure, some witches might be evil. But so are some priests. Almost every politician. A lot of businessmen. But we still accept them and follow them and revere them.
Claims like witches have a pact with the devil was never logically based nor substantially proved. How could it be..?
In fact, all the historical evidence related to witch hunting and burning clearly suggests that most of those who suffered as witches were just generally antisocial characters who extremely unpopular in their local communities. It’s like that one old aunt that all of us have in our neighbourhood who is always scowling and shouting at kids when they play outside. If we were all living about 300 years ago, we could have said she’s a witch and got her burnt. Sounds good?
Think about it…
Aren’t superstitions also magic and witchcraft in a way?
Aren’t religions – most of which just expect you to pray & hope & donate money – witchcraft too?
Aren’t religions that hope for you to live to please someone obscure never-seen up in the sky witchy too?
Aren’t prayers & japas witchcraft too- just like witches say spells?