Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Pagan and A Witch

I have been under the weather, so this post is a little rougher than I normally would have posted.  Sorry.  Hopefully in a few more days, I'll be back to normal.

Did you know that historically speaking, witch and pagan were not interchangeable terms?  I am both.  Religiously, I am classified as Pagan, because, I'm well, other.  I'm not a Christian, Jew or Muslim (the word pagan originally was simply a term for a person who was not one of the group- the ancient Greeks were big on inclusion/exclusion politics).  I'm not a Buddhist or Taoist.  I'm something else, which is the actual meaning of the word.  I draw influences from many sources, historical and modern, but I never claim to worship as my ancestors or people of the past did.  Nobody (at least for European societies that have been long Chrisitanized and intermingled to the point it's very difficult to say with any certainty what happened- As somebody who literally has worked with the past, in an archaeological context- I will tell you it's all murky)  knows how the peoples of the past believed and worshiped, we can make educated guesses and piece together the evidence, but there is a huge margin of error to be allowed.  If you want to follow a belief system like that, fine, but I don't so, please don't talk about "history" and "tradition" without expecting me to ask for your sources (I'll do this if you try convince me that the Founding Fathers were Christians or that Kenniwick Man is European).

As for being a witch, I'm a learning addict.  I am learning to use herbs and oils and food stuffs to clean my house, heal, and change my circumstances. I pick up new hobbies all the time, sometimes just to better understand something (I'm trying to figure out how to spin wool into yarn currently).  Witchiness is my life style.  I funnel energy into my housework (when I can be bothered with it) and my cooking (I often whisper a few words to the dinner pot to infuse the meal with an idea, like "peace").  I am the friend that people call when they have an odd question or need a quick remedy.  I make spell candles and crafts.  My house is decorated with healing colors and magical ideas. I wear black when I feel vulnerable and red to seem bold.  There are places where my lifestyle and religion and spirituality all intersect, but they don't have to.  For me, there is no right way to be a witch or a Pagan.  I think we all muddle through the best we can and share the good points and keep getting rid of the bad.

Be careful in labeling other people's beliefs and lifestyles.  They may be simpler or more complex than you can imagine.  If you must have a label for someone, ask them what they think, the answers are often surprisingly beautiful and understandable.  Embracing your own beliefs should not mean that anybody else's get trampled.  Disagree if you must, but at least listen to other people's point of view.  You might learn something that is important to you.  I learn as much from, you, my readers as you learn from me.  I think that is the essence of witchcraft, but sometimes our religious beliefs are just as instructive- to us and the people around us.

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you, I am Pagan and a Witch and I know that the way I choose to express my faith may not always mesh with others, but I am more then happy to discuss my choice of faith and my choice on being a Witch and I am more then happy to discuss someone else's thoughts on their choice of faith. Your thoughtful and blunt way of expressing yourself is one I admire. Thank u for another great post.
    p.s. I hope you feel better soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Delphi, you comments are always so appreciated.

    Hopefully, I will be back to myself in the next couple of days.

    ReplyDelete

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