Contrary to what people think they know about witches, witches are real, and oftentimes, witches are harmless. They’re not flying around on broomsticks and dancing naked in the forest. Well, most of the time.
With our society becoming more open about different lifestyles, real witches are speaking out. Here are 5 facts you need to know about modern-day witches, to understand and to appreciate an incredible way of life.
- Anyone Can Be a Witch
“Heroes aren’t born, they’re made.” Well, so are witches. Despite what American Horror Story would have you believe, there is not an ancient race of witches descended from Salem, and mystical powers aren’t lying dormant in your blood. Witchcraft, or modern day Wicca, is like a skill that can be honed, practiced, and perfected. You don’t have to be born of witch blood to learn the practices and rituals of witchcraft, you just need to have an interest and an appreciation for the lifestyle.
- The Importance of Nature
When people think of witchcraft, they often think of voodoo dolls, animal sacrifice, and devil worship. T.V shows and book series would have you believe that witches learn mind control, bringing things back from the dead, etc., simply by harnessing the powers inside them. That’s not it at all. Instead, modern day witches are finding harmony and peace through nature. With a focus on the elements (water, air, earth, and fire) witches understand the importance of balance in the universe. Instead of worshipping the Devil, witches worship Mother Earth, and everything she embodies, including animals, plants, and other people. Similarly, the Sun and the Moon give witches the power to cast spells and to illuminate truths.
Witches celebrate the seasons, such as the Spring and the Winter in different ways, hosting festivals and honoring the changing of nature. So, there’s no Hogwarts school where witches sit in a classroom to learn defense against the dark arts.
- There’s No Right or Wrong Way
Witches will often tell you that there’s no right or wrong way to cast spells or even to be a witch. It may sound cheesy, but as long as you believe, and have a connection with the natural energies of the world, you can accomplish amazing things. You don’t have to recite a spell perfectly and if you mess up the ingredients in a potion or tea, it’s no biggie. If you can’t seem to meditate, it’s okay. Simply reading a book or listening to music can be a form of meditation. The intent was there, and the universe can see that.
- Witches Don’t Curse People
Remember when I said there was no wrong way to perform witchcraft? Well, I lied. There is, and the way to avoid it is to simply not hurt people. Witches never use their powers for bad, it is against the very nature of their power, meant to maintain balance and peace in the world. Witches use spells and their powers for things such as getting job promotions, helping neighbors, doing well on a test, that sort of thing. Witches will never waste their time and energy on casting spells to do harm, and instead prefer to focus on the good things in life.
- Witches Fight for Equal Rights
Yes, you heard that right. Throughout history, witches have stood with movements associated with equal rights. Witchcraft and magical powers are used to fight for religious rights, civil rights, and fighting the patriarchy. You know that stereotype of witches wearing pointy hats? Well, according to practicing witch Liza Stardust, witches began wearing those hats to stand with Jews and Quakers facing religious persecution.
There’s also an organization called W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell). Ignoring the name, this organization has been working for years in the fight for equal rights for all ways of life. Established in the 1960’s as a feminist group, W.I.T.C.H. is currently fighting for feminism, LGBTQ rights, as well as defunding the police in faith with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Just like any other group, witches are ridiculed and mocked and oftentimes not taken seriously. So what we have to remember is that, as strange as it may sound at first, witches are people, too.