At a ritual on a very cold November evening, my High Priest proclaimed that to be a witch is to be in opposition. Until that moment, I had never considered that witches were the quiet, or not so quiet, rebels in society. Those words hit home.
Being a witch isn’t about your hereditary witch blood line, or lack thereof, nor your gender. You might be stripped of your robes but will you allow your beliefs to be taken from you? Will you do what’s right even if the world sees you as wrong? Being a witch requires you to stand up to something you feel pushes against your truth.
Confronting opposition is not the only criteria to be a witch but it forms a basis for why many people leave traditional religious paths to follow an earth-based belief system. The pagan umbrella welcomes spiritual wanderers and provides shelter to those who have found their personal beliefs opposing mainstream religion. The declaration of being a witch is a rebel yell to the patriarchal traditions: a cry for freedom and a stance to claim back control over one’s spiritual life.
Most of us that identify as a witch feel a closeness to the cycles of nature and we base rituals on the wheel of the year and the phases of the moon. Our beliefs have our feet rooted in the ground and our hearts connected to the stars above. We feel the sacredness of life around us and we want to honour the beauty and bounty we have been given.
For many witches, they fall in love with the path and forget that the call to walk the witch’s path is only the first act of being in opposition. You can dutifully attend ever Sabbat or Esbat ritual, you can wear your pentagram with pride but if you’re not transforming the status quo then you are missing the point of witchcraft. Our feet are rooted in the earth not so we remain static and stuck but so we can grow.
Witchcraft is riding a trend. On Instagram, the hashtag #witch is tagged on over 5.7 million photos. A good number of these photos show a glamorous side to witchcraft with models and props that could have come straight out of a glossy magazine. In fact, Teen Vogue, Vogue and Cosmopolitan have published articles on witchcraft. Reality, is not as pretty as an Instagram picture.
The focus of what witchcraft looks on the outside distracts from where power truly lies: on the inside. We have to cut away the illusions and reclaim our individual power. This is rewilding. And it's time to ReWild the Witch.
I'm giving a talk next Tuesday on ReWilding the Witch at the COA Mid Sussex moot. Join me!