Ways of the Witch ...
For many of us the words witch and withcraft conjure up the image of a sinister hag, ,wanting to hex or cast an evil spell on you.There is of course an element of truth in all folklore and old wives tales. The witches of old or should I say wise folk or cunning folk, have acquired valuable knowledge passed on to them from several generations. They could recognise the wild herbs ,that contained healing benefits, that when administered could cure as well as cause maladies.
They worked alongside the seasons and the elements to achieve many outcomes now recognised as natural magic.
In those days only wealthy of religious men could afford an alchemist or apothecary or to have access to tuition to learn to read or write to gain access to valuable pieces of information such as this.
Knowledge and wisdom is power, witches knew too much and they had respect and loyalty. From their villages,
scientists, doctors and the church wanted to gain this loyalty, not to just make money but to have the power over
society as a whole. There was no longer a place for the healing witches. They abolished them saying their pagan ways were not legitimate, twisting their healing methods into consorting with the dark arts.
One of the popular misconceptions was the riding on broomsticks. A broom stick is a traditional tool used for positive outcomes to sweep the front door step, clears the old energy out and protects the home. Set above the door it protects the house from disease and bad karma. To leap over a broomstick signifies entering into a new life, during a binding ritual or hand fasting. But mostly a broom may be taken out to the fields to protect the crops from disease, to make sure their family’s were fed that coming autumn. So you see the leaping antics where not what they may have seemed.
Least of all, the misrepresentation of our horned God Cernunnos, Lord of the Forest or Pan, the goat legged man, he’s seen in churches still as the green man smiling above doors surrounded with leaves. He doesn’t represent a horned devil or Satan or dark spirit. He is the masculine element of our natural earth energy a Gaelic deity he is a symbol of seasonal renewal and of fertility.
The truth is paganism was never completely destroyed although hundreds of books and several poor women where burned over hundreds of years.
By the 1970s several well known witches decided to confront the fear and scaremongering, several covens started to emerge and books on witchcraft became available. Now with the coming census the recognition of the growing numbers of people turning away from a doctrinal society to paganism may be at last recognised. As a nature religion, it will be restored to its true place.
Pagans believe that nature is sacred and the natural cycles of birth, growth and death observed in the world around us carry profoundly spiritual meanings. Human beings are seen as part of nature,along with other animals, trees, stones, plants and everything else that is of this earth. The recognition of the divine in nature is at the heart of pagan belief.
Pagans are deeply aware of the natural world and see the power of the divine in the ongoing cycle of life and death.
Protecting our sacred earth, minimising the harm to our natural environment.
So you see how something so very precious and very much needed in our community can be corrupted into some thing so scary, so sinister. So much so, that most of us witches have lived in fear and in the shadows, only acknowledged and asked for help when traditional doctors and therapists fall foul. Because of our love for humanity we forgive the ignorance time and again, knowing that our positive lifestyles and our natural magic will win the day once and for all.
To learn more on Witchcraft, specific courses and lessons are available.
Please contact me to discuss.