What is a Witch?


“What can we learn of this witch figure?  She takes energies out of consciousness and pulls them toward the unconscious to forge a link between the two mental systems.  We know the roots of our consciousness reach deep into the nonhuman, archaic unconscious.  The witch archetype makes visible to us the very depths of what is humanly possible, the great silences at the edge of being.  She stirs up storms that invade whole communities of people.  She conducts vast collective energies to our very doorstep.  These undirected unhumanized spirits forces are symbolized for us as ghosts, dead ancestors, gods and goddesses come up from the world below.  What do we gain from this vision?  A sense of perspective…the witch-seer makes us see into the proportions of life.  The radical impact of the witch archetype is that she invades the civilized community.  She enters it.  She changes it.  She heralds the timeless process of originating out of the unconscious new forms of human consciousness and society.”  ~Dr. Ann Belford Ulanov

When most hear that word, the vision of the green, warted nose Halloween hag is what may come to mind.  Many thing a witch is an evil person, cunning and deceptive or one who hexes.  Many know only of the stereotype, what what they have been told, but really have no idea what it truly means.  Even with such a negative view, you have many who dress up at modern day witches, claiming to be a witch.  Some of them don’t even know what a true witch is, as some just do it as a way to rebel.  So, what does the word witch mean?  There has been a lot of debate over this word, because for different people it means different things.  Many will tell you that a witch is someone who practices witchcraft and some will tell you that it is in fact a religion. Elliot Rose claimed that a witch is one who is “free to wander, and does wander, among a bewildering variety of mental associations”

A common definition is that witch comes from the Old English word wicce / wicca, which many believe its root means to bend or turn…as a witch mean to bend or turn reality.  Even some witches are divided on what the meaning of a witch is, some prefer to be called they are of the Craft or one of the Old Ways, Craft of the Wise, Old Religion just to name a few.    Ed Fitch, a Craft priest in California is quoted as stating “To be a Witch is to draw on our archetypical roots and to draw strength from them.  It means to put yourself into close consonance with some ways that are older than the human race itself“. The name itself connect us to the pre-christian times.  A time when it was natural to have deep reference for nature and the beings that lived on her.  Many feel that a witch is a healer, a teacher, a helper of Mother Earth and yes one who works with her energy.  Another word common nowadays is Shaman and many don’t think there is much different between the two.  Both words are as old as time.

To the very diverse people I have spoken with seem to agree on one thing, a deep connection to Earth.  For me I have to agree, with all of the definitions.  A witch is a healer, a beginner and an one who ends, one who does stand in between the veils, one foot in the conscious, one in the unconscious, one who can hear the ancestors speak, one who recognizes that balance that must be kept.  One who honors life and death, seeing the Earth keeping her balance.  One whom uses the gifts of the Earth to heal, one who lives deeply in the world of animism and totemism.  A Witch is a changer, one who bends.  Is this the reason for the re-emergence of Wicca?  A connection to a time that seems so far behind us.  A deep feeling and knowing that even in the smallest insect, the heart of the Goddess beats.  Maybe it is an empowerment for women, learning their true power..one of freedom and one of subservience.  A time of seeing divinity within the animism.  A path that recognizes the different path others may take and are at peace with that.  Knowing the Earth is our Mother, she grows her bounty to nourish and heal.  “A Witch’s approach to life is one that says, ‘When evil comes upon you, turn it around, make it work for you’.  It means to bend; to be wise” ~unknown

I will say this, from my experience, I haven’t been harmed in any way nor have I ever witnessed the worshiping of the devil by a witch…. but I have by others in main stream religion.  Many go by the rede,  “An it harm none, do what thou wilt”.  I will leave you with this quote:

“A great many modern witches feel that they have brought back the ancient religion of the pre-christian times.  In so far as they have retained the love of nature and followed the festivals of the turning sky they have an argument in their favor.  Those were the essentials of the ancient belief.  In this environment of growing threats to human existence there is a surge toward the works of life.  hence the growth of witches of the old greenwood type, the dancers of the god.  Nakedness, sex, song and dance are their marks, and their hearts are mostly innocent and happy.  The newly invented groups have a validity which springs from the emotional needs which created them.  Often with out any conscious planning they throw up from within themselves echoes of ancient ceremonies.  Witchcraft is in its essence the worship of the powers of this world, beautiful or terrible, but all in a circle under the turning sky above which is the One.” ~C.A.Burland

~ by TerraRubrae on May 5, 2015.

3 Responses to “What is a Witch?”

  1. Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx ♠ xoxo

  2. Reblogged this on oogenhand.

  3. Reblogged this on tad dudley and commented:

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