Where I grew up, Witch was a bad word.
Within the deeply rooted traditions of the church, it was not a word one should associate themselves with. From the reactions of most of the people in my family, the clergy or those I became romantically entangled, it seemed distasteful, like the F word or swallowing something bitter.
I didn’t understand. Witches were connected to the land, worked with plants, herbs, the weather and energy. Wasn’t that like farming? How was that evil? We prayed and wished for good for ourselves and others. Wasn’t that like going to church?
Religion paints a long legacy of the Witch that is not easily untarnished.
Her herb stained fingers might as well have been painted with the blood of the townspeople, her incantations of healing falling on deaf ears. This rejection and fear causes us to lay low, to take our magic to the forests where it won’t be disturbed. The Witch still carries the stigmas of the past, the scarlet letter “W” burning brightly on her breast. But this is not a symbol of shame; it is a badge of honor.
The Witch doesn’t need acceptance in order to work her magic. In the wild solitude of nature and at the edges of the known she thrives. You cannot cast her out, for she is not completely of this world. She has one foot in the realm of the everlasting far beyond the realm of the living. With each ritual and spell she weaves her unfolding path.
There are many names for Witch, that many still find distasteful; priestess, mystic, shamaness, healer, wise woman. Misunderstood they may be, but steeped in ancient power they have always been. No matter how long they were persecuted, still they survive and thrive.
The wisdom of the Witch will not be erased from the pages of time so easily.
The Witch teaches us to open the power that flows within our veins. To embrace the medicine of the wild world and connect with the knowledge of the animals, plants and stones. That we are sacred. The Witch tells us to heed the compass of our intuition and feelings. To celebrate the divine union between beings. That there is valuable guidance to be found in the Moon, the stars and the ancient sites. That we have the power to heal ourselves, manifest miracles and change the world.
The Witch reminds us to never forget our magic, for it is something that is vital and much needed.