Welcome to Witchy Week!
The Spooky Season is filled with images of gnarled old witches with big hats and even bigger noses. They’re plastered across bags of Halloween candy. The stores are filled with sparkly witch costumes and green face makeup. I shake my head as I pass by the aisle. How did we come to caricature an entire group? I blame Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
We have witches among us today. The ones I’ve met look nothing like the cartoon candy bag characters. They are ordinary people walking a different path. So what is it like to be a real life witch? I’ll let the experts tell you in their own words. My first guest is Najah Lightfoot.
Hail and Welcome DTJ readers!
I’m excited to share my thoughts during DTJ’s Witchy Week. I’d like to thank C.R. Richards for this wonderful opportunity.
A bit about me: I am Contributing Author for Llewellyn Worldwide Publishing. I write for the Spell-A-Day, Witches’ Companion, Magical Almanac and Witches’ Datebook series. In short I am a practicing Witch, living my Craft one day at time, as the Wheel turns.
As with all lovers of this Season, I enjoy the cooler temperatures, falling leaves, the gorgeous Harvest full moon, and the chance to wear my Witchy clothes. I enjoy decorating my home in the spirit and fun of Halloween. I look forward to attending Witches’ Balls and Day of the Dead celebrations. And with reverence I await the night of October 31st, to honor my ancestors and loved ones, who have gone before me, in the tradition of what we call Samhain, which is pronounced Sow (like “cow”) -in.
As I write this post, I’m sipping coffee from my pentagram mug. The window is open and cool breezes are flowing across me. I’ve just come in from my back yard, where I’ve honored the four directions, including Mother Earth and the Divine Spirit within. For me, this is how I practice being a true Witch. Being true is a practice of honoring Nature, ourselves as magickal people, and our ability to manifest change and good intentions.
A lot of people during this time of year like to dress up as Witches. For some it’s a sneaky way to embrace the calling of “Witch” they’ve felt for a long time. For others it’s an opportunity to come “out of the broom closet.”
It can be a long and difficult journey to announce your Witchyness to the World. I was recently reminded of the real fear people have about Witches, through an old black and white movie, called “Horror Hotel.” In the film local townspeople who are labeled “Witches,” wear black cloaks, kidnap and murder innocent people in the name of their religion. Oh my heart! Nothing could be farther from the truth in my experiences and in the Circle of my friends. These types of movies give practicing Witches a “bad rap.”
For many Pagans and Witches, this is a sacred time. During this time of Samhain, we honor our loved ones who have gone before us. As the veil thins, we create ancestor altars and perform divination for ourselves.
During this season, lots of seekers ask, “how do I become a Witch?”
From my experience, being a Witch is a calling that arises from deep within you. If you’ve asked that question, you already know you’re leaning in that direction. Many people choose to self-dedicate themselves after long periods of seeking. Some connect with teachers, while others may join covens. A high percentage of people simply practice being solitary Witches – where they can practice as they see fit, while joining in with group activities from time to time.
What you’ll find is that Witches are as unique and different as Moonrise and Sunset. None of us do it exactly the same way. There is no right way or wrong way to practice. One goes by heart, feel and intuition. The Craft is a mystery. It seeks to wander and explore. It’s always best to trust your inner guides, listen to your Higher Power, and practice discernment. If you decide to choose this path, relax and enjoy the ride.
If you’re seeking resources, here are few places to get started:
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May you have a blessed and happy Halloween/Samhain season