Alright, you guys… I’m finally going to do it… In today’s Magickal Musings article, I’m going to attempt to define what being a Witch means to me! Whew! here goes!
This past November’s Eve season, the GypsyWytch Tribe and I did a “5 Days of October Book of Shadows Challenge” together. My idea was to give us a deep topic to summarize into a single page in our grimoire for each of the 5 days! I think the hardest one for most of us was “What is a witch?” Just as I’d suspected, there was a WIDE variety of responses to this question among the challenge participants! Believe it or not, this BOS page of mine was kind of the first time I’d ever really hunkered down and attempted to define the word “witch!” Here’s what I wrote:
What is a Witch?
It’s taken years for me to officially make a page attempting to define this term. I first needed to discover that I was a witch, and then set out to make sense out of what exactly that even meant… A witch can be many things, but the definition that resonates most with defining what I am is about nature… Both “inner” nature and “outer” nature. For as above, so below, and as within, so without. What makes me a Witch is that I’ve dedicated my life to observing the patterns of nature and seeing that same set of patterns within myself… And to use that knowledge to align my life’s purpose or mission with that set of patterns, trusting that the Universe is guiding me to consciously fulfill that purpose. Magick is the power to write your own story; it’s being unafraid to take energetic responsibility for the direction of my own life.
-Afura Nefertiti 10/14/17
I’ve heard it said that there are as many kinds of witches as there are people who consider themselves to be witches. If you ask 10 witches what a “witch” is, you will get 16 different answers!
The fact of the matter is, a witch can kind of be anything a witch feels it is! Part of the point of being a Witch is to play by your own rules, so, of course, we’re all special and unique in our own ways!
My path and practice are ever changing, but the one definition that seems to always ring true for me is that being a Witch is about taking energetic responsibility for the direction of one’s own life. It’s about being aware of the delicate dance between our own power of will and the seemingly chaotic flow of universal energies. It’s about seeing that we are intelligent, but are part of nature, and therefore must figure out how to live in harmony with it while still feeling a sense of sovereignty and purpose.
My Psycho-Spiritual Approach
Unlike many in the witchy/pagan/new age community, my practice is really not based around veneration of any particular gods or goddesses. I don’t much work with “spirits” or ancestors or faeries, either. My “spirit guides” are pretty much the Universe at large (which I think of as one big divinely intelligent machine), my own “Higher Self” (the non-ego part of myself that is intrinsically connected to the All), and any kindred spirits (human, animal, plant, disembodied energy) that helps teach me along my path.
To me, the Universe is one big thing, and we are just a cell in that giant organism.
In my perspective (which is always subject to change), there are probably some “universal truths,” but for the most part, all beliefs are temporary means to an end. that “end” is putting things into context to feel a sense of purpose and connection to the overall flow of the Universe. That can take a million different forms, because it’s all completely contingent on our personal experiences. I do tend to believe in the Hermetic principals including the Law of Attraction, so I feel that our beliefs “attract” evidence to support our personal truth. By knowing that belief is a temporary tool to aid us along the journey of mystery, it liberates us from falling too far into limiting belief systems.
I guess, in order to define “Witch,” I also have to touch on the meaning of the term “Magick.” Again, this is another one that has a million and one meanings, but, for myself, I’ve sort of simplified it into the phrase, “Magick is the power to write your own story.”
Along my journey, I discovered my Magick when I became fed up with having my life dictated to me by others, or by my past limiting stories and belief systems. I stepped into my own power when I realized that every day is a new “rebirth,” with the possibility to change my patterns for the better. Sure, co-creating with the rest of the Universe can be tricky, but being “magickal” is about owning my role as the co-writer of my own story. Rather than playing the martyr or the victim, as I had done earlier in life, I found my magick when I decided to fully own my responsibility for where I was in life.
Co-Creating With The Universe
When I say that I’m a “pagan witch,” but that I don’t work with personified deity or “spirits,” people often wonder what exactly I mean. Well, I work with a combination of energy and psychology. I’m “woo-woo” enough to acknowledge the idea that “energy” is a thing, but I’m “logical” enough to know that the only way to work with that energy to manifest an intention is to use wisdom and take ACTION.
For me, magick is about knowing thyself, knowing the Universe, and working in tandem with the natural energies to steer my life where I desire for it to go.
I am humble enough to understand that my ego identity is just a tiny part of this giant machine, but I’m sovereign enough to recognize that I am part of the Universe, therefore, I am a goddess. Mine may be just one of many Universal perspectives, but the Universe expands through my experience, and I’ve chosen to OWN that honorable position.
I believe we are all gods in our own way, and that’s why my favorite spiritual greeting is “namaste.” The divine in me recognizes and honors the divine in you.
I’m interested in studying the spirituality, history, and science of every culture, but no one pre-established “religious” or spiritual system has ever fully been the be-all-end-all of “truth” to me. My path is always one of exploration and expansion.
My ultimate goal in life is to overcome my own perceived shortcomings and leave a “breadcrumb trail” for others to raise their level of wisdom, happiness, health, and fulfillment in their own way.
It’s when we dare to dream and take action on that dream by working in harmony with the Universal energies around us that the magick happens!
My path is ever expanding and unfolding, but as of right now, the very best way I know how to align my desires with the natural cycles is by manifesting with the Wheel Of The Year! Using the 8 seasonal checkpoints as my guide, I’m always learning more about how to plant, tend, and harvest my goals! I’ve used my own unique combination of Seasonal Alignment, Shadow Work, Light Work, Tarot, and Journaling to manifest everything I’m now thankful for in my life! And now, I’ve articulated this method into a formula to share with you!
I’ve created this 3-part mini training series to show you how to connect with your true desires, make peace with your Shadow, and combine the two to discover your Highest Calling at this phase of your journey! I hope you’ll join me for the adventure!
Here’s a little more of me rambling about how I found my witchy path and how I’m using what I’ve learned to help myself and others using the seasonal energies! The challenge and program I mention in this video are closed, but the story might be really relevant if you’re interested in the subject of witching your way through the wheel of the year!
So, what does being a Witch mean to YOU?