I receive a considerable number of questions from people, and I’ve answered a handful of them here. I’ll be re-posting on this particular blog from time to time, when I get the opportunity. This just seemed like an easier solution rather than trying to answer individual emails, as more than one person often asks the same question. It just seemed logical to gather the answers all in one place. Remember that these are my opinions, this is about my path– and you asked.
Is there a difference between a Witch, a Wiccan, and a Pagan?
What do you feel are some of the major differences?
Yes, there is a difference, and still, most people tend to lump these categories together indiscriminately.
“Pagan” is a broad term that covers a variety of beliefs and practices. It’s an umbrella term that includes witches; Wiccans- every tradition, clan, or solitary path you can think of; Druids; and a garden variety of spiritual practices that stray from the mainstream religions, primarily Christianity.
“Witch” implies someone who is knowledgeable in the ‘Olde Ways’, someone who casts spells, practices divination, herbology, etc. A witch is steeped in earth-based shamanic methods in free-form, not tying her/himself to any particular creed, to any particular set of rules or regulations, group or clan. The witch tends to be a free spirit and often treads where others fear to go when it comes to practicing the occult.
“Wicca” is a religion which encompasses organized and ordered membership, regulations, and practices. It is also an earth-based and nature religion which has grown to include a wide variety of paths, traditions, clans, and covens. Most Wiccans abide by the Wiccan Reed, and seek membership that comes with required study and initiation.
When did you first realize you were a Witch?
I always knew that I was different and that I often perplexed people, though as a child I wasn’t sure how or why. The earliest memory I have of a ‘realization’ probably came when I was about five years old, crouched alone on a terraced hillside. It was a hot summer day, though I was in a dark cool place, as the hillside was full of trees. I looked to my right, past the wire fence that separated the yard from pasture, and watched a herd of cattle grazing in the hot sun, only a few feet away from my cool dark world. I reached to the low branch of a young locust tree, wrapped my fingers around a small green stem and gently slid the leaves off, into my palm. I stayed there for quite some time, crouched beneath the tree, closing my eyes to listen to the wind in the trees, believing that they were speaking to me.
I don’t remember what I did with the leaves, though I do remember that I wanted them for a reason.
Is it important for a Witch to have a code of Honor?
It depends upon how you look at it. If by a ‘code of honor’, you mean that she must abide by someone else’s rules, someone else’s measurement of what is right or wrong, then I would have to say no.
Each individual, witch or not, who is an intelligent human being knows when they are doing right and when they are doing something questionable. And ‘questionable’ in this instance doesn’t necessarily mean something you shouldn’t do, it can mean something that isn’t always done but needs doing, it can mean something gritty and serious that must be done.
The Witch, a real witch, moves in a landscape that is neither white nor black, it’s filled with shadows that are shades of gray; and to the witch these shadows are not off limits. Balance is required in all things, including the practice of Witchcraft; and once in a while boundaries have to be broken to maintain this balance.
How would you define “Mojo”?
I would describe ‘mojo’ as ‘magick’…magick that incorporates natural elements to produce physical manifestation: herbs, stones, bones, personal items, bodily secretions, potions, powders, images, symbols, etc. Mojo also relies on intention and will, but not at the same level or intensity as Wiccan magick. With mojo, the magick resides in the molecules of the items used. The traditional voodoo priestess does not consecrate or empower her mojo bags; she believes that the power is already there.
How do spells work?
Spells work by using the energy of our will and intentions, along with strong visualization, coupled with natural objects such as candles, fire, water, herbs, stones, photos, images, etc.; to produce physical manifestation into the real world. You must be able to see the objective of your spell as though it already exists. If you cannot visualize what you desire as though it already exists, you will not be able to manifest into the physical realm.
Why do you practice so many different
forms of witchcraft on your path?
I am an eclectic Witch.
There’s incredible knowledge and magick to be found on a number of occult paths. It’s like a magickal buffet of rich and varied practices that all work in different ways and on different levels. To me, it’s there for the taking, there for my use. We just have to be open-minded enough not to be afraid to explore other religions, other forms of spirituality. Human beings have a terrible habit of pigeon-holing everything, thinking that everything must fit into specific boxes and that you can’t mix and match or you’ll mess things up.
I don’t eat the same thing for breakfast every morning, I don’t wear the same kind of clothes everyday. And as much as I love chocolate, if that were the only thing I was allowed to eat, it would get monotonous.