This will not be a shock to most of my close friends, and I suspect most of my family already knows, but I have never made a formal declaration. I am a Witch. There now I feel much better about myself and the world around me. I have been on a deep spiritual path, for last couple of years, and one of the tenets of my faith is to maintain integrity. As long as I did not openly own that fact that I consider myself a Witch, I started to feel as if I was living a lie. My reasons are many, but ultimately they were all rationalizations. Well the (black) cat is out of the bag now and I will have to live with the consequences of this declaration, whatever they may be.
So, before this discussion goes much further let me address a few things; I am a Witch not a Wiccan. I am a Neo-Pagan in the truest since of those words in that I borrow from many different traditions. Chief amongst these are Christianity, Buddhism, Hoodoo, Heathenism, and Hedgewitchery; which is an indigenous European form of Shamanism. Now I know that some of this may confuse some of you, especially the Christian part, but I will do my best to explain it all to you.
First, let's discuss the difference between religion and spiritual practice. A spiritual practice is any set of actions one undertakes to bring oneself closer to the Divine, whereas religion is a set of belief about how to approach the divine and what manifestation the divine will take. To state another way spiritual practice is self directed action, and religion is a program to align oneself with a particular reality tunnel. In my ongoing pursuit of the divine I have found the self directed path to be the most palatable for me. If you know me you already know how obstinate I can be about doing it my way (cue Frank.) However I also find the thrill of discovery to be a major impetus for my chosen path; that being said I also know Christians and Buddhists who experience the same joy. How can this be, you may ask, well lets dive into that shall we?
Let me use myself as an example, not very scientific I know, but then again this not a theological paper. Witchcraft or as I prefer to call it Witchery is a label I attach to my set of spiritual practices. My spiritual practices however are designed to lead me to that numinous state of union with the ineffable divine known variously as, gnosis, ecstasy, or mysticism. But William, why not just choose one of those names instead? Why label yourself at all? Why label yourself a Witch? In the words of Ayn Rand, for the very reason it frightens you.Seriously though, I shall explain and hopefully you will understand.
Historically, no I am not going to start a long discussion of the history of witchcraft that is a an article for another day. Now where was I , oh yes, historically the term witch has been applied to many types of oppressed peoples. In days not so long ago the easiest way to cast out your enemy, was to trump up charges of witchcraft. This was usually not hard if the person was odd in any sort of way; too intelligent, able to cure illness with herbs, had prophetic visions, or was born with a physical deformity. The outcasts, the queer, the freaks and geeks of their day. I consider myself one who is not as others, but strangely enough there are others like me. This the real reason I choose the label of Witch, to align myself with others who use similar techniques in their spiritual practices. a community of support is important no matter what you do. What are these spiritual practices, you may ask. Briefly I will do my best to describe them.
Let me start by saying that if you really interested in the totality of spiritual practices email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/tao.jones.716 . If you are a practitioner we can discuss techniques, if you are a mystic of a different tradition, i.e. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, Hinduism, etc,, we can discuss similarities and differences in our paths, and if you are interested in starting on your own self directed path tell me why I should be your guru. That last part was a bit of a joke, if you want me to be your guru I will give a reading list, a swift kick in the rear and send you on the path of brainwashing yourself into thinking on your own. If you want to Convert me to your way of thinking don't bother I'm a hard top ( non-convertible.) So let me lay out my basic tenets for you; Be Here Now, Maintain Integrity, Go with the Flow, Pronoia, Stay on the Path on LOVE. Nature is my temple, Hedgewitchery is my technique, and LOVE is my religion. May you not stray from your path, keep up the Great Work. I Love You. Namaste.