Tuesday, 29 January 2013

How good at being a Witch am I?

The question came up yesterday - how do you know if someone is a decent witch or not?  And by decent I mean whether they know their stuff or not.

And to be honest I don't think there is a definitive answer.

I have met quite a lot of witches, druids and pagans off and on line.  Some have been extremely wise and experienced, others have been new to the craft and then a whole lot on a scale in between.  Some have come across initially as being full of wisdom but in actual fact have turned out to be full of waffle.

For Wiccans there is the degree system, and although not Wiccan myself I have worked my way through all three of the degrees - does that make me better than the witch next to me that hasn't done them but has lived her entire life living, working and practising as a witch?  (um..no, it just means I have some certificates).

My personal journey started out as one of research and study, I like to learn, I like to have a structure of learning so the Wiccan degree system (and all the other courses I took along the way as well) work for me but they don't work for everyone.

I then ventured out into the big wide world of rituals and learnt a whole new load of skills.

For instance, let's take a peek at the Kitchen Witch School team...

We all come from slightly different backgrounds, we all followed the basics of the Craft until at some point along our own very personal and individual journeys we branched off into for want of a better word 'specialist' areas.   Is any one of us better than the other? ... NO certainly not.   Some of us have been walking the Witchcraft path longer than the others, some of us have sparkly laminated certificates, others don't - doesn't mean any one of us is 'better' than the other.  We all walk this path differently.

You may find someone that calls themselves a Witch because they once read a book on it 20 years ago and they like to go for walks in the woods...and that's it.  Now I personally wouldn't recommend asking that person for training in Witchcraft but it doesn't mean they aren't a Witch.

I have seen people within the pagan community stating that their way is the only way or their way is the right way and everyone else is wrong - if you see this my recommendation would be to WALK AWAY.

I love that the Craft is a personal thing, it starts from a similar point and then it meanders with twists and turns and off shoots so that your journey becomes your very own.  No one journey is the same.

There are of course traditions within the Craft that have strict guidelines and rules and if that's how you want to roll then go for it, but I would say ultimately go with your instinct, if your gut tells you something is right do it...if it bubbles and gurgles and twists up then walk away...and the same goes for anyone that you meet along the way - if they sound like they know what they are talking about and you get a good feeling that's brilliant.  If they are waffling and gesturing and you get the strong feeling they are talking hogwash then they probably are.

I would also ask, if you are new to the Craft, that you don't believe everything that you see posted on the internet or facebook...I have seen some shocking information put out there...do your own research, work with your own instinct.

And here is where I may upset a few people...if someone claims to be a High Priestess/High Priest/Arch Druid and they are 16 years old then I am sorry but that doesn't rock with me.   At 16 you are still learning about life, let alone all the training and experience that an Elder requires.   I was 43 when I was given the title of High Priestess and that was after nearly 8 years of solid training on the back of a previous 6 years of learning the basics of the Craft.  The word 'Elder' is a bit of a clue...you need (in my own humble opinion) to actually be old enough to have had a few life experiences.

Sadly even within the Pagan world which is supposed to be made up from 'enlightened beings' you will still get pagan politics and witch wars - it saddens me, but 'tis true - the 'he said/she said' kind of playground scenario still happens, I personally try to stay away from tattling and back stabbing.  I prefer to get to know someone myself before making a judgement on them based purely from gossip.

Do I know everything? Ye Gods certainly not and I hope I never do, life would be extremely boring if we all knew everything.

Am I always right about everything? - If my husband is reading this then the answer is "yes I am" but for anyone else ... no of course I am not.  I am human, I make mistakes but hopefully I learn from them and try to always be honest about it too.

But if an old hunched up woman dressed in black comes up to you and offers you a bite of a rosy red apple - you might wanna say no...

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