When a friend of this site was in the public eye frequently, it seemed the only time anyone wanted an interview about Witches and their methods was around Halloween. Now, this is understandable since October embraces all things Witchy and spooky. However, for those who consider themselves a Witch (Wiccan or other flavor of magical practitioner) this is not a one day or one month commitment. It’s a life time.
Halloween by many names relates to New Years on the Witch’s calendar. This is a time to honor our ancestors, and when the veil between worlds grows thin. Magic is definitely afoot! The custom of wearing costumes (also called guising) came from early fears that malevolent spirits would try to create all manner of mischief. The costumes along with jack-o-lanterns were meant to frighten and fool such beings, thereby leaving them safe. Today, many Witches hold a group ritual on Hallows to celebrate the moment, while others choose to honor it in the quiet of their home. The next day, however, life continues – we are still Witches!
There are many recognized celebrations in the Wheel of the Year, but the most important aspect of magical philosophy is that you eat, breathe, and LIVE it. So what might the normal day of a Witch look like? Before answering that question we have to define “normal”. Witches, like Neo-Pagans personalize their practices and beliefs so that they truly reflect the individual vibration of the soul. Witches are as unique as fingerprints. Yes, they bear some similarities to each other, but put 10 in a room and you’ll get 10 different perspectives on magical topics.
Having said that, your everyday Witch could well be a person next door or down the street. There is no donning pointy hats or black robes for daily reality. Instead, more than likely there’s a business suit or all-purpose conservative outfit ready for work. A person may carry a charm or amulet in a purse or brief case, and hang some type of protective piece in their car for the road. He or she might recite mantras or affirmations in the car, or listen to spiritually uplifting music (me? Heh, I like old rock n’ roll).
If the day proves particularly problematic, one might create a protective visualization or dab on a personally empowering tincture made at home during a favorable moon phase. Maybe they will take a walk as a moving meditation. It all depends on the individual, the situation and the goals involved.
In the work place many Witches prefer to remain in the proverbial closet fearing misunderstanding could lead to stress among peers and even job loss. Some continue staying to themselves with Grandma Betsy who is a died-in-the-wool Catholic, or a devout Christian friend who probably wouldn’t understand that a spell is like a prayer. This decision is difficult for many Witches. As mentioned, there is a deep desire to live our faith. Society and other religious/philosophical outlooks doesn’t always make that an easy task. While alternative faiths have made great strides over the past few decades, the journey is only just starting.
If you happen to meet a Witch (or several) its ok to ask questions. You don’t have to wait until October (honest). Most Witches enjoy respectful conversation where two people can learn from each other. Their job is not to “recruit” you. If anything, those following a magical tradition wait for seekers to find THEM, not vice-versa. In other words, there will never be a Sunday-go-to-tent-meeting for potential converts (however casseroles are still very welcome at open circles!).
There may well be open events in your area where you can go to learn more. Pagan Pride days also offer a comfortable venue where you can meet practitioners from a variety of paths, listen to lectures and generally mix-n-mingle, finding the energy that feels right for you. This doesn’t mean you’ll become a Witch. That takes a bit of soul searching and research before diving head-long into that magical pool. However, what you come away with from such encounters are different perspectives on what constitutes spirituality in the modern day world.
Halloween? Yes I am a Witch, and I’ll take a treat please!