Witch, Wiccan – Tomato, Potato

When a new friend said to me, “I didn’t know you were Wiccan.” I responded that I was not. She gave me a puzzled look and added, “But you just said you were a Witch.”

I smiled, asked her to sit by me, and started a conversation that ended with, “Witch, Wiccan—tomato, potato.” The middle was filled with something that resembled the following list:
1. I am a Witch.
2. I revere Nature and all her creatures.
3. Magic is wild energy that can be twisted and changed.
4. To me, deities are different aspects of Nature.
5. Magic is as benevolent or evil as its intent and outcome.
6. Good invites better and bad summons destruction.
7. Spells are prayers with a flair that makes flesh dance and soul sing.
8. My pentacle is fire, water, earth, air, and spirit dancing together in the circle of life.
9. Darkness is as beautiful, powerful and necessary as light.
10. In my life, sex is physical and spiritual magic.
11. Evil is manmade and man-fed.
12. Spirituality is the garb of the soul.
13. Words have power.

My friend was quiet for a while, and then asked, “What do Wiccans believe?”

It was my turn to stay quiet for a while. I explained that I could tell her what I thought Wiccans believed, but that it wouldn’t be true. A couple of weeks later, I asked my dear friend Robin, from Wiccan Writes, for some help. Here is her answer:

“I am happy to have been asked by Magaly to collaborate on this post. I am a solitary practitioner of Wicca. This list reflects my personal path. Other Wiccans may have different views. I consider myself Wiccan and Witch; for me they are one in the same.
1. Honor both God and Goddess.
2. Adherence to the Wiccan Rede: (to paraphrase) Spellwork, rituals and other activities must Harm None; therefore do what you believe in.
3. Three-Fold Law of Return: Good begets good (three times over) and Bad begets bad (three times over).
4. In rituals/spell work, I use Witch’s tools: wand, besom (broom), cauldron, stones, candles, herbs, incense, altar and more.
5. The Moon and the Sun are symbolic as they represent Goddess and God, respectively.
6. Phases of the Moon are vital to my Path.
7. Celebrating the turning of the Wheel of the Year and 8 respective sabbats (holidays).
8. Natural magick (directing Nature’s energies to effect a change).
9. The Unseen World. There are energies and spirits that may not exist on the human level, but may still be seen, accessed and interacted with by the use of meditation, divination and other methods.
10. Stewardship of our planet and the higher love felt for Mother Earth is a guiding force in my practice.
11. The pentagram is a sacred symbol, the points representing the Four Elements necessary for life and magick: Earth, Air, Fire, Water with the fifth point representing Spirit.
12. Positive and negative energies influence every aspect of life. I walk on the so-called right hand path, the Light path focusing on positive Work. I do not practice Magick centering around revenge, hatred, violence or manipulation.
13. Wicca is an evolving pagan religion, just as Nature evolves, neither is static; there is always something new to explore even as one keeps Old Ways alive.”

I will email this post to my friend, and I will point out that the right question is not what Witches believe or what Wiccans believe, but what guides the spiritual life of each person. So, a Wiccan can be Witch, a Witch can be Wiccan, Robin is both, I am a wild Witch. We, and most Witches and Wiccans, are Nature-loving people who take pride and pleasure in finding ourselves within the Divine.

In case some of you are wondering why I asked Robin and not someone else, let me share my reasons: she is sweet, real and in my heart’s ears, her words ring true and loud with a ritualistic element that I’ve always associated with Scott Cunningham and Wicca. I know all Wiccan Witches aren’t like Robin, but my witchy senses brought her to mind and I trust my wits.  

In an oyster shell—I’m not feeling like a nut today—even if many Nature loving people are similar enough to claim one or three items from the lists above, what brings magic to our world is the fact that most of us enjoy being individuals. And together, we are as eclectic, enchanting and divine as the colors of a dancing rainbow.

Go on, my Wicked Darling Luvs, won’t you add an item or three to our lists? And do visit Wiccan Writes to read Robin’s insightful commentary on this post.
Borrowed from ChrysalisWoman 


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59 comments:

  1. You are too sweet for words, you darling Wild Witch. I loved doing this with you. Can't wait to see what other wicked darlings think!!

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    1. Wasn't it fun? And necessary, too, for I doubt I would ever be able to describe your path the way you do. I don't think anyone can.

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  2. As an animist formerly-known-as Wiccan, I am curious to see what other wicked darlings have to add. What a fabulous idea for a post & what a wonderful way to highlight the commonalities & diversity of the community. You are the awesome, did I tell you that lately? ;)

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    1. Not lately, but I think I read it coming ;-) you are too sweet.

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  3. Actually I think that Robin (Its so weird typing my own name) made an excellent list. If I was asked I'd have just stated I'm a witch who also believes in the Wiccan rede. Most witches are so similar its hard to draw the line in the sand to show the difference.

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    1. I know what you mean about typing your own name. There was a girl named Magaly in school (she spelled her name with an 'i') and my goodness it was weird to say it.

      I think you are right, most Witches are similar, our hearts is what makes us wicked interesting ;-)

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  4. This is why I chose my own ttitle. I used to consider myself Wiccan, but there are aspects of Wicca I don't agree with, and parts of other Pagan paths I do. I suppose I'd be classed as an Eclectic Pagan; taking bits from various different Pagan paths, and sticking them together as I feel is right. But I call myself a "Nature Witch" because it feels like the right name for me. And here's what I believe (in no particular order):

    1. My pentacle represents the 5 elements; Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.

    2. Nature should be honoured and respected.

    3. That which people call Gods and/or Goddesses are the spirits of nature and natural beings (animals, trees, plants, etc).

    4. Words have power, especially with intent behind them.

    5. I am a witch.

    6. Magic is manipulation of the energies around us.

    7. The three-fold law; in short, what you send out, comes back, times three.

    8. The turning of the wheel of the year should be celebrated (see #2).

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    1. Right with you in the bit about gods and goddesses. Many people don't understand when I try to explain the concept, hm, I think I should work on posts about the differences and commonalities between spiritual, religious and theist, too.

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  5. Oow I like Toriz's "Eclectic Pagan" title :D I couldn't think of anything to add to your lists other than, I am someone who is prepared to get my hands dirty...be it tending the earth, or in spiritual matters. Guided always by the Wiccan rede...do as you will, but harm none :D You can get a surprising amount done by asking life to make others aware of their own failings, without actually raising a hand to them in anger :D XXX

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    1. Dirt is so pretty, rich and organic, who wouldn't want to get her fingers in it?

      And, as usual, you are right my dear Gina. Most issues in life can take care of themselves if we do just like a mirror and reflect ;-)

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  6. I also cannot add anything to either your list, Magaly, nor Robin's. I am a combination, eclectic witch/Wiccan. I have combined my Native American Heritage, my Irish heritage, my love of nature, even bits of being raised Catholic as a child to blend together my idea of an Eclectic Wiccan. I do love "Nature Witch" that Toriz calls herself...perfect! This is why I am a Solitary Wiccan...I don't follow everything to the letter in any part of what I want I believe in~~~

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    1. I believe in freedom of flesh and spirit. And, like you, I like to collect beliefs. If they work for me and my heart, I use them; if they don't, I don't. And Jesus, his teachings and not the perversion certain groups have invented, will always have an important part in my life, too.

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    2. Magaly... this is exactly how I feel. My husband is a practicing Christian. We go to church with our children on most Sundays. I am at peace with this despite being a Pagan soul; I've always been an advocate of the "all paths lead to the same mountain" thought. I was comfortably Christian for a few years in my tween, pre-teen years, therefore Jesus and His teaching will always play an important part of my very eclectic spirituality too.

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    3. Amén! Jesus and I have always understood each other. When I was young, I cried a lot for him because I din't understand why he had to stay forever nailed to a cross. Then I learned I, in my own way, could let him down. Well, before that I physically too him down and got banned from a church, but that's another story.

      Winter, I wrote a post titled Jesus Would Do Outreach, which will tell you exactly how I feel about this issue: here is the link if get the time: http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2009/05/jesus-would-do-outreach.html

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    4. I will check that link out... thanks! :-)

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  7. This is wonderful. I have to agree with Toriz about the Gods/Goddesses. Personally I think that may be the biggest difference in the two paths. While Witches have differences of beliefs in gods and goddesses and some do not believe in them at all, Wiccans believe in a goddess and a god - and the necessary balance of both. In my own path I do recognize the energy some refer to as god/goddess, but like Toriz I associate it with spirits of nature and other spirit entities that do not have human traits.

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    1. I love our similarities and differences, I think they make us a wonderful bunch. For instance, I give everything human traits (I'm the queen of personifications) but I do believe the Divine is spiritual energy that takes the shape(s) of our perspective and expectations.

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  8. Wow, it's like I have deja vue this morning. Must be Monday. Seriously, great co-post, Magaly and Robin!

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    1. Mmm, don't you just love that Matrix-kind of feeling ;-) Gracias!

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  9. Agreed! Great co-post and great comments! I had to bookmark this because there is so much I want to take in.

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    1. Yay! So glad you like it and can take from it. This is what Pagan Culture is all about, sharing and learning with and from each other ;-)

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  10. This might be interesting: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&u=www.archive.silvercircle.org/2004_winter_heks_of_wicca.htm (it's originally in Dutch, so the English may be a bit strange).

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    1. I've read this before, and I think people put too much effort in believing the world can be described under one label. It is just impossible. Every person shines with his or her own light, even if together we look like a huge bonfire. We can't be boxed and we shouldn't--the world would be too boring and kind of lame.

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  11. I love what the two of you have done. It needed to be done and who better than you two. Magaly your description of Robin is so on target and her take of you is spot on....very astute ladies. Love you both to pieces. Oma Linda

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    1. As we adore you, my Oma. I was quite taken by the way Robin described me, I didn't know she knew me so well *sniff, sniff*

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  12. I loved both your and Robin's list though I sort of felt more attracted (if that's the right word, sorry bout my english) to yours. Maybe because it's shorter, of a free nature and with less "rules" to stick to. Plus I don't like to divide Nature into male and female aspects since there are crossovers everywhere. As for someone who has stayed away from the matter for quite a while, reading this brought back really good but also preferably forgotten memories. Haha, and I guess the fact that you chose to mention 13 things isn't a coincidence, is it?
    I had to link your blog after this amazing post, hope you don't mind.

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    1. We are Witches, we know there aren't such things as coincidence or fire-safe bell-shaped sleeves ritual robes ;-)

      Link on, my friend!

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  13. I think between you and Robin, almost everything was covered. I've heard there's no way to fully live the wiccan rede, but I think you can just try to be the best you can be.

    I also believe in reincarnation. Tried explaining that to CW this weekend, I suggested that perhaps he was on the Titanic in a previous life and that's why he's obsessed with it...but he kept saying, "but I wasn't born then!" lol

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    1. CW is very wise lol.

      I think you hit the nail on the head (clechés need face-time, too) we can only try to be the best we can be. The Wiccan Rede is indeed difficult to live by if one takes it literally, but I'm sure everybody understands that it is very difficult not to harm none.

      I always go back to Twain's parable about the church that prays for their children to be victorious at war, we both know were this is going, for if one side aims true, the other will be dead.

      A simpler one, a couple is getting married and they pray for no rain, down the street from them a farmer knows she'll lose all her crops if it doesn't rain today, who should get their wish?

      Life is very complicated for absolutes, so like you said, we "can just try to be the best [we] can be."

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    2. That was so well written...you could write a book of essays.

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    3. Hm... I wonder, wonder, wonder...

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  14. This was very informative, I found this absolutely outstanding!

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    1. Glad you liked it, Lon. Welcome to Pagan Culture, I've been enjoying your cyber home, too ;-)

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  15. I have always been so drawn to Paganism and Nature Devotion....but don't feel confident or brave enough to own up to a life completely immersed in it. I return from our Summer vacations camping and hiking the forests, energized and refreshed...and know that it is not because I've napped for 4 weeks straight...
    It is the trees and the air, the animals that allow us to see them and the cool creek that flows to the ocean that fill up my very soul.

    I hope someday to find a path I will feel worthy of pursuing...and openly and honestly declare my participation :)

    You are the perfect inspiration and am in awe of your strength and self-love :)

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    1. Self-love! You have my house bugged, don't you? Where's the cam... oh! you meant "self-love" just kidding, couldn't help myself ;-)

      I think you are already very close to Nature. Things and people don't have to be named or classed to be what they already are. It sounds to me like Nature speaks to you. From seeing your art, the way you speak about your family, I already see the Divine in you. Also, you are always welcome in this eclectic circle, we know your colors already ;-)

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    2. I was wondering if that would pop in your mind first....hehe!

      Thank you for the open arms....I do believe I will one day unlock all the stuff waiting in my heart..
      Having your support is just wonderful, though! Thank you ;)

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    3. This sexually-charged witchy mind is a bit predictable *sigh*

      Arms wide opened indeed, to receive you just as you are ;-)

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  16. Wonderful collaborative post between you and Robin! Love it! To me, we all fit under the umbrella of Paganism (simply put, we are all unified and connected despite our chosen "titles" and attempts at labeling and diversity - and this can include Christo-pagans, etc). We are those who choose to listen to our inner instincts and rational thought patterns; to reclaim our innate connections to nature - that cannot be severed; and to consciously seek balance (the yin and yang, positive and negative) in the way we live every moment of every day.

    I am inclined toward Witchcraft rather than Wicca for many reasons I won't go into. That is not to say that Wiccans are discredited in my view. Ultimately, regardless of our self-proclaimed titles or divisions, we all seek that "bond and belonging" that is already there - the balance and kinship with one another, with ourselves and within ALL that is around us.

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    1. We are all, already, "Pagan by Design". ;)

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    2. Witchy by choice, my Wicked Luv!

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  17. I love this post with you and Robin! It's very special! For myself, I am a witch ;o) I can't really add anything to either of your lists. I go with what my heart tells me. I love mother earth and respect her. I try to do good always and love my stones ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. And your stones and your crows love you right back. That is the reason why they smile to you ;-)

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  18. I forgot to say, because I was brought up Greek Catholic, Saint Anthony, is my favorite Saint and will always be with me. It's funny, as you know, my mom is a Buddhist and she won't give up Saint Anthony either. Maybe we are lost a lot or lose things a lot? LOL!

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    1. I'm quite fond of some of Jesus' teachings, so I totally get it.

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  19. I was glad to see the cross-over in both your and Robin's lists as I view myself as a bit of a pick'n'mix - a solitary eclectic wiccan/witch with a Catholic background and a Pisces flowing nature ;).

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  20. Great post! I don’t really have anything to add to the list but I’ll share my thoughts.

    I’m eclectic Wiccan/Pagan and I also believe that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience. So after this ride is over, I’m getting back on line again. One thing I’ve learned is that there is no clear-cut black and white but many shades of gray.

    For example, the balance of male and female – most people readily accept that this indicates gender, which of course it does. But it’s more than that. You can have balance of the male and female energies when the respective biological genders differ. A man can have a feminine polarity and his wife can have a masculine polarity. I see it all the time, even in same sex couples and it’s wonderful to see that balance in action regardless of the biological gender the person was born with.

    Somehow, we’ve lost our connection to Nature and now stand separate from Her. This is why it’s important to be aware when Animal Spirit Guides/Totems make themselves known to us and offer us guidance. I think this is awesome! What a great way to tune into Nature and enjoy even for the briefest of moments a symbiotic relationship.

    As a wiccan/pagan I stand by the Harm None/Three-fold Law and as a Witch I believe that not only should we live in harmony with others but should also be able to protect/defend ourselves and those we love. And to do this effectively sometimes it is necessary to return a hex back to its not-so-kind sender.

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    1. Like my grandma used to say, be like a mirror and reflect. I believe in that. Always.

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  21. I don't like being referred as being part of a group. I'm basically a loner and have my thoughts about the magical/spiritual field. During the last 20 years I've seen the growth of Wicca in Europe, too, and they have become a synonim of "witch".

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    1. I feel you. I value my independence. I like people a whole lot, but I like my own company, too. I prefer to choose, and when people take who they think I am and jam the concept into a tiny little box, it doesn't go well with me. I am me. I am Witch. But that doesn't mean that I am the same "me" as other mes or the same "Witch" as every Witch. We all deserve the right to define ourselves.

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    2. P.S. I've been working on my 13 Goddess in 13 Weeks MEGA post! (I figured that if I was going to be late, I was going to be really late *sigh*) anyhoo, I'm very proud of it. Will share it soon; can't hardly wait ;-)

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  22. When I tell people I'm Pagan, they always confuse it with Wiccan. I think for some people, Pagan is still a dirty world and most people don't want to see someone they know and like in a bad light. The best way I've ever heard it explained (and I say this too) is that all Wiccans are Pagans, but not every Pagan is Wiccan. Just like every Catholic is indeed Christian but not every Christian is a Catholic... I can't remember who told me that, but it was probably someone in the coven I used to work with..

    I don't think there is anything I can add to either list. They are both wonderfully written. I am a big believer in Balance though and that Darkness is as equally important as Light. Sometimes in order to reach the Light, you have to plunge fully into Darkness...

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  23. "Darkness is as equally important as Light. Sometimes in order to reach the Light, you have to plunge fully into Darkness..." wise woman ;-)

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  24. I sincerely love this post. I am not Wiccan either and I agree that Robin was a beautiful choice for this message. Robin is a loving, kind-hearted soul who always speaks truth and wisdom.

    I am so impressed in the way that both you and Robin are able to articulate what it means to you to be a witch. I always tell myself that one day I will sit down and search into my soul for my own words but I never have. I know that sounds strange that I can feel so deeply committed to a path that I have never "defined" in words but my heart always hears the call of soul, of nature and of truth as I know it to be. Still, I would love to have it written. Until I do, may I say that I could easily agree with each of your own and would love to borrow them to carry within.

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    1. You already have those values, and so much more, within you. But by all means, borrow them, my dear Mina. With you, they will grow and multiply ;-)

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  25. I love this! I'm not a Wiccan but I do know a lot of Wiccans. I wish more people cared about the differences, and the similarities, between wild witches, natural witches, witchy witch witches and Wiccan witches and even just plain Wiccans with no witch. It's not as cut and dried as "Oh, you said witch, that means Wiccan."

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    1. Many people say that our differences--Pagans--weaken us, but I disagree. I believe those are they make us possible and even happy, at least me. I also think that it is good to know the differences in our hearts, it helps in understanding who we really are.

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  26. I have been having fun today, following links around your blog to posts i hadn't seen before..... I have never figured out what to call myself, witch, wiccan or pagan, even aetheist somedays.... But if i had made a list without worrying about my "title" it would read very much like yours, almost exactly actually!
    -Andrea

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    1. This is really funny. I was just interviewed for Pagan Living (the Summer Issue will be out tomorrow) and one of the questions asked what I wished I knew when I began practicing Paganism, and my answer reflects the fact that I had no idea that what I did had a name lol

      I think what matters is what lives in our hearts and how we let it out.

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