Being a Witch


1. I used to have terrible nightmares while growing up. I’m almost sure some of the bad dreams were fueled by the fact that I saw death (really ugly death) when I was still too young. Before bed, my grandma used to brush me from head to toe with a hand-broom made of sage, fern, rosemary, skullcap and lavender to sweep the nightmares away and invite calm sleep.

2.  My mother used to cry a lot when I was little. I never knew why; not then. I couldn’t understand why she would sob and sob when she heard certain love songs. I thought the songs were pretty. She didn’t mind crying in front of her children—we were used to it—but if anyone was coming over to visit, she would fill a glass with water, sprinkle a bit of salt in it, and set it under her bed as an offering to water spirits. She would ask them to quench their thirst with saltwater, and to keep her from humiliating herself in front of company.

3. During harvest season, we used to sing and dance to thank the fields for the crops. The first meal (especially if we were harvesting rice) was cooked under the sky, and the first serving went to the soil. Whenever my grandma or any other adult opened a bottle of wine or rum, some of it was spilled on the ground for the thirsty souls who no longer walked our land in the flesh.

The first three paragraphs might seem to have sprouted out of nowhere, but I have a point. I needed them in order to point out that to me Witchcraft is not a religion; it is a word that describes many of the things I’ve done ever since I can remember. I could call myself something else (an earthy woman?) or choose not to label myself at all. But language needs specific symbols in order to be effective. And I’ve learned that the clearest the codes, the more enjoyable (and intelligible) the conversations.

Also, I embrace the label Witch, because as such, I can choose to believe in gods (or not). I dance to revere the moon, to celebrate the sun, to send healing energies to the old sick fellow who lives down the street… I do this without having to kneel in front of anyone or anything to beg for miracles. As a Witch, I own my failures and successes. I refused to be ashamed of my human urges. I thank the glorious energy that creates all living things, and I understand that my flesh is not more special than wood, water, stone

I’m suspicious of those who count their witchery by degrees, and who must list all of their witchy relatives before sharing a spell or their own name. Magic is something that flows through my blood, not because someone gave it to me—like the eye-crinkling smile I got from my dad or the curls from my grandmother—but because I welcome it into my life and feed it bits of my own spirit. Like Debora Geary said when asked if she was a Witch, “I delight in the possibility of magic that exists in all of us.”

I love living in witchery… rejoice dancing in magic circles with Wiccan friends… take pride in discussing the philosophy and psychology of religion with other scholars… and I’m happiest when doing all of the former with anyone who loves celebrating the wicked good things in life, while focusing on the bits that make our Earth Mother precious.

Being a Witch is not about doing spells or rituals; it is about living each second of each day in magic.
 Magic just is.
Being a Witch is just Being.
3 is a magical number, so here is a 3rd line ;-)

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66 comments:

  1. All I can say is, I LOVE this post!

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    1. LOVE is a HUGE word, so I'm very glad you do ;-)

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  2. such simple and beautiful description of "being a witch". love it!

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    1. Simplicity has a magical way to explain really complex things. I love it, too ;-)

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  3. I love this post. LOVE it.
    xx

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  4. Above all else, witches are connected -- to themselves, to nature, to the divine, to life! That's the only qualification, I think.

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    1. I truly love how you can always make a good thing even better, my dear Debra ;-)

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  5. Anonymous1/08/2013

    Great post!
    CLM

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    1. Thanks very much, and thanks for stopping by ;-)

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  6. This is a beautiful, straight from the heart affirmation of your way of living...may blessings follow your every step my precious Magaly :D XXX

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    1. You know, when I wrote this I didn't think of a label/name for it, but you are right, "affirmation of [my] way of living" it is ;-)

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  7. So wise, so wild, so wonderful....Ms.Magaly, Witch. My grandmother would "do things" and the others in the family said she was superstitious.....but I always knew she just knew what she was doing was being who she was. I am her granddaughter and I am so glad. May have taken me awhile to get to the essence of it but I am proud. Oma Linda

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    1. Some call it superstition, we call it living and beating with Nature; the same thing, we just 'see' it differently, right? I'm proud you are proud ;-0

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  8. How long ago was all of that lost from my Celtic ancestors? Not so long that it doesn't ring true in my soul. All women need to embrace their connection to earth and heaven the way you do, Magaly. Thanks so much for this post.

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    1. And that is what makes the world such a wonderful place, if we take the time to look within, really deep within, we will see that we are all the same. Or at least we all have the possibility of being the same. If we choose ;-)

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  9. great post Magaly. that witchy power is in everything, all of us. loving and respecting the earth, recognizing the powers that be. maybe I'm a witch after all though I don't do spells, don't try to manipulate the energy. I just try to expect that my needs will be met and be thankful for all the things that come into my life.

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    1. Ellen, you are one of the witchiest people I know. I love that you are always honest with yourself and others, care about the environment, adore animals, and are always teaching and learning; that's what witchery is all about ;-)

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  10. This is my favorite post today....made me smile and feel like a woman of the earth....connected and whole :)

    Thank you!

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    1. I just did a little dance, you know how I love to see you smile. And if that makes you feel like a "woman of the earth... connected and whole," well, you have given a HUGE gift ;-)

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  11. Every breathe a hymn, every step a dance.

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    1. Life is fuller when we dance the seasons and sing the days, isn't it? ;-)

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  12. This is a beautiful post. Speaking to me, and I'm sure many others, on so many different levels. This is the explanation, the description, the definition of what being a Witch means to me. You put it so elegantly that I might be a bit envious, okay maybe more than a bit, of your writing talent. Thank you for sharing these words with us.

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    1. No need to be envious, for we can share it. And when we share it, it becomes stronger and truer ;-)

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  13. This is the most beautiful posting I have read. I just love it and think its a great explanation. I am so glad you posted this. :)

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    1. You've made me smile, Stevie. I'm happy you like it so much, and this is a last minute post, which I'm very happy to have published on impulse ;-)

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  14. It is strange, the mix of emotions I feel reading what you wrote. Curiosity, awe, sadness, cynicism, jealousy..?
    I have lots of nightmares, always had. No-one ever said or says anything about it. My mom never paid them any mind, Cinnamon man tells me not to talk about them (since that always makes me even more upset), my therapists just nod and move on (no psychotherapy anywhere to be seen these days).
    My mother crying, or anyone crying for that matter, was a disaster when I grew up. Crying is nothing you do in front of other people apparently. Except I cry every day, and yesterday in my store, a young woman told me her horribly painful story and cried several times, in front of me, a total stranger.
    And that last paragraph, it's all just so alien to me. Things you see in movies or read in books. My mom might have harvested some sage from our garden at some point, but only to season the meat. I can actually see my folks shaking their heads, and hear them clear their throats to change the subject, as I read what you wrote :)
    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Your response puts a bit of tightness in my heart. Not all the feelings, for we all have been in their jaws... but the idea of not having someone who would truly listen and KNOW where one is coming from, well, that is tough. I haven't always have a family member willing to listen, taking the time to understand, but there has always been SOMEONE there. I guess that every now and then, the first person who needs to listen to our issues is the one in the mirror. And then go from there.

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    2. Yes, it's been a struggle, but I'm getting help now. And Cinnamon man almost always listens, he just doesn't like seeing me so upset.

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    3. I'm glad you are getting help! And I totally understand Cinnamon Man, it's difficult to see the ones you love hurting ;-(

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  15. Every time I read something you have written, I come away from it changed. Some times just a nuance, other times my thinking is irrevocably altered. But always you create a catalyst.

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    1. You honor me, Eliora. And you always encourage me to want to write faster and exactly what is in my mind. Thank you ;-)

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  16. Replies
    1. Glad you do. I enjoyed writing it. It was freeing and warming ;-)

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  17. Anonymous1/08/2013

    Beautiful!!!

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  18. I love you. That is all :)

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    1. And I adore you, right back. You know that ;-)

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  19. Maybe I've said this before, but... You're awesome. Thanks for putting words to my feelings.

    :)

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    1. The most wonderful part of writing something persona, and which makes one vulnerable in front of others, is to find out that there are others who feel just the same. Everything is better in good company ;-)

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  20. This is a beautiful -- and magical -- post.

    I love it!

    Thank you.

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    1. I'm happy you felt the magic in the words. They felt great coming out of my heart ;-)

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  21. That was written lovely Magaly. I find happenings of my childhood affected to that I am a witch also. I used to see fairies and elves all around me. There was a time I tried to hide that part of myself and try to behave like all others. Gladly I grew away from it and now celebrate what I am. Actually in finnish world "witch" is translated "noita". Biggest difference here is that "noita" also meant "shaman" or a "wise man or a woman". We had long line of shamans here. These days old knowledge is being pushed away. I hope I can make the situation better with my own actions. Blessings Niina

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    1. Every time we claim a bit of the old ways, we give life to that which modernity seems to have been trying to put to sleep. I hope you find a situation that works great for you ;-)

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  22. To live and walk in truth and creativity is a true blessing. I used to beg for miracles and then I realized He heard me the first time. We now just have conversations...honest and free!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. And that, SueAnn, is one of the reasons why I admire you. For finding that comfortable spot where you and He can speak to each other's heart in truth and love, without need to be told how to do this and that ;-)

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  23. This was incredible and beautiful, as are you, Magaly. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. :)

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    1. You are too sweet, Hex. Thanks for such wonderful words ;-)

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  24. Love it! I never did understand the degrees either. "I'm a first-degree witch." And all I can think is, "according to who?" It's not like there's a church that we all subscribe to. Or even one book, or witch or anything. It's all personal, so let's all just agree to do our own thing and see how relaxed the entire planet would get.

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    1. According to their witch bible, of course? Haven't you heard of it? I'm sure you have, for it has been in their families since before The Big Bang ;-)

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  25. Let's face it ~ your beliefs and lifestyle (the ones you were raised with and continued on with) are as old as history itself and as natural as the dirt under our feet and the air in our lungs. This degree stuff that's popped up over the past is nothing more than trying to fit that natural belief into a religious box. How I wish I could have grown up with similar influences but sadly each time I expressed those type of delights as a child I was scolded for displaying satanic behaviour. It's wonderful to know that some were fortunate enough to have grown up with these memories and habits being a natural part of life because that's how they feel; natural. Thanks so much for sharing!
    ♥Sharon

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    1. We all have one of two people who feel the need to speak of evils and damnation at the sight of something that is natural and blissful, but what can one do? Just continue living and hoping that one day they will, too ;-)

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  26. As always, your words fill my mind with profound elegance, and my soul with purity of truth. I love the way you have expressed your life of natural earthly love, and cannot agree more that, "Being a Witch is not about doing spells or rituals; it is about living each second of each day in magic." You are so right, everyday is meant to be lived to the fullest, to see the exceptional in the mundane, to live honestly. Thank you so much for making my heart soar with possibilities and burst with pride. Warmest hugs and love to you, my beautiful wicked witch. Mina

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    1. The idea of making your "heart soar with possibilities and burst with pride" will keep me smiling for days, Mina luv ;-)

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  27. What a beautiful post and just what I needed to read right now!!! Thank you so much Magaly!! Many Blessings!!

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    1. I am so glad you could stop by and find exactly what you needed. As a writer and as a Witch, nothing makes me happier than to know that my feelings and words can make someone else's day wonderful ;-)

      Blessings right back at you.

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  28. "Every time we claim a bit of the old ways, we give life to that which modernity seems to have been trying to put to sleep." Your daily observations and writings never cease to inspire me. I raise my glass to you and Magic. Here's to the Earth-Woman, the Witch. Here's to dancing in circles with abandon, and allowing ourselves to Just Be.

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    1. To "allowing ourselves to Just Be"! Cheers ;-)

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  29. Beautiful! You've touched my heart in this post, my friend ;o) Love this post!!
    (Thanks for noticing the change in my art! 2013 is really a year of change and inspiration for me! I don't know where it is coming from, but I am accepting all this great energy!)

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    1. Touching your heart makes me smile and leaves my words coated with sweetness, Stacy Luv. And I'm pretty sure everyone is noticing (or at least feeling) the change in your art, my dear friend. It is alive and you are feeding it something that can't be ignored ;-)

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  30. Well stated and I wholeheartedly agree!

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    1. So glad you do. If feels good to share something this personal and find so many who feel exactly the same. I love my individuality, but rejoice at the knowledge that many individuals are just like me, too ;-)

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  31. What do you know about the Book of Shadows? My friend showed me his app he created. I know Wiccans often refer to this as a common book they read. Check it out and let me know what you think?

    Thanks.

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    1. The Book of Shadows is not a "common book" Wiccans read. It is a personal (sometimes shared within families and covens) where things like spells, lore, rites of passage... are recorded. I don't do this kind of cyber-witching, so I'm interested in the app. Thanks for the suggestion ;-)

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  32. Yes! Hear, hear! Cheers! This! Excuse my while I do a dance to add energy to this post!!!! <3!

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    1. I can read it charging and growing stronger with your energetic moves lol

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