Monday, February 6, 2012

What I Am/What I Do

It would be my preference to just say that I'm a witch without wrangling about definitions, cultural contexts and etymology.  But these days that begs more explanation because there are such vastly different practices being labeled as witchcraft, which is often correct in my view, but still different from 'my' witchcraft and not helpful in giving a perspective on what I do.  I don't care too much about those labels as I'm more interested in what a person's actually doing, but labels properly applied do help give an inkling to what a person does in their work so here goes.

I'm not Wiccan or wiccan, just to get that out of the way.  I'm not an initiate of a specific tradition, so many would not consider me a traditional witch either.  Due to some flubs and a particularly virulent infection of fundamentalism that ran rampant in my family for a few decades, I missed out on the initiation into the tradition of my ancestors and the last initiated member died without passing on her words and knowledge when I was a pre-teen.  This does make me sad and irritated if I dwell on it too much, but I truck on and know that there are others, I've managed to find a few. :)  As Chumbley and many others have said, "Nothing about the arte is ever truly lost."

Eclectic, in it's most literal definition, might be a proper term for my witchcraft, but I shy away from it because of the way I've seen it used.  In my search for the roots of my family's tradition, I've studied many texts and traditions and found a surprising number of similarities.  Experimenting with the methods of other traditions that have been made available to non-initiates and making contact with some of the forces they invoke has taught me a lot and furthered progress on my path.  (On a related note, I have to wonder if those who say you can't learn anything from books have ever read any.)  However, just because I have engaged some of the technique's of other traditions to further me in my personal work, doesn't mean that I go about calling myself a "Voudon/Palo/Santera/ONA/Feri/Bhuddist/Wiccan/N.A. Shaman/Satanist"! Certainly not, and having seen this quite a bit is why I cringe a little at the term eclectic.

What I do (that I talk about publicly): I venerate and commune with my ancestors.  I tend graves.  I engage the spirits of the land I was born and raised on, the genius loci, the haints, etc.  I use my native Ozark Mountain Magic (hoodoo style) for blessing and bane.  I wildcraft and grow herbs for crafting and food.  I create art for magical purposes that's infused with specific types of energy.  Much more could be said, but this pretty well sums it up. These are things I've done all my life, but with the specific "witchcraft" labeling and focus for the last 10 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment