Witchcraft has many interpretations depending on whom you talk too or what you read. I am not saying that these people are wrong in their beliefs, but what I am saying is they seem to really overlook common sense and follow others beliefs without thinking for themselves. They wind up being the sheep they say they are not.
Many will tell you that Witchcraft and Wicca is the same thing. It is not the same thing. Many people claim that Wicca is an old-world belief. Wicca is fairly new as a religion. Or should I say as compared to what truly is the old-world witchcraft. So, to put this logically: not all witches are Wiccan and not all Wiccans are witches. Witches can from all walks of life and many different belief systems. In my opinion, what would be considered old world is what has been handed down from generation to generation. I know someone who has traced her hereditary witchcraft back as far as 500 years. That is old-world.
Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner (1884 – 1964) in Britain. After the Witchcraft Act of 1951, Gardner was also able to discuss the tradition more openly, resulting in two classic books, “Witchcraft Today” (1954) and “The Meaning of Witchcraft” (1959), which inspired the growth and development of many traditions of modern witchcraft and Wicca throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. “Witchcraft Today” also supported the theories of anthropologist Margaret Murray who claimed that modern witchcraft is the surviving remnant of an organized Pagan religion that had existed before the witch hunts and trials of the Early Modern Period. The book was an immediate success on its release and new covens practicing its dictates sprang up all over England: the Gardnerian tradition had been born. (Famous Witches – Gerald Gardner (1884 – 1964), n.d.)
Just like my belief is made up of very old beliefs, I do not argue the point that Wicca is made of from different beliefs dating way back in years, but to call Wicca an old-world belief is just wrong. Most beliefs date back hundreds of years. Some further than others, so I guess you could say most beliefs come from the old-world. People may think I am trying to disrespect Wicca, which is just not true. Just like I said before, it is about common sense and knowing about history, which many people just refuse to research. This is why we have so many cults. People just believe what is given to them without finding out its validity. You have got to research history! As history has shown us, we are doomed to repeat it.
So, what is Witchcraft? Witchcraft is a science, an art, and a philosophy. It is a craft that any religion, belief, and/or philosophy can practice. There are Wiccan Witches, Christian Witches (this one really confuses me), Celtic Witches, Satanic Witches, and a large variety, too many to attempt to name. Of course, there are many who believe it to be a religion, in my opinion that is false. But that is ok if that is what they choose to believe. Everyone has the right to believe as they choose. Each of the above groups are called a “Tradition”. Each tradition defines what they believe. Some are mono theistic (1 god), some are duo theistic (2 gods, 1 male and 1 female), and some are polytheistic (many gods). Some of these gods are Norse gods, some are Greek gods, some are Egyptian gods, some are even a mixture, and the list goes on and on.
Witches can go by many names such as shaman, magi (yes, those wise men from the bible…also, magi are defined as magicians), sages, mystics, priest, priestess, and magic-makers. They are skilled in knowledge of the earth, nature, the stars, healing, seasons, and etc. These people throughout history have been inventors, skilled in language, metallurgy, law, writing, and the arts. They were the spiritual leaders of the tribes, the councilors, peacemakers, and judges. They were knowledgeable about the seasons and agriculture. They played many roles in a tribe or civilization and helped the people to evolve. The advancement of science was due to magicians or witches because of their knowledge and study of all things natural. Quick note, when I talk about magicians I am not referring to entertainment magicians. That type of magic is based on sleight of hand and drawing your attention away from what is really happening.
Witches are not the evil they have been personified over the years. Many religions, such as Christian, Muslim, and Judaism have corrupted the meaning of a witch. The leaders want you to think they are evil. If they can generate enough fear then they can control the way people think. These leaders want to rule over you just as if they were some sort of king. It is nothing more than just a form of brainwashing. In my opinion, these people (followers) have learned it is easier to let someone else think for them than to exert any kind of effort to find any truth.
All this being said witches are skilled in rituals that scan a wide variety of issues. This is just like you would find in any other religions (such as Christian). The meditations and visualization can be compared to what most would call prayer. So, without trying to sound arrogant, a witch has the knowledge to tap into many natural and ethereal energies available to all people, but the witch has just chosen to use these energies instead of letting them be wasted. Any and all people can learn to use witchcraft but because of the stigmatism society has chosen to place upon witches, people are afraid to reach out and utilize their own potential and the energies this universe has to offer.
Many people, witches included, like to add some sort of color to their belief/practice, like White Witch, Black Witch, Grey Witch, and sometimes a Green Witch. Witchcraft has no color associated with it. Witchcraft is all about intent. A witch can do good or do harm. They do not need a color associated with who they happen to be. I know some individuals who call themselves White Witches, but have some really harmful practices. I also know some who call themselves Black Witches, but they have some positive practices. Then the Grey Witches say they like to teeter between good and bad. A witch is a witch with no color. Each has the ability to use their intent for the purpose of good or for bad.
Let’s discuss good and bad. How do you define them? You and I apply for the same job because we both need it. You get the job then you think it is good and I think it is bad. Or, I get the job I think it is good and you think it is bad. It is just a perspective. As one of my mentors used to say, “To a cat lover the cat is delightful, but to a mouse a cat is evil.” So, what is the cat good or evil. Again, it is nothing more than a personal perspective.
In conclusion, witchcraft to me is not my belief, but it is part of my belief. You ask, “Why I do it?” I practice witchcraft to be able to tap into resources and energies in order to make positive changes in my life and the lives of people around me. I hope to make this a better world for all to live in and experience. I want to be an example to others that they can choose to worship in a way that best suits them and not be forced into following any faith blindly or out of fear of damnation. This is what the freedom of religion is all about and so many forget what and how to use their freedoms.