When a Witch Isn’t.
Dodgerthirteen said: I was reading one of your latest asks and came across this point: “I believe a lot of people who claim to be witches are not. They live it as a lifestyle, rather than practicing it as a craft.” I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind elaborating on it or giving examples as I’m unsure as to what you meant.
Well, here’s a really great example: I knew a lady who followed a much older blog of mine. She also had a blog and would often post “Yeah! Me too!” sorts of responses to some of my meatier entries. I was intrigued that there might be a kindred spirit out there and would read about her exploits on her blog.
They consisted of things like “I am so persecuted. Someone said god bless you when I sneezed. I don’t NEED your blessing!” - “today I went to the occult store and bought XYZ” - “today I set up an altar, it looks so witchy” - “today I got a beautiful book of shadows, and a lacy shawl, it makes me feel like a real witch.” - “I re-painted my bedroom green and black today! I love being a witch!”
And what I noticed was that the stuff she got from the occult store had photos posted of it - over and over and over - but never got opened/used, only arranged for photos. The candles on her altar (that she showed photos of, over and over) never got burnt. That the book of shadows (again, pictures) never got written in.
And so I asked “What is your practice like?”
Her response would be “Well, I don’t do -spells-, I sort of just meditated a couple of times. Spells are dangerous, and gods can be dangerous.” and I’d ask how she was a witch if she did not, y’know, WITCH… “Well, I think being a witch is in your heart!”
And so I asked “What, in your heart, tells you you’re a witch?”
And her response was that she liked “witchy things” - she liked the trappings and the aesthetic that she assumed was part of it. All Amy Brown fairies and desaturated color schemes - Stevie Nicks and Lorena McKennit. For her, “Witch” was a fashion statement, and a set of trappings - the things that the trappings surrounded (like… witchcraft) were “dangerous” or “silly” - secondary considerations, mere trifles, after the “image” had been attained.
That’s what I mean when I say that a lot of people claim to be witches, but aren’t. Anyone can apply any label they like to themselves, but when it is so grossly incorrect the label becomes stretched, distorted, and eventually meaningless.
They can say they’re a Jesuit Priest because they read the bible, and wear a cassock - it doesn’t mean it’s true. They can say they’re a Viet Nam veteran because they really like the asthetic of ‘Nam era military uniforms - but that doesn’t make it true. A refusal to drop the label in the face of the truth makes the person less than honest, and in some cases downright scum (See: People claiming to be Veterans).