I Am Not An Angry Witch | Season of the Witch

“I am not an angry girl but it seems like I’ve got everyone fooled. Every time I say something they find hard to hear they chalk it up to my anger and never to their own fear.” — Ani DiFranco, Not A Pretty Girl

You cannot talk about the stories of Witchcraft without talking about anger. It bubbles up around the edges, spills over into the narrative and makes itself heard. It’s in the Witch trial records. It’s in the lore. It’s in the stories of Aradia. It’s in The Crucible. Even Endora of Bewitched isn’t free from anger. You might say righteous anger is one of the marks of a Witch.

The lore of Witchcraft speaks to the poor and oppressed. We are commanded to be free of slavery. Witchcraft is borne of an occupation mindset, just as Christianity was borne from the anger at the occupation of Jerusalem, and anger is part of it’s roots. Whether you consider this to be the anger of a feudal peasant against the authority of the nobles and the church, or the anger of post-WWII English rebelling against the morals and culture of the Industrial Age, anger is still there.

When anger is transformative, cultures can flourish, religions are born, and new horizons can dawn. Anger is not a bad thing. It is fuel, it is propulsion, it is spark. Used and expressed, anger can push us to accomplish great things. Hidden, denied and allowed to fester, anger leads to bitterness, malice and depression. Anger is a tool, and the worth of a tool is in how it is used. A Feri Witch might have insight into how to transform anger into something constructive using the Iron Pentacle exercise.

So here is a story of the anger of Witches from my own tradition. I’m putting this into my own words and hopefully have the facts mostly straight:

Back in 1975, Lady Circe of Toledo, OH, and Lady Sintana from Buffalo, NY bought a house and opened up House of Ravenwood in Atlanta. About a year after they opened up, they were arrested. Lady Circe for fortune-telling and Lady Sintana for operating a business without a license (my understandin). The officers thought this would be a quiet arrest, but they were wrong. The media was alerted and the Witches expressed their anger over being discriminated against for their religion.

Lady Circe returned to Toledo, but Lady Sintana stayed. The anger had lit a fire in her, and she stayed. She stayed and she founded a tradition which continues today. The Atlanta police began to fondly refer to the coven at the House of Ravenwood as “our Witches”. Requiring security for rituals, bullet-proof glass on the front door, rednecks with shotguns issuing threats in the middle of the night and frat-boy pranks didn’t stop her. Ravenwood tradition grew stronger and more resolved. It eventually moved from the old house in Atlanta, and grew and spread. There are Ravenwood tradition covens on both coasts and likely hundreds of initiates. At least 5 covens in North Georgia alone are descended from Lady Sintana. I’m told she originally had planned to return to New York once Lady Circe was settled in here, but instead she got angry and stayed.

I’m glad she got angry. I’m glad she stayed. Getting angry didn’t make her an angry person. An expression of or acknowledgement of anger doesn’t make someone an angry person. Because when you say “angry person” you mean “bitter person” or “malicious person.” That’s not what Witchcraft is about. A Witch does not stew in bitterness or become malicious. Bitterness and malice are for those who feel helpless, and a Witch is never helpless. A Witch is conscious of his or her own power, is aware and respectful of the power in those around her, and when moved by a just anger, knows how to channel the power of others and their own to constructive means.

That’s my story of Witchcraft for today. If you have a story you want to share, shoot me an e-mail at sfoster at patheos.com.

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Third Parties, Choices, and Our Place In Paganism (and the World)
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish!
About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    Crap. WordPress randomly cut out part of my post… grrr…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fin-McCool/1197930785 Fin McCool

    Ah yes a witchcraft legend told by some one that wasn’t there and like most stories of that tradition it is rifled with fiction and embellishments that make “and they lived happily ever after .” a plausible event. Unfortunately for the story tale teller there are some of us who were there first hand and can recast the actual event as they unfolded. Fact they were arrested and bailed out on bond. They went to court and we paid the fine. No big deal just like somebody’s kid selling lemon aid without a business licenses.11 o’clock news event on a slow news night with a few byline stories for a few young news paper reporters. More trouble than it was worth to Lady Circe who should have known better. Her being a Gypsy Romany Tradition
         .Carpet bagger Yankee witches coming down here and setting up shop down town Atlanta without so much as a how do and would it be alright to play in your back yard and set up shop. Just who do you think dime them out setting a sign in the front yard on Moreland Ave selling home made incense candles and oils. As if perchance there were no Atlanta witchcraft families already here. There was no religious persecution just somebody running a business without a license. The Law is the Law and Circe ski dallied back north and left her young student to face the music all alone. She wasn’t alone though there were other elders that were aware and students were sent in to help her. There was arrangement made to sit down with the powers that be and the guide lines were drawn believe it or not.  
        Yes the Lady Sintana was a renegade  even in her own ranks and the truth be known when this event happened she was just a first degree and her name then  was Samantha, There were many more events to follow some  very tragic that her journey through the ranks of the priestess hood  were indeed fast tracked. She practiced her craft and survived out of expediency to make a living and survive she did not out of some vendetta or anger or to put Wicca on the map. Some folks would go so far as to say she had aspirations of being a cult leader and like most second degrees that comes along  with the territory that with the power to initiate others into the craft you could theoretically build an army and declare war on the establishment all in the name of religion. All of that and with a few good marketing skills and a few best sellers under your belt, you too could be the leader of a brand new tradition.
    Well the best seller has yet to be written and that over priced work of fiction living witchcraft has yet to be exposed for the hack job it deserves to be. Funny thing about the truth sooner or later it pops its head out and says boo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fin-McCool/1197930785 Fin McCool

    Removed by moderator for violating the hospitality of this hall.

  • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

    Apparently you are unaware of either the tradition of hospitality or the meaning of the word slander. Consider this your only warning.

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    Apparently you are unaware of either the tradition of hospitality or the meaning of the word slander. Consider this your only warning.