The question, “what are the benefits of being a witch?” was making its way around the block recently. My initial tongue in cheek answer was, “If you practice enough you get good at witchcraft.” Nonetheless, the question is a valid one and deserves a better answer. General attitudes on the web vacillate between a focus on the dangers and psychic challenges of the craft for example facing your insecurities, deprogramming from the overculture, and encountering the things that go bump in the night. Despite many of us feeling that a witch is who we are and it couldn’t be any other way regardless of the difficulties, there are tons of bonuses to love about the “old ways.”
Historically, witch was a profession a spirit gave to a desperate person; a trade selling charms, healing, and finding stolen goods. Magic provided a recourse against oppressive landlords, restrictive church institutions and neglectful communities. For some widowed women, witchcraft is what kept them from starving. There are times still today that the need is so dire, but for the most part witchcraft is exciting, purpose driven and advantageous for the witch. Here are a few of the joys the witch life brings me:
Witches cultivate a number of extra senses called the six sense, the witch eye, and certain psychic powers. Through meditations, trance states and herbal mood enhancers (like lavender for relaxing and mint for refreshing) some witches hone the ability to sense spiritual happenings, feel energy, see auras and improve their intuition. There is a traditional witch legend that witches can sense one another implying a kind of knowing of people’s magical natures. Also the witch eye is said to be creative and transformative in that it can create with visualization. Performance of rituals like the spiral dance, treading the mill and so on help the witches see and hear spirits. With these skills, witches benefit from being able to learn from spirits and get help from them.
Sure you can make lemonade from lemons, but a witch can make the charm of the lemon to help them reach their goals. When you look up at those stars that so influence our fates, a witch can feel that ultimately they are of the stars and can also bring light to this world.
Always and never alone
You are the only you and although it’s a crooked road unique to each witch, the world is still peopled with spirits, trees, creatures, plants and of course other witches so there is always some way to connect to the greater web. The traditional witch may create an entourage of attendant spirits to keep them company and to have their back in a tight spot. I consider it quite the benefit that I can communicate with my dearly departed and have a loose sense of the great beyond that so many wonder and doubt about.
Hobbies become magical
All your favorite hobbies can do double time as spellwork as a witch. Out playing Frisbee? It’s a great time to wild harvest weeds like dandelion, plantain, holly and woody nightshade for charms. Writing a story? The muse spirits can inspire you as you plot. Painting? Draw some sigils into the picture for empowering your creativity. Playing a game? You can use the pieces and cards for divination. Hiking? You mean rock hunting! Even just relaxing can turn into a magical act for a witch as they drift into dream magic
Witches out there, what do you love about witchcraft? Reply in the comments.