Being a witch is a complicated affair in many ways but especially when it comes to the question of whether witches are born or made. By made I don’t mean as in the sense of Frankenstein, but rather that our interests and life choices make us who we are. Some witches also hold the belief that you can only become a witch through initiation.
I came across a definition of a ‘kitchen witch’ by Mimi Riser. She uses kitchen witch as a modern term for wise women, so I think this description is apt for all witches (male and female):
….. is simply an ordinary person who asks extraordinary questions and dares to expect answers. She is, in fact, anyone who views life not as a stagnant noun, but an active verb – not a bitter pill to be choked down, but a rich treat to be baked up, savoured and enjoyed to the last crumb. She is simple, unadorned heroism. Victory over despair. She is unflinching hope, ever questing joy, and unconditional love.
Doesn’t everyone start life like this?
I saw these qualities of a witch in my children when they were little, before society and life moulded them. My daughter would ask sometimes impossible questions and she demanded answers. Life for her was full of energy, experiences and no limits (unless a spider blocked her path then she came to a standstill). To her, magic was everywhere and nothing was impossible. She loved people and inanimate objects alike, with all her heart, because there were no half measures.
I wasn’t aware of the belief that people became witches through initiation until becoming involved with a coven. Maybe through these traditions you become an ‘official’ witch in their eyes once you’ve been initiated but you would still need to have an interest in witchcraft to follow that route. So, the question remains: are you born with the interest or is it nurtured?
To start, I considered witches to be both born and ‘made’ but on reflection, I think we’re all witches. Some of us adopt the title, but everyone wants to feel the magic, have a life full of possibilities, and be a co-creator on life’s journey. Maybe being a witch is our default state and we’re all made that way but society tells us, from an early age, that it’s the wrong path. Most step away, falling into line with the masses, but some remember and return to the path.
What do you think? Are witches born, do we become witches through initiation only or are we moulded by our tastes? Share your thoughts.