Tis the Season – of the Witch!

Tis the Season – of the Witch! July 18, 2023

From about August through October there is always an influx of interest in witchcraft, the occult, and the world of Spirits. There are many reasons – the shifting seasons, many of the plants and trees moving into a state of slumber, more dark than light hours, and of course Halloween, to name just a few. With the influx of interest also comes the ghouls…

No, I am not talking about the ones stalking around in the dark, but the ones stalking around social media. The ones who want to tell the new people what they need to do, what books they have to read, what practices they can or can not look into, what spells are “good” and “bad” and so forth.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

The Freedom of Magic

I grew up and started my journey in a time before the internet, before social media, and before all the “rules” and “labels” that are being placed on witches now. Yes, it was more difficult to find each other – hanging out in the local witchy/ occult shop if you had one was your best bet. Yes, our information was a lot more limited – consisting mostly of Wicca influenced or Ceremonial magic based-in-Golden-Dawn-perspectives in official “witchy” books, and then historical/ scholarly works for the rest. The big difference though came in the form of freedom.

The freedom to explore what caught your fancy without a horde of people telling you conflicting information, while each stating “they” are the “expert.”

Freedom to experiment and discover your own way. No set correspondence lists to tell you how to view and feel about a color, but the experience of discovering what it means to you.

Freedom to dream up new ideas and new ways of doing something without the trolls coming out to witch-splain to you why you are wrong.

The freedom to make mistakes. Let’s say that one again – The Freedom to Make Mistakes. I come across way too many people who have been so afraid to make any mistakes because of what other people say, that it actually hinders them from doing magic. Their one interest has now become a fear.

The Wonderment of Magic

One of the first draws for people to witchcraft is the wonderment and promise that magic holds in their imagination. No matter the age, it is the same wonderment we felt as children when we saw magic in everything around us. When there were more possibilities than doubts. Where we believed we held a special power within us to touch that magic and be part of it.

The thrill of buying your first ingredients or candle to prepare to brew up your own bit of magic. The subtle frustrations of figuring out exactly what to do. The excited glee when it finally works!

To new people, they are generally looking for the wonderment of magic. To feel they have some control and to can create their own destiny with it. To discover their own gifts and develop others that they dream of.

The Power of Magic

Even further back than my day, witches were not generally taught – it was something discovered and done out of necessity or curiosity. There were no books or manuals. No Courses or local teachers. They learned by experimenting, failing, adjusting, and trying again. Influenced by superstitions, stories, and lore, similar to how people now are influenced by those and other entertainment such as movies, tv shows, and fictional books. No, they are usually not right in their full form, but there are many aspects and concepts that are real within them. There is inspiration and ideas to play with to find out what will work or not.

Through this stifled lens of the internet, the power within us and within the discovery of magic has been dimmed.

Spellbound by Esa

Too Much Info can be a Problem too

I love researching and learning, so the idea of “too much info” didn’t even seem possible to me, but it can be though, given the context. When you have numerous voices shouting conflicting information at you, and you are new, it can be overwhelming. It’s not the amount of information that’s the problem, it is the way it is being delivered. Not as sharing experiences, but more in the form of rules to follow or absolutes.

Memes flying about like confetti – charts, spells, must have’s, and how to’s. Fancy little pictures, that draw the aesthetic imagination in, yet leaving little space for personal creation. Not to mention that at least several of the spell memes I have seen are ones that the creator of the meme never even tested. I’ll be honest, that shocked me.

A new person who was drawn to the magic can quickly get lost in the vast amount of info being thrown at them. Not knowing what to believe, which way to go, or where to even start.

What Kind Of Witch are You?

There are little tests all over to tell you “what kind of witch you are.” There is a label for every kind of imaginable witch possible. There is a group, class, or set of “must have” tools for each one. Leading new people to believe they need to pick and choose – claim a label – to define themselves by these terms and thus define their path.

Illusions of Community

No matter what platform you use, there are groups you can slide into. General Witchy, specific areas, of practices, different traditions, and even religions. All promising support, community bonding, friendship, open minded people, and so on, but what you see a lot of is people policing and belittling others.

New people asking a question that has been asked a 100 times before, and people acting like they should know – yet it is the first time for them.

New people sharing an experience they had, and others telling them that their experience isn’t valid, or worse, not real.

New people excited about a spell they just did, and others telling them it probably won’t work because they didn’t do this or that.

I’ll be honest – if I was a new person coming in and trying to navigate these shark infested waters, I would probably have lost my wonderment and curiosity.

Barred Owl – photographer unfound

It’s Not All Bad

You probably think I hate technology and the online world, and you would be wrong. I have some of the greatest conversations with people on social media. I have met and made friends with people all over the world, which I wouldn’t have in my physical life. I have access to a ton of information, books, theories, and perspectives that I didn’t have before it. The problem isn’t the technology – it is how we choose to use it.

Social media gives us the opportunity to share our own experiences and listen to the experiences of others. Seeing where we are alike and what is different for us. Learning from each other – sharing things we found that worked for us and what didn’t. Inspiring each other and creating space for creative exploration.

When people start down their new witchy journey, it almost always starts with the internet now days. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t cost them anything to start diving in.

The Point of This

I am bringing all this up, because we are on the cusp of the season. The season that will bring in the new, the curious, and even reignite the magic in the old.

What if we did some things differently? What if we took a different approach to each other during this time? What if we shifted the focus from the logistics of magic, back to the wonderment of it?

I don’t think it would be that hard.

Instead of teaching rules, share your own experience.

Instead of telling someone they are wrong, ask them their thoughts behind it. Try to see it from a new perspective. Perhaps they thought about something you didn’t.

Instead of re-posting memes, perhaps share inspirational quotes that make someone think deeper on concepts important to you.

Instead of creating space to “show them the way” – create space in yourself to explore the different perspectives and possibilities they are bringing with them.

When they ask a question that has been asked a thousand times before, don’t brush it off – don’t be rude – don’t point them to someplace else to look – just answer from your perspective and ask them questions to get them thinking.

Value the new people and show them that they add value to the conversation. New people bring a fresh set of eyes. They bring different life experiences that have shaped those views. Those are important, especially to those that have been doing this a long time. I am more than willing to admit, over time I can get tunnel vision, and a new idea can bring new inspirations.

We talk about community. We talk about wanting to be better and build something better than what other certain religions have done. We go around patting ourselves on the back about how open minded and forward thinking we are – so let us prove that when interacting with each other online.

Who cares if they make a mistake. We all make mistakes and it is how we learned these things in the first place. Share that experience if you feel you need to, but share it as “This is what happened to me…” vs “This is why you shouldn’t do this…” By sharing our own experience, we are showing what can happen – By telling someone rules is shutting down their drive to be courageous and experiment for themselves. If it all blows up – guess what, we can all come around them and support them through it.

We all started with curiosity and wonderment of the possibilities – of the magic. We all stumbled, made mistakes, changed directions, and grew from the entire process. We should allow those new to do the same. To retain that awe and amazement as they start to work their first spell or connecting to a spirit.

Our Ancestors didn’t have rules – they learned through experience. Many of us didn’t start with rules, we learned through experience. We all survived – the likelihood is, they will too.

As always, these are just some of my thoughts and perspectives on all of this as we head into another Witchy Season.

Encourage the wonderment, the power, the incredible experience that is found in magic!

Mystical Waterfall
Mystical Waterfall – by Esa
About Esa
Author, Medium, Seeker, Guide You are building your own path, your own connections, and shaping your own destiny. We can inspire others through sharing - we can Guide through our own experiences - but each of us must walk our own path. You can read more about the author here.

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