I want that witchcraft that’s free, curious and healing. The kind that can’t be found online or in a book. I’ve been missing it so much lately.
Picture this, if you will. A group of women are dancing skyclad under the blue moon. The night is warm. Energy is buzzing from the heady mixture of the ocean, wine, the moon and the residual magick from their ritual. They run into the sea. Individually they are about as different as a group of people can possibly be. Collectively, they are the same. Free spirits. Healers. Believers. Witches.
They love books, but know the important stuff can never be captured in print. Knowledge is power, they agree. Rituals, symbols, herbs and more are useful. But magick is not in those things. You want to know where it is? It’s in them and in the night. That is old time witchcraft.
The Flow and the Ebb
Like the tides, they were ever changing. Predictable, yet prone to unexpected outbursts. Just like the moon, they went through phases. Then the wheel turned and the new phase was a life away from these women. Such is the natural rhythm of all things. Change is inevitable. Cherish those we have before they are gone. Because for every beautiful night there is a time for heartbreak. Old time witchcraft felt that.
“We are the flow, we are the ebb. We are the weavers, we are the web”
Magick is Eternal
This is what my heart yearns for – another one of those nights where we celebrated because we knew pain, not because our lives were perfect. Too much of my life these days is about new witchcraft. I’m part of the movement that says to take this course, read this book, buy this product. That’s all well and good (and often necessary), but none of these things are magick because magick can’t be contained. It’s wild. Free. Eternal. It will never die as long as one living thing remains. It can no more be put into any one thing than the sun can be bottled. That is what old time witchcraft believed.
Healing and Hexing
Lately, I keep getting these reminders of old time witchcraft. Going on herbal knowledge expeditions through the pages (albeit electronically) of 18th century books. Discussing which stick would be better for a magick tool based on the selection on my own property.
Sybil Leek. Laurie Cabot. Witches who wrote books back when it was dangerous to do so. They were rebels. Outsiders. Driven by curiosity. And the motivation to help others. Because they were witches and witches were healers (however that presented itself to any one of us could and does vary greatly). That is what old time witchcraft did.
As healers, witches also hold the power of destruction in their hands. I was taught that a witch can not heal if she can not hex. The two are opposite applications of the same energy. And that’s all there is – energy. No debates over white, black or grey. There’s a problem to be fixed. Witchcraft can help. That’s the old time witchcraft approach.
Just how far removed today’s paganism can be from old time witchcraft smacked me in the face about a week ago. Someone asked about petitioning the gods for others. I replied that this was a natural part of witchcraft, you know, interceding for those in need. Witchcraft is about healing. The response? “Oh, that’s interesting.” Like I just said something so naive that it wasn’t even worthy of a real response. How did it happen that witchcraft, for some, has become so much about manipulating energies for selfish purposes that the balance of it – healing others – is now trivialized? Witchcraft is about healing ourselves and others. It is not a practice that ends at the tip of our noses. Old time witchcraft knew that.
The Power of a Witch’s MindOld time witchcraft knew that the most powerful magickal tool is the practitioners own mind. That our curiosity, observations and experiences are what makes us powerful witches.
“A Witch’s work is mind work and utilizes powerful metaphors, allegories, and images that unlock the powers of the mind.”
― Laurie Cabot,
Give Me That Old Time Witchcraft
I need to get back to that old time witchcraft. Prance skylad with my soul sisters. Let my curiosity lead me down fabulous informational rabbit holes. Do some hands on healing work. These urges have been swirling around me like the ghosts that walk the streets of the tiny fishing village where I live. Whispering to me to get back to that old time witchcraft.
I can’t resist the voices. Last week I took the day off from book writing and instead made a huge batch of prosperity potion. I used to do a lot of kitchen magick. To me, that’s old time witchcraft at its best. Figuring out what the problem is, setting a strong intention and then rummaging through the house and yard until the best available ingredients are found. Then carefully writing a spell that uses these found ingredients energetic properties to their fullest potential. In my kitchen last week, I found that old time witchcraft.
That little taste of the old time witchcraft made me hungry for more. I want to dance with the spirits of the long-dead witches who come to me in my dreams. While we’re dancing under the pale moonlight, I’ll turn to them and say that I haven’t forgotten that old time witchcraft.
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