Putting the Craft in Witchcraft

Putting the Craft in Witchcraft September 8, 2016

Just got home from being in Atlanta for DragonCon, where I exhibited artwork in the Art Show and presented my Art of Sigil Magick and Visual Alchemy workshops.

Collection of Art recently made by the artist for an event
Collection of Art recently made by the author for an event

When I bring my work and ideas to events that aren’t designated specifically as P-word, there’s always a glimmer of reality that I’m doing something that’s unusual and probably rather strange to most.  I don’t create my work to purposefully be under that umbrella, it’s just natural to me.  In the last few years, I’ve learned not to apologize for it, but rather to be confident in my process and product.  Which makes a world of difference in how other people unfamiliar with my work relate to it.

All aspects of my life tend to blend into each other: my artwork is very much influenced by my spiritual alignment, and I see it as extension of my practice as a Witch.  So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that my approach to making and presenting my work is similar for witchcraft – being confident in my process and product.

Which is where we arrive at the title of this particular blog post – putting the craft in witchcraft.  Craft can be defined as “an activity involving skill in making things by hand” (noun) or “exercise skill in making” (verb).  The major emphasis in both is making and skill.  In an upcoming series, I’ll be focusing on my definitions of witchcraft (and witch), but for here and now, let’s define it as the path and practice of the witch.

Far too often I find that people don’t trust their own instincts enough.  There is a desire to work off of something they feel is more “authentic” because it’s older/outside of their familiarity/more acceptable. But that doesn’t mean it’s right or will work for you.  It’s great (and highly recommended) to do research, but you don’t need to follow something in a book in order to be validated in your practice.  Book-learning is helpful and great for some things, but nothing can beat the actual practice and working.

For example, there’s been a renewal of interest in certain resources on traditional witchcraft, that have never felt “on” for my own practice.  All the power and peace to those who resonate with those resources, but they just make my eyes blur and my brain go “nope!”. Meanwhile a study of folkloric practices and myths sings to me and I keep my eyes open for what the world can be revealing to me daily through nature and pattern.  My path is not invalidated by my lack of desire to practice that material, but instead is fortified by me following my own gut and doing what works for me.  I don’t need the approval or validation from anyone else, because they are not walking my path.  The same is exactly true for you.

My path and practice is fortified by my desire to make and to create.  I’m not only crafting work (art, dance, talismans, teaching, etc), I’m crafting my path daily.  I evaluate all information that I come across, and work with what resonates for me.  I’m actively doing and making the things that build my path, developing and strengthening my skills.  Witchcraft to me isn’t about how it looks or talks as so much as it how it feels and does.  But you can’t find that synergy in your path if you aren’t confident in your own skills to make your path.  The confidence within yourself and your inner voice is crucial to making of practice and the honing of skill.

Take a while to ponder what craft means to you, and how well do you listen to your gut?  What have you been doing lately to guide your own path and build your sense of self and confidence? Are you actively forging your own path or following another?

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