Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

So here it is, another Halloween, when ghosts and goblins, witches and vampires, superheros and villains come out of the woodwork.

Photo: beyondhollywood.com

We all grew up with stories that most witches were old, bent-over, wart-ridden women cackling over a big, black cauldron, dressed head-to-toe in black, whispering incantations and in general being the rotten egg.   I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of witchcraft and when I was little, I really, really wanted to be a witch – sans the warts.   Through the years the mystique of witchcraft has always drawn me in, but due to my life’s path, never much got into learning more.  Just recently, though, I discovered quite by accident that there  exists a group who practices a way of life that I could totally get behind.

Like many people, I believed witchcraft meant spells and manipulation of the darker sides of nature, but last week, I was officially schooled in the ways of a Wiccan coven.

One of my friends, an incredible woman with a made-for-movie life, herself once part of a coven, set me straight.  She confirmed what I thought, but also added another dimension.

So not like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz, the women who make up a Wiccan coven are strong, independent, and powerful, both by nature and by way of the Wiccan practice.  Powerful in their knowledge, powerful in their confidence.

Wicca, to those of you who are not familiar with this peaceful and harmonious way of life, is not actually witchcraft, though it draws from the tradition of witchcraft.   It is a religion in and of itself that promotes balance and harmony with all that exists.   It is a practice of free will and the appreciation of the elements of earth, fire, air, and water, and encourages the understanding and responsibility of ourselves.  The members of the coven are healers and the potions that Wiccans create are tonics for headaches or other ailments, not for turning people into toads.

Yeah, I said.  But what about dark magic?  What about that?

There is that, she told me, as we cannot have light without dark, love without hate, a beginning without an end.  Picture a triangle.  One side represents light (positive), one side represents dark (negative), while within the coven, the High Priest or High Priestess occupies the vertex, the spot that encompasses both.  Some members ride the positive side, embracing the earth’s energy, while others delve in the other side with rituals, blood sacrifices and the like.  Most stand on either side of the line, finding balance between both sides.

My friend had found her coven, or rather it found her, and was a member of the group for eight years.  She was going through a rough spot in her life, trying to find purpose, trying to find something to help her make sense of her life, when she was introduced to a coven where she lived.  She found what she was looking for.  Through her studies and years with the coven, she learned to find her core and stay centered under the most trying of circumstances.  She learned how to read palms and auras, how to have out of body experiences, and how to use herbs to clear negative energy from her space.

Though she is no longer a member of a coven, she is still integrates what she learned into her own life.  She is a healer and spiritual teacher.  It is all about balance and maintaining equilibrium with nature.  It’s all about light.

So on Halloween, if you see a witch, remember this…they are real, but it’s not all about cauldrons and broomsticks (although my friend said that upon becoming a member, they do make small brooms to place over their door in their home). It’s so much more than that.

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About Diana Murdock

California-grown, writer of contemporary and YA paranormal with enough energy to write, raise two boys, run, and dream.

Posted on October 28, 2011, in Halloween, Paranormal, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Nancy J Nicholson

    Diana, I love the light and that you brought this to our attention. I’ve known for many years that witches are not that from our storybook days. They live among us and should be respected for all that they believe and accomplish. Thanks for the post.

    • My perception was way off on this until just recently. And, yes, they do live among us, but it is their way to keep it low key. That, to me, tells me something about how it is an individual journey, not one to convince others. Thanks, Nancy!

  2. Ohhh…love this!! I’ve actually known a few women who were part of a wicca coven and it always interested me but I never had the opportunity to really dwelve into it. Ahhhmazing! I love the idea of women having a place that encourages them and teaches them to learn to find their core and how to stay centered etc. Empowering and self-confidence building. Fantastic!

  3. Love this post! I have a good friend who practiced Wicca when she lived in Oregon. She is the most amazing person and I found we actually had very similar beliefs to mine (Pantheism). Although we hold similar beliefs, I would never become a member of a religious group, simply because I do not believe in rituals and conformity (been there done that with Christianity). I do however, remain open-minded to learning about all beliefs and find it interesting.

  4. Women’s power is deeply rooted, and historically it has frightened men… Just look at the long and awful history of women being burned and drowned as “witches”. Many of these women were healers in their communities, people with empathy and skills. I think all females have at least a bit of wiccan in them. Happy Halloween!

  5. Thanks for the education, Diana. Your post confirms many things I have read over the years, and adds to my understanding. Happy Oct 31! (Not sure I remember how to spell Halloween)

  6. Ok now I’m intrigued. I want to know more about this. 🙂 Sounds like I’d be a perfect candidate for it.

  7. Some time back, I took a class with Deborah Blake that covered Wicca (as in creating Wiccan characters). The history of the religion was fascinating as were the practices of the religion. You’re right. The stereotypical witch is not the real witch at all. Thanks for posting this. 😀

  8. I’ve always been fascinated with Wicca and the practices they follow. I only wish I knew someone like your friend who could show me what it’s all about! They just seem so empowered in their femininity. If you do more with this, please share your experiences.

  9. Fascinating post Diana. I’ve delved in and out of Wiccan research while I’ve exploring Celtic practices. Thanks for shedding more light on a misunderstood practice.

    • Thanks, Kate! There is so much to learn about a very basic belief. Perhaps it is misunderstood because they keep so quiet about it, which I think is a good thing, keeps it on a very personal level.

  10. Diana, fantastic post. I’m glad I stopped by. I did some practice in this area and can still create the same rituals and casting through this experience. Nowadays I use it to ward my home from negative energies. I also incorporate a lot of Native American natural spiritualism in my household, including dream catchers which comes from the Natives of Michigan – not the Sioux or Lakota (Plains tribes) which is the popular belief.

    • Wow. That is so cool that you still practice. I’m learning how to protect myself and ward off negative energies, but unfortunately it is not a constant in my life…yet. And the dream catchers – thanks for making the distinction. I had no idea!

  11. Fascinating! I knew very little about Wicca so this was a real eye-opener. Thanks!

  12. Nice for showing that “witch” isn’t always a bad word 🙂 (not Wicca, but along the same lines) THANK YOU!!! Merry Met! Oh – and happy Hallowe’en! 🙂

  13. Oh my God. Reading this brought back so many fond memories for me. As a child, my friends and I brought all the magic books and really believed we could ‘do’ a spell. Nothing ever worked but even now, every once in a while, I still stare at the curtains and think “Open!”. Of course, I always have to get up and do it myself 🙂

  14. Great post, sista. I love the fact that you actually spoke wtih someone who has been a part of a Wicca coven and could shine some light on the subject. 🙂

  15. And that would be “with”, not “wtih”, hah! Sorry, fast fingers – I’m always on-the-run.

  16. Hi, Diana. Interesting subject. For the magazine that I write for, I wrote about black cats and the bad press that surrounds them. How curious is that? Great minds must think alike, huh?
    How have you been? I’ve been tied up doing the Coffin Hop this week, but I finally finished. Now I am on to some of my favorite blogs (like this one) that I have been neglecting. Hope the weekend has been kind to you. Have a great week.

    -Jimmy

  17. Very interesting. It’s so important to keep an open mind about these things. I think all too often, people in general close their minds to the world around them. and really, it’s so fascinating.
    thanks for the post.

  18. How did I miss this post? I love it! I am fascinated that you got to talk with someone involved with a coven. I have always been fascinated with that stuff, the practice in celebrating mother earth and a better understanding of the elements.

    Love the post Diana.

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