BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW THAN…..?

Part 2

“To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things.”

“Contrary to what those who choose to persecute or lie about us wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of thinking and life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.

Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day.   It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face.   Wicca is the fall of colourful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow.   It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between.  It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild.   It is being in the presence of Mother Earth and being humbled in reverence.   When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls.   To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things.   If this path is yours, may you walk it with honour, light and integrity.

Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.  It was brought to our islands by the Celts of nearby Gaul and before then.. Who knows?  While much of the information of how our ancestors lived, worshiped and believed has been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe our existence from history, we try to reconstruct those beliefs to the best of our ability with the information that is available.

Thanks to archaeological discoveries, we now have basis to believe that the origins of our belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess.   With the discovery of cave paintings, many in the Dordogne area of France, for example, are estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world today.   These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wiccan as our view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it.

Witchcraft in ancient history was known as “The Craft of the Wise” because most who followed the path were in tune with the forces of nature, had a knowledge of Herbs and medicines, gave council and were valuable parts of the village and community as Shamanic healers and leaders.   They understood that mankind is not superior to nature, the earth and its creatures but instead we are simply one of the many parts, both seen and unseen that combine to make the whole.

For the past several hundred years, the image of the Witch has been mistakenly associated with evil, heathenism, and unrighteousness.   In my humble opinion, these misconceptions have their origin in a couple of different places. To begin, the medieval church of the 15th through to the 18th centuries created these myths to convert the followers of the old nature based religions to the catholic churches way of thinking.   By making the Witch into a diabolical character and turning the old religious deities into devils and demons, the missionaries were able to attach fear to these beliefs which aided in the conversion process.    Secondly, as medical science began to surface, the men who were engaged in these initial studies had a very poor understanding of female physiology, especially in the area of women’s monthly cycles.   The unknowns in this area played very well with the early churches agenda lending credence to the Witch Hunters claims and authority.   The fledgling medical professions also stood to benefit greatly from this because it took the power of the women healers away giving it to the male physicians transferring the respect and power to them.  Unfortunately these misinformed fears and superstitions have carried forward through the centuries and remain to this day.   This is why many who follow these nature oriented beliefs have adopted the name of Wicca over its true name of Witchcraft to escape the persecution, harassment and misinformation associated with the name of Witchcraft not to mention the bad publicity the press and Hollywood has given witches simply to generate a profit.

We do not sacrifice animals or humans because that would violate our basic tenant of “Harm None.”   Anyone who does and claims to be a Wiccan or a Witch is lying. Pagans see the divine not in one God but in all of nature and in simple, personalised rituals, they worship its mysteries. Being a pagan in 21st century Britain is nothing to do with black cats and magic. Not all pagans are practising wiccans, and those who want to put a hex on an enemy always bear in mind the Law of Return. Namely, anything you put out you get back threefold.

In many ways the pagan path is a natural progression for anyone who cares about ecological issues and is disaffected with conventional religions. It’s gentle spirituality  keeps you in tune with the rhythms of the landscape, and encourages individual responsibility.  As Chief Seattle said; “We do not own the earth, we are part of it.”   These wise people understood that what we take or use, we must return in kind to maintain balance and equilibrium. Clearly, modern man with all his applied learning and technology has forgotten this.   Subsequently, we currently face ecological disaster and eventual extinction because of our hunger for power and a few pieces of gold.”

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