Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My Witchcraft: Why I am a Witch

This blog is going to be a bit different than most of those that I post here. Yet it is relevant, I believe, to the whole of everything I have ever written here. I hope that you find it relevant to you and that it helps in some small way to bring context to this thing we call Witchcraft.

The Human Experience

My Witchcraft at the core is about the Human Experience. Specifically it is about my human experience. So at the core of my Witchcraft is the context of lifeour life. It is not a matter of adding meaning but of coming to understand the meaning that is already there. This is the crux of the reality of the mysteries that Witches are prone to talk about from time to time.
The mysteries can’t be explained or taught. Only experienced. Yet each of us has the ability to know the mysteries because they are shared by us. This is why it is said that Witchcraft has no secrets, only mysteries.
Since my Craft is about my experience of what it is to be human it has at its foundation the essence of what it is to be us.
One of the big three things that all humans have is common is that we are biological.

Each and every one of us no matter how you dress us is a combination of flesh, bone, blood, and a whole mess of other things. This is one of those lessons in the practice of my Craft that took years to understand. It is one of the most important as well. Everything of this life is in the context of this fact.
The human experience is thus one that is physical. It is a shared understanding. I don’t need to explain what it like to feel hunger, we all have bodies that crave sustenance. We know what it is to hunger. As such, by mindfully engaging the biological and physical reality of our experience we likewise directly engage the mysteries tied to that shared experience.
One of the first things that I have students do is look at their diet. I don’t advocate any particular diet over another. It’s not about that. It is about choosing to engage the food we eat mindful of the physical effects it has upon our experiences. Literally our choice of diet can change us.
My Craft is one that purposely applies change by engaging the physical, the experience thereof, and what it is to be human.
Until fairly recently it was taught that the thing that separates us from animals is the use of tools. This is false. Humanity doesn’t have the sole us of tools as part of our experience. Granted it is a huge part but it isn’t exclusive. The thing that makes us different is that we symbolize.
The vast array of abstract human expression is mind blowing. At the same time it is a thing of beauty. Each and every meaning given to a symbol is the sharing of the experience that the symbol is tied to. Just as every symbol is multifaceted so too is our engagement of the symbol.
Just as my Craft is mindful of the physical, so too do I attempt to be mindful of the symbolic. It is one of the things that makes us human.
There is no shared understanding without others. This is the third big thing that is shared amongst humanity. We are human only in the context of groups. Regardless of whether socially we are outgoing or not, our physiological identities are tied directly to the relationships we have with others in some shape or fashion.
Once long ago when I was seeking with a Coven, I was asked why I was seeking membership if I had already been initiated into a previous Tradition. What I said was, “It is hard to be a Priest alone.” The existential reality was that I had moved but the human reality was far deeper.
One of my brothers in the Craft is fond of the saying, “Witches vote with their feet.” It is about being decisive, mindful of your various relationships, and choosing to stay or go.
Existential Subjectivity
The rest of my Craft is subjective to my existential experience. In essence, it is mine. It is these things though that get the vote of my feet. The why I am here bit.
As I have said elsewhere in this blog, the only permanence to life is change. It goes without saying that life is full of joy, pain, ecstasy, fear, and the rest of the range of human emotion. In all of this, everything I have ever known is different. The world I knew as a small child is long gone. For that matter, yesterday is but a memory today. Many friends and family have come and gone through the cycle of life and death.

This impermanence brings with it existential dread in any of three ways. I will not claim that they are universal fears but I will say they come damn close. I am talking about the dread of death, oblivion, and separation. At some point, most of us have sat at some point in a place of dread of one of, if not all of, these three.

The Craft is my refuge. By directly engaging the mysteries via the praxis of the Craft the life context of these three things is experienced. The Craft allows me to experience the mysteries of death/oblivion/separation in the here and now. It is not always easy or pretty. Nor should it be.


We all have a duty to ourselves. I can’t tell you what it is though. I can only talk a bit about its resemblances. You see it’s because it is one of the mysteries of life.

Our duty it to fulfill us. It’s a knowing. A knowing of the whole of the now. But it’s not something to be achieved. There is no goal or place to get to. We are already there and have been all along. It is our duty to realize this.

The Craft reveals. There are lots of things that people can say about the nature of the Craft, such as it being an experiential orthopraxis mystery religion. The result of which is that it reveals mysteries. It is what it does.


The Craft exists on the fringe of society. Being Witchcraft and all this should be no surprise. We deal directly with the secrets of life that many would prefer not to. We do it on purpose too.

My Craft is transgressive. At times it makes me uncomfortable. Sobbing into a plate of food at a Dumb Supper is no picnic. Other times my heart sings in such ecstatic joy that I didn’t know it could. In both these ways, and many others, the practice of the Craft pushes the edge of my experience of the human experience wider.

To me this is what it is about.


Sure there are lots of other fun trappings of the Craft, and I’ve talked about some of those quite a bit, but this is why I am a Witch.

Boidh Se!


“Lost is a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path.”

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