In Pagan conversations, there is often mention of a flow to the universe and how magickal practitioners try to align their deeds with the natural order of things. Much of this fluffy kind of talk include phrases like “An Harm None” and “In accordance with Divine Will”, but what is the point of spell-work if we are not actually trying to change the ways things are intended? Are we not going against the flow? Laying back passively to float and bump whatever obstacles come our way is not my idea of living. What if with foresight (divination/prophecy) we could maneuver (magick) through the rushing stream, making our journey through life easier? Or maybe even swim upstream to find a small cove for rest (trance)? Those of us who refuse to simply accept fate eventually become masters of their own destiny.
To be a witch or practice the magickal arts, I believe, is to go against what natural course the Universe has provided for us in the first place. It is our role to be wyrd/weird and step outside normal existence, to be supranatural in our motivations. It shouldn’t matter what outside accoutrements and glamour is summoned… witches were never meant to be pretty, bubble riding fairy Queens but terrifying and chthonic like their deities.
“What are these
So wither’d and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth,
And yet are on’t? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips: you should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so” – from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 3.
What happened to the days of secret knowledge? Sabbatic initiation exclusively for the deserving? Why are my neighbors no longer afraid of me? Because through religions such as Wicca there has become a general acceptance of benevolent witchcraft. With the help of New Age movements, a return to botanical remedies and a longing for a continuity of European ancestral worship have trumped the traditional views of the witch, making her the sexy pinup or sweet village healer. Wrapped up in politics, cultural Marxism and sexual revolutions, the NeoPagan and occult community is too ‘busy’ arguing with each other to really accomplish anything. The Sabbatic night ride is still elusive to these folks but for those in the know, the party is just starting.
Now that we are allowed to be “Out of the Broom Closet” (a phrase over-used and trivializing to the use of brooms in actual witchcraft), the acceptance and trendiness has plateaued. The tourists are being discovered as they jump from pantheon to different tradition, trying to fit their sweet Lord and Lady into pegs completely out of character. The mask is coming off… the witch really is green and haggard, oily from the fats of animals, infused with baneful herbs which could otherwise cause problems for the uninitiated, burnt blood and smothered in ash; this isn’t our feminist mother’s witchcraft any more. We’ve been in the shadows, collecting, watching and buying time until the receding waters reveal what is buried in the sand… what has been there all along… be afraid for the season of the Witch is upon us.