PBP: “W” is for Wyrd Wytchcraft Ways

In Pagan and Witch forums online, you hear a lot of people referring to be “out of the broom closet” and whilst the term was cute back in the early 1990's, now it is cliché but I understand what they are trying to say. Although I'm at a point in my spiritual life where I don't feel a need to share what I do, my degree in Religious Studies opens the door to that conversation more times than I wish. Usually to keep it simple, I just tell strangers or acquaintances I am a Buddhist; which I am in many ways. But the witchcraft stuff doesn't come up as long for as I can help it. Thinking about this, I am reminded of the first time I DID have that conversation... with my mother. I thought it would go easier since she was already disillusioned with the Catholicism we both were raised in. “Why does it have to be THAT word” my mother asked, and continues to ask more than a decade later. She figures with my academic background I can come up with an east to understand term, one that is okay to share in polite conversation and requires little explanation. What my mother, and many other people, wished for was a major religious ideology; really it as an esoteric one found in the world's religions also.

Illustration for the poem "Witch-Dance." Internal Illustration from the pulp magazine Weird Tales (September 1941, vol. 36, no. 1).

Yes, my own personal tradition of witchcraft is spelled funky, with a “Y”... and there is a reason for it: it is driven by wyrd, it is always being challenged and most importantly it is does not include the “I” of ego. Like Uncle Al who used a different spelling to differentiate between the stage magic of prestidigitation and the magic(k) in the New Aeon, I too prefer to separate my craft from generic 'witch'. I do this not just because I am unique other than by DNA, but because the path is always evolving, ever changing and nearly impossible to label.

Wyrd is a Germanic and Anglo-Saxon word/concept for dealings in fate and destiny. As a wytch, it is my goal to be in control of these. This is the entire point of the magical arts, is it not? Without believing in predestination I still understand there is karmic debts and contracts made in other lifetimes, with spirits and Deities alike, that we are all bound to. Much as Buddhism is the shortcut out of samara's endless cycles, the path of wytchcraft could be a way of getting to that same end, if the blinders are removed.

Constantly challenging and stepping up to change is part of this path. Witches need to realize every ritual, every spell, or every journey is not going to get the same results every time. We must be flexible in our craft, dare to step outside our normal, self-projected boundaries and allow spirit to move through us. Forget the books, transmissions from gurus, initiated oaths and blood-sworn promises... there are no secrets which cannot be revealed in the heart of every Wytch. Redesign your working space without looking on Pinterest, start taking pictures for retrospective analysis of your spiritual growth... clean, attune and give gratitude for modifications.