I recently read an article. (i'm not going to post it because i'm not calling a specific author out- that wouldn't be nice.) I've read enough of these articles and books- they all seem to say the same thing.
"if you don't practice my specific brand of witchcraft- you're not a witch."
Religion is a lot like romantic attraction, it takes all people and all kinds and we all like different things.
Me personally I'm very open with my witchcraft, I practice on the lighter spectrum, i do my best to not do something that would or could harm someone, but i'm not afraid to curse when needed. Goddess knows if you came into my house with the intention to harm me or someone in my house i'll use whatever reasonable force is necessary to neutralize the threat- my magickal practice is the same. If you send me some crap, intentionally or otherwise, you can expect some crap back.
What I don't like is when people try to put me and other witches in boxes & say what is and what isn't true witchcraft. You're no true authority and you have no fucking right.
A lot of us, maybe not so much me, but a lot of witches I talk too say they came to witchcraft because of the freedom of expression it provides- so why would putting other witches into a box or their practice rather into your box be what they want or need?
If you're someone who wants someone to tell you how to think, feel, and act why not go to another religion? There's plenty of religions out there with very strict rules.
Witchcraft isn't like Christianity, Judaism, or any other major religion. We have no rules, no holy book.
A word About Cultural Appropriation
While we are having this hard conversation about being put into boxes lets talk about cultural appropriation, another hot topic that I greatly disagree with the majority.
Unless your from another country/content, and if you are then maybe this isn't directed to you; but i'm American, two generations here.
The United States is a country of a bunch of immigrants, perhaps not in your generation, but unless you're 100% Native American, you first ancestors didn't live here, they came here from another country. You're current culture, was mixed and melted from other cultures.
What we live as American's now is nothing more than a country of cultural appropriation. Saint Patrick's day- Irish, throwing rice at a wedding, that's pagan, Halloween- that's pagan. I could go on and on but lets bring this more along the lines of our witchcraft.
In you're witchcraft, if you do any type of journey work you've appropriated that from indigenous cultures.
If you use sage or sweet grass to bless your space, you've appropriated.
If you dress your candles with herbs and oils you've appropriated.
If you work with Deities outside of your culture you've appropriated (example- if you work with Yemaya, and your not African, you've appropriated.)
If you cast a circle calling the watch towers and you're not 100% European you've appropriated....
If you call yourself Wiccan and you haven't been initiated into a Wiccan coven then you've appropriated.
Do you see what i'm getting at here? Modern, witchcraft is a mismatch of different cultures magickal practices, there's no way around it- it's a fact.
It's inevitable, it's how we as humans work!
We see something that works, either it works directly for you, or for someone you know and you take on those practices and adapt them to fit your own lifestyle- it's natural & making people feel like shit for doing so is utter bullshit.
If you train with a village shaman and they consider you a shaman- then you're a shaman. If you're spirit guides tell you that you've undergone the proper level of training in any practice, then you can call yourself that mystical title, whatever that is.
It's not up to some authority of the moment, because they come and go, to tell you otherwise, and if you do run because it's more about their ego than actual fact.
I've had very little paid training in what I do, but that doesn't make my work any less valid and purposeful than someone who's spent thousands of dollars.
That will piss some people off, for that i'm sorry- but just because what someone does come more naturally to them and they don't need human teacher to teach them- doesn't make their work less valid.
I mean really where do you think our ancestors got their knowledge & qualification from? Spirit work!!!!
The work witches, shamans, mages, wizards, whatever you want to call yourself, does is spirit work and the only authority that has the power to hand out titles is spirit!
I'll even go as far as saying in true spirit work there is no such thing as cultural appropriation.
Let me explain:
If you look at shamanism- there are a set of core shamanic practices, Michael Harner calls this core shamanism, that cross contents in people who have never left their village. A shaman in a remote tribe in the amazon has the similar practices as a shaman in Mongolia. How is this possible they couldn't be further apart on the map- it's because they went to spirit and spirit taught them the same practices because these practices work, did they appropriate it from each other- well that is highly unlikely. They do the same thing because those practices work! A Shaman's who couldn't provide for their tribe would be out of a job.
So sure you could have trained with the High Priestess of Narnia, yes i'm being a smart ass that doesn't exist, and that's great, but if a person does the soul work, and comes to the same knowledge you have- their practice is just as valid!
We need to stop looking outside of ourselves for answers, we need to stop looking outside of ourselves for our titles, and training. Do the work you're ancestors did- go to spirit. If someone else has a practice that works, do it because you can bet if a mystic of old learned of something that worked from someone else they would adopt it, if it didn't work for them they wouldn't do it anymore.
Magick is about results; and if you don't get results, then what is the point?
Me personally, if you gave me the option to train with spirit or a human- i'll take spirit any day because humans put their lessons through their own belief systems and their belief systems may not be in alignment with mine and I may miss out on some key important information for my own souls growth.
Let me give you an example:
Not long ago I got a live video psychic reading from someone, this was about a relationship, and she started to tell me something and stopped and said "no this can't be because this person is in this situation right now and that would be bad...." Right then and there she stopped giving spirits true message because it went against her own belief systems and her own idea of what is right and wrong.
I've purposely turned the comments off on this because i'm not getting into a pissing match with people- you don't like what I said- unsubscribe from me- unlike me- remove yourself from my group. I don't need to hear about it.