Blame The Witch! Burn The Witch!

Can someone please remind me in what year we’re living right now? Lately, I feel like I’ve fallen into a time glitch, back to Salem 1692. In this supposed “age of tolerance and acceptance”, I see more intolerance and condemnation than I’ve ever seen before. Whether it’s monotheistic believers blaming the friendly neighborhood witch for anything going amiss in their mundane lives, or activist witches placing curses on people they’ve never met, all because they’ve decided they’re guilty, it’s all gotten completely out of control. Hello…the witch trials all began with heresy and unwarranted public fear…may I remind you.

The Witch

So, here’s what has me all in a snit, last week, my husband came home and told me about one of his colleagues confronting him, to ask if I had put a curse on her, because she thought I might not like her, and her hair was breaking and falling out. Now, mind you, she has severely bleached, white hair! It couldn’t possibly be over-bleaching, or anything she had going on in her life…stress of a new job. No, no, it had to be the witch, putting a curse on her.

Now, it may not have angered me as much if I hadn’t been on anyone else’s blame list. But, there have been a few of these “blame the witch” comments over the last couple of months. As I see it becoming a trend, I figured I’d tackle it now, before it starts to fester.

First of all, for most of you, who believe you’ve been hexed by the neighborhood or online witch, you’re not even on our radar. Your existence is not the center of our lives, especially if we’ve only met you once, or not at all. Whether we like you or not is irrelevant. We’re not sitting around, in our little witch huts, twiddling our claws, thinking up curses to cast on your self-involved ass.

I can’t speak for all witches; but, the many I know, would never cast out hexes so frivolously. Yes, we will protect ourselves and our family and friends. Depending on the witch, that protection may take on many different forms. Unfortunately, ignorance and misinformation has many people believing witches are evil and always up to no good.

For those of you who blindly believe you have been cursed, I ask you to do something you’ve probably never done before…ask yourself what choices you have made, YOURSELF, to cause your malediction. A majority of the time, if you really are open to the truth, you will find you’ve cursed yourself. And, if you have done something to truly offend a known witch, reflect on what you did to offend them, and how you could remedy the situation. You’ll usually find that most witches are more understanding of the frailty of humankind.

To my fellow witches, I am not here to lecture, or tell you how to do your magick (unless you’re a student in one of my classes). However, I do ask that you be aware of the messages you’re putting out there, especially on social media. I have seen a few post that simply make me cringe. Some of these activists’ posts reflect negatively on the entire witch community. We’re already viewed as outsiders. And, now, you’re making it worse. Think of other witches before you post. Who are you excluding? Who are you offending? Never assume, because someone is a fellow witch, they agree with your cause or viewpoint. What will you do, when we all need to band together, and you’ve offended or ostracized a certain section of the witch population? Is your magick enough to save you? Ask yourself that. Then, do as you will.

I know I may have come off a bit angry in this post. That’s probably because the fact that I had to write it does piss me off. Those who know me well call me “the good witch”, because I’ve helped them. I’ve counseled and created magickal oils and herbal remedies for them. I’ve taught them how to use crystals, Oracle cards and other magickal tools. I’ve held their hands as they went through life-changing transformations. That’s the kind of witch I am. Just because I’m usually dressed in a gothic or Strega-witch style, doesn’t mean I run around cursing people. It doesn’t mean I’m evil. And, it doesn’t mean I would hurt you. I might now…since you aggravated me. Just kidding…a little witch humor there.

Honestly, I thought we had moved past this antiquated thought system. Maybe the problem is just with humanity itself. I find it very disheartening. Mark my words…there will come a time when we will all need to band together…when we will need to meld the magick and the mundane…to fight for our survival. Will you have others by your side…or will you have to fight alone?

Just so no one misconstrues my message, no, I am not against cursing, hexing, black magick, or anything like that. I just want monotheistic people to know we’re not all out there putting spells on everyday folks. It makes them nervous. And, I don’t think I need to remind you what happened the last time that was the prevailing belief. That being said, I warn these so-called “normal” folks, not to poke the witch. We are higher in number than ever before. One day, probably soon, you will be the minority. You will be the outcast. And, WE, THE WITCHES, do know how to HEX. <wink>

Blessings,

Tara

Imbolc Blessings

Looking out my window, it doesn’t much look like the beginning of Spring. Snow continues to fall from the skies, and the ground is blanketed by the icy, white flakes. But, tomorrow does indeed mark the halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox…the beginning of spring…Imbolc.

Imbolc Altar

On February 1, at sundown, I will begin my Imbolc celebrations, and continue throughout the day on Sunday, February 2. I’ve got my Brighid’s Cross made, and am setting up my altar with green and brown candles; amethyst, bloodstone, garnet and onyx stones; incense of basil, bay, Angelica and myrrh; and white and yellow flowers. I’ll be spring cleaning tomorrow morning, and will have my besom by the front door, to sweep out the old and usher in the new. Then, I’ll prepare my offerings of milk (coconut milk will have to do), scones and spiced wine.

Now, many of you, who know a bit about my background, may wonder why a non-Wiccan would go through all the trouble of ritualizing Imbolc. Although I no longer consider myself Wiccan, I do have Celtic blood running through my veins, and the only coven I was traditionally initiated into was a Wiccan coven. For me, there is heritage there…blood, tradition, respect. I would never choose one side of my heritage over another. I choose to celebrate them all.

When I begin working with a new student in witchcraft, I always start them out in the traditional Wiccan practices. In my opinion Wicca is pure…safe. Learning the Wiccan ways tends to keep my new witches out of trouble. I teach them the Wiccan Rede, gods and goddesses, moon phases, and all of the holidays and sabbats.

Brighid’s Cross

So, now that you know why and how I celebrate Imbolc, we can explore what this sabbat represents.

Imbolc means “in the belly of the Mother”. It is also known as Oimelc, Candlemas and St. Brigit’s Day. On Imbolc, we honor the Celtic Fire Goddess, Brigit, patron of healing, midwifery, poetry and smith-craft. We celebrate the Maiden, as it is now her season to prepare for emergence from the darkness of winter. Traditionally, Brighid’s Crosses are made wheat stalks, to represent protection and prosperity in the year ahead. At this time, hearth fires are extinguished and then relit, while candles are lit around the home, honoring the rebirth of the sun. Besoms are placed near the front door of a home to sweep out the darkness of winter and issue in the blessings of spring.

Imbolc symbolizes a time of growth, fertility and renewal. It is a wonderful time for the plans and ideas you’ve created in the winter season, to begin to be birthed. If you haven’t already rid yourself of negative energies, or damaging emotions, thoughts, or people, now is the time to remove them from your life. Focus your magick on healing, recovery and moving forward into the light and promise of spring.

Symbols of Imbolc: White and Yellow flowers, Besoms, Candle Wheels, Acorn-tipped Wands, and Brighid’s Crosses

Herbs: Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Violets

Incense: Basil, Bay Laurel, Cinnamon, Violet, Myrrh, Vanilla

Colors: White, pink, red, yellow, green, brown

Stones: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Onyx, Ruby, Turquoise

Foods: Breads, Dairy, Garlic, Seeds, Baked Goods, Herbal Tea, Spiced Wine

Symbols of Imbolc

Imbolc Blessings to you! May you feel re-energized and refreshed as we look ahead to the birth of spring. I wish you fertility in all that you seek to manifest in your life. Wake from your winter slumber and flourish!