Fall

What’s in a Name?

I’ve been thinking about how I want to present myself online a lot lately. Here on the blog and on Instagram. I’ve had my Instagram profile set to private for months now and I’m planning to delete Facebook altogether because I never use it and it feels like a virtual dead limb.

I have called myself a witch for many years. I herb craft, am a certified massage therapist skilled in the healing arts, practice Reiki energy therapy, am a seer, and study eastern philosophy and metaphysics. These are all things that would have had me labeled a witch and possible burned at the stake at one time in my ancestors history. That is exactly why I call myself a witch now. I am happy to continue the way of the cunning woman that has survived and been passed down from my ancestors in Britain, Ireland, and Germany.

If you would have asked me a few years ago what I thought about the recent surge of young people calling themselves witches, I would have (and did) say that I thought it was great. More people are connecting with the old ways and finding an outlet for their spirituality through witchcraft.

But I’ve come to change my position on this.

At first I thought it was a handful of people, but I now see over and over young people who call themselves witches representing the word in a way I do not want to be associated with. The first thing that really rubbed me the wrong way was when large group hexing started to become popular. Although I don’t personally believe people can be hexed in the way that these “witches” are attempting, it is a gross practice no mater how justified you may feel in your opinion that the person you’re hexing is in the wrong. Secondly, I began to see witchcraft becoming politicized in much the same way that race has been used against people to gaslight and guilt if your voice isn’t saying the “right things.” I don’t want to get too deep into this particular topic because this post isn’t meant to be polarizing or triggering for anyone. But, I have seen over and over groups of witches stating that to disagree with their views on current affairs and politics means you need to get lost. They have a no tolerance policy for people entertaining views that go against the popular media driven narrative.

So. I want no part of that. I do not want to use a word to identify myself that has been co opted by a group of people who are using the craft in ways that I find juvenile and frankly, born of ignorance.

I find myself retreating into the cocoon space of winter now and it feels right to keep the word Witch close to the vest. That is how the Old Uns would have done it. That’s why I’ve decided to take the word witch out of my Instagram bio and why I’ve changed the description of this blog from A Witch’s Notes to Notes from an Ozarks Housewife.

I only even write about it here because I wanted to be clear that I am and always will be a witch (yes, even as I read the Bible!) but that I am separating myself from the online group of people who are using the word to mean something altogether different than the witchcraft I know.

Tarot cards, crystals, horoscopes, moon calendars, black nail polish, and online hexing parties a witch does not make.

Ever mind the rule of three, What ye send out comes back to thee.

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