How many times have you heard something similar to “women just know these things”? It’s because we do. We know a lot more than we realise. Woman are powerful, and so are you. It’s time to start reclaiming the word ‘Witch’. A word that has been used to vilify us, insult us, hold us back and quieten our voices. It’s time for us to take it back.
But to begin reclaiming the word ‘Witch’, it is important to first know the history of the word. And why, over time it has been downgraded from a term that once held women in high esteem for their Divine Feminine powers, to a term which demonised and stigmatised women who dared rely on their own wisdom and connection with nature.
The History of the Witch
A Witch was always just one of many terms used to describe a wise woman; a woman who understood the energies and interconnection of everything around her. Including how to use natures gifts to treat illness, aches and pains.
A Witch was someone who was respected as a knowledgeable woman who others went to for spiritual guidance and practical help. Witches (or wise women) were looked up to.
But in time, the Witch has become a spectacle of ugly warts and evil intentions. You have likely come across depictions of the evil, old lady who lives alone. Or the group of mean old ladies who resemble more of a cult and casts spells on those who dare to cross them. (Usually the only other time we see Witches in modern day, they have been objectified and sexualised- sigh!)
The evil old lady image stems from the 500 years of Witch hunting which plagues our history.
They were scared of our Divine Feminine and we needed to know our place. So they tried their hardest to control us through fear of death, torture and exile.
” No words from on high could make people less scared of witches. Everyone knew that the accusations might be malicious and that symptoms were easily faked; yet personal experiences of bewitchment were quite different… Almost all the suspicions that lay behind the witchcraft accusations of March 1645 originated in Sir Harbottle Grimstone’s jurisdiction, mostly on his estates…. It also indicated the savage effectiveness of his torture. The suspected woman had woken up unaware of what she had confessed. “Witchfinders- A seventeenth-Century English Tragedy. Malcolm Gaskill.
But what is a Witch today?
Disney, Hollywood, Salem and countless other influences also all have a lot to answer for. As do many modern practitioners who have shrouded Witchcraft in mystery, creating a feeling of unattainability to the practising of ‘magic’. The reality is there really is a Witch within all of us. Every single woman (yes, including you) has the wisdom and knowledge of the Witch waiting to be tapped into.
Whether you wish to use the term ‘Witch’ or not, is absolutely your call. There are many other terms you can use – Divine Feminine, wise woman, healer or simply just ‘woman’.
There are many ways of defining what a Witch is; according to various practices or dogmas, but I don’t enjoy doctrine here at Wild As The Moon and I believe you should have your own definition of what a Witch is. I also don’t believe that you necessarily have to be part of a ‘coven’/ community/Sisterhood. Though it can be incredibly powerful to share experiences with a chosen sisterhood. (In fact, if you want to join our monthy online Moon Circles, find out more here)
This explanation of a Witch demonstrates how broad “Witch” actually is – with not a stripey stocking, pointy hat or wart in sight:
The reality of what it means to be a witch today carries many traditions of the Pagan religion; something which was previously thought to be tied to the devil or satanic rituals. Modern day witchcraft often includes the lighting of candles, meditation, yoga, incense, the smudging of sage, crystals, dream analysis, and other rituals connected to Pagan roots.
However, witchcraft is simply about using the power of the universe and the mind to attract wants and desires. It’s about being in tune with Earth’s natural resources and using them to mystically quench a spiritual thirst.Gaia.com
Reclaiming the word ‘Witch’
We live in bizarre and trying times. We’re seeing a breakdown in community and widespread feelings of powerlessness. Implementing a personal Witchy practice or gatherings with similar souls to share wisdom are powerful ways of combatting that disconnect and reclaiming our power as individuals.
Exploring what being a Witch means to you personally and how your life might be altered by adopting a practice of your own may well lead to revelations; from ancestral connections to hidden talents, reclaiming your own Witch-hood could be the most powerful thing you can do.
What does it mean to be a Witch in modern society?
It’s a subtle revolution. Wild / wise / visionary women are stepping into their power and stirring the collective cauldron. Calling yourself a Witch in our society won’t get you burned at the stake – although it may still get you some hard core eye rolls.
Here at Wild as the Moon, I believe that ALL women are Witches (or whatever term feels right for you). It is simply about connecting with your own intuition, your own connection with nature and your divine feminine energy.
How many times have you heard something similar to “women just know these things”? It’s because we do. We know a lot more than we realise. Woman are powerful, and so are you. It’s time to start reclaiming the word Witch, a word that has been used to vilify us, insult us, hold us back and quieten our voices. It’s time for us to take it back.