Why I Chose Witchcraft

Preface- Witchcraft and Wicca are not evil and their practitioners don’t worship Satan. Wicca is a nature based religion that honors the male and female aspects of divinity through the changing of the seasons, known as the Wheel of the Year. The Wiccan Rede, aka as close as Wiccans have to any book or bible or whatnot states the intention of the religion very simply; do what ye will, an ye harm none. Aka – do what you will as long as you harm none in the process. Witchcraft is a little bit harder to define since there’s such a variety of practices. For me, Witchcraft means that I use magick and energy work to solidify a specific intention, again, not in a Satanic or evil way.

This is about my experience with my relationship to witchcraft. I am both Wiccan and a Witch, so naturally, this story on why I chose The Craft is tangled up in both aspects.

I am the daughter of a Rabbi, and the granddaughter of holocaust survivors and I am Jewish by blood. Culturally, I am Jewish; my dad was born in Israel, my mother grew up in the Jewish community in Mexico City. I will always be proud of my heritage, of the people I come from because they are some of the strongest in the world. But I am Wiccan and I am a Witch. 1

I chose Witchcraft.

I chose witchcraft, intentionally, at the age of 12, right before I was sent of to a month long sleep away Jewish summer camp. I chose Witchcraft when I read “A Witches Guide to Faery Folk” when I was 11 and had flashbacks to standing in front of a wax statue talking to me about Wicca in Salem, five years before. I’ve talked about my history with The Craft here, and I want to talk about where I am now; over 10 years later, and still calling myself a Witch.

I choose Witchcraft because it feels like home. I don’t know how else to describe it. For me, Witchcraft is a relationship I have with myself, with the universe, with the God and Goddess, with nature, with seasons and with energy. Witchcraft, for me, is when I read tarot, when I listen to phases of the moon and perform spells and magick and rituals that follow her and her ebb and flow. Witchcraft for me is honoring my spirit guides, it’s when I feel how things are changing, it’s when I honor the solstices and the equinoxes. Witchcraft for me is using the never ending energy of the universe to help me create, manifest and understand this life.

5

I think there’s something about balance that really makes me love this path, specifically with Wicca. There’s a feminine as much as a masculine, and with my own eclectic path there is a darkness as much as their is a light. I am in no way saying ~white or black magick~ because that’s a pet peeve of mine. Energy is energy; it is neither good nor bad, and it is our judgment that colors it. I believe in positive and negative, but again, that’s how we shape our energy, how we chose to cultivate it.

I am inspired by my darkness. I am inspired by the darkness of others. I am inspired by the fact that there is so, so, so much more than we understand in this life. Witchcraft for me is learning about my Aquarius Sun, Scorpio Moon, Libra Rising soul and understanding about others astrological charts. Wicca for me is my relationship to the God and Goddess inside myself, to the Earth, to the seasons. Witchcraft for me is about the wheel of the  year, it’s about how I navigate this life.

I am inspired by the ancient Celts, by European Hedge Witches who have had witchcraft in their families for years. I am inspired by herb folklore and by spirits. I am inspired by death, by ghosts and phantoms and the unknown. This exploration, for me, this attempt to understand, is why I continue to choose witchcraft. 4Magick for me, is setting an intention and creating a way for it to manifest. It’s manipulated energy. Witchcraft, for me, follows this same path and idea. Witchcraft is using the tools you’re given to create, to change, to heal, to grow. Medicine Woman, Shamans, Witches.. they all have this innate understanding. There’s this recognition that this Earth is filled with secrets, and if we listen we can understand them

I chose, and I continue to choose, Witchcraft because for me it means being a good person, understanding karma, using what I have to make a change and knowing this life isn’t it. Witchcraft for me, is the way I love others and myself. It is how I live this life. Witchcraft  is the fact I feel powerful in all black, the fact that I can wear my darkness while innately being a light soul. Witchcraft is my love of divination, of ghosts, of spell work, of the occult.

6

Witchcraft, for me, is home.

 

W I T C H

The archetypal witch conjures up an image of an old crone mixing herbs in a cauldron, most certainly for a spell or ritual. The word “witch” makes us think of an old hag, riding around a chilly October evening on her broom, casting curses at whoever is unlucky enough to be in her way. Witchcraft and witches exist in modern day, but definitely not in the way that most of the populations thinks.  Every energetic worker, occultist, or witch will have a different definition of the word “witch”.  Although some people tie working magick to witchcraft, not all witches work with magick, just like not all magick workers are witches. What does that mean? Not everyone who manipulates energy for a certain outcome is a witch, and not every witch works with energy. The history of witchcraft is long and winding, and cultures ranging from the Celts to the Ancient Mesopotamian’s had their own form of energy work or magick which could be considered Witchcraft. Witchcraft, and the use of healing through herbs and natural remedies, divination, magick and spells can be passed down from generation to generation in a practice called Hereditary Witchcraft. Witchcraft ranges widely from practitioner to practitioner and you don’t have to have a family that practices witchcraft to practice it yourself. Since Witchcraft is a practice and not a religion, you can follow almost any religious path and still be a witch.

Witchcraft can include anything from divination and crystal work to spells and herb and faerie lore and magick. It’s a personal practice, with an underlying idea that you have tools at your disposal to create and see parts of this life that you may have missed without the awareness or consciousness that comes with Witchcraft. It’s kind of difficult to understand in an objective light, so I’ll share a bit about my personal practice.

My practice of Witchcraft involves working with the tarot, faeries, crystals and and energy work. like spells. I work with the moon and I incorporate my yoga practice as a form of energy work as well. I practice magick, although I don’t believe in using that sort of energy to cause any negativity or harm to anyone. A lot of my practice is being positive, being aware of the power of my thoughts and actions and how I impact other people. In my opinion this is the basis of all energy work, how can you expect to manipulate energy if you’re not aware of the power of your own at all? Thoughts and intentions go a long way, after all.

I became involved with Witchcraft when I was 11 or 12. It started with a deck of Faerie oracle cards, called The Faerie’s Oracle, by Brian Froud. This led me to finding the book “A Witches Guide to Faery Folk” which began me on my journey. 8 or 9 years later and my path is still evolving. I saw this bag on Dolls Kill and had to have it. I love to incorporate fashion and spirituality so this was a match made in heaven. I paired it with some drop waist pants, a halter tank with a low back, some black boots and lots of gold details to finish off the outfit.Shirt: Forever 21/ Necklace: Topshop/ Pants: Zara/ Boots: H&M/ Bag: Dolls Kill

For me, witchcraft is a spiritual practice that means being aware of my energy and my place in the world. It means using my intuition and the tools I have to create the life I want to live, in a peaceful and loving way. I don’t condone hurting anyone or attempting to hurt anyone to get a desired outcome and I especially don’t condone any form of magick that hurts more than it helps. More than anything, this is my practice and my story and my own form of witchcraft.

Talk to me about what you think about witchcraft on twitter @gabyherstik.

Namaste,

Gabriela

All photos by Alexandra Herstik. @alexyael on Instagram