I have been having quite a debate with myself the last few days as to what label I should correctly attach to myself. I have read quite a few blogs and websites, emailed a few different people, considered a few books and found a fantastic forum.
My view had always been that Wicca is divided into two branches - solitary or hedge witches and coven witches with both having different sub-branches again. I had no idea that the members of some parts of the Wiccan world get a little frantic about the use of the words Wicca and Witch. Being a solitary, I make my own path and it comes from inside so I do not need validation from other people. However knowing what label fits you best helps you to not annoy other people and to find people and information that best helps you grow on your path.
The origins of the terms witch and wicca are not something I wish to discuss here as I am no expert but it seems that there is a great debate in the pagan world as to what sits where within the great witchdom. I think this has been made more complicated as Wicca has flown out out of Britain and around the world.
I grew up with a heritage of traditions and images relevant to paganism as a whole and a variety of images of what a witch was. This heritage did not solely include covens dancing in the moonlight but also a witch by herself with a cauldron brewing up a potion or helping women to give birth (or sheep for that matter). It includes carvings of the green man in local churches, ancient standing stones turned into tourist attractions and a landscape generally full of the pagan residue of past times.
Wicca seems to be a more recent term and until I am sure that what I am fits this label maybe I shouldn't use it to describe myself. But the word witch? Oh I am definitely a witch! I have a black dog (and a black and white one) instead of a black cat and my chamomile tea might come in teabag form. The ancient pagan practices of my country are all around me and I embrace them.
Although I don't have a problem with magic, I have found it very hard to celebrate by casting a circle with a knife and memorised invocations. I was unsure if this was me and something I had to work on or whether this difficulty was a sign that that path was not where my connection with all that is lies. Then I found this blog, which led to this forum and these posts which suggested otherwise.
The balance of my Libran scales stopped fluctuating. I went shopping and on my return I found a beautiful feather on the pavement right outside my door. A beautiful black with tawny gold spots that spread across it. It has been damaged but it felt like a little sign, particularly as the only birds normally found round my house are gulls, magpies and crows. Decision made and accepted.
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