Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Power and Labels

 "All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan". And I am a witch trying to decide whether or not she wants to call herself Wiccan.

Witch: Someone who manipulates energies to make their will manifest. For example, if I was all hyper one night but needed to get to bed early for a test the following day, I might give my excess energy to a tree outside, or the heater. Or if I was exhausted, I might draw power from the sun or the wind. If someone near me was feeling pissy or sad, I might zap them with some positive energy; if someone was sick, I could try to fix whatever was wrong, or just boost their own immune system. If it was an oppressively hot day out, I could summon a wind and clouds to try and cool it down; if the area was experiencing a drought, I could try to summon storms. This is what I'm talking about when I say I'm using my power. No, none of this involves flying on broomsticks or sacrificing chickens or whatever scary nonsense there is about witches, and I don't have any warts :P

Wiccan: Someone who believes in Wicca. Obviously, like any other religion, there are tons of flavors, but the basic tenants of Wicca are the Reed ("An it harm none, do as ye Will"), belief in the God and Goddess, and understanding basic energy manipulation principles. The other flavors of Wicca generally involve adding on various other pagan dieties, different techniques for manipulating energies, different life philosophies, etc etc.

Now that we're clear on what I'm talking about, I shall elaborate.

Why do I even want to call myself Wiccan in the first place? It's a rather convenient label: people who know what Wicca is will at least have an the basic idea of how I see the world and approach things, they'll understand about my power, and my spirituality is pretty important to me, and since I try to be a "what you see is what you get" person, it's kinda important for me to announce that.

Why am I hesitant on calling myself Wiccan? I don't believe in worshipping dieties. I do believe they exist (all people have power, and when groups of people believe in a thing, they lend that thing power, and thus can give birth to a spirit who can affect things on behalf of their followers), but I don't believe in worshipping them... I've always found it silly. People try to make the sea into a person (Posiden), and then try to talk the person into not drowning them; people try to make the sun into a powerful warrior (Ra), and then try to talk him into lending help to their battles; people try to make the universe into a person (Yahweh), then ask the person to give them what they want out of life. I've never understood why people feel the need for these middlemen- why not just talk to the sea or sun or the universe? And I'm philosophically opposed to organized religion, I think it's just a bad idea to try and get people to agree on how they see the world.

So this battle is basically convenience against principle... The choice sounds easy when boiled down to that, but what do I say when people ask about my beliefs? If I say I'm agnostic, the subtext of that label is that I'm unsure of what I believe (when I am clear on what I believe), or that I'm apathetic (which I'm not). If I say I'm athiest, I pronounce that I hold no water with spirituality, and that's obviously not true. The Wiccan label holds the appropriate subtext to convey how I think and feel about the world (at least to people who don't think we're all scary freaks XD)... Then again, most people understand that people of the same religion believe different things, so people who truly want to know how I think will ask more detailed questions, and people who are just asking for mild curiosity's sake will just take that answer and move on, saving myself from opening up to someone not that interested in me. Yeah, I think I'll go that route ^.^

Child of the Sun and Moon
Harmony with Nature's tune
Dancing with the Spirits free
Witch I am and Witch I'll be!

This is a scrap of song I found, and it resonates with me (basically describes how I feel about my place in the world), so have a bit more insight (not like you dear imaginary readers care, but still XD).

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