QUESTION - My mother (and almost every woman in my family) follow a certain Wiccan tradition. I was, in a way, born into it and have followed in their footsteps. But, now, I want to branch out on my own and I feel more comfortable and sort of more drawn to being an Eclectic Witch. I'm not sure how to tell them. Do you have any advice for someone who comes from a Wiccan family who wants to change her Wiccan path? And how would I go about it? Thank you and Blessed Be.
ANSWER - I think the most important thing is to open up the lines of communication and be honest that the path you are following isn’t working for you at the moment. Don’t criticise the path itself as this will get their backs up, instead explain that while you respect who they are and what they do you want to follow a different path for a while, one that fits more with who you are as a person and as a witch. I really believe the important thing is getting over the message that you are not rejecting Wicca because you believe it is flawed in any way, just that it isn’t the best fit for you personally at this stage of your life. If you can get this over with sincerity I think they will be on your side.
In terms of moving onto that new path I think you need to be wary for a while of putting any labels on yourself (except the term eclectic which leaves you open to all influences and possibilities and doesn’t close any doors while your journey is still new to you). Research rather than adopt different traditions, talk to other witches about what works for them and start to learn about other ideas and ways of working which you may wish to adapt into your own framework.
Wicca is a very structured faith (observation not a criticism) and the main challenge for you in branching out as a solitary will be listening to your own voice instead of following the guidance laid down to you by Wicca. I personally feel this will have a beneficial effect on your craft as you will be working more closely with your own intuition and what feels right to you. I’ve seen many a Wiccan witch complain she can’t complete a working due to not having x,y and z at her disposal. Craft at its most fundamental is the art of improvisation, the ability to use what is provided for you by the natural world to influence and change in the direction of your own intentions.
So keep an open mind, learn as much as you can and take the time to learn what works for you. You may find you gravitate toward a tradition that feels right, you equally may find that you adopt an entirely original path drawing on the influences you have come across in your reading and talking to others. The best advice I can give you is not to underestimate the power of your own intuition. It is your path, be guided by what feels right for you.
QUESTION - I was waiting at a bus stop with my husband when an elderly woman, dressed very glamorously in a black fur and perfect make-up, appeared in front of me and grasped my hand. She looked me right in the eye and said "you two are BEAUTIFUL together". I thanked her and told her that that was a lovely thing to hear, slightly in shock at being accosted and spoken to in the street - sadly London is not the friendliest of places and she'd appeared seemingly from nowhere so I was a little startled. She looked me very deeply in the eyes and I felt a vibe from her that I can't explain... my first thought on looking into her incredibly sparkly eyes was that she was looking right into me.
The strange things are that my husband, who was standing a little way from me (it would not have been obvious that we were a couple, we weren't stood particularly close or having a conversation) swears that she took *his* hand and looked into *his* eyes and spoke to *him*. She then walked off, and as we watched her progress up the pavement away from us, some other people came between us and her... and when they moved aside, she had disappeared. Both of us were convinced it was someone giving us a message but we can't figure out who it was - neither of us recognised her as a family member. Since my great-grandparents died, I have seen several of them on multiple occasions during times of stress and always found it very reassuring and comforting, but this wasn't one of them. What would you make of this?
ANSWER - I’ve got a few ideas about this, one where she’s a charlatan and one where she isn’t.
Let’s be cynical first. One of the ways spiritual confidence tricksters work is by observing people for a lot longer than they are aware of. You may have been standing apart from your husband for a short period of time but undoubtedly you walked to the bus stop together, probably immersed in conversation and definitely leaving no doubt as to the fact that you are a couple. What seems mysterious if you believe she only observed you for a minute or two soon gets a very mundane explanation if you allow for the fact she had been watching you for a while.
The problem with that theory is that she didn’t ask anything from you. So if she was a charlatan, what has she got out of it? Possibly she’s on some sort of ego trip that involves getting strangers to stare at her in admiration. How likely that is I don’t know but it is an option to consider. Equally she might just be a nice person who genuinely thinks you make a nice couple and decided to share that thought with you.
What makes your story more interesting is the fact that you both believed she was speaking to you. Again I could give you a mundane explanation – some people have (for want of a better word) a mesmerising personality that makes people feel they are the sole subject of that person’s attention. It’s also interesting though the way you describe the lady’s eyes, I wonder if the intensity of her focus suggests she was possibly using a mild form of hypnosis on you.
Even if she was using hypnosis or deliberately confusing you both by appearing to be having the conversation with both of you it still begs the question as to why bother doing any of this with nothing to gain from it. So although in some ways this is the most likely explanation, unless we can come up with a good reason as to why she would do such a thing it isn’t the explanation that best fits the facts.
The message she chose to give you is also a strange element in all this. I think if she had been a relative or somebody you had met in a past life she might have offered something more insightful or given you some practical advice. Stating you are beautiful together is a very impersonal kind of comment and I’d suggest one likely to be made by somebody with no knowledge of your personalities so who has to comment on what is readily available on first impressions, in this case your physical appearance. Interesting also that from her own appearance this lady obviously puts a great stock on beauty. It’s possible that she was genuinely struck by how good you do look together as a couple and just felt compelled to comment on it. Perhaps you remind her of herself at a younger age and she was inspired by the memory to offer the compliment.
The appearing and disappearing could simply be you lost sight of her in the crowd. If London is still as manic as I always remember it to be that is a strong possibility. Can we legitimately consider the possibility that she wasn’t a physical entity but instead a passing spirit with no fixed corporeal identity? Yes we can. It’s certainly not implausible that you encountered somebody not of this world. I’d be interested to know if anybody else at the bus stop acknowledged her presence in any way. Could it have been possible that only the two of you saw her or did anyone else interact with her (step out of her way for example)?
It strikes me that the really interesting aspect of this question is that the facts don’t point to any one simple explanation. I can see an eccentric old woman wanting to share her thought that you are a beautiful couple but that doesn’t explain her disappearing from sight or the fact that you were both convinced she spoke to you individually. I can see a spirit being moved to give you a message but doesn’t explain why the message was such a simple one. My personal instinct would be that the true explanation is actually a blend of the two. You encountered a genuine spirit but one with no personal connection to you who saw an attractive couple and wanted to give you a compliment.
My view is by no means the only explanation though. Sadly without more facts it’s unlikely you’ll ever get a definitive answer on this one.
Can I produce energy to release it as a powerful force? And how can I relax myself with meditation?
In terms of producing energy there are a few different ways of doing this. Most witches will have a favoured method of raising energy. This can be a purely mental process or can involve physical elements such as dance or Yoga. One of the best ways I ever heard was to use a hula hoop to draw up the energy from the earth. If I ever master the art of hooping I would so pinch that idea!
The idea behind the raising of energy isn’t dissimilar to the idea of potential energy in science. Think the pulling back of an elastic band which gets more and more energy “stored” as the tension is tightened. When it finally pings it zips across the room using all that potential energy that has been raised through the process of tightening the tension on the band. The witch uses herself as an energy store in the same way, she learns how to gather energy, either raising it from the earth or centering her own energy and power into a focus and then she directs her intent forward using that energy for maximum effect.
Naturally the better you are at finding and focusing that energy the more powerful the force you are able to release. This is why it is important to play with different techniques and what works for you in order to be able to project your intent to your own full potential.
You ask about meditation in your question and how to use it to relax yourself. I think the most important thing about meditation is finding a visualisation that works for you. The common misconception that making your mind blank is the way forward is flawed as very, very few people are skilled enough to have the ability to think of nothing at all. I believe the best way to start with meditation is to focus on a single colour and only allow objects and concepts associated with that colour to enter your mind. This will help you learn how to block unnecessary thoughts from your mind and also to control your own mental processes. Focusing on earth colours like green and blue will also induce a sense of calm. I’d also suggest you have some way of ensuring you are not going to be interrupted (I have a sign on my door and when it is turned over everybody in the household knows not to interrupt under any circumstances), no distractions like mobile phones or computers, as much natural light as possible (outdoor light or candles), gentle music without lyrics and a subtle scent in the air. Don’t make the mistake of filling the room so full of incense that you choke throughout your meditation. The idea behind this is that all your senses are being lulled into calm making it easier for you to focus on the images you wish to hold in your mind.
Have a read of this question too How do I switch off my mind when I meditate?
I think you are confusing witchcraft with the power of telekinesis here which is employing thought waves to move physical objects. It’s a debated point whether this is a natural gift or something that could be achieved over time with proficient and focused meditation. There is certainly documented scientific evidence to support the fact that telekinesis exists but it is interesting to note that the subjects do not self identify as witches or magical practitioners.
I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that a witch skilled in projecting intent and focusing her mind might be able to light a candle in this manner. What I would question however is why any witch would want to do it… The whole point of witchcraft is that magic and power are employed for practical and necessary purposes. To go to all that effort to achieve something a task mentally that could be very easily performed by buying a box of matches seems to me to fly in the face of what any reasonable witch wants to get out of her craft.
Most can’t. Those who could wouldn’t bother because there is no value in developing this skill.
QUESTION - I am not a witch, but my daughter ( will be 13 in May) and I are very interested. We are Native American and notice a lot of similarities. Any help in where to get started would be appreciated. Also, I hope this doesn't sound like a stupid question, but is being a Witch and Wicca the same thing? Thank you.
ANSWER – Not a stupid question at all. It’s a question that probably causes more controversy on Pagan based social media sites than any other and my only surprise is that we’ve been running Witch Path Forward for nearly four years now and this is the first time it has been asked!
The straightforward answer is that Witch and a Wiccan are terms relating to different things. “Witch” is a descriptor of somebody who practises witchcraft and “Wiccan” relates to a person who follows the Wiccan religion. A witch can be a Wiccan and a Wiccan can be a witch. Not all witches are Wiccan but all Wiccans tend to be classed as witches as the practise of witchcraft is a part of what it is to follow Wicca.
Clear as mud?
I think you will find this article on Traditional Witchcraft and this article on Wicca helpful as they go into greater detail in relation to the two terms.
It is important to remember that witchcraft per se is a secular craft and does not involve any aspect of religion. The practise of witchcraft can be combined with a belief in religion – most commonly Wicca - but it can equally be practised by an atheist or non believer. However a Wiccan will always believe in deity as a belief in the God and Goddess is one of the core beliefs of the Wiccan faith.
Wicca tends to be the more widely practised, especially in America and has enjoyed a lot of positive publicity over the last twenty years or so. However Traditional Witches tend to be more secretive and private about their practises so for this reason it would be hard to estimate the number of witches practising independently of Wicca.
Traditional Witchcraft is considerably older than Wicca which was established in the 1950s. Wicca does draw on some older influences but the religion itself did not come into being until the middle half of the twentieth century. Any “Wiccan” claiming a longevity of their faith that goes beyond this is probably confusing “Wicca” with the older practise of witchcraft which dates back to Medieval times and beyond.
In terms of a good starting point for you and your daughter I have popped a few links below to questions we’ve covered on the site before on this subject. I hope you find them helpful and wish both of you the very best of luck in starting on your journey.
Can you recommend some books on witchcraft please?
How do you know that you are a witch?
What is the simplest way to become a witch?
How do I become a witch?
Suggestions for a lone witch just starting out?
QUESTION - My mom passed away on the second Christmas night three years ago. I still miss her every day. Is she ok now?
ANSWER – I am very sorry for the loss of your mother and appreciate that even three years later this must still be a very difficult time for you.
I wanted to answer this question because I think it is the kind of question that a lot of magical/spiritual sites answer badly and I believe it is very important that people with genuine grief are not exploited by (witches or otherwise) people who would look to use that grief to serve personal gain.
I am therefore sorry to tell you that I am unable to offer any information relating to your mother after her passing. Much as I would like to be able to offer you comfort by telling you with certainty she is content in an afterlife I do not have the facts to back up such a confident assertion.
There are genuine mediums whom I firmly believe have the ability to contact the dead. However for every genuine medium there will be twenty others who believe they have the gift or who lie about having the gift. In a matter as personal and emotionally charged as contacting a relative who has passed over it is my belief you should research very thoroughly anybody you intend to trust to assist you in this. Even a genuine medium would struggle to give you any valid information based on a question via a website. The best mediums would want to get to know you, to understand a bit about your mother and who she was, learn her name, perhaps handle her possessions. I doubt even the very best mediums would be able to give you any kind of genuine answer in relation to your mother based on the very limited information I ask for on the Ask a Witch a Question submission form.
Guard against being too quick to trust. It would be very easy for an unscrupulous website to write back and say – Mother is doing fine, send me £100 and I’ll tell you more details. Some, sadly, would reply in exactly this manner.
Having said that I am happy to share my beliefs with you with the understanding these are beliefs and not esoteric knowledge based on my abilities as a witch. I believe that when people pass over they go into a period of rest state while they prepare for their next life in this world. I genuinely believe they retain the links they made with others in their previous lives and that these human soul based relationships will replay themselves in other incarnations at other times. I believe death is a necessity for the human soul to be recharged and rested before undertaking the effort of beginning a new life and a new existence. I see death as a positive phase of rejuvenation, the gathering of energies toward a new direction and a new purpose.
With these beliefs strongly at the forefront of my mind I would guess your mother to be rested and at peace.
QUESTION - Today I was leaving work and before I walked out there were 2 ravens or crows sitting outside by my car then as I stood there they flew on top of my car. A little freaked I went to my office grabbed some crackers and went outside. One flew to the nearest tree and the other on top of the building but still close enough to my car. I broke up the crackers on the other side of my car and turned to get in my car. The bird that was in the tree flew so close to my head that I had to duck so he wouldn't hit me. All I have been able to find is dreams about black birds, however this was no dream. My grandmother used to say it is a bad omen. And bad luck always comes in 3's in my family. Please help.
ANSWER - I’m always a bit sceptical about the idea of messengers from the animal kingdom being bad omens. Usually when an animal or bird goes out of its way to interact with you it is more valuable to try and work out what the symbolism means and what, if any, wisdom the animal may be trying to impart. Rationally you know this raven is incapable of making any material different to your life (unless it behaves like a seagull and decides to attack you!) so linking its appearance to your levels of luck seems a bit too tenuous a link.
It’s a shame we don’t know if the birds were ravens or crows. Ravens tend to be the bigger of the two but that’s only a useful comparison if the two birds happen to be standing side by side. I’ve had a look at birds in your local geography and ravens tend to be the more common. Ravens apparently also tend to “soar” more so if the flight you observed was more of a soar than a flap chances are the birds you saw were ravens.
Ravens are traditionally associated with being the messengers of death (so I suppose it is easy to see why they are viewed as ill omens…). However in much the same way that the Death card in the Tarot deck doesn’t mean it is time to start booking your funeral, in the same case with animal symbolism “death” does not always mean in the literal sense. Death can refer not just to the end of life but to the end of a way of life and to the new way of life that would necessarily entail.
I think the idea of self change is echoed by the bird’s flight toward you. Put literally you faced injury (if you hadn’t ducked you would have been hurt) but by your own actions you changed your fate. This fits in with the bigger picture – the association with death isn’t your own death but a death of the path you are currently treading. By making positive changes (symbolised by the ducking) you avert negativity and move forward with your life in a positive and fulfilling manner.
I am a bloodline witch but I don't practice very often and I have a friend that called me asking me if it was possible for another witch to switch two mens souls. I've some research and come up with different answers but I would like a more knowledgeable answer. Thanks!
To the best of my knowledge no. I’ve asked around a bit and nobody I’ve spoken to sees how this could be done either. There is some conjecture that if two people both travelled the astral at the same time it might theoretically be possible for them to “exchange” bodies but I was unable to find anybody among my acquaintances with first hand knowledge of this.
The body and soul are commonly perceived as being linked together by, for want of a better word, a spiritual cord. This tethers the soul to the body and ensures the two are not separated until such a time as death severs the cord. If you subscribe to this idea then it wouldn’t be possible for a soul to inhabit the living body of another.
QUESTION - Ever since I was little I have been able to see the future in my dreams and talk with angels and see demons and a whole bunch of weird stuff. From whole days to small details, now all of this was basically normal to me until a few years ago someone cast a "curse" or a spell to cause harm to my family using satanic rituals which ended up in repeated death like situations to me and all ended up in failure and lots of confrontation inside the family so my family opted in going to a Palero which basically exorcised the demon out of my mother in front of my eyes but the demon himself said how much he had wanted to kill me but he said he couldn’t since God didn’t let him because I’m an angel and basically since then for me everything for me goes downfall my dreams just keep becoming more often and stronger, now ever since little I have been a vividly drawn into mythology, astrology, witchcraft or anything else to find someone similar yet to no avail and even sometimes witches say I’m too strong for them and can’t help me or they say they can’t see anything else but that I’m different somehow. Speaking to a religious person is like talking to a self centered money monger idiot so I can only try and ask if whether such a thing is possible or I’m just crazy. Thanks in advance and best regards.
ANSWER – You will be delighted to know that I am not qualified to comment on whether or not you are crazy so we’ll move forward with the presumption that you are not crazy and the understanding that if you want that confirming you see a qualified psychologist rather than a witch.
The nature of dreams is a tricky subject indeed. The “weird stuff” you refer to is not at all uncommon. In fact the only time I’d ever be surprised about the nature of another person’s reams is if they told me they didn’t dream weird stuff. Dreams are essentially fragmented pieces of our sub conscious which come together, often in very strange ways. If you analyse a dream you can usually work out why certain elements have appeared. It might be a book you are reading perhaps, a song you heard on the radio, a phrase you heard that day on the TV, a chat at work. Your subconscious stores things you may not have noticed on a conscious level and then these ideas, images and concepts come out to play when you go to sleep.
That said I would be loathe to deny that dreams can have an element of clairvoyance. It isn’t very common but there is enough evidence of precognition facilitated through the dream world for me to believe there is some amount of truth to it. My own theory would be that it isn’t the dream itself that is foretelling the future, it is your own intuition but your conscious mind isn’t rested enough to hear the intuition so the suppressed knowledge comes out in the form of a dream instead. I think you would find if you meditated regularly and learned to distance yourself from the noise and detail of the mundane world you would actually be able to grasp that foreknowledge on a conscious level.
The situation where you discuss the demon is interesting and I noted you come from a very Catholic country where demonic possession is perhaps taken more seriously than it is in some other parts of the world. I’m sceptical (depending on your age) whether it was appropriate for you to be at the exorcism of your mother and I wonder if the trauma has had some impact on the nature of the dreams you are experiencing. In terms of the demon itself, expressing an intent to kill is not indicative of its actual abilities. Many demons are not actually all that powerful. However the fear associated with any demonic interaction can be potent and I am not surprised the memory has stayed with you.
You seem to see the demon incident as being a catalyst for your life taking a downward turn but I actually doubt this is the case. A person either is or isn’t possessed. It doesn’t come in degrees. If the exorcism was successful, the demon was banished and it would therefore have no further impact on your life. What I suspect is more likely is you need some help putting the whole experience to bed and moving on. I think it’s your own mind and not the demon that is causing you problems. Chatting things through with a therapist who has a good understanding and more important an open mind to the occult may help a good deal. The fact that you are also filling your mind with books of witchcraft and mythology may also be exacerbating the problem. As with dreams, what we put into our minds is often what comes out. Try to steer away from the metaphysical for a while, give your mind a rest.
You seem very conflicted on your views of religion. You use terminology that seems very Christian but then conclude that religious people have no meaning for you. I wonder if some of this internal conflict is contributing to the problems you explain in your question. I would have a good think about how you can find a harmony between your experiences and your religious beliefs and try and find a way to forge a unity between them. Nothing is likely to upset the balance of your mind more than an internal struggle with your own belief system. Be honest with yourself and I think that will take some off the pressure off your shoulders.
QUESTION - Please excuse the question if this offends you, I have no knowledge of witchcraft or any other spiritual type of practice. My brother age 22 (9 at the time) and sister age 20 (7 at the time) describe a time when they were younger where they walked in to the house after school and were grabbed by 3 people and tied to chairs back to back. They say these people wore long masks and were dressed in weird "native american looking robes". The people circled them while chanting and singing. They could not understand what they were saying. This lasted for approximately 15 minutes. After the chanting stopped the people left the room. Immediately after, our stepmother walked in, untied them and acted as if nothing had happened. My sister has had nightmares about this ever since. Aside from this incident our step-mother has never practiced any sort of religion or belief that we are aware of. They have asked her about it and she denies any of it ever happening. Have you ever heard or read anything about this?
ANSWER - There is a saying in the Christian religion that I am particularly fond of – “The gifts of the spirit are recognised by their fruits.” This roughly translates that you can see the hand of God in things where the outcome is positive. Equally however this could be applied to negative forces – we can guess at malevolence when the outcome is negative.
The interesting thing in the case you present here is that there do not seem to be any consequences. The only repercussion of the event seems to be the nightmares you mention and it is quite natural for a distressing event to cause nightmares for those involved.
My point really being that I doubt this has much to do with witchcraft. Had it been a craft focused ritual it would have had a specific purpose and I think the consequences of said ritual would have become evident. The children appear not to have been harmed in any way, there are no major life changes you mention occurring after the tying up. I think a formal ritual completed by three people (presuming they knew what they were doing) would have achieved something. The fact that it didn’t suggests to me that is wasn’t connected with magic or the occult.
The robes could have been native American – I’m afraid my knowledge of Native American magic is not very extensive – but most magical traditions involve formal dress and all long robes do bear some resemblance to one another. Not impossible to see this as a Wiccan or perhaps a Hoodoo blessing on the children or even a Native American tradition I am not aware of. What I will do, when I post this, is ask our 11,000 strong Facebook crowd if anyone has any particular knowledge and understanding of traditions in this area and whether they can help to shed any more light on this for you.
A couple more things though. You mention that they have discussed this with the stepmother. How did she react? If somebody told me I had been involved in something like this I would be extremely curious and want to know more. I’d be very suspicious she is hiding something if she has just dismissed the whole thing without asking any questions…
I would also consider the possibility that the event did not take place in real time and was in fact a dream shared by the two of them. If this was the case then there may have been a trigger (a scary tv programme etc) that caused one of them to go into the dream cycle of the other. This would explain why the stepmother is unaware of the event.
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