Generally you would be hard pressed to find anyone at all without at least a smattering of psychic powers. And I don't just mean witches, I mean everyone. Humans operate on a range of different senses and a psychic sense is just one of the abilities that makes up the mix. Don't believe me? Go and talk to people you know, if you come across anyone at all who hasn't had a prophecy dream, seen a ghost or finished somebody else's sentence before them I'll cheerfully eat my (witches) hat.
So a witch is going to be psychic just because he or she is a human. But what I think you mean is do witches have to be more psychic than non witches?
Witches do not necessarily have greater psychic powers than your milkman. But what they do have is an awareness of the powers they possess and an understanding of how to use them. Take me for example, I am probably the least psychically gifted female in my immediate bloodline but as I use and develop the limited psychic powers I do have I will get more results than my more gifted relatives who choose not to utilise the potentially greater powers that they have.
A good witch will work with her natural abilities. A psychic witch may well use spirit communications in many of her workings, a less psychic witch like myself may be more concerned with energy generation and personal will (I've got will in spades....).
A lot of the witches I know will understand and harness their personal strengths and in many cases, perhaps surprisingly, these strengths do not include particularly developed psychic powers.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1388426 (Vieran2001)
Usually a curse is the more serious of the two. A curse may also have long term repercussions and live on through generations.
A hex will be more of a one off piece of magic and more instantaneous. Curses summon anger and hatred, a hex is more for irritation and annoyance.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1137587 (Grumpy871)
Spells are general magic workings, usually employing the direction of energy and will. A charm is a specific piece of magic involving endowing a physical object with desired properties (usually protective). A talisman would be a charm whereas an incantation would be a spell.
However the word spell also has a more general meaning as an umbrella term for all magical workings.
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=866121 (elkfish)
QUESTION - I am trying to figure out what path I am headed on.. I believe in every living thing being connected and therefore responsible to each other.. I don't believe in gods as people but as energy. How in the world do I figure out what I am? I know lots of people say not to label but I would like a direction to go in my studies.. Thanks!
ANSWER - I understand what you mean. Yes, labels can be frustrating to some people but sometimes they give you the confidence to know you are heading in a direction with a definite goal and a certain progression. And it certainly helps in understanding what you are and in explaining yourself to other people.
But equally, applying a label to yourself when you are still open to all the ideas and influences that can help you define your personal path can be limiting and may mean that you end up rejecting elements of tradition and learning that could have strengthened your own path and helped you on your journey. So yes, apply labels with caution.
So instead of looking for a hard and fast definition of yourself, lets explore the general directions that you could start to look into. The lack of belief in the Gods probably rules out formal Wicca as Wicca is very much a religious path. But your very humanist focus on interrelated energies could suggest you would be suited to a Druidic path. Or even a Shamanistic path. Meditate on what your core beliefs are. Do you have an affinity with nature, animals, magic? Do you seek to shape your own destiny or to blend into a pattern as you relate to other people? Do you practice magic? Are you drawn to ceremony and ritual or simple acts of everyday influence?
The thing is that few magical practitioners fit neatly into a labelled box. People have diverse ideas and beliefs and the paths of most are a blend of what suits them. This is often referred to as eclectic witchcraft. Rather than looking for a path where you feel every element is right for you, why not pull together the elements from each way that feel right for what you want to do. You can label your path eclectic and your journey forward will be more personal and more right for you as everything you choose to practise, believe or study will be based on your own intuition on what will work for you.
So what I am saying is bend the path to suit you, don't bend yourself to follow the path.
QUESTION - Sometimes I have thoughts that I know are wrong and I can't tell people about them because they would think I am disgusting. Is there magical stuff I can do to push these thoughts out of my head. I have heard that if you meditate you can make your mind go blank?
ANSWER - Ok, take a minute to read your question back to yourself. You are asking about thoughts. Not actions, not deeds you have done to hurt people but a few private thoughts in your own mind. What makes you label these thoughts as wrong? And don't tell yourself that I don't understand what kind of things you're thinking because I can assure you that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that this witch hasn't heard before. So no matter how awful, depraved, violent or just plain sick these thoughts are, the fact that you have them in your own private headspace isn't shocking at all. In fact its normal with a capital N. There can be no judgement value to thoughts, they don't cause harm to anyone. Thoughts just sit there harmlessly in your head. And if they bring you comfort or pleasure then what harm can they possibly do? The harm only comes if you choose to act on those thoughts. And that is always a choice. Just because you think something doesn't mean you have to do it or even that you actually want to do it. You just like thinking about it. And that's fine. If I had acted on every thought I've ever enjoyed I would have spent the last twenty years in Broadmoor. So stop worrying, be glad you have enough imagination to think up these weird and wonderful thoughts and enjoy them. Keep them private, keep them to yourself and take it from me, you are doing nothing wrong at all.
Meditation by the way can achieve a temporary clearing of the mind but I doubt anybody ever has had the meditation skills to keep selected ideas out of their head permanently. Its a bit like the old saying - don't think of a pink elephant - and even as you read this a pastel pink Nelly is trumpeting through your head..... Its just the way humans work, if we feel we are not supposed to think about something we can't get the damn thought out of our mind. Enjoy the inside of your head, its a wonderful place to be x
Image http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=1359365 (Lfelton)
No. Case in point
The older I get, the less I think its important to be clever. Intelligence is a funny thing, up to a certain level its very desirable but beyond that level it can actually become a bit of a bind. Some of the most brilliant people I have known have been the least plugged into reality. Brilliant people become very reliant on their brains and often distrust anything that lacks a rational explanation. And following any kind of spiritual path requires you to be open to all your senses not just your intellect. Extreme intelligence may flourish in an academic discipline but it might find itself floundering a bit in the world of witchcraft. We tend to feel more than we think. (I'll pop a disclaimer in here as I can almost feel the 500 witches on my twitter feed queuing up to give me a slap... Some witches are very clever indeed, lol). So I don't think not being known for your brains would hold anybody back from being a witch. And last time I checked, there were no entry exams....
I first started with the theory many years ago but the practice coincided with a period in my life when I was actively looking for a religion that suited my beliefs. After a flirtation with Christianity, a rejection of Gnostocism and a brief spell with Wicca I found myself unable to focus my own beliefs into a formal structure created by others. So I became religiously independent, practicing my faith the way I want without all the confusion of other people's ideas and structures cluttering up the personal landscape of what I believe in. I'm very much about a direct relationship with the Gods and all this intercession and formal religion just distracts me from the path of my personal faith. So the witchcraft kind of turned up with Wicca and then evolved into a blend of traditional craft, some Wicca beliefs and my own practices borne out of my journey into my own religion. The practice of witchcraft appeals to me because it involves taking direct power and responsibility for your own life into your hands. Following the craft has enabled me to dictate my own terms when dealing with the world. I don't feel helpless and in the hands of others or even the Gods, I take responsibility for guiding my own life in the direction I want it to go.
Well I don't really see being a witch as something I switch on and off. I might go through periods where I practise more intensely than others but it isn't something I do, its something I am. Having said that I believe it is critical to achieve a balance in order to function as an integrated human being. And I'm afraid I'm a bit scathing of people who try to subsume their personalities to follow the crowd. You don't think a witch should listen to Abba? Hard cheese. Personal identity outweighs cultural conformity in my book any day.
So I have a wide range of different interests, some of which include witchcraft, some don't. As you'll know from my blog, I keep degus. They take up quite a lot of my time. Then there is my big fluffy neurotic needy didi cat who needs a lot of love and attention and cuddles. I read historical novels set in Medieval and Tudor times, I play Farmville (with a little too much enthusiasm) and I also write romantic fiction, well kind of 1970s type bodice rippers where the heroes are dark, brooding and dominant...(great fun though I doubt the publishers would go for my more lurid scenes of lust!).
I even find time between all this to work in banking during the daylight hours.
This came up on one of my forums the other day and got some very conflicting opinions. Some witches said it was a load of rubbish, others insisted they would never chop any hair off. Some would only cut it on the full moon. I don't think there is any intrinsic power in long hair (though I'm getting completely fixated on growing mine long for the first time ever) but anything can become associated with power if you believe it enough. So a witch who believes her hair holds power may well notice a temporary dwindle in her powers when she has a hair cut. A witch who doesn't link the two probably won't be affected. The power of the mind is just as potent as anything we do in the world of magic...
(Disclaimer - Not my hair! But this is how long I would like it)
Hmmm. I'd like to say no to that but I'm afraid that yes might be a more honest answer. Though it depends on what you mean by bad. I have certainly used witchcraft to give me an advantage in situations over other people. I have used it to improve my finances, to make other people change their mind to agree with me and occasionally to send a bit of suffering out (pretty much exclusively to people who harm animals.) But isn't that just using my skill set wisely? If I were very beautiful I would certainly exploit my looks. If I had a photographic memory I'd use that to my advantage. I don't think using the odd bit of magic here and there to advance my own interests is necessarily bad... I have a personal moral code that I don't overstep, I'm certainly not a no holds barred kind of person. On the whole I think I'm more balanced toward helping others than promoting my own advancement. So in terms of do I do anything really bad, no, at least I don't think so!
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