Posted in Religion, Witchcraft

Witchcraft Demystified

This one is for the curious knowledge-seekers out there. The ones who feel the call of the Craft. The ones who wonder, “What really is witchcraft, and how can I get involved?”

This one if for the wary wonderers. The ones who are both repulsed and intrigued by the assumed “darkness” involved in witchcraft. The ones who think, “Am I going to Hell if I learn about this?”

This one is for people who just want to learn about witchcraft, and want to see some of the misconceptions that surround the Craft get debunked.

Here are some of the common questions I hear people ask about witchcraft:

1. Is witchcraft the same as Wicca?

Short answer? No. Long answer? It really depends. Many Wiccans practice witchcraft as a part of their religion. And there are witches, such as myself, who practice witchcraft alongside a completely different religion. And then there are even witches who are atheists! Witchcraft isn’t tied to any particular religion.

2. Is witchcraft evil?

Not necessarily, no. Could someone hypothetically use witchcraft to cast curses on innocent people? Of course. But the energy that witches harness during a spell or ritual is entirely neutral. It is up to the practitioner to decide whether they will use their abilities for good or evil.

3. Is witchcraft Satanic?

Refer to point #1. Just like with Wicca, witchcraft can be practiced alongside Satanism (or any religion) but it isn’t Satanic on its own. Witchcraft is what you make it.

4. Is witchcraft real?

I certainly think that it is. Spells that I’ve cast in the past have always worked.

5. Can you turn someone into a frog?

No. Unfortunately, witchcraft can’t defy the laws of physics. Though powerful, the Craft still has its limits.

6. Who can become a witch?

Anyone! Witchcraft does not belong to a single gender, race, socioeconomic class, or any strict category. If someone wishes to become a witch, they can do so.

 7. How can I become a witch?

Now, this is a tricky one, since there is no straightforward answer. Learn everything you can about witchcraft. Knowledge truly is power. Decide if you want to combine your Craft with your religion, or keep the two entirely separate. Learn how to write your own spells and how to recreate a ritual on your own. Perhaps follow other witches on your favorite social media sites and observe what they do. What I’m trying to say is: You can do almost anything you want to become a witch.

Hopefully I was able to dispel some common misconceptions about witchcraft and demystified the topic as a whole for you!

Question of the Day: What questions do you have about witchcraft? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Posted in Religion

A Hell-enic of a Time

Though it may not be immediately apparent, I’m a highly religious individual. I am a Hellenic polytheist somewhere between being a reconstructionist and a revivalist. What this means is that I worship the Greek gods and combine the traditional practices of the ancient Greeks with my own personal practices. And since my religion is such an important aspect of my identity and personal journey, I figured it would be fitting to write about it in my very first blog post.

I did not grow up a Hellenic polytheist. In fact, I didn’t fully convert to the religion until just a few years ago. I had been familiar with the Greek gods because I went through a phase in elementary and middle school where I was obsessed with mythology, and Greek mythology was always my favorite. I was particularly drawn to the story of Persephone, which I find amazing now that I worship Her. However, it wasn’t until I had joined the witchcraft and paganism side of Tumblr that I realized that worshiping the Theoi (Greek gods) was an option. That was when I began my research into the religion.

It would be an understatement to say that this religion changed my life. Were the changes extremely drastic? Perhaps not, by some standards. It did not cure my mental illness or cause me to suddenly reach enlightenment. What it did do, however, was change my perspective on a lot of things. In Hellenic polytheism, arete, or “excellence of any kind” is highly important. Essentially, in order to be a good person, you need to have excellent moral standing. To be a good person, you need to try your hardest to excel and achieve your dreams. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to be perfect at everything you do. Instead, it means that you should always try your hardest and put your best effort forward. And if you do have a specific talent, you shouldn’t let it fester and rot. You should try your best to always improve until you are the best that you can possibly be. Before, I was very guilty of half-assing things. I didn’t really care to try, most of the time. But since converting, I feel much more motivated. And in turn, I feel much more energized. And even when I fail or don’t do as well as I hoped, at least I can honestly tell myself that I did all that I can do.

My religion has also made me feel more responsible for my actions. When I don’t do my best, I try not to beat myself up over it, but I do take the time to reflect on it and apologize to any affected parties. Before, I’d just shrug it off without thinking about why I didn’t try harder or what the consequences might be.

Lastly, I have become far more resilient. The Theoi have taught me many lessons, and this is the one lesson I shall always be thankful for. I am far more confident in myself and who I am as a person. No matter how difficult things may become, I know that I am a strong and capable human being.

Question of the Day: How has your own religion affected who you are as a person? Let me know in the comments!