Are You a Witch?
Reading Time: 4 minutes
© Cindie Chavez – 2019
This morning I came across an article stating that Conservatives are claiming Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a witch that is leading an attack on the President. Of course, this angle is nothing new, we only have to gaze into the recent past to see the same accusation against Hillary Clinton and so many other powerful women doing good work in the world.
A few moments before I saw this article I had posted a link to an article I had written in 2017 for WITCH magazine. A few of my friends shared the article, and a reader posted a comment letting me know she enjoyed the article, along with a remark that she doesn’t identify with the word witch. I counted this as a synchronicity, understanding the obvious reason why even the most esoteric of us might not feel comfortable identifying with the word “witch”.
I thought about my own resistance to identifying as a witch. I’ve preferred to be called a magician instead – not that I have anything against witches, but because I haven’t earned the title. I don’t practice Wicca.
I do practice magic. So, the label “magician” has always made more sense to me personally. However, my spiritual path has been a long, winding, and sometimes rocky road that has meandered through many different practices and belief systems. I could just as easily adopt half a dozen other “labels” that hold true as well. I’m a Jew. I’m a Bodhisattva. I’m an artist. I’m a coach. I’m a tarot reader. I’m a writer. I work my magic through many different avenues.
But those labels only tell a short story of how I practice. And to me, it doesn’t really matter if you call it a prayer or a spell – they’re both shallow surface descriptions of deep spiritual work that has a specific goal as its outcome.
Recently someone asked me what I mean when I say “magic.” I gave them my own personal definition – “Magic is the successful result of any conscious action taken to bring something from the metaphysical realm – (the realm of wishes, dreams, hopes, ideas, plans, brainstorms, etc.) into the material, physical realm (yes, everyday life!) having the hallmark of ease, grace, synchronicity and an element of surprise and delight.”
But that’s not to say that magic is “easy”. Because the practice of magic requires study, determination, consistency, and commitment. Like most practices – you get out of it what you put into it. And like most practices there is a huge learning curve that will produce many outcomes that are less than exceptional, especially in the beginning.
As many times as I’ve seen someone snap their fingers exclaiming that something “worked like magic” – that’s generally not how magic works.
And although you can absorb a multitude of information by reading books and studying texts and magical theories, magic doesn’t work in theory – it works in practice. It takes effort and it takes time. Like most strategies here on Earth, magic works through mundane pathways, and it doesn’t always work the way we expect.
We work our magic according to our own unique practices. Witches, magicians, wizards, priests/priestesses, shamans. But also, as parents, teachers, chefs, artists, musicians, doctors, lawyers, technicians, add-your-profession-here.
We work our magic as humans because the working of magic is intrinsic to the human spirit. We all have the innate ability to create. Given the right tools and environment we all have the ability to excel, to work miracles, to thrive, to do good in the world – no matter the label we give ourselves.
Unfortunately, the label of “witch” has too often been an epithet to denigrate women.
Merriam Webster defines wizard as noun 1. archaic: a wise man, SAGE, 2: one skilled in magic: SORCERER, and 3.”a very clever or skilled person // computer wizards. There is also an entry for adjective – (marked as chiefly British) that says “worthy of highest praise: EXCELLENT
The same dictionary defines witch as noun 1. one that is credited with usually malignant supernatural powers, *especially*: a woman practicing usually black witchcraft often with the aid of a devil or familiar: SORCERESS, 2. an ugly old woman: HAG
I’m reminded of a quote from Yoko Ono: “I think that all women are witches, in the sense that a witch is a magical being. And a wizard, which is a male version of a witch, is kind of revered, and people respect wizards. But a witch, my god, we have to burn them.”
French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote most eloquently that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
I like to expand that thought to consider the idea that inherent in our human and spiritual natures is the ability to make magic, to be magical. Magic isn’t just a practice, it is part of our identity.
We all have the potential to work magic if we are willing to show up consistently, be committed to the work, hone our skills, perfect our craft, and step into our power. Some of us will use a pen or paintbrush, some of us a whisk, some of us a magic wand. We are unique beings and our magic will show up in unique ways. The common denominator is power and our relationship to it.
There is a reason that powerful women get called witches. The patriarchy has never been comfortable with women having power of any kind. Equality feels like oppression to those who have always had the upper hand. But our power is ours. And our magic is a result of that power. And our magic can save the world.
If powerful women using their own unique brand of magic to do good in the world is the definition of witch, then count me in and call me a witch. I know I’ll be in good company.
More by Cindie:
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONTREAT™ – and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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