“I’m not a witch, I’m not a witch!”

“But you are dressed as one.”

“They dressed me up like this!” (Monty not a witchPython and the Holy Grail)

 

Well, I did do the stockings….

I recently read an article about how people were witches (whether they were wiccan, pagan or even chose to call themselves witches). This reminded me of an incident when I was around 15 or 16. Someone in a checkout line told me that I was a witch. I tried to explain that I wasn’t, I knew witches, but wasn’t one. They demurred. “You’re a witch, I can tell.” I don’t like other people defining me, and I really hate that there are terms that are so loosely, yet widely used, and as such get in the way of communication rather than facilitating it.
This author defined the term witch “A witch is a person (of any gender or belief) who lives by her own internal validation and creative inspiration rather than seeking approval from the powers-that-be.” Hey, at least she did provide her personal definition. That’s a start.

But In other words, like Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland, her words mean what she wants them to mean…. Until they reach the ears of other people, and then the confusion begins. I am not against people living for their own approval, but that isn’t a witch, and I really resent the abuse of the word.
witch's feet under houseI wear striped stockings a lot, and so am frequently asked if I’m a witch (Thank you Adrian, MGM costumer for Wizard of Oz), and I sometimes respond by asking “What do you mean when you say witch?” and answer according to their definition. I’m not Wiccan. I certainly have no pact with the Devil! On the other hand, I DO use magick for healing, divination, weatherworking, and several other things associated with witches. I doubt we’ll ever get people to pick one use for the word witch (or socialist, or Nazi) because they’re just too “handy” words to talk about other people- especially ones you don’t know very well.
(Even worse- I am fairly certain this was less an article than an ad for someone’s on-line classes. but that’s another rant. Sigh.)
This article is about how witches (what I would call confident people) don’t care about what other people think, and possibly, don’t care about other people. Not bowing to public opinion is good, but in my experiences, witches care… a lot. I see them with people who have a service role in the community like a shaman or Terry Pratchett’s witches in the Discworld series.

So maybe I am, and maybe I’m not. How do you define “witch”?

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