Answers from Rochester’s Resident Witch

Earlier today I encouraged folks on Facebook to submit their questions to me about witch life and witchcraft in order to facilitate education and dialogue because not many people know much about me or the craft. I am in general a very private person, and most people come to me for my listening (and tarot reading) skills. The response to my solicitation was a mixture of great questions and great references to Monty Python and Harry Potter. So without further ado, I’ll just get down to it. A disclaimer: these are my views, and don’t necessarily represent the views of other witches.

Does the term “witch” also apply to males? 

Absolutely, yes. Each individual has the choice of the label they prefer, but “witch” is gender neutral despite pop culture usually referencing witches as women. A man who practices witchcraft may decide to call himself a witch or a warlock, it’s really up to him.

Is Witchcraft different than being Wiccan?

Yes. The main difference between witchcraft and wicca is that wicca is a religion and witchcraft is a practice which may or may not be coupled with spiritual beliefs.

Witchcraft doesn’t require any specific spiritual beliefs. It isn’t centered around working with deities of any sort if you don’t want it to be. It’s centered around working with energies and spirits to influence things and bring about a desired result. You can be a witch and be part of (almost) any religion.

Wicca usually entails becoming part of a coven and going through an initiating process, or being a solitary practitioner who does a self-initiation, and working with gods and goddesses. It also includes a rule called the “law of three” where Wiccans believe anything they do comes back to them times three, and a code of “harm none.” I believe in the necessity of hexwork, and I believe the law of three is a warning to anyone who tries to do work against a witch that it will be sent back upon that person with three times the power.

The confusion comes from people who use Wiccan/Witch interchangeably. It may be true for certain individuals that they are a witch and a wiccan, but it is not universally so. Wicca also provides a pretty good framework for practicing witchcraft, but it isn’t a requirement.

Are spells real or fake?

Spellwork is real. Whether or not someone is effectual at spellwork depends very much on their knowledge and how well they have honed their abilities. By “abilities” I don’t mean anything outside the realm of what we are all capable of doing. This includes the ability to focus, the ability to connect with, channel and direct energy, and it also includes being in tune with psychic abilities, among other things.

How does one become a witch? Is it from birth? Studying up on witch life? What is a witch’s love life like?

Some people are born into families that practice witchcraft. How far back their lineage goes depends on the family, as most of the very old ways have not been carried on especially as Christianity was adopted by cultures.

If you weren’t born into a family that practices witchcraft, studying and learning all you can is a first step before ever attempting to practice.

As far as love life goes, a witch’s love life really depends on the witch. Mine’s good, if that’s what was meant by the question! If someone’s love life could be going better, aphrodisiacs and a little sugar and spice can do wonders.

What do you believe is the effect of the moon on individuals? 

I believe we are all affected differently by the moon depending on our sensitivities, temperament and our active connection to the natural world. Some people don’t notice any correlation between the phases of the moon and their lives. Much of the time these same people also don’t draw any correlation between how they feel physically and the environment they are in.

I personally experience insomnia like clockwork during the waning moon and need excessive amounts of sleep when the moon is waxing. This could be coincidental, but it certainly correlates.

Some women cycle with the moon phases, and lunar rhythms can particularly affect menstruation and fertility in women.

We are subject to lunar rhythms the same way we are subject to seasonal and circadian rhythms. I do feel a lot can be learned and applied to life by observing the lessons of the moon. The cycles of the moon can teach us about finding balance between work and rest, as well as unconditional giving and unconditional receiving.

Do crystals work and if so, where do you get them?

Crystals and gemstones work as energetic catalysts and as spirits. They can be worked with to bring about or banish something in your life. Each crystal is its own spirit. They each have metaphysical properties that make them conducive for working with different intentions. For example, obsidian is a protective stone and also a stone that promotes grounding. You can tap into these energies and utilize them by working with the spirit of the stone.

Crystals and gemstones can be worked with in healing (though I always recommend you see a doctor if you have an ailment and that you never use crystals or gemstones instead of seeking medical care).

There are a lot of places in Minnesota where you can get crystals and gemstones. In Minneapolis you can’t go wrong with ZRS Fossils and Gifts.

I want to know about your journey and how this was unveiled in your life. 

This question has a tapestry of interrelated threads from my life as an answer, but I’m going to narrow it down for the sake of brevity.

I was born into a Catholic family and attended classes until the age of 12 when I declined to be confirmed in the church. From childhood I could see and sense spirits. At the age of 9 I began my studies of witchcraft, Wicca, paganism, and Buddhism. I was fortunate to have a mother and a priest who encouraged my exploration of many different spiritual paths. I connected with Hekate at a young age, around twelve. I connected with the Faeries at an even younger age, having had a profound experience with them.

My life is spotted with many traumas which affected my spiritual path and practice greatly. In my teen years I became agnostic, then atheist (despite and in defiance of the supernatural occurrences). Toward the end of my teens I became interested in the Bible when someone mentioned there was a dragon in it (Leviathan) and ended up taking courses to understand it. I walked away from my true calling in exchange for a sense of safety. Eventually it all fell apart.

Then as I rediscovered myself, and my witchcraft, Hekate came to me again and my path as a witch re-opened. It has been a path of discovery, magic, and healing and continues to be.

Today, I am a practicing witch and what I would also call a “spiritual bag lady.” I don’t adhere to any religion but each religion I’ve learned about and practiced has enriched my life and path, so I take what I’ve learned, what I’m meant to keep. and combine it all into an eclectic mix.

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