As most of you have figured out by now, I am what you would call a card-carrying Witch. This is the term used for one who practices the faith of Wicca, a Nature religion based on the polytheistic concept that ‘God’ is both male and female and as such, can be called by many names, both male and female, both past and present, to aid or intercede on behalf of humans in mortal matters. I also subscribe to the notion that all the worlds’ religions hold some power to connect us to the Divine, for a piece, a spark of it lives within us and only has to be accessed to make it so. Some have asked me if I am comfortable being known as a witch. I say I better be because I am teaching my faith to others and need to own who I am. I have been practicing Wicca since 1989 so I guess I’m used to being a Witch!
The invocations and spells that are used in the practice of Wicca are, therefore, by definition, known as Witchcraft. So, let’s take a look at the word ‘Craft’. To some, it is a trade or profession that requires manual dexterity and some amount of artistic talent. The Craft requires some amount of manual dexterity and artistic talent to perform the tasks associated with worship, from trudging through the woods to find that perfect glen in which to hold sacred space to the performance art of enacting ceremony, to May Pole dancing and ritual drumming, and beyond. To others, it is the skill of planning, making or executing a plan, much as one gathers the necessary ingredients to hold a rite or cast a spell. To still others, it has the connotation of being ‘crafty’; this is to say that a person may also use illusion to gain an end or close a deal; this speaks to the silent and private nature of our workings that we often go about our worship with an aura of secrecy and that perhaps there are energies at play that your average person would not perceive but that can be harnessed to our favor. When you look at it from this perspective, you can probably agree that Magick is indeed a Craft.
The word craft can also be used to denote a master of one’s trade; the title master craftsman has earned the respect of all in his/her field through years of experience, both good and bad. This is why apprenticeships have been so highly valued in our past. But, these days, the masters are having trouble finding students. Those young people of drive and talent have all set their sites on work that doesn’t involve the hard, manual labor of their ancestors. But what happens when we have no more carpenters. No more electricians, no more blacksmiths, no more tailors, no more storytellers or poets or bards, no more witches or angels or Gods? Working with the Craft is a skill that takes talent and time along with a fair amount of humbling experiences. But the result is highly worth the detours along the way. While I am not saying that Wicca is the answer for everyone, I am suggesting that our spiritual journey turns each of us into master craftsmen of the Divine Will if we let it. Don’t be afraid to dive in and learn all you can, using all the tools at your disposal, in pursuit of the Light. The training is worth it, and the payoff is huge. Your genuine connection with Spirit will illuminate so much more than you can imagine.
Tomorrow and always, whatever your faith, may you be an apprentice on the road to the mastery of your Craft!