The Catch All

I tried to originally condense all of this into one post, but Teaching Witchcraft has so many good points about love and its importance in the Craft that one lesson became three posts.

While all of this is in the lesson about love….some of it just felt like it didn’t fit. So I tossed it all here.  I thought about excluding it entirely, but that didn’t feel right either. So we’re going to go over a number of topics that we put together in Teaching Witchcraft and that I honestly just don’t have a better post to fit them into.  So here we go down the rabbit hole.

Issue 1: How do I tell someone in my family that I’m studying the Craft?

If you’re still following me at this point you’re most likely fairly sure that this could be the perfect path for you. There’s still time to get out, but you know you’re interested in something said here.  If you’ve told anyone, they’ve probably asked a lot of questions, some of which are a little scary or frustrating.  Still it’s better to give the news gently than to outright lie.

For example, you can tell someone that you are a part of a nature oriented study group or that you’re learning about alternative religions.  I still say that when I’m in a situation where I can’t be sure if the people around me are open to what I am.  People who are not open to our faith can be open to that and from there a dialogue can be achieved.  The reason I say that we don’t want to lie is that people have lied and hidden this path for years and that’s why there are so many misconceptions…a lack of education and a history of deceit. Even if that deceit was a way to protect ourselves from persecution.  We only perpetuate the mistrust when we distinctly lie about what we are doing.

Issue 2: Will Jesus still love me if I’m a witch?

You hear this a lot from people coming to the Craft from a Christian path.  The answer in the book is that it is ultimately up to you.  It’s a personal question that I struggle with. There is so much of the Christian faith that I do still hold dear. Maybe not in the same way that I once did, but those lessons are still a part of me. For me the answer is one that I still haven’t fully answered. For you it may be a distinct yes or no.  But what keeps me here is that feeling that a truly loving God, a penultimate being of compassion and love, could not hate someone for following a path that is based on love and good moral values.

I have to believe that there is a place for both Jesus and the Craft in my life. And I can honestly say that no pagan I’ve ever met has ever demanded that I completely abandon that part of me to follow the Craft.  There are tons of people in the Craft who practice another religion in conjunction with the Craft. I don’t continue to practice Christianity myself, but I do still ascribe to the teachings of Jesus…which were all about love and compassion.

As Miles Betty says, what we have to remember is that the bible was penned by man and man is fallible.  If God (and his counterpart the Goddess) are really as loving and compassionate as I believe them to be, then there it is entirely possible for the answer to this question to be yes.

Issue 3: Can I marry someone who’s not a witch?

I’ve seen it work too many times to say no.  My own mentor had parents on differing paths. Her father was a Christian minister of a particular denomination while her mother was a devout pagan. They made it work through being open minded and through communication.  It just comes down to respect.

Pets and Familiars

I put this here because pets and familiars are things we love….and it was a part of this lesson.

A lot of witches have pets. Some witches even keep an abundance of animals. My ex’s mom was like this. Last time I was at their house they had seven puppies, two dogs, a galapagos turtle they found on the side of the road (and no zoo would take in because it didn’t have papers), a parrot, two snakes, and a blind cat that sat in the bathroom near the space heater.  It was great. I wouldn’t want that many pets, but it was always amusing to watch the pups play king of the hill on the back of the turtle who slept under the raised wood stove.

And many people, pagan and non pagan alike, give their pets names as colorful as the pets themselves. In the past there were even people accused of witchcraft just for talking to their pet affectionately or due to their pet having a colorful name.  Which leads us to familiars.

What is a familiar and what makes it different from a pet? Some say its a guardian in a pet form.  Others say that they are empathically bound to a person.  Or that they make a witch stronger.  Some say that they offer security.  Whatever you believe, it’s appropriate to say that those who have familiars are very loyal to them.

Love the World

It’s no secret that we’ve messed up and harmed the Earth.  We scar the planet with our greed and corruption. We mar it with toxins and destruction of its beauty. We even strip it of its resources.  Witches revere the Goddess, respect nature, and love animals. That is why many pagans feel drawn towards healing the earth however they can.  And it is a form of love, not only for the Goddess and our world, but for the future generations that will inherit this world.

There are many that even consider this a part of their pagan rituals and faith.  It goes back to the all acts of love and pleasure are our worship quote from earlier.  And it can take many forms. You can donate time or money to an organization aimed at helping the Earth or you can recycle from home and pick up trash in your neighborhood.

Seeing as this kind of a catch all let me leave you with a very short story.

A traveling man passes a stranger by the side of the road. He’s planting a tree.  The traveler asks the stranger why he is planting the tree in such an odd place.

The man says “I see it as giving back to the Earth. It’s my way of saying thanks for the privilege of living on this planet.”

“Oh so the tree represents your gift” asks the traveler.

“No, think of it as paying rent.” Is the man’s reply.

Blessed Be.

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