back view of woman in the woods wearing witch costume

I’m starting to see witch decorations all over my neighborhood.  Most are funny and non-threatening, but they got me thinking about the Witch archetype. The Witch, the wise old woman of the woods, the hag invited me to dance with her and write about her.  This is the dance we did on the page.  

For centuries now, the old feminine soul, the wise woman has been suppressed.  She has been relegated to dried up, asexual and useless.  She has been made a caricature, ugly with a wart on her nose. The older wise woman, often called the witch or hag, was about community and service about birthing and dying and everything in between. She was connected to nature and mysticism.  The wise eccentric lady that you went to for answers, whose witches’ brew was often a cup of tea and some herbs for what ailed you.

Somewhere along our development man decided these wise women were dangerous. Older medicine women were threatening and their idea of community didn’t fit with ideas of separation, monetization, and patriarchal power .  They pushed her deep into the wood with their persecution.  She had to go there for survival. They told us to fear her because they didn’t want you to touch her power and have that spark the power within you that she would help you find.

They divided the masses from these wise ones and putting up a false wisdom that said, “only profit is important, only getting ahead and having things is important.”

I have struggled against the “things over people” mindset my whole life.

I have always been more about experience than things.  Don’t me wrong I like nice things, but they don’t fill your heart the way connection and experience does.  When we make decisions as though profit is the only important thing, we can use people and the earth without regard for their health.  The wise old woman (or wise old man) would never do that.

I forget at times that this wise old one has always been within in me.

Old soul from birth, I was taught that my magical announcements were fantasy, odd, out of the ordinary.   But that is just it.   Witches, wise women are not ordinary.  They are extraordinary.  I forget the magic of childlike vision.  I forget the magic of laughter. I forget my magic, the ways I am extraordinary because they labeled them odd and said I didn’t fit it.  That I must shrink, use my skills in a productive way to serve them not the greater good, not to birth the new world.

If I were to “witch the fuck out”…

I would own every one of my 60 plus years and every line on my face.  I would spend more time in ceremony and in nature.  I would call out the ones who want to marginalize.  I would take my witchy self to the town square and own wisdom and flaunt my skills. I wouldn’t stay invisible, I would demand a spotlight.

I would gather with my coven and invite younger women in to be mentored.  I might make a little potion to add more love to the world.  performs magical rituals to heal the waters and rivers, to make the soil more fertile, to gather communities.   I would be alert to what needs attention and give it my magic.

I would toss aside everything that feels untrue, live with a bold heart and the knowing that comes from beyond the brain.

I am Witch. I am here to show you your power.

They want you to stay small and doubt your gifts so they can retain theirs.  They want you to think you are unworthy when they are not worthy.  They want you hidden and afraid to speak, because your words have the power to  reveal the narcissism and greed  that drives them.

I am here to show you that it is your time to step forward.   And show them a new kind of power, a new kind of witch one who remembers that magic is real and grounded; that it for the benefit of all not the advancement of the few.   You won’t be in the woods you will be front and center.   I want you to be brave enough to claim that spotlight.   To own the magic.   To work with the wind, the rain, the earth and the plants.

You have everything but….the confidence that you have everything that you need already.

I think I need to repeat that to myself,  “I have everything but the confidence that I have everything that need already.”

Maybe, but can I add I have everything but  the romance with life that I long for?   I always thought that romance would come from a man but now I wonder if it isn’t internal  that romance.  The recognizing of the possibilities and love in everyone moment.  Making life beautiful and richer for myself and those I contact.   I already do that, but can I do that bigger, bolder, can I have the confidence that all is well and I can move forward sprinkling my magic?   That the art and the writing and the shamanic work can come together in a way that makes a difference bigger than I have so far.  Can I be in a romance with it?

The witch says, “finally my dear, Yes.  Yes.”


Photo by Monstera vis used with permission

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