The 10 Rules of Being a (Modern) Witch

  1. Not every Witch is Wiccan
    Rule of Three, An it Harm None, Karma and “love and light” preaching is a no-no. In fact, it’s like to get you booted or muted from a lot of great groups. This moral high-grounding has no place in our society. If that’s what you believe, awesome, but don’t inflict your morals on everyone else or suggest that they are less “legitimate” because they don’t invest in that.
  2. Intention ISN’T Everything
    What is that glorious quote from Jayne Cobb? “If wishes were horses we’d all be eating steak”. You can intend anything in the world, but unless you follow that intention with actions, nothing will come of it. What makes these practices what they are is all the actions which we give meaning to and those combined create magic. Intention + action = result.
  3. Not Everything Has a Magical/Supernatural meaning
    If there’s a mundane answer, that’s probably it. Chill.
  4. You Don’t Have Special Lineage
    You are not a granddaughter of the witches who burned. You are not descended from a Salem Witch or Marie Laveau. And even if you were, this does not give you any special claim to Witchcraft over others.
  5. Ancestral Magic is a Real Thing
    There are aspects of practices which lean on ancestral connection. This is simply a different type of practice and doesn’t provide legitimacy to any type of magic, it’s just the way the lore works in certain practices.
  6. You are probably not the best voice in regards to Cultural Appropriation…
    This is a complex one. CA is the idea that someone outside of a cultural practice is profiteering off that cultural practice. Now, many cultural practices stem from cross cultural origins, or have developed cross cultural history. Tarot is a fantastic example of this, it has a strong European history and Jewish symbolism, Tarot is widely accepted as open practice with Egyptian origins around the 14th Century. Karma is another “appropriated” practice, but one that rarely draws attention (probably because it’s not fashionable to do so), the belief is Hindu and white new age types have butchered the original meaning over time. Questions about Hoodoo/Voudou and Smudging/White Sage are plaguing our discussion groups. My advice is, listen to legitimate voices (those who were raised on Reservations, those who grew up practicing Devotion), remember that not everyone who claims legitimacy is legitimate, educate yourself, and either don’t personally use the practice (find an alternative) or proceed respectfully.
  7. Container Magic and Spell Jars are not closed and not exclusive to Hoodoo.
    Same for poppets and fetishes. Just stop telling people how to practice and eyes on your own altar.
  8. There’s no strict rules about how to practice.
    What I mean is, you can incorporate deities or not, outdoors or indoors or both, you can be as focused or eclectic as suits you. Just respect the lore and respect that there is different lore around.
  9. Very few practices have direct unbroken lineage from ancient practice.
    Tarot, Native American, Voudou and Aboriginal practices may be the only ones left. Druidry was rebirthed/revived and Wicca was founded circa 1954 (making it only 67 years old as I write this).
  10. Personal Gain is allowed.
    This is a rule popularised by the show Charmed. Everything we ask for through magic is for our own personal benefit. What I try to do is to balance it out. Offer something back. And no not just on an offering plate. Do some charity work, volunteer somewhere, plant some trees, clean up rubbish, tidy up a small cemetery, feed the birds, leave water out for wildlife, plant wildflowers for the bees… you’re only limited by your imagination and the best thing we can give back is our time. A lot of things we can do for free. Do it quietly and do not expect praise, be gracious.

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