Stop Shunning Newer Witches!

More and more people (but especially women) are turning to witchcraft. They do this for a number of reasons, all of them personal and their own business so why are we now acting like it's anyone elses' business but their own? With the rise of witchcraft I have seen the rise of people attacking those who are just coming into the craft, saying they are just jumping on a trend or doing it to fit a certain aesthetic. 

Becoming a witch is a deeply spiritual journey and it takes a lot of soul searching, of finding and acknowledging the darker parts of yourself and embracing them, whist also learning to moderate them so that they do not cause disruption to you or to others. This takes a lot of bravery and can often be quiet strenuous. Of course the end result and the journey to it are also filled with wonder but it often has it's difficult moments. This is a choice made by an indiviudal and therefore should only be questioned or judged by that indiviudal. 

Let's imagine someone was converting an "orthodox religion", people would not be judging them or questioning their choices and those who did would be called racists or close minded, as they should! But why does this not apply to witchcraft? 

You could also say that the rise of witchcraft is linked to feminism, many women are turning to witchcraft in order to regain control in their lives that they feel they have lost or has been taken from them. Dismissing a woman's attempt to regain control her own life is a very dangerous thing and should not be tolerated.

One of the greatest tragedies in this is that the rise of witchcraft is making certain witches close ranks and behave like witchcraft is an exclusive club that only those who have been practising since time began may join. This is a great shame as those who have been practising for longer ought to be a source of knowledge, inspiration and comfort for newer witches. Closing others off and dissuading them damages witchcraft and what it stands for. Obviously not all longer practising witches are doing this, the majority of them are awesome but as always it's the select few. 

It's not just new witches who are being rejected, many longer term practising witches are now being "called out" for following the trend despite practising for a long time and it being part of their lifestyle. Many people who have been practising for a while or come from pagan or witch families and backgrounds are being told that their long held beliefs and traditions are just attempts at following a trend.

I grew up in a pagan/Wicca household, we celebrate Midwinter not Christmas, do not believe in a specific deity and do not have set texts but I had to attend a Church of England primary school as it was the only one around. I was subject to scrutiny and bullying for not being Christian, for not celebrating Christmas, so I have been reluctant to tell people about my beliefs until a few years ago. I still feel a little sense of dread and apprehension when people ask me what I'm doing for Christmas and I have to explain that I celebrate the Winter Solstice (I still get the weird looks). Yes, of course I know that people shouldn't be ashamed of their beliefs and I shouldn't have cared what I people would say but try telling that to a teenage girl who was riddled with anxiety and no self esteem. And now after all that, people dismiss my beliefs as me "following a trend" or "trying to look cool" I even got told by someone that I was "copying them" as if they had invented witchcraft! 

To cut to the message of this post I believe that it's time we stop judging people who are just starting out on their witchcraft path. Yes, I understand that it's frustrating that our beliefs are now becoming a trend and used a marketing tool but witchcraft is such a personal process and it's not our place to jump to conclusions about why someone is interested in witchcraft. Like I said, witchcraft is a personal journey we should be so focused on our own that someone else's path is of no concern to ours unless they reach out to us for help and advice. 

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