The simple answer is, yes.
Now, are they the same “witches” that you see in movies, on television, and read about in books? Most likely not. Very few forms of media show witches in a realistic light, because it wouldn’t be as sensationalist and exciting if they showed the real thing.
When thinking of witches, most people will conjure up one of two images in their mind: that of the Salem witch, or a black-hatted, wart-nosed, green-skinned “Halloween” witch.
The truth is, witches existed long before the Salem Witch Trials, and while they do have a very significant tie to what is now known as Halloween, they certainly don’t look anything like the typical Halloween witch costume.
Witchcraft, or at least the rituals and activities that we now refer to as witchcraft, can be traced back as far as written history goes. It was not tied to one single geographical area, nor one religion, nor one culture. Some cultures had shamen, some medicine women, some simply “village healers” — all of which would now be referred to as “witches”.
Ask any witch what type of witch he or she is, and the answers you will get are as varied and colorful as the people themselves. That’s because witchcraft itself is not one set religion with one set of rules; it is not even a religion. Some witches choose to blend religion with their witchcraft, but you can be a witch without being any certain religion (or any religion at all).
There are Celtic witches, Gardnerian witches, green witches, white witches, Wiccans, shamanistic witches… the list goes on. Generally, we can be referred to as “Neo-Pagans”; “neo” meaning “new”, or “revived”, and “pagan” meaning simply not being Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu (the four most popular religions).
Even though we do come from varied backgrounds, cultures, and practices, there are certain things that tie us all together:
- Non-christian witches do not worship Satan. We do not even believe in Satan. Satan is a creation of Christianity, and “Satanism” is a branch of Christianity, just as “Catholicism” or “Protestantism” is. You must be Christian to believe in Satan. Yes, there are christian witches and yes, they believe in Satan. You’ll find though, that most real witches are not christian and therefore, do not believe in Satan.
- We believe that each person is responsible for themselves and their actions; whether they’re a witch or not.
- We believe that there is something that ties everything together; a force, an energy that lies within each of us and everything around us – the trees, the flowers, the animals, the earth. It can’t be scientifically explained; but then again, there are many things that can’t be scientifically explained. We know all about the germination of seeds and how a flower grows. But what tells the seed to start germinating? It certainly doesn’t have a little thermometer inside of its shell that tells it when it’s warm enough. It doesn’t have a brain that can determine whether the last frost has come, that the amount and quantity of light is sufficient. Even as studied and broken down scientifically as such a simple thing is, there is still an element of mystery involved. That element of mystery is what all real witches believe in and rely upon. We know it’s there, we just can’t really explain it – no one can. Not even the top scientists in the world. Scientists will tell you, however, that there is energy in everything; even a boulder that appears to be sitting still; if you were able to look down to the molecular structure of that boulder, you would find its atoms vibrating with energy.
- We believe that what you do eventually comes back to you. In plain english, the energy that you put out attracts that same type of energy to you. If you generate positive energy, positive energy will be attracted to you. The same goes for negative energy. Some witches would call this “karma”. Some witches would call this “the rule of three”; that whatever type of energy you put out, it will return to you three times, or one time intensified by a power of three. (For example, if you stole $100 from someone, you would lose something worth $100 three times, or lose something worth $300 in one fell swoop.)
Real witches exist, and they’re not just the quiet people who live away from society and keep to themselves. Today they are bankers, CEOs, stock brokers, doctors, teachers – anyone you know could be a witch. Some are involved with other witches in covens, some are solitary. Some practice with their family or friends. They practice witchcraft, they perform spells, they celebrate the turnings of the seasons.
Real witches are all around you.
Are you ready to join them in their wonderful, mystical world?