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Spooky Endeavors: Beginners Guide to Witchcraft, Wiccanism, and Paganism

Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble. The first ever Spooky Endeavors article. For today's topic, I talk about the dark history and journey of being one of the first witches.

Spooky Endeavors Cauldron - created by Allyssa LeBel

You ask, what is “Spooky Endeavors”? Ah, my little scary friend, let me tell you.

I have created this series with the hopes of bringing knowledge to my fellow witches, those interested in witchcraft, or you're just looking to expand your knowledge on a multitude of religions. With all of that being said, you'll learn about witchcraft, the history, the stories, the tools, and the truth behind all of it.

Let's dive into the history of witchcraft, Wiccanism, and Paganism.

Side-note: Is Wiccanism a word? Well, I made it one.

I've been asked, how do you even perform witchcraft?

This will sound like such a broad statement, but the simple answer is to utilize positive thinking and to believe in yourself. Just like Peter Pan when Wendy is learning how to fly. You just need some faith, trust, and Pixie dust! Well, kind of... we'll get into that later in the series!

Witchcraft has changed a lot from how it was performed/used by Pagan ancestors. However, rest assured that witchcraft today has successfully evolved with the times. Welcome to 2018, witches!

The History of Magick

Let us do a brief history lesson, shall we? The sad fact is that magic has had some super dark and super negative connotations. I bet there is someone out there reading this that thinks witchcraft is the work of the devil or something that is make-believe.

Historically, in most cases, witchcraft has never been a negative practice. In fact, most cases showcase the knowledge, respect, and understandings that one has for nature and natural occurrences.

Actually, quite recently, I was asked a very misinformed and absent-minded question.

“Do you practice witchcraft in your home?” I was taken aback at first and I'm sure I had a puzzled expression on my face.

I then told them, “Of course I do! Don't you practice what you enjoy in your home?” With a slight chuckle at the end, since I'm a nervous laughter and the question caught me off guard with how ignorant it came off. But, then I remembered that the world is taught that anything other than the cliché beliefs is bad and evil.

I've actually dealt with a lot of negative connotations when coming out of the Broom Closet. Actually, a lot of disgust hits close to home. It's a lot to handle and take in, but, at the end of the day – I am happy.

With that being said, you don't actually have to be Wiccan or Pagan to practice witchcraft or vice versa. Crazy, right?

Back in the day, men and women would scour the Forrest just looking for herbs and plants that they believed would cure even something as simple as a headache. Because of this, remedies and potions were created and therefore passed down through generations. This has been slowly paving the way for many antibiotics and vitamins that we see in the pharmaceutical world today.

Just think about all the little plants that went into making that little pill you take every morning. Or, the vitamins that you swallow.

Actually, because of such simple practices, such as searching for curing plants, a phenomenon such as shooting stars, thunderstorms, or the phases of the Moon were used as signs from the Gods or whomever you believe in. Even many today take natural disasters as a sign from God. Now, whether this is good or bad depends on your personal beliefs.

I'm sure you guys want something a little bit juicier. Let's take a look at the darker history of witches. Now, please don't start assuming. With this next segment, I'm not talking about witches doing anything bad—but, the people who THINK witches were doing something bad.

From the 14th to the 18th century, paranoia and suspicion set in the Western World. This caused a massive witch-hunt. This causes those accused of affiliation with witchcraft or trafficking with the Devil himself to be tried. It's estimated that during this time, more than 60,000 people, mostly women to be executed. Most of these people were innocent.

Unfortunately, because of this bad press – witches still can't shake the negative talk.

Oh, I feel that one on levels.

Even today, witchcraft is still associated with all things EVIL, including Satan himself, although both of these things couldn't be further from the truth.

It can actually be quite exhausting to explain to people that just because I am happy to be a witch, that doesn't mean I worship Satan on my knees with a padded pillow.

Satan doesn't even exist in most witches minds. Witches believe that The Creator, or whomever you believe in, has given us life to improve our souls to expand our wisdom.

Are there horrible people in this world? Duh!

Will these people turn into evil entities when they eventually meet there demise? Probably. I don't know. I haven't died yet.

That's a lie, but, that's another story for another day.

A great thing to remember is that in our DNA, there is a little bit of the creator, and with this divine power, we can improve our imperfections.

Oh, and trust me. None of us are safe from imperfections.

Now, maybe you have the question of what is a Wiccan's Way of Life?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no gender to be a witch. Like I said earlier, we have evolved with the times.

You can be whoever you want, and do whatever you want... within reason. We no longer need a broomstick to get around everywhere, just a '99 Toyota and you're good to go!

No, with all joking aside – the foundation of this faith is much of the same as it was decades ago, which is great. We love good consistency.

Angels, Spirit Guides, Ghosts and Coincidences?

Witches believe that we are not born alone, nor do we die alone. We believe that we have one or two angels, spirit guides, etc. that have been assigned to us to help us basically not mess up.

I need all the help I can get with that one.

We also believe that nothing in this life is a coincidence, so we believe in all signs, and we can usually catch us looking for them everywhere.

Maybe not ALWAYS, but rest assured knowing that we can usually point them out when we see them.

Actually, one of my personal favorite things about being a Wiccan is that this is such an open-minded faith. You can mix up and fine-tune this faith to meet all of your needs and wants. There is no set rule book to what you HAVE to do or what you're allowed to do.

Thank the Higher Power that there is no rule book because I do not play well with the rules. You can practice casting spells every now and then, or you can completely immerse yourself.

Wicca and Paganism are much more than just a religion.

Additionally, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way, just as long that you have good intentions and you don't harm other living things.

Just like Pocahontas, (hello, another Disney reference), we believe that everything has a soul, has a spirit, has a name and that everything happens for a reason.

Now that we have lightly caressed the magick that is Wicca and Paganism life and the history being this way of life, I hope that you were able to expand your knowledge and possibly opened your mind to the unbelievable.

You just have to remember, that at the end of the day – we are ALL humans and we need to learn to love each other and accept each other, even if we disagree with someone else's belief.

Remember that if it's not YOUR life, why are you worried then?

Thank you for reading until the end. I look forward to the next installment of Spooky Endeavors. 

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