With so much misinformation existing regarding Wiccans and Witches alike, I thought I would take a minute to write about some of the common myths that surround us and why they’re wrong to begin with.
Although some myths start out innocently enough and are based on misunderstandings, others were intentionally started as a means of encouraging hostility and even hatred and punishment of those who practiced the Craft. Because this still exists today and people are still being ostracized for their religious beliefs, no matter how peacefully they may practice them, it’s important to educate people when you can.
Of course, we also don’t want to be walking information booths, either. That would be tiring and there are some people that no matter how hard you try, you’re just not going to get through to.
Myth 1: Witches and Wiccans practice human sacrifice.
Truth: This has deep roots and it’s hard to know where it came from. While anthropologists will argue that Druids practiced human sacrifice, it’s hard to say, really, if this is true. It’s important, however, to note that Paganism has many branches and is an umbrella term that envelopes many different people. Throughout the years, a lot of religions have used human sacrifice in some form or another-whether it was for ceremonial rituals or to simply make statements. (Look at how many victims the Crusades had, along with other religious wars. I would argue that these were human sacrifices, just done under another term.) Wicca, as a rule, does not condone human sacrifices. We do not require the blood of a newborn (how horrible!) or anyone else. Many times, this gets confused with Satanism, which is a whole other ballgame.
Myth 2: If you are a Witch, then you must be Wicca.
Truth: Not necessarily. In terms of history, Wicca is a relatively new term that is used to encompass very old beliefs. There are a lot of different areas of Paganism and it’s very possible to be a practicing witch, but to not necessarily be Wiccan. In fact, there are some Witches that don’t really consider themselves to follow any one part of Paganism and are solitary, just as there are solitary Wiccans.
Myth 3: You have to belong to a coven.
Truth: This isn’t true, either. You CAN belong to a coven if you feel that you can practice in a more rewarding manner. You don’t have to, however. There are lots of solitary Wiccans and Witches. There are some that practice within covens as well as on their own. There is no rule saying that you have to join a group.
Myth 4: You have to perform rituals naked (skyclad).
Truth: We do not demand that you take off your clothes to perform a ritual. As a matter of fact, if you live in the city or have nosy neighbors, then I would recommend that you don’t. While some Witches and Wiccans like doing this, others find it uncomfortable. It’s a personal choice.
Myth 5: Your spells have to rhyme.
Truth: This is a funny one for me. I know someone who read a fiction book about witches and they informed me that every time one of the witches performed a spell their words always rhymed, even when they came up with it on the spur of the moment. Now, I like the idea of rhyming and on occasion mine have. However, I have to admit that sometimes I just can’t think that quickly. If I spend my time trying to make the thing rhyme, I lose a lot of precious energy. If I have the time to really think about it, though, and it’s a ritual or spell that I want to use again in the future then I might go that extra step. Rhyming is not necessary, but it does give a chant a certain flow, which might make it easier to repeat.
Myth 6: We worship the devil.
Truth: Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard this one many times. No, we do not worship the devil. The devil, as I have said many times before, is a Christian concept and Christianity is not something that we typically follow. (I say “typically” because I actually do know a few Christians who also dabble in witchcraft, although they would never use that word.) We do believe in a form of evil and I’ll get into that another time, but we certainly wouldn’t worship it.
Myth 7: We can fly.
Truth: Oh, I wish we could! Wouldn’t that be fun! Not to mention a gas-saver, too. Unfortunately, we can’t fly. Some people are able to use astral projection which can probably FEEL like flying to them, but their physical body remains behind. There are also those who are able to levitate, but again, we’re talking a few inches-certainly not enough to send them over the ocean.
Most of the time, I let the misconceptions make me laugh. Sometimes, they hurt my feelings. The best that we can do, though, is to shake our heads and try to explain them and then move on. Don’t let negative energy take over.
Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge