I’ve seen so many debates online amongst the community about what makes you an “authentic” witch and what doesn’t, so I’ve decided to write down my feelings in an attempt to reassure you and challenge you… take it as you will!
Unfortunately one of the biggest voices that will tell you you’re not an authentic witch will be your own! So this is how to combat that, and those in the community who gatekeep witchcraft and challenge your “authenticity”. So, what makes you an authentic witch? And what doesn’t? Let’s explore.
Correspondences are guidelines not rules
Almost no witches nowadays are saying you have to use specific correspondences or times of day or moon cycle to do spell work. Although correspondences are great and can enhance your craft, we will almost uniformly will tell you that it’s about intention. Making sure you are putting your full power behind what you want and manifesting it.
Living by the sabbats and cycles
I love sabbat mapping – it’s fantastic. The reason I do it is because it helps my body and mind to attune to the seasons and helps me create milestones within the year. But if you miss one because modern life means you’re busy, or you forget to charge your crystals on a full moon – don’t worry. Cleansing can be done in loads of ways, and you’re not alone in forgetting these things. (As someone with a neurodivergent brain, I am prone to this. You can forgive yourself.)
There is no right way – or wrong way
There are always conflicting opinions in any community, and the witch one is no different. But here are some truths for you:
- You don’t have to be solitary OR in a coven. You can do both, and socialise or practice alone as you want to.
- You can take advice or you can ignore it, just like with anything in life.
- You don’t have to listen to witches just because they’ve been practicing longer. It doesn’t mean their path is any stronger than yours.
Experience is individual and can be learned from a variety of different paths, and it doesn’t mean you “haven’t yet found your specific path”. It could be that your journey is chaotic and pulls from many sources. (Again, as a neurodivergent person, my focuses change so often how I feel now can be vastly different to how I feel in months or weeks to come as I learn and evolve.)
Sitting on the sidelines
Witches have often stood for the minorities, the subjugated, the outsiders. When witches have been practicing a long time, they may forget this as they come into their power. They may even push back on “baby-witches” or who are just setting off seeking out their power and finding their place in a community. But this is gatekeeping behaviour and it’s not helpful. Respectfully, if this is you, reconsider your views on what makes someone authentically a witch.
You can be a witch without the “stuff”
Right now I feel frankly plagued and hounded by the amount of witch paraphernalia that is being advertised to me. You don’t need it, doll. The ESSENCE of monetising witchcraft is going against the very grain of what it is to be a witch.* Under the guise of helping others, we are falling into the trap of viewing power, wealth and influence as the main goal here, when it should be about community and/or spirituality
*this is not directed at the small businesses selling handmade art and creations – do what you have to do to live.*
I can think of 111 reasons not to do it
I get that a lot of gatherings are not for profit and just ask for money to cover costs, but be careful. If you are asked to be a member of a coven or group and you’re not sure what you’re actually getting for the money, consider what else you could do. One example of this is when people offer online courses for £111 (or some other symbolic number) on “Finding your Authentic Self”… Honestly, keep the money. Go and invest your time and effort into things that mean something and matter to you. Write a short story. Help to free a forest of litter. Visit a local community group (for free or very little money). You’ll soon understand want it means to live your truth, without the price tag.
You do you, boo.
Go with your gut. If you think you’re doing the right thing, but others are adamant it’s wrong, you actually don’t need your views to align. If your intuition tells you that the thing you want to do is right, you don’t need other people’s opinions, no matter how early you are in your journey. If people come at you with a closed mind rather than a leading and guiding hand – are they really the people you want to be taking advice from? Trust yourself, new witch, you’re doing fine.
I hope this post has gone some way to reassuring you that you’re the one who knows your path best, and that if it’s “right” to do, you’ll know.