Even in todays society there remains a stigma associated with such bold words and phrases as Witch, Practitioner of the Craft, Witchcraft and even Druid. But exactly what does it mean to refer to oneself as a Witch? Is it necessary to limit ourselves to one category? And what if we feel a calling but not necessarily to any one particular path of belief, religion or spirituality? What then?!
What, if any, are the prerequisites and terms of adherence in order for oneself to feel that we fit the bill of description when it comes to such fringes on the path to spiritual growth and discovery?
And if the calling whispers to us in every waking moment and in our dreams, do we therefore seek to call ourselves a Witch or a Wiccan?
In truth, although there are defined distinctions between the myriad of earth based traditions, to me, it is not so much about whether I feel it necessary to strictly assign a set of beliefs and practices to my own progress but rather to allow my conscience, heart and spirit to lead me where they will. The beauty of earth based or nature based spirituality is the freedom it offers to enable us to define and carve our own way of honouring the land, oneself and all life that dwells within and upon this place.
“THE BEAUTY OF EARTH BASED SPIRITUALITY IS THE FREEDOM IT OFFERS”
Whatever enables you to connect and reconnect to nature is surely of greater worth than whether or not you utilised the tools as described in this or that text to cast that circle or whether you harvested those herbs now drying peacefully in your kitchen under the light of a blue moon chanting from the sacred oracle of such and such.
The joy of nature spirituality is the opportunities offered to define your own set of parameters in order to enrich your own journey of discovery whilst honouring the land that you remain a part of.
In truth, Paganism, Witchcraft, Shamanism, Wicca, and many of the other titles associated with an earth centred approach to living do indeed hold differing techniques and practices but, in my limited understanding, ultimately, they all seek to encourage harmony, union and an expansion of ones conscious realisation of the divine in all things. The way in which they achieve this may be diverse and the journey may involve vast differences in practice but they all share a common thread; they seek to utilise the great power for healing, wholeness and potential that is offered by the natural world; both visible and tangible to the senses.
If you connect strongly to nature, if you feel the rhythms and cycles deep within and hear Her song in the whispering winds then I encourage you to seek out and search within for the origins of that calling. For in so doing will you discover a truth that belies all other distractions that we fill our daily lives with.
Study the many forms of earth based traditions, let yourself be guided by the wisdom of your heart. Read as much as possible the many books surrounding Witchcraft, Wicca, Druidism, Paganism and Shamanic teachings. After all, knowledge is power. Then take from this knowledge what feels right to you. If one tradition calls strongly to you, pursue and investigate further. If not, then that’s ok. Your spiritual journey is YOURS and no one else’s.
“KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. TAKE FROM THIS KNOWLEDGE WHAT FEELS RIGHT TO YOU.”
What titles we give ourselves in the end makes no difference. How we choose to live our lives, the actions (or inactions) and our approach to the time that we have here are of far more importance than whether or not we fit the mould as defined in a textbook description of techniques and practices designed to facilitate a “path to becoming a witch/pagan/druid” e.t.c.
That said, following a particular spiritual path, participating in rituals and undertaking techniques to cultivate a certain union with any given tradition are of great importance when first journeying into the realms of nature based spirituality. But, as knowledge and experience grow and connections with like-minded people form and fade, it is inevitable that ones spiritual journey will evolve into something deeply personal and beautiful.
What ultimately matters is not what titles we give ourselves, nor what tools we use and whether or not we are part of a group or working alone. What matters is the calling in our heart and the yearning to return home to the place of our birth – to the divine creation of our willingness to experience life and the role we play in the harmony of this earth.
AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL – TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY AND TO TRUST THE PROCESS.