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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book of Shadows... Chapter 8

It is my turn again to cover the chapter for the book club with Irish Goddess. This one is about some experiences that are very personal. The author also covers the very controversial topic of banishing. Many people who know of Wicca believe that there is a dividing line between those who practice good or white magic, and those who practice black or bad magic. "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" is a common question. This question actually has a few parts. The first is the use of the word 'witch.' The first thing that probably comes to mind is a surly old hag, with a black pointy hat, a crooked nose, and a huge wart. Am I right? I just did a Google image search for witch and this is the very first thing that popped up. Many Wiccans find it difficult to identify themselves by the title of Witch for this very reason. However, in this book, The Book of Shadows, Phyllis Curott gives another perspective. One where women proudly claim the title of Witch to shed that negative image, and show the world what a real witch looks like.
Well there she is. This is a photo of the author. Not exactly the same image is it?
Ok, that wasn't specific to this chapter, but I wanted to mention it.

So... good witch/bad witch. Witch are you? (Couldn't resist sorry...) My personal belief is not that one is good or bad. I believe we have both inside of us and it is the choices that we make that define us. We all have the capability in us to be mean, harsh, selfish, even dangerous given the right set of circumstances. That doesn't make us bad. There are certain times or places that call for us to tap into that darker side. If someone threatened my child I would be capable of things that would not cross my mind at any other time. If I didn't have a darker nature at all, I would be ill-equipped to protect myself and my family if need be. In this chapter, the circle performs a banishing after one of the members of the group is sexually assaulted. This was not a ritual directed at harming anyone, only to make him, and the lingering effects of his attack, leave. I think this is one such situation where tapping into our darker nature is important. Would you agree/disagree? Do any of you have any examples you would be willing to share?

5 comments:

Diandra said...

Hehe, those "light and love" withces you meet sometimes drive me mad... in their eyes I am definitely an "evil" witch. More reasonable people would have other attributes for me... like *crazy*, *resentful*, *not putting up with sh*t*... - well, I don't care. I think you need both sides in the mix, otherwise you're bound to go nuts eventually.

(There's a reason why I don't talk about "black/white" magic, or even "grey"... to me it's "multicolored".

Aine O'Brien said...

My interpretation of the Rede is An harm none (by action or inaction)do what thou (you/Goddess) wilt. So living by that I am well aware that inaction can also harm and that we have to consider every situation individually and do whatever we believe we (as a reflection of God/Goddess) would do. Sometimes this means taking an action that might harm, but the alternative (inaction) would harm more. It is not always, or even often black or white. Witches have to be able to do the right thing in any situation. The law of return I do not see as a warning or punishment - it simply is a fact - every action has a reaction. This is true of things outside of magic and yet we rarely give it any thought. When it comes to magic so many of us get all self righteous. The law of return is just a simple fact that one has to be willing to accept - but again, to do nothing because of fear of the consequences is not going to get you off the hook. No one said being a witch was going to be all fun and games.

Irish Goddess said...

I agree to a point on the good and bad witch. I think that banishing like she did it the book was for a good purpose and it protected her. I also believe in Karma so I don't think that we need to harm people who do bad because they will get three folds. I also don't think its right for people to curse others or put a hex on someone. Just because you are a witch doesn't mean you should be an evil one.

City Witch said...

I agree with you... we have both inside of us... magic is magic whether it be good or bad. And I believe in protecting one's self, even if it means harming another. There is a huge difference between intentionally and maliciously harming another and unintentionally harming another because you were protecting you and yours...

Just A Gal said...

I have never used banishment, but I do feel like it's a necessary practice. I don't see it as harm, just as getting a poisonous person or situation out of your life. They can still be their hideous selves, just somewhere far away. It's like that wonderful line from As Good As It Gets: "Sell crazy someplace else. We're all stocked up here."