OMG! You're A Witch?!

It still amazes me how people respond to the word Witch. Despite the fact that there are more and more witches living openly, there are still big time misunderstandings about witches and Witchcraft. Take for example the conversation I had with my best friend just last night. We'll call her Miss K. I've known Miss K for a while now. I met her last semester and we've been inseparable ever since then.

Last semester we had a few conversations about religion and how each of us views things. Thankfully I'm able to explain my views well enough that she completely understood my point of view. She was raised Christian just like many of us in America and still enjoys the Christian ideals. Although I understand and respect Christian ideals, it is not my religion of choice. Thankfully Miss K understands that and my religious views have never bothered her.

Last night we discussed Witchcraft in general. Although she is a very open-minded person and she understands my personal practices, she refuses to think of me as a witch. I don't mind the word Witch, I would probably be very honored if someone called me that, but mostly I consider myself a magickal person who is close with nature. These were the things I discussed with Miss K.

Last night some how we got on the subject of ghosts and the devil, and I explained my own beliefs a little more deeply. Although she knows I do not believe in the devil she still holds the misconception that all spellwork involves demon work, being in league with the devil, and other silly notions. I explained to her that most people who do magick don't even believe in the devil. Of course there are still forms of magick out there that do handle some pretty nasty things and I explained that to her as well. She knows that I don't do such things. I don't even know how those things work. I should probably read up on stuff like that because I look at that like Zsuzsanna Budapest does: you cannot heal if you cannot hex. A knowledge of hexes never hurt someone, it's when they start using it that bad things start happening.

Miss K is one of the most open-minded Christians I've ever met. She accepts me the way I am, and she even handled my books about Witchcraft last October when my parents' house burned down. Those books and a few of my classics (Shakespeare, etc.) were the only things salvageable. Coincidence? I think not. The point of all this is that even though Miss K is open-minded she still held misconceptions. Those misconceptions didn't apply to me because she's seen what I do. She basically lives with me ... By now if I was going to do something crazy weird like sacrifice a cat, she would already know. But she doesn't consider me a Witch. She looks at my beliefs as being similar to Native American beliefs, which they are, but I also work with magick. I cast spells, I use tarot cards, I have a relationship with the earth and Mother Nature. She still thinks of Witches as women riding around on brooms, dancing naked with the devil and fornicating with him.

When Miss K was young she lived in New Jersey. She related the story of the Jersey Devil, as she understood it, to me. I want to share it with you because I think it is a pretty good story. According to Miss K, there was an unwed woman who lived in the forest. She had 13 children. She threw the 13th child down her well, hoping to kill it because she couldn't raise it. Instead of dying, that child was rescued by Satan and released from the well as the Jersey Devil. The child, now the Jersey Devil, flew up from the well, splintering the part at the top that held the bucket for getting water from the well. Miss K has seen this home and the well. She says after 200 years the house is falling down, but the well is still there. She said the way the top part of the well is broken it really looks like something flew out of it and splintered it. She also states that after 200 years it could have been anything that broke the well but it still frightened her.

Of course, I don't really understand much about the Jersey Devil. I'm from Texas, born and raised, so I've never had the opportunity to hear much about it. But, to me, this story sounds like another horror story made up to make kids listen to their parents, "If you're a bad kid, the Jersey Devil will get you." I've always loved stories of superstition like this. Although they are a little bit like the original "Fairy Tales" like the original Grimm Brother's writings, they are enjoyable. My one hope though, is that one day people will understand the different sects of Witchcraft and know that not all of us are bad.

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