Walking The Talk

Being a Witch is more than just calling yourself a Witch.

Most everyone is probably familiar with the trials of the Religious Right in the last 20 years. Spiritual leaders and Televangelists, all of them preaching ultra conservative morals, seemed to fall one by one.

Extra marital affairs, tax problems, fraud, gay sex, and combinations of those and other moral quagmires seemed to trip up all those who railed against “moral corruption” in our country and its people. The louder they yelled, or the more extreme their views, the harder they seemed to fall.

One very well known Televangelist years ago, even went so far as to proclaim that if people didn’t send him ten million dollars, that “God will call me home”. The implication being that he would die if he didn’t raise the money.

Now what, you may ask, does this have to do with being a Witch? I use the above as extreme examples of what a Witch does not do. A Witch does not brag about what he or she is capable of either spiritually, or Magickally. A Priest or Priestess does not tell others what they should or should not do. A Witch simply doesn’t need to.

The only personal affairs that a Witch is concerned with, are his or her own. That is the lesson that most who claim the title of Witch, never seem to learn. Have you ever watched as one of those Televangelists shouts from the pulpit and points out over the congregation, telling them how they shouldn’t be doing this, or should be doing that?

A friend and Priest once pointed out that every time you point at someone else, and say what they are doing wrong, you have one finger pointed at them, and three fingers pointed back at yourself. Televangelists seem to do a lot of pointing.

Every time you point out another’s shortcomings or failings, you are also pointing out your own. You may not have the same failings as that person, but the simple act of pointing them out, shows off your own. You have no control over anyone but yourself. The only person you can change is you.

One of the biggest problems I’ve seen in the Pagan Community is that of finger pointing. One person doesn’t like another, so they point and whisper to their friend how bad that person is. Whether good or bad it makes no difference, you are a Witch, and a Witch is better than that. A Witch does not go around spreading rumors and hinting innuendo about others.

So what then does a Witch do to cause change in others? A true Witch inspires others to change their behavior through example. I know, that’s not nearly as exciting, nor as much fun as attacking someone’s character, but attacking another without just cause is not the Witch’s way. A Witch remembers at all times, that they are a Priest or Priestess first and foremost.

That is not easy. It is human nature to call attention to the failings of those you don’t get along with. We’ve been doing it all our lives. On the play ground at school, there were bullies, who picked fights with those they didn’t like. Pointing out another’s shortcomings is just the adult version of bullying.

Anyone who was raised as a Christian, knows the Golden Rule. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” What a marvelous idea! But the Witch knows how to work with subtlety and intent. More appropriate to a Witch would be, “Do unto yourself, as you would have others do unto you.”

At first glance, it doesn’t seem to make any sense. How can treating yourself well, cause others to treat you as well? On a Magickal level, we know that like attracts like. This is called Sympathetic Magick. When you use visualization in a spell, you don’t visualize the change you want as it happens, you visualize the effect of the change after it has already happened.

The visualization of events or circumstances having already been affected by the change, allows for a mindset that lets you create that change. If you expect it to happen, if you know without a doubt that it will happen, it does. Like attracts like. This is the basis for every spell ever cast with Witchcraft.

Therefore, doesn’t it also make sense that if you treat yourself as you want others to treat you, they will? If you want others to be nice to you, you must be a nice person. If you want others to like you, you must be a likable person. If you want others to be open and outgoing toward you, you must be an open and outgoing person.

Have you ever noticed that there are some people who just don’t seem to have any enemies? These people get along with everyone, and everyone seems to genuinely like them. That is because these people like themselves, and it shows. These people also find something to genuinely like about everyone they meet.

I’m not talking about the people who put on a mask when they’re out in public, like used cars salesmen, or politicians. These people, who everyone really likes, are genuine. Whether consciously or not, these people have decided to be likable, and to like everyone in return. Everyone knows someone like this. There is someone in your life that everyone just really gets along with.

By doing unto themselves, they have caused others to return the same. It is a choice they have made. If you ask them, they may not be able to tell you exactly why, but they will give you feelings or ideas that they try to always live up to. It is a change that everyone can make in themselves.

Now let’s take this a step further. A Witch does not gain by causing strife or turmoil, they only lose. If you apply the Three-fold Law , causing turmoil for others will only create more chaos in your own life.

If this is really what you want, you probably shouldn’t be practicing Witchcraft. The Three-fold Law works just as well in a positive manner.

Add to that the principal above to cause change in others by changing yourself. If you want others to treat you in an ethical manner, you must be an ethical person.

I tend to use the word ethics instead of morals. I see ethics as the rules you place upon yourself, while morals are the rules placed on you by others.

Things I do may be immoral by another’s standards, but as long as I do not violate my own ethical code, which is much stronger and more binding because I chose to follow it, then I have done nothing wrong.

To those who do not understand Witchcraft, this would seem like I’m saying I make my own rules so I can do anything. It’s not. I can do anything that does not violate my ethics.

In all things, I strive to be a good person. My ethics reflect that. Witchcraft is all about choices, and taking the responsibility for those choices. I choose to be a good person.

I will do everything I can to show that I am a good person, but being human, I’m not perfect. I have, and continue to make bad choices. These are all lessons after all, and I don’t know everything.

When I make a bad choice, my life or things in my life suffer for that choice. It is up to me as an individual to figure out what the bad choice was, and correct it. Usually, I don’t have to look far.

Cause and effect are generally linked closely. Understanding the bad choice does not resolve the situation. In order to get things back on track, a Witch has to take some sort of action.

I am not preaching this from moral (or even ethical) high ground. I know how hard it can be to fix something I know I’ve screwed up, even when I know what it is I must do. Especially when I know what it is I must do.

No one ever promised that these would be easy lessons. The lessons we each go through are tailored to each individual. I don’t have to learn the same lessons you do, but then you don’t need to learn some of the lessons that I must.

Each time a lesson is learned, a new lesson is never far off. If you make the wrong choice, you must learn the lesson. If you must relearn a lesson, it’s even harder.

Always seek to avoid the lesson by making the right choice. Sometimes you can’t. There are times when you just don’t know what the right choice is.

This is what one Priestess calls an A.F.G.E. (Another Frakking Growth Experience). Everyone has them, the trick is to recognize that it is a lesson, and look for the solution. Typically, the solution is right in front of you, if you only open your eyes.

Taking shortcuts in life just doesn’t work. If you pretend, you may fool some people, but you won’t fool yourself, nor can you fool the Divine.

You cannot get through life lessons by cheating. Everyone tries, but the smart ones eventually realize that the easiest way is to accept the lesson, and to learn from it.

Interestingly, it’s not always the big lessons that cause us to fail. Yesterday, I was at the convenience store, and the bill came to something over $13. I handed the clerk a $20 bill, and she gave me back $16 and change. Now, I know that if the bill is over $10, I shouldn’t be getting a $10 bill back. What would you do?

I could take the extra $10. It’s not much, but hey, it’s $10 I wouldn’t have had. I could rationalize that it was the Divine’s way of manifesting the Three-fold Law. If I had not noticed the extra money until later, I probably would have done that, but the fact is, I did notice. Now I have a choice to make, and I must take the responsibility for that choice.

So what’s the big deal? It’s only $10 right? These are the little lessons that trip us up. The big lessons won’t allow us to ignore them, but the little ones just flow without a hint. Here is how I actually rationalized the event. Part of the bill was $2 for a Powerball Lotto ticket. Now, the jackpot is at the time, $130 million. The Divine is giving me a choice. Do I do the right thing and alert the clerk to the mistake, or do I accept the mistake in my favor?

I knew that this was a test of my character. If I took the $10, I was telling the Universe that I am willing to accept any little money that comes my way without hesitation. Really, I’d rather have the $130 million, if the Divine sees fit to give it to me. Had I taken the $10, I would be telling the Divine that I am willing to take the $10 now, over the possible $130 million later. I gave the $10 back to the clerk.

Am I being greedy? Well, I wouldn’t be playing the Lotto, if I didn’t want to win the jackpot. Is that greed? Perhaps, but as a Witch I know that everything is connected. Every little decision I make will affect my life in other ways down the road. By giving back the $10 I am showing the universe that I am worthy of bigger things. Actions speak louder than words.

I have said elsewhere that life is a journey. On this journey there are tests. No one passes every test they are given, you are bound to fail, and learn from a great majority of them. The point is to pass the ones you already know the lessons for with ease. Is it really worth losing $30 (Three-fold Law) later to gain an extra $10 now? I don’t think so. I may really need that $30 later, and the way these lessons usually work, it will be $30 I can’t really afford to lose.

The same goes for the big lessons. You are bound to lose a lot with each lesson. Sometimes, you will lose everything. Yes, I’ve gone through this one too. If you learn the lesson, you will come out much stronger on the other side. You will also gain wisdom, which is something no other teacher can give you. The Wise One is a person who lost everything they held dear, not once but many times, and learned from those experiences.

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