The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To keep Silent . . . is this still relevant today?

 Good evening,

We have come to the last level of the Witches Pyramid. To keep Silent.  This is a tricky one.  I'll let you decide if its still a relevant concept, so let's start the discussion.

Originally, this phrase was put in place at a time in the history of the earth's people where a single word could have your neighbor, your fellow parishioner, your enemy .  .  .  put to death.  During the Burning Times when the church taught that evil and Satan was everywhere, and anyone could be tempted to 'fall from grace', anyone and at times everyone was suspect.  The concept of 'spectral evidence' was commonly accepted. This phrasing is clever indeed.

It claims that should someone be 'visited' during a dream by an image of someone, doing something (usually a neighbor woman or disagreeable person) who the 'dreamer' claims visited them in their sleep, and did something to them. Usually the dreamer would have what is termed a wet dream, and ejaculate in their sleep. Well, the belief was some woman was at fault. A woman was at fault  and she must be a witch to affect the dreamers sleep and it was thought of as a spiritual rape or violation. Of course, no responsibility was placed upon the dreamer.The assumption that a woman was at fault was accepted by everyone as the belief of the church at this time was woman was responsible for sin, and was by her nature sinful and responsible for depravity and evil deeds.

The dreamer could also claim that their cow went dry and would no longer give milk, or claim an animal became sick and died.  Of course no proof of this dream or even additional evidence was required. Even having a cat or mouse as a pet could get the wrong eyes trained upon you. There are times throughout this time in history when it was said spectral evidence was not enough to render a conviction and sentence of death. But the supposed dream would cast suspicion upon a person. They would be questioned and additional 'evidence' would be sought. If others said they were disagreeable, the accused did not conform to accepted ways, if you were overheard talking to yourself (oh boy! I would have been hung in a New York minute!), even expressing an opinion not of the common understanding would cinch the noose tight.

At this time, saying a word or keeping silent truly meant life or death.  But thankfully times have changed.  Today we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights that I personally believe speaks of our founding father's desire to move away from what had become a dark stain on the cloth of the new colony.  Even in the times of the Salem Witch Trials, the late 1600's,  shortly after wards the community of Salem was ashamed of its actions and an apology was made to the living survivors of the trials.  Samuel Sewell, one of the Judges that sat in judgment on the Salem Witch Trials,  in 1697, just five years after the trails and hangings on Gallow's Hill,  offered up an apology in front of the Congregational church, for the part he played in the trials.

Today because of the past and the tragedies that mark it, we live in a time and place where we can be open and free with our speech.  Accusing someone of being a witch today will not get someone put to death in this country.  Yet the fear, the expected hostility, the uncertainty of how that news will be received still silences practitioners tongues today.  Now, I do not advocate going out and discussing what you do with just anyone who will listen.  Discretion on what we say to anybody, on any number of topics is something we should work a bit harder on. Social networks have introduced an open floodgate policy where people will post the silliest things like when they take the pop tarts out of the toaster.  Frankly in this witches opinion we've gone a bit over the edge, but hey, what ever works for you.

In reference to Wicca and witchcraft, if you have knowledge about what you practice, and you truly do need to have knowledge to effectively practice this path, and discretion about appropriate times and places to speak, then my advise is Speak!   The time has come when we need to look at how we speak of our path. That's right,  I said how. If we continue to talk in whispers, behind our hands as if we are talking about something embarrassing, wrong, dirty or illegal, well .   .  .  then why are we surprised that the stereotypes and rumors and legends persist. I feel the concept of "to keep silent' is archaic and needs to be discarded.

The more people hear of Wicca, the Wiccans who practice it, witches all, then the more people will have heard of our ways and not be so against it. Speak with credibility, understanding and patience. For not everyone will be open to your words. If that occurs, wish them well and walk away. It is not our way to force our beliefs or even the concepts of them on others.  I've worked with hundreds of people over the past several years who after a pleasant discussion have left with a different understanding of what we do. Who we are. Those who wish to believe the negative, the Hollywood stereotype,  I respectfully allow them their right to ignorance in this regards. As long as others do not try to force their ways on me.

I've even had a conversation once with a young woman who was sorely disappointed that they wouldn't get to work with the devil. Really .  .  .  I did.  An interesting day that was. As I said, this path is not meant for everyone. 

The Witches Pyramid. To Know, To Will, To Dare .  .  .  and let's rephrase:  To know when to keep Silent.

How's that? 



© 2010 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com 

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