Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Ancient Myths, Legends and Sexy Lore That Still Follow Witches To This Day!
Good Evening My Witchy Reader,
I was preparing a discussion about our next Sabbat, Mabon, but my broom took a sharp left as I have been questioned, and have seen a number of articles recently, in my research, on the ancient mythos that follow witches to this day. I will get back to Mabon, soon, but this is such a juicy and delicious topic I simply couldn't resist!
Oh My Goddess! The things people 'think' they know about a witch, and what we are and what we do! Much, has come from distorted historical accounting from, in many cases Witch Hunters that were or worked for very prejudiced Christians that feared and loathed the witch.
Firstly, the Witch has been, since the times of the ancient Greeks and the pre-Christian Romans, been known as a seductress, a temptress with only the seduction of men as her focus. And before the early Christians, at times, she was! The woman was revered as a personification of the Great Goddess, a deity of love, lust, sexual desire, fertility, abundance and sustenance. The Great Mother provided two of life's greatest desires, food stuffs and sexual release. They were honored and considered the height of society until the first Christian Priests started to overtake the land, and with them came the witch hunters.
Many a woman, labeled witch, were arrested, fined, even put to death simply because a man had a 'wet' dream about her and upon awaking felt that it was all her fault, especially those men of very devout beliefs. Soon, the woman was denigrated to the lowest levels of society, labeled slut, whore, Jezebel and even blamed for all of men's sexual desires, deviant or no as well as causing original sin!
There is a lot of sex associated with the ancient witch and many people secretly think much of the same today, when they become comfortable enough to ask or discuss. While, yes, the ancient pagan held sex in high regard, just as revering Nature, honoring Gaia the Mother Earth Goddess, planting, nurturing and harvesting food stuffs, gifts of the God, from the Earth, harvesting from the Orchards, making and drinking wine that is the essence of the Goddess found on the vine. All of these were and are of primary importance to the ancient and modern Pagan, but the sex is what the early Christians used to smear the woman and the witch with an obscene brush.
We respect and honor all things of nature, and sex, procreation, living life, and caring for the elderly and the dying are all as significant to us. There are those that feel a witches coven Sabbat gathering is simply a ritualistic orgy. While this may have been true in ancient times, with very specific ritual reasons, we do not bring this aspect into our gatherings in modern days.
It was at one time true, that if a High Priestess had sex with a man, that should she wish to, she could elevate that man, just by her desire to the rank of High Priest. You will find many High Priestess/Priest couples in the modern Pagan world. For the ancients it was not necessary to go through a complex ceremony to proclaim the High Priest. "Making Merry' with the High Priestess did the trick! But even after the fun and frolicking, it was still up to her to decide if her sexual partner was worthy to be her high priest.
In ancient covens, it was traditional to have 13 people. 6 couples, made up of a man and a woman, along with a coven leader. Depending on the time in history, the leader could have been a High Priest or High Priestess. When coven members would come to attend the circle, they would pair up with their coven wife or husband and anything that happened in the coven, stayed in the coven. The spouse at home none the wiser. Having a happy, satisfying relationship with your coven mate was very important to the harmony, happiness and magickal workings of the group. Distension, anger, and often the attitude of the home spouse would ruin an effective magickal working, as primarily the energy desired then and now is love.
Nowadays, covens can be smaller than 13 or much, much larger. There may be some couples but many are single in the circle and come together for fellowship and like mindedness. Today, almost exclusively, any sexual activity amongst magickal couples is done in private in their own homes, or out in nature, if they choose. We are after all Pagans! And it is taught to new witches and Pagans on the path if you come across a group that wants you to do anything you are not comfortable with, e.g. drinking, drugs, being naked in ritual, having sex, etc. Find another group. Most serious groups do not focus on these things as we are too busy working in a ritual trance creating magick.
Some other myths attributed to ancient witches: Having the ability to shrink, or all together remove a man's penis! Or to cause him to suffer erectile dysfunction, even a man being over sexed and constantly aroused would be blamed on the poor witch or the nearest woman. In ancient times men were simply not capable of accepting responsibility for their own bodily responses! Many books of the time, all the books on detecting witches, the use of witchcraft and the torments caused by witches all mention this area of supposed "expertise"!
On the flip side, people today still put a lot of belief in a witch simply touching something and all of a sudden it is blessed. I, personally, refrain from doing this, unless it is a special gift for someone close to me. It is far more effective to teach the person how to imbue their own personal, spiritual energy into an object, a stone or crystal, a candle or piece of magickal jewelry.
There is also the belief that only a witch can name another a witch. In ancient times this was true. Simply because there was a code of silence and secrecy adopted to prevent people worshiping the old ways from being arrested, tortured and killed. So when one witch knew another person well enough to trust them, they could be called a witch, and so on and so forth. The creation of a magickal family one could trust, or hope to. Today, even though I do conduct a ceremony at the end of a students year and a day at Enchantments, which is a graduation ceremony, and we name them witch and introduce them to the watchtowers, anyone that wishes to call themselves a witch can do so. Being a witch comes from inside and how you feel about things and perceive the world. It can simply be between you and the Goddess, nothing more is needed.
Some legend and lore is true though. Many of us have the gift of prophetic dreams, waking and knowing something is going to happen. Also many of us have the ability to simply "know" something has happened, or is going to happen. We can pick up on other's emotions, energies and feelings. That is the empathetic part of who we are. Everyone has the ability to be empathic but many push it away as they are so into their critical minds during their day to day work. But for many witches the empathetic ability has never left us.
Many of us are very in-tune with the natural world round us and can often sense storms, rain, snow or other elemental events before they happen. Some witches have a natural ability to use sticks or other natural materials to dowse for water, or even spiritual energies in an area or a building.
Some of us have natural ability to perform psychometry. Many witches use psychometry, which is to to hold a piece of jewelry from a person they do not know and be able to tell all about them. I do this myself, but I am better at 'reading' old buildings. I have always been able to put my hands on a wall of building, even a foundation ruin and be able to hear, smell and 'see' things that had happened in the past.
The witch today, has many abilities and sensitivities, but the 'naughty' outrageous tabloid type of rumors and legend are simply that. We are much more magickal, insightful and in touch with nature than we are wild, crazy, orgiastic, drunken heathens!!! Now I'm not saying some Pagans do not have a wild, fun, sexy side but that is not what our deep essence is, it is simply a fun part of some of us.
The witch is many, many things but never make the mistake of thinking you know her or him completely, as there is always that shadow side, they seldom show anyone.
Peace and Happiness, Ms. Faith
© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. 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 or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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at Tuesday, September 20, 2016