Wicca is a nature-centered religion that helps support me through life. I’ll explain my interpretation of it in solidarity with a friend who has a similar belief system~we discussed how our beliefs aren’t well understood or represented. In this post, I’ll imagine Wicca as a potion brewing in a cauldron, with the following ingredients (not all Wiccans are witches, and vice-versa, but I practice both together): interconnectedness, nature, intuition, harmony, and magic.
Joyce and River Higginbotham, who teach courses about Paganism (a category that Wicca falls under) say that every part of the universe is interconnected (L 2442 Kindle ed). Even things that seem innocuous can branch out deeply. When I was 5, I got into Pokemon. A few years later, I wanted to make fan Pokemon, and I checked out a DK encyclopedia, Animal, for inspiration.. At first, I mainly wanted to use the entries for ideas for new designs and attacks. The book got me more deeply involved because some of the entries said that species were in danger because humans damaged their habitats. Pokemon lead me to developing interests in biology, animal behavior, ecology, and working on environmental solutions.
Nature is at the heart of interconnectedness. Some humans (still not all, even today) can access technology and other modern comforts, but I think it’s important to remember that our collective power manifests from the nature that came before us and continues struggling to support us and the rest of the biosphere. We evolved from primates, and every organism’s evolution can ultimately be traced back to microorganism from over three billion years ago. We rely on plants and, for the omnivorous, animals to give us energy. We need water to stay hydrated and clean. Our species isn’t the only one that matters – every life form has its own valid way of existing in the world and deserves respect.
Compassion for each other and other species can return, like connected bodies of water, to ourselves. Love is the best answer that I’ve been able to find for my existential anxiety. Dannion Brinkley says in his review of A Dog’s Purpose that “This wonderfully imagined, inspirational tale is told by a spiritual guide dog who teaches us that our life’s purpose is best accomplished when the word ‘love’ is a verb” (New York Times). I struggle with loneliness, but keep reminding myself of the pockets of connection I manage to find, such as when an elderly woman at the library enthused with me about books. Although relationships are a significant part of a fulfilling life, we also need tools within ourselves, both to keep ourselves safe when we can’t get support from other people for a while, and to protect the ones who do want to be part of our support system, but still need to look after their own needs. Wicca helps me remember to use mindfulness – focusing more on the present – such as when I light a candle and watch the flame flicker. Also, my religion can simply be fun. It’s great to bust out the environmental activism for it sometimes, but other times, I just play Bejeweled 3 for the Esbats (full moon holidays) and match as many of the round white gems as I can! Loving others from a spiritual level, being present in the moment, and having fun combine into what I think of as harmony, another ingredient in my interpretation of Wicca.
Aside from doing what I can for my spiritual and mental health, I also try to listen to my intuition. For example, when I’ve managed to get to the grocery store, lettuce has been one of my go-to vegetables because, as an artsy person, I remember hearing that a balanced diet needs different colors of food, and green is one of my favorite colors. I recently found out that romaine lettuce, my favorite type, has magnesium, which I found out from other articles about some of my symptoms is very likely something I’m deficient in. Sometimes, people criticize me for what they consider ditzy thinking, or for getting caught up in details that seem irrelevant, but my random thoughts can, over time, form a better picture than they’d expect. Don’t underestimate me, lol! 😊
To finish brewing this potion, let’s get to the magic of it! I see magic as using my spirituality to empower myself in a creative way. The most magical experience I’ve had so far was when I painted a Valentine themed puppy at a February art class that taught the design, “Love Bandit.” I asked the energy of the puppy to help me cope with my loneliness for both human and animal connections, and with sparking my creative hobbies. The art instructor told us herself, “You can’t take a puppy with its head tilted too seriously,” and she’s right! His sweet, playful energy helps me cope while I wait for other things to come through, such as getting to adopt my first pet. Since the class, I’ve started writing some short fantasy stories, so he has helped there, too! A witch can use all kinds of things for magic: artwork, candles, plants, writings~ Some people prefer to do it mentally, or only have the option to do it that way, but it helps me to have physical structure, since I can be inclined to ruminate.
I hope this Potions class has been more enjoyable than Snape’s in Harry Potter! By the way, even though I’m a witch, I still think the best potion of all is chocolate milk!
Also, here’s a link to an adorable Umbreon riding on a broomstick, by Foxlett on Deviant Art!
Higginbotham, Joyce and River. Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions.