Return To The Old Ways

The snow is falling again here at our mountain cottage. It is still Winter, after all. I am just now beginning to recover from a nasty bout of the flu. I tested negative for Covid, for which the management at the day job will be thankful. I still have a nagging cough, sore throat and runny nose, but I am not as fatigued or physically exhausted as before. The fact that I can sit here at this laptop and write means I am improving. Elderberry syrup, hot green tea and lots of sleep have been my saving grace. I’ll spend this weekend resting, writing and reading. I started reading the Prince Harry book, Spare, and it is absolutely riveting. Very hard to put down. I have such admiration for those two, choosing to live their lives on their own terms. Diana would be proud. I remember that car crash, when the whole world mourned.

Later this afternoon, I will have to give the dog a bath. He’s been scratching more than usual lately. I’m dreading it because he sheds profusely and I’ll need to clean the tub afterwards. A tough job but someone has to do it.

Because of my illness, my book projects were on hold, but today I may be able to dive back in. The novel is a long-term project, one that I am not going to rush. The short-term project, a book of witchcraft for beginners, is an idea that came to me recently and is what I will spend some time on this weekend. I’ve been thinking a lot about witchcraft and it’s connection to nature, and how so many pagans, particularly younger ones, often do not realize the importance of this connection. There is so much mystery and mysticism tied to witchcraft, and some aspects are not so easily defined or pigeon-holed. Social media has become a chaotic mess of people asserting their ‘adeptness’ or ‘expert knowledge’, each trying to outdo the other and become some kind of rock star in the pagan community. A practice that is largely personal and experiential is being turned into a list of do’s and don’ts, and gatekeeping, and accusations of “cultural appropriation”, and ridiculous demands for references and footnotes and “where are you getting this from”. There are many different kinds of witches, all with varying gifts and abilities, many of which they did not learn in a class or from a book. People seem to have forgotten this. The practice of witchcraft is centuries older than the formal traditions that developed around it. Not everything in witchcraft can be backed up with references and footnotes.

We need to return to the naturalness of it all. The Old Ways. Interpreting the voice of the wind in the trees, or the shapes conjured by incense smoke and the flame of a burning candle. The secrets revealed in tarot cards and images reflected in a crystal ball. The swing of the pendulum and the casting of runes. Nature is the driving force behind witchcraft. It is not how many followers one has or how many books one has sold. Even this website is not for me to put myself on a pedestal, but to share the wisdom that has been shared with me, and offer my services to those who may need them. To be a witch is not just about magic and spells, but also about nature, healing and service.

There are many who seek to dilute the Old Ways with their so-called ‘modern ideas’, putting aside the wisdom of the elders in favor of new concepts and philosophies. Some are even mocking the old knowledge, calling it “outdated” and “no longer relevant”. They do this at their own peril, forgetting that they are where they are because of those who paved the way. Do not disregard the old teachings or cast them aside like rubbish.

I will cling to the Old Ways with all my being and share them with those who will listen.