What’s The Deal With Witchblood, Anyhow? – Witch in the 'Burbs

What’s The Deal With Witchblood, Anyhow?

So there’s something that’s been on my mind for the past several months. And it just so happens that a discussion came up about it recently.

There is that something – and it’s not easy to explain – that draws a Witch to other Witches. You meet them and you know, on some deep level, that you’re more alike than different. You feel … like family. And you might as well say you’ve adopted each other. It’s witchblood.

Now you can poo-poo it all you like. There are plenty of people who say things like, “Oh that’s just elitism,” or, “You’re just letting your entitlement show.”

But guess what?

The only entitlement being shown here is the entitlement/privilege of those people who think being of the blood is all about elitism. They get upset because they aren’t included. I say this because, quite frankly, if you think you have a right to be a Witch, you’re entitlement is showing. No one owes you anything, sugarplum. The red thread is earned, not bestowed on a whim.

But this is precisely one of those reasons why my brand of Wicca is not for you. Witchcraft is not for everyone, nor should it be. It is not meant to be a religion consumed by the masses. It is, in fact, a spiritual and magical practice (not a religion, but that’s a different quibble) for those with an aptitude for it.

Does that mean that there are those who cannot practice Witchcraft?

I have met some folks who, no matter how hard they work at it, just can’t, for the life of them, get magic to work. And I have met some who think the concept of Witchblood is ridiculous, but have worked very hard at their practice and done quite well with it. But there are also those who just blow it all straight out of the water – they pick up a candle and light the thing and just assume that something is going to happen and … well, it happens. Those, to me, are people with Witchblood. (And in case you’re wondering: yes, I believe I have Witchblood.)

That’s not to say that one cannot acquire Witchblood. There are familial lines of Witchery who believe that you absolutely must be born “of the blood” or “with the red thread” to practice the Craft. And in those lines, it is not unheard of for a person to not be born “of the blood.” So over the long, arduous years, adaptations have been made – rites have been writ that will allow one to become of the blood.

Now, let me just say that I, at various times, both do and don’t believe in a literal Witchblood. I often wonder myself whether it is just a spiritual gift – an ability that others are born without for whatever reason. And there is no denying that those born with a big aptitude for the Craft are gifted. It’s an overwhelmingly natural aptitude for magic of many flavors and varieties. When you wake up thinking about Witchcraft, and when you’re thinking about Witchcraft while having your coffee or while taking your shower, and when you think about Witchcraft and have this draw towards it even while driving to work – yes, that’s the Witchblood in you calling out. That’s the red thread tugging at you from within to dive the fuck in.

Where does this whole idea come from?

There are several cultures that hold the concept of Witchblood, or something very similar.

This isn’t elitism. There are eastern Shamanic-style traditions that go back centuries, passed from generation to generation. These traditions often say that you have to be called or drawn or pulled. Often, you may not even want this for yourself or your life, but you’re chosen. And so you undergo an involuntary initiation of sorts at the whim of the spirits. But this isn’t for the masses, so why should the Craft be for the masses? Yes, there are special people set aside for specific purposes or who have been given special gifts. And just because you’re sad you aren’t one of us doesn’t mean you get to deny that we exist.

The Irish Witch might, quite fathomably, believe that s/he is descended directly from the Tuatha de Dannan, which is a race of Irish deities. As such, that would make one “Fey Blooded.” There are also American Craft Traditions that believe in the legends of the Nephilim (which is Biblical in nature) and thus, they would have the blood of Tubal Cain running in their veins. There are also mountain-born American familial traditions that believe in a singular deity who dwells in the woods or the wind, and it calls to you when you’re ready. Victor Anderson, father of the Feri Tradition of Witchcraft, believed (or at least told others he believed) that he was born of the Fey.

None of these ideas are really wrong, per se.

To me, they’re poetic mytho-poetic. Or perhaps they’re metaphors for something else. Or maybe they’re psychological triggers (like initiation rituals tend to be) that allow for a specific something in the mind or the spirit to crack open – to activate the Witchblood.

And if that works, why the fuck is it a problem? Because you’re not included? I’ll close with something I saw on a t-shirt recently that I really, really would love to have:

 

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