What is a white witch?
Quite simply one who has good intentions and who does not try to amplify their ‘magick’ by attempting to appeal to, or invoke dark forces, or evil. I would consider that, in reality, the difference between white and black magick is purely related to the state of mind, or, more accurately, the mentality, of the user.
‘Magick’, by the way, is an alternative spelling of ‘magic’ invented by the Black occultist Aleister Crowley, though now it is commonly used by all those who consider that they practice ‘serious’ magic/magick.
1.How long have you been practicing as a witch?
On the periphery, since I was about 10. My mother routinely practiced rituals, just as others would go to church. Even retrospectively I see no problem with this. I began to take a keen interest when I was about 22, I am now in my mid-forties.
2. Do you find that people are skeptical of the fact that you are a witch?
I certainly do not make it well known that I am a witch, Miranda Oakridge is a pseudonym. My husband is an electrical engineer, working for a well-respected firm and my children are still in school. None of them would appreciate the publicity, nor would I for that matter.
Of the people that do know, friends mostly, I would say that most maintain a fairly open mind. I am aware that people feel duty-bound to scoff and joke about it amongst themselves from time to time (and sometimes to my face), but that is often only an exercise in maintaining their own sense of credibility amongst their peers.
It is not necessarily a reflection of what they really think. In conclusion, I would guess that most people are open-minded, or dis-interested. It helps that I do present myself as a rational, practical, person, rather than one who talks to trees or pretends to see visions, which in fact I do not.
I realize, too, that some people would take extreme offense at the very word witchcraft. This would generally be because they have ‘signed-up’ to one of the major religions. My view of religions, generally, is that they have little to do with conviction, conversion to the faith, or quest for understanding, but much to do with cultural indoctrination and, in effect, tribalism.
3. Do you know how long witchcraft has been practiced?
Possibly the most common witches are Shakespeares’ three witches in Macbeth, do you see yourself connected in any way to these witches?
No, I do not really know how long that it has been practiced, as I have said I am not a ‘scholar’ of witchcraft. That said, most witches will tell you that witchcraft is an actual pagan religion (doubtful) that pre-dates Christianity. The last part is certainly true. As soon as mankind invented farming, around 6,000 years ago (I think), you can be sure that he began praying to the gods to ask for the crops to arrive on time.
Witchcraft was, in my estimation, a kinda prayer offered-up by women in patriarchal (wherever men are in charge) societies. If you like, it was one early way of secretly having women priests. To this extent, yes, I am connected to every witch that ever was, including Shakespeare.
Witchcraft is a fully-empowered religion for women, where the approval of men never has to be sought – this is probably the key to its existence. You will note that witch-burnings, and the like, would have mostly have been instigated and carried out by men. These days, there are probably as many male witches as there are female.
4. Is there any connection between the witchcraft you practice and the witchcraft practiced in Africa?
Go back to those first farmers in the middle east and, yes, we all came out of Africa, praying to pagan gods as we did so. When you scrutinize the two, you see that the formula is identical.
All witchcraft/magick is achieved by the same methods. That is, we offer a kind of super-prayer, which is made more powerful by the use of icons and symbols. The Christian church has its own icons and tokens, but with witchcraft, prayers are offered up in groups (groups of rituals, not necessarily groups of people).
For instance, it is very typical when working a witchcraft ritual to perform that ritual on many successive days. Various tools and techniques are used to aid the witch in her/his visualization of that which she desires. In addition, it is a requirement in witchcraft to try to become emotionally and even physically involved in the prayer/ritual. In this way, the witch makes her/his desires very clear, very often, very loudly – hence super-prayer.
My belief is that we all have a common spirituality, a connection between us that amounts to the one true God – who is, in effect, the totality of all of us. By using witchcraft, and the like, we are able to effectively make demands/requests of our god-self.
African magick/witchcraft uses identical methods. In Africa, dancing will often be involved, as will music and many symbols/icons including life, or sacrificed animals. The methods are really identical though. That is, repetitively appeal to a higher force and use icons to help you focus on what it is that you want.
The difference between myself and other witches is that I do not believe in multiple gods or magic words. I believe that it is the repetitive, highly focused, and emotionally-charged prayer that gets the results. That said, I also believe that it probably does help if you truly believe in pagan gods, since it will enhance your belief that the ritual will work – and that is important when looking for good results.
5. Do you think there is a difference between magic performed by witchcraft and miracles?
A tough one. Witches’ magick, as I have experienced it, comes more slowly, in dribs and drabs. You can influence the world around you with witchcraft, it does work, but I certainly could not turn water into wine. No, I think that I would make a distinction between the two and say that miracles (if they happened) are the work of God and not of those who merely pray to him, or who is one of the disparate parts that comprise the whole.
6. What made you become a witch?
I learned it from my mother, who demonstrated her interest openly. I think that this must be unusual. I suspect that many people in this country become interested in witchcraft because they are lacking in some way, or deeply desirous of something that they do not have – power over their own destiny, for instance.
A lot of strange people decide to involve themselves in witchcraft at various times. It is these late-comers to witchcraft who adopt the more radical posturing and insist on using ancient greetings such as ‘well met,’ or ‘so mote it be,’ instead of amen. All such use of language to get inside the witches’ hat, to conjure a phrase, may be valid, but not essential.