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Guest Oakbuchanan

What connects us on this path?

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Guest Lea
I know this is an older post but I really wanted to share my ideas on the matter.

 

I like the idea of Sacred Landscapes, I think that this is something that connects me to my path, because it is as much apart of me as say, my hand or my nose. It is an extension of myself.

I think something that is interesting is those of us who are bi-racial. We feel called to our ancestors and called to connect with the sacred land, but which land, which ancestors do we answer?

 

My mother is Afro-Caribbean and my father is Icelandic/Brythonic, for those of us who no longer live in communities surrounded by the land of our ancestors how do we connect? For me it involved retracing the steps of my forefathers (and mothers) and becoming in tune with their journey and the journey that brought me here today. I feel connected to the ancient landscape of the British Isles because this is the land that feels the most alive to me, the land that is offering up its secrets. However it is my mothers ancestors who tell me about the Craft they practiced long before and of their land and their journey, I also connect to the land that I live on because it was the journey of the Ancestors that brought me forth and here now, I can feel the memories and the clanship of my Family in the land itself.

 

In response to the question on whether I feel that practicing the craft connects me as a Witch I don't feel that it does, I am a Witch because my Wyrd has made it thus, if I practiced the Craft or not...I am on this path and at these doors because the web of wyrd fashioned it so.

 

I am one of the Pagan Witches in that I honor the Horned God of the Wild Hunt and the Old Dame, I feel that my particular Witchcraft is a Mystery Tradition, so beyond the sense of "Operative Witchcraft" lies the wisdom and personal gnosis ingrained in truth, and I feel that is what connects me to my path.

 

Lovely to see the subject of wyrd brought up here, I too believe in wyrd, opposed to karma.

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Do you Americans or Australians feel like you need to have a connection with other countries to be witches?

 

I can only speak for myself, but no. Definitely not. :)

 

However, with USA being a relatively new country and the fact that non Native Americans here all came from elsewhere, it makes sense if you believe in ancestral memories attached to blood that American witches would feel a connection with other countries. There's also the uncomfortable fact that sometimes the more sensitive people experience feelings of guilt by association over the way that this land was taken from the Native Americans and the fact that so many still live on reservations.

 

I know much of this can apply to other countries too, just trying to provide a perspective on why so many American witches might tend to feel a connection with countries other than their own.

 

I do have a deep connection to the land I was born on, all land is ancient and there's much magic here. But I have memories of places I've never physically been also, and I intend to go experience those places some day.

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Guest Elfyd

I can only speak for myself, but no. Definitely not. :)

 

However, with USA being a relatively new country and the fact that non Native Americans here all came from elsewhere, it makes sense if you believe in ancestral memories attached to blood that American witches would feel a connection with other countries. There's also the uncomfortable fact that sometimes the more sensitive people experience feelings of guilt by association over the way that this land was taken from the Native Americans and the fact that so many still live on reservations.

 

I know much of this can apply to other countries too, just trying to provide a perspective on why so many American witches might tend to feel a connection with countries other than their own.

 

I do have a deep connection to the land I was born on, all land is ancient and there's much magic here. But I have memories of places I've never physically been also, and I intend to go experience those places some day.

 

**************************************

 

In reading through all the posts here it is obvious that there is no one criteria with which to answer OakBuchannan.

 

Aloe has touched on something here though that needs furthering. Non-Native Americans, by descent or arrival, have diverse backgrounds and ancestors so their attachments surely will be not of the place. Take my home country of the UK, with so many varying links to the peoples who make up the population due to invasions and occupation who can tell WHAT blood-lines any may share! Celts, Picts, Scots were there when Romans, Gauls, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Vikings(all varieties) Bretons, Goths, Tutons, Moors, Navarres and on and on all planted their seed there. So at what point do we say "this is my tradition/heritage" ?

 

I have a very strong pull from both ancient Etruria and Scotland, does this mean that either or both of these places are linked to my prior lives? And the feel of spirit is strong in a few places i have traversed over the years, is this an indicator of prior associations?

 

I do not have any answers, my inner search has proven fruitless thus far but I still savour the path of finding the mysteries.

 

Great topic, thought provoking responses...

 

FFFF

Elf

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Is there a certain standard that we all agree on that connects us under the same banner?

 

 

I think there may be.. but as soon as a group of witches tries to verbalize that standard the limits of language would most likely cause confusion. lol, that sounds like a cop out but that's what I really think... The standard may exist, but is probably more likely felt than spoken and agreed on.

 

Or are there TW who although under the same banner dont feel connected?

 

 

Its possible, but as I do feel connected to other TW's, I couldn't say.

 

 

Is the connection to the past important to you? and if so what era?

 

 

It is. I couldn't choose one era though, there are many that resonate with me.

 

 

Or is being a Witch to you not about a connection to the past but more about being free of religion or dogma?

 

This part is important to me too. Taking personal responsibility and knowing that my actions are my own, chosen by me, based on my decisions, and not done out of fear or the need to fit a criteria. Important, but not the whole picture IMO.

 

Im interested to hear how an American or Australian for example connect with the land.. Is it with the Land you live on or your Ancestral land from which your ancestors migrated if they were not indigenous..

 

The land I was born on speaks to me. I spent most of my time outdoors as a child since I wasn't in a regular school environment, and I developed an intense connection with the land here. I have memories of other places though, that I'd like to explore too.

 

 

And finally is the craft what connects you as a Witch or is it something else?

 

 

I believe I've always been a witch, before I consciously started practicing the craft, so I would say something else..

 

 

If it isnt the craft, then what is it? If you stopped practising the craft would you still connect with being a witch and the land as a witch? If so how or why?

 

 

The ability to feel connections, energy, spirits, etc. is what I believe connects me to the land as a witch. Perhaps this ability is something that can be learned, I don't know, but I've had it as long as I can remember. I did attempt to stop practicing the craft once, and this ability did not go away, and in a way I never stopped practicing because in trying to stop, I was continually blocking this ability - and actively blocking could technically be considered still practicing... (that sentence seems circular, hope it makes sense lol)

 

 

Is there more to being a Witch than just Witchcraft? If so what is it?

 

 

I believe its the same ability I referred to above.

 

 

 

Whew.. off to make more coffee!!

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Well, ignoring the fact that we are connected to everything, to all land... um, no. I've never felt connected to this place, not on a personal level. Don't get me wrong; I do love this land and have fond memories of roaming the countryside, but it just doesn't feel as though this place is mine. I have always known where I would feel especially connected; I've just never been there before.

It's strange. When I was four or five, my grandfather was talking, and he said something about Alaska. All I heard was that - Alaska. Since then I've known, I need to be there. I feel content just thinking about it. I feel there is a little place in me that is empty because I am not there. But I'm working on it...

 

 

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Guest Magdalena

I don't connect with where I live, there is always something missing. I don't know where my connection lays.

The Victorian era resonates with me and some others, can't think at the moment, will come back to the rest.

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I don't connect with where I live, there is always something missing. I don't know where my connection lays.

The Victorian era resonates with me and some others, can't think at the moment, will come back to the rest.

You'd quite like Saltburn on the Yorkshire coast then, every year they have a Victorian day where folks dress up in period costume - it's like walking back in time.

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The land holds the spirits, the imprints of those that have lived there before. As we have a blood connection it is only natural to feel drawn to a place of Ancestor. The familiarity is understandable, promoting a feeling of home, homeland. But, as someone else queried, where does it stop,how far back do we go? We are all descendent's of pioneers or travelers. In my experience it is but a conduit to access the current. The connection with Ancestor and the spirit ofa place enhances or increases our endeavors to tap in. I believe it is this connection to the current that we recognize in each other, that unites as TW’s regardless of history, ancestry or path. It’s like the ocean, there are many streams, tributaries and rivers all working their way thru mountain and across lands , each passing thru unique territories but with the same objective. One is not more viable or significant than the others.

 

Do you Americans or Australians feel like you need to have a connection with other countries to be witches?

 

To say yes to this would be to assert that it is location alone that identifies, qualifies or confirms one as a witch. So my answer would be absolutely not, as most agree it is something deeper than witchy clothing, pentagrams and tarot cards, location or creed.. it is Who You Are...

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I believe it is this connection to the current that we recognize in each other, that unites as TW’s regardless of history, ancestry or path. It’s like the ocean, there are many streams, tributaries and rivers all working their way thru mountain and across lands , each passing thru unique territories but with the same objective. One is not more viable or significant than the others.

 

What an excellent description..

 

The land holds the spirits, the imprints of those that have lived there before. As we have a blood connection it is only natural to feel drawn to a place of Ancestor. The familiarity is understandable, promoting a feeling of home, homeland. But, as someone else queried, where does it stop,how far back do we go?

 

In regards to blood ancestors and how far back do we go or where does it stop, its true that a person could probably find familial links everywhere if they continued looking. Personally, I only concern myself with the ones that I feel a connection with, that hold meaning for me at this time.

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I am sitting outside on my I pod so this will just be a quick thought that I will come back to elaborate on later.

For the most part I connect to the earth as a whole, I live in a State that has much variations of terrain and each has it's own vibe if you will.

When I lived at the beach the sand was my soil, the ocean my inspiration.

When I lived in the woods it was the rocks, the streams and the trees.

Where I live now it is the soil and my gardens.

 

When I was in Ireland it was a very strong pull towards my roots.

When in Montana it was the sky.

 

Wherever I am I feel a connection to the eb and flow of mother earth, each part has it's own meaning and message/connection.

 

I do have a Celtic heritage, and I do invite and honor those of the past, but no, I don't have a need in my everyday life to focus on such things, if that makesany sence.

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In regards to blood ancestors and how far back do we go or where does it stop, its true that a person could probably find familial links everywhere if they continued looking. Personally, I only concern myself with the ones that I feel a connection with, that hold meaning for me at this time.

 

I can relate to this, Aloe. As I research my ancestry, I find a lot of cultural references, which could potential relate to my Practice; however, I find myself sticking to the people, places and ideals of my current world (my people, my places, etc). I think I may have commented one time, for example, that Eastern philosophies hold little sway for me. This isn't to say that those paths are invalid or that people practicing them are wrong. I do not have a connection to the East, either currently or in the past, so it simply is not where my connection comes from. However, I applaud anyone who is actively seeking that connection, as it takes time and patience to develop.

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Guest Magdalena

My connection with TW, is maybe the same for many, I can't speak for everyone.

It is not restricting, I don't have to conform to someone elses way, just the way of myself, which helps me awaken so many dormant parts of me, that is what has happened over the past few years, realisation of my capabilities, I hate to be suffocated in anyway no matter what it is, TW is like fresh air to me which I open myself up to, I breathe it in and it is part of me.

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Guest Magdalena

You'd quite like Saltburn on the Yorkshire coast then, every year they have a Victorian day where folks dress up in period costume - it's like walking back in time.

 

I probably would like and enjoy it G. I dress pretty casual on the most part, but when on a night out some of my clothes are modern Victorian style, I wear the steal boned corsets with the pull string at the back, and Victorian style jackets. I'm the odd one out with my group of friends, I never fit with the in crowd but I'm not the wallflower either, I love the style and that's what matters. wink.gif

 

 

 

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For some peoples, the land actually WAS their ancestors - prior to graveyards the dead were burried near thehome or sometimes IN it, and as they decayed they fed the plants, the animals, the earth - they deteriated into the earth and became part of the earth.

 

As for what connects me to TW, I don't even know that anything does. I practice magic so technically that makes me a witch by most people's definition. What I feel connected to is not the label or the practice, but the inherent Self and the mysteries. Were I to stop doing magic, I would still be who I am and still have the same Core and the same beliefs. Magic, to me, is but a small part of the path. It is a result of beliefs in, and relationships with, the spirit world.

 

M

Edited by Michele

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For me it's mainly a deep connection to the land. The ancestors help to me connect with the land. But I also believe that I have some kind of direct link to the land without the ancestors. This link...I can feel it when dig my fingers deep in dirt that haven't been disturbed for a long time or when i touch a really old tree or drink the water from a clear stream....and so on.

 

The area that I definie as "mine" is Scandinava. And the time period I feel most connected to emotionally is around late bronze age - migration period (that would be about 1700 BC - 550 AD around here), but for obvious reasons I cant say I use the Craft of that period...but the land gives me some kind of intuition and everywhere in the ladacape there are clues.

 

But I also feel a pull from other locations (that I can not really explain) the Mississippi delta, south eastern England, and eastern Africa around Malawi, Tanzania & Moçambique....to mention some. And i havn't been in any of those places...but there are something there calling for me.

Edited by Ogga

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African American and born and raised in America, I can honestly say I feel no connection to the country at all. I've always felt a pull toward Africa, even when I was younger. It's become stronger since I've been working with my ancestors. German and Welsh are also in my family (more German than Welsh) and that's something I'm starting to explore/research. A connection with nature and animals has always been there as well.

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Nikki: brilliant timing for this bump! :thumbsup: It seems to me that the rest of the online world today is brimming with strife from folks experiencing the post-holiday blues. What a great thread to celebrate inclusiveness while also appreciating individuality!

 

 

[1] Is there a certain standard that we all agree on that connects us under the same banner?

[2] Or are there TW who although under the same banner dont feel connected?

[3] Is the connection to the past important to you? and if so what era?

[4] Or is being a Witch to you not about a connection to the past but more about being free of religion or dogma?

[5] And finally is the craft what connects you as a Witch or is it something else?

[6] If it isnt the craft, then what is it? If you stopped practising the craft would you still connect with being a witch and the land as a witch? If so how or why?

 

[7] Is there more to being a Witch than just Witchcraft? If so what is it?

----

1) The only standard I see that connects us under the same banner is that we all seek to use magic via witchcraft in order to achieve our intentions.

 

2) I can't speak for all TWs, but there are times I haven't felt connected to other witches- for various reasons. One example: I didn't start formally practicing until I was in my 30s, whereas most people in this community seem to have started during (or shortly after) puberty. Because of that, it can be very difficult for me to find common ground with witches who never developed "mundane" methods to approach life problems/obstacles/challenges because they've almost always used magic to resolve those situations.

 

3) Desiring a connection to the past wasn't any part of the catalyst for my decision to begin practicing witchcraft, and is only somewhat important to me now that I'm firmly entrenched in my Path. I have always had a deep respect (perhaps even a penchant) for the "old ways", so I prefer to learn how to do things in my craft that don't require the use of electricity. So I guess that narrows down my preferred eras to anything before the twentieth century? ;)

 

4) Being free of religion and dogma is a huge reason why I was attracted to traditional witchcraft. Religion/dogma only exacerbates the very things that I now use witchcraft to manage.

 

5) Whatever gifts I began using at a very young age is what connects me, but I feel that following the wisdom of "Witch, know thyself", taking responsibility for my actions (magical and mundane), and seeking to develop relationships with spirits (rather than summon/command unknown entities) is what makes me a witch rather than a sorceress or other types of magicians.

 

6) This seems to be encroaching on the notorious debate territory of "Is one born a witch, or made a witch?". (There are plenty of good, juicy threads in this community on that very topic! ;) ) But to answer the question: yes, I believe I can still use occult forces to manifest my intentions even if I were to cease formal spellcasting. But there are some connections and skills that I suspect would fade quickly: I don't think I would retain nearly as strong of a connection to the sea and land, and have doubts that I would receive (or notice?) important signs or synchronocities if I were to no longer use witchcraft (i.e.- scrying) to assess those signs. Because I've never taken an extended break from my practicing, I have no idea if it's like riding a bicycle in terms of being able to quickly regain the same amount of previous skill.

 

7) Again, this strikes me as delving a bit into the "Nature or nurture?" argument of how a witch comes to be. Anyways, I feel that this was the most beautifully subjective question of the post. In the context of my own Path, I feel that there isn't more to being a traditional witch than traditional witchcraft because I see the term "witch" as merely a label to describe a specific set of talents (whether gifted or hard-earned skills), and I do not personally use the word to describe a lifestyle that embraces the aesthetics of witchcraft.

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i can only speak to where I feel connectedness. I suppose this is nebulous, but for me it has been the woman on the edge of town, the shaman, the healer, the midwife, the cunning man, the wise woman, all of these images. These personas, now made archetypes that I have always related to and felt kinship with. When I try to pinpoint the "why" of that- the obvious answer would be that many of those are healers in some capacity and I am a nurse. But thats not it. It goes way beyond that. These people deal in the "otherness" that makes the average person uncomfortable. It is done in many ways, this dealing with other, we are all familiar with the list. And there is a list. Some of us have strengths in one area, some in many, some a little familiarity with all of them. It doesn't really matter if it is healing, or divination, or cursing, or protection, or astral travel, or communing with the dead. We deal in other. And it is this hidden sliver of humanity that makes people cringe and disparage one moment, and sneak away for our help another moment. We are needed. We are different. We see things that no one else wants to see and do things that no one else wants to do. We view things through a lense that allows us a perspective most people can not relate to, as it involves things beyond their experience and therefore not a part of their reality. We live with one foot in the land of other and one foot in acceptable society. This characteristic is the common thread for me.

 

edited due to the overly helpful assistance of autocorrect:)

Edited by Oroboros
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I feel a connection to Victorian England regarding the past...that is one line of my ancestors, but I don't believe in past life times. I feel a connection in part to the Kunning (original spelling, I think) and Wise men and women, but not so much to the Christian and ceremonial magick aspect, which from what I understand was integral to their practice.

 

My solid connection is to the Magick it self. I also have a connection to one Spirit that I know of.

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I've always felt a draw to different lands and different times, even as a young child. I was a history major in college as an attempt to further understand why.

 

I'm a Heinz 57. My family came to the Massachusetts Bay Colonies in 1628. He was sent here by a village and he brought along his wife. He worked as a wheelwright. He came here from England. I am English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Finnish, Crow, French, German and Hungarian. It's enough that my blood is saturated and there are strange pulls in all directions. They've always confused me. The biggest pull for me, starting in early childhood, was always the Scottish and Eastern European. No one ever knew a reason for it but it has always been there. Maybe someone can help me understand why.

 

I also feel a pull towards NA burial sites and mounds. There is one about 10 minutes from where I grew up and I used to go there all the time, just to be alone. I never found it eery or scary like most of my classmates. I always felt at peace, as though there would never be any harm come to me at that site. I was much more afraid of the world outside of that area.

 

I don't know if that actually answered the original post. I've never been overseas but I have been back East to Massachusetts and to Connecticut and felt weird pulls while traveling through the area. Later I would discover that the areas with the biggest pull for me were where I had ancestors buried.

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Uncertainfuture, you're "I'm a Heinz 57" statement made me think of the "cultural appropriation thread". I think you might enjoy it. It's in TW home page articles.

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I really wanted to deny my draw to witchcraft and did so for many years. I can't explain why I need to walk this path. All I know is that when I deny it I suffer for it. I feel drawn to nature, to the path and to old things and places. My family are from Germany, England and Scotland. They were pioneers and world travelers. I feel drawn to Native American culture and have a deep respect for their connectedness to nature. I also have a deep connection to things from the Victorian and Middle Ages as I feel they both had a connectedness to the spirit world and advancements in science. I love elemental and natural magic for its simplicity and raw power. I love ceremonial magic for its secrets. I am starting out fresh on my path and this time I want to really allow myself to be open and explore it freely. Its something I felt I could not do before as I studied with a group that I felt both hindered and judged me. This time it is for me.

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Uncertainfuture, you're "I'm a Heinz 57" statement made me think of the "cultural appropriation thread". I think you might enjoy it. It's in TW home page articles.

I'll have to check that out. I attended a lecture at a local university on cultural appropriation recently and it was fascinating.

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My contentedness comes from the place where I was born and where I grown up. The sulfurous land, the deep tuff caves, the sea. The folklore and the stories of nightly spirits.

Although I have now been living for almost ten years in far away places, there is a strong umbilical cord that still ties me up to those places. Every time I go back I recharge my batteries, and my alliances are silently renewed. Each time I live, I bring a bit of it with me, and I couldn't do otherwise: it runs through my veins and it always has.

I am an eclectic at heart, but everything started and grew from there.

 

i can only speak to where I feel connectedness. I suppose this is nebulous, but for me it has been the woman on the edge of town, the shaman, the healer, the midwife, the cunning man, the wise woman, all of these images. These personas, now made archetypes that I have always related to and felt kinship with.

 

This resonates a lot with me.

I grew up in a place where country witches, midwives and folk practitioners were very much alive. My curiosity for the things they did is what got me started on this path. They are archetypes too, but I can also give them faces and names, remember their voices, visit their graves. The things they did and the things I do bear as many similarities as differences, but we stand on the same ground.

 

I do not like to think of my practice as a thing of the past, nor do I try to reconstruct nebulous old ways. I value what's come before me enormously, and I build on it looking ahead and behind. My roots are deep in the soil but my branches stretch up to the sky.

There is no historical period I relate to, if not the time I'm alive. I can only direct and use my practice and learn from previous ones, but I'd find it awkward to try and revive a time past.

Life moves and I move with it.

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