Updated: Apr 21, 2020
The answer is yes, but who is a Witch? What does this word even mean? If you ever wondered that, you probably looked it up and what you found in the dictionaries left you uneasy. Oxford Dictionary reads: noun 1. a woman thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, popularly depicted as wearing a black cloak and pointed hat and flying on a broomstick.
2.INFORMAL:an ugly or unpleasant woman. As a verb it means: to cast an evil spell on.
Funny, right? Should we talk about most of the descriptions of Witches in the literature or movies? Witches were either the beautiful women who would make poor men mad, they would bewitch them with their beauty for their evil doing, or they would be absolutely horrific. Eating children, sending plagues on poor villagers, make your crops and animals die, overpowering good Kings and Knights, whispering curses in the night, stirring their cauldrons.
The English origins of the word Witch are from the Old English words: Wicca (male), Wicce (female)- meaning sorcerer, warlock.The word's further origins in Proto-Germanic and Proto-Indo-European are unclear. Some say it comes from verb meaning “an obscure origin” or “sacred” or “to separate, to divide”. It also could mean: “to make mysterious gestures” or “one who wakes the dead” but it’s all very uncertain.
My Polish heart likes our word for Witch, "Wiedźma" much better. It’s because it derives from a word: “wiedza" - meaning knowledge. Before the darkness of Middle Ages that was the definition of a Witch: “a woman who possesses knowledge”.
She would be a healer: her knowledge of herbs, medicine and the environment would make her respected, an important part of society. Then the Christianity came and our Witches became evil, too, but never quite forgotten.
In Modern Craft there are multiple kinds of Witchcraft and Witches. In the next post I’ll list them all and try to give you a sneak-pick of each of the mesmerizing Traditions of our fellow Sisters and Brothers. Cheerio!