One of the four pillars of Witchcraft is To Keep Silent. This means that just because we know things, we don’t have to go on about them. As I learn more about the Wiccan religion and let its magic into my life, I need to learn that silence is golden. Which is really hard! I’m an open book trying to be more honest with myself and others – and my natural inclination is share.
However, one of the things I’m starting to work out is that there is no right way to be a modern witch. What works for one may not work for another – and if I choose to be open about my journey, where’s the harm? It’s not like I’m giving away sacred and ancient secrets. I won’t go into detail. But sharing this adventure is part of the fun. I’m excited in ways I haven’t been for a long time and I want to talk about it.
This week I took two days off to get ahead on my diploma. Obviously I wasted the first day off watching back to back episodes of Glee and going out for lunch, but on Tuesday I knuckled down and got two of ten modules submitted to my invisible tutor. Module 3 is about the tools of the trade – first stop stocking up your altar.
This sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole. What do they mean by altar? Am I expected to build one out of just MDF and a PMA? It turns out – according to my favourite new Wiccan YouTuber – that an altar can be anything you want it to be. It’s just a safe space in which to pray, ruminate, cast spells, keep it real and keep your tools. It’s open to interpretation and that’s beautiful, I think.
I chose an old wooden chest my mum gave me when I was a teenager. It’s lovely (and dusty) and now it’s just waiting for the perfect spot for its rebirth as my altar. When I opened it it was full of old birthday cards, love notes from Glynn and my once-prized signed photo of Tim Burton. I can already imagine it bathed in candle light, offering sanctuary after a particularly hard day.
I am enjoying everything I’d reading and learning about Wicca but I’m fully aware that anything I really glean from it will come from within. I can read about the history and theory behind it until the cows come home but if I don’t believe in it and can’t hone it, it means nothing. This makes me even more enthusiastic about the future.