Witchcraft in the modern world has been influenced by several different practices including western occult, pre-Christian pagan beliefs and eastern traditional rituals. Many witches choose to remain ‘in the broom closet,’ while others express themselves publicly. Each year there are events, and festivals, that bring the witchcraft community together to socialise in solidarity. In addition to following a strict moral code, and taking part in rituals, witch beliefs vary and include:
- A special meaning to halloween.
The season of halloween is often associated with witches, but most people are unaware of the true meaning behind the event. Witches believe that the veil between this world, and the supernatural one, is the thinnest between late October and early November. During this time they communicate with family members that have passed on, and engage in intense rituals. The spirits of the ancestors are evoked to ensure that the outcome of the spells will be positive. After the rituals have been performed, the witches celebrate, often consuming the foods and drinks that the deceased enjoyed.
- Deities play a major role in witchcraft.
Most religions place a great focus on the gods, or goddesses, that are worshipped. Witchcraft also takes the power of deities into consideration, with a large number of gods and goddesses being worshipped. Covens, groups and individuals will be drawn to different deities depending on personal beliefs. Although there are many gods and goddesses, two of the main ones associated with witchcraft are:
The Mother Goddess – A representation of the mother, the maiden and the crone. This female deity is associated with the moon and its phases; waxing, waning and full. The Mother Goddess is known by many names including: Aphrodite, Gaia, Lilith and Venus.
The Horned God – The Mother Goddess’ consort, it is believed that The Horned God dies and comes back to life annually. He is associated with the sun and included among his names are: Ammon-Ra, Eros, Lucifer and Thor.
Modern day witches see the deities as a representation of the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. They acknowledge that deities co-exist alongside humanity, and revel in their ability to assist and protect us. Witches also believe that all earthly bound beings are part of ‘source,’ and our divinity should be focused to promote peace and harmony.
- Many witches are polyamorous.
The belief in more than one god fuels a desire for many witches to engage in sexual activity with several partners, often committing themselves to several. Sexual energy is also believed to be one of the most powerful energy forms, and many rituals may include sex acts.