Witchcraft Journal Blog

A resource for information and opinions on the beliefs, practices, customs, and magic of Traditional Witchcraft of the British Isles.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

On the Topics of Nature and the Spirits

While Trad Witches believe in the gods, which are honoured in ritual, we also believe in pantheism, which is the belief that "everything in the universe is god and god is everything in the universe." This is expressed in the concept of being "one with Nature". Nature, or the god (God), is seen as neutral, neither good nor bad, but is to be respected, appreciated, and revered, that it simply "is." Nature is the totality of reality. Nature simply exists and provides us with a world that is not more kind than it is brutal, nor more beautiful than ugly, nor more comforting than harsh.

In the tradition of British witchcraft, Nature encompasses far more than our worldly province to also encompass the OtherSide, or heaven, within its domain. Thus, it could be said correctly that heaven and Earth are all part of Nature. Therefore, the Trad Witch views Nature as a force that surrounds us in life as well as in death.

Traditional Witches have always been very spiritually minded, coördinating their lives with Nature, forging associations and friendships with spirits and Spirit Guides, and honoring specific gods through family tradition.

One of many beliefs that marked the witch as very different from the majority is the belief in the absolute equality of all life forms, both on Earth and on the OtherSide. Trad Witches believe the spirits of the living and the spirits of the dead are completely equal. This means that all spirits are equal. This has many ramifications including the ancient belief that males and females are completely equal. The concept of a god and goddess duality, male and female in equal balance, is certainly part of many traditions in Trad Witchcraft but is not found in all traditions.

The witch has a special relationship with spirits on the OtherSide. Friendly spirits are thought of as one might think of a neighbor. When you think about it, a spirit is simply another person, whether alive or dead, in this world or on the OtherSide. As with people, the personality of spirits vary as human personalities vary. Some spirits are uncoöperative and nasty, while others are agreeable and helpful. Many more tend to be neutral.

As with any family member or friend, friendly spirits are around us at ritual or during magic. Spirits are always treated with high respect. There are many spirits willing to help us if we only ask. There are specific techniques that are very effective in this regard.

Traditional Witchcraft is a religion of considerable depth. It is a religion of the highest spirituality, of Nature-consciousness, of gender equality. It is as vibrant today as it has always been.