Friday, November 03, 2006

Essential Austerity

A Jewitch, similarly to a Pagan witch, is who she is.

Here is an excerpt from a good article with ideas applicable to anyone whose spirituality and practices are shunned by the mainstream. Kestryl Angell writes on Being A Plain Clothes Witch:

One of the most stringent tests of faith that a witch, or any pagan for that matter, can experience is austerity. Whether by personal circumstances, age, locale, income, life catastrophe or other cause, a witch or pagan without their tools -- and stripped to only themselves, the God(s) and their faith -- never has an easy path to travel and thus it is one rarely chosen by practitioners on purpose.

Being a “plain clothes” witch is a hard path, indeed. Like most humans, we pagans like our pretties. However, sometimes it becomes necessary, especially in the beginning of learning, to step away from the shiny toys and pretty props and learn the underpinnings of our faith by practicing with our first and most basic tool, our selves. . . .

I hear much discussion, especially from struggling young pagans whose parents or other family and friends would not approve of their choice of faith focus, based upon the premise that without their books, their pentacle or pentagram, without their crystals and wands and lovely cloaks and magickal doo-dads they are so fond of…that they are thus stripped of their faith and/or religion. Frankly, if they can be stripped of their faith by having their toys taken away, then they have much to learn from the very austerity I speak of. Such as these have not yet learned to use the one tool that every witch must have well in hand first before any of the other pretty magickal props can even function properly. The witch. . . .

Learn from the Dark Times that a witch cannot be his or her tools. Tools can be taken away and destroyed. Faith cannot be so easily destroyed. The Witch IS the Tool… a willing, harmonious tool of the Universe whose faith, knowing and to his or her world is unshakable. You are this tool whether in flowing robes of velvet or jeans and a t-shirt in the woods at dawn making coffee on a campfire.

Excellent! Whether Jewitch or Pagan, the article makes many good points regarding the valuable spiritual lessons to be gleaned from an essential experience of austerity.

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