Every autumn I find myself being drawn even more deeply into the archetype of the witch. Oh that word conjures up so many thoughts, feelings, fears, and stereotypes, doesn’t it? But, I dare say that if we think for just a minute longer, then the word witch also awakens a certain mystical mood that leaves us feeling inspired, excited, curious, connected, and even ready to discover our own inner witch.
Since we’re coming into the middle of October, it’s time to dive a little bit deeper. And I’m thinking that is the perfect time to think more deeply about the archetype of the witch. Who she is, what her purpose is, why we are so obsessed (negatively or positively) with witchy things.
So, far, I’m feeling the moody vibes of October thanks to the weather, the autumnal colors of nature, the dark nights + mornings, my constant use of candlelight, spending some time vegging out to some mysterious + magical series on tv, and my decision to begin bringing pumpkin into my recipes. But, now, it’s time to begin to really dig into the heart of October. The mood is set, so now lets draw down deep into the darkness. It’s time to meditate on what the month has to offer us, teach us, and how we can find a bit of healing, wisdom, and inspiration by sitting with the energy of October. It’s time to turn to the medicine of the month.
And, if you haven’t guessed by now, this month’s medicine is all about that inner witch.
Surrender to nature + the soul
I’m coming to deeply understand how October is a month of descending down into the physical and the spiritual. Into the earth + into my soul. And, that downward pull is a surrender to the cycles of nature, to the acceptance of the rhythms of the year… the falling leaves, the chilling air, the dark mornings, the long nights. That’s easy to see and experience. It’s setting the mood for me all around me. But, it is also a surrender to the inward part of the year. All of nature calls me to slow down + turn inward. In other words, October is also a surrender to the soul. Not quite as easy to accept + super easy to avoid, if I’m being honest.
But, this is the medicine of this month: If I dare to follow the rhythm of nature, then I, too, will descend into the deepest, darkest parts of my soul. Frightening as it may be, though, this is the gift + the magic of October. To dive deep into my soul means that I will unearth all of the secrets + wisdom hidden within. My own secrets + wisdom. My own power + magic. My own inner witch.
However, this is not this is not the power + magic that we traditionally think of it when we think of witches. Stay with me now… dare to dive deep + explore your inner witch.
What is a witch exactly?
Of course we all think of witches when we think about October + Halloween. Mostly it’s a kind of cartoonish character. Old women, living alone, conjuring up brews + casting spells. Black cats. Broomsticks. Magic. Darkness. I also tend to think of the historical references to witches as well. Cloaked women, often young and alone, lurking about at night, practicing magic, potions, spells, curses, and tragically being burned at the stake for their lifestyle + spirituality which didn’t fit into the white, Christian mold.
Like so many things, witches have been turned into some kind of legendary being. And they seem to be other- worldly. Mostly in a negative, threatening way. But, as the years pass, I understand how witches have been around throughout time. They’ve been called oracles, healers, gypsies, medicine women, and so much more. And, today, there are so many people who identify with and/or use the term witch. But, there are also many (like myself, perhaps) who practice what you would call witchy things, but don’t identify as a witch.
Personally, I don’t feel the need to label myself or others as anything: witch, lesbian, etc. I can label my behaviors or lifestyle, but I am so much more than a label. For example, I may engage in witchy practices or live a lesbian lifestyle, but I am not simply a witch or a lesbian or a Christian. Likewise, I have no need to label others as this or that.
But, what is a witch really? Well, I’m sorry, I don’t have a fancy, all-encompassing, perfect definition. I only have my own intuitive way of describing a witch. So, here’s my version, my understanding, my way of describing what a witch is.
To me, a witch can be described simply as a person, usually comfortable with feminine expression, who is connected. And there are two connections:
- A witch is connected to the soul. They accept, honor, and embrace who they are. They are connected to their own inner power + intuition. They know who they are, the vision they have for their life, the gifts + abilities they can offer, and create their life to be an expression of who they are – for the sake of the world, for the good of the world.
- A witch is also connected to the earth + the natural rhythms of life. Someone who lives close to nature, feels inspiration from the moon, stars, trees, flowers, seas, and mountains. But, that inspiration is also a deep message + reminder of the cyclical nature of life and of how to live together, in harmony with all of living things.
That’s it. There’s no reason to go any further than that. Everything about witches falls under these two connections. All of the magic, rituals, meditations, ceremonies in the woods, gatherings, practices, tools (crystals, oracle cards, etc.), love of the dark… are simply ways to connect either to the soul or to nature/each other.
Now, what about my own inner witch?
It’s no secret that I engage in witchy things. In fact, connecting to soul/spirit + earth is exactly the balanced way of spiritual living that I seek.
In seeking, I find that I often turn to others for inspiration. And that’s great. It’s so good to learn from people who have studied and experienced much. I am an avid reader of spiritual memoirs + non-fiction. Right now, I’m learning from one of my giant heros, Joseph Campbell, about discovering our own personal myth. I’ve read so many of his books – and they touch my soul in ways that I feel that he’s speaking directly to me and that I am dancing with some deep truths. I also follow Instagram accounts, blogs, receive newsletters, and all of that social media stuff. Always looking for inspiration from others that inspire my soul.
And while a witch loves learning + reading + exploring new ways of connecting to spirit and earth, the real energy of a witch is about their own connection to soul + earth. And that means I put down the books, put down the rules, and figure out what I feel. On my own.
The power of the witch, the power of my own inner witch, is nothing scary or foreboding. It’s most certainly not evil or harmful. It’s not even about casting spells or making magic in the traditional sense. The true power, my true power, my magic, is found in my own wisdom, intuition, and knowledge. It is taking everything that makes me me and sharing it with the world.
Speaking of magic, it is much simpler + much more present than we realize. For me, magic is found + created every single day. It’s a moment of calm, of peace, of inspiration. When I claim + release my inner witch then simple things are infused with magic. Sweeping the kitchen floor becomes an act of meditation + mindfulness as I create a sacred, clean home. Cooking becomes creating concoctions and giving thanks to the earth for the nourishment that feeds my body + soul. Dinner at a candlelit table becomes a moment of magical mindfulness + coziness.
I create magic in everything when I choose to be connected to soul + earth. When I choose to be mindful. When I choose to feel + create energy that is positive, uplifting, inspiring, and healing.
The challenge is to put away all of the outside influences, all of the inspiring accounts + people + books, and dare to go within to really discover, claim, and accept my inner witch. To dive deep, spend time listening to my intuition, dig up my own wisdom, bring forth my own medicine (my gifts + abilities), and practice my own special magic.
But that’s the beauty of this season of the year, the season of the witch. Nature provides me the perfect setting to slow down, go within, and harvest all of the wisdom I have. And then, this season also provides the darkness, silence, solitude needed to ponder these things, plant the seeds, and wait for the inspiration, plans, dreams to bloom when the light returns.
The dark season of the year, the mood of October, and the energy of the witch provide the perfect setting + mood for really sinking deep into the earth, discovering our own magic, and waiting to see how we might bring it forth when the sun returns in the spring.
For the rest of October, I am going to continue to tap into my inner witch. Meditate on the witch, embrace the dark, connect to my soul, connect to the earth, create tiny moments of magic + ritual in my everyday life. And, then, in November (here comes a teaser!) it’s time to turn off all outside influences and face my inner witch. It’ll be a month of cozy, intuitive, dark, warm, liminal introspection to discover my own magic.
For now, here’s to the inspiration of the archetype of the witch. May she bless each of us from today until Halloween. May we sit with her, learn from her, be inspired by her, and ready ourselves to be like her:
Connected. Powerful. Magical. Intuitive. Wild.