The book mentioned in the previous post might sound like some fantastic grimoire, and in a way, it is. Yet it is not some arcane tome from an exotic land. No, it is something more familiar. It is something that all of us called this path share. It is the Book of Shadows written within your heart, and it holds everything you need to know. You already know everything you need to know about witchcraft, you just might not aware of it yet.
There are seemingly countless forms of witchcraft, with a dazzling array of styles and traditions. Some are group-based and initiatory, and may be highly secretive about their practices. Others are more individualistic, with perhaps more of an inclination toward solitary work. Yet both have been directed in some way through gnosis, which forms the heart of witchery. Where there is gnosis, there is inspiration. Without gnosis, we are relegated to reconstructed, ritualized theater.
So, what is gnosis?
The word gnosis comes from the Greek word for “knowledge”. When applied to spiritual or religious philosophy, it means “to know” deity or the sacred, through experience, often expressed through the mythic medium.
It is through gnosis- experience which leads to knowing- that the witch learns the keys to their craft. It is also through gnosis that one discovers the shape, or path, that their witchcraft will take.
The kind of witchcraft that I have discovered is one that is highly personal. That is not to say that it lack structure, but it does allow for greater flexibility than some of the more established coven traditions that exist. So the kind of craft that I will be discussing is widely open for experimentation and adaptation for what will work best for you, after consulting your own spirit to see if it recognizes the language and the signs shown.
It is my firm belief that if you are called to this path, then you already have the book inside you, illuminated by the lantern light of your soul. There is already a path that is beckoning to you, to walk down and explore, if you only have the courage and curiosity to do so.
Yet be forewarned, the way is not without its challenges. As soon as you resolve yourself to take the first steps, your actions will not go unnoticed. You may be followed, or be stopped dead in your tracks by the unexpected. There are teachers and interested ancestors to be found, yet there are also bears in the woods. At the start, everything will have the same fuzzy, blurry vague feel, and it will take time to discern the difference. The discernment is learned through experience, and through developing a language and a compass to guide you through the strange realms of the Otherworld.
I will not tell you this is safe, because that would wholeheartedly be a lie.
Yet for those willing to take the risk, to listen to their own personal gnosis, the rewards are rich. You will come to know yourself far better than you ever thought possible, and you will gain a certain level of self-mastery which will prepare for you just about anything life can throw at you. You will make allies who will open your eyes and who may share gifts with you when they are treated with respect in kind. Furthermore, I believe you will be doing some very necessary work toward restoring our damaged world and the spiritual wounding our disconnected species has wrought upon nature. I feel the witch is needed more now than ever to raise consciousness and to disrupt the rationalistic, materialistic status quo.
There is no easy way to say what kind of witch you are, seeker. Only you can find that for yourself. Look inside your heart. Go to the wild and lonely places, because there you can best hear the tiny whisper of your soul-self, guiding you along your way. Find where your inner threshold is, and the path leading into the inner wilds will be there waiting for you. Somewhere, down this path, the book will be found. When you find it, speak to it, and tell it you know it is special and you remember its power. Read a little. Then go back home to your mundane existence, for that is equally important as well. And then, later, perhaps under a full moon or dark, resolve to return to your book and read just a little more.
Happy and safe travels, fellow witches!