I ran across this again yesterday in going through some old Craft writings. I am considering it today and deciding how much of it I still hold to. I think it is still a basic idea of my own beliefs, and I wish I didn't still need to say this to some people under certain circumstances. But the circumstances do arise, and so, once more, here 'tis, and this is all it is. Those to whom I am speaking know who you are--for you others who read, perhaps there is something to think about here.
The Witch Manifesto
I am a Witch. That is sufficient for you to know. Witches need not disclaim the Wiccan religion nor apologize to its members for what they are and are not. We are part of a long and proud tradition of the art, craft, philosophy, and way of life that is Witchcraft. We were here before Wicca and we will be here after. We are set apart.
Simply naming yourself "Witch" does not make you a Witch any more than naming yourself "neurologist" makes you a brain surgeon. To be a Witch requires study, learning, practice, experience, and talent. Being a Witch is a calling, not a choice. You either are or you aren't. The lot is cast at birth by the Universe and there is nothing you can do about it. Not everyone can be a concert pianist or a best-selling author; not everyone can be a Witch.
Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is a craft. The comparison of the two is a comparison of apples and oranges. Witchcraft can be used to express the Wiccan religion just as sculpting can be used to express Christianity. However, Wicca is not Witchcraft any more than Catholicism is sculpting.
As Witchcraft is not a religion, the Witch is free to believe or not believe as they wish. Witches may worship a Goddess, a rock, Satan, Will Rogers, The Force, or nothing at all. It is the Witch's choice how to relate to the Universe and none may gainsay that choice. The Witch is self-empowered and relies on no one else to get through life. This means we make our own moral choices, form our own ethics, and decide our own course. An artificial morality may not be forced upon us. We will not be intimidated with "karma" or threats of "three-fold" retribution. We will not be told that these will "get us no matter what we believe." The wisdom we hold is sacred and has been handed down from the Ancients through many generations. Our families and traditions have perfected it and people have both lived and died for it. We will not bear the insult of being told that we are wrong because what we know and practice does not agree with the author of some shallow, mass marketed book from the New Age shelf at Barnes & Noble.
Being a Witch does not require you to be a Socialist, a Democrat, a feminist, ecologically conscious, politically correct, or even socially acceptable. Each Witch makes hir own way through the world and sets the terms and conditions of how s/he interacts therewith. Externally imposed ideals of "right and wrong" and "good and bad" have no meaning to the Witch. The Ethic is the only thing that informs our behaviour.
Witches live and work from within the shadows. This is the ancient and honorable way. We are called out from the Cowan and wish to live separately from them. We don't need nor even want good public relations. We are not concerned with being "persecuted" or fighting for "civil rights." Our validation comes from within ourselves, not from the President, the media, the Christian church, or the IRS. We are unique individuals and no one speaks for us. Wiccans may not say what Witches believe or how Witches think. We have no problem allowing others to follow the course that they choose- or assisting them in it- as long as they afford us the same courtesy. We are not your enemies or your adversaries. We just want the right to be who and what we are; the same right you claim for yourselves.
I am a Witch. That is sufficient for you to know.