For part #1 please visit here
Let’s start by dispelling the romance or fantasy, this is not going to be a list of powers from a dungeons and dragons manual or from a list of superhero powers. Though I feel this is another thing often not gone into too much. This is because as in my last post where Witchcraft is the union of many things including instinct, these powers come when needed coursing through our blood. It is primal like survival and therefore where life takes us tends to be what awakens these powers.
Harnessing them takes time and one way is through our craft and though not limited lets look at some other ways:
Ritual if done in a certain way is designed at times to internalise within the witch; for that power to imbue itself within you.
It’s easier to give an example: Often in a ritual framework a boundary is made between realms, this is done by drawing on power and creating the boundary, you may or may not use tools in this case it does not matter. But in practicing ritual (habitually or rather repeatedly) your body and mind can take on this power and in time you can cast at will.
In such an act you are taking the power around you and shaping it into a circle or ring (if you do this kind of ritual).
So your body and mind adjust and get used to doing this that in time you can draw on this power and cast at will but also shape it into other acts, not just for a boundary /circle etc.
If you invoke in your ritual in time you can open up so you can channel such power at will without formal invocation etc. These rituals and all magic changes the practitioner.
Experience and Practice
Through living life and the simply being and practicing your craft in various ways as well as general life, you will awaken your powers. Through reading and hearing stories you will start to see them come to life if they have a magical meaning and message, all of which can contribute.
I realise as I write this it’s a tough subject to explain and talk about, but my hope is that this is understood by it being relatable.
As I say awakening these powers is not limited to the above just common ways these surface and come out. In Witchcraft it’s often becoming aware of what is within that learning something new.
Famously people are aware of mothers lifting cars to save their children: how biology and emotion meet producing what’s needed for such an act is very much similar to witchcraft.
I would hypothesis that this is the main way powers awaken and develop. People sometimes romanticise shadow work and darkness etc. but these are important without the glamour. In this magic is indeed the dark arts. Joseph Campbell said:
“The demon that you can swallow gives you it’s power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.”The tough times we face and the shadow we expose allow us to claim power: power is claimed through darkness and its up to us to shed light upon it.”
Between People and Witches
Some people will awaken your powers and working with other witches can do this. If you work with witches in a coven or group then you may also share in some way each other’s powers. Such power travels between bodies and experiencing each other.
Example of such powers
I have in looking into this identified a multitude of powers and probably there are some I am yet to find, so for ease we will look at four examples. Some people may find they do not have these, some have one or a few and some may have or develop many. It’s not a competition and not worth getting infantile about this.
What I find interesting with Witches is that we encounter these powers and often it’s how we start but we gain more control through other practices that these powers are forgotten or mixed up and unseen. But witchcraft and most magic is often hidden in plain sight.
Pharmakia / Wortcunning
I mention this in the first blog, how some people have a natural affinity to communicate with plants and trees. I use the words above interchangeably but the first is the ancient Greek word for witchcraft though its emphasis is on drugs and plants. The second is more drawn from Anglo-Saxon.
When a plant or leaf calls to you and you tells you to pick up or talk to it or grind it, yet this not an act you select at first but a power surfacing.
This ability to commune with plants and learn from them is something we see throughout folklore and stories from various cultures.
If you do not have this ability you may find it surface in time or you can learn it by experiencing plants, being out with them seeing them in each season and learn their names which reveal much.
This is a medieval term for weather magicians, it’s clear in England that there is a rich history of weather magic and many places have this as its key to agriculture and weather patterns carry power that the magician can work with.
It is clear that some practitioners have a very strong link to the weather and often find it quite easy to sway.
This is what it says on the tin. The power to expel or send away power or spirits.
I include this as it’s quite common. You may not have experienced this yourself but are likely to know someone who has been woken in the night by an unwelcome presence. They speak to spell but all their will and fear and desire to preserve themselves comes pouring out usually with a healthy shout of ‘piss off’
This will send such spirits away most of the time.
In this case I use this term to indicate astral projection, just with Pharmakia, some people have this naturally, some develop it and some have this rather innately. This is the ability to release the astral body from the physical body. From this point you can do various things, from emote viewing to bilocation to shapeshifting etc. but let’s keep it simple.
Some people experience this vividly as children and maintain it but clearly if you can do this as a child you just need to unlock your inner child to access it perhaps…
I decided to include this as it’s a power I chose to identify as a way of simply describing the way that we sometimes produce change without spells etc. This is not to discredit spells, my own approach is to use various methods. But this is often not talked about and yet every witch I know can think be it small or big of a time when they simply made something happen.
Some people may feel that all these powers come down to this and to some degree that might be true but the reason I have distinguished these powers are:
- We are all wired differently: From what I can tell these powers to manifest quite specifically and my intention within this blog is that you as a practitoner can specify your expereinces and work on awakening this in a targetted way.
- The relaitonship with power: Manifestation in these terms often suggests simply making magic happen but I feel its important to note that its about ones own power in coversation with your environment.
Concerning Psychic Ability
Inner powers/senses are not quite the same as psychic ability and magic in the context I am discussing is not the same.
Some people will disagree and that’s fine but I have found that distinguishing psychic ability and magical ability to be quite key when exploring this. I worked for over a decade in a Spiritualist and psychic development circle and found that it can complement your magic.
For example of what I mean let’s look at Tarot:
Most people think divination takes psychic ability, some form may require it but Tarot is not one of them, though it can of course complement psychic ability.
If you are capable of connecting to power the tarot becomes a language that transcends time, space and realms for you to read. To some making this connection is psychic ability but psychic ability is a passive gift that one can learn harness. Magic is an active power. So when I talk about connecting with power to some people that’s psychic ability, to be it’s a magical act and to others they might be the same. I am fine with that, I just find distinguishing this way allows a fuller and richer vocabulary so things do not get lost among unification.
Whilst both psychic ability and magical power can have their place and I am not disparaging one over the other I have met witches who will maintain they are as psychic as a brick but capable of magic and divination.
This area is mostly debatable by what we mean by terminology but I maintain how I identify these terms if nothing else for the purposes of this blog.
As I say there are too many expressions of power for me to include in a blog and I can only write about my own experience of them along with others I am close to and have spoken too concerning this. You may wonder why I write this at all and it’s really just to encourage conversations and see where it might go, language is the main way to do this.
There are a vast array of these powers, some witches can facilitate healing through their hands, some can blast and curse with ease etc. think of your own experiences and some may reflect the powers discussed, some may be others I have not included or even do not know about. The only thing I would urge is: Claim your power.
What Next ……
Next I will look at The Craft of the Witch.