Sharon is a certified health coach and Mindful Life Guide. Her mission is to help others develop harmony and meaning for themselves.
No Such Thing as a Silly Question
For the most part, I take the stance that there is no such thing as a silly question. People can ask me anything, and I will attempt to answer to the best of my ability, but it helps to know the answer. Sometimes people have a sincere interest in something but are too timid to speak up, and sometimes they fear being met with derision—that is no way to encourage dialogue.
In that spirit, here are the top five questions I have been asked along with the answers. Please note that these are my own thoughts and are not universal or true for all Witches. I try to clarify this by saying “most” or “many” Witches before a statement, but that isn’t always possible. That being said, this article is for all of those who have wanted to ask a Witch but didn’t get the chance to.
Pull up a chair and sit a spell—the tea is on!
5 Common Questions About Witchcraft
- Do you worship the devil? Do you worship nature?
- Do you put spells on people?
- Do you dance naked under the moon?
- What does your pentacle mean? Is it an evil symbol?
- Do you sacrifice animals?
1. Do You Worship the Devil?
No—just, no. Witches do not believe in that particular entity. As Sandra Bullock’s character, Sally, stated in Practical Magic, “There is no devil in the craft.” In fact, many Witches will tell you that they don’t actually worship their deities. Instead, Witches simply have a relationship with them. It is similar to having a very wise friend that you can talk to and work with towards a goal.
The devil is from another pantheon entirely. Unless you work within the framework of that pantheon, then the devil has no bearing. Asking a Witch if they worship the devil is like asking a Baptist if they worship Apollo—it doesn’t apply. For those who claim that the devil disguises himself as other beings—again, no. This is like telling a Baptist that Apollo is disguising himself as their god to deceive the Baptist religion. I will also state that I am simply using Apollo as an illustration. I am not, I repeat, not equating him with any being known as the devil.
Follow up Question: Do You Worship Nature?
Witches, indeed, and most Pagans, have a strong kinship with nature. We believe that we are connected to all things. Nature follows a rhythm; it awakens, it thrives, it produces, it readies itself for sleep, and it goes dormant. As stated above, Witches do not quite worship nature, but rather, we work in harmony with other energies. Nature provides a model for us to observe. It also allows us to follow a rhythm of our own as we take time to plant seeds (actual crops or ideas, for instance), nurture, tend, and harvest. A Witch’s relationship with nature is often very respectful, sacred, and caring. But no, we do not worship nature.
2. Do You Put Spells on People?
The perception of spells that are portrayed by movies and TV is entirely different from what a practicing Witch truly achieves. Many Witches strongly believe that it is wrong to do anything to another person without consent, including healing. Free will is essential to most Witches as is personal responsibility. Therefore, no—Witches do not go around putting spells on people. I would never cast, for example, a love spell on a specific person. If someone asked me to do so, I would explain to them why it is a misguided idea.
Instead of casting a love spell, the better idea is to set an intention and work with energy to be more compassionate and loving towards yourself. When we love ourselves and are confident, it tends to attract love to us. I would also explain to an individual requesting a love spell that it would be best if they did this for themselves, and I’d offer to show them how.
Now, about spells—they won’t change your eye color, nor will they give your enemies warts or turn them into newts. Spells, very basically, are a manipulation of energy to attract a desired goal or outcome. Spells will attract the energy that you are sending out, so it is in the best interest of the Witch to put out positive energy. Some Witches believe in “The Law of Three” (that whatever you put out comes back three times stronger) and some don’t. But most can agree that the energy has to go somewhere. Therefore, witches are very precise with spellwork and mindful of possible outcomes. It is also my experience that the longer someone has been practicing, the fewer spells they actually cast.
3. Do You Dance Naked Under the Full Moon?
This question usually gets a disappointed look when I explain that most Witches do not practice skyclad, a religious type of nudity. Some Witches may practice skyclad, of course, but most of the Witches I have come across do not. The concept of skyclad originated from the father of modern Wicca, Gerald Gardner.
Now, I must point out that being a Witch does not automatically mean that one is a Wiccan. Think of it as two different spokes of the umbrella of Paganism; some Witches are Wiccan, but not every Witch is a Wiccan.
Back to Gerald Gardner. Gerald is credited with being the founder of Wicca, and he was also a naturalist and a nudist. So, it is understandable that he would bring nudity into his spiritual practice. I should also remind you that a large number of practicing Witches hail from colder climates. Think about it—yeah, exactly, not fun to freeze certain parts of your anatomy. To sum it all up, practicing nudity in Witchcraft is a personal choice.
4. What Does Your Pentacle Mean? Is It an Evil Symbol?
The pentacle is a very old symbol. The Christians used the pentacle, and in the 1500s, it was illustrated on knights' shields (such as in the case of Sir Gawain). It wasn’t until very recently that the pentacle or pentagram (a pentacle is a pentagram surrounded by a circle, a pentagram is the five-pointed star itself) was associated with “evil.”
It is believed that occultists of the 19th century began using the ancient symbol and inverted it to denote Baphomet, the goat-headed god. The symbol was also adopted and inverted by early Satanists (no, not devil worshipers—there is a distinction, but that is for another conversation). Eventually, the pentacle became associated with the occult and therefore deemed “evil” by the church.
Today, the pentacle is a federally recognized religious symbol for the military and can be placed on military graves. The points on the pentacle symbolize the elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit (Spirit being the topmost point). The circle of a pentacle denotes unity. There are some who say that having Spirit pointed up, or at the highest point, is the correct way. Some say that if Spirit is at the lowest point, that it signifies an imbalance. Wiccans may use an inverted pentacle to show their level of initiation. I wear my pentacle with Spirit pointed up, which is how it is most commonly worn.
The pentacle I have is fairly small. I wear it because it is a sacred symbol to me, not for shock value or effect. If someone is offended by it, they should understand that the symbol is very meaningful to me. I would never presume to be offended by someone else’s religious symbol, and I would never, ever tell them to remove it. That would be rude and arrogant of me, wouldn’t it?
5. Do You Sacrifice Animals?
No Witch that I know or know of sacrifices animals. Again, many Witches (Wiccan or not) follow the Wiccan ideology of “Harm None” as best they can. It sounds simple, but it may be hard for some Witches to stick to their word. However, most modern Witches do not feel that it is right to take the life of a living being because we desire something or because we wish to curry favor with a deity. Sacrifice means that you personally give something up—not that you take it from an innocent party. Most Witches do not feel that our deities wish for such a thing.
Offerings are appreciated but usually take the form of flowers, libation, or something similar (as if you were giving a gift to a friend). Normal friends, I hope, do not require a blood sacrifice to keep them happy. If so, you may be hanging with the wrong crowd. Most Witches love animals, and many are involved in rescue work or helping animals in some other way.
To Wrap It All Up
There are, of course, many more questions involving Witchcraft, but unfortunately, they will have to wait for another time. I have tried to answer your questions as honestly and as clearly as I could. Things that seem mysterious can also seem scary. It is my pleasure to help demystify some of these things. Hopefully, you come back to revisit me for another chat and some more tea. Blessings on your path, whatever it may be.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Landon on April 22, 2020:
I'm a budding pagan and I was curious if a candle has multiple colors or an ombre effect does that mean both colors are taken into consideration???
Deanne on February 20, 2020:
love this and ty xo
finigan on November 05, 2019:
I have been researching Magick for years but I still know little about it. I hope that some day my research will pay off and my books will find their way off the shelf...
Elizabeth on May 27, 2019:
Actually a question why can I only get pregnant by 7 month men only
Jennifer on April 28, 2019:
It is harmful to me if i choose to be witch?
Linda Clevenger on July 08, 2017:
Very interesting. I try to keep a open mind on most subjects. I have learned this phrase the hard way: Never say never. Totally enjoyed reading about this and can relate to the signs. Thanks
Angel on April 16, 2016:
How can u be a witch with power?
Sharon OBrien (author) on September 18, 2015:
Thank you for the awesome idea for my next hub!! I will try to put that out ASAP!!
A good place to start is to observe your self-talk. We tend to speak to ourselves very unkindly. We would never say to another person "Wow, that was a really stupid thing to do" but we say things like this to ourselves all too frequently. We need to treat ourselves with compassion. Whenever I catch myself saying something like the above comment, I then say "Delete that!" and I replace it with a good thought such as "I was not being stupid - I was just not being fully mindful." When we are kind to ourselves, it tells the Universe that we are worthy of respect and we attract that energy to us.
Thank you again for the comment!
carouseless on September 18, 2015:
The phrase "When we love ourselves and are confident, it tends to attract love to us. I would also explain that it would work best if they did this for themselves and I’d offer to show them how." is very interesting. It there possibly a hub where you explain this concept? Thank you!
Sharon OBrien (author) on June 01, 2015:
I can agree to a certain extent as your idea of fashion and mine may differ. True, Witch was a title used by others. Therefore it is being reclaimed in a positive way by those who identify. Again, labels can be so limiting.
Andrew Petrou from Brisbane on May 30, 2015:
I appreciate your ideas. I knew a lady who claimed to be a "witch" and she was a talented gifted person with real powers. She was real. So I don't doubt there are others. She was a white witch however and said there were other bad kinds as well.
However, I am sure that the actual word "witch" was not reclaimed as original "witches" did not use that word to describe themselves therefore to use the word today does connote style or fashion. Nothing wrong with fashion of course.
Christopher Peruzzi from Freehold, NJ on May 29, 2015:
A well thought out article that dispels many of the stupid prejudices existing today.
Sharon OBrien (author) on May 29, 2015:
Exactly my feelings and thoughts on the word, WiccanSage. You summed it up very eloquently. Thank you for your input!
Mackenzie Sage Wright on May 29, 2015:
Very true, I get those questions all the time. You nailed the answers here.
As for the word 'Witch' being negative, it was. So was Pagan at one time. So was Lutheran at one time. Words evolve, and in the 19th/early 20th century, people began accepting a new definition of Witch, and we of the late 20th/early 21st century simply inherited it.
In the modern sense of the word it describes what we do-- which is actually not synonymous with being psychic or herbalist (most psychics or herbalists do not practice Witchcraft nor would they consider themselves Witches) .
Sharon OBrien (author) on May 29, 2015:
That is an excellent question. Honestly, this Hub was originally going to cover that very topic. It took a long time for me to accept the title of "Witch". As for the history of the word, that is another topic for another hub as it is too deep to gloss over here. The journey was an interesting one for me and may be covered in a future Hub. Labels are so limiting but often they are necessary to sum things up neatly. It would be cumbersome to go about saying that I am a healer, psychic, teacher, adviser, practitioner of the magical arts and follower of the old ways. I'd likely loose the person before I got finished. Like my pentacle, Witch is in no way a "fashion statement". As for being outrageous, anyone who knows me knows how very far from that I truly am. I don't bring up my path in normal conversation and I don't talk about it unless I am asked. If someone sees my pentacle, which is a modest size, they may ask about it and about me. I am also out of the broom closet, active in my community and have been interviewed for radio, print and internet news so they may have seen me around. Many of us are reclaiming the title that was sullied by other religions. It is a craft, a way of life and something that I walk with every day. It is in my very being. Other Witches may understand me when I say that it was whispered to me that this is who and what I am. Also, it is a description first applied to me by other people before I even considered it for myself. Many paths, such as Christianity, Judaism, etc also have negative connotations depending on the region. Thankfully, I live in a place, and time, where the word Witch is no longer a scary and negative term. Most people today are more enlightened and the term is becoming more and more commonplace. (Another future hub will address the problem of movies and TV portraying Witches as evil supernatural beings so frequently). To me, I use Witch because that is what I am, plain and simple. I am at a stage in my life where being fashionable or going for shock value are not even on my radar. I have learned through decades of life that you have to be true to yourself and not worry about what others may think about you. I also hope that if someone meets me knowing that I am a Witch, or discovering it, they will walk away with a better understanding. They may say, "You know, I met a Witch and she was just like anyone else." Thank you for your comment - it was a good question.
Andrew Petrou from Brisbane on May 29, 2015:
Is it true its mainly just fashionable to claim witch hood? For example the term witch was a negative word given to harmless lonely female herbalists centuries ago by those who wanted to demonize vulnerable old ladies. Really you should be called a psychic or a herbalist. To use the word "witch" seems to be deliberately outrageous/fashionable.