What do you think it meant to be a witch back in “the old days”? Well, in Europe as well as the east coast it meant a death sentence for one thing. If you were caught practicing what the authorities considered to be witchcraft, you were arrested, and most, hanged or burned. Sad Times. Sadder still were some of the things which could label you as a witch. Aside from actually healing someone, or helping someone with their crops, you could be assumed a witch just by the shape of your chin, or lies told by your neighbor.
That was the usual way you were declared a witch. More sorry, usually the person accused was not in fact a witch. Most of the time, the person was a healing woman, a wise woman who knew of certain herbs simply because it had worked in her family and the information handed down from generation to generation. Does that make a person a witch?
It could. But what really makes a person a witch? Is it the certain religious path they take? Whether Wiccan, solitary, Gardnerian? These are all paths to practice the Craft, yes, but does following a path make you a witch? What actually makes a person a witch, what defines them?
I would offer, that what makes a person a witch, is what is inside the person’s heart. How they choose to “fix” things, heal things, what they choose to be important in their lives. Being a witch isn’t about how many crystals you have, or how many herbs you’ve decided to put in a tea, or even how many people you’ve healed. It isn’t even which school you attended to receive your witch degree.
No, to define a real witch, is to define a person’s heart. When your child comes to you ill with the flu, whether you know it’s the flu or not, what is your first reaction? Grab the Tylenol you just purchased at the store, or cleanse the child’s chakras? When your neighbor raises that awesome crop, full enough to last all winter, do you thank the store that sent you the seeds or do you look to the sky and whisper thanks be to the Sun, Moon, Weather and Earth?
A Witch is a Witch by what is inside their heart. Whether you lived in the 1600’s and had to hide it, or whether you live in the 2000’s and could openly go to your metaphysical store and buy hand made beeswax for the ointment you planned to heal the rash of your next door neighbor. It doesn’t matter, what matters is your first instinct. Where your heart goes and what your mind first thinks in times of decision making.