On Fear In The Craft

“A witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest, Granny Weatherwax had once told her, because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.” ― Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith.

A witch ought never be frightened for she should be sure in her very soul that she has faced her fears and in doing so conquered fear itself.

Embrace your fear. Hold it close, hold it tight. Don’t ever forget that feeling, that gut wrenching stab of fear. It prickles at the heart and sets it ablaze, preparing you for action.

I think that so often we are taught to fear fear itself. We’ve become so afraid, we’ve tamed ourselves and have allowed ourselves to be tamed. We’ve been conditioned to fear those feelings of fear. To be afraid, but not to act on it.

Fear is a natural instinct, a gift from the great mother so that we may heed it and survive, but to do so requires action. Fear as a natural, bodily survival instinct prepares us to either run or to fight. Hormones like adrenaline flood the body, energy stores are mobilized all so that we might have the energy necessary to survive, by whatever means necessary. Fear is natural. Without it, whole species would be wiped out.

But we must also recognize, especially when it comes to our craft, which fears are real, and which ones conjured up by our traitor minds, the product of endless conditioning. This kind of fear, the fear of looking into the unknown, to be frightened by what is outside of mainstream culture, is like half living. We have been caged by fears unknown, dark and misty, half-truths and lies.

We must look into those fears, face them head on and stare them down, like a boxer facing his or  her opponent across the ring.

Because you will face fear and uncertainty as you forge your own path, it is inevitable. Sometimes those fears will be mundane, for instance, you may worry or be scared to truly be yourself. Sometimes, we care too much about what others might think of us. Or perhaps the fear you will come face to face with is something else. Perhaps it is the fear of being unable to turn back, the fear of the unknown, the fear that is self-doubt.

Witchcraft is scary because it forces us to acknowledge all parts of the self, the dark and often unsavoury, along with the light and the love. To see ourselves, our whole selves for what we really are can be a frightening prospect and I wonder how many turn away at this hurdle, unable to come to terms with the truth of what they see.

All of those things the seeker must face and must overcome in the forging of their own way. It is a must. It won’t be easy, nothing worth doing ever is. It takes sacrifice, courage and the sheer force of your will. But in the end, you will be the stronger for it. You will look back with awe at the strength of you, your will and your craft.

We witches are wild things. We have faced our fears and conquered them, and do so each day. It is the only way real freedom is achieved. Not to be fearless, but to embrace our fear, accept it, but to forge on nonetheless.

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My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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My name is Emma Kathryn, my path a mixture of non-Wiccan Traditional British Witchcraft and Obeah, a blend that represents my heritage. A Devotee of Hekate, my witchcraft is what is needed when needed. I live in the middle of England with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs.
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