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On Fear in the Craft – Part 2

On Fear in the Craft – Part 2

Fear of the Craft Obeah Woman Whispers Emma Kathryn Wild Witch The House of Twigs THOT Witchcraft School

Is it a cliche if I were to tell you that you will indeed face fear on your path?

It might, I concede, but like all cliches, there is some truth to it.

I’ve written about fear in the craft before but we find ourselves in a very strange time where fear rules supreme. We’ve come to see fear in a very real way that so many of us haven’t seen before. We’ve been afraid for our lives, for the lives of our loved ones. Yes, the last couple of months have been a very strange time indeed and so I turn that lens on fear within our witchcraft practises. Our recent intimate relationship with fear can be used to examine other fears, help us understand that emotion even more.

We are socialised from an early age to fear fear itself. Whole industries are based on it: the beauty and fashion industries  feed on our fear of looking different, of ageing, of not fitting in; the security industry feeds on our fear of becoming victims. Then there’s horror films and theme parks and the like, designed purely to scare us for fun!

Perhaps it is because we as a species face so few threats, and the ones we do are self wrought like pollution and the depletion of natural resources. Perhaps we frighten ourselves for our own amusement to fulfil some evolutionary hangover, who knows.

These fears are safe physically, socially, emotionally. We know that the horror film and the novels are fiction; we know the ride will come to an end. We know and are aware that we are safe, that there is no real threat.

So what does this have to do with witchcraft? 

The fear you will face on your path, whatever that fear may be, will be very real. Witchcraft is a journey, and no one who travels it will remain unchanged. Confronting our own biases, our own long held beliefs and opinions can be both strange and frightening. Shining a light on the  hidden, darker parts of ourselves can be uncomfortable, painful even.

Yes, change is scary, even when we know that the change will be good for us. Humans are creatures of comfort, and starting out on your path alone can be uncomfortable at first. Forging your own path means striking out alone, away from the masses. 

Embrace it. We have spent too long pretending to fit in. How many of us have wasted time trying to conform to what is ‘normal’, something we never felt in the first place? How many of us have always felt different, even as a child? And so we try and fit in because being different is uncomfortable. We are taught that from an early age.

For many, the first fear we know is that of not belonging, of having our ‘otherness’ discovered. Of being weird, or quiet, or anything else that separates us from our peers. I include this ‘mundane’ fear here, because many witches and occultists have experienced this too. Indeed, we face it when we are confronted with mainstream paganism. People ask our paths and what we believe, and if it’s a little darker, a little different, they are so quick to offer their advice, that we be careful. I think that’s why so many of us try so hard and for so long to fit in with Wicca or love and light paganism.

Fear in witchcraft can take many forms. Once, on having fully admitted to ourselves all that we are, we are confronted with, at some point, of having to ‘come out’ to our nearest and dearest about our beliefs and practises. This can be a frightening thing to do. Our closest family and friends might reject us, or mock us, for what we are and what we do without understanding what it is, what it means. This fear is very real. The power of what we think others will think of us can be strong, and it does take courage to overcome it. In the end, people can accept us for who we are or not. 

More often than not though, in my experience, this fear is soon laid to rest. The big reveal we’ve been so shit scared of for months turns out to be a  flash in the pan. Real friends and family will stick by you, even if they don’t understand what it is you do. Those that choose to be ignorant, belligerent or downright rude are obviously not worth keeping in your life, and the sooner you chop the dead wood away, the better you’ll feel.

There is another type of fear that must be overcome. Witchcraft will be scary at times, there is no denying it. It will terrify you. The spirit world, hedge crossing, ritual will all be frightening in the beginning. This fear must be overcome,  must be faced head on. Accept that what you may encounter may frighten you; what is new often does. Hollywood horror films, the years of social conditioning, have left their scars on us, and even when we have opened our minds, there’s still that nagging voice whispering what if. 

Learn to embrace those feelings of fear. Examine them. Fear is a natural human reaction, one that motivates us and keeps us safe. Use this feeling, let it spur you on as you hack and dig your own way. Ask yourself why something frightens you. Examine your fear of it. Is it logical or is it a result of the constant barrage of cultural and social conditioning, committed by those who would tame us?

Take all relevant safety precautions in practical elements of your craft, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries. Your fears will soon dissipate with practise and experience.

A witch should never be afraid because she has faced her fears head on and conquered them! Because to me, being afraid is different to experiencing feelings of fear. To be afraid means that we have backed down, that we are too scared to face what stands in our way. That we have returned to our comfort zone because we feel we cannot face what awaits us on the outside.

It is only when we push out, when we challenge ourselves, that the first steps on our own path can be taken. Use those feelings of fear that are natural,the instincts that all animals have, use them to guide you, to teach you, and face them head on. It’s only when we come through the other side that we realise how strong we actually are.

  • Author Posts
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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