To talk about the role of the Witch within social justice, I’d like to begin our conversation by first taking a quick glance at who Witches are…and then further, what a Witch does. It’s important to begin from this perspective because our power and possibility should be made clear, leaving no room for any assumption of powerlessness. We are wildly enterprising and mighty and we create as we speak. Drawing from every resource imaginable, we stand to benefit immensely from this alchemical relationship to our world – why wouldn’t we be supremely interested in it’s care?
There are so many facets of belief and practice when it comes to identifying who we are and what we do. A Witch can be initiated by a coven after a year and a day. They could be born into a family of Like. One can also be a Witch once they have identified themselves as such from places deep within their soul. The method of a Witch’s practice is as widely varied as the Witch themselves. At any given time you’ll find in your community those that identify as Traditional Witches, Hereditary Witches, Sea Witches, Hedge Witches, Kitchen Witches and Secular Witches. (to name only a few categories on an ever evolving list) As long as this list is, so too is the catalogue of opportunity for the Witch to create positive change in the fight for social justice.
Among these varied and sundered practices you’ll find the common threads of manifestation, healing, protection and creation. Because of this, we are often hyper aware of our environment and all of the energetic factors that contribute to what is happening within these places. With this in mind, one would imagine that it should be seen as impossible for us to ignore the suffering that we are sure to encounter.
When we speak of Witches and of the act of practicing Witchcraft, we are called to imagine radical levels of joy, power and self actualization. All true statements indeed, but additionally, we are talking about an immense responsibility. To call oneself a Witch is to also lay claim to the role of Steward and to accept charge of the care and responsibility of your surroundings. What exactly are the surroundings of the Witch? Anywhere the physical body can be and anything the mind could imagine – this is the working environment for us. Witches often operate around the idea that “intention plus attention equals creation…power…manifestation”.
For centuries, we have been confronted with the immeasurable need for the healing of this Earth and for so many of its marginalized inhabitants – specifically the Black and Indigenous communities. Every person, Witch and non Witch alike, who is in a position of power or privilege should act on the behalf of those persons who are not. Every single non black or non indigenous person should be acting toward the eradication of all manner of racism and systems of oppression.
Specifically, the role of the Witch must be paramount within movements of social justice starting from the perspective of reciprocity. So much of the practice and ritual that happens in the modernized environment of “witchcraft” is taken from both African and Indigenous sacred custom. Too often this is done without appropriately acknowledging or protecting the origin. There are few things more disruptive or vile than one that benefits from the sacred practice of the victimized while turning a blind eye to their abuse. This behavior must cease to occur and it is the responsibility of the Witch to ensure the eradication of these unethical practices. Our place within the necessary movement of social justice is one that has room for great opportunity and responsibility. Again, as a Witch you are called to be be a steward of the Earth and ALL of the Earth’s inhabitants.
Anything less than great care and action toward true freedom for all is a misuse of the magnificent power that we are afforded the opportunity to work with.
The comical question on the I.D. of the Witch as a “good or bad” has long since made itself irrelevant. We are all a little “bad” and all a little “good”, sometimes at once. Additionally, many Witches that I know have a hard time placing themselves in just one of those practicing categories. What presents itself as a much more vital “identification” of the Witch is this: an individual deeply committed to the change of and action against all forms of racism, oppression and ecological damage…a person who’s ability to show up for this responsibility is enhanced by their identity and practice as a Witch. We are given all we need to create much in the way of power, what we stand to do with that could change the world.