All Witches burn, but not as they tell you. We burn from the inside, a constant well of creation. Beings of inner fire, passion, heat and power. We forge ourselves with courage, strength, passion, integrity and conviction. We know when to speak and how important it is that our words ring out in truth sending echoes out into the night. We know when to keep silent and letting the pause engulf all else that moves. We are constantly dying and being reborn, channelling our inner phoenix, Sisters and Brothers of Flame, discarding that which makes us duller as we seek to be the best we can be. I will never doubt my path, who I am, all the deaths I have been through, all the lives I have lived and all the rebirths I have been through. I am myself, and I burn from the inside.
It is with this conviction burning through my veins that I sit here poised to reflect on an issue that irks the soul of this Witch; the over abundance of self serving spirituality that infests social media like a plague, primarily the mating call of the false prophets. The open discussion of such subject matter seems fraught with peril as if to mention that some in the online Witch community are not all they claim to be will unlock Pandora’s box and all those so-called terrible emotions and experiences will fly out and hit us in the face; but to follow the analogy, it seems that unleashing real experiences, real emotions, will also allow hope back into the world.
(Pandora’s box, Rackham, Arthur Source)
The idea that a Witch could or indeed should distance their emotional state from their personal power, that certain uncivilised feelings and experiences are shameful and should be ignored, ostracized and rejected seems to permeate the online Witch culture like stale Whiskey. The result of this being that the flavour degrades, the integrity loosens and the bite of the drink deteriorates… and the same is true for Witches.
Witches were always meant to be ‘dark’ and ‘bad,’ it is just that many have lost sight of the real truth which this entails; it’s not about being evil, lording your power over others, and harming everyone on a whim like a pointy-hat-wearing-psychopath. Instead the path of Witchery is supposed to rip open all those chains of disempowerment that have been weaving around your heart and soul since birth, the path of the Witch is to overthrow and be at odds with the status quo, to;
“accept the parts of yourself you’d been shaming: irresponsible, slutty, loose, magic, loud, fragile, outspoken, powerful, too-much. You wanted to recognize just how sexy you are in your fullness.” (Witchhunt: 3 Steps to Reveling by Joanne Becker)
This sort of self realization has a cost; the price being scars. It may well be the physical kind that leave tell-tale white lines on your skin, a visible reminder that your body is a warrior with an indomitable will to survive, but it is just as likely to those scars which are seemingly invisible to the naked eye but are a part of you nonetheless.
These are all reminders that at some point you were broken; by life, by emotions, by other people and that you clawed your way through, bleeding, burning and likely blind, a process which shook you to the core. It is your victory, and of that, you should be justifiably proud.
However, not everyone is going to be invested in your victories. There seem to be two stages in which false prophets appear to try and undermine this process, their primary goal being the inflation of their own sense of self-worth without the cost that bad dark witches have willingly paid.
False Prophets are shucksters, hustlers, liars and thieves… and with that I just cracked Pandora’s box wide open. It is not kind or polite to apply these labels to others in the spiritual communities and to speak openly about those who trick and manipulate others under the guise of personal enlightenment tends to result in personal backlash against the person speaking. But at some point on this path of being a Bad Witch we have to teach ourselves that truth needs to be spoken, especially when people are afraid of you speaking it. You take that blow from the frightened basic Witches and make it part of your scarred up tapestry, you realise what is worth caring about and when not to give a fuck;
” In your life you’ve probably had plenty of experiences of people freaking out at you about your signature strange way of being in the world, and while this is sometimes sad or challenging, ultimately you don’t care. You’ve got work to accomplish – art to make, people to heal, houses to build, rituals to craft, stories to write – and you just don’t have time to be constantly soothing people who expect you to adhere to some standard other than your own genius and inner authority.” (10 Signs you’re a Bad Witch by Carolyn Elliot)
There are those that prey on other people and commit a whole range of abuses against those seeking to be the best Witch they can be. The primary time in which false prophets attack is when a Witch is vulnerable, going through their initiation where uncertainty still clouds judgement or when they are clawing through those aforementioned troubled times.
Firstly, there is no shame in being vulnerable and it is an inevitable part of the human experience, never mind the difficult and often thorny path of the Witch. False prophets will approach you when life is painful and tumultuous, usually offering counsel or their services as a balm.
Frankly this behaviour irks me to my Witchy core because there are those helpful souls who genuinely see people in distress and lend a hand willingly and without ulterior motive, but by the time you come across one you have likely learned to mistrust people in general and reject them. False prophets will tell you that whatever junk they are selling is the answer to all your problems, one sip and all your hardships will melt away…
(Image Snake Oil Salesman Source)
Bad Witches in contrast, spend their lifetime perfecting their individual craft, be it tarot reading, a metaphysical shop or acting as a spiritual therapist or counsellor, the list is endless. For a real Witch, integrity is key, not just a buzzword. They expect you to take what they have given you and act on it, to integrate that personal service into your daily or magical practice; to walk the path yourself and seek personal empowerment by the throat, wrestle it down and make yourself the baddest witch that ever was.
Furthermore, they don’t emphasise any one experience or emotion as a negative that needs fixing or eradicating whereas False Prophets want you dependant on their brand of service because ultimately through it they are draining you dry and worse, you let them. False prophets enjoy any ideas that set them up as the only authority, selling themselves as the truth-speaker, the Oracle, the Shaman, the One… and they are quick to sow doubt and discord should anyone attempt to discuss their ‘message.’ If any supposed ‘authority’ tells you not to question, dissect, debate or shame their spiritual notions because “you don’t know what they’ve been through…” then it is pretty safe bet that you are staring headlong into the manipulative gaze of a false prophet.
The identification and rejection of the false prophet can actually be a defining moment in the process of personal metamorphosis.
Firstly, it can be completely possible that you have had a glimmer of recognition of certain false prophet traits within yourself. Remember the message of not self shaming? It is human to be selfish. Forgive yourself. I know, I think I just kicked Pandora’s box over into the dirt. Throughout history, religion has told us that selfish equates to you being evil without ever expanding that rationale of thought or recognising that there are different levels of selfish behaviour.
If you have recognised certain false prophet behaviour in your own actions, it is likely that it stems from basic human desires; the impulse to behave in such a fashion that means you will be loved and respected by other people.
Giving in to those impulses and doing whatever it takes to be liked is unfortunately a by-product of social conditioning and rears its head in spiritual paths too, and it drains life away from your personal power by devolving you into an idea; the idea of what others want you to be rather than owning all your intricacies, flaws and power. It makes you a basic Witch. ” A basic witch is someone who wants to be known as “spiritual” or “magical” but who hasn’t developed her own backbone yet. Just like with regular basic bitches, a basic witch is mainly concerned with fitting in and looking good and hiding her own true sexual and intuitive power .” (Basic Witches vs. Bad Witches – by Carolyn Elliot)
However, the identification of any false prophet behaviour within yourself hands you the ammunition you need; so let it explode all over you and in the resulting chaos you can rebuild yourself.
You don’t have to be what they want you to be. You can be you, and more than that you do not have to convince anyone that you are right because it literally makes no difference to anyone else. Drop the ‘my way or the high way’ attitude towards other witches and seek to improve yourself.
The second stage is identification of others who are smearing their false prophet propaganda all over you with a tar brush and are reaching for the feathers. The goal is inevitably not allowing them to manipulate your time or energy any longer. Whilst in some ways this can, on the surface of it, seem an easier task than changing your own behaviours, caution is required in order not to jump the gun and start pointing fingers like a vigilant pilgrim at Salem.
The purpose is not to start blaming and shaming others; that sort of conduct is not only counterproductive but it undoes any good work you have begun in reclaiming your own power and integrity, as trying to publically shame others is usually one form or another of basic witch self-service.
Bad Witches aren’t interested in the court of popular opinion nor hanging their fellow witches, be they basic or not, from the modern swinging tree. Speaking out against abuses committed by False prophets is one thing, shaming another directly because they are human and displayed behaviour which you have decided is wrong is another. Usually the key difference is motive.
Most if not all Bad Witches will undergo the witch hunt at some point, they will be slandered, labelled and even shunned by others, usually witches who haven’t undergone metamorphosis or the False prophets who have an invested reason in not rocking the boat. They remember how it felt to be victimised by those calling themselves witches and have no desire to see that cycle perpetuated and do not need to hide themselves away by rejecting anyone else. The motive for hanging others out to dry is once again a form of self-service;
” Basic witches see this self-satisfaction and want it desperately for themselves. But they deny themselves the power (and responsibility), and seek it externally by slamming others instead. They haven’t realized that we reject in others what we reject in ourselves. These parts of ourselves are begging for appreciation.” (Witchhunt: 3 Steps to Reveling by Joanne Becker)
Drawing any negative attention away from themselves is also a calling card of the false prophet usually coupled with a overblown sense of victimhood. They accept no responsibility for themselves, ever. They are the spiritually enlightened all-knowing Oracle after all, how can they be wrong? People are just so mean to them because they’re so different…
This is the key difference between them and any Bad witch, False prophets literally and metaphorically make a living off you feeling bad. If you doubt yourself, if you look up to them, if you spend all your time focused on making them feel better then you are not empowering yourself, which feeds into their manipulation. They will likely pat you on the head to make you feel good when you have met their needs and this short lived euphoria can become a drug to the emotionally dependant. Watching a scenario play out to this tune recently made me wonder if this is how cults get started.
So what is the resulting action that a Bad Witch can take?
Lead by example. Keep on seeking your truth without limits and not allowing anyone to chain you down and shame you. To question anyone or anything that speaks as if it is the only way to enlightenment, to show that getting down and dirty in the mud is not only fun but character building, and to cut off all your soft edges that buckle under pressure. By living your truth to the fullest, you inevitably outshine any messages meant to mislead you, trap you, or drag you down. Truth beats false, every time.
Oh and if anyone you suspect to be profiting from false prophesying offers you Kool-Aid, smack that glass out of their hand and stick to your own brand of Witches brew.
– Joey Morris
Joey Morris is a Celtic Witch and Daughter of the Goddess Morrigan who shares many of her experiences on video via her YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/starryeyedlillady The YouTube channel blends discussions of spirituality, witchcraft, the Celtic path, and the Goddess Morrigan alongside lighter topics such as visiting pagan places and witchcraft supply shopping. It also showcases StarryeyedSupplies, which is an online metaphysical store created and ran by Joey offering a wide variety of supplies and tools for witchcraft, all handmade with magical intent. The store can be found at http://www.starryeyedsupplies.co.uk/store/ and via the Facebook page www.facebook.com/starryeyedsupplies