The Dwelling of the Witch

The icon of the witch is enigmatic and it is supposed to be enigmatic. People of the world respond to enigmas in various ways. Some gets intrigued, others get annoyed and frustrated. Yet others pursue it as a challenge while others see it is a mindfuck and leave it alone. An enigma invites ambiguity and possibility, because an enigma is a riddle and has as purpose to puzzle. No matter the kind of resistance I have with the term ‘witch’, given its multiple interpretations and also in this confused plurality need to accept that this ambiguous label is mine to hold. I am a lover of paradox, because I believe it is in paradox and dispersion, contradiction and battle truth speaks with her tongues of air from the deep waters of her well.

What is a witch? Is it a social rebel or is it someone who has deep ecologic concern for the earth? Is the witch someone who can strike you down in malefic workings or someone who made a pact with the minions of Hell?  Is the witch someone who calls upon the Great Mother and the Horned Lord to ensure that the seasonal cycles are fed with attention, food and praise? A witch can do all this and give attention to all this, but at the core I have found the dwelling of the witch to be one of solace. And with solace I have in mind the witches’ apothecary, this great family of green allies that is known as solanum, because for me the icon of the witch is at large about solace one way or the other. We know them as nightshades. belladonna, henbane, datura and mandrake – but they are also potato, tomato and eggplant. It is about a power of feeding life, taking life and give light to life.

I am sure most people never reflect about this, because after all witchcraft is peasant craft and the more we live in concord with nature and dwell in farmlands the more salient this will be. An urban dwelling witch will have a feeling of this heritage that he or she can take in whatever direction, but I feel it is important to remind oneself about where we came from. We are speaking of humble men and woman, who saw more than the field showed to the many, someone who had a willing or unwilling touch with the invisible realm. This realm that is so dreadfully close and yet for many so distant is the field where I live. I do plant my henbane, mandrake, belladonna as well as potato, eggplant and tomato and this just mimics the peasant world where I live. People come for blessings and cures as much as they blame anything wrong happening in their lives on “the witches”. It is good and it is interesting, because I do live the ambiguity that is rooted in the enigma and riddle that is the ‘witch’. I get the blame for bad crops, the lack of rain and what not and yet people come to get a blessing for some bodily affliction as much as counsel about how to solve private predicaments in family and marriages – and of course the requests of murdering some relative or opponent. It is a feisty dance of everything the world has to offer – and the witch is the still centre in all this locomotion. He or she is that neutral ground that rests in the outskirts no one dares to venture. This is the dwelling of the witch, the outlandish otherness that rains riddles over its community in her capacity of providing any kind of solace...      

We make our world as we walk along its joints and crossroads, we see what we are as the journey we make is always our own. But this journey along bones, beads and twain roads that gives us experiences after experience and deepening of experience – what we do with it in the end? Do we generate a system of the self sustained mage or witch? Do we get confused and entertain delusions and confusions or do we get lost in this journey that always aim to lead us back home where we find the fruit of our Fate, fulfilled or not?

In this, many wise and many foolish answers can be given, and perhaps the simplest one is often the best one, because between the battles and caresses we all share the unique journey together... One hand helps the other as the other hand slaps all others – we are ourselves the authors of these effects - the masters of our own Fortune and Misfortune as the compass of choice swirls in the wind and blood... what wind and what blood? We dictate our journey by emotion, memory and remembrance. In some mysterious ways we retrace steps already engraved in stardust with the ink of angels dancing on the quills of demons... because this makes up the journey, this dance between wormwood and honey that keep us on track. So bless the wormwood and bless the honey... These are lanterns on the path.

But when the path challenges the journeyman for its heritage, do you know your heritage, haven, and hearth and home – because if you don’t know from whence you came - any road will do...

So many of us gets confused when we are on the path and we see wormwood and honey shining with in equal brilliance. We make false friends, because these false friends made the errors we are in the process of making. We find companions because they signal the track being found. We find those who challenge us and we find those who deceive us, those who make up the plethora of experience that brings illumination. Our path is a walk in a hall of mirrors that strikes from six angles simultaneously – it can at times be difficult to know what reflection to pursue - and what illusion to leave alone. But this discernment becomes easier if we know from where we are coming.

This is why the path of constant enigma and paradox, even torturous, becomes more manageable and understandable for the witch, because this path defines the witch as it speaks of solace, all kinds of solace...