What is witchcraft?
For centuries there has been a silent battle with in us just as there has been a battle outside of us trying to destroy “magic” and or their “practitioners”. In many cultures witchcraft traditionally means the use of magic or supernatural powers, usually to harm others. The believe that "magic" (or a way of living I should say) is meant to destroy and cause chaos is further than its truth yet has had a systemic effect on the human population can you believe that! It has not only affected a majority group or a cultural background group but the whole entire race having a silent battle in the shadows.
The terms WITCHCRAFT and WITCH derive from old English word wiccecraeft: from wicca (masculine) or wicce (feminine), denoting someone who practices sorcery; and from craeft meaning “craft” or “skill”.
Witchcraft or Brujeria has endured many names and many facets over time and quickly spread into paranoia and fear during the witch hunts between the 14th and 18th century. Although this term has many names and faces as well as believes we know that it all started with an induvial or this case with in us. As humans evolved over time so had believes, religions, and witchcraft over the centuries and when this happens stories or believes of how the universe works tend to get lost, mislead, or even worse shunned upon which forced many into hiding, forgetting, and or using magic to defend themselves.
Pagan witchcraft: The word Pagan comes from the Latin word paganus, meaning villager, rustic, civilian; (noun use of adjective meaning “of the country, of a village”). Pagans believe that nature is sacred, and that the natural cycles of birth, growth, and death can be felt and or observed in the world around us carrying profoundly spiritual meaning/healing. Therefore, they honor and worship nature, the Gods and Goddesses of nature and the natural law. Many see paganism as "old-world" (pre-colonialism hence why paganus means "of the country, of a village",) wisdom and knowledge as they understand that we are one with nature and all that is around us allowing us to live in cocreation with our surroundings bringing forth spiritual knowledge and revelation.
African witchcraft: Witchcraft or should rather say cultural identities are deeply rooted in many African countries as well as in many practices in modern day witchcraft. A lot of ceremonies and rituals that many practice today, no matter of color or gender, derive from African practices and cultures. African beliefs in witchcraft have been extensively documented and studied throughout time by many trying to discover their hidden knowledge and power. Generally, these traditions are more oral rather than scriptural and passed down from one generation to another through folk tales, songs, and festivals. You can mostly find these followers of traditional practices in modern day Yoruba religion, Voodoo, Santeria, Hodoo, etc. African traditions believe in the guidance of their ancestors' spirits and revolve mostly around the Orisha a group of spirits from the Yoruba religion that provide guidance, love, and protection to its followers.
Brujeria: In Latin America, brujeria is one of the most scandalous topics when its being mentioned or talked about whether it be online, telenovelas, media, radio etc. as many have picked up their colonizer's spiritual believes when it comes to witchcraft. Just like many other practices brujeria in Latin America has also changed and practiced different depending on cultural background and or ancestral knowledge. As I mentioned before many of these practices found in modern day brujeria are very well rooted in African knowledge when enslaved Africans were chained and brought against their will into unknown territory like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, and many other. You can also find many practices in witchcraft that still hold these ancestral knowledgeable keys as well as having Christianity and or Catholicism combined in modern day brujeria. One thing I've noticed with my Hispanic clients when they come in for a card reading and or spiritual healing services they always carry or have this believe that witchcraft is to be blamed for their life's bad luck and 95% of the time that is not the case and only shows how much this battle has wounded us subconsciously.
In my own Words!
So, is witchcraft/Brujeria good or evil? (God has not given us the spirit of fear but has given us the spirit of Love). Witchcraft cannot be linear it cannot be seen as black or white as it can be either or, or both at the same time. Just as the scales of life shows us, we can use energy and manipulate it to our liking and use it to our best ability of knowing. I who is a natural born Curandera, another ray of light derived from a practice and or believe, can chose to use my abilities to my liking whether it be for the greater good or being another soul working to bring pain and suffering to the world. We are the ones who bring life and or meaning to a person, place, or thing. We are the ones who chose what side of the scale we want to stand on. Whatever side you may be viewing it from cannot be denied that both sides are just a part of the cycle that keeps the wheel turning.
Brujeria is the knowledge the identity of our blood and ancestry that lives within us all guiding us beating through us showing us the way.
This is where my believe in “witchcraft: the battle within us and out” comes from. Brujeria has been at war for centuries not only from within in trying to figure out who we are and made off but also from without in trying to break free from colonial suppression and believe of only ONE GOD or that GOD has only one face, one perspective. This has made us and molded us into a generation full of confusion and non-acceptance. Many of us use brujeria or magic to find ourselves and release ourselves from programming that does not align with our higher self or our DNA remembrance even though I grew up catholic something within me always knew different. This can also be played out in Christianity in where one believes in a “savor” to save them from their sins in which it is also not wrong as we all need something to hold on to, we just do it and use it in different ways.
We often yearn for a place in where we belong as we sometimes feel and see we don’t belong in the molds of religion or of a limited believe surrounding the mysterious of the universe. This is what witchcraft can be mirroring to us the battle of suppression from within in where religion or life has tamed our wild over time. The term of witchcraft can be stirring up emotions and stories that have been passed down in your family. (I often have clients telling me that they're scared of getting energetic work or have their cards read because their mom or family member told them it was of the devil but once they give feedback back to their family or friend of the great experienced, they received, they then want to try my services). This is a great example of the fight from within that we have fought silently over generations.
Many have practiced brujeria in silence for generations as well as going to see a brujo/a in silence pretending to be something else behind doors in fear of retribution and judgement for what others can't or won't try to understand. Many homes growing up and now a days have an altar whether it be of Jesus, San Judas, Ancestor etc. don’t realize that having these shrines are a part of witchcraft just because it has a god or saint approved by the catholic church does not mean it is not an altar or that its “ok” and that having altars for an Orisha or Santa Muerte is not “ok”. This only shows us how deep and systematic this fight with witchcraft has been within us all.
Witchcraft is like the ancient past with in us it's like the wild feminine with in the unknown with in all of us. Brujeria is like an elixir that you drink and get high off in wanting to seek more in wanting to go deeper. So, this brings fear into all of us when such topic is brought up or even practiced it has been a silent within growth as it has been a fight. Witchcraft has been a form of rebellion and freedom seeking for whoever didn’t fit against societies appearance and approval, it was considered an open rebellion against “we the people”.
Finding out how brujeria makes you feel in your spirit, mind, and body is how you'll be able to see how deeply rooted this fight with witchcraft has been with in you. Through this you'll be able to find the rebel with in as it can live in cocreation with your ancestral or religion believes as many have incorporated their own truths of witchcraft with working with catholic saints or catholic spells. Witchcraft is a chose you make in wanting to live by your own soul believes instead of societies own distorted believes.
As with in as with out and it's that plain simple seeing the battle with witchcraft play out outside of us. Till this day we are still battling the extinction of religions and practices all over the world as many are still thriving as many are now extinct. This is why I say I come from a long-lost line of curandero's because it was once practiced in my lineage with later on being lost and or forgotten because of suppression from religion or change of views within the blood line or in some cases losing connection to their wisdom. I have found our way back to my ancestor's roots through practicing witchcraft and using my “supernatural abilities” called intuition.
Religion has prevented us from seeking answers and finding a truth that’s more aligned with us. We have seen how Christianity and Catholicism has taken over the world in trying to replace every spiritual believe in the world. We have seen how the witch trials hunted down many women who were accused of witchcraft because of what they believed in and brought fear and terror into their communities as an example against those who dared to practice their own believes.
Conventional religion has brought Feary and fire to all and everything who was opposed to them thus pushing those who practiced their own truth of witchcraft into hiding. Fear and lies have been spread of witchcraft in order to drive the “lost souls” away or from being tempted into indulging in such things and teaching that there is only one way only one believe.
We have all experienced at some point in our life's being scammed by a so call brujo/a of magic enforcing many to no longer believe in magic or such witchcraft. This has been another fight against witchcraft in where the honest workers of magic are being targeted for being fake or hold no such knowledge or power thus furthering pushing us away from our own power and feeling discourage and offering our skills and talents.
In conclusion, what are yours and your families believe in witchcraft? is there fear and scarcity or is there acceptance? I hope you enjoyed a perspective of mine that I've been noticing with in me as well outside of myself and within every client of mine. I hope I was able to open your mind and allowed you to accept a lost part of our DNAs in remembering our own truths in the process.
written with love,
Ana Rios | Charmed Wisdom