Witches are real - and they're actually a lot more interesting than the black-cats-and-broomsticks legends we see in TV and movies. There are dozens of forms of paganism still practiced today, and witchcraft is found around the world.
Many witches you encounter in modern life are practitioners of Wicca, a pagan religion founded in the 1950s and based on ancient European paganism. Though paganism goes back to the dawn of human history, the Wiccan faith has revived and updated ancient practices for use in the present day.
With all the stereotypes out there, you might be surprised to learn about a real witch's approach to nature and spirituality, and the role that witches have played throughout history. Here are some of the strange and beautiful traditions of the Wiccan religion, and witchcraft in general.
Men Can Be Witches - Just Don't Call Them "Warlocks"Thanks to Harry Potter and other magical myths, people might think men are referred to as wizards - or, even worse, "warlocks." The term "warlock" actually means "oath breaker" and is considered insulting to Wiccans and Pagans. Wiccan men are simply called witches, the same as women.
Wiccans Have Green ThumbsNot literally green, of course, even if cartoons like to portray witches with green skin. Gardening is a huge part of Wiccan practice, teaching adherents about patience and the powers of nature. The plants witches grow are often used for spells and potions, and they are always cut with a boline, a white-handled knife used for Wiccan rituals.
Witches Do Believe in Free Will - and Don't Believe in SatanWe've all heard of dark or black magic, but in fact Wiccans are not about that life at all. Free will is sacred in their religion, and they would never cast a spell that would interfere with a person's right to make choices for themselves. Evil spells are looked down upon, and witches believe that any witch who casts an evil spell will be punished. Also, Satan has no part in the Wiccan pantheon, so viewing them as Satan worshipers is a major misconception.
Witches Worship Naked
Skyclad is a Wiccan ritual created by English Wiccan Gerald Gardner, "the father of modern witchcraft." In a skyclad ceremony, witches are traditionally naked, though this practice isn't as common nowadays. The reason to shed clothing is to help a witch become more comfortable in their own body, to abolish rank amongst the worshippers, and to eliminate all secular things from the magic being created.It's not a huge orgy, if that's what you're thinking - participants are very respectful of other witches' boundaries, and they try to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible.