The Witch is in Every Woman
By Laurie Cabot
The Witch knows nothing in this world is supernatural. It’s all natural. Psychic ability is a part of you. It’s not an accessory or a luxury. It exists in us all. Psychic ability was once sacred, revered treasure that bonded women and functioned in the community in a meaningful way. Witch applies her psychic skills in every part of her life from healing to the creative arts, using her abilities not to control or demand, but to influence others in favorable ways. In ancient times the most creative pursuits were followed by women. Today, we’ve given up our jobs. Government, mathematics, biology, doctoring, money handling, law, construction, architecture and war are still regarded as the provinces of men. Since the death blow to the Goddess delivered by monotheism, the Witch within every woman hasn’t been nurtured by our society. Our basic instincts have been washed out of us. Woman can no longer afford to feel silly or dismissive about their “funny” feelings. It’s time to color the magic back in by respecting the microcosm of nature that lives inside you. The actress Shirley Maclaine was roundly criticized for revealing her intuitive nature. She was scorned and ridiculed by the media and mainstream society. Those who believed in their own intuitive strengths were comforted and encouraged by her words. This brave woman and women like her have paved the way for others to speak up without fear of reprisal.
The triple Goddess, Brighid is a Witch who assists us in reclaiming our psychic heritage and in keeping it alive. Her story shows us how to teach and heal with compassion; how to use psychic ability for the good of all’ and how to stay healthy, glowing, enlightened and strong. Brighid’s cauldron and the element of fire in any form are the tools of empowerment we can use to draw in the energy of Brighid. As the keeper of all memory and knowledge, Brighid acts as a magical instructor, empowering her students with the ability to live and breathe their own spiritual tradition. In Kildare, Ireland, Brighid’s female priesthood, made up of 19 Witches, kept a sacred fire burning until 1220 C.E. The Sovereign Goddess, Brighid was so entrenched in the Celtic imagination that Christians had to work very hard to disassemble her image. She was made into Saint Brighid, but because she was revered as a Goddess and the Great Mother, the church decided to give her association with Mary. The psychic strength she possessed stretched in a magical beam of illumination from the crown of candles upon her head to the starry heavens in the sky. She was the fire who fed the flames who fed the fire. Her 19 Witches breathed her prophetic wisdom, which in turn inspired the people. For poetry and fire were one in ancient times. Every Imbolc, Brighid nurtured the seed of the sun inside her protective womb, until it was fully burn at Beltane in May. Brighid’s message is one of hope and promise for the future. One day, two brothers came to her temple, one seeking a cute for his disease. Brighid instructed the one man to bathe the other and so cured him. But then, the other was stricken with the same disease and so the cured man was meant to bathe his brother in the same manner. He refused. The healthy man was again stricken with his old illness in order that he learn better the next time the art of compassion and the wisdom of healing hands. Despite her many womanly trappings Brighid’s voice is in reality more human than merely feminine. When she improves the plight of women, she advances the cause of all humanity. We can call on Brighid to energize or motivate ourselves, if we are feeling low, tired or passionless. If we are recovering from a bad relationship or someone’s comments or actions that have made us anxious or insecure, we can call on Brighid.
For many women the shadow of the crone years is frightening. We are going to die one day, but how? Will we go passively or with courage? A woman’s crone years should be enjoyed. Being in the winter of my own life, I know that I am approaching the end of a cycle, because of the teachings of Witchcraft. I am aware that I will be going to a better world after my death. I have great visions about this place and have been told by my ancestors about the beauty of the Otherworld. The Goddess, Macha is represented by the crow and it’s such an appropriate symbol of the crone, because the sky view of the crow sees of life’s issues, not just one person’s problems. Macha possesses deep wisdom and hidden mysteries that only those who have been tested can begin to understand. The word crone is sacred because it’s the cailleach, or old, dark, and wise aspect of the sovereign Goddess. She is the dark women of wisdom and deep knowledge whose words are to be respected and obeyed. The Morrighan, Rhiannon, Cerridwen and Macha are triple Goddesses whom we have encountered in their crone aspect in this sense. The lessons to learn from Macha’s story are how to accommodate transformation; how to respect the crone within ourselves; and how to give shape and direction to our lives.
Boudicca was the warrior Queen of the Celtic Iceni. Her daughters were raped by the invading Roman legions. After the Roman massacred of the Druids at Anglesey, Boudicca led the Celtic revolt in 61 C.E., nearly defeating the Roman armies single-handedly. It’s my hope that her fighting spirit live on in women today, whose struggles remain so close to my own heart. As a woman in a male dominated Christian world it’s often difficult for me to contain my rage and to seek the balance that is crucial to leading a good life have been thwarted and put down, because I was a woman. Had I not been able to rely on the magical side of my nature, I would not have survived. A person must assume responsibility to seek out change and there is no doubt in my mind that our society must change its attitude toward women. Reclaiming the legacy of the Witch is an important step to achieving that goal. It is my hope that ever woman will go forward into the future, and into the world, empowered, by the proud and enduring voice of the Witch within. In our passionate journey toward self-discovering and self-explanation, as we sing the song of the feminine self and dance the pure dance of the Witch, we can’t help but invigorate the original spark at the center of our being. She will awaken whenever she is hidden. Possessing the gifts of the Witch enables you to inhabit the moment and find magic in everyday occurrences. The more you honor and rely on the magical side of your nature. When you realize your own abilities, you will feel compelled to use them. The Witch is the voice and heart beat giving your inner Goddess strength and meaning. She is the energy source at the center of the universe, and we must remain steadfast in our understanding of the Witch as a positive, guiding force for life. For Witchcraft is the art of both balance and transformation. The 1st transformation must take place from within. Accepting and celebrating the Witch within is the process by which self-live and self-respect grow into a larger sense of public awareness and responsibility. Recent historical and archaeological records have revealed indisputable evidence that when the Goddess is revered in a society; neither gender is viewed as inferior or superior. Our current social structure misuses and misunderstands power. We must reinstate the balance of the Divine Feminine and Masculine within ourselves. The legacy of the Witch is being the symbol of wisdom that brings harmony between the sexes, peace between neighboring lands, a great flowering of the arts and sciences throughout the world. The Witches spirit living on in us is essential for survival of the human race and for the future well-being of our planet, our Mother, the Earth.