If you’re like me, and were raised in the church, then you know all about ‘spiritual gifts’. If not, here’s a super-fast overview.
As wikipedia puts it:
In Christianity, spiritual gifts (or charismata) are endowments given by the Holy Spirit. These are the supernatural graces which individual Christians need to fulfill the mission of the church. They are described in the New Testament, primarily in 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4. 1 Peter 4 also touches on the spiritual gifts. The gifts are related to both seemingly “natural” abilities and seemingly more “miraculous” abilities, but all spiritual gifts are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, Teacher, Service/Ministry, Exhortation, Giving, Leading, Mercy, Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Visions, Discerning of Spirits, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, Helping (as in the sick & poor), Administration
Occasionally they include the following: Celibacy, Hospitality, Intercession, Marriage, Witnessing
Now – setting aside the ‘gifts’ which are clearly included to either manipulate members of the church or have members manipulate others, don’t quite a few of those sound like things that PAGANS embody? … Of course they do.
So let’s talk about ‘witch gifts’. If pop culture is to be believed, we all wander around making flowers bloom in an instant, shooting people w/ electricity all Emperor-style, lighting fires/candles without matches (or lighters), and throwing things across the room with our minds.
Now – is it possible that there are those of us out there with these skills? Sure. Why not. Anything’s possible. I personally haven’t ever met anyone who could do these things – but I’ll be the first to admit I’m no expert. But even if I’m right, and we DON’T do those sort of things, that doesn’t mean that each and every witch out there doesn’t have a gift – or more than one… we’re not so hung up on exclusivity.
One of the biggest discoveries for me was realizing that not *every* witch has to be good at the same things! So let’s look at some of the choices, shall we? … What are the things that witches are ‘stereotypically’ good at?
Gardening. Ah yes. We are all completely in tune with nature, and flowers bloom where we walk, and trees bend to brush our cheeks as our herbs gently waft their aroma on the breeze to mingle joyfully with the riot of colors from our organic vegetables. Right? … Well, not all of us! And that’s fine too.
Cooking. I’m not even going to go into all the things that we’re supposed to be able to do in the kitchen – presumably with all the herbs, flowers, and veggies we’ve planted and nurtured in those gardens of ours. I think my feelings on this matter have been well-documented in this blog – and while I’m certainly improving, this is *not* what anyone is going to consider my magical gift. (Unless you want to talk about mixing drinks… Ooooh, darlin’! … I gotcha there.)
Divination. Whether it’s a crystal ball, Ouija board, Pendulum, Runes, Tarot, Tea leaves, or Cloud formations – Witches have ‘vision’… to some degree or another. I’ve actually never met a true witch yet who didn’t have *some* degree of foresight, and despite how variant our methods are, I think it all stems from being more in tune with ourselves, each other, and the world around us. This is one of those gifts that I think everyone has, though everyone doesn’t necessarily use it. And, that said, there are some who are truly talented, and some who just have a taste.
Clairvoyance. Clair-audience. Seeing & Speaking to Ghosts. … Lots of mental abilities that some of us have, some don’t. We’re all fairly familiar with them. It’s some pretty spectacular stuff when you see these being demonstrated!
Empathy. Here again, there are levels. I think most, if not all, of us have empathy to some degree or another… but there are some who cannot go to a hospital, or a funeral, or sometimes even a wedding, without putting up some serious walls. Most witches are built-in with empathy. Some are legitimately empathic. They know their partner is cheating on them… they know when they’re being talked about… they just know.
And there are stronger powers… deeper gifts… but these are even more rare. Typically those who actually demonstrate these gifts don’t go around telling anybody about it. They consider it sacred – not for public consumption.
But what about the unexpected things? … What about: Hospitality (as stated above in the church list), Sympathy, Art, Craft, Design, Story-telling…
The list goes on and on… there are as many potential ‘witch gifts’ as there are witches! And all of them to a different degree. So we need to stop, as a community, acting as though it’s only “real” magic if you can make things go bump in the night… or that “real” witches have gardens… or long hair… or any of the thousand other interpersonal prejudices that we as a group hold on to & feed. We don’t need that. We take enough shit from every other side ‘out there’. We certainly don’t need to perpetuate the idiocy within our own ranks!
I challenge you to not feel bad if you don’t exhibit the same ‘witch gifts’ as someone else. Each of us is different… and no less powerful or special for it! Take the time & find what you’ve been blessed with – and then make the most of it.
So… which witch are you?