Do you refer to yourself as a Witch? If not, why not? If so, what does the word mean to you?
Yes although it’s taken me a long while to do so and I still don’t feel entirely comfortable with it.
For me the issues with the word are entirely around other people’s interpretations and understandings of it. When I’m talking to other witches I happily call myself a witch but with muggles I tend to self describe as “woowoo.”
While I do happen to like the word “woowoo,” I’m aware that I also use it to make light of my beliefs or to avoid judgement. I tend to expect the word “witch” to be met with mockery from people who think of pop culture witches like Sabrina or Harry Potter. I think it comes down to not wanting to have my beliefs mocked because that’s something of a sore spot for me for several reasons, including that I then end up questioning myself.
What does “witch” mean to me?
I’m struggling to put it into words to be honest. For me being a witch isn’t defined by any one thing, or even any combination of things. I think the key to it is personal empowerment.
I don’t believe you have to practice magick, have certain beliefs, be super into nature, have a witchy aesthetic, have an altar, etc, etc to be a witch. I think the common thread is personal empowerment. The kind where you take responsibility for your shit, focus on change not blame, stand strong in your identity and beliefs, seek out information to challenge your world view, and support others in finding what empowers them.
Whether you’re already working from a place of personal power or are aiming to get there, I think that’s the defining characteristic for me. Certainly the more I grow as a witch myself, the more I see and feel that inner power.