Complex symbols, books of shadows with elaborate drawings and letters, unknown magic circles, witches with tribal paintings... We often encounter many things that appear to fit our preconceived notions of witchcraft, leading us to believe they are true.
To imply that just because we recognize 3 symbols, a pentacle belongs to 15th-century witches is shallow thinking. Equally shallow is thinking that a St. Cyprian book will bring you all the ancient dark secrets of magic.
We don't even need to take it that far: did you know that the Celtic names of the Sabbaths were not used in Witchcraft decades after the religion was established? Do you know that many Traditional Witches do not even use those names? You probably thought these names were always the Celtic ones. After all, if Celts from 2,000 years ago called it that way, how come witches from 70 years ago didn't know that?
It's easy to be wrong, especially when the information comes from different sources, even if we never heard about them.
That's why we at the North Coven are keen on studies and discussions on this subject. We always say you need to drink from as many sources as possible. Beware of those who make absolute claims without considering other perspectives. Just because someone references a famous scholar or it's in a popular book doesn't guarantee its truthfulness.
Historical facts are not matters of belief. There is evidence, proof, studies, and research. When you want to confirm a fact, the first step is to use common sense: Does what the person says make sense? Is it something that can be observed elsewhere? How many sources cite the same thing? Are those sources reliable? Have you been able to read the sources? Is it a primary source or one source quoting another?
Question everything. Whenever possible, refer back to the originals and try to extract as much information about them as possible. Use the knowledge you have gained from your studies to your advantage. The pursuit of knowledge is an ongoing journey, and it's okay to reevaluate your beliefs as new information emerges.
Lastly, be open to revisions. People are flawed and can make mistakes, but it does not necessarily mean they do so deliberately. As you navigate the complexities of esoteric knowledge, be aware of different perspectives within the magical community.
Embrace a critical eye and engage in self-analysis to recognize your own biases and limitations. Balance tradition with innovation and creativity, for it is through this dynamic harmony that one can expand the boundaries of magical understanding.
The magical journey is not about reaching a static destination but rather about constant growth, evolution, and deepening your connection with the divine that surrounds us all.
What is real witchcraft?