If you have been around the pagan community for more than 5 minuets you have heard these words. I have heard them over and over, from various different sources, and over time had many thoughts about these words. At first I thought it was pure rubbish. Recently I have begun to think they may be true. Wait wait hear me out. I think the words are true, but of course I think the way they are used is wrong. I think the general recognized meaning of these words is false, and should be examined.
The idea that the only way to become a witch is to be taught by the right person, with the right tradition, and the right level of initiation is utter and complete hogwash. Is it helpful to learn from someone? you bet. Is it nice to have some one to talk over new ideas and concepts? of course! Is another person needed? no they are not needed. it is nice but not necessary. If you have read either this interview or this one about how I came to this path then you can see quite clearly why I think this way. In short I thought I made this religion up and was practicing i,t when I found Power of the Witch in the library. I then learned other people practiced it too. Call it divine inspiration, collective consciousness, or what you will but having that experience taught me that I didn’t need to depend on someone else for my spiritual well-being.
That said I DO believe that only a witch can make a witch, and that witch is the witch her or himself. Again I think that paganism is a religion of personal responsibly. So putting your validity in someone else’s hands is just loony to me. I have heard the argument that people read a few books (or internet sites) and think they are a witch. First off what of it. lots of folks read a little about a spiritual path and then choose to follow it or claim it. When are you a witch after the first step the 100th or the 1000th on the path? I would argue that you can say I am a believer of this faith at any point. I have seen this time and time again where my students (and this has been almost everyone that has found me) calls me up and says “I think I am a witch.” having declared yourself as a believer of said faith, or as a witch. declares ones intention, and does indeed make said person a witch. Thereby the witch has made themselves a witch.
After this first step of declaration and decided that you are a witch, then the study really begins and it is not reading a book or two it is reading hundreds if not thousands of books. It is reading new stuff and old stuff. Science stuff and nature stuff. It is practicing and tying things on and seeing how they fit with you. I it is praying and meditating to find your path. Saying “I’m a witch” means among other things that you have just made a life long oath to always be learning. It is taking a life long oath to be true to yourself and to follow that path that is set for you. You are the only one in the end that can make you anything. Through work and study and experience and life you make yourself a witch.
And so it is true only a witch can make a witch, for you are the only person that can make you anything.