Last night, I had a talk with my neighbor about my path. Her husband follows Islam, so she's adopted it as well. She was curious about if there would be a difference in religion between my husband and myself concerning children.
"What is Wicca about?"
"Well, I'm not Wiccan. I'm just a Witch."
I explained to her how my path is different from Wicca (and how not all Wiccans are Witches and vice versa), and said that Witchcraft (for me) isn't a religion, it's just a Witch's craft. Many see it differently, many see it as a religion. To each their own. As well as different interpretation on what magik is and that I take a more scientific approach to what magik is. Which I see it as energy. I work with energies. Energies of the elements, energies of herbs, of stones, of oils, of Spirits, of the Moon, of the Sun, of myself. I'm an Animist, I believe that everything has a soul, a spirit....thus, energy. How I didn't see much difference between casting a spell or praying. You're both working towards change of some type. With most Witches, we tend to work with correspondences, items who's energy will aid in our intent, giving the spell or ritual strength and thus, a better outcome.
Kind of like how a Catholic may pray with beads, and/or pray at an altar. Gives them focus. The prayer beads are objects of power, a connection to their deity and/or Saints. Just as a Witch's tools give us focus, connection to our deities and/or Spirits; just as an altar or shrines gives some Witches and Pagans. Tools connect us to our inner strengths.
She asked what kind of witchcraft I do, and I answered with, "I'm a Kitchen Witch, which means I work with energies in foods and drinks, mostly empowering them with love, good health, and things of that nature. Outside of the kitchen, I mainly do protection magik around the home and for our car." Giving a very vague answer, but the point got through. I wasn't going to tell her what else I do...
"Does it work?"
"I think so. It's about having faith in yourself, your knowledge, and your beliefs; faith is a major component in any religion. Wouldn't you agree?"
Seeing that she was getting a little confused between Witchcraft and my spirituality, I said that technically I'm Pagan, which is someone of a non-Abrahamic faith. Though some interpret it as being "Earth-Based" though others would argue--seeing "Pagan" as I see it, as there are Pagans who don't revere or even give a crap about their connection with the Earth, like some Satanists for example. I like my definition better. I told her that Pagan is an umbrella term, like Witch or Christian.
Then she asked about my husband, and I said that he's not a Witch, as in he doesn't practice Witchcraft--he just leaves it up to me. He's a Heathen--another umbrella term--but his deity, his god is Odin. I said that I was more spiritual than he is, which is true. I'm more ritualistic in my spiritual and daily activities, such as wearing my veil (which isn't much different than the coverings worn by some Christians/Catholic, Jews, or Muslims. For the most part our wearing is similar though, like anything, people will have their own reasonings). Whereas my husband's more laid back (even compared to other Heathens!). He has his ways of revering Odin and his own forms of "offerings", in terms of acting in accordance with a code of ethics called the Nine Noble Virtues:
A code of ethics that we want to teach our children together.
In terms of our children, there won't be any problems as far as how we'll raise our kids. We'll raise them Pagan, then as they get older, let them decide what they want to explore and pursue. If they choose to be a Witch, I'll train and educate them.
We started talking about how many religions are similar and how she and my step mom agree with allowing your children to choose their path. All in all, a great conversation. It was great to be able to explain about our paths, so it doesn't seem so alien or fantastic to her. She was able to see that it was less Hollywood and more grounded. I'm glad she asked me instead of asking someone else!