On Science & Witchcraft

On Science & Witchcraft

Image of subatomic particle tracks created by a bubble chamber being projected onto me by Cayan Ashley Photography- Mke., WI

Image of subatomic particle tracks created by a bubble chamber being projected onto me by Cayan Ashley Photography- Mke., WI

I’ve been fascinated by physics since I was a little girl. I taught myself all about subatomic particles and quantum mechanics before most of my peers even knew basic cellular biology.

 

Lately, I find myself up late at night studying the latest experiments on neutrinos (fascinating, mysterious, nearly massless subatomic particles created by violent astro activity). I’m absolutely enchanted by theoretical physics, in particular- the complex abstractness of intricately postulating how and why the physical universe  operates as we know it to just fascinates me! My brain eats abstract, scientific theories for breakfast and thrives on them.

 

Given that I’m very interested in these sciences, the following revelation may be a bit surprising to you: I practice secular witchcraft.

 

Image of my witchery by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image of my witchery by Cayan Ashley Photography

Being a secular witch means that I’m not religious in any capacity, and that I don’t recognize any deities as part of my spirituality. Instead, I work with crystals, read Tarot cards, spiritually cleanse with sage, and keep track of astrological movements and events as empowering self-care.

 

“How can someone so logical have spiritual beliefs that are scientifically unfounded?” you may be wondering. It’s a question I get surprisingly often.

 

Firstly, I wonder if people who follow common religions like Christianity get asked the same thing with as much frequency as I do. Even Pope Francis values science, has a background in chemistry, and, in 2014, famously acknowledged the Big Bang theory and evolution as not in contradiction with Catholicism. I’ve studied up on many religions, mythologies and spiritualities, and the fundamentals of them all seem to hold little to no probability of being "real" in the eyes of modern science. Angels, demons, spiritual divination, cryptozoological creatures, spirits, astrology, crystal healing, devils, gods and goddesses- where’s the scientific proof? According to modern science, it all more or less amounts to the same thing: nonsense.

 

Even with the absence of any scientific basis, practicing witchcraft plain ol’ makes me feel better. Is it all a placebo effect? Perhaps! It very well could be, and I acknowledge that readily. However, whether or not crystals really give off energy that can affect us, these talismans give me comfort, and using them in witchcraft increases my mindfulness. Whether or not our lives are affected by the movements of astro-bodies, the complex art of astrology is fascinating and rings true to me. Whether or not there’s any scientific logic behind burning sage for spiritual purification, the act calms and refreshes my state of mind.

 

It could very well be that the real magic isn’t in witchcraft itself, but rather in the way witchcraft enhances my life.

 

If there’s anything that my studies in theoretical physics have taught me, it’s that modern science is constantly evolving and making brilliant, unexpected and game-changing new discoveries. Each scientific breakthrough just leads to more questions and theories. Who knows- maybe, someday, we’ll discover that rose quartz does attract love into our lives, or that my Sagittarian sun really is responsible for my dry wit and contagious laughter. Until then, I maintain that spirituality and science can peacefully coexist as two separate, parallel entities in a person’s life, and that, my friends, is its own kind of magic.

 

Image of me with my crystal ball by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image of me with my crystal ball by Cayan Ashley Photography

So, You're Interested In Witchcraft

So, You're Interested In Witchcraft

If you're interested in witchcraft, I encourage you to experiment with it and figure out which branch(es) of it suit you, but remember to stay cautious and protect yourself from negativity when doing so! Witchcraft is all about intuition and doing what feels right to you. Listen to your inner voice, experiment and have fun! 

Confessions of a Secular Witch

Confessions of a Secular Witch

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

In the past few months, I've decided to become more open on social media about my identity as a practitioner of witchcraft.

 

It's something that's been a huge part of my life for years, but there's so much stigma surrounding what it means to be a witch that I just didn't feel comfortable opening myself up to speculations and ridicule- until now. 

 

I've realized that the best way to clear up misconceptions is to talk freely about them. With that in mind, here I am, declaring myself publicly to be a secular witch with specific interests in Tarot, astrology, palmistry and crystal work.

 

What does it mean to be a secular witch, exactly? The word "secular" in this context refers to the fact that I don't incorporate dogma or deities into my craft; unlike, say, Wiccans, I don't worship any gods or goddesses. There's no religious component to my witchcraft whatsoever. Rather, I focus on empowering myself emotionally and maintaining harmony and synchronosity with the vibrations of the universe.

 

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

The most important thing to know about witchcraft is that there are no set rules to witchcraft.

 

 It's ambiguous and often intuition-based. Witchcraft is deeply personal and not at all linear. What calls to one person may not vibe with another, and that's okay. 

 

For instance, I love working with crystals. I feel such a strong connection to so many different kinds, and I meditate with them daily. However, I've dabbled in working with herbs and plants, which is another very common aspect of witchcraft, and I've never felt any kind of spiritual vibration or calling from them.

 

As I mentioned, I also practice divination. I've tried working with runes, which are common divination tools, and I felt no connection to them whatsoever; conversely, when I gave Tarot a go, I immediately started getting very on-point, clear messages and repeated spreads. Tarot just vibes with me in a way that other divination methods haven't.

 

My experiences don't mean that working with plants/herbs or runes is "wrong"; they just don't happen to flow with me in particular. 

 

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

You don't have to be adept and fluent in every minute possible aspect of witchcraft to be a witch; you don't even have to worship any gods or goddesses in particular, or at all- you only have to be true to yourself. 

 

All I use witchcraft for is to empower myself and give myself the emotional tools I need to handle what life dishes out. I don't do spells to try to influence the outcomes of events in my life, because I believe that the universe unfolds as it should. I also don't dabble in dark arts whatsoever. I'm not shaming those of us who do, but I personally just don't feel like putting any sort of negative energy out into the world.

 

Real-world witches aren't the warty, ugly, mean-spirited things fairytales usually depict; we're real people who are simply following our own paths intuitively. Witchcraft has been such a positive force in my life! It has made me feel powerful and given me a tremendous amount of inner strength and balance. So, the next time someone reveals to you that they're a witch, please don't make any assumptions about them. Witchcraft is a personal journey that means so many things to many people and cultures. Instead, ask questions with an open mind! The more we talk about things we don't fully understand, the more tolerant and edified the world becomes!

 

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography

Image by Cayan Ashley Photography