That’s right … while it might, at some moment, strike your fancy, particularly if someone has crossed you, there’s no need for toad’s venom if you want to harness or increase and come into your full power as a hereditary witch! In fact, if you are Wiccan and you adhere to the, principles of the belief system, you’ll immediately know that the use of toad venom is not allowed! Frankly, it should be of no concern whatsoever seeing that there are so many simple ways to enhance and to come into your magical powers without having to harm anyone or anything to do so. For all intents and purposes, as a hereditary witch, your process will be one of evolution, growth, maturation, and the eventual development of knowledge of which you are responsible for learning the wise application thereof!
The Debate about Hereditary Witchcraft
Okay, so you’ve come from a family of witches, or maybe your mother or father was a practitioner and they taught you the ins and outs of the craft … in this way you are quite lucky because many practitioners don’t have this kind of guidance when they begin the study of the Craft. You however, have grown up, hopefully with some ethical mentors that helped you along the path of development and were there for you when you ran into some of the thorny issues that arise just from being what some people consider different, weird (though wyrd might be better applied, particularly to a reincarnated, reawakened witch as being somehow fated to be a witch in all lifetimes) or on the fringe of societal norms. Already as a hereditary witch and Wiccan you undoubtedly know that you stand out like neon green besom handle around others who are not of the Craft or who are once born. But, because you had family who guided you, you can stand proudly among the cacti as the only sunflower in the room!
What you might not have learned is there is a debate in the magical community as to whether hereditary witchcraft is a real thing at all and if so, who has the right to claim such a title. Wait…what?
A Hereditary Witch is a What?
There are myriad arguments asserting that hereditary witchcraft is questionable, seeing that there are so many variations to its claim. For example, one might claim to be the daughter of a witch, but what happens if the teachings skip one or more generations, is that still considered hereditary? What if uncle Joe from your father’s side taught you about the craft, is this still a hereditary tradition? What happens if you are adopted? What if Miss Fanny Mae Sunshine from your local neighborhood has been known for years as a natural healing woman and she taught you everything you know, then you follow the path of the Witch later on … are you a hereditary witch because you gained ancient knowledge from a village elder?
Theories, Ideas, and Opinions Galore
Where is it the hereditary line starts and where is it drawn? This debate rages on with hereditary witches sometimes feeling the sting of insult as if they are being called out on claiming something they are not. Then there are those individuals who are not “hereditary” and those who lay not claim to being of any special magical lineage, but do feel the same sting while citing that titles in the craft should make no amount of difference one way or another. Okay, then you have the proponents of those who belief those who pursue the Craft and to live in a way that honors the Divine in all things are witches, hereditary or not. Finally, there are even some who assert that while not born into a family having a lineage of witches, “once a witch, always a witch” from one life to another: Thus, it is possible to be a witch reincarnated into an otherwise witchless family and to have one’s true nature awake when the awareness of the true spirit arises. WHEW … that is a whole lot of opposing ideas, theories, arguments, and assertions.
Guess What, Titles of Are No Consequence and Do Not Define Your Power
Wait… WHOA… hold all the horses here (this is where the proverbial pin drops and you hear the big record scratching sound as the room falls into drop dead silence)!
The question of hereditary, in reality, really only matters to the hereditary witch who is concerned about it. It need not be announced, shared, or expressed. If you feel you are from a lineage of witches or you were raised a witch, then, by all means, honor that belief and certainly pay respect to the elders who have taught you what you know and who have helped shaped who you are. If you are not of a family of witches, this is not an issue and it does not influence your ability to partake of what is your birthright: Your power and your ability to work magic. Hereditary witch or no, no lineage, ancestral heritage, or handed down knowledge that puts one witches’ power of ability above the rest. After all, you could be a hereditary witch and choose not to practice or use your abilities at all, so being related to knowledgeable and powerful witches, while certainly a nice asset, has nothing to do with who you become. You choose your path. You walk it, and you define the magic you wield as it comes from within each practitioner.
What’s more, a peek at the Principles of Belief will clear up any issue about title or being hereditary versus being new to the path of the witch, with the first passage explaining how the title of witch or claiming heredity connection is meaningless to those who adhere to the principles set forth:
“Calling oneself ‘Witch’ does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations.”
And another passage suggests that our history is not our primary concern for debate:
“As [American] Witches, we are not threatened by … the origin of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and future.”
“… But do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.”
Let’s Get Down to the Nitty Gritty: No Special Entitlements
Now that hereditary witches are on even ground with those who pursue the Craft later in life, it is easy to understand that neither type of witch is open to receiving special entitlements of any kind.
The power you gain is the power you work toward.
The power you wield is the power you master.
The knowledge you gain is through learning, whether you earned it through self-study, through coven leadership, or through parents and other ancestors. You do not get a special badge, pin, sash, tie, or tutu for being born into a family of witches. What you do get, hopefully, is a sound education, a firm base, and a great community of family witches to enjoy a magical life with for the rest of your life. And, the non-hereditary witch need not disappear because he or she can certainly establish the witch family through close connections in the magical community, either with other witches, elders in the community or both.
Learning and Continued Learning
As a hereditary witch, you will need to study, learn, and practice. Perhaps the learning path is easier because you get to live the life of a witch without having to hide who you are from your family and you don’t ever have to face the day where you “come out to your parents” about being Wiccan or a Witch: This is one of the many blessings you have in your life. But, you are still subjected to the same methods of learning the Craft by those who are not guided or those who have magically-minded mentors too. Your path is a learning process that is ongoing, life long, and into multiple lives… journey on and develop your soul wisely!
Being a Master of Your Craft
So, how do you harness those powers of yours? Through hard work and lifelong study just like every other Wiccan with on this planet. Nothing will be handed to you even if the knowledge is easily accessible. Think about it, you can have a library card to the best library in all the world with every esoteric book known to mankind, but if you don’t pick a single book up to read it, you’ve got nothing!
Listen to what your parents, grandparents, ancestors, witchly neighbors or whatever ethical, trustworthy elders are teaching you about the craft. You will find this a path of self-discovery and rediscovery, one your ancestors have walked a long time and who are quite knowledgeable about as well. Drink of their wisdom as you were one of the gods enjoying ambrosia! Their wisdom is an untapped well of learning, potential, and an eventual source for you to use in harnessing your own powers.
Study: what your abilities are, including psychic abilities, and take up the divinatory arts when your magical mentors feel you are ready. Practice and practice some more. Meditation will help your mind grow and your mind is your most powerful magical asset. Use meditation as a means of learning how to recognize and harness your powers. Journal about your experiences and track your progress too. When questions arise go straight to your magical elders and ask them as it is yet another chance to get a taste of the endless wisdom they are more than willing to share with a blossoming witch.
Read everything you can on the craft and its teachings you can get your hands on; then read what opposes your craft. The one way to strengthen your beliefs is to see if there are arguments against them. If your beliefs are not strong enough to be challenged it is time to reconsider what you are believing in! If you can examine materials opposing your views and still hold your own you are strong in your belief. If a bit of opposition weakens or changes your belief in an idea, then perhaps your beliefs need a bit of expansion or honing and reconsideration.
Practice: Use exercise to hone your mind, meditation practices, visualization, and practice performing rituals, writing spells, growing herbs and working with natural healing modalities, and doing all the footwork to become a knowledgeable practitioner … this is how you eventually come into your power. Like the waxing moon of new beginners to the full moon where your mind is “pregnant with knowledge and power,” to the “waning moon” where your abilities are honed, fined tuned, and perfected, this is the path of the witch, hereditary or not!