"Mainstream media isn’t interested in the distinctions the way we are. Some of us practice Stregheria, or Asatru-there’s a long list now. The movement has become more diverse in the various ethnic traditions. I use the term Wicca when i deal with mainstream culture because I want people to be able to practice this religion in peace + in freedom. Every time you say Witchcraft, the person listening i s seeing + hearing through the filter of this toxic stereotype. Using the word Wicca makes it easier for mainstream culture to see what this is really about. Even if the practices never make their way into mainstream culture, the core values of this spirituality are critical to the survival of the species + the planet. That’s my priority. I don’t like labels-they limit engagement rather than expanding it."
”One of the things I do is look at the influences on our beliefs + practices. This is the rebirth of an ancient religion, but it’s also very modern. We are creating it every time we do something. It is very personal, innovative, + creative. There are influences from ceremonial traditions which unfortunately carry biblical, patriarchal perspectives. The biblical model views God as transcendent, not present in the world. The power’s out ‘there’ somewhere. But the core experience in Witchcraft is that the divine is in us + the world + is the source of magic. But a lot of our languages + practices are the opposite. One of the best examples is the ceremonial notion that by naming something you have power over it. It’s a cognitive principle-if you can identify something, you are empowered. That is also a very profound magical principle.In the Bible, God + man name things; that gives them power over what’s named. But when we tell ourselves we control something, we distance ourselves from it. We establish a position of power over what we’ve named, instead of opening ourselves to learning from it. My work is not about the projection of will, which is the old ceremonial model of magic, but about opening yourself to the divine, letting it transform + teach you. Instead of naming, like Oak Tree, you pay attention to it, + describe it without that term: home for birds, maker of oxygen, giver of life. + you begin to recognize connections. That’s what a Witch is. Someone who pays attention to the divine. When you un-name, you engage the living divinity of the natural world. Instead of naming + having power OVER, it’s un-naming + opening yourself to the power OF.”
- Witch/Attorney Phyllis Curott
Excerpts from her interview in The Dark Horse Book Of Witchcraft.