Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Personal Rant: Witchcraft or Wombcraft?

This is going to be a rant, so stop reading now if you don’t like strongly worded personal opinions. Here’s the thing: I am a woman, a witch and a feminist, but it really bugs me that some pagans seem to think that to be those things I need to honour my womb above all my other attributes.

Sure, I have a womb, but it hasn’t ever been that useful to me. Not as useful as my feet, my eyes or my ears. Certainly not as useful as my heart and lungs and liver. Definitely not as precious to me as my brain.

I have never had children and am now at an age where it isn’t likely. I don’t regret that – I never had a burning desire to be a mother. Now that I am past the menopause I certainly don’t miss having periods. So why on Earth should I value my womb any more than, say, my appendix? If I had to choose one organ to lose, it would probably be a toss-up between those two. I’d certainly more keenly mourn the loss of limbs, sensory organs or those parts of my body that keep me alive.

Honouring my body as an entirety is fine by me. There is a standard Wiccan blessing that goes:
Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar
Blessed be thy [womb/phallus], without which we would not be
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in [beauty/strength]
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.
I have no problem with that - although one can be a perfectly wonderful witch while missing any of those body parts. I also have no problem with celebrating fertility as part of the cycle of life. I am happy to honour my erogenous zones - although I don’t actually include my womb as one of them - and I am happy to perform sex magic with a partner I love and trust (or alone).

Of course, I recognise I am probably not typical in my outlook. I know that many women – maybe most women - do want to have children. Some pagans feel it is their prime role in life and that being a mother is as close to the Goddess as they can get. I never felt that way. I always felt the desire to create works of art and writing, not babies.

I’m not going to name names or mention specific books that extol wombcraft as the highest form of witchcraft – I’m not looking to piss off individuals who no doubt have opinions as strong as mine, if fundamentally different. Each to their own. What pisses me off though, is that some preachers of wombcraft don’t feel each to their own is good enough and that I should conform to their idea of what a woman, witch and a feminist is.

Please stop doing it.

Please stop telling me that women’s magic is most powerful when it comes from the womb - or even that I need to have a womb in order to be a real witch. That might be how you feel about yourself and your own magic – fine. For me, however, that isn’t true. I’m a powerful witch, yet I’ve only occasionally employed my womb as part of my magic. Magic can be done in many and various ways. Do what you will, but harm none.

As a woman to my fellow sisters in the craft, to quote Granny Weatherwax in the BBC radio play of Wyrd Sisters: “We are women, the rest is optional.”

The picture at the top shows a t-shirt that you can view on Amazon.


Pogodragon said...

I have been known to mutter (yell, point out ... depending on context) "It's my uterus and it's always been more annoying than useful"

There are other ways to be female than reproducing!

Chloe said...

I've just come across your website. Very interesting comment. I have 3 children and would consider myself maternal and also a practicing witch. Just coming to terms with the later one! I have to say I admire women such as yourself for your honesty. Having childrens bloody hard and to be honest Ive never considered using my powers through my womb. Does that make me a fraud?
Personally I'd be bored to death about any magic being banged on about. Its all personal and surely integrity is paramount not how you do it and brag about it. I'm a hedge witch more so I like to keep it low key but if I had others banging on about using ones womb for the best energy I'd be skeptical. Each to their own he maybe I'll try it when the mood suits me. Heehee!!! Xx

Ellie said...

I don't think I use womb magic at all. I see honoring the generative organs as honoring the potential for life and where we came from. I would give a trans woman/man the five fold kiss. To also quote Granny. "It ain't what a horse looks like, but it's what a horse be." Something doesn't have to look right or be used for it's purpose to express the essence of the divine feminine or masculine.

Jane K said...

Having a womb is not something I've ever though of as part of being a witch, part of a women yes but then not all women and nothing to do with me being a witch. On a personal level it's never been any use to me and caused me more problems than anything else.

On the issue of children I like them, but I'd never have described myself as the maternal type. The only time I could ever describe myself as broody was when I was told I couldn't have children. It took me a while to kick myself back to reality and realise that I'd never seen children in my future and what I was really upset and angry about was that I thought something had been taken away from me, the right to have a child if I wanted too and there really is no such right in reality. So I was basically feeling sorry for myself rather than mourning what I'd never have.

Whether by coincidence or like finding like, a quick mental glance around my close friends makes me realise most of them are child free too for a variety of reasons. I treasure the children of friends and family who do have them and try to do everything I can to encourage them to always question and build on that inbuilt curiosity about life that children have which sadly many adults seem to lose. Children add to life but you don't need one of your own to understand that or make your own life complete. Wombcraft or having children is not a necessity to being either a witch or a women. A witch is an individual made of many elements and none of us are clones of another, we travel our own paths and the older this witch gets the more she's happy to be independent.

Lauren said...

Well spoken! Love your blog, keep up the honest posts!