Just wondering if witchiness is a family trait? Should I be wondering if one of my older family members is playing with the brooms in the closet? Or is it just something an individual person discovers about themselves?
Hi there! I suggest doing some ancestry research. I dug into my family lineage and found roots in witchcraft. You may also! Of course it’s not required to have a hereditary connection to feel a calling to the craft. Either way it’s no coincidence you are here, am I right
I’m not sure exactly how I’d like to answer this. But, after my grandmother passed away I found out through memories and rummaging through her belongings, everything adds up. She was a kitchen witch and I have her book of shadows which hold many many recipes with her chants. The chants we’re in sign language, but I understand sign language.
My answer would be that it’s definitely something one finds within themselves but also could very well be found in others in the family.
I think the potential might lie in families, but it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not they are a witch. My Mom could read palms really well, and she knew about my witchiness but she never came out and said she felt the same way. She even bought me my first book and first pentacle.
I think it can but not necessarily in the blood like many think. Magical practices are taught and passed down, though they’re not always stated as magic. I think certain people are born with a higher proclivity for magic and psychic ability and that can certainly be passed from generation to generation, but not magical abilities in general. /that was weird to type so I hope it made sense/
Many people in the older generations, though practicing some form of magical art, wouldn’t have called it witchcraft. In fact, a lot of Christian mysticism is magical but not witchcraft. Folk magic and beliefs are handed down from person to person. Sometimes those beliefs and meanings are lost, but we can eventually find our way again. I learned something yesterday about a family belief, actually. When I was a child, the adults in my family would always say that seeing a butterfly meant that someone on the Otherside was saying hello to you. I never put much stock in it. I just brushed it off and treated it like the saying, “Find a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” I learned, though, that in Irish folklore and stories, butterflies are considered messengers of the dead. This folk belief of butterflies being loved ones saying hello from beyond the grave has lasted in my family for more than 200 years, being passed down from one ancestor to the next until it eventually landed on me. Would my ancestors be considered witches? Probably not. They’d probably balk at the idea of being called a witch, but that’s okay.
I think I got way off track there lol
Anyway, to answer the original question, I think witchiness isn’t a trait in itself but is learned or experienced through others. Witchiness and magical proclivity, I find, are different though.
Another very thoughtful question by @Undomeher! if you aren’t already writing a book about the deep questions about spellwork/Spell Theory, Ron, I suggest you start collecting these amazing questions now! I would absolutely read a collection of your ideas and thoughts on these subjects- they are fascinating to explore
There are some really great answers and thoughts shared above- reading them has helped, but I’ve actually gone back and forth about how to best answer this myself
I guess I’m in the school of thought that believes that witchcraft is something learned- that the inner spark and calling to magick can come from anyone at any time, regardless of their blood and ancestors.
That being said, I think it is more likely that someone who grows up in a family that has ancestral ties to magick and/or other family members practicing will follow a magickal path. But is that simply from situational exposure? Or is something in the blood that pulls you towards it? On this I’m still not sure.
On another note, I do completely agree with what Megan said:
Magick brings us together, but we may define “what is magick” in very different ways- our ancestors and mentors may not have called themselves “witches”, but they may have used magick in their own ways. My mother is a gardener and herbalist and cook- she doesn’t consider herself a “witch”, but what she does, in my eyes, is magick. My grandfather was the same.
Looking at this, perhaps some might say that these magick abilities were passed down the bloodline- despite none of my known ancestors ever being involved in a coven nor even calling what they do to be magick.
Got a bit long-winded there- a very thought-provoking question indeed! I guess I don’t have a set-in-stone way to answer this one, so I’m really looking forward to reading everyone else’s thoughts on this
Thanks again for opening up this discussion, Ron!
But, Bry, you already are reading them! Besides, my questions would merely be questions without the combined wisdom of those who answer them.
I’m not checking a solution on this, because everyone is right. The consensus seems to be that rather nature versus nurture, it is more a matter of nature and nurture. That magickal potential may be passed on, but that it is up to the individual to take it from there. At the same time, it is possible for someone to become a witch without necessarily having anything passed down - there is no witch gene.
Of course there isn’t - genes are mundane. Hereditary magickal ability would, I think, require a separate “magickal DNA.” Hmmm. I think I’ll leave that thought unfinished.
I have read that some believe that those who are to be witches were determined at the beginning of time, and deities merely wait for us to be ready.
But my real reason for asking this question is that my teenage daughter, who has lots of amethyst because it is her birthstone, has shirts with different zodiac designs (because she likes the zodiac symbols), came back from a trip to Florida with moonstone on a necklace. Last week, her sneaky father prompted a conversation in which she revealed that she has studied astrology. I have kept my witchiness in the closet on the weekends that I have her. A friend who believes in hereditary witchiness saw a picture of my daughter and said that she sees the same things in my daughter that she sees in me.
It could be that my daughter is attracted to witchy things the same way I was. I suspect she will eventually “drift witchy.”
Anyway, now that you’ve read that book , I hope others will continue to add thoughts and views to the original question. It is our collective wisdom that is the basis of our strength.
Sorry for the late response, but I am going to answer the best way I know how, as of right now on my father & mother’s sides, I am the only pagan/witch. My entire family was brought up with some form of Christianity & it changed for some family members over time. My father’s side was brought up Catholic & my father went to a Catholic High School in Boston.
My mom (technically step-mother) is the person that originally sparked these things into my being. She gave me my first tumbled crystals/stones. She introduced me to astrology. I happened to find a couple of practicing friends through school & work in my area & started to learn from them.
I have done extensive work on my DNA & Genealogy. I have very strong ties to Celtic areas including Ireland (the largest piece), Scotland, Wales, British Isles… that whole area. So I like to believe that at some point, parts of my family followed at least the Celtic path in some way.
Personally, I am extremely drawn to the Celtic path, pantheon, Druidry, ogham, the fae… I read all that I can about the topics concerned with the Celtic. My husband, while he doesn’t “get into” these things, daughter has shown some curiosity, but nothing serious like she wants to practice anything. She does have her own crystals though that she keeps for their properties & a fun tarot deck, that originally didn’t like me, she & the deck get along. She just doesn’t use it on a regular basis. I should also mention that she is only 12, so she is being 12 at the same time.
She will ask me questions though if she sees me working on something or doing a card or rune reading.
I think it’s in the person mostly but it can be learned from family that passes down their beliefs through word of mouth, their items, or journals.
Eureka! I asked and I received I guess I was thinking too old-fashioned- I suppose a forum is a like a book where people share wisdom, except that it’s an interactive book! What an exciting thought
I will continue to treasure the delightful questions you share, Ron- I feel like my understanding of my own practice develops quite a bit every time I stop to ponder through these great questions of yours!
Maybe I’m biased (and, considering we are in a witchy forum, I think it’s safe to say everyone else here is as well! ) but there is definitely something about the witchy path that plants a seed in the mind that then grows- it’s a calling and a pull back to nature, back to a feeling of home that just feels right.
Once that seed is planted- be it there through a bloodline, exposure, or something else- it does seem to lead someone to a magickal life, sooner or later
Who knows, perhaps someday we will be welcoming your daughter here into Infinite Roots!
Beautifully said, Ron!
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