Nothing like listening to someone talk with total certainty about something they have no knowledge of.
Read on to find out just two of the reasons why it pays to read the labels yourself, rather than take your friend's word...
For a lady to say that she is a witch, no problems. Also there are many broad and wide ideas as to what a witch is, does and acts like, and these in no way need to tie to social expectations or any single recognised branch of practition. However, there are some times when you can smell bullshit so strongly you want to get hold of someone and say "There's a fricking LABEL explaining the display and you are STILL making crap up about it. Do you actually believe what you are saying or is this some need to impress your mate?" We overheard on and off an hour of misinformation based on preconception, failing to read information fully and filling in the rest with leaps of imagination, and stating knee jerk comments with enough authority to deter any further questioning. One wonders why, if she's such an expert already, she paid to go in. www.museumofwitchcraft.com
Halloween: What most people call Halloween, because it is the eve before All Hallow's Day in the Christian calendar, is also known as Samhain. There's plenty of debate around about the church (yet again) taking an existing festival and adapting it. In this case turning one celebrating the end of autumn and the start of the darkest months, where the supernatural world was close by, into a time where wandering souls and those in purgatory could be helped along by saying prayers etc.
Samhain is the older festival, and now celebrated by pagans etc as a key point in their yearly calendar of festivals. As for exactly what used to be celebrated, how it was celebrated, and how that compares to modern day Samhain and the whole western caboodle of Halloween?... massive can of worms.
Book of Shadows: Kept by a coven as a group, to teach from and add to, or by an individual to record spells and results etc. According to good old wikipedia "Gerald Gardner, the "father of Wicca", first introduced the Book of Shadows to people that he had initiated into the craft through his Bricket Wood coven in the 1950s. He claimed that it was a personal cookbook of spells that have worked for the owner; they could copy from his own book and add or remove material as they saw fit. He said that the practice of Witches keeping such a book was ancient, and was practised by the Witch-cult throughout history. According to tradition, Gardner claimed, the book was burned after a person died, so that it would not be discovered that they had been a witch." So as most wiitches would know, a Book of Shadows is only as 'evil, shadowy and dark' as the person using it chooses to make it. And for genuine witches the rule of do no harm is a prime one, so the Book of Shadows would be correspondingly free of harm.
Whatever she does believe in, and however she carries that out, I wish her well with it. I only hope that she learns enough to not spread too many broad, detrimental cliches with it.
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