Welcome, and thank you for crossing the hedge!
Below is an interview with an extraordinary woman, whose wisdom goes beyond many I’ve ever spoken to. For personal reasons, she chooses to remain private, but permits her craft to be told and shared.
I learned a new term today from this Crone whom I just met. Her aura was pure and green. Her character is patient and wise. She has seen 60 moons. Harnessed her craft for the last 49 suns.
She termed herself a Witch Wife. When I asked her what that was, she gifted me with her knowledge.
Much like a midwife and a hedgewitch, a Witch Wife teaches the ways of the craft to the young, until they reach mature adulthood. They stay together until the student ends their raising, decides to become a Witch Wife themselves, or get traditionally married.
I asked, “why until they get married?”
She said because at that point the pupil’s power is no longer their own. It is merged with their partner’s, and therefore, new traditions are created. The apprentice will carry on their own solitary craft, and may wish to pass it on to their children. They can also decide to have a Witch Wife tutor them.
I asked, “is a Witch Wife often unmarried?”
She answered yes, a Witch Wife is a woman who is free of vows to another. They are solitary practitioners, save for the teachers that raised them. When they first decide to become a Witch Wife, a ritual is done that weds the new wife to her craft. A small private ritual is held with other Witch Wives pesent. This event is often planned on the eve of a new season.
After the new Witch Wife takes a period to establish herself, a novice is chosen and passed on to her to have tutored. This youth is called a Witch Child. This pupil becomes her child of the craft to pass on the wisdom.
I asked, “how is a Witch Child chosen? Can you raise more than one?”
She answered yes, she has raised two. Some take up to three. The Witch Child is often an offspring from a pupil who had either chosen to marry, or had given birth to a babe(s). The Witch Child needs to show interest in the craft before they are chosen. Then is asked if they would like to be taught by a Witch Wife. There are some rare cases where a Witch Child is chosen from a friend of the Witch Wife’s.
I asked, “can a Witch Wife ever get married if she wishes to?”
She answered yes, but this is considered infidelity towards the Witch Wife’s craft. She will know that she will never fully belong to her partner, as well as to her craft. She will be in a state of eclipse. Only when she is widowed, will she be free of her vows to her partner. If she births children, it is still tradition that they may be tutored by another Witch Wife, if the child wishes it.
I then asked, “can a married Witch Wife still tutor other pupils?”
She answered no, because at that point she is eclipsed. A Witch Wife must be faithful to her craft in order to lead a Witch Child through the bright and shadowed aspects of their craft. A married Witch Wife has one eye shut. That is the eye that is focused on her marital bed, and the concerns of her partner. A Witch Wife must have both eyes focused on her craft, and on the success of her Witch Child.
I then asked, “are married Witch Wives looked down upon in your group?”
She answered no, of course not. They are family. They were all Witch Children that were raised by Witch Wives. They are still invited to attend events, outings, and some rituals. They are all a very close knit group. Their children are accepted and often taught in the ways as well.
I asked, “what happens if a Witch Child decides not to be a Witch Wife, or doesn’t want to continues their studies?”
She answered, a Witch Child is free to end their studies at any point during their growth. If they stop their studies midway, they will no longer be called a Witch Child. If a Witch Child decides to not become a Witch Wife at the end of their studies, she will be called a Witch Soul, and carry on a solitary practice. She won’t participate in the same Witch Wife rituals.
I asked, “how often is a Witch Child tutored?”
She answered, it depends. For some it can be once or twice a week. For others, it can be more. It depends on location, schedule, and the child’s enthusiasm. It is much like an afterschool program, because for some Witch Children, they come straight from school until their parent(s) pick them up after work. During school breaks, fun study outings such as campings are planned.
I asked, “are Witch Children/Wives always female?”
She answered, Witch Wives are always female. Not to discriminate today’s gender roles and beliefs, but because that has been the way of their tradition. There have been two Witch Children that were boys. Only one had completed his studies, however, and continued on to practice as a solitary Witch Soul.
I asked, “does a Witch Child have to begin their studies when they are a child, or can they be older?”
She answered, it is generally recommended that they begin young. Before the thirteenth birthday. There is a rare chance an older child may be taught, but the Witch Child has to study for a longer period of time.
I then asked, “until when is a Witch Child’s studies complete?”
She answered, when they complete each phase of their lessons. It is not just craft knowledge they are learning, it is also the process of growth that they are surpassing. Children undergo a serious change of mind and heart when they reach puberty. For some, it is often a struggle to get through the raging thoughts and emotions. Witch Wives especially stand by their Witch Child when these years are developing. Teach them the ways of growing past it. When all lessons have been exceeded, is when a Witch Child has completed their raising.
I asked, “is a Witch Wife’s craft similar to any other witchcraft practice? Is it a religion?”
She answered that it is not a religion. There is no one Deity or the worship of Gods. There is only nature, the magick it harbors, and the techniques to tap into that power. Their practice focuses on healing, ancestral magick, conjuring, and sharpening the intuition. Witch Wives are wed to the infinite power that sources all things, and thus are linked to that magick. Their practice involves herbal knowledge, charms, potions, spells, gardening, livestock, and divination.
I asked, “how long has this tradition been around?”
She answered, since the early 40s. A very small group of three women followed Irish/Scottish/Germanic folk magick traditions, formed the practice. They were unwed, but wholeheartedly believed in their craft. One had two daughters, and each were given to one Witch Wife to raise in the craft. One Witch Child became a Witch Wife, the other became a Witch Soul. That Witch Soul had children that were passed over to the other Witch Wives to raise. And it has been that way since the beginning. There have been five generations, so far.
I asked, “is there a hierarchy order to this tradition?”
She answered, yes in a way. Wisdom is more so in the Witch Wives. That, and Witch Wives are wed to the craft. Therefore, their power is linked to it, and are the only ones able to pass on the gifts to the Witch Children. A Witch Wife practices all forms of their magick.
Witch Souls are the Witch Children that complete their raising, but, they do not become Witch Wives. Therefore, the power is their own to use. They are a sole practitioner. A Witch Soul mostly practices healing and divination.
Witch Children are the young that are raised by a Witch Wife. During their training, they are taught all the forms of their practice. During this time, Witch Children share their power with the Witch Wife to understand the craft.
It is seen as a family system, then a hierarchy one.
I asked, “what kind of spells and rituals do you do? How are they formed?“
She answered that she didn’t wish to go into detail about how their spells and rituals are created, or all of the spellwork that they do. But, that generally they are focused towards healing, fertility, prosperity, and protection, just to name a few.
I asked, “do you think your practice will grow bigger? Gain notice? Do you want it to?”
She answered she doesn’t believe it will grow bigger, or that it will gain notice. Some traditions are better to keep small. Their practice is a craft that takes time. Not all who practice would agree with it, or would believe in it. That is all right, because magick is a shared practice that is invoked in many methods. In many beliefs. New and old.
She didn’t really express if whether she wanted it to gain notice or grow bigger. She simply included, that she was just happy to share her story with someone of a open heart, and hopes others will see it as such.
This was the most inspiring conversation and I am so thankful to share this amazing family’s craft tradition. I humbly thank you for entrusting me with this wisdom. Thank you, thank you.