Witch: Another Perspective
I was talking with an elder in my tradition, who has been practicing Wicca since 1971. I asked him if he ever identified himself as a Witch. Here is what he told me:
“You know, the word ‘witch’ has never been a positive one. I don’t understand these people who want to ‘take it back’. It was always a word that was inflicted on other people by the establishment. It’s like the word N***** among Black people. If someone calls me a witch, I’m going to fight it, but amongst each other, we understand the context of it. Why try to change the meaning in mind of the general public?”
While the origin of the word is a bit ify–even the Oxford English Dictionary says the origin is unclear–here are a few definitions from around the internet:
/wɪtʃ/ Show Spelled[wich]
bef. 900; Middle English wicche, Old English wicce (fem.; cf. wicca (masc.) wizard; see wicked)
So I wonder at how much things have changed since my elder friend began practicing and coming out of the broom closet. Too bad I can’t see when the fourth definition was added. When do you think it became socially OK to identify as a Witch?