Sunday, July 4, 2010

Lessons for My Son: You have Power

This is the first installment of a regular feature that I hope to institute called "Lessons For My Son". In it, I hope to express ideas and concepts that it has taken me 40 years and many mistakes to learn.

The lesson today, Rowan, is that your words and actions matter- and so does your silence and inaction. That you have a direct impact on the world- what you say and do matter just as much as what you do not say or do. You help to shape our reality and you have power.

To deny this fact or act as though it were not true (by letting only others do the shaping) is not only false, it is blasphemy, if witches are said to have such a thing. It's not that I haven't seen witches lose their way- I have. I have lost my way once or twice, too. But a witches' role in this world is to be a bridge, a conduit for power between this world and the next. We have sway and power in both these worlds we span- because it is how we are made. We are born for this work.

So, with the theory above expressed- let's get to the tangible parts of the lesson:

  • Sitting on the sidelines watching others do or say something mean, harmful, or ugly is just as bad as articipating in it actively. As Audre Lorde said, "Your silence will not protect you." It just makes the world an uglier and unsafer world for a little longer. Best to confront the ugliness head on- and if you need help, ask me. I will be there for you- always.
  • You must think of the world that you want to live in, that ideal and live as if you are already there- in that world, every day. Live as if the actions and words that you choose will help to shape those around you and the world itself in the image of that ideal- because it DOES. Words and deeds are the everyday magick that helps us weave the web of life and culture.
  • Allowing others to control your words and deeds because you fear losing their acceptance or approval is giving away your power. Do not allow bullies to strip you of your birthright as a witch*. Even if those bullies claim to be your friends.
  • Taking action or saying something that only serves to create comfort isn't always the best path. Speaking the truth, as you know it- particularly when it makes some uncomfortable- is most likely a better course of action. C.S.Lewis said, "If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair." More to the point, JFK said, "There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction." 
I wish for you to know your power and what you are capable of and to use that power to make the world a better place. And I hope that growing up with a witch's training will help you reach that gnosis a little sooner than most.

* Yes, I believe that you were born a witch. While it something that you must choose to confirm as an adult later in life- you were conceived and are being raised as a witch. You have already shown promising gifts for such a role in life. You are my little witchlet.


  1. I am loving your blog! I am a mother of grown children who are awesome and independent, despite all my mistakes. I am not a witch, but an earth-loving tree hugging dirt-worshipper who raised free-thinking, compassionate adults. I just wanted to let you know your blog and your wisdom are appreciated!

  2. Shelley: Thanks so much for the feedback! It is always appreciated. How did you find the blog, if I may ask?

  3. A friend re-posted a link on Facebook. He and his partner own a biz in Maine called Brigid's Well Herbs/Green Man Healing Arts.

  4. As an interesting scientific addendum to this article, I offer this tidbit: when electrons are being observed, they act one way, when they are not, they act another.

    The lesson? Even bearing witness is an act that will change events, Rowan.

  5. Thank you so much for this! I have two boys and I have always been concerned about what this society has been trying to teach our boys. I decided that SIMPLE rule is the way to go and therefore I have been telling them about the golden rule. With my oldest going to the 7th grade, I have noticed the increasing hold peer pressure has on him, and I am disconcerted to say the least. These four things you so succinctly yet eloquently listed are rules for everybody to abide by (myself included). I will find a quiet time and share them with my kids. Thank you.

  6. You are most welcome! I know it can be hard when the children go out into the larger world and ours aren't the only ideas holding sway any longer. It's hard watching children deal with bullying, peer pressure, and things like loneliness and alienation. And at that age, all we can do is watch and offer guidance when asked sometimes. Sigh.


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