One thing that seems to be lacking in modern Witchcraft is the embracing of Sovereignty. Indeed, it is a concept that many do not understand. Old World witches were always sovereign, unencumbered by man-made redes or threefold laws. Before modern Wicca, witches were simply witches. They were respected and feared in equal measure. You wanted to be in the witch’s favor. Unfortunately, the balance seems to have shifted, and witches are not taken as seriously as we once were. Many come to Witchcraft with romantic, New Age ideas about what a witch is. They picture the witch as someone surrounded by sage smoke, pretty crystals and Enya music. Many practice a form of Witchcraft that has been watered down and sanitized, made more palatable for outsiders. Love and Light, Blessed Be and all that. The Wiccan Rede has become a disclaimer of sorts. “It’s okay that I’m a witch because I follow the rede”. There’s this idea that “good” witches follow the rede and “bad” ones do not. This is not accurate. There is darkness in witchcraft as well as light. There is destruction as well as restoration. There is retribution as well as healing. As witches, we are not docile and harmless. We do not turn the other cheek. To provoke a witch is dangerous and foolish. Healing and cursing are two sides of the same coin. When people see that we embody both of these aspects, then perhaps we will gain more respect.
Below is an except from Druid Magic: The Practice of Celtic Wisdom, by Maya Magee Sutton, Ph.D. And Nicholas R. Mann, which gives a druid perspective of sovereignty.
“To be sovereign means to be self-ruled, self-governing, independent, exercising personal power from the overarching viewpoint of wisdom. It is ethical rather than moral, based on self-responsibility rather than authority. Each of us must take the responsibility for acting in the best manner we can in every situation. There is no outside force imposing rules on us; no one else can tell you what your truth is, but you know it just the same. You know when you act from the inner place where your divine self reigns. The truth of Sovereignty puts enormous responsibility on each of us. There is no church ordering our behavior. How can we best apply self-sovereignty today? One answer is to acknowledge our personal strength, wisdom and power flowing from within. Think about the things you will stand up for, fight for and even die for. What issues are you willing to speak out for in public? What cause do you support with your heart and head, and not just with your monetary donations? Acknowledge those things, act on them, and let them empower you”.
Druidry places a huge priority on peace and finding peaceful solutions. The druids were known to be peacemakers, after all. There are times, however, when there is no peaceful solution. That is when the Witch must step in and take matters into his/her own hands. The truth is that “Love and Light” is not always the answer. Not everyone is interested in peace. When I tell people that I’m a druid witch, I typically have to explain what that means, and then they ask, “But you only do good magic, right?” I smile at them and say, “Usually”. They wonder if I’m joking, but they get the point.
Blackthorn Druid Witches are encouraged to embrace their sovereignty, search their hearts, and make their own choices in every situation. They take personal responsibility for their own magic, just like the witches of the old world.
Rick Silfies Potter