Old Witchery Women
A while back when I was talking to a friend she told me about a group of women she knew that had a center in Colorado. The center is devoted to the wellness of women and they used a lot of apothecary methods. If you look up the word apothecary, it means a pharmacist licensed to dispense medicines. However, when I hear the word "apothecary" it means so much more to me, actually the word opened up a whole new area in my life. Something that felt very "old" and yet something I was very familiar with.
Many times in life, we wonder why we are put in certain situations but yet we wonder how we are able to adapt to those situations fairly easy and remain true to who we are. I had a vision during a conversation with another friend and it was so real to me that I could actually feel and smell the night air. For a split second, I felt I was among a large group of women. It was very similar to the vision I had before I agreed to get attuned to Reiki. The meeting in my vision was late at night and there were many women gathering together. This article is about my vision and my thoughts of the "Old Witchery Tales" from long ago.
Why did many women have to meet in secret to practice healing and to do rituals? The strange thing about this is we are faced with a lot of the same circumstances today. I was told a very long time ago that we hold a lot of knowledge and wisdom deep inside from all of our previous lives. If we allow ourselves to tap into that knowledge, we can learn a lot about ourselves in our current lives and the knowledge could possibly help us to have a better understanding of who we are today.
Women have natural healing abilities that are very hard to explain. (No, I am not forgetting about you men, I know you are out there as well). Somehow I have abilities that I know I have not been taught by a physical teacher or have read in book or seen on the TV. Understanding these abilities became a mission and then one day out of the blue, everything came together and was confirmed. I sat up a table at an "All Nations" gathering and a Medicine Man came up to my table reading all of the ingredients in my herbal healing teas. He read every package and every so often would look up at me. Almost seeming like a test, he began to ask me a lot of questions about the teas and I answered them the best way I could. He wanted to know where I got the recipes and I explained to him that they came from "Spirit". He knew exactly what I was talking about; without me having to explain it. He said, "These are good combinations, very good healing!" He asked if I knew something about a root he called a "Cure All" and I told him I did not know anything about it. Long story short, he ended up giving me a piece of that root, which I still have to this day in my medicine bag. One of the biggest things I learned from spending time with this Medicine Man is you learn a lot by trusting the messages you receive from "Spirit". To have a thumbs up from a Medicine Man about herbal combinations is something I will always honor.
Women would gather herbs late at night during certain moon cycles-very much like they do today. They would formulate herbal healing elixirs that would cure moon cycle to moon cycle. Some people would view these women as healers and some would view them as witches. The ones who really feared them were the ones who said they were doing the devils work. Did we, do we meet in secret out of fear? Did we, do we hide a lot of our knowledge and wisdom because we do not want to be judged or falsely accused?
When we turn to "Spirit" for answers, we do not need useless negativity corrupting our energy. We become "empowered" when we are with like-minded people and yes, we want to keep that connection free flowing and positive. The answer to the above questions is, NO! No, we do not fear what we do. We live our life according to the Law: And ye harm none. No, we do not hide our knowledge and wisdom. We reserve it, honor it and keep it sacred for those who need and really want our help. So many women were falsely accused of witchcraft and were killed for it! Often there were people who became desperate for help and would go to a healer. When the healer helped them, it was good and considered a miracle. But if the healing did not work, the woman was accused of placing a curse on the sick one, therefore accused of witchcraft. Most of the time these women were killed. It was easier for people to place blame on the healer for tying to help, oppose to facing the fact that sometimes sickness cannot be cured. Death is a part of our life cycle no matter what your beliefs are. But I suppose many forget that when they do not get everything they want. Nobody wants to lose someone they love, it hurts and often feels like a part of us are dying with them. Unfortunately, life and death go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Killing innocent people for trying to help, was a cruel and vicious thing to do.
So many men and women died because of people's ignorance. According to some research I did, between 1300-1600's there were tens of thousands people (mostly women) executed for being accused of being witches and using witchcraft. It was the same thing with the other women who practiced apothecary and the medicine did not work. All of it was good medicine if it worked, and considered evil potions if they did not work.
Meeting in secret is a scared time that was shared with a group of women who believed in the powers of the universe and not some contained boxed belief system. I sat with GreyHawk who was an Apache Elder , he taught me so many things in a short amount of time. He explained to me that everyone who steps on our path does so for a reason. I believe that many women today, yesterday and from along ago, live life a certain way. The one place that no one can corrupt is the most inner spiritual part of your own individually. If you stay connected to that part of yourself, you will always be who you are. The spiritual aspect of being with other liked-minded people is the same concept as the Old Witchery Women meeting late at night when their families were in bed.
The women who come from a long line of "Old Witchery Women, do not have a need to be in physical groups or covens. They know they are spiritually connected to other like-minded people (often referred to as Kindred Spirits). There is nothing wrong being in groups and/or covens? Sometimes, I believe they are beneficial and in some cases very much needed. Being solitary is also very powerful and sacred. I have come to believe, if we are from a long line of the Old Witchery Women, we will be able to hear the echos of their wisdom if we allow ourselves to hear it.