"Are you Wiccan? Is that how I say that?"
Many times people are surprised when I say no. I'm also not a Pagan in the modern sense. I'm an animist. What's the difference? For one, Neo-Pagans work within a pantheon of gods while animists work with spirits and energy. As an animist I make no classifications between deities like Zeus and Catholic saints. Spirit is spirit. There are spirits and elemental energies presiding over your favorite plant and gemstone. Tools and pendants can be charged as independent allies. I'm not about to box myself in and work with only one group of energies. I'm not the kind of girl who likes putting the universe in boxes: the Goddess, the God, etc, etc, It doesn't work for me. Animism feels more organic to me; it feels real. At this point it's more of a nature than a religion as it fits into mundane life.
"What is Stregheria?"
If you've been reading this blog [Fata Morgana's blog, see below] at all you'll know that Stregheria is the Italian word for witchcraft. It is not (as some people claim) the Italian version of Wicca. But while witchcraft is not a religion it can be taught, practiced or celebrated as a tradition.
"Is Stregheria hereditary?"
Some people will tell you they learned their craft from a grandmother or parent. I don't doubt this is often true. In my case, I grew up with very religious, conservative parents. Witchcraft was always an interest whose origin I couldn't pinpoint. As I grew older I learned to open myself to the knowledge of my ancestors, whose memories and experiences with things like herb lore, folk magic and mysticism have always been apart of me.
"Are you Catholic?"
I enjoy Catholic imagery. It appeals to me. I love rosaries and religious pendants. My working room is decked with images of saints. None of this is because I'm Catholic but because it keeps me closer to my ancestors. My ancestors were involved with the same saints. They pulled them from several sources. I can't help but feel they helped instill this in me.
--used with permission from Fata Morgana: Stregheria, Traditional Witchcraft and Folk Magic. copyright 2011 All copyrights remain with author.
Stregheria, Traditional Witchcraft and Folk Magic,
Frequently Asked Questions (Originally published November 11, 2011)
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