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Your Witch Color and Cloak Meanings

Black.  If you are practicing the craft, you probably gravitate (or have been told to gravitate) to the color black.  It’s dark and secretive and mysterious… and flattering… and matches almost everything.

However, once upon a time, if you were chosen to practice the “weird ways” (or threw yourself into it) then you were given a color based on your gifts, future endeavors, or place among the witches.  Your color was a simple way to identify who you were.  Let’s get into what colors (besides black) you might want to wear to signify to others your path among the magically connected.

Cloak/Robe Colors and Their Meaning

Brown:  This is for the beginner.  Your first year (-ish) investing into your craft.  These practitioners don’t have a specialty and may not know how they are to use their abilities in their lives.  Once a destiny is chosen, a specialty, then their color will change.  Even if they are still a novice.

Green: The educator.  Their job among the mages are to learn and gobble as much as possible, bring to practice, and educate.  They may not be skilled in everything they must know and pass on, but their jobs are not to chose favorite types of magic.  Their job is to pass it down.  Share all of the knowledge. They may decided what order or what discipline students are to work with first, but eventually, they are to pass everything down. The knowledge should not die with them. They can also be leaders, healers, warriors, teachers, solitary, practical mentors, diviners, or a mix as well because they need to know all of the areas of practice, but their primary focus is to learn, practice, and regurgitate.

Blue: The spiritual.  They represent harmony and leveled vibrations.  They are one with good and evil, destruction and healing, and are fearless.  They are not warriors, but guides.  They can lead, but their desires are not in power, but in peace and easy-going-ness.  Even the destructive need a place in this world.  They are brave and are willing to help place the predator where they can acquire prey, and the prey where they can reproduce.  Their job is to help the world, and all parts of it (including spiritually) to remain even.  They enjoy water and air magic, generally; although this is not a determining factor.

Purple: An advanced solo practitioner. I like to call them the “practicals.”  They have a specialty and are great and accomplished at it.  They are authors and mentors. They have the knowledge and are seen as an elder.  They are happy to help others and mentor but have no desire to teach the totality of the craft.  They are a specialized expert and practice.  They lead in a way that is an informed participant, but not an organizer.  Generally, they are private, solitary. They may serve on as someone on a group of elders.

White: Representing the heat of the sun, they are a leader.  They make final decisions.  They are well verse in the discovery and acknowledgement of all kinds of magic.  They generally have the ability to see the growth potential in others and help point them to their destiny in how they use their craft.  They are the final say.  There is generally one person who is white at a time.  They move from various other areas of magic to represent the leader. They may have once been a teacher, warrior, spiritual, etc. They must be able to access great power, from within or from without.

Red:  This is for the warrior.  They are a protector.  At times, they may have questionable ethics.  They are reactive and passionate. They may be feared because they are quite good at hexes and taking down the enemy.  The enemy is topic that can be scary to other witches is who the Red decides are enemies.  They are loyal until they are crossed.  They desire a place to belong to protect and war.

Orange or Rust: Healers. They deal with the earth and nourishment.  They enjoy working with plants, herbs, cooking magic, and helping others, but they may be light workers and water healers as well. They are not great at defensive magic. They are meant to fix, mend, heal, and bring people together.  They love certain mundane tasks because of the comfort they bring to others.  They are creative and crafty.  Generally, not demanding, they prefer little stress and strain in their everyday life and would rather just heal others.

Grey: Justice.  They work in balance between right and punishment.  They create order based on the ethics of their coven, faith, or area.  They are talented at binding, tearing, and removing others’ gifts.  They are fair and objective (unlike the passionate red) and have the gift of discernment.  They seek the advice of the Blue and the Red for fairness; but they are non-linear thinkers.  Gifted in prose, they may answer a problem with another problem.  They enjoy puzzles and collaboration.  If they are consulted, the respect is always given to the Grey when a decision is made, even if the White disagrees.  For the Grey is to be unbiased and fair to the letter of their coven’s ethical law.

Black: Solitary mixed practitioner.  They mind their business, learn, and are a part of the magical community without too much emphasis in any area.  They like it all and are happy to not fit anywhere specifically.  Hence, black (holding all color).

Let’s move onto trim:

The trim of the robe can represent how advanced you are in your journey in specific magical uses.  Even a white robe can be new to being in that position.  Time is non-linear, so the witch will not hold themselves to calendar years.  Simply put, once you have your robe, you sew on a trim around the edge of your robe to signify your area of strength.

No trim: Feeling they are still on their journey, unknown of their own advancement and fine with it.  They also may just not what to say what they are skilled at.

Black trim: Accomplished at working with spirits, life, death, and divination.  They understand energy and are quite good at energy based magic, which includes the weather.

Red trim: Fire focused on spells that can invigorate, grow, or cultivate, and destroy.  Great at fire magic.

Blue trim: Water magic, able to influence, dampen, or enhance energies and emotions through lotions, potions, teas, and other fluids.

Green trim: Skilled in growth, agriculture, herbs, poisons, healing, sickness, and the earth.  They plant, and pound, and grow.  They are good at bags, talismans, and healing.

Purple trim: Understanding of people and animals and their place in the world.  They are spiritually connected to above and below, all orders of life.  They may not feel connected to ‘gods’ because they are so connected to the world close to themselves.  Good at air based magic.

Pink:  They are the pleasers.  They bring people, energy, and destinies together.  They use glamor magic.  They can also pull people apart.  Also good at stone work. They can get what they want and help others get what they want. They are graceful and use a lot of will.

Orange: These work with poppets and sympathetic magic.  They are good at seeing and knowing how things are related to each other.

Yellow:  They use astral energy and spells.  They know the zodiac, feel the energies from different times of the day, the different energies of different days, and life’s cycles.

Witches should never assume that the trim on a cloak is another witch’s only skill.  The trim is simply their strongest ability.  A witch should not put more than two on their robe, as it is seen as an exaggeration.  Witches may have multiple robes with a different trim highlighting a different skill.   For instance, I have several green robes, and one blue (when I don’t want to be a teacher and just want to put on my divination hat).  My green robe has black and purple trim, and my blue robe has pink and red. Any witch who feels they need to challenge what another knows are showing their own weakness as an actual novice.  Let others be.

Finally, it’s important to look at ropes that tie.  The colors signified in the rope that ties your robe or wraps around your waist has personal significance to your faith.  Are your deities represented by certain colors?  Does your faith have a certain symbol or color associated.  This is not to help others.  This is for you.  If others recognize the significance, you’ve found a sister in the craft, but your rope is your message to you and your faith, alone.  In my tradition, this rope is buried or burned with you when you die.  Others may gift them on to be used on ancestral altars.  And still others burn, bury, or give to nature in ceremony.  Allowing for the connection to their living life to be untied. 

This research as been compiled from various European, African, American, and Asian folk religions who have color significance in their practice.  I find it beautiful how many (cross-culturally), would be identified by other witches as to how they practice based on their cloak. 

I hope you find color in your life.  Get a cloak, and own your identity as a witch.

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What Makes a REAL Witch

blindfolded woman with a lit candle

I hate this.

I hate this set of rules that some pagans put on others. These rules and sets of judgements in order for someone to call themselves a practitioner of the craft is oppressive.

I recently read “a real witch harms none.” A real witch “acknowledges karma.” A real witch owns this tool or that star.

Let me tell you something: All of those statements are wrong.

First of all: Karma belongs to Asian religions, and unless you are of an Asian faith blend or background, using one idea from Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, or Taoism and not others areas of that religion (and have no cultural or immersive experience) is *clears throat* CULTURAL APPROPRIATION.

I know, you don’t want to hear that. I am aware that you feel the use of karma as a part of every day social and societal norms of the ‘western world’ because karma is a completely integrated concept. This integration does not excuse that it is part of another culture and is used to benefit or in spite of other cultures. If you don’t have other aspects of these eastern religions fully integrated into your work as well, then karma should not be in your ethical arsenal. “beware of your karma” is a racially oppressive and culturally offensive comment. Back off, Betsy, and check yourself.

Also, these rules stating that witches don’t harm people is incorrect. All people harm people. Some of us try not to, and some of us try to. Harm is not where we draw the line for being a witch. It is however for Wiccans. ALL WITCHES ARE NOT WICCAN. So, you Wiccans out there: STOP BEING MISSIONARIES AND TRYING TO FORCE OTHERS INTO YOUR WAYS. That is what the Christians did starting in 70AD. Stop it. You can do you. But let other pagans do themselves.

Witch is a much broader term to specifically associate with NATURE and the energies of this world. All of the energies, even the chaotic ones.

Nature harms

Nature creates life

Nature takes life away

Nature has spirit

Nature has energy

Nature has predators

Nature has prey

Nature can nurture, torture, disease, and cure.

alluring young woman preparing potion against black background
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The witch does these things, too. Even if you elect not to, having a complete understanding (or working towards it, because who ever understands ALL parts of nature?) means you are a witch.

Witches have the ability to do all of these things (or, again, a student of nature and its magical secrets and counterparts), also because if we ARE really one with nature. That doesn’t mean we sit outside and make love under the moon (at least not me because I don’t like to get dirty or get bit by bugs). “One with” just means moving with nature, moving with people, moving with animals and weather, and understanding (or trying to understand) the ways nature wants to move.

We are those who grow and can give disease.  We can mend and twist but we can rest and heal.  We have choices. Stop telling people they are not witches because they don’t fit YOUR belief system or YOUR ethics. Nature and spirit.

And all the chaos and order that nature is.

We love trees because their beauty is mathematically a part of chaos.  We love butterflies because their beauty is mathematically a part of order.  
We also fear what is organized and what is chaotic as well. To say that a witch harms none means that you live in a bubble of lies. Just being here harms something. Do you create to give back? Well, by attacking someone else *clears throat again* YOU ARE HARMING THEM! 

Therefore, those who go out of their way to attack other pagans to scold them about ‘harm,’ well, you are harming another practitioner of the craft with your bullying and your judgement, and therefore is also a hypocrite. Mind your own business and stick to your relationship with nature. Leave my babies witches alone.

Chaos, order, creation, and destruction.  Denying the harmful parts of life means denying being a witch. This is me coming for you. Back down and let people be.

Oh, and one more thing:

And don’t bully others based on what they don’t know, yet. We are all on the path to discovery, Betsy. Back down and let people continue to learn and evolve.

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Graveyard dirt and where to get it

Please don’t steal from someone’s house.

Please don’t go to the closest cemetery and offer something and then take their home, a magical ingredient needed for so many things.

Truth is, spirits can be mad, just like people, and can be vengeful. They will want justice for taking part of their place of peace. Imagine someone taking from your house. How would you feel about that? Angry? Vulnerable? Vengeful? Well, now imagine if you had the flexibility and fluidity of being spirit.

A student of mine had a recent problem. He did leave offerings both at the gate and at the plot of dirt of a cemetery and everything seemed find. He left whiskey, candy, coins, and tobaccoat a Jewish cemetery. He went home and had been having minor inconveniences left and right even small scratches on his nose.

“Should I give back the dirt or toss it out, I don’t think these people like me cause I’m not one of them,” he said.

I told him to give to back. My thoughts are that he probably left the wrong offerings. Jewish people don’t leave anything that decomposes as grave offerings. So no food, no flowers or other plant matter. Also, the probably would prefer to not be used and then dismissed.

What annoys me is that my student had asked a lot of experienced witches to make sure he did all the right steps, who all told him that if he did not have permission to take the dirt the spirits would have made it abundantly clear to him in that very moment and they didn’t. He even kneeled down and asked. But spirit isn’t a parlor trick. They’re at rest. A relationship must be cultivated and understood between both parties, and patience.

One of my lovely students wrote to him: “I think unfortunately people in a lot of witch groups have an unfortunate tendency to assume that they will be stopped if they did something wrong. But that’s honestly just assuming that there’s far more order in our world than there is. I think it’s another form of the good things happen to good people fallacy. Some people are just jerks. Some spirits are just jerks. You unfortunately got a jerk. I personally would return the grave dirt and take back the offerings the spirit didn’t like, apologize, and not work with that one in particular any further. There’s a Japanese tradition to rub sea salt on your back before leaving an area where there are angry spirits so the spirit doesn’t follow you any further. I would do that as well.”

Here is the reality about life and getting what we need. We shouldn’t just take. And we must be patient when we ask, because the answer can be no, and we must respect that. But we must be patient. Most of all, it is audacious to assume the answer would be yes from a singular chance meeting. Walk up to a stone’s house and ask for a chair in exchange for a gift. This request to take of their land is just as audacious. But if your nice came to your home with a gift in exchange for a chair that she needs, for which will better her life? Well, she will probably get her chair.

Even spirits don’t have to like us, right?

I don’t necessarily like every person I come across.

Think about the living. We have our own prejudices and our own preferences when it comes to people. So… simply go to a different ‘club.’ We don’t belong in every circle and we don’t make friends everywhere we go. This cemetery is just not for you.

Also, the signs from spirit aren’t necessarily shown right away. AND build the relationship with the rested before taking the very first time. In some cases, you may not be allowed to take from a site.

In Hawaii, all of the land is a burial. You can NEVER take lava rock as it is part of Pele’s body, life, and the resting place of her mortal body. Many have taken the land, wanting a token or a souvenir of their vacation, but this little rock is part of her resting place, her home, and her body. Wouldn’t you be upset if someone took one of your knuckles?

The great Goddess Pele will literally kill you slowly with bad luck and misfortune until you’re hit by a bus or something. She is a God, which the spirits at rest are generally, not; however, spirits have the ability to do the some major damage, especially in a group.

Cemeteries are like book clubs… not all of them are welcoming. Find a different cemetery. Maybe one that speaks to you culturally. Maybe one that just feel comforting. One that you can feel the peace. You are taking part of someone’s home, so shouldn’t you feel welcome in their home, too? Trial and error. Return the dirt, leave the gifts as a “thanks for seeing me anyway” and move on to another book club.