This week our letter comes from a man who needs help with titles. Let’s help him out shall we?
As a man in the Pagan community who practices the craft, I am wondering what I should be calling myself? I have heard people call men sorcerer, wizard, sage, warlock and witch. Am I a witch or one of those other titles? Please help Aunty Snark.
Not Sure What I am
Ah, the never ending hunt/question of what title should be used. I have been there Not-Sure-What-I-Am and I am sure everyone else has been as well. The need for a title seems to be a common human need. We seem to need/want to place people in a box to understand where they fit in our lives and what we should expect from them.
There does seem to be mass confusion though, with what we should be calling our fellow brothers in the craft. With women there is one general term, witch, that we all take and accept without a problem. So, let us take a look at all the terms that are available for you to chose from the ones that you listed.
Sorcerer – defined as someone whose powers are gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits, especially for divining. Comes from the Old French word for casters of lot.
Well that one doesn’t seem pleasant at all. Not one that you would want to label yourself as. Shall we try the next one?
Wizard – defined as a clever or skilled man. Comes from the Old English word for Wise.
Well that one sounds a hell of a lot better. The term wizard brings to mind a elderly gentleman who is brilliant and utters wise words to you. So, you could use the term wizard. Let’s check out the next one, perhaps it is positive as well.
Sage – defined as a wise man from the Old French word to be sensible.
Look at that, its another wonderful word that implies intelligence and wisdom. So we are now two to one with terms. So you can use the term wizard and sage. Now let’s move on to our second to last term; warlock.
Warlock – defined as a person the practices the black arts and comes from the Old English word for traitor/liar/oath breaker.
Well that one seems like a hard no. No one wants to be know as a traitor and an oath breaker. So we are two for two so far for positive and negative terms. Shall we move on to our very last term, witch? The term that is normally used for most women of the craft but is questioned as if it is appropriate to use for men. Let’s look at the term witch.
Witch – A person having supernatural power as by a contract with the devil or evil spirits. Originated from the Old English word to conjure.
Well shit. Looke there, the term that we use to define ourselves has a very negative definition. The last time I looked, I had not formed any contract with a devil, he still will not answer my calls, nor any evil spirits, the constant rosemary burning seems to irritate their poor little allergies. Despite of the very negative definitions that are attached to the word witch, we refuse to not use it.
In fact, we raise our banners high and scream into the heavens that we are witches and damn proud of the fact too. We ignore the negative definition of the word and are attempting to redefine the word to fit who we are but this doesn’t really answer your question fully, does it? You wish to know what you should be calling yourself as a brother of the craft.
Mr.Not Sure What I Am, you pick what ever title that you wish and that fits you or pick none at all. If you want to be High Priest of the Sect of fuzzy bunnies, you do you. You do not have to explain why you have decided what title will fit you, if you decided on one, to anyone other that yourself. So pick Sorcerer or Warlock and redefine the term like we are for the term Witch, or Wizard or Sage or even the term Witch. Whatever you do decide to do, do it because it makes sense to you, not because someone wants to shove you into a box and label you.
Do you have a question you wish to have answered? Look no further than Aunty Snark. Send us your question today at firstname.lastname@example.org.