With the rise of modern technology, namely social media, has come a rise in the number of pagans in the U.S. and internationally. This is a good thing. Social media gives us the opportunity to connect with like minds and souls. However, with this rise in modern technology and the ease with which we an communicate with one another, this also means the sometimes unfortunate loss of real-life face-to-face relationship management and growth. With the rise in social media pagans I’ve also noticed a trend…people who talk a lot about their beliefs but don’t seem to be actually practicing those beliefs.
What do I mean by this phrase, “social media witch”? Basically it is a person who goes online and interacts with other witches and pagans through social media platforms but once her computer or smart phone is off, the magick is slacking. That’s putting it nicely. There are those, I believe, who talk a lot of talk online and join in group events, live hangouts, collaborative social media projects, and more, all in the name of witchcraft, which…again, is great. But when the technology is in sleep mode, their practice is in sleep mode.
The thing about witchcraft is that it is a practice. Some claim it as their religion. I claim it as my way of life. A discipline. But if you’re not practicing witchcraft, I don’t see how you can call yourself a witch. This is coming off as judgmental and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of shit for this, but it needs to be said. Have you ever heard that expression, “don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk?” I think this applies to witchcraft on many levels. Yes, when we first started walking on the path of the craft, we studied books and articles, we wrote everything about the craft in our Book of Shadows, we scoured libraries and thrift stores for as much information as we could get our hands on. And we learned a lot from those books and resources. But what truly teaches us, not just in our spiritual practice, but in life? Experience! Think about some of the most important lessons you’ve learned in life so far…did you learn them from reading a book? Did you learn them from a quote on a meme on FaceBook? No! You learned them through your experience in life. It’s the same with witchcraft.
You have to practice the craft in order to truly learn all Mother Earth and Father Sky have to teach us. You won’t be able to hear the whispers from the woods and the encouragement of your ancestors if all you ever do is talk about the craft online. You can’t sit on a couch behind your computer, and never step foot outside and then call yourself a practicing witch. Cut the “practicing” from that term, and maybe you can call yourself a witch. But what is the point in being a witch if you’re not connecting with nature? What’s the point in walking a spiritual path based on the natural world if you can’t take even fifteen lousy minutes a day to get off FaceBook and go outside?
I admit, I am guilty of scanning my phone in moments of down-time. The majority of us can’t fully unplug…it’s just one of those things in the modern world that we can’t avoid. And let’s face it, social media can be fun. It can be enlightening in ways. It is a good place to connect with your friends and family in one convenient place. But don’t let it suck up all of your time and block you from practicing your craft. Don’t let social media be your main source of spiritual inspiration and experience. Get outside. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. Take a walk. Listen to the birds. Look at the sky. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Go for a swim. Grow plants. Leave offerings to the nature spirits. Plant seeds. Harvest when the time comes. Pick wildflowers. Identify the plants in your backyard. This is what the craft is really all about. Not FaceBook groups and tweets.
Don’t be a social media witch. Be an experiential, practicing witch. Be true to your craft and for the love of the gods, practice what you preach!