Magaly over at Pagan Culture does a Terry Pratchett Quote day on Thursdays that has made me think a little bit (which thoroughly explains the smoke coming out of my ears, lol). She most often quotes out of what I call the witch series of Sir Terry's books( I am a rabid fan of the discworld series by the way and was uber stoked when he got knighted). This series spans from his earliest works in the series to the most recent, including a great young adult spin off that, I feel, has some really compelling characters and great for teen readers.
My complete adoration of the Pratchett aside, Magaly's posts, as well as some recent posts about how a lot of people are misbehaving all over the net in the name of paganism and witchiness in general, have made me stop and think about my major influences as a pagan and witch. Who do I look up to, who do I emulate? The truth is that the majority of those people are fictional.
When I think about the witch that I would want to be, that I strive to be, I think of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg. One is a fun loving slightly lecherous head of her clan, the other a solitary pillar of strength and stubbornness. They are almost opposites, but I think that they strike a great balance.
A quote from the discworld book Carpe Jugulum actually comes pretty close to describing my view of witchcraft in the abstract. It's granny on her way home from a difficult midwifing incident and thinking to herself-
"She'd been a witch all her life. And one of the things a witch did was stand right on the edge, where the decisions had to be made. You made them so that others didn't have to, so that others could even pretend to themselves that there were no decisions to be made, no little secrets, that things just happened. You never said what you knew. And you never asked for anything in return."
Nanny and Granny are what is described as edge witches. They deal with all and any edges, like life and death, light and dark, today and tomorrow, good and evil. They stand on the edges and make the hard choices and don't quibble about it or complain. To me this is almost the a much better description of witchcraft and spellcraft as I see them then the age old "with great power comes great responsibility".
Now this is not to say this is my view of paganism. To me paganism and witchcraft are two separate things. One is a religion and one is a craft (it's even in the title). Thus they are not eternally linked to me. There are rules and guidelines that I personally apply to witchcraft that I would in no way attribute to paganism.
To me, witchcraft is not a sparkly fairy filled ride down the rainbow. It's doing the right thing. It's being responsible for myself and honest with myself to a degree that is not exactly comfortable. It's looking at the world an the people in it and seeing what they really are and then just getting on with it. It's being too stubborn to do the easy thing because it's not what's right. And then sometimes it's finding a good pint, a man who puts weasels down his trousers, and learning a song about hedgehogs.
Those are the things as a witch I strive for. Sometimes I win, and sometimes I don't. I am after all part of the imperfect world, but to me being honest about it is what helps make me a witch.