30 August 2012, 17:00

Magic without wands: real lives of witch doctors

Magic without wands: real lives of witch doctors

Witch doctors are ones who heal through the use of magic. This scares a lot of people once they hear the word magic, because it is something that is perceived as out of the ordinary, thus creating such a feeling of panic and worry with people. 

Even though people see magic happen every day, through luck, coincidences, and miracles, they do not generally think of it as a strange occurrence. These doctors of the craft are more about healing the person to help them grow as the person they have always been.

Zapping sticks and potions beyond reality are what many people expect when they encounter the W-word. Hexes and curses that send enemies into a dark pit of eternal blackness is another common picture painted when Witch comes up in conversation. However, that picture was painted by Hollywood and the media. Present day witch doctors are opposite of what the boob tube tries to sell viewers, and more about spiritual awakening to revive the soul into so much more than meets the eye.

“I don’t walk around in a black robe,” said Lexa Roséan, an 8 time pagan author, this one being her translated English book into Russian, along with her blog which acts as a database of Q&A of all things witchcraft. Roséan doesn’t see herself as fortune teller, but a person to help remove the blocks in someone’s life. Her clients are of no particular demographic.

Though her journey of alleviating the pain for those who need so is heroic, not all that shines is glitter and gold. Her expectation of touching more people through her guidance are hindered by the uncovered cost of her service. “Where I live people can’t use their insurance to cover this alternative medicine,” explained Roséan who is known as a witch doctor or spiritual advisor.

Squinting beyond the hocus pocus and Harry Potter legends which have created a sense of disgust between people who are associated with the pagan religion and those who are connected to other religions. If anything the big screen has put a hoax on their entire faith, making it seem like it is not as serious as the others out there.

According to the American Religious Identification Survey of 2001, 134 thousand Wiccans and 140 thousand Pagans but, that number is skewed. Many people decided not to participate in the survey and this may be because of the fact that they are discriminated against in society. Even though thousands accredit this religion and its practices to rescuing them from depression, insurance does not cover the therapy type consultations.

Though Roséan isn’t the only example of how it can be somewhat of a struggle to move boulder-like roadblocks, yet another healer has had his own trek up a mountain, so to speak.

“The term witchcraft means a lot of different things to different people,” said Joseph Nichter a Wiccan priest, founder of the Mill Creek Tradition and Seminary, the first state-recognized Minority Faith Chaplain, and a provider of Pagan religious services and also runs a blog . His known nickname is Joe the Witch Doctor, but he clarifies that even though that is his name in one circle, he uses a different title in another light, because terminology means something to people.

Even though his middle name is Merlin, he has no wand or a trick up his sleeve to turn people into frogs, his religion believes in interconnectiveness and blessedness and do not recruit people into joining their spiritual endeavors.

“They’re conditioned that it’s bad,” states Nichter about people who aren’t aware of what happens behind closed doors at his services. They often ask if they have to wear a robe or pay money, the answer is always no.

Sometimes, newbies who come to his religious services put their chair right near the exit, just in case they want to leave, but often stay out of curiosity and learn about what pagan is really about, which is not potions of poison or worshiping with evil.

People are multidimensional as we already understand and even though some decide to practice the magic of healing, they aren’t any different. Roséan told that she’s a wonderful Argentine tango dancer and a good cook. Nitcher on the other hand is getting his degree in religion and is a father of four and husband. Both have projects in incubators that continue on growing each and every day. Roséan is coming out with book number 9 but is keeping it a secret from all. The National Pagan Correctional Chaplains Association is the program which Nitcher is trying to make a solid foundation for.

No matter what witch doctors are called by, they are certainly here to stay. Pagan traditions are centuries upon centuries old and have the wisdom of a willow tree. More importantly, non-believers, ought to put their pointer fingers down. Respecting other’s religions is like respecting other countries, accept what they practice and they will do the same back.

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