What is an Eclectic Witch? What does he or she do? How does this affect their magic and point of view? Well friends, let’s explore. Eclectic witchcraft seems to be a term that gets a look in the witchy world, but I want to shed some light on this as this is a part of who I am and how I approach magic.
So let’s dive right in... What does an eclectic witch do? The eclectic practitioner takes information from multiple belief systems and practices and uses what works for them. I have studied and am still discovering all kinds of magic. I think there is valid information in all traditions. Anything that works for me, I continue to use in my practice. For example, I use herbs and stones for healing that are more associated with green European witchcraft *and* goofer dust and hotfoot powders as seen in Hoodoo for protection. I just let my intuition guide me based on what I know and feel is needed for that particular circumstance.
How does this shape my point of view? My personal view on magic and the different paths is very open, as are most eclectics. I don’t limit myself to one way because there is no one way that seems to work for me. Instead, I look at the world as my source of information. Whether I am learning about Norse mythology to understand the teachings of Asatru or I am learning what Draconian magic does... either way, I do not see it as dark or light, good or evil. Every magic serves a purpose. My personal practice does not include Satanism, sacrificial magic, or necromancy but yours might. Again, it’s what works for you.
I also try to help newer fellow witches as much as possible by providing them with the information or were to find it. What does an eclectic altar look like? Well, we have multiple altars in our home. Our altars help the flow of energy we tap into and how the energy flows in the house. We have one for crystals only, and two very different altars with distinct purposes. One is purely to channel energy and one I use to charge items with our energy especially divination tools or items. Long story short, there is no right or wrong way to set up your altar with the eclectic path. It’s whatever works for you. That’s important because we sometimes get caught up in the minute details. But, don’t… just use your intuition and knowledge base.
So, here is a 101 on altars...
First, find a place in your house that if you have kids, pets etc. won’t knock it over or mess with it. Second, choose items that represent you whether it be a deity you follow, candles, items from nature, certain colors, photos the possibilities are endless. Third, once you have your main altar set you can add or subtract to it for the wheel of the year for example since Yule is upon us adding items that represent the season can be a way to make your altar more festive for the season.
Below are photos of the 3 altars in our house during the normal times of the year when I haven’t decorated it for a Sabbat or Esbat.
So from left to Right Crystals, Regular ritual or spell work altar, then divination altar each have different representation from different paths.
The room we chose for our altars has a bunch of natural light and is in the front of the house, which to me just gives a warmness to the room especially at night even when you flip on a light and just sit to read. We did not always have everything pictured. It has come bit by bit and some was handmade using things you can readily find at Good Will, Dollar Tree, and local metaphysical shop or online.
Here is a quick, easy and unique way to represent the elements like we did. We took clear glass bottles and filled them with water and food coloring to get the desired color to represent each element. The cost was $10 total for bottles and food coloring, as seen in our ritual/spellwork altar. You could also go to your local vintage or Good Will and finding colored bottles for cheap that haul was $5 for the 4 bottles on our divination altar.
Overall, my wisdom to you is think about what moves you, things you like, what you connect with and make your altar something uniquely you. Play with it and have fun, though. Do not get overwhelmed by it. Also, look for inspiration. Search pictures of similar altars and shrines. That’s the fun of it really, personalizing and using elements that make up you and your energy.
Author: Kieran of Silfren Circle