What do you envision when you hear the word “Witch”?

Does it evoke images of an old disfigured hag, a gruesome figure from Grimm’s’ fairy tales, or a cult of devil worshipers?
In my world I see men and women on the search for ancient wisdom and knowledge, connecting to Gaia, the Stars, their Ancestors, and Divinity. I see wise women and men, healers, herbalists, spiritualists, midwives, empaths, and intuitives. Folks from every walk of life, from different cultures, all obtaining and using knowledge of the old ways and currently active in their communities, striving to be a better individual and trying to make a positive difference locally and globally.
Witches believe in a higher power. They see and feel their connection to that power and to every living organism; that thread that binds us all to one another. Witches practice Magick, where they use that thread, that common connection between God/ the All/ the Universe and Us, to harness that energy to transform or manifest their will.  They use that energy most often transform their reality for better, to help heal, bring positive energies and influences into their realities and those around them.
Witches use herbs, crystals, candles, oils, and all sorts of curios to help them with their manifestations. Some Witches follow the Moon and Seasonal Cycles to honor their Ancestors, Worship, or to Manifest change. Witches are often animal lovers and do not harm any creatures. One witch may carry crystals to draw protection or prosperity; another may bury crystals near a hospital to help enhance the healing energies within. Some use essential oils and herbs to help heal and cure headaches, skin rashes, earaches, and bug bites. Essentially witches use what the universe has to offer to help them manifest positive change.
Witches are doctors, nurses, lawyers, farmers, artists, musicians, teachers, historians, construction workers, students, waitresses, policemen, government employees, business owners, mothers and fathers. They live in towns, cities, villages. Some Witches dress the part, others do not.  Witches are everywhere, and most often worship quietly and speak softly about their connections to spirit and the universe.
Witches love, and most share the same hopes, fears, and aspirations that you do. Witches just choose to worship differently, to work with Universal energies and most try to quietly transform the world around them.
You don’t need to fear witches. We are not trying to hurt or convert anyone to our practices or ways of thinking. We are not evil; we do not worship the devil.  We are a lot like you, trying to make a better place in the world for ourselves and our loved ones.
So next time you meet a witch don’t get scared, don’t jump to conclusions or judge, ask us what we believe in, why we choose to worship as we do, most of us will gladly tell you all about who we are and what we do.
Brightest Blessings.