I recently received an email message from a young lady asking about natural born witches. She said that she and her sisters had learned that if one had a “W” on their palm then they were a natural born witch. I have a pretty strong opinion about anyone claiming anything that makes them appear to be more “witchy” then anyone else. But instead of letting that colour my reply, I did a bit of research on the Internet first. And here are my conclusions:
There are lots of theories about “natural born witches.” Some people say there is something on your palm (a W, an X, or some other symbol), some people point to certain aspects in your natal chart, some people say “you just know.” I’ve even read that being born on a Friday the 13th, or Halloween, or some other special day “automatically” makes one a witch. I don’t believe any of it. Perhaps there are people who are naturally more talented, just like some people seem to be born writers, singers, or cooks. But, with practise, dedication, and discipline, anyone can develop the skills they need. Even someone born into a family of witches (which I discuss below) will need to study a lot. Witchcraft doesn’t come easy to anyone, and if they say it does, I’d be a bit sceptical.
Witchcraft is a craft, meaning that it is something that must be learned. It is not an innate skill, although it does rely on your ability to be in tune with all you senses. This may be easier for some people then for others. Some people say that if you have felt blessed all your life or particularly in tune with nature that is because you are a natural born witch. Personally, I think it is just because you happen to focus on certain aspects and tune out others. Some people only focus on the negative, and some only on the positive. Which do you think is more likely to notice special events and feel special themselves?
Witchcraft is also a journey. It is about discovering and nurturing your spiritual side. You can not be born at the end of this journey. Perhaps, if you believe in reincarnation, you can be born a little further down the road them some, but there will always be more for you to learn. And any “head start” you feel you were born with can easily be put to waste if you don’t spend the time, energy and effort into your journey.
You might also read about people claiming to be hereditary witches (sometimes they also use the term natural born witch). These people often belong to a Family Tradition (also called a Fam Trad). This can be anything from a form of Christianity that includes magic working, to a form of pagan religion with magic working. Each one is different.
Also, when you are studying witchcraft, it is important to know that it is different then Wicca. Not all Wiccans are witch, nor are all witches Wiccans. College Wicca has a good essay about the differences: Wiccans and Witches and Pagans, OH MY!. Or you can read my essay: Wicca and Witchcraft: The Differences.