This is important.
If you practice the art of belittling, degrading, bigotry, mockery, or any other vile form in order to bring a person down or make them feel bad about how they practice their Craft, then you are NOT a Witch. I'm not even going to sugarcoat this for you because I am utterly sick and tired of seeing people do this to solitaries, to eclectic covens, to anyone and everyone who practices their craft differently. That's the whole point of witchcraft: unification in diversity, love, reverence, and peace.
I was bashed today, publicly, for practicing my Craft in a different and obviously, an unaccepted way by this one person. In fact, they used Gardnerian Wicca as an insult to my practice. When the fuck did that happen? When did Gardnerian become such a nasty word? Only everyone and their mother have some similarity to this sect of Wicca. Just stop. Just stop it right now. People who do this are the reason the Pagan community can't get its shit together and are so unorganized to the point where people of other religions don't even want to be associated with us. Catholic Church, I understand you now! You liked our seasons and holidays, just not us as a people.
I don't blame this person for not understanding my form of Witchcraft. My practice is not very well known but it's a mystery tradition for a reason. I was formally trained in a Celtic/Welsh Witchcraft Tradition that was brought over to the U.S. in the 1960s by my High Priest who learned it from the Coven in Wales that had been practicing this form for over 200 years. Does that make me better than anyone? Hell no. It just means that I have a few things I could potentially teach someone if the opportunity arose. Just like a Solitary may have some things they could teach me.
My problem is that this person decided to mock me for how I practice and proceed to try and make me feel invalid. I'm sorry, but I thought we got away from "this is the way and the only way" a long time ago. So specifically, I cast my Circles differently. My elements are at different directions. Not all of them, just two. Earth and Air. I've read the books. I know where everyone says they're "supposed" to be, but with a little more research, you'll find that that really doesn't matter. There's a reason behind why I cast the way I do. Just because you may not possess the knowledge as to why, doesn't mean you have to be a dick to me about it. Just fucking ask me and I'll tell you. Or better yet, just learn to be accepting that not everyone is like you.
I'm writing this, not just for me, but for everyone that has ever felt this way. Everyone was new at this once upon a time. I'm not going to conform to the Pagan's community's standard of witchcraft because it doesn't suit someone else. I'm not going to change myself to please my fellow Pagans because it doesn't look like anyone is changing their attitude for me.
You literally do not need a damn thing to be a Witch. You don't need a fancy altar, you don't need ritual tools, and you don't need the robes. You just need yourself. Your power comes from within whether you cast Circle backwards, forwards, or fucking sideways. You just have to point your finger and it's all you baby. So if you're being looked down upon because you don't have the fancy "witch" shit that everyone is buying, you just hand them this article and tell them Lady Rowan has your back.
You take that wand and tell them to shove it up their ass because they're already acting like a huge tool anyway.
Seriously, just walk away because you don't need that kind of negativity in your life. Just relish in the fact that you have progressed in your training to the point where you have become more spiritually enlightened. That you don't have to feel better about yourself by putting others down. That you can accept people for who they are and learn from them. Don't ever lose that will to learn and grow. There is always time for improvement. Those people are your tests and tell them thank you for showing you how not to be a witch.