Posted Under Paganism & Witchcraft

The Way of the Warrior Witch

Woman with Ram Embodying Aries

The larger, archetypal patterns of the human psyche are creative paths of growth that we are drawn to in one degree or another through our individual, soul-level interests and connections. Archetypes are broadly applicable to humanity and exist in our collective unconscious, where they offer us inspiration and resources we can tap into to create a fulfilling life for ourselves.

The Warrior Archetype is a necessary one for a healthy society. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most destructive when misused and misunderstood, as it often is. It is a formidable power that needs to be shaped and directed in beneficial ways, particularly if one is a witch.

Why is it so important for witches? Because among its gifts is the ability to stand strong in our power to shift and shape reality, and that power comes with an ethical responsibility to use it wisely.

Everyone has some connection to the Warrior archetype—it's what drives us to take action, and helps us claim the territory of our life. The Warrior archetype expresses itself in all genders, and each individual will access this psychic energy to differing degrees, and in different manners.

From an astrological perspective, we all have the sign Aries and the planet Mars in our astrological charts. If either the sign or the planet are emphasized in your birth chart, then it is likely that you resonate strongly with Warrior energy.

In our creative world of free will, conflict is inevitable. The Warrior's job is to resolve that conflict to their satisfaction. What that satisfaction looks like depends on the individual's character—they may be fighting for a cause, in defense of others, in revenge, or just for personal gratification. The values of the warrior are an important factor in how these conflicts play out.

While physical conflict is certainly part of the Warrior energy, it does not define it. What defines it is the courage to take a stand, to risk personal harm in defense of what they believe is right, or to clear a path ahead, removing any obstacles in the way. This courage can come into play in emotional, mental, and/or social arenas, not just physical.

The shadow side of this archetype is well-known in our world—it is conquering, colonizing, violent, and demands domination of others. We see it everywhere, from wars between nations to the schoolyard bully. Because it is an archetype, we can't get rid of it. It's part of the collective unconscious of humanity. We can, however, explore and express its beneficial side. And because we are witches, we can reflect a more helpful side of the archetype out into the zeitgeist through our magic, which will weaken the power of its shadow side.

Here are some ideas about how to untangle this archetype from its more problematic implementations and put the strength it offers us to use in our Craft.

I'll use the Witches' Pyramid—To Know, To Dare, To Will, and To Keep Silence—to explore the path of the Warrior witch through an elemental lens.

Witch's Pyramid

To Know: The Power of Air
The Warrior witch understands the power of knowledge, and never stops learning. But in our internet-connected age, we must also learn how to discriminate between what's important to know, and what's just part of the blizzard of facts and ideas that we are exposed to every day. Otherwise, we scatter our mental energy chasing information instead of using that energy to create.

The mind is one of the most important tools of the witch. Working to train and sharpen the mind should be an ongoing daily practice. This can involve meditation, journaling, divination, reading, and/or conversations with others.

These mental exercises are focused not only on external realities, but also on the inner self and psyche. We can use them to uncover and change problematic or conflicting beliefs that are often impressed on us in childhood and carried through into adulthood where they become subconscious drivers of our actions.

Knowledge of the world around us, knowledge of other people, and knowledge of our inner self are not gained solely through information-gathering by our rational, conscious mind. We must also become more aware of those levels of our minds that reach out into realms of reality our conscious minds cannot directly access. There is knowledge and wisdom available to us there if we train our minds to be open to dreams, synchronicities, and received wisdom.

One of my favorite stories about accessing this expanded wisdom happened in 1865, when the brilliant organic chemist August Kekulé slipped into a daydream. The structure of the benzene molecule was one of the biggest scientific puzzles of the era, and Kekulé had been working on this challenge for some time.

In his daydream, Kekulé had a vision of the ouroboros—an ancient circular symbol of a snake eating its own tail—and recognized, as he awoke, that the benzene molecule must incorporate a circular structure of atoms (what is now called the benzene ring). It remains one of the most important discoveries in chemistry.

The Warrior witch gathers knowledge from many sources, and uses it to discern, understand, and influence the patterns of the Universe.

To Will: The Power of Fire
Will takes desire and turns it into action. Using our will begins with knowing what we want, then making a decision and taking action to acquire it.

The Warrior witch is in relationship with the world around them, and their Will is responsive to the Mystery, in the same way a fighter is always in relationship with and responsive to their opponent, a dancer with their dance partner, a rider with their horse.

Magic is a weaving of energy, a living field of relationships within which we create change through the choices and decisions we make, and then impress upon the fabric of the Universe. Witchcraft happens when we engage consciously with something larger than ourselves, when our actions line up with our choices, our choices line up with our desires, and our desires are born from a seeker's awareness of the Mystery, the spiritual component of life, both known and unknown. This is the cauldron from which we draw the creative energy that forms our desires and drives the actions we take.

Our will is strengthened through constant use. The Warrior Witch stays aware and holds a vision of their desires, then, with great determination, does the work needed—both magical and mundane—to influence reality in the direction of their vision.

To Dare: The Power of Water
With the Element of Water, we come into the realm of our emotions, and the Warrior witch is willing to dive into the deep water, the realms of the unconscious, to access the full power of this Element.

Daring, a.k.a. courage, is an emotion that inspires us to take willful action. When we dare to step into an unknown future, risking anything from our personal comfort to our emotional health to our very lives, we move into a realm of creative agency, and allow ourselves to fully engage with life.

A witch has already dared much by embracing witchcraft. The path of the witch is not an easy one, for it requires us to face not only external opposition to what we are, but to face ourselves. To see our emotions and motivations clearly and be willing to change as we free our true Self from the chains of childhood indoctrination and cultural expectations.

The belief that humans cannot control their emotions is only partially true. If we weren't able to control them to some degree, we would not have been able to create civilizations. Mayhem would reign. For the witch, expanding our ability to control and direct our emotions is an important part of the work of magic. The Warrior witch will work to strengthen the emotion of courage in themselves, because our soul calls us to dare, to take risks in defense of what we value.

To Keep Silence: The Power of Earth
I prefer the idea of keeping silence rather than the more common "To be silent" because keeping silence is a state of being we can choose, rather than being told—as so many are—to "be silent."

When they want to, the Warrior witch can pull silence around them like a cloak. They may observe without being observed, may listen without speaking, may silence their own mind in order to enter an expanded awareness.

They also understand how silence can empower magical workings by containing and condensing the energy. While there are certainly circumstances that are well suited to public workings, for most spellwork, it's best to restrict any knowledge of it to those who need to know.

Discussion should also be restricted to necessary communications. Your coven/lodge/grove might have worked the spell as a group, but that doesn't mean you should chit-chat about it. This also applies to the discussion that goes on in your own head: "Did I do it right?" "Is it working?" "What if…?" Constant checking and questioning dissipates the magic.

It's often recommended to just do the spell and then forget about it, but that's difficult, given that we are usually emotionally invested in the outcome. Forgetting is also not necessarily the best choice. Spells often take time to develop and materialize and can benefit from regular infusions of energy.

My solution to this involves setting specific times to revisit the spell—once a week, once a month, whatever seems appropriate. Then I can assess what's needed and funnel in some more energy, or maybe decide to shut it down and try again later.

For those inevitable times when those thoughts and questions pop into my head, I create a short affirmation that distills the desired outcome of the spell into a few words. That way, when those questions pop up, instead of going down the rabbit hole of, "Is it working?" I can simply repeat the affirmation a few times (silently or out loud), then firmly point my mind in another direction.

Many people are uncomfortable with silence and try to avoid it, even if that means having the TV on all the time. But the Warrior witch enters the silence fearlessly and draws power from it.

Finding Your Way
Anyone can access the Warrior archetype, and it is part of us all to a greater or lesser degree. The witch has already taken a step onto the Warrior's path: witchcraft is a path of risk and demands at least some proficiency in the Warrior's skills. There is no single way for the Warrior witch—we must each find our own path.

For some, the call of this archetype is strong within us, and it's important to recognize that our path is not limited to the military or sports arenas. Our personal values will lead us to the battles where our skills are needed, and those skills may or may not include physical fighting. What they will include is determination, courage, and the wisdom distilled from an attentive and disciplined mind that can embrace silence.

In astrology, the Warrior archetype is assigned to the sign of Aries, and the planet Mars. Everyone has both the sign and the planet somewhere in their chart. If either of them are strengthened or emphasized by their position in your chart or their ties to other planets, then it's quite possible that you are one of those who feels the call of the Warrior's way. I recently co-wrote a book with Ivo Dominguez, Jr. called Aries Witch. It's the first in Llewellyn's Witches' Sun Sign series, and you may want to read it if you resonate with the Warrior witch archetype, especially if your Sun, Moon, or Ascendent is in the sign of Aries. You'll gain a new perspective on your witchcraft through the lens of your sign, and learn how to use your inborn talents more effectively in your craft.

There will be twelve books in this series, one for each sign, so don't feel left out if you’re not an Aries! You've probably guessed that I'm an Aries, and the other eleven books will be co-authored (with Ivo) by someone with that Sun sign. All twelve will be released over the next year. It's a wonderful series that will help you learn enough about your personal astrology to empower your witchcraft.

About Diotima Mantineia

Diotima Mantineia is a witch and has been a professional astrologer and tarot reader for more than thirty years. She is also the author of Touch the Earth, Kiss the Sky: Allowing the Rational Mind to Welcome Magic and ...

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