In adverts for our business 'Raven', magical suppliers, we often insert the phrase 'Suppliers of Weird and Wonderful Magical Stuff.', which is a phrase which has strange and exotic connotations - and of course includes the word 'weird'.
These days the word 'weird' means something strange or bizarre, but the word 'weird' has some very ancient and magical roots.
One sense of it relates to fate or destiny. This is often seen in Scottish folk tales, where you might be told that you will have to 'live out your weird' which means, that you are destined to follow a particular path, your fate is to behave in a certain manner, or to undergo certain trials, and as it is your fate there is no escaping it. It also refers to the Norns, the three Goddesses of destiny who live in a cave at the roots of the world tree Yggdrasil and are the northern equivalent of the Greek Fates.
In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, there are three witches who are referred to as the Weird Sisters, and who make predictions to Macbeth about his fate or destiny. These are, of course the Norns again. The inevitability of the pronouncements of the goddesses of fate has led to these predictions often being referred to as 'doom' and in 'he met his doom' or "'My doom is come upon me!', cried the Lady of Shallott."
In Old English the word is sometimes spelled 'wyrd' and as well as meaning fate, destiny, strange, bizarre it also means both uncanny and supernatural. Wyrd also refers to a way of approaching the unknown. Brian Bates wrote a smashing fiction book called 'The Way of Wyrd' which is the tale of an Anglo-Saxon sorcerer or shaman and his approach to the unseen but very real spirit world. Although this is a work of fiction, it contains a great deal of magical insight, wisdom and teaching too if you have the wit to see it and the Will to make use of it.
Wyrd is a word that describes the world of magic and Witchcraft. This does not mean that everything in the world is 'doomed' to happen, or that you are bound to your predicted fate.
Prediction can be likened to making a weather forecast or even a road map: that the conditions surrounding you, and your actions in those surroundings indicate that this, this and this will also occur. Those predictions are showing you that if you keep your feet on this particular path, your destiny will be found further along that same path. However what this Wyrd also tells you is that: if you do not want to visit that particular destination you can NOW do something about changing your circumstances to put yourself on a different path.
Witchcraft is very often about the manipulation of those Wyrd energies. Witchcraft helps you to choose which Wyrd you want and helps you get on to the right path to get to the destiny you choose, instead of the one you are just allowing yourself to be steered towards.
Witchcraft is therefore about making choices, not about bewailing your sad fate, but about seizing your Wyrd and making it what you want it to be.
So, am I weird? Oh yes!
Wyrd and proud of it.