We can know our will, we can give it away. We can be told to have more will power when trying to stop a bad habit, and in the same breath be told to follow a far off Deity’s will and not our own.
A wilful child is stubborn. Someone who doesn’t know what they will is indecisive.
Philosophers and theologians have been cussing and discussing for centuries the questions of whether or not we have free will, or if you lives are laid out before us in a pre-destined plan. Perhaps we only think we have free will and that is nought but illusion? You can end up in a maze of what ifs following this line of questioning.
To Will is a phrase that in many ways is the key spell casting. The Witch wills it to be, and it is done. But the word Will has been bandied about so much, and has so many nuanced meanings, it can sometimes be hard to figure out just why it’s been included in the 4 pillars of magic.
Purely by coincidence (and I don’t actually believe in such a creature), my youngest son was talking to me about one his the games he likes to play on the computer. Which came isn’t important and besides I have no clue…
Anyway, he asked me, “Mum, what is perseverance?” It’s sticking to something until you complete it. Like when your character is killed in the game and you keep going back and trying again until you get through that section.
He took this conversation away with him, and a few days later told me that he had been talking about it with his school mates. They asked the same question, and he told them. “It’s having the will to continue on even if you initially lose.”
Ahhh, and I asked him, “So what’s will?” At which point he gave me a look as only a
pre-teen can do and told me to just not go there.
When I sit here, trying to figure out and work my head around the phrase To Will, I can feel myself getting that same look on my own face. Just don’t go there. Will I find myself writing myself into circles as I try to find a way of expressing what Will is? Will I leave us more confused at the end as to what I am trying to say?
Children are simultaneously told, don’t be so wilful as they are told to have more willpower. Members of many religions recite prayers where they surrender their will to God (by whatever name they may know their God) and certainly followers of 12-step programs are told that willpower in itself won’t help them recover but will continue to keep them sick. In order to recover, they too need to surrender their will to a Higher Power, as they understand it.
But the witch, the witch takes her Will and harnesses that power, that perseverance and focuses it on moulding energy to create magic. The witch acknowledges that there are forces greater than herself, but she is in herself also a force. Not content to be blithely led where the Gods may lead, she takes up her staff and her lantern and says, “I’ll lead the way.” She has the strength, the power, the perseverance, the Will inside of her.