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  • #31
    How do you know that you're not practicing witchcraft?
    Being a witch is a state of mind and a way of life. You don't necessarily need to cast a spell once a week or anything like that. It's about your connection to nature.....it's about focused intent. When I'm cooking soup to help nurse my 5 year old back to health and I focus all my positive energy on it, that's witchcraft. When I light a candle and send up a prayer, that's witchcraft. When I think about someone and wish them the best (or worst), that is witchcraft. When I sweep my kitchen and imagine all the negativity being swept away or when I'm in my garden tending to my flowers and herbs...guess what? That's my form of witchcraft.


    I don't advise people to label themselves things that they aren't but we don't know enough about your lifestyle to really make a judgement.
    Calling yourself a witch when you're not is probably just as silly as me calling myself Korean (I'm German and Haitian). Yeah people do place too much emphasis on Labels...but they were created for a reason....it's what language is all about...if labels didn't matter then we wouldn't be able to communicate or function properly in society.

    'Spiritual' might be a better label if you indeed don't have any form of witchcraft in your life.
    Last edited by herbal_legends; September 25th, 2010, 10:44 AM.

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    • #32
      The last thread "What constitutes a non-Wiccan Witch' has turned into a debate. I don't want to debate why I like Laurie Cabot, I don't want to hear about her police record, I don't want to hear people talk about how she dresses. Can something please be done.

      Oh about this thread, just go with the flow.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
        I've just gotten back into the world of witchcraft and I'm very proud of calling myself a witch. Love the name, love what it means. However if you don't practice witchcraft much anymore it doesn't mean that your not a witch. I agree with a couple people here, including the one that stated that people put too much importance into labels. Also saying that your an astronaut when your not is something that I just don't get.

        Who would call themselves that if they weren't, except six-year-old's. What she was talking about has nothing to do with what you mentioned. Be a witch and don't let others tell you that your not .
        Actually, many people apply labels that don't fit simply because they like the idea of what that label entails.

        Labels don't matter, but if one is going to use one, they better make damn sure it fits.
        "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common:
        instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views,
        which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering."

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        • #34
          Woah, necroposting

          My opinion:


          Witch = Someone who practices Witchcraft


          Using the name witch even tho you no longer practice witchcraft sounds to me a bit like you're just using it cause you like the word, which is all very well but i don't go around calling myself a teenager even tho i used to be one all because i like the word. My sister was a model ten years ago but she sure as hell doesn't claim to be one now.

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          • #35
            I think herbals response sums up a lot of my own feelings on the matter. One has to define what witchcraft is first, and then one has to define what magic is. Although I do agree that if you say you do not practice any kind of magic, then you are not a Witch.

            I am a Witch, however because of having two small children, busy schedule and what not I haven't done anything major in a long long time. Oh, and I've never ever been in any "rituals" other than my own. No public stuff for me, I'm anti social...but that is going OT now, hhaaha.

            Anyways, just because the things I do are small doesn't mean I am not a witch. Just because I have periods where I am depressed or have no energy to do anything doesn't mean I am not one either.

            I think its when people apply a label when they've never even done stuff to begin with, or when ones path changes and they are something completely different.

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            • #36
              If it's just a linguistic issue for you, I would just say "No, you're not a Witch." But at the same time it's kind of a gray area for me because you did practice in the past and plan to in the future... how long does a hiatus have to be before you temporarily change labels?

              If you really want to call yourself a Witch, though, then my answer is: Practice Witchcraft. Take up Kitchen Witchery or something. It'll give you practice and you can keep your label.

              Speaking of labels, I think it's a little silly that people are so anti-label. One of the neat things about being human is that we use language, and what's language but a slew of labels? If people just randomly use whatever words they want for everything, nobody is going to understand each other.

              Originally posted by Greybird View Post
              A 'witch' is someone who practices 'witchcraft'. Witchcraft can mean a whole slew of things, from a European flavor of magic to diabolism. Anthropologists and folklorists use the term to refer to any kind of magic or supernatural power - yeah, that's vague, but whether pagans like it or not, those are genuine, legitimate uses of the word, established over a period of centuries.
              I agree with this... mostly. Europeans are not the only ones with license to use the word "Witch," the word has been used for a really long time for non-European magic as well. That said, if a non-European practitioner chooses to call him or herself a Witch or his or her practice Witchcraft, there is no legitimate reason to prevent that.

              However, I'd like to make a few points quick. Anthropologists don't usually call all magic and supernatural power "witchcraft." The reason is that the word is very pejorative in a lot of cultural contexts. If you call people in particular cultures witches, even if they use magic on a regular basis, they would be very offended because there is no positive connotation for them where there would be for most of us.

              Positive associations with witchcraft are generally referring to European sourced magick. However, it's also untrue to say people practicing European forms are the only ones who have the right to use the word. Because of the way the history of the word panned out, that's simply not true.

              So it's not linguistically wrong, but I would definitely caution people against using the word outside of a European magickal context purely because it can reek of cultural insensitivity when you do.

              On a personal level, I am a Witch. I practice Witchcraft very similar to what most Wiccans would be practicing, with many roots in European folk magic. I also use heka, an ancient Egyptian form of magic, but it would feel really weird to me to call that "witchcraft" because it feels culturally irrelevant.

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              • #37
                Those who claim the title of a Witch is one who recognizes the energy within themselves to affect change.

                To go by the shallow definition that most are giving, I can only claim the title of Witch while I am practicing magick.

                The real debate here is, 'How much time is allowed to go without casting, in relation to claiming the title of witch?'
                I'm going to take this example to the extreme. As I'm casting a spell, I'm a witch. After the spell is cast, I'm no longer a witch.

                ..... How much sense does that make? None.

                You are an astronaut as long as you are paid to be one. Once you RETIRE from being an astronaut, then you USE to be an astronaut. We never "retire" from being a Witch unless we denounce the title. We can 'be' one whenever we want. Once an astronaut is no longer an astronaut, they can't just go out and do 'astronaut' things. A witch, current or even former, can practice witchcraft whenever they want. In the case of former, they can reclaim the title whenever they feel like they want to.
                Last edited by Cake-eating_Moth; October 1st, 2010, 08:01 PM.

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                • #38
                  A witch is any practitioner of magic(k) that identifies with the term, and there are many that do not identify with the term. Most Ceremonial Magicians don't, preferring the term magus, or magician. Crowley himself despised the term, and oddly enough he has had a tremendous influence on modern pagan witchcraft. It's mostly associated with folk, practical, and operative low magic(k). ("low" and "high" are also labels many practitioners of magick don't recognise, or agree with, but they are still out there.)

                  It's an English word of Anglo-Saxon origin with a debatable meaning. It's been associated with many folk and cunning craft traditions, and often practitioners of arts and crafts associated with such may identify the term, and again, many do not, preferring the terms herbalist, astrologer, diviner, spiritualist, e.t.c. Many do not prefer the term, who have known it as an offensive term the church linked with devil worship, and its use in the English language to describe malicious, supernatural traditions of ill will intended to cause harm, or misfortune.

                  In religious witchcraft traditions, it is a title, that is earned. A title that with initiation one becomes enlightened, and introduced to the mysteries, on an initiation that takes place with the Gods. Therefore, like many titles, once it's been earned, it can't be taken away.

                  Therefore if one identifies with the label, there can be many reasons why, but these reasons needn't be explained, or justified. Whether a title, or a way of life, it's a lifestyle that's a part of who you are. Twisting practices and definitions in order to use the label won't do any good. It's not a term of technical consideration, put one in which its affiliations are lived and met on a daily basis.
                  Semper Fidelis

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Cake-eating_Moth View Post
                    Those who claim the title of a Witch is one who recognizes the energy within themselves to affect change.

                    To go by the shallow definition that most are giving, I can only claim the title of Witch while I am practicing magick.

                    The real debate here is, 'How much time is allowed to go without casting, in relation to claiming the title of witch?'
                    I'm going to take this example to the extreme. As I'm casting a spell, I'm a witch. After the spell is cast, I'm no longer a witch.

                    ..... How much sense does that make? None.

                    You are an astronaut as long as you are paid to be one. Once you RETIRE from being an astronaut, then you USE to be an astronaut. We never "retire" from being a Witch unless we denounce the title. We can 'be' one whenever we want. Once an astronaut is no longer an astronaut, they can't just go out and do 'astronaut' things. A witch, current or even former, can practice witchcraft whenever they want. In the case of former, they can reclaim the title whenever they feel like they want to.
                    This sums up my thoughts.
                    I'm a Christian Witch, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

                    Proudly German-Canadian.

                    I find it overly pretentious when people call themselves "Lady _________." My username would just have been "Dryad," had that not been taken and were I not unoriginal in picking names for things.
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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Cake-eating_Moth
                      To go by the shallow definition that most are giving, I can only claim the title of Witch while I am practicing magick. ... I'm going to take this example to the extreme. As I'm casting a spell, I'm a witch. After the spell is cast, I'm no longer a witch.
                      It's not that shallow. The definition most people here are using is "A Witch is someone who practices Witchcraft." If you do not practice Witchcraft, you are not a Witch, even if you used to be.

                      I'm not saying that the OP absolutely isn't a Witch, but a few years without practicing at all is a long time. I guess it would depend on how she viewed herself in the past few years. Say, for example, one reviews things on a case by case basis and just doesn't feel the need to use magick in each one for a long time. Then I'd say she or he is still a Witch because that thought process and intent is there. But if you go years just plain not practicing Witchcraft, whether because it doesn't cross your mind or because you are deliberately avoiding it, then you're just not a Witch anymore.

                      It's the exact same reason I don't call myself a cartoonist. I used to draw a strip. I totally intend to draw cartoons again. But I haven't done it in quite a long time. So as much as I wish I still was, I'm not.

                      I kind of wonder if people are turning this into a value judgment. There's nothing about being a Witch that makes one superior to others, it's just a state of being, it's not a big deal not to be one.

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                      • #41
                        I've not read this entire thread, but how are we defining "witchcraft"?

                        For me, it doesn't even require spells, it's a state of being. I feel nature moving, the energy that is around me flowing. I rarely cast spells, in fact, I think it's been at least a year since I did. Does that make me less of a witch? To me, being a witch is not only feeling, but interacting with the energy around us. I pour myself into everything that I do, and I balance myself with the energy around me. My connection to the world is what makes me a witch, not how many spells I cast.
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by RoseKitten View Post
                          I've not read this entire thread, but how are we defining "witchcraft"?

                          For me, it doesn't even require spells, it's a state of being. I feel nature moving, the energy that is around me flowing. I rarely cast spells, in fact, I think it's been at least a year since I did. Does that make me less of a witch? To me, being a witch is not only feeling, but interacting with the energy around us. I pour myself into everything that I do, and I balance myself with the energy around me. My connection to the world is what makes me a witch, not how many spells I cast.
                          Sure you can be a witch without doing magick, in the same manner a trained surgeon who no longer performs surgery is still technically a surgeon. A carpenter who no longer perfoms his/her craft is still a trained carpenter. If witchcraft is merely the knowledge and ability to work practical magick like a sorcerer (which seems to be exactly what a non Wiccan witch is for all intents and purposes) then you are witch due to training if nothing else.


                          )o( Blessed Be,

                          Sundragon
                          Last edited by Sundragon; October 2nd, 2010, 10:42 AM.
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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                            Sure you can be a witch without doing magick, in the same manner a trained surgeon who no longer performs surgery is still technically a surgeon. A carpenter who no longer perfoms his/her craft is still a trained carpenter. If witchcraft is merely the knowledge and ability to work practical magick like a sorcerer (which seems to be exactly what a non Wiccan witch is for all intents and purposes) then you are witch due to training if nothing else.


                            )o( Blessed Be,

                            Sundragon
                            So, in order to practice magic, one must cast spells? Funny, I know few true witches that use spells on a regular basis. It is quite possible to work magic without working spells.
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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by RoseKitten View Post
                              So, in order to practice magic, one must cast spells? Funny, I know few true witches that use spells on a regular basis. It is quite possible to work magic without working spells.

                              For me this brings up the question "what is the definition of a spell?"

                              I know lots of people who have a very rigid definition of the word "spell," and lots that consider cooking and putting herbs and positive energies into the food a "spell."
                              I'm a Christian Witch, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

                              Proudly German-Canadian.

                              I find it overly pretentious when people call themselves "Lady _________." My username would just have been "Dryad," had that not been taken and were I not unoriginal in picking names for things.
                              By no means do I consider myself "Lady" anything.

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