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What is a Traditional Witchcraft?

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  • #76
    Thanks for the post, I've learned something new today. However I was mostly talking about Dark Age nobles being able to read and write and poor people not being able to. They had to work on the farm and didn't have time, or couldn't afford, to learn to read. In-fact the bibles that came out during the dark ages had mostly pictures so that even the poor could tell what the bible was talking about.

    It was really beautiful.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by MicheŁ„l View Post
      That's also a bit of misinformation that can be cleared up by academia. British scholar Owen Davies did a study about cunningfolk and conjurors in the British Isles from 1740-1940. Summing up his essay, Hutton states,

      "He himself collected and analysed a sample of forty-one male practitioners for whom relatively detailed information survives, and found that they were overwhelmingly drawn from two closely related economic groups: tradesmen and artisans. The remainder (fourteen individuals) were mainly herbalists or schoolmasters. Female practioners formed a large minority of the cunning craft, often being married or widowed. They were every bit as popular and commercially successful as the men, and indeed this was one of the few means by which ordinary women could achieve a respected and independant position."

      Further elaborating on charmers,"they were drawn from the same social groups. The upper ranks (above those of small retailer and farmer) were not represented, as these by definition did not engage in trades or crafts; but agricultural labourers, and the huge mass of the poorest members of society, were likewise almost wholly missing." One reason for this is because clients of the charmers and cunning folk were from the lower classes, that would consort someone higher than them for help, and another stated, "literacy and learning were percieved as intergral accomplishments for most types of cunning craft."

      Owens states this perfectly in his own words,

      "The evidence points to the fact that an illiterate cunning person was unlikely to go far. The outward sign of their accomplishment was that they possessed books, an immediate distinction in a society which, even by the mid-nineteenth century, it was exceptional for an ordinary household to own any except the Bible"
      Kind of post I like.. informed, researched and .... intended to enlighten... Excellent...
      sigpic

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      • #78
        Why thanks
        Semper Fidelis

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
          Thanks for the post, I've learned something new today. However I was mostly talking about Dark Age nobles being able to read and write and poor people not being able to. They had to work on the farm and didn't have time, or couldn't afford, to learn to read. In-fact the bibles that came out during the dark ages had mostly pictures so that even the poor could tell what the bible was talking about.

          It was really beautiful.
          To my knowledge you would be correct, though the Bibles I have seen had a lot of words, so I don't know about that last sentence. Fedual lords did not allow their serfs to learn, they couldn't anyways, didn't have the time while they were slaving away in the fields.

          Funny how miscommunications work, eh?

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          • #80
            I watched a show about ancient Bibles so that's how I know. Of course we know that all changed with the Lords over the serfs after the Black Death.

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
              I watched a show about ancient Bibles so that's how I know. Of course we know that all changed with the Lords over the serfs after the Black Death.
              You mean Renaissance Ideals spread? With a great deal of the population gone they had no choice but to adapt. Ebb and flow.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Caitlin.ann View Post
                You mean Renaissance Ideals spread? With a great deal of the population gone they had no choice but to adapt. Ebb and flow.
                True, the Renaissance started after the Black Death. New ideas, new thinking, and the Gods returned at last. It was mainly just the Greek gods but it was a start.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
                  Thanks for the post, I've learned something new today. However I was mostly talking about Dark Age nobles being able to read and write and poor people not being able to. They had to work on the farm and didn't have time, or couldn't afford, to learn to read. In-fact the bibles that came out during the dark ages had mostly pictures so that even the poor could tell what the bible was talking about.

                  It was really beautiful.
                  No worries. You would be right in regards to literacy in the Middle Ages, however, I don't see how this period would tie in with "Traditional Witchcraft," in which it's roots are placed in nineteenth century Europe. We're talking about a time period that after the pull out of Roman, experienced a period of Norse Paganism, until it was the Celtic Christian Church that held it up, before the re-adoption of Roman Catholic standard. Historians place the Medieval Inquisition between the years 1184-1230s. During the Witch "Trials" in Europe, which roughly from 1400-1700, the bulk of the trials were concentrated in specific areas, usually by German Catholics, and Scottish Calvinists from 1560-1630.

                  These Traditional Witch sites place emphasis on cunning traditions of Western Europe, notably the British Isles, where we know most cunning folk were able to function. Most of the cunning folk persecuted during the Witchcraft Act of 1736(in which the maximum sentence was a year's imprisonment) were mostly crooks, who were denounced by magistrates from unsatisfied clients. "Witch mobbing" ended with the creation of county police forces in 1856, there was even an Occultists' Defence League founded in 1879, and witch persecutions waned from 1910(where defenders received much public sympathy), until the Act was appealed in 1951.

                  As far as literacy goes in this time, Hutton again perfectly states,

                  "Assumption that distinct and ancient 'oral tradition,' had endured among country people until modern times, sealed off from literate culture in an essentially unchanging provincial world, had been badly wrong. Systematic research has now proved that England had ceased to be a pre-literate society before the end of the sixteenth century, that reading, writing, and published works were an integral part of even small agricultural communities by that time-even if only a few people in each settlement could deploy them, on behalf of the rest-and that oral and written traditions intermingled and constantly enriched and informed each other. Written culture and spken culture were not two different worlds, but mirrors that reflected each other. To a lesser extent this last view point had been true since the early Middle Ages."

                  Clearly anyone claiming to follow a family tradition descended from the Middle Ages are spinning yarns, a feat that can't even hold up to the time of language. Most diaspora "Traditional Witches" can't even speak the language of their ancestors, which is something that has even been maintained by the Amish to a certain extent.
                  Semper Fidelis

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                  • #84
                    Admin mode

                    warning

                    Warning



                    Making broad sweeping blanket statements about a whole path being 'fluffy' or such is treading close to being path bashing. Please watch what you say about others.



                    *~*~*~*~**~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

                    Resident Beotch


                    It seems some folks confuse "secrets" with Mysteries.
                    The Mysteries aren't secret.
                    They are there for whoever wishes to seek them out.
                    There just aren't any shortcuts.

                    That's the Secret.

                    Don't ask Life to polish you into a jewel and then complain about all the rough treatment!

                    If you're talking shit behind my back - then you're close enough to kiss my ass.


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