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Isn't Traditional Witchcraft simply another name for folk magick?

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  • Isn't Traditional Witchcraft simply another name for folk magick?

    From what I have been reading in this forum I am led to believe that Traditional Witchcraft is a form of folk sorcery not, as is Pow Wow magick, or Native American Shamanism, rooted in a specific cultural context.

    It seems like what constitutes Traditional Witchcraft are some family folk practices (no one thankfully is claiming some milennia old pagan survival fam trad), some informal/loose magickal training, an eclectic "use what works" attitude, a dismissal of philosophical doctrine/dogma, an aversion to fluffiness (whatever that means) and an overall "witchyness" akin to the modern image of witches (maybe robes, a besom, an athame, pentacle imagery, seasonal observances, etc).

    I'm not referring to Traditional Wiccan Witchcraft such as that of Gardener or Sanders but Traditional non-Wiccan Witchcraft.

    I'm curious because in my experience many who call themselves Witches without wanting to be called Wiccan are pretty Wiccanesque in their magick from casting a circle to using the traditional tools and elemental attributions but choose to avoid the religious element of the practice.


    )o( Blessed Be,

    Sundragon
    Come visit my blog

    Sorcery and Spirit

    where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

    " Wherever you are is home
    And the earth is paradise
    Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
    You don't live off it like a parasite.
    You live in it, and it in you,
    Or you don't survive.
    And that is the only worship of God there is."

    - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

  • #2
    Traditional Witchcraft is a form of folk sorcery not, as is Pow Wow magick, or Native American Shamanism, rooted in a specific cultural context.
    As far as I can figure, that's the heart of TW right there. It borrows from everything and is bound to nothing save the witch's own morals and cultural moors.
    ~ Cheers! ~

    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy & good with ketchup.



    Stop your ceaseless, senseless babble! If you will not dig deeper than your shallow perceptions, then I shall put this shovel to better use and open your mind the hard way. *waves shovel threateningly*

    The worm in the apple is just extra protein: shut up and eat it.

    sigpic

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Evinmeer View Post
      As far as I can figure, that's the heart of TW right there. It borrows from everything and is bound to nothing save the witch's own morals and cultural moors.
      Wow, that was quick.

      And even better I was right! I love being right. :clapping:


      )o( Blessed Be,

      Sundragon
      Come visit my blog

      Sorcery and Spirit

      where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

      " Wherever you are is home
      And the earth is paradise
      Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
      You don't live off it like a parasite.
      You live in it, and it in you,
      Or you don't survive.
      And that is the only worship of God there is."

      - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

      Comment


      • #4
        What I don't understand is why do the Witches that cast circles and worship the God/Goddess and use Wiccany ritual tools....refuse to call themselves Wiccan? LoL

        I don't do any of those things so I find it hard to call myself a Wiccan...therefore, I am a common traditional witch (i.e. I practice folk magic).
        Last edited by herbal_legends; October 2nd, 2010, 12:03 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          What I don't understand is why do the Witches that cast circles and worship the God/Goddess and use Wiccany ritual tools....refuse to call themselves Wiccan? LoL
          That's a question I ask myself all the time.

          I don't do any of those things so I find it hard to call myself a Wiccan...therefore, I am a common traditional witch (i.e. I practice folk magic)[/COLOR][/B]
          Makes sense to me.


          )o( Blessed Be,

          Sundragon
          Last edited by Sundragon; October 2nd, 2010, 12:34 PM.
          Come visit my blog

          Sorcery and Spirit

          where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

          " Wherever you are is home
          And the earth is paradise
          Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
          You don't live off it like a parasite.
          You live in it, and it in you,
          Or you don't survive.
          And that is the only worship of God there is."

          - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

          Comment


          • #6
            My guess is b/c they're using Wicca as a framework rather than adhering to the majority of its principles. Sort of like a person who goes to church, says grace before their meals and keeps a bible on their coffee table - but doesn't believe in the divinity of Christ/a literal hell/etc. Thus, they may identify as Christian but not as Methodist/Baptist/Catholic.
            ~ Cheers! ~

            Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy & good with ketchup.



            Stop your ceaseless, senseless babble! If you will not dig deeper than your shallow perceptions, then I shall put this shovel to better use and open your mind the hard way. *waves shovel threateningly*

            The worm in the apple is just extra protein: shut up and eat it.

            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Evinmeer View Post
              My guess is b/c they're using Wicca as a framework rather than adhering to the majority of its principles. Sort of like a person who goes to church, says grace before their meals and keeps a bible on their coffee table - but doesn't believe in the divinity of Christ/a literal hell/etc. Thus, they may identify as Christian but not as Methodist/Baptist/Catholic.
              I think that its more like the commonly encountered cultural Christian, they like the trappings of Christianity (the general aesthetic), but not the religious elements...a CINO (Christian in Name Only). They are functionally agnostic in regards to how they live their day to day lives. Most Christians I know fall into this category.


              )o( Blessed Be,

              Sundragon
              Last edited by Sundragon; October 2nd, 2010, 12:55 PM. Reason: Wanted to make my response more clearly worded...I am writing in a bit of a hurry.
              Come visit my blog

              Sorcery and Spirit

              where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

              " Wherever you are is home
              And the earth is paradise
              Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
              You don't live off it like a parasite.
              You live in it, and it in you,
              Or you don't survive.
              And that is the only worship of God there is."

              - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Evinmeer View Post
                My guess is b/c they're using Wicca as a framework rather than adhering to the majority of its principles.
                I'd say that is a good way of putting it. Also, most Traditional Wiccans believe that only those that have been properly trained&initiated can call themselves "Wiccan," so the witches that haven't, and agree, could be among those ranks as well.

                Traditional Witchcraft implies pre-Gardnerian, and Hereditary traditions of folk& cunning craft(and Traditional Wiccans would have knowledge of such, and are quite capable of operating without ritual tools&circles), but my guess is adherents of modern witchcraft might be inclined to deploy the term also.
                Semper Fidelis

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think people use the termonology that has become common but not necessarily in the same light. For instance I hail from a Fam Trad that is stepped in Granny Magics and other folklore type things. Do I cast a circle not at all yet I was taught of using a circle to define the boundaries of my work. except for me the circle is always the reflective glow of the firepit that is the center of my area.

                  So when asked I sometimes say yes I do use a ring but then explain it and how it works. The flickering boundaries reminding one of the constant change and reach of ones works. Also of the constant unknown that takes shape just beyond our clear view of things.

                  But I find that the greater error is that the one hearing assumes it to be a Wiccan framework. It becomes a double fault in that the one speaking does not ensure clarity and the one receiveing makes the assumption on what they think they are hearing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Micheلl View Post
                    I'd say that is a good way of putting it. Also, most Traditional Wiccans believe that only those that have been properly trained&initiated can call themselves "Wiccan," so the witches that haven't, and agree, could be among those ranks as well.
                    Though I have a great deal of respect for Traditional Wicca, I think that some protest too loudly regarding us self-trained/initiated types. I see it like this, the Gods (Lord & Lady, Higher Self, Soul) grant initiation. Sometimes a Gardnerian High Priest/tess can be the vehicle, at other times initiation can be direct experience or process. In my experience the Divine will not be limited and if someone is fit for the path, they will be initiated.

                    Plus, American eclectic Wicca has been around for quite a long time now and I think the system deserves credit for producing some solid Wiccans over the last 30yrs. Sure there are a lot of Wiccans are somewhat uninformed but I think it is fair to say that the occult, in general, attracts flakes/the delusional like shit draws flies.

                    I've noticed that some of the Wiccan schisms are similar to the ridiculous overwrought Golden Dawn schisms in which orders that are founded on largely the same principles are battling over who is True Golden Dawn (tm). These are often some very well trained magicians and they still bicker like children about who is Israel Regardie's standard bearer.

                    Apparently multiple high level initiations into a magickal current/system doesn't bequeath psychological maturity.

                    Traditional Witchcraft implies pre-Gardnerian, and Hereditary traditions of folk& cunning craft(and Traditional Wiccans would have knowledge of such, and are quite capable of operating without ritual tools&circles), but my guess is adherents of modern witchcraft might be inclined to deploy the term also.
                    I can easily work without tools and circles myself because of my non-Wiccan magickal training. I generally prefer a more tradtional type of Wiccan ritual for significant rites/spellcraft, but I can just as easily work magick in a shamanic fashion, with a candle at the dining room table, blast off a quick sigil in chaos magician style, or even (gods forfend) do a little New Age style creative visualization when needed or desired.

                    I think every eclectic Wiccan should be able to do this. To be chained to an altar and tools for the simplest spell is very limiting.


                    )o( Blessed Be,

                    Sundragon
                    Come visit my blog

                    Sorcery and Spirit

                    where I discuss Magick, Mystical Spirituality and whatever else comes to mind.

                    " Wherever you are is home
                    And the earth is paradise
                    Wherever you set your feet is holy land . . .
                    You don't live off it like a parasite.
                    You live in it, and it in you,
                    Or you don't survive.
                    And that is the only worship of God there is."

                    - Wilfred Pelletier and Ted Poole

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                      I'm curious because in my experience many who call themselves Witches without wanting to be called Wiccan are pretty Wiccanesque in their magick from casting a circle to using the traditional tools and elemental attributions but choose to avoid the religious element of the practice.
                      My Folk don't cast circles, but we do create a sacred space. Depending on the worker it could be a circle, or a square, or a freeform shape. It might be an outright barrier, or a proverbial line in the sand. In any case it is establishing a particular space as separate from ordinary reality, nailed through the various subtle worlds to enable the Work to be done.

                      We use a knife, it's sharp, it draws blood and it blesses. We use a cup, and a bowl, and a cauldron. We have wands, staves, and blasting rods. We sometimes wear ritual regalia, but it's usually whatever's comfortable. Sometimes we're naked - if we feel like it. We work outside when possible, inside when not, and have no rules or proscriptions concerning harmful work except "If you're going to do it, don't do it half-cocked."

                      The assumption that because "Wiccans" make a circle/use a knife/have a cup/sometimes go naked, and my Folk -might- do those same things makes what we do "Wiccanesque" is silly. There are biblical accounts of witches making circles of salt, using knives, having wands... etc. and grimoires pre-Gardner showing sorcerers doing the same. The Wica are a continuation of an older current of skill, just as "Traditional Witches" are (because Wica are witches, but not all witches are Wica).

                      I see it like this, the Gods (Lord & Lady, Higher Self, Soul) grant initiation.
                      They absolutely do grant initiation - into their service. They do not, however, grant membership into a human organization that has not signed off on said initiation. My Folk work with gods, but those gods do not grant entry into our Family. We grant that entry. To frame it in terms of reproduction (the famtrad origin of my folk) The Gods may make the soul of the child, but it is two humans that bring that child into the world, and into the Family. The gods can tell me "This person also serves/comes from me", but cannot make that person my Family. One of the Family must do that.

                      Furthermore, as someone who's had people claim to be part of my Family, I've always wondered if people claiming that we "worship the same gods" ever take into account that speak we with the gods frequently, and that those gods might actually have told us "Nope, never met that guy before in my life"?

                      There is a subset of people in the TW community who are there exclusively to distance themselves from what they dislike about Wicca. There are, however, a larger portion who simply felt like they were finally coming home. A place that finally fit, where ideas and words exchanged finally had the same meaning to other people as they did internally. Sure, there's a little emphasis on "witchiness" - but that's what we have as a history, gallows and hags on brooms. That history has power.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                        Though I have a great deal of respect for Traditional Wicca, I think that some protest too loudly regarding us self-trained/initiated types. I see it like this, the Gods (Lord & Lady, Higher Self, Soul) grant initiation. Sometimes a Gardnerian High Priest/tess can be the vehicle, at other times initiation can be direct experience or process. In my experience the Divine will not be limited and if someone is fit for the path, they will be initiated.

                        Plus, American eclectic Wicca has been around for quite a long time now and I think the system deserves credit for producing some solid Wiccans over the last 30yrs. Sure there are a lot of Wiccans are somewhat uninformed but I think it is fair to say that the occult, in general, attracts flakes/the delusional like shit draws flies.

                        I've noticed that some of the Wiccan schisms are similar to the ridiculous overwrought Golden Dawn schisms in which orders that are founded on largely the same principles are battling over who is True Golden Dawn (tm). These are often some very well trained magicians and they still bicker like children about who is Israel Regardie's standard bearer.

                        Apparently multiple high level initiations into a magickal current/system doesn't bequeath psychological maturity.
                        Oh I completely understand where you're coming from mate, and like the schisms in magickal orders, there's been controversy over the "lacking in lineage" in Traditional circles as well, with those that believe some can work through their own mysteries through dedications, while adhering to Wiccan laws&core principles, however, it does seem to be the non-initiates that try and define what Wicca's core principles are, and the traditional coven is becoming somewhat of a rarity these days. Traditional Wicca (Gardnerian&Alexandrian) being an initiatory mystery tradition, this is the only route that one can learn innercourt material such oathbound deity names and such, and be brought through its mysteries.

                        Besides initiation, there are other elements about Wicca that some non-initiates won't acknowledge as part of its criteria, like covens, which are a very important element of Gardnerian&Alexandrian Witchcraft. Of course there are some people that don't benefit from group work, and find alternative methods to accomplish a "similar" substitute, but as any ceremonial magician knows, there are Three Principles of Ritual. The first method is devotion to deity, the second consisting of ceremonial invocation, and the third one being important to Wicca, Formula of Commemoration; Dramatic, and to gain this aesthetic sense is something one simply can't attain as a solitary.

                        These are some deciding factors in what makes something Wicca, or Wiccanesque. One thing about Wicca is that it's experimental in nature, with room to adapt and grow.There are Traditionals that believe there's enough in outercourt material to define itself, but there can only be so much "adaptation" before it changes into something completely different than what it is, and all of the Traditionals I know are in agreement of what it "is", and the rest seems to be something just about every pagan forum has a thread dedicated to :hahugh:



                        Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                        To be chained to an altar and tools for the simplest spell is very limiting.
                        Good man, and I agree, which is why this is something every Traditional Wiccan is trained to be able to work without
                        Semper Fidelis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sundragon View Post
                          Though I have a great deal of respect for Traditional Wicca, I think that some protest too loudly regarding us self-trained/initiated types. I see it like this, the Gods (Lord & Lady, Higher Self, Soul) grant initiation. Sometimes a Gardnerian High Priest/tess can be the vehicle, at other times initiation can be direct experience or process. In my experience the Divine will not be limited and if someone is fit for the path, they will be initiated.
                          Except that Wicca is a specific practice, which is oath-bound. One can worship the Lord and Lady, be accepted, loved, and so on. But, in order to practice Wicca, one must know the rites. How can you know them if you are not initiated? That is the point that traditionalists try to make. Your path, beliefs, and connections are no less valid because you are not initiated, but are they the rites of Wicca?



                          I've noticed that some of the Wiccan schisms are similar to the ridiculous overwrought Golden Dawn schisms in which orders that are founded on largely the same principles are battling over who is True Golden Dawn (tm). These are often some very well trained magicians and they still bicker like children about who is Israel Regardie's standard bearer.

                          Apparently multiple high level initiations into a magickal current/system doesn't bequeath psychological maturity.
                          Um, what? The trads that I know don't argue amongst themselves about who has the Truth. They are all of the same tradition. The only arguing that comes about is when people claim that they are something they aren't.

                          I could claim I was a part of your family, stalk you, have your family photos, birth records, and so on, but would that make me part of your family?



                          I can easily work without tools and circles myself because of my non-Wiccan magickal training. I generally prefer a more tradtional type of Wiccan ritual for significant rites/spellcraft, but I can just as easily work magick in a shamanic fashion, with a candle at the dining room table, blast off a quick sigil in chaos magician style, or even (gods forfend) do a little New Age style creative visualization when needed or desired.

                          I think every eclectic Wiccan should be able to do this. To be chained to an altar and tools for the simplest spell is very limiting.


                          )o( Blessed Be,

                          Sundragon
                          I think that every magical worker should be able to work that way. Traditions, rites, and timely rituals have their place, but if one must always rely on them, then they aren't very skilled. The purest magic comes from the user, and not the tools. The tools just make it easier sometimes.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RoseKitten View Post
                            The trads that I know don't argue amongst themselves about who has the Truth. They are all of the same tradition.
                            Ditto
                            Semper Fidelis

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Micheلl View Post
                              Ditto
                              Actually, upon further thought, this isn't *always* the case. I've met a couple who are still stuck in the "Gards are just the best" mindset, and still think it's the 70's. :weirdsmil
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