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

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  • #16
    Many traditions seem to only address mystical initiations and ignore those that would test the maturity and mental readiness of the initiate. Their initiations have all the pomp and circumstance of a wedding and as little substance as cotton candy. In other words, the initiation may make you feel more witchy for the moment, but in the long term it does nothing for you.

    Some trads hand out initiations like door prizes and its no wonder that the initiates do not value them; one does not value what is given, one values what is earned. Since the initiates do not feel they have earned anything other than a party in their honor (which is what a lot of initiations turn into - one ritual and multiple hours of celebration) they soon get bored and move on. The students that lasted the longest when I still taught were those that had to actually break a sweat.

    Traditional Witchcraft started out as a catchphrase for "folk magic" (hedgewitchery, kitchen witchery, stump magic, call it what you will). There were no rules because it wasn't a religion, it was a category of practices kind of like its subset of Fam-Trad (Family Tradition). They both describe a kind of spiritual path and they are related but they are not the same things. Nor are all the paths that come under their umbrellas the same paths or even of similar beliefs.

    Its the nature of the beast, everyone wants to feel special so they trying take a title for themselves. Personally, instead of taking umbrella terms and pretending they are religions I would love to see them get creative. I got a friend who calls herself a "Bologna Sandwitch of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Tradition"; that's a label. I got another friend who is into witchcraft and Sims 2 exclusively so she calls herself a "Grilled Cheese Goddess". I just do not get the folks that make up their own way of doing things and then try to slap someone elses name on it and pretend its the same thing.
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    • #17
      Originally posted by RoseKitten View Post
      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
      I was at a B-day party composed of mostly Lexies, with a few Gard friends, and towards the end of the night, when we were all nice and merry, people were shouting in good spirit, "Technically we're all Gards!" :bigblue:
      Semper Fidelis


      • #18
        Actually it often time, many times, is culture, with different families practices, but rooting all around the same thing. Appalachians come to my mind.

        While Wiccans dont *need* to cast circles, have certain tools, etc etc (well, not according to all "Wiccans") They tend to be a pretty big staple with them, where as with non, they may be, or they may not be..usually falling under the, not be.

        As it was told to me by a long long practicing Traditional Wiccan, this is the core structure or Wicca.

        1. Law of Return / Law of Balance / Threefold Law (the concept of action = reaction)
        2. Belief in Polytheism (more than one divine form), possibly including Pantheism (divinity in all things) and/or Animism (all things have life energy)
        3. Celebrating the Sabbats (four or eight) and Esbats (recognition of the seasons/solar cycles and of the lunar cycles)
        4. Belief in Diety, generally both god and goddess energies (otherwise it's a practice or a philosophy, not a Religion)
        5. Belief in the existence of Witchcraft/Magic (whether actually practiced or not)
        6. Belief that Wicca is experienced, not simply taught
        7. The Great Rite or Sacred Marriage (whether actual or symbolic) and Creative Energies
        8. Taking personal responsibility
        9. Constant Improvement (learning, study, practice, etc)

        Traditional Witchcraft, may have a few of these things, but we may not. Alot of them I do not agree with, so therefor, I am not Wiccan or even close to it.

        As you can see, it has nothing in it about tools or I fail to see how you can call anyone Wiccan simply based on how they do magic, if they do magic.


        • #19
          I've been reading the two pages of responses and I'll admit that a lot of you do make good points. Let's keep the ball rolling on this one.


          • #20
            Originally posted by EntwinedScylla View Post
            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).

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