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  • Witchcraft 101

    I am having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around witchcraft. Now I am not too interested in the different paths within Witchcraft, but just the bare bones. I know that there is a concept of energy. What is this? How is it applied? I have seen some equate witchcraft with magic. Thoughts?
    Cultivate inner peace and thousands around you will be saved.
    St. Seraphim of Sarov
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  • #2
    Ok, here's my understanding from my experience:

    Witchcraft is exactly that - a craft. It is a practice of using magick (only spelled with a "k" to distinguish it from stage illusion). Magick is the art of manipulating energy to bend it to one's will. Since all things are made of/contain some level of energy, it is not so far fetched that I can focus my personal energy on a situation, person, or thing in order to change it. It follows, then, that b/c thoughts are (as everything else) composed of energy, then thoughts are things. This is where the idea of "as above, so below" comes in. If you can put energy into creating something on an energetic plane (the astral), then you can make it manifest on the material plane. Just as I use the force of my energy to make my hand turn a door knob & make my foot step through the door, so I can use the force of my energy to make myself invisible to those I don't want to see me, add extra healing to an herbal tea, set protective energy boundaries, or cause someone to feel my presence from a great distance.

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    • #3
      Thank you so much. So witchcraft really comes down to magick and how it is used in my everyday life then? Could you elaborate a bit more on the energies?
      Cultivate inner peace and thousands around you will be saved.
      St. Seraphim of Sarov
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      • #4
        'Witchcraft' strikes me as a blanket term to describe the practice of magic (not spelt with a k - there's no excuse for bad spelling and I'm one of those pains in the arse who can't wait to see that entire silly habit dropped by all). Magic strikes me as a word for "something we can do but can't explain scientifically yet".

        ~ Blog: Kitten of Discord ~ Twitter: @DiscordianKitty ~

        "Demons have existed [...] for at least as long as the gods, who in many ways they closely resemble.
        The difference is basically the same as that between terrorists and freedom fighters." Terry Pratchett, Eric


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        • #5
          It is a practice of using magick (only spelled with a "k" to distinguish it from stage illusion).
          I need to point something out here; the "k" is there because Aleister Crowley put it there. It's mainly used in Thelema, mostly to make the Gematria work.
          Last edited by Gaudior; February 17th, 2011, 07:30 AM.
          "If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

          "Remember your spirituality" - Ganesha to a friend in a dream, 2008


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Selah View Post
            I need to point something out here; the "k" is there because Aleister Crowley put it there. It's mainly used in Thelema, mostly to make the Gematria work.
            Didn't know that. I keep being surprised every time I learn something new about Crowley's influence on modern magic thought... maybe I shouldn't' be. :O

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            • #7
              Witchcraft is just generally the concept that you can manipulate the world around you with your mind/inner powers by casting spells. Cause harm, heal and all that frikkin' jazz.

              If you want the bare-boned basics there are plenty of information out there. Most libraries stock at least a couple of books about it.
              Previously known as Njorun Alma


              "A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive its nutriment from cows." - George Bernard Shaw

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              • #8
                Nice article here on Thelemapedia :D

                http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Witchcraft

                Witchcraft can be distinguished from folk magic, religious magic, and ceremonial magic. Modern self-identified witches (especially practitioners of Wicca) are likely to use the term witchcraft to refer to folk magic. It is becoming increasingly less common to use the term to refer to the practice of religious magic in any religion other than one's own. The term is also commonly misapplied to refer to all forms of magic other than stage magic. In addition to this, many people deny the existence of witchcraft and consider everything described below to be either stage magic or religious magic.
                "If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

                "Remember your spirituality" - Ganesha to a friend in a dream, 2008


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                • #9
                  Ok, so folk magic is very eclectic is it not? It seems that it is a blanket term that encapsulates quite a few people. I guess just equating it with magic is the easiest way to look at it. From even an atheistic perspective magic is supposed to work. Why? And where do the energies used originate?
                  Last edited by DarkMysticFool; February 19th, 2011, 12:21 AM.
                  Cultivate inner peace and thousands around you will be saved.
                  St. Seraphim of Sarov
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                  • #10
                    Some would disagree that witchcraft is about "energy". Or simply spellcraft workings, though that's certainly a part of it. Some witches believe witchcaft to be fundamentally about crossing the hedge -- that is, a shamanic working where the spirit it loosened from its bonds and flies into the Otherworld. This is what a lot of Traditional Witches assert the medieval witches were doing.
                    Everything is right for me, which is right for you, O Universe.
                    Nothing for me is too early or too late, which comes in due time for you.
                    Everything is fruit to me which your seasons bring, O Nature.
                    From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return.


                    Marcus Aurelius

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                    • #11
                      I think there's two ways to preform what's considered witchcraft. You have those who pull form their personal reserve of energy, much like the energy we get from eating and sleeping. Then you have those who go for using an outer reserve. Some feel the need to hedge cross, others give outer energy a face and call it a god. I personally feel that there is energy flowing through and about everything in the universe and tap that.

                      Folk magic, is very eclectic in many ways, especially in the form of hoodoo, as it pulls from African, European and Native American based magics. Truthfully though, you just got to figure out how what energy you want to tap, and how you feel comfortable directing it. Intent and focus/will power is truly all you need.

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                      • #12
                        How does one "tap" into this energy.
                        Where does this "energy" originate?
                        Thanks for all the great responses!
                        Cultivate inner peace and thousands around you will be saved.
                        St. Seraphim of Sarov
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DarkMysticFool View Post
                          How does one "tap" into this energy.
                          Where does this "energy" originate?
                          Thanks for all the great responses!
                          To tap this energy, you have to find your own way of getting in touch with it. Some do it through trance, some through pain, others through ritual which shifts their mind set to being in touch with it. Then there are others who are just connected to it. To answer where this energy originates from is like proving or disproving God or another gods. It's also about the same as proving the big bang. If you can prove which or if both, or the some other way the universe and all the cosmos has come to exist, then you will have your answer. I like to think the big bang happened and from it there was an infinite amount of energy put out that is there and always will be, because as the universe expands and grows, so does this energy, It could be said this is the energy the universe it's self creates and puts out.

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                          • #14
                            If you want the bare basics, you are probably out of luck other than the thought of using it in every day mundane life/things. Even if one considers its a "craft" or "religion" is split between people.

                            For me, this is something that comes from within and something that is based in my family history and land.

                            For research purposes, you could try starting with the area around you, looking into how they did things, and expand from there. Go further back in your family..ancestors from Germany, look into the religious aspect of that area.

                            I wouldn't say its always eclectic as much as it is broad. My craft is steeped heavily in Appalachian Folk Magic. Now..witchcraft is not something they consider it and you'll be lucky if you only get spit in the eye for telling a Appalachian granny shes a witch lol, but this is where I separate the craft from the religion.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DarkMysticFool View Post
                              How does one "tap" into this energy.
                              Where does this "energy" originate?
                              Thanks for all the great responses!
                              Nobody seems to be answering your question about energy.

                              Here's my take: Energy is. I look at it more from a physics standpoint. Atoms contain energy. All things are made of atoms, even the air we breathe. Therefore all things have some level of energy. Thoughts work with energy in the brain, right? Synapses fire & chemicals act on brain material & we recognize a thought, a feeling, etc. If all things contain or consist of energy, then doesn't it make sense that I can, as a conduit, channel energy from another source or that I can use my own body's/mind's energy to change the energy around me? Have you ever known someone who had such a great positive outlook & feel to them that the minute they step into a room the feeling in that room changes in response? That's energy shifting. Have you ever "felt" someone staring at you intensely? That's energy focussed. It's that sort of thing. Many people claim to channel energy from the Earth's core or from the moon & stars. Some claim to use the energy of their familiars (be they spirit, animal, or whatever). I tend to use my own energy - my force of will.

                              Folk magic (use whatever spelling works best for you - I found "magick" was most prevalent in my community with the explanation of distinguishing b/t stage magicians & "real magic", so I just go with it - not worth fighting over, IMO) is what I primarily study & practice, myself. Folk magic is the practice of magic/witchcraft/spellcraft/energy work that is known to the people of a particular area. Since I was raised in Arkansas with Ozark mountain magic & hoodoo influences, that's what I study. Since I have a great interest in the witches of old, I also study the history & reports of European witches (my ancestry is English, Irish, & Dutch).

                              Personally, I'd suggest you do a lot of reading & research & make up your own mind as to how it all works/makes sense to you. There are as many different theories about witchcraft as their are books on the subject....and then some!

                              Good luck!

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