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  • #31
    Originally posted by Temptation
    See, that's where I disagree. The way I understand the definition of religion, and there is more than one definition, it doesn't necessarily include a Deity, let alone a dogma.
    What you're describing is organised religion. There are other kinds of religions and spiritual belief systems that give their followers the freedom to explore their spirituality wihtout any "Book of Rules" to refer back to, or any leaders to look up to.

    The spiritual side of Witchcraft can be called a religion as far as I'm concerned. The practical side of Witchcraft, I'll agree is not a religion, it's just a craft.

    I suggest you pick up a dictionary as you are very misinformed. Religion is organized. Accept that. The level of organization does vary, but one thing remains the same, they all possess organization to a degree. You are confusing spirituality with religion, and they are simply not the same. Religion always includes a dogma. Always. Again, please realize this and accept that your perceptions of religion are not factual. You may feel as you wish, but the validity behind your argument is non-existant since it cannot be proven with facts I'm afraid.

    Many religions and spiritual practices do offer freedom to explore other paths and to educate themself, but again the amount varies just as it does with organization.

    There is no spiritual side to witchcraft. It is a magical practice, a craft, a system of magic used to manifest change. You may have spiritual beliefs, many witches do, but that does not make witchcraft inherently religious or spiritual, it makes you religious or spiritual.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Raven Greywind
      I suggest you pick up a dictionary as you are very misinformed. Religion is organized. Accept that. The level of organization does vary, but one thing remains the same, they all possess organization to a degree. You are confusing spirituality with religion, and they are simply not the same. Religion always includes a dogma. Always. Again, please realize this and accept that your perceptions of religion are not factual. You may feel as you wish, but the validity behind your argument is non-existant since it cannot be proven with facts I'm afraid.

      Many religions and spiritual practices do offer freedom to explore other paths and to educate themself, but again the amount varies just as it does with organization.

      There is no spiritual side to witchcraft. It is a magical practice, a craft, a system of magic used to manifest change. You may have spiritual beliefs, many witches do, but that does not make witchcraft inherently religious or spiritual, it makes you religious or spiritual.
      Like I said in an earlier post, I don't subscribe to these ideas. I just know a lot of people who do.
      Religion means nothing to me, because I don't have one. But I do respect the people who feel that Witchcraft is their religion. I really don't have a problem with definitions or labels.

      And you're right, I am spiritual, not religious. But I have had conversations with people who claim that the two are one and the same. I tried the same arguments you're using here to no avail. In the end, I was able to see their point, while not necessarily agreeing with them. The line between the two concepts is very fine.

      Oh, and I have picked up a dictionary, several in fact. I'm afraid none of them said that religion was, by definition, always organised. It was just one of the many definitions given.

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      • #34
        Originally posted by Temptation
        Like I said in an earlier post, I don't subscribe to these ideas. I just know a lot of people who do.
        Religion means nothing to me, because I don't have one. But I do respect the people who feel that Witchcraft is their religion. I really don't have a problem with definitions or labels.

        And you're right, I am spiritual, not religious. But I have had conversations with people who claim that the two are one and the same. I tried the same arguments you're using here to no avail. In the end, I was able to see their point, while not necessarily agreeing with them. The line between the two concepts is very fine.

        Oh, and I have picked up a dictionary, several in fact. I'm afraid none of them said that religion was, by definition, always organised. It was just one of the many definitions given.

        Well, as I have already said, they are welcome to believe as they wish, but they will be met with resistance as their point of view holds little validity and can be disproven by factual evidence. I don't much care, but I do so hate to see people look unintentionally foolish over something so basic and simple as semantics and appropriate definitions.

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        • #35
          Here's the thing. The dictionary definitions of things like "pagan", "witch", and "religion" just don't really apply to their current usage. Religio-centric terms are defined in the majority by the majority religion, so the definitions are, by their very nature, outdated.

          Here's the easiest definition of religion that I have come up with.

          Spirituality is the belief in forces beyond our mundane universe, specifically deities.

          Religion is spirituality plus practice. If you take a spiritual belief and put a defined ritual with it, you've got religion.
          Ben Trismegistus
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          • #36
            Originally posted by Ben Trismegistus
            Here's the thing. The dictionary definitions of things like "pagan", "witch", and "religion" just don't really apply to their current usage. Religio-centric terms are defined in the majority by the majority religion, so the definitions are, by their very nature, outdated.

            Here's the easiest definition of religion that I have come up with.

            Spirituality is the belief in forces beyond our mundane universe, specifically deities.

            Religion is spirituality plus practice. If you take a spiritual belief and put a defined ritual with it, you've got religion.
            Sounds good to me, Ben.

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            • #37
              Originally posted by Raven Greywind
              Witchcraft is not a religion. It is a craft, simple as that. It has no doctrine or dogma. It can be applied to various religions and faiths all across the globe with varying degrees of success.

              Agreed.

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              • #38
                I beg to differ..

                n.1.The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion; revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion of idol worshipers.

                Going by this "official" definition?

                What I have been practicing for over 25 years certainly IS a religion.

                I honor my Deity, which in this case is a God-Goddess archtype with many faces both masculine and feminine. I believe (He/She) exists and have faith in them and in that they love me and can influence my life. I have ways of doing ritual to honor them.

                Witchcraft is the magickal art of taking things out of nature, of bending them to your will and changing things to suit you, but it is also the act of loving nature and living in communion with it and that which made it. Of healing and loving, and giving energy back to the universe.

                Sometimes it's about just BEING, not bending....

                For the record I could never cast another spell again in my lifetime and I would still be a practicing Witch.

                I don't have to "bend" or "do" anything to participate in the Craft. Everytime I simply go outside and commune with nature I am practicing my faith, and conducting a religious service of a kind, even when it's only a one on one thing...

                My religion which happens to be WITCHCRAFT, not Wicca.

                Just for the record though I later studied Celtic Wicca, I was actually taught a strega-like form of folk witchcraft as a kid.

                I was taught by a coven.

                (Yes, I intentionally used the other "C" word because it was an old-style coven and not a Wiccan Circle.)

                These older ladies were Witches, and what they were doing, that had almost NOTHING in common with the practices of modern day Wiccans. These were women who were practicing their old-world religion as their mothers and grandmothers had done before them.
                They didn't just "make it up" or get their "book" from Gerald Gardner and crew, they were REAL Witches and pretty secretive about it. They were fine herbalists and teachers among other things.

                Watchtowers? Chanting a la Reclaiming?

                Nope.

                They never did any of that...

                Sorry, I was far too busy learning what aconite could be used for, what it's folk names were to worry about things like that. We had our rituals but they were simple things. Light a candle on a certain day to honor the Goddess. Burn an herb and ask for something you needed...

                They also incidentally went to church and had a public affiliation with the RCC as most women of their day did. But when they got home, the rosary beads were used to cast spells, and count blessings, and the VM statue in the kitchen was also a stand in for Diana and Tana and so forth...They had absolutely no problem as seeing her as the feminine side of the same God they paid lip service to in church, none...

                Nor do I....

                Wicca is an interesting modern religion but it's practitioner's are not the only ones who can claim the title of "Witch." WICCA may only be a few decades old, but Witchcraft has been alive and well for centuries and no amount of historical rewrites claiming otherwise can make me believe otherwise.

                No, it wasn't organized in the sense that a church is.

                (On the contrary most Witches were probably going to church AND giving honor to Diana or whoever at home...)

                BUT, IMHO the Craft is BOTH Art and Religion...

                Me, I happen to practice it as BOTH...

                Yeah, a Witch can be a Jew, or a Christian, or just a merry lil Pagan. but in all these faiths is her/his religion. The outer trappings matter far less than what's inside...Call up Isis, call up Diana, call up Mary...

                To a "Witch" what is the difference?

                Honestly, not much...

                My 2 cents...

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                • #39
                  ok, im a witch, not a wiccan, so this is my veiw. wicca is a religion based on paganism. witchcraft does not require a religion. the religious choices of a witch is souly based on what we want to believe. thus making witchcraft an art or a practice.

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                  • #40
                    Originally posted by chryssi1
                    I am not Wiccan, but I am a witch- a witch that is has her practice deeply rooted in spirituality. If someone asks what religion I am, I would answer Pagan. but I am a religious witch. I have a dogma- but it is my own, and no one answers to it but me.

                    But Paganism isn't a religion either.


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                    • #41
                      Originally posted by Raven Greywind
                      Witchcraft is not a religion. It is a craft, simple as that. It has no doctrine or dogma. It can be applied to various religions and faiths all across the globe with varying degrees of success.

                      It does in fact denote a magical practioner, most often those who focus on low or folk magic, but not always.

                      Yup. I'm a Kemetic witch. I use witchcraft and I worship the Kemetic deities, often together...but witchcraft is something I *do* whereas my belief in the Netjer are something I *live* ...

                      To clarify...I could never practise witchcraft again after today, but I would still be able to proceed to live my religion... I could also "do" witchcraft without involvng my Gods....

                      Does that make sense?

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                      • #42
                        Religion Pagan, Practice Witchcraft. How I personally regard them.

                        Webster on-line

                        Main Entry: pa·gan
                        Pronunciation: 'pA-g&n
                        Function: noun
                        Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, from Latin, civilian, country dweller, from pagus country district; akin to Latin pangere to fix -- more at PACT
                        1 : HEATHEN 1; especially : a follower of a polytheistic religion (as in ancient Rome)

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                        • #43
                          yes it is

                          Originally posted by Mouse
                          I was reading an artical about wicca being a valid religon and where it is accepted as such etc.. my question is: what about witches who practice witchcraft, not wicca? (I dont mean the term "witch" as in 'magic practitioner'.) Witchcraft and wicca are very closely related, but they are not the same.. Is witchcraft a valid religon or just wicca?

                          did that make scence?
                          ~ miriam
                          i think it is. a witch is what you call yourself when you pick your own path by taking bits from the other magical religions. it is just as valid as any other. also what exactly do you mean by "Valid religion"? isn't ANY ones beleifs valid?

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                          • #44
                            It seems to me that it's being classed that witchcraft is "low magick" and Cerimonial magick is "high magick"... CM can be practiced by anyone as it is not joined to a religon.. (correct me if i'm wrong).. but wait.. there are people in wicca who practice high magick as part of their faith, as well as folk magick, but it isn't defined as CM. I'm led to believe that witchcraft is an important part of wicca. I mean the wiccan rede talks of magick and most of their "rules" are guides to the proper use of magick.. so where does wicca leave off and witchcraft begin? And is this high/low magick thing the only thing that sets witchcraft and CM apart?... these questions prolly seem beside the point, but the conection makes scence to my backwards way of thinking so please help me out here

                            "Look at any two witches. Seriously, pick any two. You will not find any two that hold the same identical beliefs, values, and attitudes" - but look at any two christians, or any two people of any religon, no body has the same identical beliefs because everyone thinks differently, we all understand differently. Even within oraganised religon it would be rare to find two people holding the same beliefs, values and attitudes, even more so if they were to be the exact beliefs that are preached. For example, i have never spoken to any xtian who believes and practices, by any deffinition, everything in the bible.

                            ~miriam

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                            • #45
                              I always figured that non Wiccan Religious Witches were not Wiccan because they didn't use G. Gardner as a source.

                              Dove


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