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Where do non-wiccan witches stand?

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  • #91
    Originally posted by WingedTigerChild
    Perhaps we need to define religion?

    Been there, done that, own not only the t-shirt but the collectible dish set as well.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Mٍrag Elasaid MacDhٍmhnaill
      Simple. I don't use magic at all and I'm a very religious person. Though I don't like to use the term pagan, my religon is usually classified as such. Religion is related to the worshipping of deities, not the practice of magic. I pray, offer sacrifices on a regular (if not daily) basis, and perform rituals to honor my deities and ancestors in a family environment. None of this involves magic. I don't cast spells or manipulate energy in any fashion. Therefore I practice a relgion without magic. It is not a social group as you want to dismiss it. Especially since my practice involves only myself and my family.

      Okay...I didn't mean to dismiss it..some of the most powerful groups in this country are social groups. So yours is a familal group. That's cool.

      *(I know there are some that consider prayer to be a form of magic, but that is something I can't comprehend. Prayer is conversing with a deity, frequently it is used to ask "favors" such as healing or protection from your deity, but there is no active manipulation of energy by the person praying. They are leaving it in the hands of their god(s). )
      I can see how you would feel that, but in my experience those who do magick on a spiritual path regularly, often discover that whatever magick they do individually or as a group vastly pales in comparison to the magick that the Goddesses and Gods do,, so it becomes far more effective to yield to the flow of the Deities, to come to understand that they are in charge of the Omniverse and be glad for it (Goddess knows I'm glad! I can barely handle my own life!!), to do works by combining magick and prayer, asking for things or processes of magick but letting the Deities do the 'work' (it turns out usually to be something they enjoy and/or were planning anyway...). This is a little different than standard magick, a lot more like manifesting, but it isn't just leaving everything up to the fates.
      "...but fruit flies like a banana!"
      Biggest Brightest Blessings!!!

      I have no common sense, and I believe that each person not only has their own individual path to wherever they are going, but they have subconsciously used magick to 'think themselves' to wherever they are in the Infinite World of God Herself.

      Use that grain of salt in digesting the above post.


      Furthermore, there may be an absolute truth, but I believe that no mortal can encompass it. We are all blind-men dealing with the Elephant. My investigations of the rope (tail) may be of no help whatsoever in your investigations of the spear (tusk), and vice versa.

      But it's fun to compare, anyway!


      [email protected]

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Raven Greywind
        Out of curiosity, what would your thoughts be on someone who is an athiest and yet practices withcraft, and by that I mean the magical system that I view it as? If no religion is entailed what label would you bestow on them from your own perception?
        My view would be that this is someone who desires to practice the ritual and magical arts of Witchcraft but is not interested in its religious elements. I do not personally feel that to be a Witch a person has to be religious or has to accept the existence of divinity.

        I'm simply pointing out that the earliest literature related to Witchcraft depicts a relationship with various deities within a magical system. As already noted the Greeks viewed Witches as practitioners of illicit religion, which means they viewed them as performing religious acts but did not deem their religion as meeting the official criteria to constitute a religion as sanctioned and approved by the State.

        Best regards - Raven
        There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...(from Hamlet).

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        • #94
          Originally posted by raven grimassi
          My view would be that this is someone who desires to practice the ritual and magical arts of Witchcraft but is not interested in its religious elements. I do not personally feel that to be a Witch a person has to be religious or has to accept the existence of divinity.
          Then would that not be an individual who is simply there for the party and not the reason behind the party, if in fact witchcraft was a religion as you view it? To clarify, it would be like me attending mass just to get free wine and a snack. If witchcraft was a religion as you say, I cannot help but see that as more than a bit distasteful. Granted, I don't see it as a religion, so athiest witches have as just as much respect of mine as anyone else.

          I'm simply pointing out that the earliest literature related to Witchcraft depicts a relationship with various deities within a magical system. As already noted the Greeks viewed Witches as practitioners of illicit religion, which means they viewed them as performing religious acts but did not deem their religion as meeting the official criteria to constitute a religion as sanctioned and approved by the State.

          Best regards - Raven
          True, many reports do portray witches involved in some manner of religious context, but would that not be more of a cultural issue than a witchcraft one? A witch in ancient Greece may have worshipped Hecate, Artemis, or Hades. While one in (entymology aside) in the British aisles could have worshipped Cerridwen or the Morgan? I see the religious inclusion being more a product of geography than of witchcraft personally.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by WingedTigerChild
            Perhaps we need to define religion?
            We will probably never find a "one size fits all" in this topic. But, it is interesting to note that the English word religion is rooted in the Latin concept of "religio" which means "respect for what is sacred" (and I cannot think of a better definition).

            Best regards - Raven
            There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...(from Hamlet).

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Raven Greywind
              Then would that not be an individual who is simply there for the party and not the reason behind the party, if in fact witchcraft was a religion as you view it? To clarify, it would be like me attending mass just to get free wine and a snack. If witchcraft was a religion as you say, I cannot help but see that as more than a bit distasteful. Granted, I don't see it as a religion, so athiest witches have as just as much respect of mine as anyone else.
              Your analogy feels a little tight to fit comfortably, but I would offer that it is more like an open house party, and there is no judgment on why you came. While I believe that Witchcraft is a religion, I am not personally offended or put off by others practicing it strictly as a magical craft. I do not feel that I have exclusive rights (or rites) and that if someone disagrees with my view they cannot play in the sandbox.

              Originally posted by Raven Greywind
              True, many reports do portray witches involved in some manner of religious context, but would that not be more of a cultural issue than a witchcraft one? A witch in ancient Greece may have worshipped Hecate, Artemis, or Hades. While one in (entymology aside) in the British aisles could have worshipped Cerridwen or the Morgan? I see the religious inclusion being more a product of geography than of witchcraft personally.
              I think that the point that Witches were depicted as worshipping, in and of itself indicates a religious nature. So, where they did it seems irrelevant to the nature itself. If a eat a hamburger in California, and I eat a hamburger in London, I am still a carnivore (and the geography does not modify what I am and what I am doing).

              Best regards - Raven
              Last edited by raven grimassi; December 11th, 2004, 01:35 PM.
              There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...(from Hamlet).

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              • #97
                Originally posted by AlAskendir
                What? What is it that you think Paganism is? Or are you saying it isn't One Religion? (which I agree with)
                That Paganism is an umbrella term encompassing various religions and spiritualities


                Many thanks to Faeawyn, Aldwyn, and Skysilver for the rotating banners.

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                • #98
                  After reading all of the post I am now ready with my reply.

                  Religion is where you worship a supreme omniscient power.

                  Paganism is a religion that got its first practitioners during ancient times (Greek/Roman mythology for an example)

                  Witchcraft and Wicca are the practices of the Pagan religion.

                  You can practice Witchcraft without being Pagan just like anyone can read the Bible or the Koran without being Christian.

                  Wicca is what modern society likes to call Paganism.

                  When you do things for the benefit of your religion (magick, spells, enchantments, worshipping a certain Diety) it is practicing. The same for attending a Sunday morning service, taking communion, Worshipping on Easter Sunday, those are practices of the Christian religion.

                  Religion is a way of life, the practicing is what makes it all gel together. You can be religious without practicing, but it makes it harder to lead a religious way of life without the day to day little things like prayer or lighting a candle.

                  I hope this helped.

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                  • #99
                    One more thing. Paganism is considered any religion that does not follow in the Jewish or Christian belief system. Also called Heathenism.

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                    • Originally posted by aerialla
                      After reading all of the post I am now ready with my reply.
                      Remarkably, you are wrong in almost every particular.

                      Religion is where you worship a supreme omniscient power.
                      100% wrong. Some religions worship "a" power and some worship more than one. Some religions (Buddhism) do not worship powers. Some religions consider the worshiped power(s) supreme and omniscient and some do not.

                      Paganism is a religion that got its first practitioners during ancient times (Greek/Roman mythology for an example)
                      Wrong. Paganism is not "a" religion. It is a term that covers a great number of religions. Greek Paganism is not the same religion as Norse Paganism is not the same religion as Wicca is not the same religion as Feraferia, etc.

                      Witchcraft and Wicca are the practices of the Pagan religion.
                      Wrong. Since there is no one Pagan religion, your statement about "the" Pagan "religion" is wrong. To be accurate, you would have to say "a" Pagan religion. Wicca is a Pagan religion, one of many Pagan religions. The conversation here is specifically about the idea that Witchcraft and Wicca are not necessarily the same thing, and specifically about whether or not Witchcraft is always a religion, in particular, when it is separate from Wicca, i.e. non-Wiccan witchcraft.

                      You can practice Witchcraft without being Pagan just like anyone can read the Bible or the Koran without being Christian.
                      Right. And since you are clear about this, it makes your statement, quoted above, confusing. Why say in the previous paragraph that witchcraft is a religion and say here that it isn't?

                      Wicca is what modern society likes to call Paganism.
                      Wrong. Wicca is a specific Pagan religion. "Modern society" is a vague and fairly useless term, but if they "like" to call all Paganism Wicca, they're wrong.

                      When you do things for the benefit of your religion (magick, spells, enchantments, worshipping a certain Diety) it is practicing. The same for attending a Sunday morning service, taking communion, Worshipping on Easter Sunday, those are practices of the Christian religion.

                      Religion is a way of life, the practicing is what makes it all gel together. You can be religious without practicing, but it makes it harder to lead a religious way of life without the day to day little things like prayer or lighting a candle.
                      This seems true, but I don't get your point.

                      One more thing. Paganism is considered any religion that does not follow in the Jewish or Christian belief system. Also called Heathenism.
                      One definition of Pagan and Heathen is non Christian, Jewish, or Islamic. However, that's not the definition we're discussing.

                      I hope this helped.
                      Not so much.
                      Please visit my blog!

                      Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

                      If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
                      www.deborahlipp.com

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                      • I have read this entire thread with much interest. I was truly having a hard time trying to decide how to respond until I read this one little bit of DebLipps last post...

                        Originally posted by DebLipp
                        Some religions (Buddhism) do not worship powers.
                        Some consider Buddhism a religion... and just as many dont. Many consider Buddhism as a way of life. Just like the Buddhists, we dont have to agree on this. My path is as a witch... with deep reverance of the earth and her creatures. That is what and who I am at my core.

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