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  • Question about "hereditary" witches?

    Now I admit I'm still learning a lot about Paganism and the like. Bear with me if this is a silly question. Hehe.

    I've come to understand you're a hereditary witch if your parents, grandparents, etc, were also witches. What I don't understand is the benefit of being hereditary, aside from the advantage of being raised in the Craft and therefore getting an early start, or perhaps learning family spells and things. Someone told me being a hereditary witch gives an added advantage in learning new skills and disciplines. So a non-hereditary witch would have a harder time reaching their potential, and would have a smaller potential than that of a hereditary witch. I don't agree with this.

    Also, if being hereditary means you have traces of witchcraft somewhere in your family tree, wouldn't it eventually lead to some original place? I guess what I'm saying is I don't understand where this heredity comes from. Was there a group of people on an island thousands of years ago that were endowed with Craft knowledge and power, and only descendents of those people are hereditary? It doesn't make sense. We're all the same species, and we came from the same evolutionary path, so when and where did one split off? It sounds rather ridiculous to me, and I mean no offense to anyone by saying that. I just don't understand. I mean, if I have a daughter or son, would they then be hereditary?

    I would think if I came naturally to the Craft I would have as much potential ability as the next person, and it would be up to me to learn, practice, and discipline my skills...not my bloodline. I don't get where this hereditary idea comes from. Who was/were the original witch/witches the hereditary descendents came from?

    Any thoughts welcome!

    Celtique


    The Dark Maiden



    "I did not invent this game. I did not name the stakes. I just happen to like apples, and I'm not afraid of snakes."


  • #2
    Hi,

    I personally haven't seen a benefit from it because I think that everyone has the ability to learn and grow in their chosen path.

    To me, the only benefit has been that I didn't have to "rid" my mind of other religious thoughts and that is a problem I have noticed with some people who become Pagans from other religions. It is difficult for some of them to get the traces of the old religion out of their heads and fully embrace their new one.

    Prime example is the Horned God. I know alot of ex Christians who simply can't accept it, they cannot rid their minds of what their old religion had told them that a horned god signifies and this causes an imbalance in their beliefs. Nature is dual, you have to have a God and Goddess in order for their to be balance and not being able to embrace both aspects causes problems.

    *laughing....ok.....that is my dogma you may not agree but that is how I feel*

    Anyway the answer is, yes it does give some benefits but I dont think it makes you any more "special" or "powerful".....you do have somewhat of a head start on learning though.

    As far as your daughter being hereditary? I have no idea since I have never extensively studied what it means to be hereditary. My mother was a witch, my grandmother was a witch, my great grandmother was a witch and so on....does that make me hereditary? No...it just makes me a witch if I so choose.
    ~*Wither thou goest, there goest I, two flames sparked from but one ember; both forward and backward doth time fly, wither thou art, remember.*~

    Comment


    • #3
      I know exactly what you mean...
      I am a pagan since birth...but i never use the term "hereditary witch" to describe me, for the simple fact that most people Ive met that claim that, act as though it makes them some high and mighty power compared to you peons who just study hard and learn things for yourself.
      :hailmol:

      Oh yes, us ""hereditary witches" did indeed come from an island of magick. My family tree reaches back to Avalonian high preistesses of the sacred groves and shiney objects...bow to me, and you shall learn something from my inherited greatness. *wink*

      If your parents are a witch...you may undoubtedly gain earlier knowledge of the craft through thier teachings of course... But some people do seem to think that witchcraft can be passed along like a gene...
      "My child will have Blue eyes, blonde hair, and a knack for turning villagers into a newt."
      I personaly...as a "hereditary witch", dont think it even romotely, slightly possible for Witchcraft to be passed through genetics like some sort of STD. I could be wrong...I have been wrong...and If proven wrong, I will humbly bow to my corrector :fpraiseyo ...

      Now having said that...I do believe in "old souls"...go figure on that one eh?

      The craft is for everyone...there is no witchcraft gene...despite what the Arian "hereditary witch" might say...that was a harsh term..but we've all met them at one point or another.
      If there is indeed an added bonus or difference to being born a witch...besides my abnormaly large feet and tiny ears, I have not noticed.

      Sorry about the satire...its my birth-right haha
      I was born a level 6 wizard, and am mightier than thou.

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      • #4
        *falls over and howls laughing*

        I couldn't have said that better myself!

        Oh and dont forget that being hereditary also gives you the special powers like the girls in that movie "The Craft"! Watch out and feel my genetic might.

        RIIIIGHT!

        I agree about the ancient soul and think that would make one wiser in the craft than simply being born into it.

        BTW.....the only physically things I got from being one is the pure white birthmark in the middle of my hair that us females have **hmm hello skunk?** and a mole on my right ear that all the females have....yay.

        So hon....back to the original post....as you can see, it really doesnt matter alot if you are hereditary or not. However, there are those who seem to think that being one gives them the right to stick their noses up in the air at those who aren't...and that is wrong.
        ~*Wither thou goest, there goest I, two flames sparked from but one ember; both forward and backward doth time fly, wither thou art, remember.*~

        Comment


        • #5
          I have to agree with the others on this, but from a different perspective. I grew up in a Roman Catholic family, but was called to paganism early.. (I was a tree hugging dirt worshiper as child) I have some "talents" that have always been there.. I found out just over a year ago that my Great Great Grandmother was a Gypsy (and that she had some of the same "talents" that I have).. *shrug* I think that it may have helped me develop it early, but that ANYONE can learn to do the same things.

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          • #6
            Celtique , hi old friend, you understand that a lot of pagans who practise in certain traditions call themselves "recons"/"recon-structionists", no? Scotch recons, Irish recons, Slavic recons? no? Welll how could they be recons if there was no orginal faith there? They are attempting to reconstruct something that once was. As to whether or not there was one group of people that were enlightened in crafty things: I cannot say there was _only_ one. I suspect there were many, who possibly intermixed and such. Furthermore, when humanity was young, we were probably all members of the same faith... that could qualify as your one group. According to my very bona fide Hindu friend, Wicca (ie. dualism of a male and female, NOT specifically Wicca, but rather dualism) was the "first" religion. He is not Wicca and never was (he's a Shivite - worshiper of the Lord Shiva, via his parents who taught him to be so). THUS, we can say that, by this, Wicca is a recon's version of the old religion - or perhaps a version much twised - or perhaps a genuine real version (this I doubt). You will also note, that the majority of hereditary witches / Druids \ etc, such as myself, are dualistic in nature - emphasis on majority, I am not saying we all are. I know this by talking to people on here, and being a connaisseur of a few (aka many) family tradionalists.

            As to what it means to be a heditary witch, etc. - I would just have to say that paganusium remorius, as I like to call them, are Pagans who have witchcraft in their blood for as far as they can trace - or for a generation or so.

            Good be'n ye.
            They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

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            • #7
              Thank you so much guys for the quick replies. This helped SO much and I am completely relieved to know my hunch was correct. Something didn't feel right. Hehe. I feel much better. You all rock!

              Celtique


              The Dark Maiden



              "I did not invent this game. I did not name the stakes. I just happen to like apples, and I'm not afraid of snakes."

              Comment


              • #8
                I believe that we are all born with the ability to use Witchcraft. Some of us are born into families that teach us how to do it, so the only advantage is that we get an early start.
                Other than that, I really don't see how it makes us better or more qualified than the Witches who were not born into it.

                My grand-mother was a Witch and taught me everything I know about the craft. I embraced my witchy side and reveled in it, unlike my mother who, despite my grand-mother's best efforts, never accepted this part of her "heritage". So, you see, even the ones who are born into it can sometimes be "immune" to the witchy gene.

                Seriously though, it doesn't matter if it runs in the family or not. What matters is that you realise your potential and use it well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Temptation
                  I believe that we are all born with the ability to use Witchcraft. Some of us are born into families that teach us how to do it, so the only advantage is that we get an early start.
                  Other than that, I really don't see how it makes us better or more qualified than the Witches who were not born into it.

                  My grand-mother was a Witch and taught me everything I know about the craft. I embraced my witchy side and reveled in it, unlike my mother who, despite my grand-mother's best efforts, never accepted this part of her "heritage". So, you see, even the ones who are born into it can sometimes be "immune" to the witchy gene.

                  Seriously though, it doesn't matter if it runs in the family or not. What matters is that you realise your potential and use it well.
                  This is the best answer in my oppinion, being a "hereditary" witch.










                  (\_/)
                  (O.o)
                  (> <) This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him on his way to world domination




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                  • #10
                    Seriously though, it doesn't matter if it runs in the family or not. What matters is that you realise your potential and use it well.[/QUOTE]


                    i agree. which is were i even draw the line between knowledge and wisdom. a select few of us have never even studied the craft and can use it.

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                    • #11
                      Hmmm....

                      I tend to look at it this way.

                      Hereditary just means you're born into a family that is practicing the Craft in one form or another already. BUT, that doesn't mean you are necesssarily born a witch yourself. Then again, you may be a witch who is truly meant for the Craft but born into a non-Witchy family.

                      My family has "Witchy" roots. I've got a spooky Great-Gran up the tree who was considered to be "odd" and apparently though I am much like her, my folks weren't thrilled when they realized I had some of her "talents" and a decided bent towards seeing "God" as partly female...

                      As a child it got me into a lot of trouble, and freaked out the folks, me being able to do those kind of "Witchy" things. I often knew who was ill, who was going to die, what herb was best for what illness without being told, and there was the animal thing too. I must have rescued a bunch of wild animals as a kid much to my parents dismay...

                      I met my first practicing Witch at about 12 and though I wasn't in a clan that did anything remotely like Witchcraft (Are you kidding? They're all Catholics, Lutherans, and Pentecostal Baptists for crying out loud!) she picked up on the "Witchy" vibe real quick.

                      So did I.

                      I flat out asked her in the kitchen one day much to my Mom's amusement...

                      (Lil older lady with grey hair and a housecoat. Not a penta in sight, just rows of herbs in the kitchen and a seriously Witchy vibe in the whole house...)

                      And yes, she WAS...

                      I used to sneak off to her house to learn about things after that, until she made me tell Mom and get her permission for me to be there. Mom did give it, though she pretty much insisted I not tell Dad a thing...He still doesn't know he was living down the street from a coven to this day...But he does know that "Witch" is a word that applies to his youngest, and though he takes a lot of grief from his other kids and his drinking-poker buddies he respects my right to do my own religious thing...

                      My oldest bro? That's another story...

                      We have a running grudge match over my religious beliefs. He actually had the nerve once to tell me to "Grow up and get a real religion." meaning of course HIS version of Christianity which he's barely been practicing for years....He apologized at Dad's request, but then made a snarky comment about my Pagan Screen Saver so I really haven't talked with him about it since. I don't even like the guy much to be honest, and I have as little contact with him as possible brother or not. I find his attitude disrespectful and arrogant, and it brings me down to realize I am related to such a bigot so I don't go there... Until he's willing to give my beliefs some respect he and I have nothing to talk about.

                      I guess what I am trying to say is that there's many ways of looking at the "born into it" thing.

                      My genetics may have played a factor, but my upbringing probably didn't. Yet, I consider myself very much born to the Craft. Maybe I was a Witch before. I tend to think so...It all fit all too well for me, came far too naturally to be a fluke...

                      Yeah, I think you can learn to be a Witch, but I think you probably ARE one if you're that into it to begin with..Mind you I am not talking wannabes who try Wicca on for a year or two and then just blithely move on. I'm talking about the serious non-fluff bunnies who start young, click, then stay in one branch of the Craft or another their whole lives...

                      "M"

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                      • #12
                        This all makes much more sense to me now. Like I said, I'm relieved. I didn't think it followed along what I have come to understand as Pagan/Witch idealism to believe in such a blatantly unbalanced thing.

                        Thank you again.

                        Celtique


                        The Dark Maiden



                        "I did not invent this game. I did not name the stakes. I just happen to like apples, and I'm not afraid of snakes."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To me "hereditary witch" can mean a number of things:

                          1) someone raised in a family practicing a Pagan religion.
                          2) someone who learned a tradition of witchcraft (either as a religious/spritual path or the practice of folk magick) from a family member.
                          3) someone whose family history includes people with "para-normal" gifts such as seeing or dreaming future events, communicating with the dead/seeing ghosts, telepathy etc.
                          4) someone (usually, though not always, new to Paganism) who feels insecure within the Pagan community and believes that claiming to be a "hereditary witch" will give them more validity/credibility in the community.

                          Obviously, someone raised as a Pagan, encouraged from a young age to explore their "para-normal" abilities, or taught how to use magick/do energy work while young will have a head-start over someone who comes to this path later in life, just like someone who was taught to play the piano at six will generally be better than me. I also believe that some people have natural talents for magick/energy work just like anything else and gifts like seeing can be passed hereditarly. But just because your Gran cured people's ills with herbs and saw ghosts doesn't make you a better witch than anyone else. It YOUR is knowledge and practice that matter.
                          "At this moment in history, we are called to act as if we truly believe that the Earth is a living, conscious being that we're part of, that human beings are interconnected and precious, and that liberty and justice for all is a desirable thing."
                          ~Starhawk

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