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  • Ben Gruagach
    replied
    Originally posted by -Ember
    I wish people would stop taking fairly specific terms and turning them into generic ones..... and then complaining when people attached to the more limited meaning object.
    Care to elaborate? I'm curious what specific examples you can give.

    Leave a comment:


  • melantha rose
    replied
    I am a witch. I was born with the natural "pull" and instinct, along with a useful gift or two, to be a witch. I don't care what people say about that. I know the truth. I live it every day. I am different from everyone I know. That does not make me better, for I have lived a very lonely life. And I am anything but 'cool'. (Yes, it has been in my family sporadically for probably hundreds of years, but that doesn't help when you have no friends at school.) Yes, I practice witchcraft and yes, it is a highly Spiritual experience for me. I breath it. I eat it. I sleep it. I live it. It is so engrained in me, that I don't know how to live any other way. I am what I am. I am who I am. This is me. I go on sheer gut instinct, just as I have since I was a very young girl. There is nothing elaborate or ceremonial about me or what I do, but I get results, satisfaction, and peace of mind just the same. I believe the 'religion' of "Traditonal Witchcraft" is indeed a religion, as I understand what they are referring to by calling it one. It is a Spiritual way of life, a daily walk down a spiritual path, just as any other religion is intended to be. Of course, not everyone who practices witchcraft considers it a religion. That's ok. But, that does not mean that those of us who want to, who are deeply rooted in our spirituality, with pre-Gardinarian witchcraft as part of our daily walk, cannot consider this as our religion if we see fit to do so. I, personally, don't claim any religion, but so what if others do. If I had to claim one religion, it would be "Traditional Witchcraft". When people ask me what religion I am, I simply say this: "I claim no religion, but I am deeply Spiritual." They seem to be satisfied with this and don't ask any more questions. And, where I live, it's a darn good thing!

    Leave a comment:


  • -Ember
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Gruagach
    It would be better if people would stop trying to use generic terms as the names of specific denominations. It is confusing, and in my mind is purposefully deceptive. It's like if I were to start up a Christian denomination and call it "Real Christianity."
    I wish people would stop taking fairly specific terms and turning them into generic ones..... and then complaining when people attached to the more limited meaning object.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Gruagach
    replied
    Originally posted by SoulHealer
    But you see I don't call myself a witch or a pagan, I don't call myself anything -its a waste of time because for example I am a traditional witch -but as I live in the UK that means something different to the US. There isn't a universal language to describe things so I can't been bothered to find a name (or possible long winded sentence) to give myself -which would then make me sound like I was trying to be better than everyone else, which I'm not as there are some very wise people out there who know some who are novices and unsure of their path.
    I'd sooner discuss practises of the different groups not the name
    The problem though is that "traditional witchcraft" is used by some people to refer to a specific formalized religion that is based on witchcraft. (And to be honest I think it started in the UK -- Robert Cochrane was one of the earliest I can think of who called his denomination "traditional witchcraft" and insisted it was distinct from other forms of witchcraft like Wicca.)

    It would be better if people would stop trying to use generic terms as the names of specific denominations. It is confusing, and in my mind is purposefully deceptive. It's like if I were to start up a Christian denomination and call it "Real Christianity."

    Leave a comment:


  • SoulHealer
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Gruagach
    Witchcraft itself is not a religion -- but it is very possible to make a witchcraft system that is an actual religion. Wicca is a perfect example.

    It's a mistake though to assume that all witchcraft is Wicca. And it's still wrong if we substitute any of the specific systems calling themselves "traditional witchcraft" (or whatever they call their denominations) for Wicca in that sentence.

    You can be a witch and follow any, or no, religion. If witchcraft were inherently a specific religion that could not be true.
    I agree (I think I do at least -got a little lost with one of your point -but its early here-my mind is not awake)

    But you see I don't call myself a witch or a pagan, I don't call myself anything -its a waste of time because for example I am a traditional witch -but as I live in the UK that means something different to the US. There isn't a universal language to describe things so I can't been bothered to find a name (or possible long winded sentence) to give myself -which would then make me sound like I was trying to be better than everyone else, which I'm not as there are some very wise people out there who know some who are novices and unsure of their path.
    I'd sooner discuss practises of the different groups not the name

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Gruagach
    replied
    Originally posted by teishabee
    I wasnt calling witchcraft itself a religion, The website did that.

    It was trying to describe older religions predating wicca, which most likely involve witchcraft as a practice.
    Raven Grimassi's books look at that, as do C. G. Leland's. It looks like most of these types of religions based on witchcraft existed in Italy. Witchcraft in the UK seems to be more of the cunning man and wise woman type -- it's more of a craft than a religion.

    Leave a comment:


  • teishabee
    replied
    I wasnt calling witchcraft itself a religion, The website did that.

    It was trying to describe older religions predating wicca, which most likely involve witchcraft as a practice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Gruagach
    replied
    Originally posted by SoulHealer
    ahh but then you are still using the word religion which it has just been said witchcraft isn't

    I kind of like being undefineable....I dont think I have heard any word/short sentence that really descibes what I practise

    Witchcraft itself is not a religion -- but it is very possible to make a witchcraft system that is an actual religion. Wicca is a perfect example.

    It's a mistake though to assume that all witchcraft is Wicca. And it's still wrong if we substitute any of the specific systems calling themselves "traditional witchcraft" (or whatever they call their denominations) for Wicca in that sentence.

    You can be a witch and follow any, or no, religion. If witchcraft were inherently a specific religion that could not be true.

    Leave a comment:


  • SoulHealer
    replied
    Originally posted by teishabee
    I think the site is trying to redine a term such as witchcraft, just because they havent a term to describe the traditional practises.

    I would maybe put them under nature religions.
    ahh but then you are still using the word religion which it has just been said witchcraft isn't

    I kind of like being undefineable....I dont think I have heard any word/short sentence that really descibes what I practise

    Leave a comment:


  • teishabee
    replied
    I think the site is trying to redine a term such as witchcraft, just because they havent a term to describe the traditional practises.

    I would maybe put them under nature religions.

    Leave a comment:


  • SoulHealer
    replied
    I practise traditional witchcraft (a different form to those websites) I don't I could call what I practise a religion as I don't worship anything....lol I know maybe its just me but I always have seen religion as having an element of worship in it
    But i do think as a group in general we spend far to much time debating what is and what isn't a religion. I'd rather look at the beliefs and practises of a group then argue what is and what isn't technically a religion

    I do think you can born with a gift -but that alone does not make a witch, many things do have to be learnt

    Leave a comment:


  • dr_zeus440
    replied
    i like http://www.thecrookedheath.com. rather a lot, actually. nice, solid, supported boundaries separating traditional witchcraft from everything else.

    Leave a comment:


  • -Ember
    replied
    And I'm talking in terms of my understanding of traditional witchcraft.

    You can argue for some idea of "witchcraft in general", but that is almost as meaningless a concept as "paganism".

    In the "traditional witchcraft" I know, it isn't simply a practice. That is just magic. Or hebalism. Or any of a dozen other things. Witchcraft involves a way of understanding/connecting/purposing them. But philosophy doesn't cover it... it is too stiff, too logical, too doubtful.

    Perhaps the closest term I could invent would be meta-paradigm... it isn't a paradigm because those come to be fairly fluid. But it is something beyond and beneath and behind them. And the closest standard word to express that to me is faith, with religion being not too far behind. So, I can accept religion.

    The only thing that really defines whether one is a witch or not is whether you call yourself one or not. There is no central authority, no Witch Pope or Grand High Council of Witches that determines who has the right to use the label witch. We don't have to like it, but it is the way it is.
    But it doesn't mean I have to accept the definition of it. Anyone can call themselves a witch... but if that is the accepted definition of the word, it soon ceases to be useful. Just as Wicca has for many, just as Pagan has for many. Anyone can use whatever lable they want, but if they want to use it with others and have it convey anything of meaning, it must be an agreed definition, not a retreat into "well, it means whatever I say it means."

    Specific formalized religious groups can establish and enforce whatever rules and standards they like -- but they only apply to people in their own group. There is no group that has authority over all witches.
    And yes, in terms of my understanding of traditional witchcraft I am saying that merely having some ability doesn't make you a witch. It doesn't give you that meta-paradigm. It just gives you a skill. Whatever "general witchcraft" might allow as a witch (hmmm, all who self identify, everyone who has a talent... hey, pretty quick we could have all of humanity and most animals as "witches"), by my understanding of traditional witchcraft psychism does not make you a witch. Becoming a witch to cope with it is not unusual, but not a given.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Gruagach
    replied
    Originally posted by -Ember
    Well, I'll disagree with both.

    1) I accept "religion" because it is about as useful a discriptor as we have. It isn't really a philosophy either, nor simply a practice. Way of life comes closer... but misses something. Religion seems to me the best way to describe traditional witchcraft in a introductory way. After all, it does involve divinity. If not, it isn't traditional witchcraft, it is some other form of magic.
    Witchcraft can be the basis of one's way of life, philosophy, or religion -- but witchcraft itself is a practice. It's folk magick, and it isn't a codified system that is complete and whole unto itself. It includes herbal healing methods, traditional healing techniques, ways to exploit psychic talents, divination, ways to do spells, and a lot more -- but it is a mistake to assume that any of the formalized systems based on witchcraft actually define witchcraft. Witchcraft is bigger than Wicca, bigger than the other religious denominations that include witchcraft as a major element.

    A good parallel would be with prayer. Prayer can certainly be a major element in one's religious system, and you could probably even create a specific religion around the mythology, lore, etc. of prayer and how it is practiced. But prayer itself is a practice, not a religion. Prayer exists in many religious contexts. Witchcraft, too, can be practiced in any (or no) religious context.

    2) Simply being psychic/talented doesn't make you a witch any more than a bald spot makes you a monk or height makes you a basketball player. Vocation, dedication and skill are needed, although factors such as a talent can be useful.
    The only thing that really defines whether one is a witch or not is whether you call yourself one or not. There is no central authority, no Witch Pope or Grand High Council of Witches that determines who has the right to use the label witch. We don't have to like it, but it is the way it is.

    Specific formalized religious groups can establish and enforce whatever rules and standards they like -- but they only apply to people in their own group. There is no group that has authority over all witches.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isis-Rayne
    replied
    Originally posted by PoisonIvy
    Okies,here's my problem with that site. I'm prolly gonna start a riot but these are just my opinions. #1 I don't agree with their statement about witchcraft being a religion,it's not! It's what one practices. #2 That site also states that one cannot be "born a witch". Isn't that kinda like saying that a person can't be born gay? Sorry guys,I believe that there are people who are born with "natural" gifts that may not recognize them until they grow up a bit.

    Anyways....JMHOs.

    Blessed Be!
    I'm with you on both counts. I disagree that witchcraft is a religion. It's a way of life, certainly, but there is no religious component to the craft as it is commonly understood. And I do think you can be .. and often are .. born a witch. Many people are kept from realizing their true path though .. and some just never do.

    Leave a comment:

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