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Author Topic: Warlock vs. Male Witch...  (Read 20405 times)
Brann Druce
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« Topic Start: April 26, 2008, 10:37:13 pm »

Hmm... I was just curious...

I know the term "Warlock" has been given a bad rap over the years... but I've done a little research on Wiki and found out that the term refers to a Male Witch. However, today's views is that a Warlock is an oathbreaker or one who is banished from a Coven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlock

I was wondering, is it taboo to refer to oneself as a Warlock or is it permissible?

I'm just curious because in the past I've experienced a lot of the Witch-fluff that's been going around these days... and quite peeved about it.

Just want to know your views on this... Thanks!
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« Reply #1: April 26, 2008, 11:01:02 pm »

Hmm... I was just curious...

I know the term "Warlock" has been given a bad rap over the years... but I've done a little research on Wiki and found out that the term refers to a Male Witch. However, today's views is that a Warlock is an oathbreaker or one who is banished from a Coven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlock

I was wondering, is it taboo to refer to oneself as a Warlock or is it permissible?

I'm just curious because in the past I've experienced a lot of the Witch-fluff that's been going around these days... and quite peeved about it.

Just want to know your views on this... Thanks!

In the modern pagan community in general, the term warlock is what you describe.

It is interesting to note that in the Middle Ages, warlock just meant male witch and the "oath-breaker" part may have had something to do with breaking God's Laws and not a coven oath.  I know I'm probably wrong on that point so someone (Jenett maybe?) could correct me.
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« Reply #2: April 27, 2008, 07:41:37 am »

I was wondering, is it taboo to refer to oneself as a Warlock or is it permissible?

While the Wikipedia article is often questionable (it changes from time to time), if you want to call yourself a Warlock (or a Sorcerer or a Wizard or...), you certainly can. The reaction from most in the Neo-Pagan community to term "warlock" will be negative, however.
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« Reply #3: April 27, 2008, 09:09:31 am »

It is interesting to note that in the Middle Ages, warlock just meant male witch and the "oath-breaker" part may have had something to do with breaking God's Laws and not a coven oath.  I know I'm probably wrong on that point so someone (Jenett maybe?) could correct me.

I'd have to dig at work.

One of the things that interests me about the use of warlock in a modern sense is the question of why people want to use it. If someone wants to use it as a male-gender-term for 'witch', the question that springs to mind is "Why do we need that?" Witch is, of course, also used historically for both men and women in some settings.

(I think there are times gendered terms make sense: in a number of witchcraft-focused trads, priest and priestess are two actually different energetic roles. But Reclaiming, for example, use 'priestess' as their gender neutral term, for men as well, partly to make a particular kind of point, but also because they *don't* have that kind of most-rituals energetic division in their practice.)
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« Reply #4: April 27, 2008, 10:55:13 am »

I'd have to dig at work.

Sorry, I knew that you said somewhere that you have a degree in Medieval studies and thought that if anyone here might know the word's origins it would be you Embarrassed

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One of the things that interests me about the use of warlock in a modern sense is the question of why people want to use it. If someone wants to use it as a male-gender-term for 'witch', the question that springs to mind is "Why do we need that?" Witch is, of course, also used historically for both men and women in some settings.

Well you got to admit that 'witch' seems to have female connotations in modern Western Culture.  The only place I can think of in pop culture where male witches were referred to as witches was in a certain Aaron Spelling TV show.  Everywhere else it is either wizard, warlock, or the occasional sorcerer (in my fiction, I tend to use all three depending on the individual male character's bias).

This next part is aimed more for the OP,

I think whatever term you (a general you, but I'm thinking of the OP) want to call yourself is fine, but just remember that some terms may raise a few eyebrows Wink

Even though I don't use magic that much, I call myself a magic-user.  It's generic and not "traditional" but it suits me because I want to distance myself from the "traditional" terms.
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« Reply #5: April 27, 2008, 10:55:49 am »

While the Wikipedia article is often questionable (it changes from time to time), if you want to call yourself a Warlock (or a Sorcerer or a Wizard or...), you certainly can. The reaction from most in the Neo-Pagan community to term "warlock" will be negative, however.

True...

Now, when you say Neo-Pagan community, do you refer to all of us following a magickal path or a newer path like Neo-Wicca, etc.?
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« Reply #6: April 27, 2008, 03:47:47 pm »

Sorry, I knew that you said somewhere that you have a degree in Medieval studies and thought that if anyone here might know the word's origins it would be you Embarrassed

Yep, but that doesn't mean I have the Oxford English Dictionary (part of what I want to look at) at home, or know Old English. (I can fumble through stuff, but mostly 'not'. Middle, I'm much better in, but it's less helpful in this case.)

I do remember there being some specifically Scottish usage that's a little off the normal assumptions about what warlock means, and that's out of my normal realm of study, though I can try and dig up what I'm faintly remembering.
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« Reply #7: April 27, 2008, 05:04:27 pm »

Now, when you say Neo-Pagan community, do you refer to all of us following a magickal path or a newer path like Neo-Wicca, etc.?

Most of "all of the above."  Some people will not mind, although they may wonder why you are using it. Most people involved in a modern Pagan religion (or a modern version of one) will probably have problems with the term on some level.
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« Reply #8: April 27, 2008, 05:21:59 pm »

Most of "all of the above."  Some people will not mind, although they may wonder why you are using it. Most people involved in a modern Pagan religion (or a modern version of one) will probably have problems with the term on some level.

Ok, because I wanted to know how one would react because I will be using this word in both references... I am a Witch, but Warlock is a title that I will probably use secretly if I decide to use it... it's not really a big deal to me as it is to some...
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« Reply #9: April 27, 2008, 05:57:10 pm »

Most of "all of the above."  Some people will not mind, although they may wonder why you are using it. Most people involved in a modern Pagan religion (or a modern version of one) will probably have problems with the term on some level.

Ahem...well, as a Greek Recon, I don't personally care, but I will tell you that every time I hear the term, I think of the 60s TV series Bewitched . So if someone wants to use that term, I'm cool with it, but they need to remember I'm going to be thinking of Paul Lynde the whole time.
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« Reply #10: April 27, 2008, 06:34:28 pm »

Ahem...well, as a Greek Recon, I don't personally care, but I will tell you that every time I hear the term, I think of the 60s TV series Bewitched . So if someone wants to use that term, I'm cool with it, but they need to remember I'm going to be thinking of Paul Lynde the whole time.

LOL! Now I will have that picture stuck in my head...  Cheesy
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« Reply #11: April 27, 2008, 06:36:15 pm »

LOL! Now I will have that picture stuck in my head...  Cheesy

Isn't it awful?  Grin

Having said that, of course, I went over to Netflix and added the first two seasons of Bewitched to my queue. Paul Lynde always cracked me up.
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« Reply #12: April 27, 2008, 06:42:33 pm »

Isn't it awful?  Grin

Having said that, of course, I went over to Netflix and added the first two seasons of Bewitched to my queue. Paul Lynde always cracked me up.

Yes, it's horribibble! But very funny!

I think what I will do is if I ever start a Circle/Coven/Gathering... within the group that term may or may not be used...

I don't think there's really much of a difference IMHO...

Brann Druce (Me) : "I'm a Warlock."
Lyric Fox: "No s***, you're Paul Lynde?! Can I have your signature?"
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« Reply #13: April 27, 2008, 07:14:09 pm »

Brann Druce (Me) : "I'm a Warlock."
Lyric Fox: "No s***, you're Paul Lynde?! Can I have your signature?"

LOL...now. Who's gonna be Endora?
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« Reply #14: April 27, 2008, 07:20:12 pm »

LOL...now. Who's gonna be Endora?

*thinks*

Who is the most ill-tempered member of TC?  Then again, she was the one who had all of the best lines on that show...
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