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Author Topic: Why did you choose or not choose Witchcraft/Wicca?  (Read 37372 times)
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« Reply #15: June 18, 2007, 05:10:35 pm »

What drew you to the craft? Or magick? Was it the seduction of the spells? Was it the wonder of the Goddess/God? Or was it something more basic, the 'Wicca is all things Pagan' mainstream myth?

And further more, if you are a practicing witch in either Witchcraft/Wicca ... what "area" or "type" of it are you?
Way back in the mists of time I was once Wiccan.  Or Neo-wiccan, I suppose. 

What drew me to it?  The beauty of the faith.  The ritual.  The fact it was OK to be female. (My experience with religion prior to this had all involved forms of Christianity that put a lot of guilt and restrictions on women.)  The reverence for nature.  The magic.  And the fact that many of their beliefs lined up with what I knew in my heart was true for me.

What eventually turned me away from Wicca?  At first, it was that it wasn't really something I felt could be practiced alone, and I couldn't find a BTW coven.  Other Neo-Wiccans that I encountered were not the sort of people I felt comfortable hanging out with. (Not bad people, just a little too "sweetness and light.")

In the end, though, it was the fact that the theology doesn't work for me.  Duotheism makes less sense to me than monotheism.  And the emphasis on duality...  I just don't see the world in terms of union of opposites.  It all seems a bit too biologically focused.  I agree that sex is important, beautiful, and sacred; but it doesn't work for me as a metaphor for everything that is.

I'm still a witch, though.  Just not a religious one.  I love folk magic and my herbs. 

Religiously, I haven't found an exact fit, though I'm leaning towards ADF-style druidry.
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« Reply #16: June 18, 2007, 05:32:45 pm »

However, I would love to know from those of you on the board here that practice, or have practiced before, why you chose it.
What drew you to the craft? Or magick?
And further more, if you are a practicing witch in either Witchcraft/Wicca ... what "area" or "type" of it are you? I have seen here on the board Eclectic, Celtic, Hermetic, Christian ... I am starting to understand the differences between them little by little. Why did you choose that particular belief system?
What drew me? I have a nasty feeling nothing drew me, I was always 'there' I just never used to have a label to put on where 'here' was - the fact that I'm still working on the label is neither here nor there. What I am isn't changed one bit by the label - labels just so help when you're trying to explain! lol

More seriously, yes I'm a practising witch, no I'm not Wiccan, and the Celtic part is... mostly because the deity who slapped me and to whom I chose to dedicate myself is Celtic. There are other reasons but that's the biggest single factor. Clear as mud?

I don't have any real 'system'. I'm always looking into new techniques to explore. <snip> As far as I'm concerned, magic and the Divine can work in separate ways- ie. you don't have to have a patron to do spell.
The only system I have is my own... it morphs slowly over time. It works, and that is the important thing - to me. But I would agree completely that having a patron is entirely not necessary for magic - we already know I do magic with, and mostly without, Her help. What was it I said the other day? I was doing X and I was going to do it whether She assisted or not but if She could see Her way to adding a little something to it then I would appreciate it... or words to that effect Wink

Quote
And the colour thing is so not set in stone.
Exactly - if it doesn't make sense to you - then why use it?

I was turned off by the ritual intensive magic with specifically coloured candles, esoterically named incenses and "magickally charged" oils.
Magic of that kind never did much for me either - one of the reasons I'm a kitchenwitch - then again my life tends to run along organized chaos lines at the best of times Smiley
I do what I need to do with whatever I have.

Just because you think it's simple doesn't make it right or useful.  Wicca is a religion.  Witchcraft is a skill set unrelated to any particular religion and adaptable to almost any religion. 
I'd agree - and in the same way being a witch with a deity/religious perspective doesn't make me a Wiccan.

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I am a witch because one cannot practice Wicca without performing witchcraft; even the most basic skill of a Wiccan, the casting of the circle, is witchcraft.
Side question, sine, why do so many people get upset over that? It's always made perfect sense to me....

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I did not choose this path.  It chose me. 
Me too.

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 If one has skills and/or talents, it seems disrespectful to the gods who endowed one with those skills and/or talents to disregard or ignore them. 
Ack, Sine just threw a lightbulb at me *pouts*

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If you aren't interested in worship or in serving gods as a priestess, then don't pretend just to have a label for yourself.  Just call yourself a witch and do the magic you want and need to do. If a deity wants you, the deity will make it clear to you.

(bold is mine) ... and how! lol

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I disapprove of calling it "playing" in any sense; there is a lot of power there and playing with it implies ignoring consequences.  There are ALWAYS consequences; nothing is done without cost.  This is why so much witchcraft is tied to a religious structure:  religions tend to have ethical structures that define the limits of appropriate behavior for their members. 
Ok, time I went back to working on my tangled knot... ethics, limits, consequences.....contrary to some people's opinions I (think) I have them... I'm still working out how it all ties up religiously... because I swear the deeper I look the less religious per se it gets... Huh

Other Neos, and most Eclectics and Traditionals, OTOH, work with the theory in which such things are aids to focus the will/intent, and that your own associations are more relevant. 
guilty... although I don't even worship my own tables lol
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« Reply #17: June 18, 2007, 07:32:32 pm »

What drew you to the craft? Or magick? Was it the seduction of the spells? Was it the wonder of the Goddess/God? Or was it something more basic, the 'Wicca is all things Pagan' mainstream myth?

I was drawn to the Craft before I knew that's what it was.  I read Margot Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon" 19 years ago and found out that there are other people who believe in the same things that I do, and that they're alive in this day and age.  Studying comparative cultures, and especially their spiritual traditions, has always interested me since I was a child, and polytheism made more sense to me that monotheism.  I couldn't get behind the theory that there could be a male God and no female Goddess.  It made much more sense that you needed both to create life.  Working with animals and the spellwork came naturally to me.  I was raised with a Japanese mother and lived in Japan and Hawai'i for some periods of time in my youth, and there was always a lot of ritual and spellwork in their spiritual traditions.

After I read Adler's book, I ended up joining a Wiccan coven, but after six years we disbanded and I've been working as a Solitary ever since.  My path has evolved, I've incorporated elements that aren't Wiccan into my practice, so I call myself Witch now rather than Wiccan.
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« Reply #18: June 21, 2007, 01:10:23 am »



What drew you to the craft? Or magick? Was it the seduction of the spells? Was it the wonder of the Goddess/God? Or was it something more basic, the 'Wicca is all things Pagan' mainstream myth?


I have no idea actually . . .

I have over the years blamed every deity you can immagine, and every strange set of circumstances you could invent for why I pratice.  In all fairness, I can only say that I did not come by it "honestly", nor was I born into a family that praticed any form of magick. 

I think I was drawn, originially, by the counter-culture of the 60's, where the birthpains of the neo-pagan systems were felt.  I started out as a wiccan, moved to druid in the late 70's, fell in love with the ideas being fostered by Peter Carroll and RAW a little later. 

In Wisconsin, not to far from where I live, there was a young but thriving pagan/wiccan community that had mixed Gardener with American Native beliefs, in the 60's, and was being facilitated by both Native American and European pagans living in the area. 

What can I say?  Sex and drugs are powerful motivators.  The prospect of naked women, promiscuity, and lots of drugs was too much for me to handle, I dived in head first, (which head is a matter of debate).  My first Beltane I thought I had died and gone to heaven, (or maybe hell, but at that point I could have cared less). 

Later on, after some age and a bit of sober thought did I actually start paying attention to what was being said around me, and start reading up on what I was proffessing to believe.  (And when I realized what I was doing I quickly switched over to another tradition . . .lol)

Now I am a confirmed Discordian in the Robert Anton Wilson flavor, and pratice a bit of Kitchen Chaote. 
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 01:12:13 am by V23 » Logged

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« Reply #19: June 21, 2007, 09:00:22 am »

What drew me? I have a nasty feeling nothing drew me, I was always 'there' I just never used to have a label to put on where 'here' was - the fact that I'm still working on the label is neither here nor there. What I am isn't changed one bit by the label - labels just so help when you're trying to explain! lol 


Quote from: Sine Silvering on 2007-06-17, 12:15:35:
"Just because you think it's simple doesn't make it right or useful.  Wicca is a religion.  Witchcraft is a skill set unrelated to any particular religion and adaptable to almost any religion."
I'd agree - and in the same way being a witch with a deity/religious perspective doesn't make me a Wiccan.

Sine's reply: Absolutely.  Wicca is a religion devoted to particular deities; if you aren't worshipping Them, you aren't Wiccan.  But there are lots of religions that allow the incorporation of witchcraft.



Quote from: Sine Silvering on 2007-06-17, 12:15:35:
"I am a witch because one cannot practice Wicca without performing witchcraft; even the most basic skill of a Wiccan, the casting of the circle, is witchcraft."
Side question, sine, why do so many people get upset over that? It's always made perfect sense to me...

Sine's reply:  There are people who get upset at the idea of doing witchcraft; the only reason I can think of is that they still haven't actually accepted that the teachings of Christianity aren't natural law rather than just the rules that apply to Christians.  They're afraid of witchcraft and of being labeled a witch because they grew up being told it was evil.



Quote from: Sine Silvering on 2007-06-17, 12:15:35:
"If one has skills and/or talents, it seems disrespectful to the gods who endowed one with those skills and/or talents to disregard or ignore them."
Ack, Sine just threw a lightbulb at me *pouts*

Sine's reply:  LOL  My work here is done! 


Quote from: Sine Silvering on 2007-06-17, 12:15:35:
"I disapprove of calling it "playing" in any sense; there is a lot of power there and playing with it implies ignoring consequences.  There are ALWAYS consequences; nothing is done without cost.  This is why so much witchcraft is tied to a religious structure:  religions tend to have ethical structures that define the limits of appropriate behavior for their members."
Ok, time I went back to working on my tangled knot... ethics, limits, consequences.....contrary to some people's opinions I (think) I have them... I'm still working out how it all ties up religiously... because I swear the deeper I look the less religious per se it gets... Huh

Sine's reply:  No one ever said it would be easy.  But remember, too, that what is achieved too easily is not valued very highly.

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« Reply #20: June 21, 2007, 10:53:47 am »

I am on the fence on this. I'm not sure if I do or don't want to go into Wicca/Witchcraft. And yes, I understand and know there is a difference between the two. For the sake of simplicity, I am lumping them together. However, I would love to know from those of you on the board here that practice, or have practiced before, why you chose it. Or didn't choose it from those that don't.

When I did start looking into religions Wicca was one that I looked into.  I must admit that I didn't look long.  There were so many different 'brands' that it was starting to look like Christianity.  It is hard to look at Wicca as a whole since there is a wide range of beliefs that fell under that umbrella.  Some believed in a Goddess, some in a God/Goddess combo, some had there own pantheon, some borrowed another pantheon, some borrowed gods from different pantheons, some had no gods, etc.  Most followed the Wiccan rede.  Some were open to all, some were exclusive.  It was looking like just examining Wicca would be on the scope of examining the religions of the world.  So while some had things I agreed with, most did not.  Even the rede I didn't agree with.

One thing that seemed pretty common was magic.  Since I had no interest in magic (or belief even), that was the clincher to move on.
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« Reply #21: June 21, 2007, 11:11:25 am »


Sine's reply: Absolutely.  Wicca is a religion devoted to particular deities; if you aren't worshipping Them, you aren't Wiccan.  But there are lots of religions that allow the incorporation of witchcraft.

The general perception that wicca/witch/pagan/whatever is kind of all the same in their minds doesn't help.... sorry, stray thought escaped there!

Hence one of the reasons I don't claim to be Wiccan....

Quote
Sine's reply:  No one ever said it would be easy.  But remember, too, that what is achieved too easily is not valued very highly.

Can I whine and say that even an occasional easy moment would help? Wink
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« Reply #22: June 21, 2007, 01:48:06 pm »

The general perception that wicca/witch/pagan/whatever is kind of all the same in their minds doesn't help.... sorry, stray thought escaped there!

Hence one of the reasons I don't claim to be Wiccan....

Can I whine and say that even an occasional easy moment would help? Wink

Stray thoughts are okay; just round 'em up so they don't get lost.  Smiley
You can whine all you want; it won't help.  Sorry.  TJTWTWI...

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« Reply #23: June 21, 2007, 01:53:04 pm »

Stray thoughts are okay; just round 'em up so they don't get lost.  Smiley
You can whine all you want; it won't help.  Sorry.  TJTWTWI...



Except for the part where I feel better without the whine inside me anymore lol
I know - Life's a beach... and then the tide comes in.
you can tell I used to live by the sea Wink

Ok, done with the silliness, off to round up that stray thought now.
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« Reply #24: June 21, 2007, 11:15:50 pm »

There are several avenues you can look at, pagan or neo-pagan paths may not be for you. But perhaps a more eastern-Asian path is more compatible. You already seem to have good control over energy/chi work. There is many Chinese paths that totally utilize your form of energy control without being tied into a religious God/Goddess model, all the power comes from within. Meditation and enlightenment is also a big selling point for them as well as the physical development aspect. Combine that with western spell work and eastern philosophy you’d be the most interesting mage around!
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Hmm..

Well… its something to think about anyways   
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« Reply #25: June 22, 2007, 06:02:08 am »



Mederic,

Could you please include a small quote from whomever you are responding to in your posts?  It helps to preserve the flow of conversation, as it allows us to see which posters are responding to each other.

Thank you,

EverFool, staff member
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« Reply #26: July 03, 2007, 11:33:20 pm »



What drew you to the craft? Or magick? Was it the seduction of the spells? Was it the wonder of the Goddess/God? Or was it something more basic, the 'Wicca is all things Pagan' mainstream myth?

I guess I'll have to go with the "oh so cliche" assertion that I always held some kind of affinity to a spirituality different from the one I was raised in. I read my first horribly inaccurate book on "magick"  when I was 12 and went on from there. I think I liked the idea of being able to have some kind of control over my existence, which at the time was very hectic and unbalanced.


Quote

And further more, if you are a practicing witch in either Witchcraft/Wicca ... what "area" or "type" of it are you? I have seen here on the board Eclectic, Celtic, Hermetic, Christian ... I am starting to understand the differences between them little by little. Why did you choose that particular belief system?


I'm currently more of an "urban temple dweller" if you will. I tend to my altar for the Olympians, do divinations, and celebrate festivals as my budget allows. My magickal practices are separate from my religious ones. I don't mention the Gods when I'm doing any kind of witchcraft, because for some reason I find it a little blasphemous, but that's just my personal "squick-factor" and not something I believe is a requirement in Hellenism.

My belief system however, is always under some form of metamorphosis.  As of now, I've been incorporating more Eastern philosophies and concepts into my practice. Chakras, meditation, aspects of Zen Buddhism, all of this on top of a neo-Wicca, Green Witchcraft, Folk Magick base. Like most here- I'm still seeking. I think the key is to keep researching and trying new things, but to still maintain some kind of focus as to what you're trying to become or gain in the end. Seek out options that seem as if they will be in accordance with this "will" and begin the research.







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« Reply #27: July 04, 2007, 12:23:08 am »

I am on the fence on this. I'm not sure if I do or don't want to go into Wicca/Witchcraft. And yes, I understand and know there is a difference between the two. For the sake of simplicity, I am lumping them together. However, I would love to know from those of you on the board here that practice, or have practiced before, why you chose it. Or didn't choose it from those that don't.

As long as you see the difference, I'm alright with that. For some of us (or fine, at least for -me-), theres no point in rehashing the same old "Wicca is a religion, Witchcraft is a craft" over and over again.

Quote
What drew you to the craft? Or magick? Was it the seduction of the spells? Was it the wonder of the Goddess/God? Or was it something more basic, the 'Wicca is all things Pagan' mainstream myth?

It was the myths, I think. And by myths I mean the myths of the Greeks, Romans, Norse, etc. I didn't grow up in a very religious home (My profile lists my birth religion as 'Agnostic/Protestant' for a reason). It wasn't a focus. And I was always intend on researching myths. Even if they were watered down, they were told in their own way. Myths change according to the mouth that speaks it.

Greek myths were the ones I always seemed to be drawn to. Yes, they are the most popular, but I did know the difference at a young age between Greek and Roman gods. I can remember telling people "Jupiter is the Roman God! Not the Greek one!" or something similar to that. Haha.

Quote
And further more, if you are a practicing witch in either Witchcraft/Wicca ... what "area" or "type" of it are you? I have seen here on the board Eclectic, Celtic, Hermetic, Christian ... I am starting to understand the differences between them little by little. Why did you choose that particular belief system?

Hellenic-themed pagan, for now. I don't know. Like I said above, Greek myths intrigued me. I'm still on the baby steps of my particular religion. Maybe its just me, but I'm waiting for the sign that just screams out "Hello, are you coming?"

Although last night, after being depressed for the past weekend and me wanting something out there to show me this, I had a dream involving dancing, trains, computers, and transsexuals. I didn't actually realize the link to Kybele and Dionysos earlier this night. I'm just worried that I'm all making this up in my head. >_<

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I have felt the pull of magick for a long time now .. but ignored it. I have been told that I have done things that made certain people think I was a witch, but afterward, when told, I denied doing anything of the like, becuase if anything happened, it was unknown by me. Subconsious perhaps? A hidden talent that has yet to be shaped, streched, used? I've been told I have a 'magic touch' when it comes to animals ... especially horses. I have the ability to calm difficult animals wheras others could not ... been in situations where the animal *could* have been difficult but I've helped them stay calm when with others they would not have.

I'm something like this. I've felt a pull but I'm absolutely confused. I can't take subtle hints. I need something in my face that just screams "COME ON LOOK AT ME COME LOOK AT ME!". But thats just me.

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I like working with energy, I do it already without calling it anything specific. I create 'walls' or 'balls' of energy and send or use them for various reasons. I do realise that this is a form of spellwork, informal as it may be. I've done it for years now, and really don't think twice about it anymore.

Energy work confuses the hell out of me. Maybe its because I've never seriously set myself down to try this, but it just.. confuses me.

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I am just debating whether I fall in with the whole Wicca line of thought ... mostly because I am still trying to come to grips with whether or not I believe in dieties. Sometimes I think I could, others its no way jose. Also, the idea of the whole ... you have to have  this color candle for this spell to work .. and on and on ... while part of me understands WHY theres another part that says, why can't you just sit for a min, and think really hard about it, and then go on with your life? *shruggs* its not so much from laziness of getting all the stuff ready, its more about the formality of it. I mean, trees don't use candles to make light ... which is from energy of the sun. That to me is magic done by a tree. I would just rather "play" with the energy itself, than mess with trinkets that wouldn't matter much anyways. Does this make sense to anyone besides me? LOL. Sometimes I wonder ...

What you're kind of describing (with candle needs to be such and such colour) is a mainstream, fluffy version of sympathetic magic. If you're doing a love spell, you want things to reflect colours and feelings of love. Or, with healing magic, things that ooze health and prosperity.

But when it just all becomes some big arse cookbook (no offense to the kitchen witches, I'm meaning the really bad books!), and becomes less about what magic is, then you have a problem.

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*just some random thoughts from a very happily confused person*

Yay! Join the club.  Cheesy
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« Reply #28: July 04, 2007, 07:35:34 am »

As long as you see the difference, I'm alright with that. For some of us (or fine, at least for -me-), theres no point in rehashing the same old "Wicca is a religion, Witchcraft is a craft" over and over again.

It is a sensitive point around here, though (although not so much so as "Wiccan/Pagan"), so I can certainly understand the disclaimer.  Wink
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« Reply #29: July 04, 2007, 12:20:34 pm »


What drew you to the craft? Or magick? Was it the seduction of the spells? Was it the wonder of the Goddess/God? Or was it something more basic, the 'Wicca is all things Pagan' mainstream myth?

And further more, if you are a practicing witch in either Witchcraft/Wicca ... what "area" or "type" of it are you? I have seen here on the board Eclectic, Celtic, Hermetic, Christian ... I am starting to understand the differences between them little by little. Why did you choose that particular belief system?



I like working with energy, I do it already without calling it anything specific. I create 'walls' or 'balls' of energy and send or use them for various reasons. I do realise that this is a form of spellwork, informal as it may be. I've done it for years now, and really don't think twice about it anymore.

*just some random thoughts from a very happily confused person*

I had a very difficult time with the theistic aspects of Wicca, and wiccanesque paths.  Long story short, I questioned my ability to believe in something that I hadn't been conditioned to believe in.  The man in white robes on a cloud throne thing never sat well for me.  I had issues even believing in that, and this was with a lifetime (12-14 years) of conditioned, socially reinforced belief.

How could I then one day wake up and acknowledge that there are lots of sparkly superheroes with all different sorts of thrones? 

It seemed pretty far fetched.

From there I ended up asking, well what DO I believe in?  What do I really believe is out there.  Not what is cool to believe in, not necessarily what or how everyone else believes in - not trading one set of merit badges for another, but what do I really believe is out there.  What portions of it are knowable, what portions are the unknowable?

I started off with energy work because it was tangible.  It was something I could touch, feel and alter and since it was effective then I could understand and believe in that.  Cause and effect.

As that energy work expanded, there were a few failed attempts to jump on some bandwagons.  A few more popular female deities in particular rang hollow.  I moved away from the deity stuff and focused in on being effective meditationally and in energy work. 

As the years went by, and I started seeing that energy in other things besides myself, and in pretty much everything - even the things that aren't considered traditionally sentient, then I started looking for a name for that energy.  In interface through which I could communicate more directly. 

Not deity in the sense of broad spectrum creation, but deity in the sense that there is an energy, perhaps self aware, maybe not that gives sentience and animation to the things around us.  It's something you can feel, something you can respond to, something you can apply energy to and it seems to be responsive.

If there is response, then perhaps we can sort through the song and dance and communicate on a more knowable level.

So that's what I have found to believe in.  (so that's what I did this summer at camp... lol)

Which is about where I'm at now. 
Logged

I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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