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Poll
Question: Do You Consider Yourself a "Witch"?
Yes - 25 (41.7%)
No - 20 (33.3%)
It's Complicated - 7 (11.7%)
Unsure - 5 (8.3%)
Special Option for Wiccans - 3 (5%)
Total Voters: 60

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Author Topic: Do You Consider Yoursef a "Witch"?  (Read 16170 times)
Kilmeny
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« Reply #14: April 19, 2011, 05:45:03 am »

I heard pretty often folks refraining from the use of the word 'witch' or in German 'Hexe', because of all the things you mentioned and some more.

That is a point I personally don't get.
I mean, if you (general you from now on, just using your post as a jump off point) don't feel like being a witch and don't use it - that is only logical.

But, if you don't use it, because it is a word with tons of meanings and some people might don't like it and others use it in another way, then I don't get it.


I do agree that it is a very powerful word, and I'm sure that's why a lot of people feel a connection to it.

What I suppose it boils down to though, is what you consider the definition of 'witchcraft' to be, both personally, and if you are any kind of reconstructionist, then historically too. It's a bit like the word Druid, in that many people in neo-Druidry identify with this term personally, but in Celtic Reconstructionism it has a different meaning and is not used so generally. Neither of those definitions are wrong, but a CR is less likely to self identify as a Druid given the definition accepted within the community and the scholarship available.

Personally, coming from a Traditional Witchcraft background, my definition is also historical and is based on the folk lore and scholarship surrounding Witchcraft and Cunning craft, mostly in Britain and Ireland. In that context, and very vaguely because I don't feel up to the task of giving a proper definition, a Witch is someone who practises folk magic, either to the detriment of their neighbours, or as a Cunning person, which is basically a profession (with quite possibly some cursework on the side.) In fact, the Cunning folk would rarely refer to themselves as witches either, given the bad rap the word had for several centuries. By that definition, do I consider myself a Witch? Maybe not, since I do not work folk magic as a profession, nor do I go around overlooking the neighbours butter churns Wink Yet I'm definitely a student of witchcraft, and some extend the definition to those who use folk magic in private practice too.

I don't think anyone owns the word, or that there is any official definition. I just think it depends, like many words, on the context in which it is used. Sure, I could just use the word because I like the sound of it and the powerful emotions attached, but then am I being honest to my own world view?

As the poll says, it's complicated.

note on the above: I hope no one takes offence at my vague definitions, as I'm not trying to apply them to everyone, quite the opposite, and I certainly don't want to get involved in yet another debate on etymology and witch qualifications... although I always seem to end up there, moth to a flame.
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