The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
April 08, 2020, 07:32:11 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 08, 2020, 07:32:11 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Magic vs Religious Ceremony  (Read 10909 times)
WarHorse
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 04, 2012, 06:05:14 pm
United States United States

Religion: Eclectic Pantheist
Posts: 2994


The little tyke.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #15: November 04, 2007, 02:46:02 pm »

I don't think it has anything to do with one's religious beliefs or lack thereof; magic is imposing one's will on perceived reality and creating change.  Look at it that way, and baptism and christening are certainly magical rites.  The daily Mass can be, as well. 

One of the reasons for the decline in Roman Catholicism in the last half century could be that they emasculated their own most basic power-raising in changing the way the Mass is conducted.  In Latin, with the priest leading from up front with his back to the congregation, facing the altar and God, focusing their devotion, had at least 1500 years of magical momentum behind it.  They abandoned it... and became just another bunch of folks meeting on Sunday in a cool building. 

A portion of the Reformation may actually have been a rejection of the addiction to that weekly power raising and the power it imbued on those men who controlled that power... which is why the Protestant denominations reject almost all the symbols of the traditional Mass:  a cross rather than a crucifix, because there's so much less emotion connected to the cross alone than there is to the image of the Suffering Christ.  No incense, only a few candles, no *rite* in actuality:  a song, a lecture, a collection, a sip of grape juice and a bite of bread, passed down the pews rather than fed from the Altar of God, a collection, the Lord's Prayer, another song and a farewell...  designed to minimize power raising.

Does that make sense to you?  I'm typing pre-coffee.

Yes, it makes sense.  Very interesting take on the question.

My question appears to have no fixed answer - it depends on one's perspective.

Logged

"I've seen knights in armor panic at the first hint of battle.  And I've seen the lowliest unarmed squire pull a spear from his own body to defend a dying horse." - Kevin Costner as Robin of Loxley, Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves.

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

catja6
Board Staff
Staff
Adept Member
***
Last Login:February 29, 2016, 11:06:03 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Posts: 1119


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #16: November 05, 2007, 10:16:24 am »

This is a spin-off of the Medieval Spells thread.

Okay, so what is the difference?  I am asking this with no biases - can a religious Ceremony, even something so common and basic as Baptism or Communion qualify as Magic?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

My inner Pantheist is suggesting "It is All One." Wink



What qualifies as "magic" and what qualifies as "religion" are *very* culturally-bound, and, from a scholarly perspective, it's problematic -- and downright rude -- to go around telling other people what they're "really" doing, according to your own definition of magic/religion.

In *general*, in the West, the distinction between "magic" and "religion" is, as Randall noted, imposing your will/petitioning a deity for help.  (That separation is Frazer's, btw; his stuff on magic is still respected by scholars to  greater degree than his theories as a whole.) However, that can get *really* hairy in individual cases, and therefore it's better to go with what that culture, overall, would have articulated as "magic."   

Christianity, as a whole, draws a pretty clear distinction between "magic" and "religion," with "magic" being "what you're not supposed to be doing" -- like the ancient Greeks, orthodox Christian doctrine tends to formulate "magic" as "illegitimate uses of religious power."  (Christian and ancient Greek magic tends to fall best into the Frazerian dichotomy -- not surprising, because those religions were his frame of reference.)    Not that "you're not supposed to do it" ever stopped anyone who wanted to -- Magliocco reports that Italian folk magic practitioners don't care that the priest disapprove, because "priests disapprove of everything."  Where it can get exceptionally problematic is when you start imposing that model on non-Western faiths, or even certain strands of Western ones -- in Voudoun, or for that matter, Wicca, what *those religions* understand as "magic" and "religion" are blended together.  Even that "illegitimate use of religious power" rider to concepts of magic in Christianity and ancient Greece can get weird and hairy, depending on where, when, and what you're talking about.

In general, then, it's most accurate, and most polite, to understand magic/religion *within specific cultural contexts*, rather than in the broad sense.  Otherwise, it comes across very Victorian-anthropologist.   
Logged
sile
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:July 12, 2008, 03:28:39 pm
United States United States

Religion: eclectic
Posts: 65


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #17: November 05, 2007, 07:21:58 pm »

What qualifies as "magic" and what qualifies as "religion" are *very* culturally-bound, and, from a scholarly perspective, it's problematic -- and downright rude -- to go around telling other people what they're "really" doing, according to your own definition of magic/religion.

In *general*, in the West, the distinction between "magic" and "religion" is, as Randall noted, imposing your will/petitioning a deity for help.  (That separation is Frazer's, btw; his stuff on magic is still respected by scholars to  greater degree than his theories as a whole.) However, that can get *really* hairy in individual cases, and therefore it's better to go with what that culture, overall, would have articulated as "magic."   

Christianity, as a whole, draws a pretty clear distinction between "magic" and "religion," with "magic" being "what you're not supposed to be doing" -- like the ancient Greeks, orthodox Christian doctrine tends to formulate "magic" as "illegitimate uses of religious power."  (Christian and ancient Greek magic tends to fall best into the Frazerian dichotomy -- not surprising, because those religions were his frame of reference.)    Not that "you're not supposed to do it" ever stopped anyone who wanted to -- Magliocco reports that Italian folk magic practitioners don't care that the priest disapprove, because "priests disapprove of everything."  Where it can get exceptionally problematic is when you start imposing that model on non-Western faiths, or even certain strands of Western ones -- in Voudoun, or for that matter, Wicca, what *those religions* understand as "magic" and "religion" are blended together.  Even that "illegitimate use of religious power" rider to concepts of magic in Christianity and ancient Greece can get weird and hairy, depending on where, when, and what you're talking about.

In general, then, it's most accurate, and most polite, to understand magic/religion *within specific cultural contexts*, rather than in the broad sense.  Otherwise, it comes across very Victorian-anthropologist.   

All of that from a guy with the cookie monster as an avatar.

But to the main question at hand, and I know this has been answered before, but If it's Your religious ceremony, that is if it's Your baptism or Your communion, sure, call it anything you want.  Just don't put your tag on another person's ceremony.

My mother is Christian as Christian can be and I'm a died in the wool energy worker.  I do a lot of reiki and other forms of energy work at all hours of the day.  When she's around I have to be careful to keep my hands away from her because she feels the energy flow and immediately shakes her finger at me and tells me god's gonna send me to hell for working that evil magic again.  LOL  Being she's almost 90 I'll let her think that, I've been playing the black and white religion game with that old woman for a long time.  But I don't tell her her brand of healing is magical in nature.  No matter what I think, her religion doesn't allow for such things.
Logged
WarHorse
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:July 04, 2012, 06:05:14 pm
United States United States

Religion: Eclectic Pantheist
Posts: 2994


The little tyke.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #18: November 05, 2007, 07:36:18 pm »

...it's problematic -- and downright rude -- to go around telling other people what they're "really" doing, according to your own definition of magic/religion.

But I don't tell her her brand of healing is magical in nature.  No matter what I think, her religion doesn't allow for such things.

So in the end, it is the individual's perspective.  Which should have been obvious from the start, but I wanted to expand on the idea.

But it always boils down to the bones, doesn't it?

Logged

"I've seen knights in armor panic at the first hint of battle.  And I've seen the lowliest unarmed squire pull a spear from his own body to defend a dying horse." - Kevin Costner as Robin of Loxley, Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves.
sile
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:July 12, 2008, 03:28:39 pm
United States United States

Religion: eclectic
Posts: 65


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #19: November 05, 2007, 07:59:04 pm »


   

oops, sorry Cat, I meant to write gal there and I hope you know I was poking fun.  ;-)
Logged
thain
Master Member
****
Last Login:August 04, 2010, 11:57:23 am
United States United States

Religion: Buddhist/Eclectic Pagan
Posts: 676


Thanatos Eleison

Blog entries (3)



Ignore
« Reply #20: November 05, 2007, 09:28:37 pm »

So in the end, it is the individual's perspective.  Which should have been obvious from the start, but I wanted to expand on the idea.


Remember: it's not *just* the individual's perspective.  It is *respect* for that perspective.  I don't want to be told that my eclectic paganism/Buddhism is the same as worshiping Satan, so I'm not going to tell a "faith healer" that they are working magick.  I expect the Christians I know to respect that I am on my own path, just as I respect the path on which they travel.  Whether I look at prayer, miracles, and magick as the same thing or not, it is not a view I would arbitrarily impose on anyone else.

An atmosphere of mutual respect helps to build a constructive dialog.
Logged

Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. - Buddha

The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them. -J.R.R. Tolkien
guineith
Journeyman
***
Last Login:February 21, 2008, 09:42:24 am
Australia Australia

Religion: druidic pantheist
Posts: 136


It is possible if you think it is possible

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #21: November 10, 2007, 04:02:49 am »

My mother is Christian as Christian can be and I'm a died in the wool energy worker.  I do a lot of reiki and other forms of energy work at all hours of the day.  When she's around I have to be careful to keep my hands away from her because she feels the energy flow and immediately shakes her finger at me and tells me god's gonna send me to hell for working that evil magic again.  LOL  Being she's almost 90 I'll let her think that, I've been playing the black and white religion game with that old woman for a long time.  But I don't tell her her brand of healing is magical in nature.  No matter what I think, her religion doesn't allow for such things.
I know what you're talking about but isn't it interesting that you both sense energy? I believe that such abilities are hereditary so it is not surprising for me that your mother is a faith healer and you are an energy worker!  Grin I agree that you're probably tapping into the same source, it's just that the cultural context has changed a bit over the years...
Logged

The wind was a raging torrent
Rushing through the trees
The Moon was a ghostly galleon
Tossed upon stormy seas
The road was a silver ribbon
Across the Purple moor
And the Highwayman came riding, riding,
riding
The Highwayman came riding
Up to the old inn door...
Alfred Noyes "The Highwayman"
Walker
Senior Newbie
*
Last Login:January 07, 2008, 11:56:49 pm
United States United States

Religion: transcendentalist
Posts: 15

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #22: November 11, 2007, 02:53:06 pm »

hey everybody, interesting stuff

having spent a good deal of time around Christians of various stripes I think many of the would either reject the notion of their ceremonies being anything other than symbolic or, in the case of those that have a metaphysical perspective, view their diety/energy as legitimate & original and everyone else's as a counterfeit designed to decieve.

for what its worth, in some pentecostal forms of Christianity a baptism isn't considered succesfull unless accompanied by an event termed 'the baptism of the Holy Spirit' that is evidenced by metaphysical phenomena and subsequent positive character development.  Maybe a magical religious initiation?

Peace & Light, Walker

Logged
thain
Master Member
****
Last Login:August 04, 2010, 11:57:23 am
United States United States

Religion: Buddhist/Eclectic Pagan
Posts: 676


Thanatos Eleison

Blog entries (3)



Ignore
« Reply #23: November 12, 2007, 10:09:28 am »

for what its worth, in some pentecostal forms of Christianity a baptism isn't considered succesfull unless accompanied by an event termed 'the baptism of the Holy Spirit' that is evidenced by metaphysical phenomena and subsequent positive character development.  Maybe a magical religious initiation?

Well, the subsequent positive character development is a good sign for those denominations that require it, but most denominations I've seen tend to view "baptism of/in the Holy Spirit" only as one or both of the following:
A): Grand Mal seizures
B): Speaking in a "personal prayer language."  In my experience, 90% of these "personal prayer languages" are random collections of syllables that have no basis whatsoever in actual linguistics.  When queried about this, the believers in this "personal prayer language" will say this is because it's a "personal" language meant for direct communication with "Gawd" so that Satan can't hear or interfere (I kid you not).  This, of course, ignores the fact that the "tongues" spoken in the Biblical accounts of such phenomena were REAL languages.
Logged

Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. - Buddha

The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them. -J.R.R. Tolkien
hyacinthine
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:July 24, 2011, 01:32:18 pm
United States United States

Religion: erm...
Posts: 62


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #24: November 12, 2007, 10:49:58 am »

I don't think it has anything to do with one's religious beliefs or lack thereof; magic is imposing one's will on perceived reality and creating change.  Look at it that way, and baptism and christening are certainly magical rites. 

I agree with this. It doesn't matter what an act is called if it is the same act. If what Christians do manipulates energy in the way what self-professed witches do manipulates energy, then it is PHYSICALLY the same thing - and I do believe magic is physical. I do not believe there is a single thing supernatural about it. Being beyond the scope of current scientific research does not mean it is beyond the scope of science or physicality as a whole.

The difference, however, is that what Christians or those of Judeo-Christian paths do could be called... hmm... Yaweh-magic. Magic caused and allowed by Yaweh. Magic stemming from Yaweh. What Pagans do does not stem from Yaweh (at least not if you believe that a) not all Gods are one b) there is only one/pantheon of God/s, and that does not include Yaweh OR c) magic is a purely physical/scientific phenomenon, albeit on a very advanced scale), and therefore it is non-Yaweh-magic -- heathenry, witchcraft, "evil", etc. It is not a matter of what the act entails so much as who CONTROLS the act.
Logged

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
Voltaire
guineith
Journeyman
***
Last Login:February 21, 2008, 09:42:24 am
Australia Australia

Religion: druidic pantheist
Posts: 136


It is possible if you think it is possible

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #25: November 18, 2007, 01:21:10 pm »

Well, the subsequent positive character development is a good sign for those denominations that require it, but most denominations I've seen tend to view "baptism of/in the Holy Spirit" only as one or both of the following:
A): Grand Mal seizures
B): Speaking in a "personal prayer language."  In my experience, 90% of these "personal prayer languages" are random collections of syllables that have no basis whatsoever in actual linguistics.  When queried about this, the believers in this "personal prayer language" will say this is because it's a "personal" language meant for direct communication with "Gawd" so that Satan can't hear or interfere (I kid you not).  This, of course, ignores the fact that the "tongues" spoken in the Biblical accounts of such phenomena were REAL languages.
Well, I was baptised by full immersion and afterwards a minister prayed for me to be "filled" (baptised) with the Holy Spirit. I fell into a trance and began to speak another language, a few syllables at first, then more complex phrases. I know what this language is-it's Hungarian, because I have had a conversation with a native Hungarian speaker in it. What were we talking about? I have no idea, but he was greatly blessed by what was said, because he was so happy he was crying! He spoke no English and was a patient in an old folks home. Myself and some friends were visiting some people there and the Great Spirit spoke in my heart, telling me to go and talk to this man in tongues. Well, I did, and this was what happened! The nurse wanted to know where I had learned Hungarian and this was how I found out what my language was.

I still speak in my "known" unknown tongue, often weaving it into magickal ritual and also sometimes as a meditative/prayer practise. It is truly a precious gift as it reminds me that even though my beliefs have altered a great deal from when my adventure into divinity began, the Holy Spirit, that One who is in the Wind, has not abandoned me but is leading me to a place where only He knows...
Logged

The wind was a raging torrent
Rushing through the trees
The Moon was a ghostly galleon
Tossed upon stormy seas
The road was a silver ribbon
Across the Purple moor
And the Highwayman came riding, riding,
riding
The Highwayman came riding
Up to the old inn door...
Alfred Noyes "The Highwayman"
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:March 09, 2020, 05:56:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #26: November 18, 2007, 06:30:24 pm »

Well, I was baptised by full immersion and afterwards a minister prayed for me to be "filled" (baptised) with the Holy Spirit. I fell into a trance and began to speak another language, a few syllables at first, then more complex phrases. I know what this language is-it's Hungarian, because I have had a conversation with a native Hungarian speaker in it.

This, I suspect, was what the Bible actually meant by speaking in tongues -- followers of Jesus would have the ability to speak to those who spoke other languages so they could tell them the "good news", etc.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
Waldfrau
High Adept Member
******
*
Last Login:January 02, 2013, 06:41:55 pm
Germany Germany

Religion: polytheistic witch leaning towards Reclaiming
TCN ID: Waldfrau
Posts: 2903


Blog entries (2)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27: November 18, 2007, 07:19:01 pm »

It doesn't matter what an act is called if it is the same act. If what Christians do manipulates energy in the way what self-professed witches do manipulates energy, then it is PHYSICALLY the same thing - and I do believe magic is physical. I do not believe there is a single thing supernatural about it. Being beyond the scope of current scientific research does not mean it is beyond the scope of science or physicality as a whole.
I think if you see it as energy work, Christian do it too. For example if they pray for another person to get healed, they sent energies to that person they pray for. If I define this as magic or not is in my own faith.

Going around and telling Christians that I call that magic is a pretty different thing I consider rude. But I see no problem discussing the point between us and nobody had suggested to inform the evangelical community next door.

And there's still a difference. When  we talk about Christians using magic in Christian rituals we don't judge them as being on the wrong path, or at least I don't. I respect their energy work as much as I respect the one of any witch etc.

If they say what a witch does was worshipping satan, isn't that a bit more judgemental than some of us saying a Christian does magic? In the contrary I have no problem if a Christian tells me that 'Jesus loves you too.' Why thank you.
Logged

My blog: http://waldhexe.wordpress.com/ (English and German entries)
thain
Master Member
****
Last Login:August 04, 2010, 11:57:23 am
United States United States

Religion: Buddhist/Eclectic Pagan
Posts: 676


Thanatos Eleison

Blog entries (3)



Ignore
« Reply #28: November 21, 2007, 04:03:14 pm »

Well, I was baptised by full immersion and afterwards a minister prayed for me to be "filled" (baptised) with the Holy Spirit. I fell into a trance and began to speak another language, a few syllables at first, then more complex phrases. I know what this language is-it's Hungarian, because I have had a conversation with a native Hungarian speaker in it.

I agree with Randall that this is what the Christian Scriptures actually mean when they refer to speaking in tongues/being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  Even when I was making an attempt at being good little Christian boy, it grated me to no end that the churches I visited almost unanimously viewed speaking in tongues as using a gibberish language with no meaning save to communicate directly with "Gawd."  They never would listen when I tried to argue that the Scriptures were talking about real languages, and they always insisted that "Gawd" had to supply the interpretation for the loudly shouted strings of random syllables (mostly sha, la, na, ee, and ka, for some reason).  I almost always tuned out of any service where a parishioner would get up and start screaming gibberish, because I knew it was a load of BS.  There were a few occasions, however, when I could tell a real language was being spoken, and those were usually worthwhile occasions.
Logged

Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed. - Buddha

The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them. -J.R.R. Tolkien
Syrbal
Master Member
****
Last Login:September 08, 2008, 04:18:48 pm
United States United States

Posts: 360

This is my happy face!

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #29: November 21, 2007, 04:18:01 pm »

This, I suspect, was what the Bible actually meant by speaking in tongues -- followers of Jesus would have the ability to speak to those who spoke other languages so they could tell them the "good news", etc.

Indeed...a sign that the new 'baptism' of spirit was capable of reversing the "babble" of the Old Testament.  But, I honestly don't 'get' it in one sense...yes, I relate to some of the ancient Greek deities (and Nordic ones, too) but what good would it really do me to suddenly hold forth in Old Norse or Ancient Greek?  But then, I am obtuse...
Logged

Syrbal the Gone

"The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell" (Scorpions)

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Magic, occult and religious symbols
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
Waldfrau 11 4061 Last post December 12, 2007, 09:10:06 pm
by Juniper
coming of age ritual/ceremony - looking for ideas and/or advice on
Paganism For Beginners
elahrairah 6 5004 Last post October 18, 2009, 06:19:44 pm
by elahrairah
How many practice magic seperate from their religious beliefs
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
jafa 11 3692 Last post November 01, 2009, 04:27:07 pm
by Satsekhem
Ritual versus Ceremony
Worship and Ritual
Carnelian 6 2453 Last post December 19, 2009, 01:30:49 pm
by Tana
Adulthood, Independence, and Ceremony
Teen Pagans SIG
Kasmira 10 5421 Last post March 29, 2010, 04:59:54 pm
by darashand
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.065 seconds with 49 queries.