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Author Topic: Your religion, or your magic?  (Read 26915 times)
Juniper
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« Topic Start: October 02, 2008, 03:06:50 pm »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?
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« Reply #1: October 02, 2008, 03:24:03 pm »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

You know, I'm not entirely sure Cheesy

I can say that the first pagan religion that I practiced was Wicca and I did cast a few spells while I was studying that religion.  However, I studied Greek mythology long before that and I vaguely recall praying to the Greek Gods from time to time.

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In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

I rarely use magic anymore.  When I do, I use it as a last resort and completely separate from my religious practices.
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« Reply #2: October 02, 2008, 03:49:23 pm »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

I definately didn't do magic before I found my original path (Wicca, like a lot of other's I'd suppose). However I consider magic to be actual spell-work or sympathetic magic. Things like talking to/see things isn't magic in my mind, because it isn't something you necessarily chose to do. I've been doing that a lot longer.
I do find magic to be separate from religion, since anyone in any religion seems to be able to do magic. The religion just gives you the framework to perform it.
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« Reply #3: October 02, 2008, 03:56:55 pm »

The religion just gives you the framework to perform it.

That's an interesting point.

To answer my own question:

I found my religious path a good couple of years before I began practicing magic. All the Witch/Pagan books I read did have information about magic in them, but for some reason I chose not to dabble in it. It was only when my religious beliefs took shape into something solid that I began to become interested in natural witchcraft. I don't know why it happened that way, but I'm glad that it did.

Now I have gotten to the point where the two- witchcraft and my religion- are bound very tightly together. I know it is not that way for some people, and therefore I will not say the two should always be linked, but for me they are.
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« Reply #4: October 02, 2008, 08:33:03 pm »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

Well, I haven't done much magic, but I didn't do a spell until I questioned what my religion should be, a question I'm still working on.  So I guess technically magic came first, but it only came after I began exploring other religions.

As far as correlation between the two, I think that they can be completely separate or very intertwined depending on the user.  For instance, Wicca and magic is generally very entwined.  I've heard of people using crucifixes, in a respectful way, in magical rituals as tools even.

So I honestly think that they can be separate or together.
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« Reply #5: October 02, 2008, 09:53:07 pm »

...Which came first?

To me, it was religion. Later, when I found Wicca, I added magic for what I read about it (wiccans are witches, witches do magic...), but I wasn't very interested in magic anyway.

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

Today, magic and my religion go separately, though it doesn't mean that there's no way to mix both of them. I just don't tend to think religiously when doing magic (I just do a spell once in a while, if I'm really desperate).
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« Reply #6: October 04, 2008, 05:10:13 am »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?
Hey, nice to see this thread. Smiley I adapted what I wrote to you in the PM a bit:

For me both aspects developed together because I always saw them as intertwined. I always felt a strong relationship to nature because I could sense the powers of nature, so I had a lot of occult and religious concepts before realizing what they were. I was a bit of an animist before I knew what the term meant. So everything having specific energies and being a part of the divine is the reason magic works in my opinion. When I felt the powers of nature the first time I immediately interpreted it as something sacred, it appeared to my youthful and naive self like a mystical revealation of religious 'gnosis', although I didn't immediately have a fletched out religious system (that I'm still working out). But I'm unable to completly cut magic from religion in my own practice.

That doesn't mean however that I see every little folk magic as a deeply religious act, but my spirituality/religious orientation is the framework for my magical practice. I like how Leigh137* put that, although I don't have a fletched out religious frame yet, magic and occult powers just feel sacred to me. I don't have an elaborated theoretical explanation yet, it's just the UPG of a confused animistic pantheist/slightly soft polytheist.

When looking at how I started to consciously learn about magic/witchcraft and Pagan religions I must say that I also was interested in both aspect from the beginning. I have phases though in which I'm more interested in magical aspects or more in religious/theological aspects, but in the end they always combine somewhere.


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« Reply #7: October 04, 2008, 11:44:54 am »

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

I practiced magic quite awhile before being pagan, and stopped because I didn't think it fit with my religious path at the time.  When I came back to magic I was questioning my religion, and one of the things I was looking for was a religion that accepted magic.  These days, religion and magic are pretty closely intertwined for me.
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« Reply #8: October 04, 2008, 03:17:53 pm »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

I don't practice magic very often, but before I found Wicca (which was my introduction to paganism) I was already interested in nature magic and fantasy, I suppose you could call it. Just this morning I found a little pseudo ritual I'd written years ago, before I knew what Wicca was, to restore energy to one of my favorite necklaces. I'm not sure if I genuinely believed in what I was doing or if I was just playing, but my fascination with that aspect of energy magic was there before my religion was. As for them being linked or not, I practice my religion without magic most of the time, but if I'm to do magic, it is in combination with my religion. I can't imagine myself practicing magic outside the framework of my religion.
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« Reply #9: October 04, 2008, 06:13:31 pm »

...Which came first?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

Magic came first for me. My friend/reader had been trying to convince me for years that I should pursue a magical path (she seems to think I have this thing called intuition Smiley to a pretty strong degree), and that I should learn tarot as well.

Basically she really wanted me to embrace and explore my intuition so she set about doing whatever it took to spark my interest in it. It's not that I wasn't interested it's that I had so much self doubt that I never would have gotten anywhere by myself. At the time I was having men problems (go figure) so she told me about a simple spell that I could do to improve the situation...we picked a time, a day, and she gave me the list of stuff I would need. I did the spell and less than a month later it worked. From that point on I was a believer in not only magic but in my own ability to perform the magic as well.

As time went on I realized that performing magic went against everything I was ever taught religiously but yet was very comfortable with it. I became more and more interested in Witchcraft as a religion and it just fell into place for me.

I guess for me there is a direct correlation between magic and religion now. My Wiccan path not only accepts but employs the use of magic and if it wasn't for the magic I never would have found the path!
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« Reply #10: October 05, 2008, 06:44:27 pm »

That doesn't mean however that I see every little folk magic as a deeply religious act, but my spirituality/religious orientation is the framework for my magical practice. I like how Leigh137* put that, although I don't have a fletched out religious frame yet, magic and occult powers just feel sacred to me. I don't have an elaborated theoretical explanation yet, it's just the UPG of a confused animistic pantheist/slightly soft polytheist.

I like that quote from Leigh aswell. I think the word framework fits nicely.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath
Juniper
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« Reply #11: October 05, 2008, 06:48:03 pm »

These days, religion and magic are pretty closely intertwined for me.

I can't imagine myself practicing magic outside the framework of my religion.

I guess for me there is a direct correlation between magic and religion now.

The two seem to be pretty entwined for quite a few people; I wonder why that is? Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that, as Pagans, our religions are accepting of magic. I'm sure there are those who practice magic and have a religion that is not accepting of magic, thus the two are not easily combined.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath
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« Reply #12: October 06, 2008, 02:53:15 am »

Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that, as Pagans, our religions are accepting of magic.
Or, maybe Pagan religion is simply more honest about it? 

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« Reply #13: October 06, 2008, 03:23:34 am »

Or, maybe Pagan religion is simply more honest about it? 



What do you mean by "honest"?

If you're implying that non-Pagan religions practice magic but are lying about it, that would be incorrect.  Magic is heavily context-dependent; each religious culture defines for itself what constitutes "magic" and what constitutes "religion," and how the two interact.  In religions like Christianity, "magic" is "unofficial, unorthodox, forbidden," so orthodox, approved practices, even those that bear a superficial resemblance to practices deemed "magical," are not magic. 
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« Reply #14: October 06, 2008, 04:00:27 am »

The two seem to be pretty entwined for quite a few people; I wonder why that is?
Maybe because many Pagans embrace mysticism, personal gnosis and try to come into direct contact with the divine/deity. If you don't believe in personal direct contact to divine powers you can only pray to beings who have these powers. If you believe in that direct contact you can tap into that power yourself and use it directly (maybe with approval of the deities). There's a reason spells can't be called 'prayers to mother nature', no?
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