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Author Topic: Your religion, or your magic?  (Read 27017 times)
Waldfrau
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« Reply #45: October 09, 2008, 03:21:44 pm »

Don't worry, I shall survive and I'm not particularly offended. Smiley (I teach world religions to 18 year olds. You'll have to work harder to offend me.)
Lol, they are cute aren't they? So proud of their 'knowledge' and opinions.  Tongue  Wink
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Wintermoon
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« Reply #46: October 11, 2008, 02:39:55 pm »

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. 

Well, maybe you're just showing exactly why so many pagans relate to magic and other religions don't. We're more likely to catagorize what we do as magic. If Chritianity, for example, was accepting of magic, maybe they would call things they do magic, too. They don't now because of the connotations of the word magic, but if the word didn't have that negative aspect, maybe they would call some of their practices "magic." Do you understand what I mean?
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« Reply #47: October 11, 2008, 02:41:56 pm »

Well, maybe you're just showing exactly why so many pagans relate to magic and other religions don't....

I think this allows the practices to be in their contexts. It doesn't mean they're the same, but that similar outward practices could have different intentions, and therefore not be the same thing.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2008, 03:07:43 pm by Wintermoon » Logged

~Vivian

You can't take the sky from me.

"I get really distracted by works of fiction. Probably because you don't have to make any decisions." ~my sister

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~Mark Twain
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« Reply #48: October 11, 2008, 03:42:13 pm »

Well, maybe you're just showing exactly why so many pagans relate to magic and other religions don't. We're more likely to catagorize what we do as magic. If Chritianity, for example, was accepting of magic, maybe they would call things they do magic, too. They don't now because of the connotations of the word magic, but if the word didn't have that negative aspect, maybe they would call some of their practices "magic." Do you understand what I mean?

And your point is... what, exactly?  That religions that construct magic a certain way should alter their complex, culturally-ingrained definitions to bring them more in line with NeoWicca?  *Why*? 

Religious cultures create their own connotations of magic, and it's a lot more complex than simply "accepting" that magic is okay, or whatever.  It has a lot to do with how that religious culture articulates its relationship to divinity, acceptable human petitions of divinity, etc.  In Christianity, the very *definition* of magic is that it is an abnormal,  unorthodox, and usually illegitimate use of religious power.  And that's not limited to Christianity -- that was a fairly common conception of magic in ancient Greece and Rome (among non-magic users, anyway); the ancient Germans/Scandinavians also often tended to look rather askance at magic as well.  In all those religious cultures, the concept of magic is intimately bound up with what is "normal" for that religious culture -- with "magic" being the operative term for all that stuff which falls outside the range of "normal."   

People in those religious cultures who practice magic were and are perfectly content to fall outside the "normal" religious culture; folk magic practitioners in Italy don't *care* that the priests disapprove, because "priests disapprove of everything." There are plenty of people today, in religions where magic is defined as "unorthodox," that have absolutely no problem with its practice -- it just falls outside the realm of "normal" religious practice, that's all.         
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Koimichra
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« Reply #49: October 11, 2008, 03:54:54 pm »

In Christianity, the very *definition* of magic is that it is an abnormal,  unorthodox, and usually illegitimate use of religious power.

In some Xty. In other branches (and often this holds more water among the elite or literate, if not among the masses or illiterate), it simply doesn't exist, so definitionally one CANNOT do magic. If you do something and it works, it's not magic, because there isn't such a thing, therefore you obviously did something else! Wink

For example, in the Inquisitions, bringing charges of someone USING magic was often enough to get yourself brought up on charges while the person you accused had nothing happen to them -- because magic didn't exist, so they COULDN'T have done anything, but obviously YOUR catechism needed some adjusting since you were believing in things outside the realm of reality. (However, accusations of ATTEMPTING magic might show the one attempting it had the orthodoxy problems.) In many places the peasantry widely believed in magic and in its efficacy, but among the learned and the elite clergy, and in the official doctrines of the Church, the existence of such things was denied.
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catja6
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« Reply #50: October 11, 2008, 04:02:04 pm »

In some Xty. In other branches (and often this holds more water among the elite or literate, if not among the masses or illiterate), it simply doesn't exist, so definitionally one CANNOT do magic. If you do something and it works, it's not magic, because there isn't such a thing, therefore you obviously did something else! Wink

For example, in the Inquisitions, bringing charges of someone USING magic was often enough to get yourself brought up on charges while the person you accused had nothing happen to them -- because magic didn't exist, so they COULDN'T have done anything, but obviously YOUR catechism needed some adjusting since you were believing in things outside the realm of reality. (However, accusations of ATTEMPTING magic might show the one attempting it had the orthodoxy problems.) In many places the peasantry widely believed in magic and in its efficacy, but among the learned and the elite clergy, and in the official doctrines of the Church, the existence of such things was denied.

Sure, I should have clarified:  in most forms of orthodox (as opposed to folk) Christianity, magic either a) doesn't exist, and/or b) is something that you're not supposed to be doing.  Cheesy  Folk Christianity is its own beast; the bit I reported, about Italian folk magicians not caring about orthodox disapproval, is a fairly recent situation -- the practitioners that folklorist (Magliocco) was talking to were far more cognizant of orthodox doctrines than their equivalents 500 years ago probably were.
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« Reply #51: October 11, 2008, 04:12:28 pm »

Sure, I should have clarified:  in most forms of orthodox (as opposed to folk) Christianity, magic either a) doesn't exist, and/or b) is something that you're not supposed to be doing.

Since fear of teh scerry magicks is quite current among Xtn fundies, I did just want to make clear that for most Christians in mainline denominations in the first world (so literate and educated for the most part), magic simply isn't something that exists. So getting wound up over Harry Potter is absurd for most Christians; but similarly, suggesting to the Methodist next door that the communion ceremony involved magic would just get you looked at funny. It wouldn't necessarily even be offensive (unless you were being rude about it, like, "all your hocus pocus rising Jesus crap!"), they'd just think you were a tad odd. And if you pressed the issue, potentially out of touch with reality, but probably in a fairly harmless way.
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sorchasloane
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« Reply #52: October 11, 2008, 05:11:50 pm »

.. excuse the error..
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RandallS
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« Reply #53: October 11, 2008, 05:21:41 pm »

They don't now because of the connotations of the word magic, but if the word didn't have that negative aspect, maybe they would call some of their practices "magic." Do you understand what I mean?

Not really. Why should Christians define any of what they do religiously as magic? Your question makes as little sense to me as saying that if "magic" did not have negative connotations, scientists might define some of what they do as "magic" or gourmet cooks might define some of their cooking procedures as "magic"?
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Wintermoon
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« Reply #54: October 12, 2008, 10:39:43 am »

And your point is... what, exactly?  That religions that construct magic a certain way should alter their complex, culturally-ingrained definitions to bring them more in line with NeoWicca?  *Why*? 

Oh, not at all! I didn't mean to sound like I thought either should change their own label of what they're doing. I think once you label what you yourself are doing, that label should be accepted, because nobody else can say what you're doing better than you.

Religious cultures create their own connotations of magic, and it's a lot more complex than simply "accepting" that magic is okay, or whatever.  It has a lot to do with how that religious culture articulates its relationship to divinity, acceptable human petitions of divinity, etc.  In Christianity, the very *definition* of magic is that it is an abnormal,  unorthodox, and usually illegitimate use of religious power.  And that's not limited to Christianity -- that was a fairly common conception of magic in ancient Greece and Rome (among non-magic users, anyway); the ancient Germans/Scandinavians also often tended to look rather askance at magic as well.  In all those religious cultures, the concept of magic is intimately bound up with what is "normal" for that religious culture -- with "magic" being the operative term for all that stuff which falls outside the range of "normal."   

People in those religious cultures who practice magic were and are perfectly content to fall outside the "normal" religious culture; folk magic practitioners in Italy don't *care* that the priests disapprove, because "priests disapprove of everything." There are plenty of people today, in religions where magic is defined as "unorthodox," that have absolutely no problem with its practice -- it just falls outside the realm of "normal" religious practice, that's all.         

I think I'm actually agreeing with you. The label depends on the definition within the culture. Therefore if one's culture does not label what they are doing as magic, they are not practicing magic. I just meant to say that one culture's definition could label another culure/religion's practice as magic with no change in the action. I'm not saying it means they are actually performing magic or that either definition is "wrong."
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~Vivian

You can't take the sky from me.

"I get really distracted by works of fiction. Probably because you don't have to make any decisions." ~my sister

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~Mark Twain
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« Reply #55: October 12, 2008, 10:47:36 am »

Not really. Why should Christians define any of what they do religiously as magic? Your question makes as little sense to me as saying that if "magic" did not have negative connotations, scientists might define some of what they do as "magic" or gourmet cooks might define some of their cooking procedures as "magic"?

I never meant to imply that anyone is wrong, or "should" change. I suppose I should have stressed that it's just an issue of definition in different cultures.
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~Vivian

You can't take the sky from me.

"I get really distracted by works of fiction. Probably because you don't have to make any decisions." ~my sister

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." ~Mark Twain
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« Reply #56: October 12, 2008, 01:08:10 pm »

In many ways my views and beliefs for my religion are still evolving to this day. I see magic and Witchcraft as a practice and not a religious component. At the very best, your religious beliefs can dictate the how and why of your magic but one can survive without the other.

Couldn't have said it better myself!
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« Reply #57: October 12, 2008, 01:09:51 pm »

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.

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).

For the record, not all Wiccans are witches/ not all Wiccans do magic.
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« Reply #58: October 12, 2008, 02:01:32 pm »

For the record, not all Wiccans are witches/ not all Wiccans do magic.

I knew someone was going to say this. Smiley What I said was that "I added magic for what I read about it", past tense. Meaning that when I started reading about Wicca, that was what I found in books. I also read that Wicca was "the Ancient Religion", or "the Old Religion", which people practiced before Christianity. Now I know there was never such a thing like a one and only "Ancient Religion", but that's what I read when I started.

Anyway, I don't understand that "not all Wiccans do magic". Aren't they suppossed to cast a circle? Isn't that magic? Or do you mean magic is just about casting spells?(Please don't get offended, that's not my intention, I'm just trying to understand this.)
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« Reply #59: October 12, 2008, 03:31:58 pm »

I knew someone was going to say this. Smiley What I said was that "I added magic for what I read about it", past tense.

gotcha  Cool

Quote
Anyway, I don't understand that "not all Wiccans do magic". Aren't they suppossed to cast a circle? Isn't that magic? Or do you mean magic is just about casting spells?(Please don't get offended, that's not my intention, I'm just trying to understand this.)

Witches cast circles, and lots of witches are Wiccan. However, there are a few (not many, but a few) Wiccans I know that do not cast circles. They practice the earth based (go green type) philosophies only. I'm not Wiccan, and although I've studied (and am studying) Wicca, and this is the path that most similarly describes my practice, I'm by no means an expert. It might be smarter to ask someone who is Wiccan. I'm not entirely sure how the "earth worshipper only" fits in with the Wiccan "rules," for lack of a better word, other than (at least in modernized Wicca, though I doubt Gardner would agree) your inner self is supposed to guide your practice - no magic necessary.

Magic, I guess, is a relative term, but I believe that magic is simply a tool within us that we have to access to utilize. (Like the parts of our brains that we don't habitually use.) I don't think it requires spells, necessarily, but an understanding of your inner self, and how to communicate between that and your conscious self. Once we figure out how to do this we can alter things in our own immediate environment. Not to say that I don't cast a circle and use spells, because I do. I just don't think it's the only way.

I'll stick my seemingly more and more frequent disclaimer in here....these are just my opinions (and facts as I understand them), please don't shoot me if I'm wrong.

No offense taken Wink
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When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change-Unknown

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