What people lump together could be wrong: magick, paganism, psychic, witchcraft, Wicca, etc.
I am not an expert on this subject. I have compiled research at the request of a friend. The truth is that individuality is prominent within the full spectrum of Occult studies. So, if I write information that should be adjusted, please send me your research references and links and I will evaluate a rewrite or an addendum. I think it is important that people begin to understand the nature of the Occult in terms of paganism, magick with a k, psychic phenomena, witchcraft, Wicca, etc. for there is so much diversity.
I write from a personal perspective. I was born into a Christian family, was Christened and practiced as a Christian for 34 years. I then met a lover who was/is a Chaos magician. I met him during the dark night of my soul where I clung desperately (for 3 years) to Christianity even though I was in great crisis of faith due to an illness that turned my life upside down and made all things I previously knew non-sensical. My Chaos magician lover systematically broke apart the rest of my belief system and he replaced it with training involving psychic development and ecclectic magickal education. I have had over 12 years of experience in a very rigorous development in psychic and magickal knowledge. I am currently clairaudient, clairsentient, claircognizant and clairvoyant; though my skill level in each varies.
Like people who are born with pronounced musical, artistic, scientific, etc., ability such as Mozart, there are people born with varying degrees of talent with psychic ability. My ex-boyfriend was born with tremendous psychic ability. For example, he could repeat a conversation verbatim that I had with someone else somewhere else completely out of his range of hearing or seeing.
As a young person, he developed the psychic ability by doing personal studies in the Occult as well as joining several magickal orders that I ascertained often produced training like military units in the use of magick and psychic techniques. He learned to be an adept remote viewer which is something the US military developed covertly (and subsequently now deny) during the Cold War to do espionage.
My ex taught me that all people are psychic---whether flagrantly or dormantly so, or somewhere in between. I can attest to the validity of this statement since when I met him I was a recent missionary for Christianity. When I met my ex, my former church strongly refuted psychic phenomena outside the worship of the Holy Spirit and Its gifts. Moreover, the church slammed all Occult work as Satanic.
My ex had to erradicate that very entrenched belief system while he showed me the validity that all people house psychic connection to the Divine and to others. He taught me a lot of things; but, the most impactful in the beginning was his psychic skill that I regularly witnessed, and the chakra system that each of us has as a part of our energetics.
I did not notice too much over the first few years; but eventually, I began noticing clairaudience when I would be writing and suddenly something on TV began "talking" to me in a way that had nothing to do with the program on TV. I would glean a deeper spiritual message from a line on the program through a form of thought and word association. This, in fact, is typical of psychic connection.
I began immersing myself in synchroncity studies. And suddenly I was seeing synchronistic events and words all over the place.
I then began working with reiki charged candles involving the ascended masters and the astral plane and I began getting feedback from those realms. Serapis Bey synchronicities were some that I recall fairly strongly. I didn't know anything about Serapis Bey. I discovered him and his work via "happenstance" synchronicities that would surface and then link throughout my life much like Wikipedia links information on the Internet.
Then I began having some sparse premonitions that would later open up into foreknowledge visions. My dreamwork began from time to time as well.
I began playing with the tarot and I will never forget my new friend commenting on my written way of correlating psychic information. My ex taught me to write everything down, so I did. Eventually, I would learn to trust my mind and just allow the information to create a feeling inside me. I now pick up on all sorts of psychic information as well as incarnational (reincarnation) information.
I use the seven energy bodies that complete the Human Energy Field and I write about this information regularly. I ground, center and shield to secure my field.
Magick with a "K"
Magikos (μαγικός) is the Greek word origin for the word magic plus a "K". It is connected to the magical arts produced by the Persians who practiced Zorastoarianism. But they are not the only people who practiced magick.
In fact, my former belief system, Christianity, practices magick and calls it religious ceremony. Its practice stems from Judaica that had many elements of magikos---the Ark of the Covenant, the magick arts of the Egypt-raised leader called Moses, the Temple of the "one true God" built to specification by King Solomon who could conjure and maintain demons with his royal seal and knowledge, the Urim and Thummin, the family of the priesthood the Levites, etc.
Kabbalah is, also, Jewish mysticism and it includes the essence of life spiritually and physically which makes it a very powerful knowledge base that some classify as white magick.
I was taught by my last church and the school I taught at that white magick was a dreadful sin. Hmmm...funny that its foundation is white magick. Religion is loaded with magick not CALLED magick.
Magickos went underground to mystery schools for a large percentage of humanity's history. It resurfaced by a magician named Aleister Crowley in the 1900's.
Magick with "K" can now represent a plethora of magikos including ceremonial magick of any type, witchcraft, wicca, and some strains of paganism.
Paganism is, technically, any spiritual belief outside the Abrahamic religions of Judaica, Christianity and Islam. It includes indigenous practices as well as the gods and goddesses of the classical world. Folk beliefs are included such as polytheistic, nature-centered faiths like that of the early religions of pre-Hellenistic Greece and pre-imperial Rome. Furthermore, it, housed the ancient Germanic paganism and the Celtic polytheism.
A group falling between contemporary practice and ancient practice is quite varied as well but it was/is strongly influenced by the monotheistic and non-theistic or dualistic spiritual movements alive today. The practices include Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, indigenous tribes still in existence throughout the world, the Viking Age Norse paganism and the New Age spirituality. Many of these groups are Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Spiritualism, and the many African-centered faiths that branched into Haitian Vodou, Santería and the Espiritu religion.
Modern paganism is known as neo-paganism. There is no single set of beliefs, deities, creeds or doctrines in neo-paganism. Therefore, modern paganism is quite diverse and encompasses a lot of ideas and things. It involves many, many types of ritual and/or ceremony. It includes groups such as Wicca, Ásatrú, Neo-Druidism and Slavic Rodnovery. Many values are in contradiction to ancient religions and practices.
Many neo-pagans connect heavily with the Sacred or Divine Feminine---the Goddess---which is .a stark difference from Divine masculine monotheism.
Many concepts do overlap or repeat from one type of neo-paganism to the next like pluralism which states that more than one reality exists. Others include the multiple deities of polytheism, pantheism and concepts that the Divine is part of nature or the mind.
The Celts of the 5th and 6th centuries once called pagans, were supplanted by Christianity. In the 20th century, Celtic Neo-paganism was revived officially from the legacy of the old Celt regions. Depending on who is talking, the spiritual legacy is now non-existant, or a remnant hodge podge of traditions derived from multiple branches of practice.
Paganism, suffice it to say, is diverse.
Witchcraft or the Craft
Witchcraft is culturally defined and individually defined. In the West, a practitioner (witch---whether male or female) uses his/her mental and energetic capacity to produce religious, divining or healing purposes.
Witchcraft has been severely damned since the rise of the Catholic church and yet its practices are often strikingly similar. Part of the reason for this is that European paganism was supplanted by Catholicism. And again, the foundation of the Catholic belief stems from Judaica which forbade black magick but allowed the kabbalah (white magick) to its priesthood---to men over the age of 40 who prepared for years for the religious practice.
There was no clearly defined statement about witches and witchcraft until the middle ages during a period of terrific unrest between the Catholics and the Protestants. That unrest occurred because of the rise of Protestantism.
A document was drawn up in 1486 by two monks to conduct "witch hunting." It was called Malleus Maleficarum. It was used by Protestants and Catholics to dissuade the general public away from the real issue at hand: both Churches' murderous and political indiscretions with each other. This period was known as the Burning Times and the number of people (witches or non-witches) killed is not known for sure. Different groups say different numbers. Nevertheless there were a lot of people damned to burn to death in the name of witchcraft over a 300 year period.
The Olde English word for witch was wicce (female vs. the new religion called Wicca which means male witch).
A group of white witches in Europe was called cunning folk. They were people who were folk healers that practiced divination, folk medicine and folk magick. Cunning folk were seen as useful and witches were seen as harmful from the 15th century to the 20th century. A branch of European shamanism fell under this type of work and its practitioners were considered mediators between the mundane and spirit worlds.
The malefic nature of witchcraft is strictly a Christian and/or Hollywood projection.
Most witches are ecologically and animal centered people that dedicate themselves to a specific knowledge base and spiritual practice. Some are healers. Some are herbalists. Some delve into the psychic phenomena. Some are naturally gifted psychics. Some are hereditary witches, coven witches or solitary witches or a combination thereof. All, generally, produce magick through correspondences, language and/or the energies that exist in nature (including themselves).
All are creative processes. The processes are called spells or spellcraft.
Three popular witchcraft practices are Wicca, Feri and Stregheria; but witchcraft is not limited to these three types. As many as there are witches, there is the capacity for a new and different type of craft practiced. There are dark, light/white, gray and black versions. Black versions are subject to the Law of Threes or Karma: "What is produced is returned to the practitioner three-fold." Most witches believe in "Harm None" as a philosophy.
Different deities are used for different types of witchcraft. Some witches worship the Goddess, some worship the Goddess and the God, some use but do not necessarily worship a variety of dieties. It depends on the Craft.
Wicca is a neo-pagan, witchcraft religion. It was developed in the first half of the 20th century in England by a man named Gerald Gardner. It derives from ancient hermetic practices. There is no central figure defining it unlike the Christ in Christianity.
It does, however, center around eight Sabbats called the Wheel of the Year: Yule, Imbolc, Vernal Equinox (Ostara), Beltane, Litha, Lammas, Autumn Equinox (Mabon) and Samhain.
The God and the Goddess are typically engaged.
Views on magick, theology, the afterlife and morality are typically shared by most Wiccans despite the overall disparate ways of various groups/practitioners. The Wiccan Rede is the morality of such witches.
The Goddess is a triple goddess of maiden, mother and crone and she is accompanied by the Horned God. Through pantheism, the God and Goddess are seen as a single godhead. In some conceptions, polytheistic deities are are encompassed by the God and Goddess. This would be like Isis and Osiris and Zeus and Hera, etc.
There is no singular cannon and the religion is syncretic in nature.
"Wiccans 'regard the whole cosmos as alive, both as a whole and in all of its parts', but that 'such an organic view of the cosmos cannot be fully expressed, and lived, without the concept of the God and Goddess. There is no manifestation without polarization; so at the highest creative level, that of Divinity, the polarization must be the clearest and most powerful of all, reflecting and spreading itself through all the microcosmic levels as well.'" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca
Reincarnation was the first Wiccan belief regarding the afterlife. This is not strictly adhered to by all Wiccans.
Many Wiccans believe in ceremonial magick like that of Aleister Crowley. They believe that magick is an art-science of causing change that occurs due to stressing conformity to the will. Others believe it is a Law of nature. There are different viewpoints within the overall religion. Ritual practices are used, often in a sacred circle.
There is a rite of passage for Wiccans that culminates in an initiation. There are typically three degrees of initiation.
There are a variety of magick grimoires such as the Golden Dawn Tradition, Enochian, Hermetic Qabalah, etc. It is often referred to High Ritual Magick and generally involves an initiation process as well as a lot of ceremony. I dated a Chaos Magician and they are said to learn a few basic techniques which can literally manifest anything that the imagination can conceive. These people are not witches.
King Solomon was a Master Magician that could summon demons through his ceremonial seal. A lot of ceremonial magick uses his seals to manifest. However, demonology is not used by all magicians. I am a magician of One Love. I don't deal with that sort of thing at all.
Realities, Religion and Everything in between
A magician’s journey from Christian ceremonies to the magick of the Divine feminine and masculine
What it is like to not be Christian after 34 years of once being a Christian
Syncretism: A faith without dogma or doctrine
Jesus Christ the God that LOVES all people
A glimpse at my past: Christianity---Charismatic Churches, Missionary Work and God’s Calling
Reincarnation: Living to learn about unconditional LOVE
Reincarnation: A Multidimensional Journey through Infinity
Reincarnation and Love: A Romantic Poem
Heaven and Reincarnation: Can they co-exist???
Connections, healings and blessings Part 1
Connections, healings and blessings Part 2
Connections, healings, blessings Part 3
Some energetic reasons for why bad things happen to good people
Satan: The most empowered thought form on the planet
The Mystery School of Christ Jesus