The word invokes a certain image in the minds of many, I know before I started learning about alternative religions (alternative in the sense that they are not Christian or Christ-based) the first thing that came to my mind when the word Witch was spoken was the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz.
What do you think of, have questions about, or know about Witchcraft? Don't go hublength here, just a point or two.
In the Bible in the book of Deuteronomy 18:10-12
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out of you.
Didn't Jesus call up the dead ... for example, Lazarus ...?
Surely Jesus is not detestable to the Lord?
Perhaps that was what Jesus meant when he said that the old laws were done away with, except for the ten commandments ....
P.S. I have also seen a lot of so-called Christians interpreting omens that we are in the Last Days, looking for the omens mentioned in Revelations, for example. I had better get on the phone to those churches and let them know that they are detestable to the Lord, too ...
I actually feel bad for them. They were all burned, thanx to the towns and villages. I'm sure many know about this that they were actuall smart smart women, who invent healing lotions and such. The myth that they were evil souls and ate dead eye of nout and such were made by children. When ever the word"witch" is brought up I immediatly think of the three witches in "Clash Of The Titans".
gg- good topic!
Interesting point, Olive.
The persecution of 'witches' was actually more of a social weeding process in many areas, accusations of rituals, blood magic, pacts with the Devil and the like being made against oft-times spiritually innocent individuals who had pissed off the accuser.
Then there is superstition to consider, of course any herbalist or midwife was at risk of being pointed the finger at. If a nursemaid's charge fell desperately ill -- they're a witch. If a man known for his robust health suddenly died for no outward reason (though it could've been anything from organ failure to heart attack) then of course his wife was a witch.
Exactly. If a woman spoke her mind or was different from the subservient, fawning, church-going puritan than she was expected to be, she risked being labeled a witch. She was ostracized, ex-communicated and frequently banished from the community with the threat of death hanging over her head should she return.
And heaven forfend a woman with even the most questionable 'morals' or practices (read 'different from everyone else) deliver a child with a birth defect -- or be anywhere in the vicinity when such a child was born.
Mary Dyer is an example. First woman to be hanged in the colonies, I think. And though the 'official' charges were heresy, accusations of witchcraft were at the bottom of it.
She was different. She spoke her mind and wouldn't be told what to do.
Hear, hear. I'm proud to be her descendant.
Witchcraft? The mention of a witch evokes the wonderful book by Coelho "La Bruja de Portobello". A story about a very special woman. She has nothing to do with having special powers but she is considered a witch because she does exactly what she wants. She always wants more, and her life is a constant search for meaning.
I believe in old times any woman who did not follow 'the rules' could have been considered a witch. Things haven't change...
There are different kinds of witches, not all of them bad.
White Wiccan, for instance.
I know quite a few modern witches, both male and female.
They seem reasonably level-headed and rational human beings, for the most part. Certainly less dogmatic than most serious practitioners of other religions I have met.
I would put their doctrine on a par with Buddhism and Taoism when it comes to genuine acceptance of diversity and the principle that "we are all one".
Please don't use that phrase. It makes me shudder.
When I was an early teenager, one of the lessons I was taught that magic, the force of will and such, is not white or black. Wicca, as a religion and study of the forces of magic in our world, is not a 'white or black' type thing.
Sorry, Gamergirl, didn't mean to give you the heebie jeebies!
I've had a couple of people tell me they were white Wiccan's (oops, said it again) and they were perfectly nice, never-hurt-kids-or-animals kinda folks. Guess a person (me) should delve more into something like that before offering up info as fact. Sorry again.
Is not all thought that makes things happen a type of (wonderful) magic? Some things take longer than others.
Hope I'm not just blathering....it's late and I'm getting tired, but this is an interesting thread.
Are you sorry you posed the question yet?
I hate to sound closed minded, but when I think of whichcraft, I think of an episode of King of the Hill that made fun of the religion. I immediately think of a bunch of nerds trying to play with powers that they have no idea of a use for other than to act cool. Also, when I think of a wiccan reading what I just wrote, I picture them reacting with a forced calm to back up the "silent sage" image they're trying to create. Seriously, though, I know that isn't all wiccans. But those types are out there, and unfortunately, they are the ones that stand out in my mind.
Also, I would make the argument that there are white and black wiccans, but in the grand scheme of things, there is no white and black. Much like the Yin and Yang concepts in Taoism. On the level of the Tao, such distinctions don't exist. But we are not on that level, so unless a wiccan be in someway enlightened, then there's a good chance they may have a dark or light/black or white leaning. Just a thought.
I don't think you're close minded, just questioning. I think that's a good thing, it invites more information and learning.
In a balanced universe, does there not have to be light and dark? Of course, having said that, according to New Age philosophy, there is no good or bad....those are human judgements.
H.P. Lovecraf.. I mean, Loveboat..
I think that pop culture has given the pagan religions a pretty bad rap. Though, to hear accounts of the beginnings of modern Wiccan groups, Gerald Gardener (one of the 'experts' and 'old guard' amongst the Wiccan community) was a womanizing oddball who used the old traditions of worshipping in the form of your birth (naked) to see boobs.
As I said earlier, the magic itself isn't wicked or evil. It is all things, and is only one or the other when directed by a user.
The human worshipper may lean toward the stereotype of 'black' or 'white', but the magic never does. We influence that well enough on our own.
I tried to move a cup with my thoughts but it's never worked, I guess I am not a qualified witch. Can you get ordained as a witch like a preist and stuff?
The general thought is that you can be opened up to the world of magick, but you might have a natural talent in it or not. It's like anything else in life. You can be taught how to play basketball, but being a lean athletic person over 6'5" would be a natural advantage.
I have to agree with Gamergirl & H.P. Loveboatcraft. I think it is what it is, it's people who determine the direction it goes in.
Yes, I've thought about it again with my head held slightly sideways, and that is what I think.
There's a difference between telekinesis and religion, sandra.
LOL I've had a few doses of wiccan and witchcraft in my time and to be honest I dont' feel that it's necessarily a bad thing. I had an encounter once early on in my working career with a woman who claimed to be a "white witch" - she was working in the Gender Identity clinic in the mental health unit where I was working (of all places) and was a really lovely and very interesting lady. That has sort of coloured my attitude to it ever since especially since I've always enjoyed fantasy fiction of the Katherine Kurtz style anyway. So no I don't view witchcraft as necessarily being a bad thing at all.
Wiccan is the term used to describe a singular person who follows the religion of Wicca. Wicca is the religion itself.
You can become a Wiccan online. I came across a website a few years back. They take it seriously and ask you to before you're allowed to sign up for classes. Like Gamergirl said, it is a religion, and its scope goes beyond magic, if I understand correctly. I know it includes nature - solstice, etc.
I have part of an interview with a fairly well-known and senior male witch on my Genuine Witchcraft Hub. He has things to say about some of the online "witches" ...
At some point this year, there will be more of this in book or website form, or both - it's a project my daughter is working on.
And he lives in Australia, Sandra, so you could meet him in person if you came to the Blue Mountains.
Was that for me Jenny? If it was, I am afraid to mingle in magic because I have this habbit, that whenever I get overly anxious or that like feeling, things happen. Not like shooting electricity out of my hands or anything, but for whatever reason, I either get shocked, power lines burst, or computers malfunction. Sounds like a movie, but it happens. I know, I am full on crazy right?
Actually, when we ran the survey site on this topic, that was one of the questions we got. "When I get angry, things happen." Liam answers it, but not in the part of the interview I have published here. Poorly directed intentions regularly misfire and do damage.
Short answer - if you have power, and you don't learn how to manage it, bad things can happen.
We all have much more power than we believe we have, although it's usually a little more subtle than actual electric shocks!
If you think about it - suppose you were physically strong but clumsy, and you were doing damage by accident. Someone says "why don't you train in a martial art?" and you say "oh, no, I don't want to dabble in that because I already do enough damage as it is".
Martial arts training is all about control, and about learning how to NOT use force.
Ditto mental discipline.
Yeah I meant wiccan. I've met a couple of wiccans and a pagan over in another forum I peruse. Yes there seems to be a lot of nature and solstice linked into it. I haven't read that much in the way of articles on the subject.
Sandy, we are all crazy in weird ways
Now that I learned *both* of my goddesses live in Australia, I got a fuzzy feeling I want to see Australia, and possibly move there...
Come on down, Misha, the weather is great!
And we have hot and cold running Goddesses ...
Believe it or not I'm seriously thinking about it. USA sucks, and my forecast is it will suck even more for many years to come, before it hits the bottom... Don't really worry too much about economics, wars are much more dangerous thing... And I think they are just starting...
My old dream is Thailand, but my wife is against it for several reasons. One of my best friends spent some time down there in Australia, and he absolutely loves it. Here on HP I see dozens of people whom I like very much - and most of them being aussies... Definitely something to think about
Most web-based professionals count as "in demand" in Australia and get bonus points for permanent residency ...
... free universal health care ... world class teaching hospitals and specialists ...
... free universal education to age 18 ...
... social security safety net for all ages - people are only homeless because of family breakdown, mental illness, etc, not through straight lack of money ...
... it only ever snows in the mountains ...
... the most successful multicultural melting pot nation on the planet ...
... our dollar has been steadily climbing against the $US because our economy is so much stronger than yours (come sooner rather than later, while your money is still worth something here) ...
... hot and cold running Goddesses ...
Well, the best part about you guys is that you are not pretending to be the World ruler, and don't fight for this
And what's the deal about hot and cold running Goddess? I'm probably missing something. I tried to look up, but the is nothing...
PS Did you get my email?
One of the "features" in real estate is hot and cold running water (or was, that's pretty much assumed these days).
I'm just swapping in "goddesses" because there are so many of us living in Australia.
I'm not at my email computer just now, but I will be in an hour or two.
I did some research for a book I'm working on. The main blame for destroying many natural and Earth religions goes to the Catholic Church. I find it strange that burning people and stomping out anything non-Catholic went on for 400 years and finally ended with Napoleon marching on Rome and threatening the Church with destruction. Can you imagine if he had destroyed the Catholics back then. Perhaps we wouldn't have to put up with the Pope and the crap this church spits out. I don't know if any of you realize it, but they killed more people and did more damage than any other monster known to modern society, and we still let them practice.... yes, maybe I'm sad and bitter about this. Hmmmm.
I have some info about this on my Hub:
However I will say that if you are sad and bitter about it, you are missing the spiritual point.
Perhaps you misunderstood, I wish Napoleon had wiped out Catholic Rome. I'm sad and bitter that they are allowed to exist after killing so many just so they could steal money and property, or political power. Now the monsters are once again showing their colors by raping innocent children and getting away with paying a fine. An eye for an eye would mean to burn the Pope and his whole mess at the stake, an eye for an eye. But we let the demons live on and perpetrate because we are somehow more evolved?
The Germans had a religion and were a proud people before the "Church" showed up. So were the peoples of the Americas. Now they are trying to get control of the politics in this land. They are destroying the planet.
I think Wiccans and most who practice any form of earth religion have more respect for the planet and for other living beings than any Christians I've ever met.
Sorry, just venting...
People search for signs (omens) of God's work in everything, right down to the shapes of potato chips! Here's a little webster's clarification for you:
–noun 1. anything perceived or happening that is believed to portend a good or evil event or circumstance in the future; portent.
2. a prognostic.
3. prophetic significance; presage: a bird of ill omen.
–verb (used with object) 4. to be an omen of; portend.
5. to divine, as if from omens.
Synonyms for omen:
Main Entry: omen
Part of Speech: noun
Synonyms: augury, auspice, bodement, boding, foreboding, foretoken, harbinger, indication, portent, premonition, presage, prognostic, prognostication, prophecy, straw, warning
Notes: 1. omen has a negative connotation, a connotation absent from the word augury; generally, augury bodes well for the future, an omen bodes ill
2. a harbinger is an indication of the approach of something or someone; a messenger is a person who carries a communications or performs an errand; an omen is a sign of something about to happen
Hope that clears it up for all of you who believe one side of a contradictory statement and not the other.
That's OK, you can vent all you like here!
I am just pointing out that harboring resentment is like swallowing the poison and hoping someone else dies.
If observing evil Out There turns you away from Love and into Fear and Anger, then evil has taken up residence inside you, and for as long as you harbor the fear and anger, you are cut off from Love.
Harboring fear and anger In Here won't change the evil happening Out There - it will just keep evil festering within you to blot out your Light.
And while your light is dimmed by fear and anger, you will be less able to radiate Love.
And while you are less able to radiate Love, you will be contributing less to the solution to the evil Out There.
The greatest weapon evil has for gaining control of the world is righteous indignation.
Have been reading more tonight and have another question.
I have read that some witches whether white or black have power.
Were does this power come from and what do you have to pay to get it?
Is there not a price that one would have to pay for this power?
This power is available to anyone - we all have power. What is difficult is the mental discipline required to direct that power consistently and in alignment with our conscious wishes.
And power doesn't come in colors. As my very wise friend, Liam Cyfrin, says (and he's a bit of a witchcraft superstar) "that's as ridiculous as saying it's white electricity when you make your toast and black electricity when you drop the toaster in the bath with your chosen victim ..."
We don't have to pay a price for the power, but there is certainly dedication and sacrifice required to develop the ability to "wield" it.
It's the same power that Christians wield when they pray, which is why I put the word in quotes before - "wield" has connotations of control, whereas the exercise of real power (as opposed to force) requires surrender.
If you'd like more detail, I have a Hub series on this subject, which starts here:
http://hubpages.com/hub/Think-And-Grow- … The-Secret
P.S. And you might also want to check out http://hubpages.com/hub/Genuine-Witchcraft and http://genuinewitchcraft.weebly.com
I do want to know more. Too bad it's called witchcraft. Why not soul power or something?
I think that real power comes from within. Attachment to the brain is like acknowledging that your craft is impure, or in other words it becomes tainted by ungodly thinking. Not that you neccessarily are thinking something you consider bad or want to do something bad or anything like that, but more like...
As part of being "programed" to judge, this also flows into the mind, thus your powers are tainted with judgments. I think you get what I am saying.
I guess that magic happens naturally. For me this is probably why it's always spontaneous.
Witchcraft defintions pulled from the web.
****The art of performing rituals, casting spells and doing other magickal work. Often part of various Pagan beliefs, it is not a particular belief or religion in itself.
****The craft of the Witch -Magick, especially magick utilizing personal power in conjunction with the energies within stones, herbs, colors and other natural objects.
Though, the word Witchcraft is muddy as to it's uses, most people tend to cross the meaning of witchcraft with paganism. A Pagan person may or may not dabble in witchcraft.
By most definitions I found on the web (didn't snag webster's, sorry.) you could almost say that Christans perform witchcraft. Sundays at church? A ritual. Communion? Ritual. Heck, Catholicism is steeped in ritual which, for the devout, have a deeply magical root.
More random thoughts from me.
Yes, Jenny. I believe that. The important thing (I think) is the strength of emotion that you have for whatever you're praying for. The more emotion evoked, the stronger the energy to manifest it.
That seems to be true about anything we decide to be passionate about in a good way. Positive energy within, positive energy out. Obviously the flip side of that would be negative energy within, negative out. There is nothing wrong with any religion or group that works on the principals of good intentions.
Witchcraft is not so evil as people think, and the presented definitions rather prove that, I think.
As a more general point of view, I think that people have a tendency to seek out those symbols and rites which allow them to feel more connected with that which they feel is greater than themselves. No matter what, your personal experience with your faith is unique. Even if you've been a member of the [insert practice here] for sixty years, and have sat next to your identical twin at service for every day for those sixty years, your experiences are different (if only due to position) and color your interpretations.
I think several paths, Wicca included, are generally more accepting of this point of view than others. None, I don't think, are intrinsically better or worse than another as all can be corrupted. All-in-all, I pretty much just boils down to: be good to others; try to not be afraid.
I love that Hubpages has such a diverse group of writers.
Price? Cost? Well, coming from an eastern point of view, I do believe there is a price. Kharma is known as the rule of "what goes around comes around" and this is pretty accurate for our day to day lives. But this saying usually implies some degree of morality, but kharma is not a moral principle. Simply put, I believe that when one manipulates the universal energy, they set in motion actions that will eventually need a balance in the grand scheme of things. This balance may be viewed as negative or costly. In eastern magic, it is believed that you only have so much jing (internal energy) to use in your life and when it is depleted you will die. There are ways to stretch out one's jing and even restore it, but expending it will ultimately kill you. We expend it every day, in anything we do, but performing magic is especially draining to jing. So a highly active magical life could land one in an early grave. This sounds bad, but if you accomplish a ton of highly interested stuff in your life and die at sixty, you may find yourself happier than if you lived a mundane life and died at eighty.
How I love the word 'Wytch', for it is old and tattered, and speaks of power....
Misha, if it was me you were referring to in regards to missing I have been...well, dropping out of college. It's more work than you think. I have a lot of slacking to do, plus all the ranting about how much I hate the education system and the constant worrying about my future. That, and I only have internet access at school. So I only get on here when I'm at the hated institution I am trying to leave.
I don't believe that witchcraft is any special powers that are only given to certain people. These same powers are in all of us and we have the power of our thoughts to control how those powers are used.
I think the negativity of witchcraft stems from, the same as any religion, ritual or belief, those who choose to use it for evil deeds as opposed to using it for good.
As humans, I don't think that most of us are fully aware just how much power our mind actually holds. It is simply a matter of mind control and focus.
Witchcraft is no different from any other ritual or practice. There is good and bad in everything because some people will choose to abuse the power and others will choose to nourish it for good.
I agree, Bonnie - witchcraft, like any other practice which makes individuals more powerful, was demonised by a Church bent on total social control. Only the representatives of God are allowed to do magic ... all other magic is by definition bad.
Since you will be put to death for doing it, according to Leviticus, there must be something to it
So, seriously, what is Revelations but a long-winded vision of the future?
If you "see" something which supports the dominant paradigm, you will be named a prophet (if you are male and have a place in the political heirarchy of the day) or a saint (if you are female or a low-status male).
If you "see" something inconvenient for the dominant paradigm, you will be put to death as a heretic, or the modern version thereof - pronounced "mentally ill" and drugged into submission.
This is why the only path to healing the world is through the sacred feminine, the Goddess energy, which involves acceptance, and surrender, not like giving up, but like giving oneself over and releasing resistance - that form of power cannot be destroyed by the dominant paradigm because it is a power that does not rest on force.
Only through complete, loving acceptance of the way it is right now are you granted the power to change something.
P.S. Peter, if I ever do become a religious leader, that will be one of my quotable quotes.
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