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Folk Magic and the World Today

American Folk Magick, Hoodoo, Appalachian Granny Magic, Ozark Mountain Magic, Pow-wow Magic, and other types of folk magick are discussed here.

Folk Magic and the World Today

Postby loona wynd » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:54 pm

The more I study magic the more I find that it can be difficult to define what exactly is folk magic. Most of the books out there on magic and witchcraft talk about magic in the herbs and in the crystals. Some talk about spells and rituals that have been handed down as old as time like horse shoes over barn doors or other doors for luck or even the four leaf clover. It seems that because some aspects of magic have been around forever the modern traditions of witchcraft and magical practices dont really stand out as anything different from folk magical traditions and practices.

In essence folk magic is defined as the magic of the people. There was a time when ceremonial magic was only available to the elite classes and those who could study. The rest of the people if they practiced magic practiced a form of folk magic, but it wasn't really called that at the time. Folk magic is essentially very practical in nature focused on simple spells for the needs of the moment rather than elaborate ceremonies.

In the US there are two clear types of folk magic I have found that is practiced. Those two forms are Hoodoo which is a primarily southern tradition. Hoodoo was developed as a synthesis of African beliefs and practices with the various types of Christianity practiced by the Slave owners. The other tradition and practice I have found about is the Pennsylvania dutch Powwow tradition. Pow-Wow is also known as hexwork and designs known as hex signs are the most well known aspect of it.

Other traditions practice forms of Folk Magic. Folk magic is going to be different in different cultures as different cultures used different forms of work and different types of spells. Hoodoo work is going to be different than work you would find in Chinese folk magic for example.

Though I wonder in general how much magic practiced today is folk magic or modern practices inspired by folk magic. Since today most forms of magic are available to the public through books and websites, all magical practices are essentially available to every one. The barrier that separated those who worked ceremonial magic and those who practiced folk magic is non existent.

That makes me wonder if Folk magic still has a unique role in the world today.

Thoughts?
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:43 am

Folk magick to me is essentially a spiritual and mystical practice. Its meaning and significance can only be understood in the context of the spiritual and magickal traditions of the indigenous people.

In recent years here in my place, many forms of contemporary practices and knowledge evolved resulted in a decrease in the number of practitioners of the path. But for some people here who continue to seek and prefer ethno-medicine, herblore, spirit communication as their ways to address some issues, Folk Magick will undoubtedly be around for a very long time. What contemporary knowledge can't do folk magick can do.

That's my two cents.
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby loona wynd » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:03 am

Seraphin wrote:Folk magick to me is essentially a spiritual and mystical practice. Its meaning and significance can only be understood in the context of the spiritual and magickal traditions of the indigenous people.
I wouldn't say that is the case. Folk magic to me has no connection to religion. Hoodoo has no religion attached to it. It has some spiritual base to it (working with ancestors and other spirits) but its not religious at all in nature. There are no Gods invoked or worship given.

Hex signs to me as I have looked at them have no inherent spiritual practice to them. The symbols have an energetic base built up behind them which is why they work. No Gods or spirits are invoked and involved in the work, just the power of the symbols and the force behind them. So where is the spirituality in that?

Also neither Hoodoo nor PowWow are based on indigenous people. Those practices were brought over by immigrants or slaves. Both of them have some roots in the ancestral practices of the past, but are so far removed from them that they do not resemble at all anything of the past indigenous practices. The paths had to change and adapt to where they are now and the new culture. While you may be able to see similarities, these two practices are not based on indigenous people.

Seraphin wrote:In recent years here in my place, many forms of contemporary practices and knowledge evolved resulted in a decrease in the number of practitioners of the path. But for some people here who continue to seek and prefer ethno-medicine, herblore, spirit communication as their ways to address some issues, Folk Magick will undoubtedly be around for a very long time. What contemporary knowledge can't do folk magick can do.

That's my two cents.
What do you mean by contemporary knowledge here?
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:12 pm

loona wynd wrote:I wouldn't say that is the case. Folk magic to me has no connection to religion. Hoodoo has no religion attached to it. It has some spiritual base to it (working with ancestors and other spirits) but its not religious at all in nature. There are no Gods invoked or worship given.


Yes. Just like what I said, Folk Magick is a spiritual and mystical practice. I didn't say it's a religious practice.

I think we have to understand that there's a difference between "religion" and "spirituality". Religion has its own beliefs, doctrines, practices, traditions and rituals. It's an organized institution. While spirituality is a very individual thing. It need not conform or bow to any religious rules established by religious leaders or their founders. One may practice spirituality completely alone and follows no man.

Another thing is religion deals with externals, and not with internals. It deals with what can be seen, not with the unseen or the invisible. Spirituality, on the other hand deals with the internals, with the unseen and invisible.

loona wynd wrote:Hex signs to me as I have looked at them have no inherent spiritual practice to them. The symbols have an energetic base built up behind them which is why they work. No Gods or spirits are invoked and involved in the work, just the power of the symbols and the force behind them. So where is the spirituality in that?


Well that's our difference because for me, all things have life, have consciousness and spirit force of their own. Even natural, non-sentient material things like rocks, papers, woods, etc. are alive or conscious. Everything is imbued with consciousness and spirit force of its own. The only difference between a living and so-called non-living thing is the fact that in the non-living objects, the spirit force are too subtle to be detected by our physical sense. This belief is based on esoteric eastern folk tradition.

I considered non-living things as simply those whose spirit-principle is inert and latent but not absent. For me, anything that has incorporeal and immaterial nature, there's spirituality!

loona wynd wrote:Also neither Hoodoo nor PowWow are based on indigenous people. Those practices were brought over by immigrants or slaves. Both of them have some roots in the ancestral practices of the past, but are so far removed from them that they do not resemble at all anything of the past indigenous practices. The paths had to change and adapt to where they are now and the new culture. While you may be able to see similarities, these two practices are not based on indigenous people.


Hoodoo and PowWow aren't the only Folk Magickal traditions. I also practice Folk Magick in traditions like Santeria and Yoruba and the latter came from indigenous tribes of West Africa and Lucumi religion.

Now I would like to rephrase my first sentence:

The meaning and significance of SOME Folk Magick traditions and practices can only be understood in the context of the spiritual and magickal traditions of the indigenous people.

Hee... :mrgreen:

loona wynd wrote:What do you mean by contemporary knowledge here?


Ah modern magickal and non-magickal practices.
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby loona wynd » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:25 pm

Seraphin wrote:Yes. Just like what I said, Folk Magick is a spiritual and mystical practice. I didn't say it's a religious practice.
In general terms I do think you are correct though. I do believe that most folk magic has some spirituality to it. I do think that some practices may no longer have spirituality seen in them. For example blowing out a birthday candle and making a wish is one of the few magical traditions and practices basically openly accepted in society. I don't see anything inherently spiritual in that practice. The other one that I can think of where I can't see any spiritual elements would be the Evil Eye. I'm sure its there but I can't see it myself by looking at the practice and how its executed.

Seraphin wrote:I think we have to understand that there's a difference between "religion" and "spirituality". Religion has its own beliefs, doctrines, practices, traditions and rituals. It's an organized institution. While spirituality is a very individual thing. It need not conform or bow to any religious rules established by religious leaders or their founders. One may practice spirituality completely alone and follows no man.
For many religion and spirituality are inseparable. For myself I often find it difficult to define spirituality without having some sort of religious context. That also depends on if you are going by the modern definition of religion and religious or if you go back to the roots of the word and those practices.

For example some would look on the establishment of an altar to a spirit and the giving of offerings to them as part of the work as a religious practice. You see those same elements in a religious context as well. The difference I believe is in the attitude given with the offering. One is more of a thank you for your help, and the other is more an act of devotion and communion with the being. Though you can see how some one would see that as a religious practice as well.

I do agree and believe that they can be separate. In general I believe that religious paths such as forms of religious witchcraft, and other pagan paths (in my case primarily Germanic Paganism) provide the map or guidelines for the worlds and the spirits you meet through the walking of that path. The religion is the outward walking of the path to have the relationships. The spirituality in this case is the personal relationships with the spirits. Though here the religion and spirituality can not really be separated.

Shamanic paths I think are the best examples of spiritual paths that don't really have any inherent religious ties as Shamanic paths deal directly with spirit forces and spirit entities. Some of those beings may be Gods, but in general they are just many different types of spirits. I have heard of some folk magic traditions being referred to as types of shamanic practice for this reason.

Seraphin wrote:Anyway, what I just want to say is religion deals with externals,and not with internals. It deals with what can be seen, not with the unseen or the invisible. Spirituality, on the other hand deals with the internals, with the unseen and invisible.
Religion deals with the unseen as well. The Gods are unseen. The realms of the Gods and the dead are unseen. Pagan religions deal very much with the unseen as well. The external practices of the actual rituals provide the gateways and the tools for the unseen. In many ways the best example I can think of in this case is Wiccan ritual. Wiccan ritual is actually a prime example of how Ceremonial Magic has become available to the public widely.

So working with spirits specifically to me does not work really as a qualifier for the differences between a spiritual path and a religious path. Religions in this case provide the framework one uses to navigate the spiritual realms and interact with the different spirits. Germanic paganism for example has a clearly laid out 9 realm cosmology. The religion provides the "map" or the relationships of the realms. The spirituality is the personal navigation of those realms through rituals and trance work of various forms.

So would you say that a good comprimise for defining spirituality within the confines and context of a religion and without a religion is:

spirituality is the individual relationships with Gods and spirits and our personal navigation among the spiritual realms, while religion is the map for the individual experiences. Spirituality on the whole then would be ones personal relationship with the spirits and the spirit worlds regardless of any religious affiliations. This compromise here allows for both spiritual paths tied to specific theologies and religions as well as those which are more open and free flowing without a specific guideline.

Seraphin wrote:Well that's our difference because for me, all things have life, have consciousness and spirit force of their own. Even natural, non-sentient material things like rocks, papers, woods, etc. are alive or conscious. Everything is imbued with consciousness and spirit force of its own. The only difference between a living and so-called non-living thing is the fact that in the non-living objects, the spirit force are too subtle to be detected by our physical sense. This belief is based on esoteric eastern folk tradition.
So symbols have a spirit force of their own then. I don't know if I would agree with that or not. Its something I will be considering as I work with symbols more specifically in the future. Thank you for explaining that to me. I love it when I am genuinely given something new to think about and explore.

Now Hex signs and Norse Runes and Galdar Staves are all connected. They are all Germanic forms of magical workings. Norse Runes have an energetic mystery force associated with them, but that doesn't to me equate to a spiritual essence. Having not worked with runes (well I did once and it worked better than I imagined with some backlash for not understanding the forces) extensively I can't say more than what I have felt when I have done some basic reading of them.

Its possible that the mysteries associated with the Runes are the spirits of those Runes. Again this is speculation based on the concept you have just given me and my minimal knowledge and understanding of the runes. So if the Runes have a spirit then I guess the Galdar Stave signs and the Hex signs would also have spirits as well. I will have to actually explore this practice now to see for myself.

Until you have made me think about it, I always considered symbols to have an energetic current associated with them. That current I typically considered was based on years of uses and workings. Basically I believe that by using symbols in a specific manner over time that built up the force of the energy associated with that symbol. When those symbols are used in magic that energetic flow is tapped into. Though I never considered this flow to have a consciousness other than what we have programed into it through use. Sort of like thought forms in that manner.

I do believe that plants, crystals, stones, rocks, and the like all have their own spirit. These are natural objects. I believe that natural objects have their own spirits. I have never been sure about my beliefs on man made objects and concepts (like symbols, houses, etc) having a spirit. House spirits I have mostly believed to be manifestations of the spirits of the land the house was built on, who becomes tied to the house through offerings and prayer work. So while I am an animist I don't know if I am as extreme of an animist as you are.

Seraphin wrote:I considered non-living things as simply those whose spirit-principle is inert and latent but no absent. For me, anything that has incorporeal and immaterial nature, there's spirituality!
Nonliving things such as rocks and crystals I believe have spiritual essences. Those things are "natural" or found in nature. I know historically in some cultures weapons of hereos and the like were often considered to have a spirit in them, but I've never been sure about that myself. I don't equate all spiritual energy to a spirit consciousness.

Seraphin wrote:Hoodoo and PowWow are not the only Folk Magickal traditions.
I know that. There are influences in Hoodoo from indigenous people. It was the Native Americans who mostly taught the slaves the properties and uses of the plants in their new transplanted homes. So you can thank Native Americans for teaching the slaves the plants to use to heal and the like. The belief in the powers of plants they kept from their tribal ways.

So I will amend my statement. Aside from the knowledge that the Natives gave the slaves about the new plants in their new land, Hoodoo is essentially various forms of Christianity and their ancestral tribal practices combined together. Some one would have had to teach the Slaves about the plants in the area, as none of their original plant lore would have worked. The prayers and the actual workings however are not based on indigenous people.

Seraphin wrote:I also practice Folk Magick namely Santeria and Yoruba and the latter came from indigenous tribes of West Africa and Lucumi religion.
I thought that Santeria was in the family of African Disapora religions. Voodoo is in that family as well. These religions are traceable to African tribal beliefs and Gods. So in that respect Hoodoo is connected to them. The difference is that Voodoo as a religion evolved in areas where the slaves were free to worship on their own. They just managed to keep their practices with a guise of Christianity. Hoodoo was the result in areas where the Slaves were not able to congregate on their own, but were able to develop healing practices and the like. Any way.

I mentioned those two specific ones because those are the ones I am familiar with and working with at the moment. There are basically folk magic traditions in every culture around the world. My studies in anthropology and archeology have basically shown that magic in some form is a constant in human culture. Germanic folk magic can be found in Rune work, Seidir, Galdar, and in their wortcunning (herbal work). Each culture is going to have slightly different practices and ways they work magic. Though it seems the overall concepts of using properties of herbs and stones as well as words and phrases is what connects them all as magical practices.

Seraphin wrote:Now I would like to rephrase my first sentence:
Lol. Ok. I'm actually glad I asked the questions that I have. Its started and sparked an interesting conversation. That and there is a lot that we can talk about in this field, comparing modern magical systems to folk magical practices as well as where the spiritual elements of folk magic are.

Seraphin wrote:The meaning and significance of SOME Folk Magick traditions and practices can only be understood in the context of the spiritual and magickal traditions of the indigenous people.

Hee... :mrgreen:
That makes better sense. In which case in order to really understand the herbal practices in Hoodoo one would need to study the different Native American cultures to understand where the herbal symbolism and associations came from.

Seraphin wrote:Ah modern magickal and non-magickal practices.
[/quote][/quote]What then would you define as a modern magical practice rather than an older magical practice? It seems that basically all magical systems have some components in them that are traceable to an older practice.

I do stand by my point about how what once made the division between Ceremonial Magic and Folk Magic was the literacy of the people and the social castes is no longer applicable today. All forms of magic are essentially available to everyone if you know how to look for them. So folk magic and ceremonial magic can be equally intertwined and workable today.

I also wonder if in some ways all forms of magic can be traced to folkmagic.
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:29 pm

Spirituality vs. Religiosity

Yes, I think I have to agree with you. Spirituality means a direct knowledge and insight about the true nature of reality, including the spirit world and astral world, regardless of one's religion while religion is a group with its own set of dogmas, policies and rituals.

I believe the only way one can teach himself to have a spirituality is if he himself are following a spiritual path and not a "specific religious group or ministry". If you become a member of a religious group such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, you're expected to follow the philosophy, dogmas, rituals, principles and rules of that group. To be spiritual is to be free of such restrictions. You have direct communion with God, without need of going through the authorities of those religion. Contrast to what the religious groups are teaching, I believe outside any religions, there's still enlightenment.

Also, when I said religion deals with externals, it's more a figure of speech of what one shows to others, or how others see what he/she does in connection with his religious beliefs and practices. Religion has nothing to do with what he does alone, or with his unseen relationship with the the Divine.

Those so called "religions" that deal with internals in my humble opinion aren't really religions but spiritual paths. Religion is a belief in something and not necessarily of Gods. I believe the Gods and the Spirits don't have any religion but a path. The Divine isn't a Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Shintoist, Zoroastrian, Taoist, Jewish or a Wiccan. They are simply is. It's not the Deities who created religion, it's man.

Therefore having said that all, when I say "spiritual path" or "spiritual belief" or "spiritual practice", keep it mind that it has nothing to do with any religions. :wink:

Spirit Force

Well this is only my own opinion. It's not my intention to convince people to believe what I believe. I merely wanted to present an alternative view or another way of looking at things, based not merely on my own study and experience, but also on considered opinions of some experts and knowledgeable people.

My belief concerning this topic was influenced by some pioneering physicists, notably Max Planck and Arthur Stanley Eddington who had probed into the smallest particles of matter, have discovered to their amazement and initial disbelief that what lies behind matter is really non-material and incorporeal. Even the most avid materialist must somehow confront the question of what happened to any matter when it has been broken down into the minutest particle invisible to present scientific instruments. Is it still matter?

What if we say that matter is merely a more condensed form of spirit, in the same way that ice merely another state of water which in its other extreme form becomes invisible steam? As quantum physicists try to study the very core of matter, they inevitably come to a realization of this fact which some folk mystics such as those in China, India, Africa and have known all along: that matter and spirit are but different aspects of the same thing, that everything that exists in matter has a counterpart in another plane of existence and that this other plane is as real and tangible as the seemingly more material world we are used to in our physical state.

Like what I have said before, the way to perceive these spirit forces is through our mind's eye, or through our inner sight or from a soul level. This is the how the folks know what crystals, herbs, objects and even symbols to use to address a certain issue.

Do you know what is this?

Image

This is called the God's eye. My fiancee made it for house protection. It's a traditional craft and spiritual and mystical symbol among the Huichol Indians of Mexico. But it's now used in Islam and some Hindu paths. This is also called "tsikuri" which means "the power to see and understand things unknown".

Perhaps you already know this that amulets, talismans, charms, mojos, and other magickal implements need to feed to sustain life (If there's a life, there's a spirit force). So as food for the them, I usually make potions from herbs related to some specific Deities to anoint it with, every particular day.

Reality therefore, can be looked at from an "ordinary" standpoint and from a "mystic" standpoint. Entering the world of mystic reality is like Alice entering in the Rabbit's hole and discovering Wonderland.

Anyway, the only thing I want to point out here is there's another way of perceiving the material things around us that will add greater meaning to our lives. It enables us to see why these particular herbs cure, why this symbol wards off dis-eases. I believe, there are no secrets in the universe. To one with mystic vision, everything is crystal clear, even the spirit force of this so-called non living things.

Folk Magick vs. Modern Magick

The difference I think Between Folk and Modern Magick is their practices and materials they used and of course the nature of their magick. Folk Magick usually come from Nature and Ancestral Spirits while Modern Magick usually comes from Astral Entities and Celestial Beings.

Actually, I see no conflict nor incompatibility between the two, even though some says there is. As a matter of fact, all kinds of Magick, whether Ceremonial Magick, Witches' Craft, Shamanism, started with a magickal phenomenon, with a vision, contact or experience with some mysteries or Divine being.

I believe all magickal truths out there are just one. Truth is truth whether it comes from Nature or Spirits Astral World, all forms of magickal truths came only from One Source. And who knows, it might be Folk Magick!
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby loona wynd » Wed May 07, 2014 11:51 am

Seraphin wrote:Spirituality vs. ReligiosityYes, I think I have to agree with you. Spirituality means a direct knowledge and insight about the true nature of reality, including the spirit world and astral world, regardless of one's religion while religion is a group with its own set of dogmas, policies and rituals.
See your stuck thinking of religion in the sense of Judeo-Christianity. Religion does have sets of ethical guidelines and rituals this is true. However in pagan religions we are our own priests and priestesses. We are the ones that perform the rituals ourselves. Here while the lore provides the guides for the rituals and the ethical practices in many cases, it is up to each of the individual practitioners to interpret them and understand them. By performing our own rituals we come to understand the Gods in our own ways. This is why Pagan religions and spiritual paths are so intertwined.

Seraphin wrote:I believe the only way one can teach himself to have a spirituality is if he himself are following a spiritual path and not a "specific religious group or ministry". If you become a member of a religious group such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, you're expected to follow the philosophy, dogmas, rituals, principles and rules of that group.
I think thats limiting your understanding of religions. Yes religions have rituals, philosophies, and guidelines. This is true. These guidelines tell you what the religion is about. However in the three religions you mentioned, its not as strict as you would in general think.

The three religions you mentioned are religions based on belief. In these religions while going to church and taking part of the rites of passage (Baptisim and confirmation) are considered valuable aspects of the religion, to be a member of those religions all you need to do is believe what they believe. What you do for practices really doesn't matter. This is why you can have Christian witches.

Going to church is supposed to be how you connect to their God. Though they have a special selection of people who are allowed to perform the rites and rituals. Its expected that through bible study, church, and individual prayer you will develop your own relationship with their God. That is what makes you a member of those religions. Its belief in their God and basically thats it.

In Wicca and other Pagan religions its the rituals that are more important than the beliefs you hold. The rituals are what makes you a member of those religions. The ritual performances are how you experience the Gods and get your personal relationship with the Gods. In Pagan religions because you are the clergy or you are the one performing the rites its your ritual, and your experiences. The rituals provide the gate ways to the mysteries. That is the difference in these religions.


Seraphin wrote:To be spiritual is to be free of such restrictions. You have direct communion with God, without need of going through the authorities of those religion. Contrast to what the religious groups are teaching, I believe outside any religions, there's still enlightenment.
See your understanding of religion is limited to those religion where there is specifically a Clergy class and only they can perform the rites and rituals of those Gods. I think you need to look at the definition of religion. The bolded points are the items I want to highlight here.
Dictionary.com wrote:
re·li·gion
[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

4.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6.
something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

7.
religions, Archaic. religious rites: painted priests performing religions deep into the night.
8.
Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.
sourceWhen you look at the definitions of religion you can see what while many people do define religion by the types we are familiar with (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) its important to remember that Buddhism and Hinduism are also on the big 5 list (5 major world religions). Those last two religions have little to nothing in common with the Abrahamic religions.

Religions are basically defined as sets of beliefs and practices that are agreed upon by the people of that religion. So this is why Wicca is a religion. It has specific beliefs (reincarnation, magic, duotheism, duality of the world) which each Wiccan experiences differently. It also has a set of practices that are established (the set style and components of Wiccan ritual) and essentially agreed upon by all Wiccans. If you read books on BTW and on Eclectic Wicca you see that essentially the ritual outline and contents are the same, the execution is slightly different. These related practices are what makes Wicca a religion.

Asatru is another pagan religion. While there are some agreed upon beliefs like the 9 realms, the types of spirits involved, the Gods, and Wyrd how each person who practices Asatru actually experiences those realms and those spirits and Gods is going to be different. While there are Kindreds or groups that practice Asatru together, each Asatrur needs to practice their own rites and rituals and have their own relationships with the Gods. The religion provides the outline (ethics, holidays, ritual components, and map of the other worlds) while the individual must have their own experiences.

Modern pagan religions are all about personal relationships with the Gods. Even in ancient times when there may have been established Priesthoods, on a daily basis the individual families still had to perform their own rites and rituals. Every one had their own connection to the Gods and to the spirits. This is why modern pagan religions are religions and personal spiritual paths.
Seraphin wrote:Also, when I said religion deals with externals, it's more a figure of speech of what one shows to others, or how others see what he/she does in connection with his religious beliefs and practices. Religion has nothing to do with what he does alone, or with his unseen relationship with the the Divine.
I disagree. When I say I am a Germanic Pagan, or if I describe it as Asatru other pagans have an idea of the Gods I worship, the beliefs I have, and the type of rituals I may perform. The same thing goes for Wicca and religious witchcraft forms. When you say that or something along those lines, even if its not 100% accurate and to the T of what you do, it gives people an idea of your practices so that they may be able to relate to you in some way.

Seraphin wrote:Those so called "religions" that deal with internals in my humble opinion aren't really religions but spiritual paths.
According to the definition of the word religion they are. Religions are sets of beliefs and practices that are generally agreed upon by the members of that religion. Therefor if you ask Wiccans what the basics of their religion is you will generally find the same components (if understood differently) in all of them. The same can be said for basically any modern Pagan religions. The execution of the actual rituals and practices may be different, but the acceptance of those practices and beliefs is basically unified in the followers of those paths.
Seraphin wrote: Religion is a belief in something and not necessarily of Gods.
This is true. There are religions that don't have Gods but have spirits that are venerated. So in that respect I will agree. That being said there are Gods that belong to certain religions and spirits that belong to certain religions.
Seraphin wrote: I believe the Gods and the Spirits don't have any religion but a path. The Divine is not a Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Shintoist, Zoroastrian, Taoist, Jewish or a Wiccan. They are simply is. It's not the Deities who created religion, it's man.
While I agree that religions are created by man. I don't agree that the divine don't belong to certain religious paths. Yaweh/Jehova/Allah belong to specific religious paths (Jewish, Christian, and Islam to be precise). The Aesir, Vanir, and Joten are the divine beings that are worshiped within the Germanic religions. The Tuatha De Dannan are the Gods worshiped by a specific Celtic path. Specific Gods belong to specific cultures and religions, so they should be worshiped or at least understood within the context of those religious practices and cultural practices.

Seraphin wrote:Therefore having said that all, when I say "spiritual path" or "spiritual belief" or "spiritual practice", keep it mind that it has nothing to do with any religions. :wink:
Which is fine for you. However its unrealistic to say that religion and spirituality are not at all connected and are not related. Modern day pagan religions are also spiritual paths as each individual understands and knows the Gods personally. The religious lore provides the context and basic understanding for the Gods and the spirits while the individual has their own relationships with them. The religion is the template for the personal experiences. The religion provides the context for understanding the personal experiences with the Gods and spirits as well as for ways to contact and interact with those spirits. These guides then provide the individual ways to process their experiences. Its all individual experiences.
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby loona wynd » Wed May 07, 2014 3:10 pm

Seraphin wrote:Spirit Force
Well this is only my own opinion. It is not my intention to convince people to believe what I believe. I merely wanted to present an alternative view or another way of looking at things, based not merely on my own study and experience, but also on considered opinions of some experts and knowledgeable people.
I understand. I'm not trying to convince you of what I believe either. I am trying to at least present my beliefs and my side of the argument. I want you to understand why I see religion and spirituality as connected together, and why religions can provide frame work for spirituality.

My beliefs have come from study but also from personal experiences. I know that not every one will have the same experiences as other people. I know that not every one will agree with me on the concept of religion vs spirituality. I am sure that in the end on this topic of religion and spirituality we will just have to agree to disagree on what these things mean. I respect your views and concepts. I just don't agree with them.

Seraphin wrote:My belief concerning this topic was influenced by some pioneering physicists, notably Max Planck and Arthur Stanley Eddington who had probed into the smallest particles of matter, have discovered to their amazement and initial disbelief that what lies behind matter is really non-material and incorporeal. Even the most avid materialist must somehow confront the question of what happened to any matter when it has been broken down into the minutest particle invisible to present scientific instruments. Is it still matter?
Thats a good point. When you look at solid objects its hard to believe that really there is only a lot of empty space in those objects. Its the vibration of the molecules that makes the objects have physical forms. These vibrations are part of the forces we access when we work magic.

Seraphin wrote:What if we say that matter is merely a more condensed form of spirit, in the same way that ice merely another state of water which in its other extreme form becomes invisible steam? As quantum physicists try to study the very core of matter, they inevitably come to a realization of this fact which some folk mystics such as those in China, India, Australia and have known all along: that matter and spirit are but different aspects of the same thing, that everything that exists in matter has a counterpart in another plane of existence and that this other plane is as real and tangible as the seemingly more material world we are used to in our physical state.
I agree. I hold a some what controversial view on spirits and spirit worlds. I believe that they have tangible forms that are "physical" like our forms are. However they exist in a different vibratory state, which is why we can not feel them most of the time in this world. In the worlds of the spirit though they are very much physical like we are in our world. In fact I believe that when we travel to their worlds we appear to them like they do to us in this world very airy like and not physical. This is also why I believe in ascension.

Seraphin wrote:Like what I have said before, the way to perceive these spirit forces is through our mind’s eye, or through our inner sight or from a soul level. This is the how the folks know what crystals, herbs, objects and even symbols to use to address a certain issue.
One of the exercises that I did in the Temple training process was a meditative exercise to align our spiritual vibrations and energetic forces with those of another being or something. I have in that experience aligned myself to Dragon spirits. I also was able to learn and understand the properties of quartz crystal through a similar process. I used a meditation of colored light rain to understand the properties of colors.

I believe that the vibrations we can experience through meditations is a part of that spirit force. I believe that when we use herbs and crystals in spells and rituals that we are actually connected to those vibrations and forces. I think that the herbs and crystals that we use alot, their spirit leaders can become our familiars or spirit guides. We work with them enough that they understand us and know us.

Seraphin wrote:Do you know what is this?

Image

This is called the God's eye.
I used to make those all the time in Summer camps. They are an easy craft that can occupy some hours for young children. I only ever knew of them as a basic craft that kids can do at camps. We used colors we wanted to for each Gods Eye we made.
Seraphin wrote: My fiancee made it for house protection. It is a traditional craft and spiritual and mystical symbol among the Huichol Indians of Mexico. But it is now used in Islam and some Hindu paths. This is also called "tsikuri" which means "the power to see and understand things unknown".
So thats the origin of the Gods Eye. Thank you. I knew it probably like many different traditional crafts have a magical and spiritual back ground to it. I may make one in different protective colors as well as one in colors for intuition and spirit communication.

Seraphin wrote:Perhaps you already know this that amulets, talismans, charms, mojos, and other magickal implements need to feed to sustain life (If there's a life, there's a spirit force). So as food for the them, I usually make potions from herbs related to some specific Deities to anoint it with, every particular day.
Actually this is a practice and concept I am only now learning about. Prior to studying Hoodoo herbal charm bags, talismans, and other spells that were in containers did not require feeding of any sort. They were basically fed by and charged only by your intent and your desires. Handeling them and saying chants and prayers over them is what charged them and kept the power going. When I heard and read about feeding herbal and oil mixtures to mojo bags I was actually a bit confused. Even the witch who made me a mojo bag once based on a reading didn't mention feeding it. So its a new concept to me.

Seraphin wrote:Reality therefore can be looked at from an "ordinary" standpoint and from a "mystic" standpoint. Entering the world of mystic reality is like Alice entering in the Rabbit's hole and discovering Wonderland.
Witches dont live in an ordinary reality. The fact that I practice magic alone is enough to realize that I don't see the world in the ordinary view of society. Though I have to remind myself about the spirits in plants and the like when I see cut plants and the like.

I have to remember that the herbs I buy are planted and grown specifically for my use. I know that these herbs were grown with the intent to be used in spells and rituals. Still that doesn't mean I shouldn't thank the spirits of those plants for helping me with my magic. They know its their duty to be used in magic and in spells and rituals.

I can sense the spirit force in crystals and animals better than I can plants to be honest though.

Seraphin wrote:Anyway, the only thing I want to point out here is there's another way of perceiving the material things around us that will add greater meaning to our lives. It enables us to see why these particular herbs cure, why this symbol wards off dis-eases. I believe, there are no secrets in the universe. To one with mystic vision, everything is crystal clear, even the spirit force of this so-called non living things.
I guess I just have to disagree that symbols created by man have their own spirit. I believe that they have a psychic and emotional energetic force that is attached to them. This force though to me is not spiritual. Its mental energy created by use and focus for many years. That energy can be used to create spiritual realities and energetic changes in our lives. Things that are natural and of the earth have spirits. Symbols created by man to me don't have any sort of spirit in them unless its created by man like Egogres and thought forms.
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby loona wynd » Wed May 07, 2014 4:34 pm

Seraphin wrote:Folk Magick vs. Modern Magick

The difference I think Between Folk and Modern Magick is their practices and materials they used and of course the nature of their magick. Folk Magick usually come from Nature and Ancestral Spirits while Modern Magick usually comes from Astral Entities and Celestial Beings.
I don't know. I mean the Green Witchcraft tradition described by Ann Moura in Green Magic as well as Green Witchcraft 1-3 seems to focus on nature spirits and nature work. So I dont know if that is entirely accurate. I think the modern Golden Dawn and other practices like that may be closer to Celestial beings.

I think one of the main differences is that you have many magical schools of thought where the deities and spirits are aspects of the self and are worked with in the form of Archetypes. In these schools of thought the beings worked with in magic are not real beings, but are aspects of our self and of the collective unconscious. The power is still real, they just see it in this sense.

This approach to magic has made magic more open to non theists. This approach also more often than not takes things from the perspective of psychology and the mind. While the mind is powerful in magic, I don't think its the only thing involved. This school of thought (archetype based) basically teaches that the mind is the only thing in magic that matters. There is nothing outside of the self. I personally believe that magic is actually a bit of both.

That to me I think is the largest difference with modern magical traditions and schools of thought. The difference in the approach to the spirits and the other worlds. In the older and in most pagan folk traditions the other worlds were real places that existed outside of us. The same was said of the Gods and of the spirits. Today this is not true of all magical practices and traditions.

Witchcraft at least in most cases seems to be a combination of the older wisdom and the modern wisdom and thought processes. I mean you have combination of folk beliefs with the animistic practices and in some cases actual folk lore as well as having Ceremonial aspects to the practices in many cases using planetary powers and the like. So to me witchcraft is actually a good bridge between the more modern practices and the older folk practices.

Seraphin wrote:Actually, I see no conflict nor incompatibility between the two, even though some says there is. As a matter of fact, all kinds of Magick, whether Ceremonial Magick, Witches' Craft, Shamanism, started with a magickal phenomenon, with a vision, contact or experience with some mysteries or Divine being.
I would agree with that. Though I do think that magic as a practice does not have to be always based in spiritual practices and needs. I think that magic can be practiced entirely with the basis of the needs for mundane things like food, clothing, love, money, etc. This is where some of the modern schools of thought on magic come into play. Its not based on spirits and works with spirituality but on the mind and the mentality we have.

That being said I personally have a hard time not seeing spirituality in magic. Even if you work with the archetype concepts and with the powers of the mind, to me that is spiritual work. The mind is after all what allows us to process and understand the experiences we have, and it is through the mind that we reach the other realms.

I don't believe that magic needs to be acted with the aid of spirits. I believe that ones personal mental focus, and desires can be enough to make the changes in the world. This to me is the reason why magic like the time manipulation I have described as well as magic like working with positive affirmations can be effective and can work.

Seraphin wrote:I believe all magickal truths out there are just one. Truth is truth whether it comes from Nature or Spirits Astral World, all forms of magickal truths came only from One Source. And who knows, it might be Folk Magick!
Well I think most of the magical knowledge we have about herbs comes from various folk magic practices as well as folk remedies for various ailments and the like. So I think magical knowledge would be the same way. I do think that all forms of magic are tools to access the mysteries and to work on our lives in some way. In the end every one will always practice any form of magic differently.
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Re: Folk Magic and the world Today

Postby Seraphin_npocampo » Wed May 07, 2014 7:20 pm

Spirituality vs. Religion

loona wynd wrote:See your stuck thinking of religion in the sense of Judeo-Christianity. Religion does have sets of ethical guidelines and rituals this is true. However in pagan religions we are our own priests and priestesses. We are the ones that perform the rituals ourselves. Here while the lore provides the guides for the rituals and the ethical practices in many cases, it is up to each of the individual practitioners to interpret them and understand them. By performing our own rituals we come to understand the Gods in our own ways. This is why Pagan religions and spiritual paths are so intertwined.


Wicca is religion. Druidism is religion. Santeria is religion. All of these three pagan religions have their own set of doctrines and philosophy established by their founders. Haven't they? Even you say their followers are the ones who are performing the rituals themselves, the point is they are still following some sort of religious orders, system, and doctrines. Those people whose beliefs or practices don't conform to the officially accepted ones created branches of traditions (such as Alexandrian Wicca, Dianic Feminist, Gardnerian Wicca, Seax Wicca and others), like in Christianity, they created denominations or sects (such as Protestantism, Anglican, Mormonism and others).

I generally feel that these religions are very restrictive. When one mixed his/her personal views, opinions, and beliefs to study and practice Magick and it contradicts the whole philosophy of a pagan religion then he/she is already creating his/her own doctrine. One says this, another says that.

loona wynd wrote:I think thats limiting your understanding of religions. Yes religions have rituals, philosophies, and guidelines. This is true. These guidelines tell you what the religion is about. However in the three religions you mentioned, its not as strict as you would in general think.

The three religions you mentioned are religions based on belief. In these religions while going to church and taking part of the rites of passage (Baptisim and confirmation) are considered valuable aspects of the religion, to be a member of those religions all you need to do is believe what they believe. What you do for practices really doesn't matter. This is why you can have Christian witches.

Going to church is supposed to be how you connect to their God. Though they have a special selection of people who are allowed to perform the rites and rituals. Its expected that through bible study, church, and individual prayer you will develop your own relationship with their God. That is what makes you a member of those religions. Its belief in their God and basically thats it.

In Wicca and other Pagan religions its the rituals that are more important than the beliefs you hold. The rituals are what makes you a member of those religions. The ritual performances are how you experience the Gods and get your personal relationship with the Gods. In Pagan religions because you are the clergy or you are the one performing the rites its your ritual, and your experiences. The rituals provide the gate ways to the mysteries. That is the difference in these religions.


Yes loona. In other words, practice is more important than belief, yes? Wiccans and some religious pagans are not taught how to interpret the Gods and Goddesses or even their experiences in the Mysteries; rather, they are told to just experience those things.

But the question is how to experience those things? By practicing in the same, effective manner as the rest of the coven or group. Nothing more.

I still don't see any essential difference between them and the Judeo Christian Faiths I mentioned above. Both are still promulgating rituals, ways, dogmas and creeds and develop groups or covens to perpetuate such beliefs and ensure compliance.

loona wynd wrote:See your understanding of religion is limited to those religion where there is specifically a Clergy class and only they can perform the rites and rituals of those Gods. I think you need to look at the definition of religion. The bolded points are the items I want to highlight here.
Dictionary.com wrote:
re·li·gion
[ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

4.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5.
the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6.
something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

7.
religions, Archaic. religious rites: painted priests performing religions deep into the night.
8.
Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.
source

When you look at the definitions of religion you can see what while many people do define religion by the types we are familiar with (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) its important to remember that Buddhism and Hinduism are also on the big 5 list (5 major world religions). Those last two religions have little to nothing in common with the Abrahamic religions.

Religions are basically defined as sets of beliefs and practices that are agreed upon by the people of that religion. So this is why Wicca is a religion. It has specific beliefs (reincarnation, magic, duotheism, duality of the world) which each Wiccan experiences differently. It also has a set of practices that are established (the set style and components of Wiccan ritual) and essentially agreed upon by all Wiccans. If you read books on BTW and on Eclectic Wicca you see that essentially the ritual outline and contents are the same, the execution is slightly different. These related practices are what makes Wicca a religion.

Asatru is another pagan religion. While there are some agreed upon beliefs like the 9 realms, the types of spirits involved, the Gods, and Wyrd how each person who practices Asatru actually experiences those realms and those spirits and Gods is going to be different. While there are Kindreds or groups that practice Asatru together, each Asatrur needs to practice their own rites and rituals and have their own relationships with the Gods. The religion provides the outline (ethics, holidays, ritual components, and map of the other worlds) while the individual must have their own experiences.

Modern pagan religions are all about personal relationships with the Gods. Even in ancient times when there may have been established Priesthoods, on a daily basis the individual families still had to perform their own rites and rituals. Every one had their own connection to the Gods and to the spirits. This is why modern pagan religions are religions and personal spiritual paths.

When I say I am a Germanic Pagan, or if I describe it as Asatru other pagans have an idea of the Gods I worship, the beliefs I have, and the type of rituals I may perform. The same thing goes for Wicca and religious witchcraft forms. When you say that or something along those lines, even if its not 100% accurate and to the T of what you do, it gives people an idea of your practices so that they may be able to relate to you in some way.


So after reading your post above, I realized that religion offers and teaches group-improvement: devotion and faith. I can also see that it demands a standard of behavior that benefits one's soul, body and society. I'm glad I'm not part of any religions anymore. Because all of the above can be group-serving. Religion can be its own worst enemy.

Religion emphasizes the importance of their beliefs and their beliefs alone. Their philosophy and philosophy alone. Their system and their system alone. What if I disagree on something from their sets of beliefs and practices? Am I still part of the religion? Or I'm creating my own tradition or denomination. I'm glad I'm not part of any religions anymore.

Religion gives us label. To be Wiccan or to be Druid, or to be Hindu, we are told, we must unlearn our other beliefs and replace them with their accepted virtues and virtues alone. You cant mix because you are creating your own tradition. You can't be "you" and Wiccan, or Druid or Hindu or anything at the same time. You must therefore sacrifice the "you" and choose "this label." I'm glad I'm not part of any religions anymore.

loona wynd wrote:While I agree that religions are created by man. I don't agree that the divine don't belong to certain religious paths. Yaweh/Jehova/Allah belong to specific religious paths (Jewish, Christian, and Islam to be precise). The Aesir, Vanir, and Joten are the divine beings that are worshiped within the Germanic religions. The Tuatha De Dannan are the Gods worshiped by a specific Celtic path. Specific Gods belong to specific cultures and religions, so they should be worshiped or at least understood within the context of those religious practices and cultural practices.


You can still worship these Gods outside any of those religions, I believe. If we worship Them or communicate with Them, do they ask us what religion we belonged to? No.

I'm sure religious people will object to this, which proves my point.

loona wynd wrote:Which is fine for you. However its unrealistic to say that religion and spirituality are not at all connected and are not related. Modern day pagan religions are also spiritual paths as each individual understands and knows the Gods personally. The religious lore provides the context and basic understanding for the Gods and the spirits while the individual has their own relationships with them. The religion is the template for the personal experiences. The religion provides the context for understanding the personal experiences with the Gods and spirits as well as for ways to contact and interact with those spirits. These guides then provide the individual ways to process their experiences. Its all individual experiences.


Well, I understand that this is what you believe. But for me, religion is completely irrelevant to my spirituality and magick. When practicing magick and spiritual work, I'm doing something for my Deities, Nature and fellow beings. Something They desire infinitely, that affects Them eternally.

I serve the Deities, Nature, and Creations instead of seeking to be served by Them. The opportunity to serve provides an escape from group-serving by taking myself beyond the groups official set of beliefs. The objective now focuses "on my own practice and beliefs" rather than on the religious group or label of the person.

Am I a Wiccan if I do this? Am I a Hindu if I don't do this? Those are the questions. My own spirituality and magick isn't the issue. Even if I don't follow any specific religion, I still can do some of it's practices and adhere some of its concepts and philosophy that which is truly good for me. And when I practice magick and spiritual works it's as good regardless of who am I or what I am.

Equally significant is the fact that we are born to have our own spiritual reality. I believe we're created us for this mission. It's therefore our truest self that fulfills our own spiritual reality, not belonging to a religion.

My practices and rituals don't make me religious or pious. They simply bridge the most "Me" in me with the most Divine and spiritual in my Gods and Nature. One to One.

My magick and spiritual works are the many intimacies I can share with all the forces in the universe. They express the "Me" in me. Every work counts -- every soul is precious. Now, that's my spirituality.

Okay, don't get me wrong loona. I have nothing against you if you belong to a religion as long as you aren't that dogmatic and fanatic as others are.

Spirit Force

Now where am I? :lol: Ah... spirit forces... right?

Gee! This is a huge and vast discussion.

I believe everything (including symbols) have spirit forces, I know I already said that, just giving more emphasis... hee :).

To me, materials without spirit forces aren't real. They are fiction. They don't exist. The spirit forces are real. Things without this force aren't real. Ask a physicist: the more they examine matter -- they see there's nothing there. But in mystical point of view, we see there are events: waves, vibrations, fields of energy, and spirit forces. Without these energies, without movements, it no longer exists. Because, I believe, all that exists are the spirit forces.

loona wynd wrote:I guess I just have to disagree that symbols created by man have their own spirit. I believe that they have a psychic and emotional energetic force that is attached to them. This force though to me is not spiritual. Its mental energy created by use and focus for many years. That energy can be used to create spiritual realities and energetic changes in our lives. Things that are natural and of the earth have spirits. Symbols created by man to me don't have any sort of spirit in them unless its created by man like Egogres and thought forms.


I am an Animist and a Kabbalist and therefore I believe that the elaborate emphasis in Kabbalah on Divine creation are meant to be converted into a spiritual and magickal challenge to man, that as Gods created, so should I. In Yoruba tradition, this is called "ase" (the ability to make things happen). Ase can also be translated as "force, power, authority, command". That as the Deities have power, so have I. That as Gods can breath spirit forces, so could I. The foundation of my belief concerning this is: "And you shall walk in His (Deities) ways", that I imitate Them. I believe I as a man, is bidden by the principle of "imitatio Dei" (imitation of Gods) to create, to be a co-creator in this world, fashioning form and breathing spirit forces and energies to the things such as symbols or talismans I'm creating. Of course, I can't create "ex nihilo" (out of nothing), as did the Deities of the old.

I believe man must be creative in both the physical and the spiritual realms.

A dead and unenergized symbol or material can be transformed into a living and energetic symbol or tool. A symbol or material, without any identity, can be gradual­ly changed into a spiritual entity. Making these symbols and imbuing them with our own energies is an act of fashion­ing a spirit force, I believe. This is similar to Divine creation.

Folk Magick vs. Modern Magick

Now about modern and folk magick, I believe they should go hand in hand.

Magick started as a folk arts. It follows ancient beliefs and common practices of the folks from the whole gamut of world history and cultures, like a thousand voices harmonized into a single melody.

That's the thing about Folk Magick: we'll find everything in there -- except our own voice and the voice of the modern practitioners, that we have to add ourselves. And that's vital. Because, I believe that each one of us have to discover the magick behind all the things around us and consider alternative point of views of others.

We and also some magick practitioners hadn't really changed folk magick, I believe -- but we had made it easier to find the modern world and ourselves there by forming or following particular schools of thought or adapting or observing certain magickal approach.

One way or another, we're all still practicing the ancient and folk magick. We're just using modern language and approach, so that we'll feel at home with our magick and we did it in a way that should prove comfortable for us.

Our own magickal pratice is timeless space. Folk Magick defines space. It brings that timelessness into our time.
Seraphin

If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me.
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Re: Folk Magic and the World Today

Postby seidkonacat » Tue May 20, 2014 9:41 pm

I think folk magic endures eve today. Some things never end.

When I was in German this past summer doing study abroad, my Chinese roomate Chen Chen (or Cici, as everyone called her) pointed to a magpie and told me very frankly "That's a...what is the English?...good-luck bird."

"A magpie?" I asked, curious. My stepdad is a bird-watcher and some of it has rubbed off on me. I researched the local avian species before I arrived in Bremen. The black-and-white plumage of the magpie is unmistakable. Blue-black wings with white spots and a white belly. Smaller than the local ravens, but with the same wicked, curved beak. Tiny, glittering, intelligent little black eyes.

Cici shrugged, and waved at the winged creature, saying a string of syllables in Chinese that I had no hope of understanding. Her English was uncertain, my Chinese was nonexistent, and we had both only just begun learning German. "A good-luck bird," she repeated, decisively. "It's good to see one."

We were living with a very sweet, motherly, middle-aged woman named Frau Heckmann. She acted as our host, and no one could ask for better. When I mentioned it to her, she had this to say: "Good luck? My grandmother always told me it was bad luck to see one alone! Seeing two was fine, but one alone was not so good."

Bits of old wisdom from different cultures simply must survive through the ages. A nineteen-year-old Chinese woman and a fifty-year-old German woman gave me very different lore on the same creature. Beliefs will always survive.
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Re: Folk Magic and the World Today

Postby loona wynd » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:18 pm

seidkonacat wrote:Bits of old wisdom from different cultures simply must survive through the ages. A nineteen-year-old Chinese woman and a fifty-year-old German woman gave me very different lore on the same creature. Beliefs will always survive.
You just gave a perfect example of how different cultures saw animal symbolism quite differently. In one culture it was good luck to see one and in another one was bad luck two was ok.

This is one of the reasons why totem animals and spirit animal symbolism and working with animal powers in magic can be difficult. The wolf and bear in Germanic folklore are very different than the wolf and bear in any of the Native American folklore. Neither is better or more correct than the other. Its just based on cultural symbolism and understanding.
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