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Re: Clarity once and for all?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:54 pm
by BabyBear
lol thanks and me personally after much searching and still not getting it just went with calling myself a Pagan Wicche (female practitioner of paganism) cus like you there are just to many things you could fall under and wicca wasn't really anything but paganism in general till it was names Wicca

Re: Clarity once and for all?

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:57 pm
by Sakura Blossom
That's very true. In all my reading, I've found that Wicca is something that was more recent in terms of when it came to be. It's just based off ancient traditions, as you've said. I have always called myself Wiccan, and in all honesty, I might just stick with that because I've also found it's the easiest thing to tell others who don't have an understanding of what Wicca/Witchcraft is and what paganism is. People always assume Pagan is... Well, not witchcraft, but people usually know when you say Wicca. Haha! Maybe some day I'll find my super technical term, but for now, I guess it's just easier and safer to say Wicca.

Re: Clarity once and for all?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:13 pm
by loona wynd
This is how I have come to understand things. This is going to be a long post, but I hope this indepth explanation will help you understand the differences in the form and practice of Wicca and witchcraft. I have found over the years that witchcraft really comes in five different styles.

Those styles are Wicca, religious witchcraft, cultural based witchcraft, witchcraft as a magical practice and craft, and witchcraft as a spiritual practice. The rest of this post is going to cover my understanding of these five different styles of witchcraft and the practices that you will find within them.

Wicca:

Wicca is a specific religion. It comes in two forms traditional initiatory (called and often refered to as BTW) and a more recent less structured form which can be solitary. They are united by many different factors which I am going to be outlining right now.

Duotheistic (Two God worship more specifically the worship of a God and Goddess): Both types of Wicca have a duotheistic pantheon meaning they worship a God and a Goddess. In some of the more eclectic styles this is a softpolytheistic form where all the Gods are one God and all the Goddesses one Goddess simply known as the Lord and Lady. The traditional form worships a specific God and Goddess set whose names are only known to initiates though the names Cerreunos and Aradia are used in non-initiate or outercourt/open rituals.

Witchcraft religion- Both are witchcraft religions (often termed witchcults-see Gardners writings on this topic). All Wiccans practice witchcraft as it is a central continent of their ritual practices. You can not perform any type of Wiccan ritual without the use of witchcraft. Its how the Gods are invoked, the sacred space created, and the mysteries experienced.

Priesthood/Clergy-All Wiccans are priests and priestesses of their God and Goddess. All those who practice any style or tradition of Wicca are a Priest or priestess. Their duty it to serve their Gods in some way. Working rituals is only one component of the priesthood. There are other ways that Wiccan Priests serve the communities and their Gods.

Mystery/Experience based- Both styles are mystery based which means the rituals provide a way to experience and know the deities of Wicca and the mysteries of the universe. The rituals and practices of Wicca are what provide the way to experience the mysteries and connect with the Gods. With out the performance of the rituals experiences of the deities and the mysteries have no context. The rituals help provide context for the mystery experiences.

Nature or Fertility based-The modern form is more nature/natural cycle based while traditional Wicca is fertility based (not just sex and procreation, but of the fields, creativity, animals, etc.) The rituals of traditional Wicca have a lot of sexual actions and symbolism in them (this is why there are never initiates in traditional Wicca under the age of 18 though more often 21 or older) while the symbolism of sexuality and fertility are done in a purely symbolic action in the other solitary/eclectic style.

Ritual structure- Both styles follow an essentially set ritual structure with the circle castings, invocations, workings, and circle releasing as the central focus, though one has very strict practices and ways of doing rituals while the other is slightly more open, so long as all the parts are there. One is initiatory based and the other because it can be solitary does not necessarily require initiation, but dedication rituals are often used.

They are the same religion because of the above. they are different schools of thought (orthopraxy- right practice vs more orthodoxy-belief and practice) but they worship the same Duo-theistic path, have the same 8 sabbats, and essentially have the same ritual practices if dealt with slightly differently. One path is not better than the other, they still provide access to the same mysteries one is always coven based and the other can be solitary.

Traditional Wicca is made up of the follow traditions:

*Gardnerian
*Alexandrian
*Mohsian
*Central Valley (a collective term for the traditions named below)
-Silver Crescent
-Kingstone
-Daoine Coire
-Assembly of Wicca
-Majestic

Some non BTW traditions of Wicca are:

Standing Stone
Black Forest Clan
Seax Wicca
Blue Star



Religious Witchcraft:

In essence religious witchcraft is the use and practice of witchcraft to worship the Gods and spirits found within a specific religious setting. The rituals are done to worship the Gods on those holidays. Often a person may be a priest or priestess of a specific deity, based on experiences and time put into work. Others may not call themselves a priest or priestess, as they may feel that title is suited for formal training only. In the end the primary practices here revolve around the Gods and the spirits within that religion and theology.

Religious witchcraft is a category that Wicca does fit into, however it is wider than just Wicca. Religious witchcraft is a form of witchcraft in which the use of witchcraft is central to the worship of the Gods and honoring of spirits in that particular religion. Religious witchcraft can come in many forms other than Wicca.

The first form would be Traditional Witchcraft which like Wicca has several different styles or traditions, but is a counter-movement of sorts to Wicca dealing with more Chthonic deities and underworld work. It is often described as pre Gardner or pre-Wicca movement witchcraft. There are many different styles and forms of traditional witchcraft, and many of them are based in the next type of witchcraft I am going to describe.

Culture specific witchcraft

The next form would be cultural based religious witchcraft. In some cases these are also forms of traditional witchcraft. Traditions such as Strega and Wiccatru are two examples of culture based religious witchcraft and traditional witchcraft. Strega is Italian based witchcraft and Wiccatru is Nordic/Germanic based witchcraft. Other forms and cultures could be Kemetic Witchcraft (Egyptian style), Celtic witchcraft (Celtic style), Mesopotamian, Baltic, Hawiian etc. These are styles of witchcraft that developed in different cultures, works with the deities and spirits of those cultures, and worships those deities. This style is not necessarily duotheistic, though an individual witch may have a deity that they have a stronger relationship to than others.

Witchcraft as a craft and magical practice

This type of witchcraft is based entirely on magical workings. It is a secular practice. There are no Gods worshiped or invoked during spells and rituals. There is a lot of folkmagic used here and some individual spirit work. The practice here is more based on practicality. Doing what works because it works. The concept is based on making your life what you want. The practice of magic is primarily and typically ends or result based.

This is where the crafting of incenses, candles, oils, soaps, etc would fall. This is also where creating talismans, amulets, and charms would be. This is the practice of making objects and items and filling them with power for a specific purpose or reason. This is also where the writing and formulating of the spell work or the ritual work is placed. The essence of thi style of witchcraft is that it is magic based. No spirits or Gods are involved. This is a personal practical practice based on obtaining results. The practical practice here often leads to the last type of witchcraft I am going to mention here.

Witchcraft as a spiritual path

By spiritual path I mean a way to help understand your place in the universe, the nature of the universe, and applying that knowledge to work in your day to day life. This is why individual spirit work may or may not be a part of this practice. This is where I would put work with dragon spirits, elemental spirit work, and essentially land based or spirit based practices.

The major point here is that religion is not involved. There is no worship, no specific worldview, no specific rituals to practice or anything like that. This is all your individual relationship with magic, the universe, and yourself. This is why this practice is often chosen when strict rituals and the like don't fit or you dont want to belong to a specific path or religion but have your own relationships with deities and spirits.

Christian witchcraft could be placed here as well. This is where Christian witches establish their own relationships with God and Jesus. This is also where work with saints and angels would be. The work is done for the improvement of the self, spiritual knowledge, and understanding the universe yourself.

Witchcraft as a spiritual path is also a mystery and experience based path. Though the mysteries and experiences are not bound to a specific deity, religion, or creed. This is why it is a spiritual path. Its your work helping you understand the universe and your place in it. That is the difference between Wicca and religious witchcraft to witchcraft as a spiritual practice, deities and spirits may be worked with in both styles and forms, but in religious witchcraft its based on specific creeds, theologies, and worldviews while the spiritual path allows us to develop our own personal understandings not limited to the theology, worldviews, and creeds of a religion.

The main difference between witchcraft as a craft and magical practice and witchcraft as a spiritual practice is the working with spirits and beings in the spell work. In witchcraft as a spiritual practice spirits that we have relationships with can aid us in our work and we are often called to ask them to help us in our work.

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I can provide a list of traditions and examples for religious and Traditional Witchcraft as well as Cultural witchcraft is people would like.

Re: Clarity once and for all?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:09 am
by Gothfey
loona wynd wrote:This is how I have come to understand things. This is going to be a long post, but I hope this indepth explanation will help you understand the differences in the form and practice of Wicca and witchcraft. I have found over the years that witchcraft really comes in five different styles.


I really liked this! Definietly made it more clear to me and of what I personally could relate the most to.
I put some of it in my BoS, if that's okay. :)

~Blessings :flyingwitch:

Re: Clarity once and for all?

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:36 pm
by loona wynd
Witchy wrote:
loona wynd wrote:This is how I have come to understand things. This is going to be a long post, but I hope this indepth explanation will help you understand the differences in the form and practice of Wicca and witchcraft. I have found over the years that witchcraft really comes in five different styles.


I really liked this! Definietly made it more clear to me and of what I personally could relate the most to.
I put some of it in my BoS, if that's okay. :)

~Blessings :flyingwitch:
Anything I say anywhere that helps anyone is welcome to be used in their BOS or journals. So long as I am credited as the source.

Re: about wicca and witchcraft

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:42 pm
by Clairsentient_Wolf
Xiao Rong wrote:I don't think it's fair to call Wicca and witchcraft a "rebellion" against Christianity. Witchcraft, in its many forms across the world, definitely existed before Christianity, or existed independently from it. Wicca as we know it is certainly an alternative to Christianity, but just because it's an alternative to a dominant religion doesn't necessarily means it's a rebellion - it simply fulfills different spiritual needs to Christianity. Although it is generally accepted that Wicca (by which I mean Wicca as we know it, as opposed to witchcraft as a whole) was founded in the 1950s by a man named Gerald Gardner.


I like the way you worded that in response to the question. I feel Wicca is similar to Christianity in that Wiccans and Christians alike both basically worship the same God in different forms. I was born and raised Christian; therefore I worship God but I don't think that God is or was as they portrayed Him to be in the Bible. Not to say that the Bible doesn't hold water but books, even nonfiction, were all written by man and man is not perfect.

Am I right in saying that Wiccans worship a God or Goddess that is in the form of Mother Nature? I truly believe that Mother Nature acts as a Goddess that perhaps, for all I know, God appointed as like His "assistant manager" to be in charge of all the spiritual beings, beloved animals, etc. Just curious, I'm new to this too.

Re: about wicca and witchcraft

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:24 pm
by Xiao Rong
fullmoon217 wrote:Am I right in saying that Wiccans worship a God or Goddess that is in the form of Mother Nature? I truly believe that Mother Nature acts as a Goddess that perhaps, for all I know, God appointed as like His "assistant manager" to be in charge of all the spiritual beings, beloved animals, etc. Just curious, I'm new to this too.


I would say that even among Wiccans there's a great diversity of beliefs about the nature of the god(s). Most "Wicca 101" books will say that Wiccans are duotheist (worship 2 deities, the God & the Goddess); certainly many Wiccans do believe that. But there are also plenty of Wiccans who worship and believe in the existence of many deities (polytheism), believe the God and Goddess to be two facets of a single Divine source (monism), believe in no deities at all (atheism) ... the list goes on. In general most Wiccans do not view the Goddess as an "assistant" to the God and tend to view them as equals; some worship just the Goddess. I am fond of the saying: ask a dozen Witches the same question, you'll get 13 different answers!