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Thread: What constitutes a non-Wiccan Witch?

  1. #11
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    for starters, religion and witchcraft are two different things. a person can be a complete athiest and still be a witch. wicca was pretty much the first to incorporate religion as a main factor. i dont believe in a god and goddess and that all others are aspects of them. i believe theres tons of deities out there, they stay outta my way, i stay outta theres. as for the sabbats, i dont even bother with em. whats the point? oh, and as for the hexing/cursing thing... ive done it for less reasons than rape and murder.

  2. #12
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    First, there are about 20 different definitions of 'witch', and none of them is the 'right' definition. If one group of Wiccans wants to call Wicca a form of witchcraft, they're right. If another group says that what they do isn't witchcraft, they're right. If someone else practices secular folk magic and calls it 'witchcraft', they're right. If someone dresses up in a pointy hat and paints their face green, calling themselves a witch, they're right. If you calls someone who sours milk and cooks Kid Fritters in a forest a witch, they're right, too. None of them has any exclusive right to the term 'witch', and nobody has the right to call a particular definition of a word of questionable origin and a long history incorrect.

    Anyway, defining 'Wiccan' is a sticky subject. Is it the Rede and the Law of Three? Which version of the Rede? The original version, describing what to do ('as you will') under a specific set of circumstances (when it harms none), or the more recent 'harm none anywhere ever' interpretation?

    Is it acknowledgment of a certain form of deity? Probably not. Some Wiccans are duotheistic, some are polytheistic, some are pantheistic, some are even panentheistic.

    Is it a certain general ritual format combined with a certain group of observed holidays? I know of Wiccans who observe all 13 full moons, some who observe all 13 plus 13 dark moons, some who observe none of the moons, some who observe all 8 sabbats, and some who observe only four.

    I know some who say that unless you specifically observe the Rede, the Rule of Three, have been initiated, follow a specific ritual format, follow every one of the hundred-plus 'laws', observe all sabbats and esbats, and work with a group of exactly 13 in a precise mix of genders, you can't possibly be a Wiccan.

    We're a diverse group. We want to be a diverse group. We outright deny any form of centralized authority, and yet so many of us try to claim that there is a universal definition that should be applied to all of us. The two ideas don't work together - at all. We can't have both 'nobody is boss' and 'this applies to everybody'. It's impossible.

    At the same time, we can't be too free with the definition. What is the difference between a Hindu and a Wiccan? If someone starts out as a Wiccan, follows Hindu deities, Hindu traditions and Hindu holidays, but keeps the Rede, are they still a Wiccan, or are they Hindu with an extra rule? What about Buddhist practices? Christian practices? Native American practices? If the definition of 'Wicca' becomes so open that whatever you do can be called Wicca, then the word Wicca just becomes a synonym for 'religion', and becomes a completely unnecessary word. We have to have something to set us apart from the Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians.

    Most likely, 'Wicca' refers to a combination of some, but not necessarily all, of the above mentioned points. It is the Duck Rule: If it quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it's a duck. Just use common sense, and don't obsess with labels to the point that you're refusing to let go of the word 'Wicca' when it doesn't apply to you, or that you refuse to let others whose use of it has just as much historical precedent as yours (ie - none) use it. That's just arrogant elitism.

    From the perspective of a pagan that calls himself Wiccan, but may not be, depending on who you ask. At the end of the day, I am what I do, not what I call myself.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sage Rainsong View Post
    Okay I have met a lot of people who are witches who don't consider themselves Wiccan (I am one of them, well kinda, it's a long story). Many times though, I come across people who say that they are not Wiccan but they believe in the great God and Goddess and the gods being aspects of them, they use wiccan ritual structure, celebrate the sabbats, yet do not consider themselves Wiccans because they believe in hexing rapists or other criminals.
    I've been thinking about that too recently. I don't get it, some people follow a completely Wicca-like system, but make a big deal about not being Wiccan because they don't believe in the Rede or whatnot. Like Yasmine Galenorn, although I enjoyed her books, I don't see how she isn't Wiccan. She follows the Wheel of the Year, casts a circle, calls quarters, belives in the mother goddess and male consort, and the goddess' maiden-mother-crone triple aspects, not to mention the god's holly king/oak king, green man, and hunter aspects. All very Wiccan. Many people who do admit to being Wiccan don't follow the Rede strictly either, and may cast hexes and curses. It just confuses me how people can follow a system identical to Wicca in everything but name, and be so opposed to being called a Wiccan.

    I'm not a Wiccan or any kind of Witch anymore, so it doesn't concern me that much. The witchcraft community is a bit of a mess with eclectics, and make-it-up-as-you-go type people making up new "traditions" based on watered-down how-to books. Some people seem to think that a minor variation constitutes an entirely new system.

  4. #14
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    A witch is someone with magical powers. A non-wiccan is someone who is not wiccan. Therefore, A non-wiccan witch is someone with magical powers who is not a follower of the wiccan religion.

    And that's all folks.
    Amelserru_halqu

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  5. #15
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    I consider myself a non-wiccan witch for all the above reasons
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelserru_halqu View Post
    A witch is someone with magical powers. A non-wiccan is someone who is not wiccan. Therefore, A non-wiccan witch is someone with magical powers who is not a follower of the wiccan religion.

    And that's all folks.
    That's the exact definition I would go for.

    To put it even more bluntly, I'll let the author of whywiccanssuck.com define a witch:

    Witch
    Someone with magical powers. I repeat, someone with magical powers.
    Changing your religion to "Wicca" does NOT make you a witch. Religion has nothing to do with it. (How many Xians have you met who can change water into wine?)

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amelserru_halqu View Post
    A witch is someone with magical powers.
    But what do you define as magical powers? I've known people who thought they were witches because the had the occasional psychic flash and thought they could get premonitions like Phoebe on Charmed. Certain psychological exercizes are practiced by some witches as magic, does that count? What about occult practices like levitation and all that crazy stuff?

    Ain't labels and definitions a blast?

  8. #18
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    A witch is someone with magical powers.
    I know that this is a bit off topic but personally I find that definition a little vague. I mean there are other magical practioners in the world that wouldn't dream of the word witch. There are even many other Pagans who practice magic who do not call themsevles Wiccans.To me witchcraft doesn't equal magic witchcraft is a particular kind of magic like Hoodoo is. I am not trying to stir up the Wicca vs witch debate yet again but I am talking more about how some (by no means all) non wiccan witches seem to have practices that are extrememly close to Wicca and yet they insist that they are not. So I am wondering how different ones' practices have to be in order to be a non wiccan witch. Wow all of this made much more sense in my head lol.

    Like Yasmine Galenorn, although I enjoyed her books, I don't see how she isn't Wiccan.
    I agree that I did find many similarites to Wicca in her books. I absolutely love her though, She is actually the reason that I discovered MW in the first place.

    Ain't labels and definitions a blast?
    Tell me about it. My pretty little head hurts now.
    Last edited by Sage Rainsong; May 10th, 2007 at 09:53 PM.
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  9. #19
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    I believe that just because someone states that they are Wiccan doesn't mean they should be held to the standard of the Wiccan Rede. The Rede as we know (and I am not talking about that long poem Written by Adriana Porter and was published by Lady Gwen Thompson, Adriana Porter's Granddaughter in The Green Egg magazine in 1975) it is merely advice, not holy law. Wiccans generally have no Bible or someone in authority over them telling them the "shall's" and the "shall not's." The word "rede" means "counsel" or "advice." In Gerald Gardner's book "The Meaning of Witchcraft" he says they (witches) are INCLINED to the morality, he doesn't say that they are BOUND. The Wiccan Rede is not a Law and was never a Law. It is however, wise advice and good counsel for when you practice magick whether you are a Wiccan or otherwise. I personally have had people when they throw the Wiccan Rede in my face, so to speak, when I say or do something they don't like because I used to call myself a Christian Wiccan. As everyone's spiritual life evolves, so has mine. I no longer call myself a Christian Wiccan, but rather a Christopagan. I have also seen many become dogmatic about the Wiccan Rede. I find that many take the Wiccan Rede too literal and it becomes to impractical. No one can go through life without harming a single thing intentially or unintentially. I believe some common sense needs to be used when one is applying the Wiccan Rede to their life.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitefalle View Post
    I would call myself a Witch, but I am not Wiccan. I do not follow the Rede, do not believe in the three fold law, and I am a hard polytheist. I don't cast circles and I don't use the four elements as part of my path. I follow a Celtic path, worship Celtic gods and open myself to the Three Realms during rituals. However, I consider myself a Witch because I work "low magic" - I use charms, sachets and simples to help achieve my goals. I work with herbs and stones and other gifts of the Earth as part of my path. I don't think there is any set definition of the word "witch" and I don't think I fill any sort of requirement, that is just a title I have taken on myself because I believe it fits.
    That is well on the way to describing what I would term to be a witch. I do follow a similar path though it is not Celtic. Also I work with both sides of the coin so as to speak! Witchcraft is not a religion, it is a way of life. Nitefalle I think you have every right to call urself a Witch,Witchcraft doesnt come from a book it comes from within you, if you dont feel it no one can teach you to. The only true lessons will come from within.

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