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Thread: Why do People that practice Traditional Witchcraft not like to be called a witch

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
    I read on another site that people that practice Traditional Witchcraft don't like being called a witch. The person that wrote the article for the site said that they consider it a dirty word. Could you please explain this in detail if you have the answer.
    I have heard this through others from time to time. The idea that made the most sense to me is that Witchcraft is something of a shifty word in history. It covers a lot of different things and much of it not good. Folk craft as a practice and no real name to the practitioner seemed to fit without the darker connotations. Also there seems to be a little fear held over from the stories of the inquisitions and witch hunts. To be able to practice in relative peace and not attract unwanted negative attention, to blend in so to speak, it just seemed practical to avoid that W word all together.

    Now, now much of that is actually true I couldn't say for sure but it made some sense to me. In this day and age I think its less dangerous to call yourself witch in the states at least. Unfortunately it still holds negative ideas for those not in the know.

  2. #32
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    May 2008
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    The fact of the matter is, "witch" has always historically carried negative connotations, even when we're talking about other cultures and languages besides Western, Christian-based civilization. There's almost always some equivalent in various cultures and languages of a person who practises magic for ill use or selfish gain. It's only with the development of modern "witchcraft revival" religions such as Wicca and other sections of the Neopagan movement in the 20th century that the term has begun to take on a more positive meaning, mostly due to those movements repeatedly asserting the historically inaccurate notion that "witchcraft" is a retroactive, general term for all kinds of folk magic, with no inherent negative connotations.
    And I don't say this to rag on Wicca and modern Witchcraft religions. I practise Wicca fairly religiously, and I've studied extensively the history of it and the Neopagan movement. But I also recognise that certain tendencies in Modern Witchcraft and Neopaganism have led many practitioners to be purveyors of historical inaccuracies--through no conscious malice or intellectual dishonesty.

    And this isn't to say that "Witchcraft" and "witch" can never be reclaimed and given a positive connotation. I'm just saying that it has historically had a negative one, and to pretend that it never has had one is silly. It is a good part of the reason why it is not used by people that practise what we might refer to as "Traditional Witchcraft"--they probably don't see it as witchcraft. Because, to them, "witchcraft" is a negative term.
    Last edited by Louisvillian; November 4th, 2012 at 01:40 AM.

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