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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    I think the answer to that actually arises from the late 90's early 2000's period with the proliferation of shake and bake Wicca. That period where one choose what they liked and ignored the rest as it didn't do anything for them. That and the ever increasing influence of the New Age movement with its love and white light happy happy slant on everything.
    Which I think totally sucks. Of course if you say that you don't do all this happy, happy, go go stuff and do folk magic that includes curses then your suddenly not a Wiccan anymore.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
    One of the things that I don't get is how come a religion that wasn't suppose to be all light and love turned into that. Let me know, as I'm totally confused by how Wicca is practiced now.
    It's an orthopraxy, which means it's practised the same now as it has always been. Traditional Wicca(Gardnerian&Alexandrian Witchcraft) is an initiatory mystery tradition with origins in the British Isles, and has a specific degree system in place to train adherents for priesthood. It's coven oriented, where adherents work skyclad celebrating the certain days of the year that have become quite popular in neo-paganism.

    It may have been publicised differently in the late 50's&60's to disassociate with negative stereotypes associated with witchcraft, and appeal under a different light to the public mind, but much of the "love&light" associations happens because of the "self proclaimed" Wiccans that read one book probably written by another self proclaimed Wiccan that hi-jacked the term, and take it upon themselves to act as authority figures and poster witches. Many of these people may not even possess enough outer-court knowledge of the mystery tradition to be taken on, and trained by a traditional coven. Many other Witchcraft Traditions are loosely modelled off of Wicca, including the ones that disassociate with it, and something a lot of people don't understand is that Wicca is a mystery tradition that's experimental in nature. Once you've been trained, and brought up, there can be room for personal adaptation that compliments the praxis.

    If you'd really like to take a crack at it, and figure out what it's about, you should be able to find answers here.
    http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usma&id=26119

    http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail...=usma&id=12955

    It's not meant for everyone, and requires work&discipline. For some reason those that aren't cut out for it tend to slag it off, and create their own traditions supposedly rooted in something "older," which supposedly makes them superior somehow?
    Semper Fidelis

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micheál View Post
    It's an orthopraxy, which means it's practised the same now as it has always been. Traditional Wicca(Gardnerian&Alexandrian Witchcraft) is an initiatory mystery tradition with origins in the British Isles, and has a specific degree system in place to train adherents for priesthood. It's coven oriented, where adherents work skyclad celebrating the certain days of the year that have become quite popular in neo-paganism.

    It may have been publicised differently in the late 50's&60's to disassociate with negative stereotypes associated with witchcraft, and appeal under a different light to the public mind, but much of the "love&light" associations happens because of the "self proclaimed" Wiccans that read one book probably written by another self proclaimed Wiccan that hi-jacked the term, and take it upon themselves to act as authority figures and poster witches. Many of these people may not even possess enough outer-court knowledge of the mystery tradition to be taken on, and trained by a traditional coven. Many other Witchcraft Traditions are loosely modelled off of Wicca, including the ones that disassociate with it, and something a lot of people don't understand is that Wicca is a mystery tradition that's experimental in nature. Once you've been trained, and brought up, there can be room for personal adaptation that compliments the praxis.

    If you'd really like to take a crack at it, and figure out what it's about, you should be able to find answers here.
    http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usma&id=26119

    http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail...=usma&id=12955

    It's not meant for everyone, and requires work&discipline. For some reason those that aren't cut out for it tend to slag it off, and create their own traditions supposedly rooted in something "older," which supposedly makes them superior somehow?
    Thanks and I will check those links out.

  4. #24
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    No probs!
    Semper Fidelis

  5. #25
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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.
    Some folks keep it secret because their family or others would react cruelly or with anger. Some don't call themselves Witches because they recognise (as in the example MonSno provided) that it "witchcraft" is a very retroactive term, and their traditional family crafts can be called something else. Likewise, some come to the same conclusion without coming from a family tradition, and call their craft different things.

    But, in the modern world of pluralism and reason, and the modern world of most people not giving a damn, I'd say a good portion of witches do not call themselves so because of fear of it being taken as silly or unserious by others. Not fear of anger, but fear not being taken seriously.
    And then there's the thing that a good portion of Witches are practitioners of Wicca or similar Neopagan Witchcrafts, and so will refer to themselves as Wiccans or Pagans instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sekhmet Soul30 View Post
    One of the things that I don't get is how come a religion that wasn't suppose to be all light and love turned into that. Let me know, as I'm totally confused by how Wicca is practiced now. I know that it's not the same now as it was back then, which really makes one think.
    As Micheal said, it is an orthopraxic religion. So its practices have remained largely the same since its inception in the late 1930's. There is an inbuilt allowance of some difference, variety, and eclecticism. But it is still based on a core set of ritual practices that were set down back when Wicca was purely initiatory.
    There has been changes, but mainly institutional ones. The shift has been in greater acceptance of solitary practitioners. Though there remains an emphasis on the traditional rituals and structures, even for solitaries.
    Last edited by Louisvillian; January 2nd, 2012 at 04:33 AM.

  6. #26
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    Even saying that I'm pagan or Wiccan is hard for me. I've only recently decided to officially practice Wicca and only a few friends know about it. I know that my family and most friends would not understand or take me seriously. (I come from a southern baptist family and live in a very small backwoods community) The few friends that I can talk openly about this with encourage me to say it outright, but I'm so used to hiding my "different" thoughts and opinions as to not offend anyone, that its become a self-repression. If I can't use Pagan and Wiccan simply in a conversation, I doubt i'll be calling myself a witch anytime soon.

  7. #27
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    If this has already been posted, then allow me to echo the sentiment.

    The word "witch" in and of itself is a somewhat negative word in most people's mindset. It conjures up a lot of dark imagery that most people who may otherwise identify as witches would rather avoid. Most people associate "witch" with the Hallow'een style witch or what they've learned from their particular religious or pop culture references, neither of which tends to be very flattering.

    I can understand the sentiment; I dislike the sticking an extra "k" on the end of magic because I feel like it's a cry for attention and completely unnecessary and I dislike being called "Neo-Pagan" because it makes it sound far too much like a fad or other pop culture trend to be taken seriously.
    "There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. By doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses one still gets wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will get the same soaking. This understanding extends to all things."

  8. #28
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    I don't mind the "neopagan" label. These are modern times and I don't mind my self-identifiers proclaiming that. "Neo-" just indicates the modernity of current pagan thought and concepts in the West, which very much a recent revival since there was a long period of European and Near East folk religion being subsumed into Christendom. All of which helps to contrast with traditional or folk religion in other parts of the world that has an unbroken line. We are a revival or reconstruction (depending on what path we're talking about), not a continuation. There's nothing wrong or faddish with admitting that.

    Likewise, I don't mind the label of "witch", either; it's come to refer to a modern phenomenon. Though I do keep in mind its history and the negative connotations of it--or, rather, the just-plain-silly connotations of publically calling oneself a "witch". So, I just use "Wiccan" because it sounds a bit less silly in usual conversation, and because my witchcraft practices are specifically focused around Wicca.
    Last edited by Louisvillian; January 28th, 2012 at 12:39 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socinus View Post
    If this has already been posted, then allow me to echo the sentiment.

    The word "witch" in and of itself is a somewhat negative word in most people's mindset. It conjures up a lot of dark imagery that most people who may otherwise identify as witches would rather avoid. Most people associate "witch" with the Hallow'een style witch or what they've learned from their particular religious or pop culture references, neither of which tends to be very flattering.
    Well, that's what "witch" meant. Ancient pagans didn't call themselves "witches." Wiccans started using the term to describe themselves, partly for it's shock value. Look at how Wicca promoted itself in the late 1960s - early 1970s: Hedonistic, sexy photos of Priestesses like Janet Farrar & Maxine Sanders being tied up and blindfolded while naked, etc. You can see where Wicca got it's public image, and why a lot of people equated it with Anton LeVey's group of hedonists.

    So, I can't blame the public, the media, other religions, etc, for Wicca's public image. Wicca created that image, itself. Yeah, it's inconvenient in 2012, but that's the way it is.

    Neo-Paganism as a whole draws a great deal from Wicca and Thelema. Thelema has image problems, too, because Crowley delighted in letting people think the worst of him. While I'm sure that was a lot of fun, people get the wrong impression when you mention being influenced by Crowley. I tend to go into the ideas, concepts, and background with people before I mention his name.

    As for the "Neo"... Pagan, as a term, is used primarily in a historical context, referring to the religious practices of ancient cultures, in the historical context of those ancient cultures. The term does not refer to Polytheistic religions in general that remained active, like Hinduism. Neo-Pagan distinguishes these newer religions that are based on the old and places them in their modern context.

    It's a bit much to demand that the rest of the world suddenly change the definitions and usages of "witch" and "pagan" to conform to how these new religious groups use the terms. Those were their words, first. Just because modern folks call themselves witches and pagans doesn't make the older, original, uses of the terms "wrong."

    As far as being seen as a fad or pop culture trend, well... These are very new as far as religions go, only dating back to the 20th Century. Also, people often drift in and out of it, referring to it as a "phase," after. I'd say it's been around for enough decades to be well past the "fad" stage.

  10. #30
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    I do agree with the above, in that "witch" carries negative connotations because it kinda always had, and Gardner knew that and used it for the shock value when publicising it. Granted, the root words didn't--they meant something along the lines of "wisdom" or "sacred wisdom" in Germanic tongues--but that's the thing. "Pagan" comes from a neutral term describing rustic or country-folk, but the cultural context of these languages completely change what they meant. We're of-sorts "reclaiming" these terms, but we have to understand where they came from and what they've meant through the centuries.
    And, as I've said before numerous time, calling wise-people, cunning folk, village healers, and shamans "witches" is a very retroactive terminology, and isn't wholesale accurate when referring to ancient, traditional customs and practices.
    Last edited by Louisvillian; January 28th, 2012 at 12:41 AM.

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