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Thread: Why does the 1% of Witches not read witch or folk lore?

  1. #21
    memnoch's Avatar
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    When I was a pagan I read several books but then gave them up altogether. I found that most of what was in print was too vanilla or fluffy for me. Most of what I found was very "white/green" witch...even the ones that were supposed to be a bit more edgy suggested such things as baking cookies shaped as animals to sacrifice...I found it to be a joke. I also found many authors, including many of the most well respected, to be either quite full of themselves or fake in an attempt to appeal to the masses and avoid offending.
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    Quote Originally Posted by memnoch View Post
    When I was a pagan I read several books but then gave them up altogether. I found that most of what was in print was too vanilla or fluffy for me. Most of what I found was very "white/green" witch...even the ones that were supposed to be a bit more edgy suggested such things as baking cookies shaped as animals to sacrifice...I found it to be a joke. I also found many authors, including many of the most well respected, to be either quite full of themselves or fake in an attempt to appeal to the masses and avoid offending.
    >.< Baking cookies shaped like animals to sacrifice? Seriously? Gods help us all...

    I have no problem with animal sacrifice, if done respectfully and properly, in an appropriate setting and manner. Sacrifice has a long, long history throughout many religions. To water it down by suggesting one bake cookies is just ridiculous and utterly disrespectful of those traditions, and completely defeats the purpose of the sacrifice, which is to spill the blood of a living creature. Not only that, the animals chosen to sacrifice were meaningful. They were the best of the animals, the largest cow, the biggest chicken, etc. Baking cookies does not equate.
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    memnoch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aranarose View Post
    >.< Baking cookies shaped like animals to sacrifice? Seriously? Gods help us all...

    I have no problem with animal sacrifice, if done respectfully and properly, in an appropriate setting and manner. Sacrifice has a long, long history throughout many religions. To water it down by suggesting one bake cookies is just ridiculous and utterly disrespectful of those traditions, and completely defeats the purpose of the sacrifice, which is to spill the blood of a living creature. Not only that, the animals chosen to sacrifice were meaningful. They were the best of the animals, the largest cow, the biggest chicken, etc. Baking cookies does not equate.
    Yeah, sadly I don't remember which book I read that in...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry
    There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them. H.L. Mencken

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    Quote Originally Posted by memnoch View Post
    Yeah, sadly I don't remember which book I read that in...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry
    It doesn't surprise me. Not in the least. Everything is watered down and fluffy. Gotta make paganism less scary so the masses will accept it.
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    I read Tarot cards and Oracle cards and Runes and Pendulums and little colored gems that represent the elements. And I believe that they tell the truth. I believe that faeries are real, and that they talk to me. I also know that I'm at least 50% insane. And I'm okay with that. I won't judge you. But you can judge me all you want. I'll just tell you to stuff it where the sun don't shine. And I'll smile while I'm saying it, and offer you homemade fudge and soft pretzels.

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    I've read quite a bit in my time, from the super-fluffy to things one has to read a few times to really get the gist. I don't know many pagans who aren't itchy to read everything they can.

    I did manage to miss the animal-shaped cookies business, however...thankfully. O.o
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    Quote Originally Posted by aranarose View Post
    Mine is an experiential practice, and I read what is relevant to my needs and curiosity at the time.
    Interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micheál View Post
    I'm not sure what sort of Wiccans we're talking about here, but all of the Alexandrians in Ireland(who are Witches) are required to study and write essays on folklore.
    I'm talking about those outside of the Alexanderian tradition. Of course I don't know that much about that type of tradition. Those that don't think it's important to read those dusty, boring, books. The majority do and we can be thankful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aranarose View Post
    It doesn't surprise me. Not in the least. Everything is watered down and fluffy. Gotta make paganism less scary so the masses will accept it.
    Oh I agree but even then there are people out there that think that we're evil or going to go to hell. Have you seen the nonsense that goes on just because people that practice Voodoo and Santeria kills chickens. Give me a break. All the chicken animal lovers come out and say "Oh the chicken didn't deserve to be killed like that." Grow up you sob story animal lovers. Chickens aren't people, they are food.

    So what they sacrifice chickens or do other things that's how they do that. I've been listening, on youtube, to a gentleman that's a hereditary witch and I've also read some discussions about Cornwall witchery and some of the things that they do would make pagans mad, like cursing, and doing blasting magic. Oh and lets not forget that he said that there is a difference between a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire (I hope I spelled that right). Oh that's going to make some people mad, those that have no life and actually care about stuff like that.

    The point I'm making is that while the stuff may be dry and boring to some it isn't dry and boring to most. I'm glad to see that Traditional Wiccan coven do read witch lore and folk lore. I'm reading 'The Handbook of Folklore,' I believe that's what it's called. I'm going to go back and double check the title. It's on a PDF so I can read it for free. I like it, once you get over the dry language, and it's pretty fascinating.

    One time, I think it was two weeks ago, I said that I believe that cursing someone was needed if they had done wrong on you. I said that it all depended on what they had done to you would be how severe the cursing would be. Little things like stealing would warrant something that would cause them to not only lose something but also to get them to return what they had stolen from you. However if you don't know who did it then I think that you should just leave things alone until you catch them again.

    Now I'm not against murdering people that I think did bad but I was using that as an example. It might be a bad one but it was just a general example. When I told people that I've done cursing in the past, many years ago, they got all mad at me and told me that I was no Wiccan. I told them, 'Of course I'm no Wiccan, there's nothing out there that I really want to read about.'

    That's because I've read all the fluff and wish to move on. Personally I don't view us being recognized as anything important. Why should we need some judge to rule that we have the right to practice. Recognition is great and all but what's important is how do we feel about what we do. The end of the conversation was as such: "When you get hit three times due to your evil then you'll know that we were right."

    That was ten years ago and I'm still waiting.

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    Sekhmet Soul30 wrote: Oh I agree but even then there are people out there that think that we're evil or going to go to hell.
    What's nice though is that it occurs less and less now than it did years ago. I usually make them mad though and tell them i'd be glad to have them there with me as they are breaking their own beliefs.

    Have you seen the nonsense that goes on just because people that practice Voodoo and Santeria kills chickens. Give me a break. All the chicken animal lovers come out and say "Oh the chicken didn't deserve to be killed like that." Grow up you sob story animal lovers. Chickens aren't people, they are food.
    Ah careful there. Chickens are part of the winged peoples of the planet. As such they deserve respect and honoring as much as a human. From a shamanic perspective and Hedgewitchary perspective animal husbandry is a core tennent. Most times its not about not harming its about thanking them for their sacrifice and not inflicting un-necessary pain in their demise.

    So what they sacrifice chickens or do other things that's how they do that. I've been listening, on youtube, to a gentleman that's a hereditary witch
    That is a red flad to me. People are born into hereditary lines but no one is a hereditary witch. Perhaps more prone to following that pathway or being called to it but in no way born with it. That's actually more of the eliticism that was rampant during many of the so called witch wars of who was more witchy.

    One might equate it to the driving force in the Harry Potter films of "Purebloods" and "Muggles" though they tend to forget about the "Squibs".

    and I've also read some discussions about Cornwall witchery and some of the things that they do would make pagans mad, like cursing, and doing blasting magic.
    Your showing a narrow scope again. Cursing and evil eye is really common in things like Stregia. Folk traditions and many types of granny magics also recognize and use curses. Heathenism in some ways also speaks of curses when appropriate. So Pagan's being mad is a relatively narrow guage.

    Oh and lets not forget that he said that there is a difference between a Book of Shadows and a Grimoire (I hope I spelled that right). Oh that's going to make some people mad, those that have no life and actually care about stuff like that.
    A BOS and a Grimoire are different though I think the difference is more to be found in ceremonial magics than common Pagan practices. What one might identify as high magics versus the low magics many pagans practice. It's like the usage of the word tome's to describe a singular volume in a larger collection of material. Some practices would refer to the Solomonic works as Grimoires (contains magical workings) yet the entire collection of works as magical tome's when refering to each individual volume, ie greater keys, lessor keys, etc.

    The point I'm making is that while the stuff may be dry and boring to some it isn't dry and boring to most.
    Thats a very opinionated statement that can't be backed up. I ifreely admit a lot of early works i've read are or were like pulling teeth. It hurt to get through them as the subject was so poorly written on, the author was very much uninformed of the material being presented. It was presented in the typical your going to hell for doing this.

    That and lots of it is allegorical in nature so one has to do more than just read to understand the scope and depth of the material and the people. Many groups using story or fable format to convey the meaning of ethics, reasons, usage, etc.

    It's like some read the story of Iphigenia who is sacrificed to Artemis but don't get the full depths of it. Pride, vanity, revenge are surface aspects of it but the deeper positions of women in the society are not so easy to grasp. yet the story is dry in many ways, especially given that the outcome changes somewhat depending upon who is telling it and when.

    I'm glad to see that Traditional Wiccan coven do read witch lore and folk lore. I'm reading 'The Handbook of Folklore,' I believe that's what it's called.
    Part of the problem here though is that much of what is recorded is actually urban legend. And like urban legends of today much of it has no root in truth or realility, simply stories made up. It's the Crybaby bridge of its day.

    It's like the nursery rhyme "Ring around the Rosies" many teach it to their children but the actuall rhyme simply serves to recall and understand the black plague period. A ring that was formed around a red wound. Pockets full of possies to hide or mask the stench of death. Ashes, ashes we all fall down about the burning of bodies and how all would eventually fall down.

    Over the years I've spoken to many practioners that had a list of books or volumes they had to read for thier particular practices. Seldom did you find more than one or two that acutally crossed over.

    Heathens reading the eddas and saga's but seldom reading the material from the mediterrian basin. Gilgamesh on some lists but not others. Yet each driven and suggested to enhance and guide particular pathways. Sort of like the Volsung saga, two versions known of it with two different hero sets yet the story is the same.

    One time, I think it was two weeks ago, I said that I believe that cursing someone was needed if they had done wrong on you. I said that it all depended on what they had done to you would be how severe the cursing would be. Little things like stealing would warrant something that would cause them to not only lose something but also to get them to return what they had stolen from you. However if you don't know who did it then I think that you should just leave things alone until you catch them again.
    Here you appear to be speaking about the difference between curses, hexes, evil eye, etc. Curses are not just a one size scenario but are broken down into levels and degree's.

    That was ten years ago and I'm still waiting.
    I do think you've got the Wiccan notion of rule of three messed up with the shake and bake version of it. Most traditional Wiccans I knew would tell you it meant that every action would come back upon you in up to three ways, physcially, emotionally or spiritually, or any combo of those three. It was never about something coming back x three in strength.

    For instance you steal something. The return is potentially to go to jail when caught which is physical. The mental anguish upon self if you have any morale or ethical values. the spiritual tarnishing of having your beliefs and practices inpaired as the other two influences cause you hardship and loss of ability to do things.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by memnoch View Post
    When I was a pagan I read several books but then gave them up altogether. I found that most of what was in print was too vanilla or fluffy for me. Most of what I found was very "white/green" witch...even the ones that were supposed to be a bit more edgy suggested such things as baking cookies shaped as animals to sacrifice...I found it to be a joke. I also found many authors, including many of the most well respected, to be either quite full of themselves or fake in an attempt to appeal to the masses and avoid offending.
    I vaguely recall reading a book (actually a number of them but they all referenced back to the same source material) that suggested you take potatoes or soap and carve an animal figure into it for sacrifice. If you were somewhat skilled even carving a piece of wood into some rude form to use vice actually sacrificing a living creature.

    The cookies and such was mentioned but a little harder to discount as in greek legends and works certain cakes and baked goods were common sacrifices to many gods / goddesses. Yet I must confess I never saw one or heard of one that was baked into any animal shape to represent that particular animal.

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