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Thread: Folk Magic vs. Witchcraft whats your oppinion

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Gruagach
    I agree with what Aidron said, although I'd take it one step further. To me, witchcraft and folk magick are really the same thing. The only difference is what label you choose to use.

    Folk magick can be very spontaneous and simple or it can be complicated and very ritualistic. Just like witchcraft.

    The word witch and witchcraft has had a negative connotation for such a long time in the general population (and still does in many parts of the world) that a lot of people who do things that are identical to witchcraft call what they are doing folk magick or something else less scary sounding just to try and put their own practices in a more positive light. The practices though are not really any different.

    If we ascribe to the definition that folk magic focuses moreso on the mundane or physical realm then I could certainly see where it does not entirely meld with Witchcraft in some respects. While I fully support the stance that Witchcraft is not a religion, but a practice, there have been many practioners labeled Witches throughout the centuries who have take a certain ceremonial and religious approach to their craft. Sometimes sparingly, sometimes often, sometimes all the time. However, if we also look at folk magic as being more simplistic than ceremonial magic, that too would not hold up perfectly with Witches from centuries past from a historical sense.

    Both are entirely possible, even in a modern context. I know many people, myself included who can take their craft to such a degree of complexity that it's only possible after years of study. On the other hand I know many people, myself included again that take their craft to a place of worship, religious affiliation and so forth. This is not to say that the craft is these things, but rather that is deeply interwoven for a moment or several moments in time that it crosses over from folk magic.

    Regardless of that though, I do think your presented ideas are fairly logical and sensible, and the latter of which that the word Witch carries with it such a negative association that it is one of the main reasons why so many people do not reference it. I myself am finding it to be more trouble than it is worth, to take on a title that has been engulfed in negativity for countless centuries only to have it muddied up by people in this day and age further.

    I digress, however, so in comparison to Vodoun or Hoodoo, which can have very similar elements to Witchcraft yet are often ascribed (usually in ignorance, but sometimes in truth depending on the specific practice or practices) being folk magic. Since that is not an entirely accurate portrayal and it has similar potential to be just as complex or divinely related as Witchcraft, I find myself only able to draw the conclusion that Hoodoo and Vodoun, much like Witchcraft, tend to offer a greater spectrum of possibility than simply adhering to the label of folk magic.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhys
    Why not just forget about quibbleful labels and practise whatever, can say: "This is me and this is who I am." ?

    When someone asks me if I practise witchcraft, I answer, "Do you want me to?"...

    I do what I believe, and I'm quite happy forgetting about what everyone else thinks about it, or what it should be called, so I just call it: Me & My way.

    Rhys,
    Pagan to the bone.

    I don't think that labels are entirely the point that is trying to be made, which as always labels can be confusing. I think the more significant point trying to be conveyed here is that regardless of titles, a straightforward look at the practices under the two labels and attempting to compare and contrast them for greater clarity.

  3. #13
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    They're the same thing. You'll get the same result, by whichever name you call it.

    All "modern witchcraft" is based on a mixture of ceremonialism and folk lore. A huge dollop of folklore. Actually, mostly Christian folklore, and some pre-Christian folklore, if you take a good look.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia
    They're the same thing. You'll get the same result, by whichever name you call it.
    I must disagree with that, since by practicing folk magic whether you adhere to either aforementioned definitions in my other posts you are in a sense limiting yourself more than the versatility and Witchcraft (as well as many other systems) seem to inherently possess, historically and from a modern point of view. Focus is of course lessened with versatility as always, but I find that to be the main difference.

    All "modern witchcraft" is based on a mixture of ceremonialism and folk lore. A huge dollop of folklore. Actually, mostly Christian folklore, and some pre-Christian folklore, if you take a good look.
    I must disagree with this as well since my own craft omits any and all Judeo-Christian lore, theology and ethics among other things out of sheer preference, and since I can hardly fathom witches practicing in an identical manner that I do in history I would thus be practicing modern witchcraft.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidron
    I must disagree with this as well since my own craft omits any and all Judeo-Christian lore, theology and ethics among other things out of sheer preference, and since I can hardly fathom witches practicing in an identical manner that I do in history I would thus be practicing modern witchcraft.
    Do you believe in faeries? Do you use incense? Do you believe in magic? Do you think there are psychic attacks? Do you believe in 'spells'? Do you believe in rituals and ritualistic prayer?

    Countless Christians believed in these things for hundreds upon hundreds of years. You'd have to be strictly following some kind of Aborigional practice to completely abandon all beliefs held by Christians at some time or another.

    And pretending that you're practising some "olde tyme religione" is a bit silly. Probably well over 80% of today's "paganism" fables and concepts either were shared or had their root in Christian folklore. It's simple fact.

    So either be confidant in your beliefs because you hold them, or be nervous because oh my gosh, you happen to share them with a member of another religion. Woe be to you.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

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  6. #16
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    The big reason I say that witchcraft and folk magick are really the same thing, just different names for it, is because when we look at what the practices actually are they are the same range of things.

    Both witchcraft and folk magick can be a part of one's particular spiritual practice -- but they are also not inherently tied to any one religion. You can practice witchcraft or folk magick within any or no religious context. Some people do make it a big part of their spiritual path -- Wicca is a good example of a particular religion that makes folk magick or witchcraft a major component. But not all witches are Wiccans, and Wicca itself has only been around really since Gerald Gardner while witchcraft and folk magick have been around since the dawn of humanity.

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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidron
    I don't think that labels are entirely the point that is trying to be made, which as always labels can be confusing. I think the more significant point trying to be conveyed here is that regardless of titles, a straightforward look at the practices under the two labels and attempting to compare and contrast them for greater clarity.
    I realised that. I was simply saying that I don't really see the point of analysing such one's own practises as such.

    Sure, it might be fun to compare one's practises with that of another... but that's not really what was happening here.
    They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

  8. #18
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    Folk magic is a type of witchcraft. What I do is primarially folk magic. I tend to get distracted with more formal types of witchcraft (such as golden dawn)... I hate memorization, but feel that it's important to have your spell memorized (less distraction). So I keep it more simple. Most of the time... lol
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidron
    You would not agree that Witchcraft is not a practice? I ask because I did not quite understand your sentence regarding accepting the name of a religion for.

    If we look at Witchcraft as we do folk magic in that many cultures do not ascribe to the label of folk magic just as they do not ascribe to the label of Witchcraft, then both can very much be greatly scattered. Of course, the same is true of ceremonial magic. The labels can be restricting in targeting just where and how such practices and magical procedures truly take place, but that is merely a downfall of language I fear.
    The first part of that, the bit regarding religion, refers to another debate elsewhere....

    Mostly, what I mean by it is simply that I see witchcraft as requiring something more than a practice... it requires a certain way of percieving and understanding life, the universe and everything. It becomes intermixed with everything.

    Folk magic, on the other hand, can be an anomaly in someone's worldview and still fit. It is a more self contained thing.

    The lines blur... there are many forms of witchcraft that incorporate folk magic, and many forms of folk magic that become broad enough I'd consider them witchcraft.
    "The facts do not change, but their order is given another dimension through another myth. They are experienced differently; they gain another tale."-James Hillman

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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhys
    dragenfly: Shakespeare has an 'e' at the end.

    Ha ha ha. That he does. I will fix that asap. Thanks
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