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Thread: Folk Magic vs. Witchcraft whats your oppinion

  1. #21
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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.
    Yes that was my point anyway. You said that perfectly.
    Divine Sanctum : a place of acceptance and tolerance without judgement...

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidron
    However, as I've said, Witchcraft can and does allow for more freedom in what you assimulate and practice than strictly adhering to folk or ceremonial magic alone, so I find the only true benefit in comparing the two to be eclecticism and greater variety.
    And I think the opposite, that Folk Magic allows me greater variety.
    Last edited by dragenfly; April 28th, 2005 at 11:52 PM.
    Divine Sanctum : a place of acceptance and tolerance without judgement...

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Gruagach
    Folk magick can be very spontaneous and simple or it can be complicated and very ritualistic. Just like witchcraft.
    Yeah thats it, thats what I am getting from looking into it.
    Last edited by dragenfly; April 28th, 2005 at 11:52 PM.
    Divine Sanctum : a place of acceptance and tolerance without judgement...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia
    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.


    Funny, I don't recall any reference to fairies in the Bible, or in any of the creeds. In fact, I find Christian clerics trying to turn fairies into demons and devils.

    The fairies predate Christianity.

    Were the people living there "Christians"? What does that term mean?

    If you go to church on Sunday, does that make you a Christian?

    If you pick up vague ideas about the cosmology while going about your everyday life, does that make you Christian?

    If you continue the same rituals your pre-Christian ancestors did, but now the figure at the well you visit is a saint rather than a goddess, does that make you Christian?

    Actually the terms "pagan" or "Christian" are far too inaccurate to really capture who any but the most disciplined and fanatic are.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia
    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?
    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. None of these, however, are inherently Christian and belief and theories regarding them existed long before Christianity.

    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.
    Kindly keep your forked tongue behind your teeth if you're going to presume to speak for me, particularly if it is contradictory to what I have already stated. I never claimed to be practicing any old time religion, nor would I ever spell as atrociously as you have in some pious and lame attempt to degrade me. Keep that mess off the boards, if you please.

    And no, many things are not rooted in Christian folklore. Shared by it? Certainly. Rooted in it? You are obviously hallucinating historical fallacies.

    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.
    I am confident and I care not if I share things with other religions. Again, keep that tongue behind your teeth if you are going to be so presumptuous as to speak for me and try to transpose fallicoius hypocrisies into my own words. I do not take kindly to it and you certianly will never garner anything more than contempt from me after this immature display of bullshit.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhys
    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.

    Many do see the fun in it, which is the point of the thread. If you find it so unamusing I am curious as to why you are even in it.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidron
    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. None of these, however, are inherently Christian and belief and theories regarding them existed long before Christianity.
    No, not all of them are rooted in Christianity, as far as the Bible goes. But a great deal of medieval Christians believed in things such as faeries, dragons, magic, etc - and therefore your belief is shared. The imagry of things like brownies, pixies, etc can be traced back in fairly solidified form at least into the middle ages - which, as you may or may not choose to know, was vastly Catholic in most of Europe. Naturally the concept of a spirit being is much older than that, but the general ideas of things like "being elf-shot" or having faeries stealing your eggs, etc, came greatly in the form of folklore that was spread and believed in by Medieval Christians.

    If you want to think it's all just yours, the hereditary witches, and the new age movement's ideas, that's fine. But you've gotta acknowledge historical fact. People've been gossiping about the fae for longer than your family tree probably can be traced back.

    Kindly keep your forked tongue behind your teeth if you're going to presume to speak for me, particularly if it is contradictory to what I have already stated. I never claimed to be practicing any old time religion, nor would I ever spell as atrociously as you have in some pious and lame attempt to degrade me. Keep that mess off the boards, if you please.
    Ooh, they're your boards now? See, I didn't accuse you of practicing anything. I said "if you think" (the 'you' being plural). Hmm. Are you looking for persecution?

    And no, many things are not rooted in Christian folklore. Shared by it? Certainly. Rooted in it? You are obviously hallucinating historical fallacies.
    Riiiight. Since you don't seem to know anything about something, that means it's a historical fallicy or hallucination.

    Look. For the past two thousand years, Christians have been employing banishing rituals, incense, prayer, 'spells' (in the form of ritualized ceremonies, which is all spells really are, anyway), a wide and varied mythology of creatures like Saints, Angels, Demons, and various other folklore creatures of the range of pixies, brownies, and dragons. They firmly believed in concepts like witchcraft and curses (why, all caused by the devil, no doubt), and between the named Saints, named Angels, and obvious figurhead Demons, they had their own pantheon going there.

    You can try to tell me that (for example) you use incense because the Ancient Egyptians did, but you're going to have to be honest with yourself in saying that you DO share the practice with like... nearly every religion known to mankind, including Christianity and Judaism. It's just... really simple fact. If you can't cope with sharing practices of other religions, you're going to have to get really creative.

    Surprisingly enough, many "very authentically pagan" spells or rituals have a heavy basis in Christian or Jewish mysticism. Take, for example, "The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentacle." It says "pentacle", so it must be pagan, right? And you chant really ancient-sounding words, and make movements with your hands to symbolize things (and no noo, Catholic Priests never do anything like that). So it has to be pagan! But... let's stop here a second. Those words? "mee chai ell" That's... Michael. Oh dear lord, you're chanting in hebrew and you're chanting the names of Archangels! Aah! Persecuted by the Christians again, and without even realizing it! Now, who was mean enough to try to convert me by calling a Judeo/Christian mystic ritual, "Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentacle?!" If you've ever seen old church windows, you'll from time to time see pentacles in the old old stained glass. Pagans don't have a monopoly on that one, either.

    Even Wicca, flagship of the New Pagan Religion Movement, has a HUGE amount of its rituals based in Christian Mysticism. Even much of today's New Age movement is based, loosely, on certain Christian or Jewish ideas, thoughts, or folklore.

    I am confident and I care not if I share things with other religions.
    But, but- what about this?
    ...since my own craft omits any and all Judeo-Christian lore, theology and ethics among other things out of sheer preference...
    Erm... if you're going to rip me a new one, please try to be consistant in your position. It weakens your position a little when you contradict yourself.

    Again, keep that tongue behind your teeth if you are going to be so presumptuous as to speak for me and try to transpose fallicoius hypocrisies into my own words. I do not take kindly to it and you certianly will never garner anything more than contempt from me after this immature display of bullshit.

    -_-; I'm the one who displays immature 'bullshit'? I can tell. Your red karma gave me all the info I needed as to how secure you are in your beliefs. I have a forked tongue? Sweet. I'm like a devil, right from the Bible! Way to mix-and-match your demons. At least I didn't liken you to a Biblical beast. After insisting that my religion was completely unrelated and totally seperate from Christianity as much as I could do.

    But I'm sure that you're going to say the forked-tongue thing is just a coincidence. After all, you've never heard any Christian ideas in your long life, therefore you cannot be influenced by them, even subconsciously.
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  8. #28
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    Ok, I think you have a good point that we share things in common with other religions, and this can be fertile to explore.

    However, again, the idea of identifying anyone as belonging to a particular religion is not as easy in the past as it might be today where such identities are more rigid in days of identity-politics.

    Europe was widely "Catholic" in those days? What precisely does that mean? I'm pointing to a crisis of meaning in your words. I will absolutely acknowledge that Europe in those days included a high dose of Christian concepts floating around in the social unconscious and folklore, and which influenced practice : to say otherwise would be absurd. But it's much more arguable that it was doing so in a highly syncretic way that combined with much older concepts. I therefore don't know what to call such people. Were they Christian? Were they pagan? Were they "folk Christian"? Were they "folk pagan with a Christian veneer"? Any and all of these might apply.

    As far as elfshot goes, elves and their effects far predate Xianity, and this is verifiable in the Eddas.

    I absolutely am open to the way the European Unconscious played with Christianity and wove its themes into its already rich mix ; however, I find it somewhat dishonest to assume that "folk" fill-in-the-blank religion draws upon no older pagan themes. Why do saints and folk magic exist in both Christianity and Islam, for example? Because they installed themselves on cultures with millenia-old symbols and practices already in function that could not instantly be eradicated, and thus, an adjustment took place.

    Now, this adjustment has been noted from the top-down, in terms of Gregory saying adapt the heathen temples to the churches, etc. But it's insulting to think that it did not also happen from the ground-up, and this is precisely what recurrent Church missals against well-worshipping and so forth was about. These things had no basis in Biblical lore ; that doesn't mean that people calling themselves "Christians" couldn't practice them, but it does mean that Christianity as defined by the Church was at worst opposed to them, and at best very uncomfortable with them, but would live with it for the time being. The fact that "Christians" self-defined could engage in practices that were divergent from Biblical and Papal lore is the very reason the Church was so concerned in these times with heresy, and there is no doubt that the interrelationship between the various heresies and the folkloric elements has been vastly underexplored.

    The fact is that given the mixing of peoples that has always been going on, symbols from the social unconscious have been combining in creative ways for some time, and thus I hesitate to put the stamp of identity politics on various ideas.

    Certainly we can point to much occult lore and see traces of the Kabbalah there. But what precisely are we saying? Scholem demonstrates that much of the founding documents of the Kabbalah were written in the 1100's, 1200's, and 1300's in the South of France precisely where a creative synthesis was occuring between open minded Jews, open minded Catharist Christians, and open minded Sufis. There was a nexus of mystical minded people sharing information ; we would expect that the Jews, more literate than most in those vastly more illiterate times, would record some of these ideas as they were synthesized into their own tradition. Clearly, however, others found value and resonance in these recordings and ended up adapting them to their own needs. In fact, most of these ideas trace back to Gnosticism, and the unanswered question of how long Gnosticism in fact managed to survive has yet to be fully covered, although many important authors are working on it.

    That may in fact be the key to unlocking most of our history, because, it would seem, that Gnosticism was never fully banished as is evidenced by its repeated popping up again and again. This is fully relevant to the subject of pagan survivals because Gnosticism was fully comfortable syncretizing pagan myths and philosophies. If there were Gnostic subcurrents throughout the Middle Ages and into the early Modern period -- a thesis which is becoming easier and easier to document and argue -- then it would be a currency which was fully compatible with synthesizing pagan folkloric elements into Mystery cultish mysticism ; and additionally, Gnosticism always had a connection with Hermetic lore which would explain the place of that in the medieval and early modern underground.

    Thus we may have to change some of our categories in order to really penetrate the protean flow and texture of our history : the distinctions may not be between "pagans" and "Christians", but between differing approaches to a fundamentally pagan folkloric substratum on the part of two very differing Christianities : one a centrally controlled, hierarchical, and dogmatic organization, the other a more decentralized but in some ways no less coherent form of affinity-group.

  9. #29
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    [QUOTE=Sequoia]
    No, not all of them are rooted in Christianity, as far as the Bible goes. But a great deal of medieval Christians believed in things such as faeries, dragons, magic, etc - and therefore your belief is shared.
    and this is news to whom??? i'll just ignore the rest of your post because it's such a non-event.
    If you want to think it's all just yours, the hereditary witches, and the new age movement's ideas, that's fine.
    WTF??? what are your motives for being here, may i ask? if i didn't know better from your previous posts i would call you a christian fundi troll.


    Ooh, they're your boards now? See, I didn't accuse you of practicing anything. I said "if you think" (the 'you' being plural). Hmm. Are you looking for persecution?
    and that is just... you're funny, you are.



    Riiiight. Since you don't seem to know anything about something, that means it's a historical fallicy or hallucination.
    she seems to know alot more than you, for example, what is relevant to the conversation, and what is so bloody obvious it goes without saying.

    Look. For the past two thousand years, Christians have been employing banishing rituals, incense, prayer, 'spells' (in the form of ritualized ceremonies, which is all spells really are, anyway), a wide and varied mythology of creatures like Saints, Angels, Demons, and various other folklore creatures of the range of pixies, brownies, and dragons. They firmly believed in concepts like witchcraft and curses (why, all caused by the devil, no doubt), and between the named Saints, named Angels, and obvious figurhead Demons, they had their own pantheon going there.
    yes, okay. this seems remotely relevent. are you saying folk magic is largely christian, and witchcraft is more pagan, or cause i was thinking, the thing about folk magic, is the great many "charms against witches"... it's always puzzled me a bit. so, i agree with ben, it's both the same thing, just depends on who defines themselves as what.

    You can try to tell me that (for example) you use incense because the Ancient Egyptians did, but you're going to have to be honest with yourself in saying that you DO share the practice with like... nearly every religion known to mankind, including Christianity and Judaism. It's just... really simple fact. If you can't cope with sharing practices of other religions, you're going to have to get really creative.
    errr... there you go again. what is this about? i'm really confused. why are you so hung up on this? let me explain something: when a person says they follow a traditional pagan path, that does not mean they have to exclude anything within that path that is coincidently shared by other religions. that kind of behaviour would require a deep contempt for other religions, which, to be honest, i've not come across much in the pagan community. it would also give you stomach ulcers.

    Surprisingly enough, many "very authentically pagan" spells or rituals have a heavy basis in Christian or Jewish mysticism. Take, for example, "The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentacle." It says "pentacle", so it must be pagan, right? And you chant really ancient-sounding words, and make movements with your hands to symbolize things (and no noo, Catholic Priests never do anything like that). So it has to be pagan! But... let's stop here a second. Those words? "mee chai ell" That's... Michael. Oh dear lord, you're chanting in hebrew and you're chanting the names of Archangels! Aah! Persecuted by the Christians again, and without even realizing it! Now, who was mean enough to try to convert me by calling a Judeo/Christian mystic ritual, "Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentacle?!" If you've ever seen old church windows, you'll from time to time see pentacles in the old old stained glass. Pagans don't have a monopoly on that one, either.
    whatever. i have no idea what ritual that is. but it makes no difference, cause i don't recall pagans ever having claimed a monopoly on any practices. There are claims of origin, yes. Most are justified, some are not.
    Even Wicca, flagship of the New Pagan Religion Movement, has a HUGE amount of its rituals based in Christian Mysticism. Even much of today's New Age movement is based, loosely, on certain Christian or Jewish ideas, thoughts, or folklore.
    i can't answer that one, i'm not wiccan. obviously.

    -_-; I'm the one who displays immature 'bullshit'? I can tell.
    yes. and i'd quote and comment on the rest, but really, i can't be bothered anymore. and i find the thread topic interesting, and it would be a shame if it got closed, so... stop yer bitching.

  10. #30
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    I was commenting in reply to the contradictions s/he listed, what with the "I'm not even remotely Christian or Jewish because I choose to exclude the things they do from my practices" and then going on about how "so what if I share the same practices"... just a bit hypocritical.

    Frankly, I think "folk magic" and "witchcraft" are two names for the same concept. Is there some special Witch College you go to, to make it different than mythos that "folk" pick up? Is herbology passed down through schools of science, or is it more something that people studdied on their own, found their own ideas about, and created their own mythos surrounding?

    It sounds like just another attempt to say, "I'm more superior than you, because I practice Witchcraft, not just folk magic."
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

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