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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Paganism

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  #11  
Old 29-06-2011, 02:48 PM
norseman norseman is offline
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Initially, I looked to wicca but was really put off by all the "smoke and mirrors" of rituals and the in-fighting over who was more witchy than who [and yes I am pointing the finger at the US there] I was fortunate to be in a forum with a bunch of "old witches" and one suggested "Cunning Folk" to me. Never heard of that, so I looked and, to my delight, it was what I had been practicing for decades. This derives from European shamanic practices, pre-christian, and is sometime called Hedge Witchery. It is a rural craft concerned with Earth affairs - flora, fauna, weather patterns, - very, very "Green" in outlook. Wicca might look towards the Lord and Lady, personally I look to Mother Earth. Incidently, this is the original Craft that Gardner incorporated into wicca.
So, get it right - it's not witchcraft, it's Witch Craft or, even better, drop "witch" altogether - that's a christian word. Originally it was the Cunning or Wise Folk who practiced the Craft of the Wise.
Well, you did ask

[ " No sparks shoot from my fingers (yet!!) " - do they not ? well, well
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  #12  
Old 29-06-2011, 04:16 PM
LightFilledHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norseman
Initially, I looked to wicca but was really put off by all the "smoke and mirrors" of rituals and the in-fighting over who was more witchy than who [and yes I am pointing the finger at the US there] I was fortunate to be in a forum with a bunch of "old witches" and one suggested "Cunning Folk" to me. Never heard of that, so I looked and, to my delight, it was what I had been practicing for decades. This derives from European shamanic practices, pre-christian, and is sometime called Hedge Witchery. It is a rural craft concerned with Earth affairs - flora, fauna, weather patterns, - very, very "Green" in outlook. Wicca might look towards the Lord and Lady, personally I look to Mother Earth. Incidently, this is the original Craft that Gardner incorporated into wicca.
So, get it right - it's not witchcraft, it's Witch Craft or, even better, drop "witch" altogether - that's a christian word. Originally it was the Cunning or Wise Folk who practiced the Craft of the Wise.
Well, you did ask

[ " No sparks shoot from my fingers (yet!!) " - do they not ? well, well

Thank you for illuminating that topic! I suspect that is what I'm drawn to also, and it expains why I never felt the urge to join a coven
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  #13  
Old 29-06-2011, 04:23 PM
Medium_Laura
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I was with a coven but it's pretty strict. I went solitary and it fits me better. I'm more "spiritual" with Wiccan partial beliefs. So yeah do what feels right and don't label it :)
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  #14  
Old 29-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Lunacie
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To begin: I want to clarify Laura's post which I found confusing. Not all witches are Wiccan, and not all Wiccans are witches. However, all Gardnerian Wiccans ARE witches. Wicca is like any other religion, there are subtle differences between Wiccan groups and solitary Wiccans.


Do you believe the abilities that a witch has is learned, inherited or both?
Either one. I'm not sure everyone can learn to be a witch, and not everyone with a witch in the family is also a witch.


Do you believe these abilities come from a higher source or a source outside yourself?
The abilities come from each person - I have some abilities that other in my working group don't, and they have abilities that I don't have. The energy to use the abilities can come from us (very limited, needs to be recharged often) or from the earth/universe (unlimited).


Do you as witches have sacred text or books that are a standard in your belief system?
I consider all books to be sacred, we can learn something from everything we read, whether we agree with what we're reading or not. Learning to discern between what is wisdom and what is nonsense is part of becoming a witch.


Do you consider your beliefs as a religion?
Some witches do, some witches don't. I do as I follow Wicca, which is a religion and honors the God and the Goddess.


What is the history of your beliefs?
I can trace my beliefs back to Gerald Gardner who drew from several sources and combined them to make a very good religious practice back in the 1940's and 50's.


Are there signs a person exhibits that could indicate that they may be a witch?
To me, it would be a belief that you can work with nature and do things that seem magical to non-witches.
.
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  #15  
Old 29-06-2011, 04:41 PM
Sungirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowl
I am interested in what a witch really is. I am not looking for information about how evil they are, so please don't go there.

Do you believe the abilities that a witch has is learned, inherited or both?

Do you believe these abilities come from a higher source or a source outside yourself?

Do you as witches have sacred text or books that are a standard in your belief system?

Do you consider your beliefs as a religion?

What is the history of your beliefs?

Are there signs a person exhibits that could indicate that they may be a witch?

Thanks for sharing with me I appreciate it

nightowl

Nightowl

I was going to answer all these questions, however reading another post that is in the same vein I thought to remind you of one thing.... ask 10 pagans/witches/wicans these questions and you are likely to get 11 sets of answers.

Imho there is no "one way" with paganism/witchcraft. They are not even always seen as the same thing, pagans may or may not consider themselves witches and some witches may say they are not pagan (and when you throw wicca into the mix it gets even more confusing). It also depends on what country you are in as pagan/witch/wiccan mean different things in the UK as they do in the US.

Within the umbrella term Pagan there is a whole host of ways to follow the path, and they are called different things with different people.

As Norsy says, there can be a lot of infighting between some groups about what these lables mean... personally I prefer to stick with a blanket term of pagan and leave all the rest to people it matters to.

Of course there is the difference between what people who call themselves witches believe it means and what people who know nothing about witchcraft think the word witch means.

There isn't one text either, although some may say there is in the wiccan rede.

What there is is a shambling group of people who have some beliefs that are similar and some that differ greatly. Some will say theirs is the only way, some will say that they are happy for people to believe what they like.

Personally I would say anyone interested in witchcraft as a specific lable should do a LOT of reading about both witchcraft but also paganism in general to understand the difference and the similarities. Then, bin the idea of having one lable and follow a path that makes sense.
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  #16  
Old 29-06-2011, 05:20 PM
norseman norseman is offline
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Perxactly, Tilia ! [brand new word I just invented perfectly+exactly ]

"when I say a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean, no more, no less"
This is where Hedge Witch tends to score highly because the common root is accentuation on the Earth. Individualistic, eccentric tree huggers. NO fixed rituals, we make them up as we go, no altars as such, no athame - just a pocket knife , informal does not even come close. We used to bless your oxen, now we bless your tractor
My card http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk267/norseman_photo/oddsends/cunningmancr.jpg

Now Gardner has been mentioned. Just a word about him. He was an ordained priest in an obscure Celtic Christian Church and, oddly, so was Ross Nichol the founder of the largest British Order of Druids. A word about the Celtic Church - borderline pagan in that they had strong animist tendencies and worshipped at much the same places that pagans did - springs, rock formation, certain trees, etc. Sort-of Christian Pagans as it were.
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  #17  
Old 29-06-2011, 11:18 PM
nightowl
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How interesting that there is just as many different views in this belief as there are in almost any other belief. I appreciate everyone taking the time to explain the differing views and sharing your personal views.

Personally, I tend to see 'witches' as like norseman had shared wise folk. It fits for me. I think the whole witch thing has kind of bloomed into a kind of mutant thing. I think there are many people who don't really know or understand the history behind it, hence there are many misconceptions about it. Where my people come from the word witch isn't a bad word, it is just that a word for the wise elder who knows the ways. Many views much knowledge, thanks all!

nightowl
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  #18  
Old 29-06-2011, 11:54 PM
nightowl
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I do have another question;

When someone exhibits certain abilities that maybe other don't, I am speaking of things like visions, healing arts, discernment and such things, how are these any different then the ones mentioned in the Bible? I am not seeking to attack Christianity, but if they are God given in the Bible how are they not God given when they are used outside of Biblical Christianity? I see no difference in the Source and most the time I see no difference in the use of the gifts either? So...????

nightowl
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  #19  
Old 30-06-2011, 09:41 AM
norseman norseman is offline
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Attitude of the church makes me laugh ! Consider the Mass in a catholic church - high ritual magic ! Same in Judaism - the early rabbis were magic practitioners. Cant comment on Islam as I have no knowledge but it's a fair bet that ............. Now, Christ's miracles - do I REALLY have to say anything
I go on Retreat most years to a Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Scotland and attend "services" in the temple [ I helped paint it !!] The chants and gongs are no different from the drumming of a shaman. [ www.samyeling.org ]
Magic seems to be common in most religions, symbolic or actual ?
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  #20  
Old 30-06-2011, 09:58 AM
Sungirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightowl
I do have another question;

When someone exhibits certain abilities that maybe other don't, ... how are they not God given when they are used outside of Biblical Christianity?

I'm not really sure how to answer this as there is no "God given" in paganism as far as I am aware. Unlike the revealed religions that share similar characters and beliefs; paganism does not acknowledge anything in connection to the bible or christianity at all... it doesn't exist in our beliefs unless we choose to bring it in as a personal aspect.

I was taught, and personally believe that everyone has the ability to do these things, it's just that it comes easier to some than others. Just like some are better at playing music than maths. Everyone can learn to play an instrument it's just some have to work harder at it.
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