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FoxTracks 07-04-2020 01:38 AM

Discussion and beginner question thread
I've noticed that a lot of people come here to ask about curses and little else. Since that's a relatively small amount of wicca or witchcraft generally, I'm starting this thread to see if we can get some discussion going about other things on the subject. After my dedication recently I'm working towards being fully self-initiated, so Wicca or Witchcraft is a big part of my journey right now. Hopefully other practicing witches and curious parties will jump in.

Talking about the merits of Wicca vs. Witchcraft seems like it's not a bad place to start.

I felt Wicca was a little restrictive at first until I delved deeper. I also wasn't sure the community was for me considering those I had met that associated themselves with it publicly. Simply using "witch", which I heard came from a root which meant just "wise woman" hundreds of years ago seemed like a good way to go at that time. Thoughts?

Jenny Crow 07-04-2020 07:05 PM

It all depends on what a person is looking for. Wicca is a pagan religion with its own tenets, rites and rituals that incorporates witchcraft. So Wiccans are witches. Witchcraft on the other hand is a practice and witches do not, and many are not, Wiccans. Back in the early 1950's Gerald Gardner, the founder of Wicca, did not actually call it Wicca - he referred to his tradition as witchcraft. It wasn't until later that some author (can't remember who but it might have been Scott Cunningham) decided to refer to it as Wicca because it sounded a lot "nicer" "safer" and people friendly than witchcraft and it sold a lot more books. And since then Wicca, unfortunately has gone through many changes (most of them decidedly not good, in my opinion) and it has declined into the chaotic path of "do what feels right" as long as you don't harm anyone and other atrocious nonsensical beliefs such as some Wiccans don't even practice witchcraft. And the worst misinformation that is spread all over the internet is the Three Fold Law that is not a law and it has been totally misconstrued. Witchcraft, especially the older trads of witchcraft is something that can be very deep and rewarding and there are many traditions of it from the old European folkloric practices to the Shamanic paths of being a Hedge Rider or Myrkrider and then there's the more Ceremonial types of witchcraft.

Lepus 08-04-2020 12:14 AM


Scott Cunninghan did use the term Wicca for his book title: Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.

The etymology of witch derives from the plural word wicche which traces back to wicca or wicce. Wicca was a term refered to a male sorcerer and wicce a female sorcerer. But it wasn't until modern witches used the term Wicca to refer both male and female. Same for witch but some would refer a witch to a female only; consequently, several practitioners - in paricular the males - adopted the term warlock or other gender exclusive label. I personally go with warlock instead of witch but that's just me. And I'm aware of the negative connotations the word warlock carries. Same could be said with the word witch.

Although I don't follow Wicca anymore I still appreciate what Wicca has to offer. I mean I still follow traditional witchcraft and incorporate ceremonial magic into my practice. I believe in multiple deities and the Earth being sacred. You would think that I'm Wiccan, but not necessarily, because I don't follow any tenets nor a specific deity from an established tradition. I am drawn to the chthonic aspect which is something that Wicca disregard or ignores. And the community mainly the solitary or ecclectic practitioners have completely changed what Wicca used to be which is why many trad witches don't associate themselves with Wicca. So Wiccan and Witch is often used interchangeably. And there's the threefold law that is always spewed by the Wiccan community, which like Jenny said, took it out of context. There's the stigmatization of labeling oneself a witch or warlock in Wicca. So there's that. For these reasons, I left Wicca a long time ago.


FoxTracks 09-04-2020 12:25 AM

I feel I may be drawn to the community sooner than later, if only to see what it's about. There's a large community in my area, with regular pagan events/meetups. There are definitely covens here but I wouldn't know how to contact more than one. I don't think it's bad to share the path with others, necessarily.

I read a bit of the history of witchcraft in a book which mentioned gardner and cunningham, and how it's branched off. I like that it can be sort of a hodgepodge or a purist one selection of deities approach (Greek, Nordic etc.) My main problem was with certain core tenets (The way deity is thought of, in part, and the threefold law.) That, and the way certain associated people can appear... Or, possibly, act. But I should really see for myself.

I was reading a book by Doreen Valiente, which incidentally had a section on the rabbit, Lepus. I liked her witch's creed much better... Perhaps I can link it here.


I especially like the last paragraph in comparison to the threefold law (It has a second page, just scroll down.)

Jenny Crow 09-04-2020 01:53 AM

Foxtracks, I don't know exactly what your understanding of the three fold law is but I'd just like to say that Gardner never meant what most people understand this law to mean. In his book all he said was: when someone does a witch a favour it should be returned threefold. He never said that whatever you do comes back to you threefold as so many misinformed people today believe. I was trained in Gardnerian witchcraft in the '60's and the so-called law was never even mentioned. People have made it into something that it was never intended to be. You may think that Wicca is a fluffy harm none tradition, which it may be today, but back then it certainly was not. Part of our training was how to prepare and execute a curse when necessary. This is why most elders refer to the new so-called wicca as neo-wicca to distinguish it from the original tradition. I know I'm sounding as if I am not a fan of Wicca but that is not true - I'm simply not a fan of and disgusted with how wicca has been changed to the point of it not even being Wicca any more and to me that is shame and a disgrace.

Lepus 10-04-2020 01:53 AM


Joining a coven sure does sound exciting but keep in mind on the types of people involved and what beliefs they may hold. The group could potentially be falling apart and you'd usually know when there's always newer members joining and then suddenly leaving the coven. Those are red flags. And when it's always a recurring theme then the coven isn't stable and will not hold for much longer. Then there's the one member in the group purchasing all the materials and another smooching off from it. That's another red flag. All members should be pitching in money for materials to properly perform rituals, rites, and spellwork. And being comfortable is key, so if members of the coven set you off then dont hesitate to leave and find another group. But most importantly get to know everyone!

That's another thing, Wicca worships two deities namely the god and goddess or lord and lady. Some traditions dont work with a specific deity but rather use titles. And there's the union of the god and goddess during spring and summer and the departure of the god during autumn and winter. These dont resonate with me. I honor Hecate and work with my mentor Bael. And Hecate is a virgin Goddess, with no consort. So how would that play out with the union of the god and goddess? And I dont think She's the mother of Scylla. Although some coven or traditions say otherwise. And the three-fold law is taken out of context. Even Jenny agrees, and she was initiated in the Gardnerian tradition. And by all meams, we or I, aren't trying to compel you to start practicing baneful magic because if that makes you uncomfortable then dont do it. Besides when I started my path I didn't delve in hexes or curses. Start with the basics such as shielding, protection, and grounding. Then work your way up until you feel the need to curse or hex someone. But for the most part, never stop learning!

I'll check out the link. My memory is kind of rusty and dont remember the witch's creed. Must have been a while.


FoxTracks 12-04-2020 10:37 PM

Thank you for explaining, crow. It's interesting to hear a little of the history of Wicca.

I don't think Wicca has fallen apart. I actually like the diversification its undergone. The availability of many options not under a central doctrine -- as historical witchcraft, by necessity, must have been.

I think I'll definitely get involved at some point, far in the future as it may be, just to see.

I had mixed feelings about the union of the god and the goddess, portrayed as sexual, at the beginning of the journey, but my perspective has changed significantly. After all, we are talking about something higher than the physical. Besides, sexuality doesn't have to be crude.

Do you think it's possible for hecate's virginity to be explained by the tri-goddess, the maiden, the temptress, and the crone?

Lepus 13-04-2020 05:05 PM


The union of the god and goddess usually reflects the seasonal changes and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Her earliest records come from Anatolia - where she was a Goddess of wilderness, child-birth, and children -- a mother Goddess. She was known as a fertility Goddess, a protectress of women & children, and the Goddess of borders and crossings because of traveling between the upper and lower levels. However, there's no indication that she bore any children but perhaps, had a consort.

Over time, she became to be a Goddess of sorcery, crossroads, and ghosts. Her characteristics as a fertility and motherhood feature would decrease in importance, and ultimately, transformed her into a Goddess of crossroads, night, ghosts, necromancy and witchcraft. Modern witches would associate her darker aspect as a crone Goddess.

The Greeks would depict Hecate as a maiden on their vases holding twin torches. Some claim that Hecate originate in Asia Minor and later introduced into Greece. And some equate the Egyptian goddess Heqet to Hekate. Hecate was known as a triple moon goddess even before the neopagans followed the idea of a triple goddess started by Graves(?)

Most of Hecate's stories or myths show no evidence or support that she was married or had a consort. She was unwilling to lose her independent nature for the sake of marriage, so she became to be known as a virgin Goddess. Although she remained a virgin Goddess, some would say that she had children using parthenogenesis.


FoxTracks 14-04-2020 01:32 AM

What I meant was, might Hecate be an example of the maiden aspect of the goddess. It is true her darker side is associated with the crone though... right?

Very interesting about Heqet. I work with Egyptian deity... Isis was the only Goddess of magic I knew of from the pantheon. It's interesting that Hecate has taken on the symbolism of the the triple goddess more than any other I know of, considering she's supposed to be virginal. The temptress aspect gets in the way of that a little for me.

Lepus 14-04-2020 04:09 PM


The maiden, mother and crone symbolize both the three phases of the moon (waxing, full, and waning moons) and the three stages or cycles of a woman's life.

Hecate has reached all three stages. Her sigil contains the triple phases of the moon. She is often depicted as a crone because the crone represents death, wisdom, endings, and culmination - which is what she's embodied as today. But I'd say she takes the form of any triple goddess as she chooses and still retains that wisdom and knowledge of a crone. Most of her devotees would describe her appearance as a mother. But I think that depends on the devotees depiction of her and what stage or phase they're in. She can also appear all three forms at once or often taking shape of three different animals in conjunction to the wolf, the snake and the horse.

Is Hecate an example of the maiden only? No because she has reached all three stages. Can she appear as a maiden? Yes. Is Hecate darker side associated with the crone aspect? Modern witches might say yes, but I'd say no, because the crone represents the waning moon phase, which is the final stage that we all at some point would reach. However, there's another moon - the fourth moon - that Hecate is associated with that I'd say is her dark aspect. It's the dark moon phase. This is the time to call on Hecate for baneful magic.

She's no temptress, quite the opposite actually.

What Egyptian deity do you work with if you don't mind my asking?


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