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(33 Posts)
theUrbanDryad Sat 23-Jun-07 16:24:08

Hi - i have a few questions for you wrt witchcraft, or wicca, or however you call it! what is it that makes you a witch and how do you become one? i'm genuinely curious! thanks...

SaintGeorge Sat 23-Jun-07 16:42:05

I think I was born a witch, but took a few years to figure that out

Firstly - Wicca is a specific sect of witchcraft. Being a Wiccan makes you a witch, being a witch does not make you a Wiccan.

I have a family history of spiritualism and witchcraft, but one I only completely discovered when I researched my family history. I found that there were pagan believers going back many generations and verbal family history told me about the 'wise women' in my past.

I was raised to be aware of many religions, and investigated many for myself as I grew older. My main influence though was my mum who is a spiritualist so I did explore aspects of that more. I eventually discovered paganism and finally felt 'at home' with it and, as an extension of that, witchcraft.

Witchcraft is a belief in the natural energies of nature and ourselves. Witches use that energy to influence things, in the same way that Christians for example use the power of prayer.

The exact nature of the beliefs can vary - think of it in the same way as there are many versions of Christianity. The basic premise is the same, the fine points vary

Becoming a witch is a case of exploring your feelings, discovering the wonder and power of the natural world and translating that into a way of life.

Right, I have waffled without previewing. If any of that makes the vaguest bit of sense I will be pleasantly surprised

Feel free to fire questions.

theUrbanDryad Sat 23-Jun-07 16:47:30

can you tell me something about your family history? i've heard that witchcraft as a religion is a modern invention...what does "wise women" actually mean? are you part of any modern group or do you practice alone? (v cute dc's btw )

SaintGeorge Sat 23-Jun-07 17:02:33

There is a history of women who worked with herbs and natural remedies. They were the neighbourhood midwives and laid out the dead. They were healers and charm makers. All the sort of things that were needed and appreciated in society, but at the same time looked down upon.

The old granny in the isolated house who everyone avoided until they needed help would be a typical 'wise woman'.

Yes, probably witchcraft as a religion is a modern idea. I suppose if I am honest then Paganism is my religion, witchcraft is just something that comes along as an extra

Wicca is certainly modern (1800s) and is a formalised version of the craft. It involves Priests/Priestesses and lots of ceremony. I tried it, but I'm not a fan.

I'm what is generally known as a Solitary. Other names include Hedgewitch, Greenwitch, Gardenwitch.

And thank you. I think so but I'm biased

theUrbanDryad Sat 23-Jun-07 17:18:07

you mentioned crystals on another thread ...are they part of witchcraft too?

theUrbanDryad Sat 23-Jun-07 17:19:44

also - i see from your profile that you've read the Golden Dawn. do you mean the Golden Bough?

SaintGeorge Sat 23-Jun-07 17:27:56

Crystals can be. I use them but not all witches do. It is personal preference as to what tools each individual uses.

I mean 'The Golden Dawn' by Israel Regardie.

Golden Dawn

Israel Regardie

Not something I follow but interesting nevertheless.

SaintGeorge Sat 23-Jun-07 17:30:57

It is on my list of favourite books as I was feeling silly when I wrote my profile. It is the sort of heavy occult reading that people would expect of a witch.

Flamesparrow Sat 23-Jun-07 19:02:41

Crashing - StG I need you here

theUrbanDryad Sun 24-Jun-07 10:50:52

i thought crystals were for new age fluffies? <<devil's advocate>>

hope you're ok Flame

SaintGeorge Sun 24-Jun-07 11:01:10

New age fluffies have discovered the potential and jumped on a bandwagon.

Some of us got there before them

theUrbanDryad Sun 24-Jun-07 11:14:31

how exactly do crystals work then?

SaintGeorge Sun 24-Jun-07 11:40:21

Ahhhh, how long is a piece of string?

Hand on heart, I wish I had a sensible, rational answer to that question. But I don't

Some stones & crystals may well have a genuine effect by way of the chemical properties they contain but since I am unaware of any scientific research on that I can't really say.

I guess a hell of a lot of it is down to the good old placebo effect or, quite simply, faith.

A lot of the stuff I work with in my Craft is actually symbolic - so different from basic crystal healing.

Symbolic witchcraft is a case of using items to represent things to aid visualisation.

Bollox this is hard to explain.

Imagine a Christian saying a prayer for someone. They might feel it helps to look at a photo of who they are praying for, to light a candle to keep that person in their thoughts etc.

In the same way, a witch might use crystals, herbs etc to represent the person and the wished for outcome to a situation.

FLAME - come and help me speak English please

theUrbanDryad Sun 24-Jun-07 11:56:07

no, that does sort of make sense. so - for example - if you were doing some sort of thing for me, you might use amethyst to visualise me because it's my birthstone.

herbs have actual properties don't they?

SaintGeorge Sun 24-Jun-07 12:00:00

Absolutely.

Herbs/plants do have properties. As you doubtless know, a lot of modern medicines are now based on the chemical properties of plants.
Aspirin is the classic example, willow bark being an ancient remedy for aches and pains.

Flame Sun 24-Jun-07 12:44:33

Anyone else waiting for UnquietDad to pop up with his bloody challenge link?

You seem to be doing fine by yourself StG . My response being "Wot she said".

I use very little in the way of tools - when I first started I read all these lists of wands, athames etc and tried to find/use them. I realised that it distracts me and my hands/mind are all I need. The pendulum is the only thing I have felt any closeness to (and my tarot cards now I have the right set).

I was also born a witch. I always knew at Sunday School etc that it wasn't me, at senior school I felt very uneasy at a friend's christening as I felt I was lying or something saying prayers to a god I wasn't convinced about. Then Buffy of all things set me looking - they kept interchanging Wicca and Witch and I wanted to know what the difference was. I started reading and the penny dropped that that was what I was! I studied wicca for a while, but it wasn't me. I knew what I believed, and quite a few bits of Wicca didn't fit.

Now, I'm a bit useless at sabbat celebrations, but I observe them in my own way. I tend to follow my heart.

SaintGeorge Sun 24-Jun-07 12:56:35

Oh I have the 'official' tools too Flamey (even though you have shortened your name I still think of you as Flamey) .

I rarely use them though, unless I am feeling particularly ceremonial.

I was thinking more of my everyday crystals, herbs, incenses etc when I mentioned tools earlier in the thread.

SaintGeorge Sun 24-Jun-07 12:57:00

Oh and if he does I will try my best to just ignore him

Flame Sun 24-Jun-07 13:18:04

I think where I don't do a lot (because I scare myself with the results ) I don't think of everyday use (if that makes sense).

I like Flamey - tis good to have a term of endearment type name, its one of the things I don't like when I am just "Flame" - it can't be shortened in an affectionate way

theUrbanDryad Sun 24-Jun-07 13:28:58

see, i'm just a wee bit uncomfortable with anyone who says "I'm a witch", which i think is more to do with my Christian upbringing than anything else (sorry mum) but i have been curious (distinction between curious and interested, if you see there difference) for a long time. i have many, many friends and acquaintances who say they are Wiccan or Pagan, and it seems like they don't have the first clue what they mean. like they read a Titania Hardie or Silver Ravenwolf book and suddenly they're in touch with their inner Goddess. i'm extremely sceptical of things like crystal healing and guardian angels, to be blunt i think it's at best a placebo (like you said earlier StG!) at worst i think it offers hope where there is none, and can do more damage than good.

i do think the idea of the village wise woman is one that's been romanticized over the centuries, and that also a lot of people who call themselves witches have a persecution complex to do with the Burning Times. a lot of truth and fiction has been mixed up and now no-one really knows the difference anymore.

there are so many oddballs out there, i've known people who are convinced they are werewolves, vampires, vampire hunters and it's mostly a problem of too many hours spent role playing and not getting out in the fresh air enough. i'm well aware there are people out there who would call themselves witches and have a right to it, from family tradition and lineage, but IMO "magic" (or Magyck, if you want to be RPG about it ) is a mixture of knowledge of herbs and psychology.

Flame Sun 24-Jun-07 13:39:07

I tend to use the word "pagan" most of the time - it represents the non-magick side of it more to me, more of my beliefs than workings.

I am very very anti Silver Ravenwolf. Probably completely unjustified seeing as I have only read one chapter of one of her books - she spoke about sitting down and thinking of a magical name like it was something to be made up so you had a character to slip into before you start to do anything. To me, you will know your name when you are meant to, often when you least expect to find it. Some keep them very private, other people use em on forums, but they are still very personal and not something to be created as a piece of homework!

(completely irrelevant rant over ).

You don't have to dance naked under the moon to know what you feel, in the same way as you don't have to go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian. For me it is all about what is inside me and how I am with the world, any extras are just that - extras. They can make me more intune with my beliefs, but they don't change them or make me any different to what I am in my core.

theUrbanDryad Sun 24-Jun-07 13:47:53

but Flame - do you believe you're psychic? you talked on your other thread (sorry, i just wanted to make sure you were ok, wasn't just being nosey ) of throwing a shield around you.

perhaps it would be more appropriate to discuss these things on MSN, if you're on there? my email is metalduck at hotmail dot co dot uk. i'm really really curious about these things!

i'm very anti Raven Silvertwat as well - i was looking up naming ceremonies for children (way before i had kids of my own) and she talks of choosing their Craft name for them!

Flame Sun 24-Jun-07 14:02:49

Ooh that makes me even more with her!!!

Have added you to msn

SaintGeorge Sun 24-Jun-07 15:15:22

Oi you two - get off msn! Can't join in 'cos it crashes my PC too often

Ravenwolf and her ilk are into americanised, feminised magic. A hippy trip from the flower power days.

I'm a hippy type by nature but I hate the modernised crap that people like her chuck out. I hate all the silly names and spellings too.

I love this by Flamey:

"You don't have to dance naked under the moon to know what you feel, in the same way as you don't have to go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian. For me it is all about what is inside me and how I am with the world, any extras are just that - extras. They can make me more intune with my beliefs, but they don't change them or make me any different to what I am in my core." Well said and so true.

theUrbanDryad Sun 24-Jun-07 15:19:10

yes, nicely put Flame! i do think a lot of the crystal healing, meditation, guardian angel "workshops" are tacky money spinners and should be steered clear of at any cost. i also like to avoid people in robes, or who have Dungeon and Dragon books next their Book of Shadows

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