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GreatDane

How Many Here Consider Themselves Witches or....

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xTheHermitx

I have always thought of my self as a "Student of ___________________"   

 

the blank has always been mystery, faith, and mystical systems.  Recently and more specifically it has been Qabbalism; Tarot; and will probably change, or get added to as other doorway open up

 

The only thing I really practice is a personal type of Asatru/Heathenism/Norse lifestyle. Some would label it/me a "shaman", but I don't really identify with that...I don't force my beliefs on others, or try to convert people. I look like a guy who likes "dad metal"...because I do. I recently have been growing my beard long to try the "Viking Beard" thing...but that is probably the only outward signs of how I live. 

 

a lot of times, the people that I run in to who are loudly claiming to be witches/shaman/ or anything "religious" really don't know what they are talking about. They are "wearing the costume" but not really playing the game. I think this cheapens the systems for those that do believe, and live it. I see this A LOT where I work (Catholic School system)...

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Eric

A few years ago I met someone who was a genuine hi placed witch that a shoppe as well. No names. But I found the study and belief of it all fascinating.I dont practice it at all but I do believe in the positive uses of it.

The unfortunate side is that 95% of the population confuse these beliefs and skills, and dont understand the differences between beliefs, philosophies, a religion or even a gift. But I just go on my Way quietly. (Usually)

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katrinka
13 minutes ago, Eric said:

The unfortunate side is that 95% of the population confuse these beliefs and skills, and dont understand the differences between beliefs, philosophies, a religion or even a gift. But I just go on my Way quietly. (Usually)

I think the unfortunate side is that people confuse these beliefs and skills with having/wearing a lot of purple and black STUFF and lots of crystals and silver jewelry and pachouli and yadda yadda. 
Don' get me wrong, I love a well-done goth look. But the whole thing has become about Instagram and "Look at me Imma witch!" and props, and buying cheap rocks from roadside stands in Arizona and selling them at a big markup. 
I was very hopeful when all of this witchcraft stuff started to catch on in a big way. Let's get back to the earth (PLEASE stop killing it, I don't want my grandson murdered for some BS like potable water) and the animals and nature and be human beings again. Let's stop treating all of those beings like garbage, remember who we are, and explore the mysterious, the outer edges of what we call reality. Let's be like the Natives, but according to our own roots. 
Instead, I'm seeing the same shallow hypercapitalism that informs Christianity. There's nothing wrong with Christianity in itself: feed the poor. Be kind. Don't treat people like  crap. And most especially: don't worship money. 
The evangelicals have subverted that. It's all about being greedy and racist and homophobic now. It's the exact opposite of what was intended. Read the 23rd chapter of Matthew and tell me I'm wrong.
And what I'm seeing with a lot of what passes for witchcraft isn't much different. A big emphasis on THINGS. Organized smear campaigns (really, Silver Ravenwolf is not supreme evil) and just a general fronting off with little or nothing to back it up. 
I dipped my toes in. Did year and a day studies and backed right the hell out. The sad thing in this is that I would have commited to it. The good thing is that I learned: I am NOT a joiner. 
Got my coat, got my hat, and moved on. YMMV.

 

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Symph
7 hours ago, 53rdspirit said:

Folks usually ask ME if I'm a witch and I always respond "why do you ask?" I enjoy listening to their answer and in the end, I never get around to answering their question as the conversation ends with them answering their own question with me adding nothing at all. I've heard children whisper to another "She's a witch." It's curious to me because I wear flannel shirts, jeans and usually Doc Martens or sneakers, old Army jacket --definitely, not all black or flowing dresses, and I've never worn a pentacle or depiction of Baphomet in my life. Actually, if I must label my practices, I prefer "necromancer" since I grave-itate to endings, death, the dead, my ancestors, all the evergreens and earthy things, the night and murky waters, and the very darkest of the moon is my "time." And, that's not all bad., mind you. Often healing is done by ridding oneself of something, or killing an affliction or disease, in order to heal, etc. --just an example. I consider myself an eccentric, for sure, and I enjoy it immensely. 

This was a really cool post, I love the way you explained that.  The W word has been very difficult for me to see in a positive light, but I have already seen how beautiful paganism and self proclaimed witches can truly be, and this was definitely yet another moment of seeing the beautiful earthy charm that "witchy" people can have.   

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Arania

I think it is partly an issue about there not being a single word associated with the positive aspect of the craft. But a witch was always negative, everywhere, in every translation. so it just seemed easiest to use that and turn it positive. This is still an issue though, because in most African countries,for example, when someone is a witch it is bad magic. There are a lot of regional names for spiritual healers, wizards etc. But everyone knows what a witch is.

 

 

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Symph
7 hours ago, Arania said:

I think it is partly an issue about there not being a single word associated with the positive aspect of the craft. But a witch was always negative, everywhere, in every translation. so it just seemed easiest to use that and turn it positive. This is still an issue though, because in most African countries,for example, when someone is a witch it is bad magic. There are a lot of regional names for spiritual healers, wizards etc. But everyone knows what a witch is.

 

 

See that's the conundrum isn't it?  Do we "take back" the word witch?  Or would it be better to come up with a new word that embodies this open resurgence of benevolent herb/crystal/death embracing people?  That's a tough one, I think I kind of lean toward coming up with a new word though, seems like it would just be easier.  

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Arania

I'd love a new word! Definitely.

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leroidetrèfle

I do practice a form of folk magic but would never use the term witch. It has come to mean something that I do not subscribe to. I’ve never felt a need to term it tbh.
 

 

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Symph
2 minutes ago, leroidetrèfle said:

I do practice a form of folk magic but would never use the term witch. It has come to mean something that I do not subscribe to. I’ve never felt a need to term it tbh.
 

 

See I personally would like a term just because when I meet people and they ask things like "what are you into?  What do you do"  I never am quite sure what to tell them, if the conversation gets deep I find myself going "Well umm... I don't consider myself a witch but I mean.. I guess I kind of am into magic and the occult so some might say that but then it's not that bad magic like you might be thinking, not even sure if that exists in the way we've been told, I'm like a magic using jesus loving umm.....  I give up..."  LOL  That was a pretty bad representation of how the conversation goes but I do find that it's just tough sometimes.  

Just yesterday at work I was reading "78 Degrees of Tarot"  at work @peacefulocean (I'm reading the books you recommended to me again!  I'm starting to get back into the cards!  Thank you!)  and someone asked me about it and we started talking about beliefs and I just kept finding myself at a loss for words.  All the terms I wanted to use to describe myself were loaded terms that carried a stigma with them I didn't want to convey so I kept having to be wordy and back track and clarify.  I mean the closest thing I could think of people would understand would be "I'm a New Ager" but even that has a stigma of someone who believes all religions are the same and has very "woo woo" interests etc...  

I mean I know there's no quick solution I just wish there was something I could say that people would go "Oh!  Yeah I get that!"  But when trying to explain myself I usually get some blank stares and people not really understanding.  

Not that I'm even saying witches would consider me a witch!  I'm not sure what makes one a witch but I mean... I practice candle magic... I sage all the time, I read cards and perform rituals when there are significant moon phases happening sometimes...  Doesn't that at least in some people's eyes make me one?  

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Arania

Especially because a lot of the New Age stuff is crap/fraud. I don't want to be associated with that.

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Symph
Just now, Arania said:

Especially because a lot of the New Age stuff is crap/fraud. I don't want to be associated with that.

Agreed.  

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katrinka
24 minutes ago, Symph said:

See I personally would like a term just because when I meet people and they ask things like "what are you into?  What do you do"  I never am quite sure what to tell them

When you MEET people, they're strangers.
I generally just tell them I'm into cooking, dogs, old movies, whatever.

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Symph
1 minute ago, katrinka said:

When you MEET people, they're strangers.
I generally just tell them I'm into cooking, dogs, old movies, whatever.

Lol, well I always start with music, gardening and eating a plant based diet, but from there THEY often will go "ohhhh that's deep, you seem spiritual, are you spiritual?"  So yeah I mean... I don't really have interests that don't cause the conversation to go pretty deep pretty fast, and I have trouble relating to people in any other way.  I do watch a little netflix from time to time, not too wild about it though I'd rather be learning something cool.  You know... I DO adore Star Trek though... maybe I should just stick to Star Trek from now on lol  

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leroidetrèfle
16 minutes ago, Symph said:

See I personally would like a term just because when I meet people and they ask things like "what are you into?  What do you do"  I never am quite sure what to tell them, if the conversation gets deep I find myself going "Well umm... I don't consider myself a witch but I mean.. I guess I kind of am into magic and the occult so some might say that but then it's not that bad magic like you might be thinking, not even sure if that exists in the way we've been told, I'm like a magic using jesus loving umm.....  I give up..."  LOL  That was a pretty bad representation of how the conversation goes but I do find that it's just tough sometimes... Doesn't that at least in some people's eyes make me one?  

Robert Cochrane said, “When is a witch not a witch? Answer: When they’re pagan.” 
 

Cochrane’s statement is something quite a few modern witches would take issue with. He was also likely employing some grey magic, too. But his separation between craft and faith is a valid one. There is a connection but also a difference.

 

Candle magic is/can be a form of magic. Is it witchcraft? It depends. It’s no different to lighting candles before an icon in church.

 

Only you can @Symphcan decide if you’re a witch or wytch or wicce or cunning man or charmer or doctor, et cetera. Do not be so quick to put a name to it. The deed without a name is a crooked path. There is no map.

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GreatDane

Exactly, Katrinka.  I don't like to share tmi when first meeting people.  It's like a need to know thing 🙂   I have had friends that didn't know I read tarot for years after I met them.  It's not like it just comes up in conversation.  I tend to share more with likeminded people, those who I know are at least open to some things I do.  Otherwise, the general population I know knows I like books, I mentor international students, have written book reviews, because they see me in a book club, around the university,  Unless someone asks me what  I like, what I'm into, a direct question, I don't automatically share much of anything unless it comes up in convo, and things like working with energy, tarot, REALLY don't come up in conversations here in small town Midwest 🙂 

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Symph
1 minute ago, leroidetrèfle said:

Robert Cochrane said, “When is a witch not a witch? Answer: When they’re pagan.” 
 

Cochrane’s statement is something quite a few modern witches would take issue with. He was also likely employing some grey magic, too. But his separation between craft and faith is a valid one. There is a connection but also a difference.

 

Candle magic is/can be a form of magic. Is it witchcraft? It depends. It’s no different to lighting candles before an icon in church.

 

Only you can @Symphcan decide if you’re a witch or wytch or wicce or cunning man or charmer or doctor, et cetera. Do not be so quick to put a name to it. The deed without a name is a crooked path. There is no map.

Ooooo wise words my friend, I really like that.  Yeah I'll come up with my own term and just rock it!  Hehehe yeah I really don't wanna consider myself a witch I've just had this little uncomfortable feeling like "But technically am I one?"  I guess not if I don't wanna be!  Hehehe 

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Symph
1 minute ago, GreatDane said:

Exactly, Katrinka.  I don't like to share tmi when first meeting people.  It's like a need to know thing 🙂   I have had friends that didn't know I read tarot for years after I met them.  It's not like it just comes up in conversation.  I tend to share more with likeminded people, those who I know are at least open to some things I do.  Otherwise, the general population I know knows I like books, I mentor international students, have written book reviews, because they see me in a book club, around the university,  Unless someone asks me what  I like, what I'm into, a direct question, I don't automatically share much of anything unless it comes up in convo, and things like working with energy, tarot, REALLY don't come up in conversations here in small town Midwest 🙂 

I need to learn to be more like this.  I have a lot of trouble being a private person, for some reason I'm always blurting out whatever is bubbling under the surface and then going "oh shit I've been too open again"  I mean.. I think it's pretty obvious I've even been doing it with you guys on this forum, I'm just thankful people have been so kind about it here.  But yeah I definitely do see that this is something I'd benefit from getting under control, I gotta learn to be more private sometimes.  

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GreatDane

Ah, Symph, but you know around here at least there are somewhat likeminded peeps!  THIS is somewhere I know I can be open about certain things.  And it's not like I really HIDE who I am day to day.  My personality is my personality.  I am very OUTGOING, I do talk to strangers, it's what I SHARE that is different.  People tend to know who I am, and THINK they know me just from my personality, but really have no idea of what I do, what I am into.  And like I said, it's not like working with energy or tarot tends to come up naturally in convos here 🙂   If I lived in a very open community, like if TT and ME were an actual physical town,, I would likely normally share more than I do here in small town Midwest!  

Edited by GreatDane

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Symph
1 minute ago, GreatDane said:

Ah, Symph, but you know you around at least somewhat likeminded peeps here!  THIS is somewhere I know I can be open about certain things.  And it's not like I really HIDE who I am day to day.  My personality is my personality.  I am very OUTGOING, I do talk to strangers, it's what I SHARE that is different.  People tend to know who I am, and THINK they know me just from my personality, but really have no idea of what I do, what I am into.  And like I said, it's not like working with energy or tarot tends to come up naturally in convos here 🙂   If I lived in a very open community, like if TT and ME were an actual physical town,, I would likely normally share more than I do here in small town Midwest!  

Thanks for that, you made me feel better hehe  And there is a degree to which I'm glad I'm such an open person I just think I could benefit from dialing it back a notch or two sometimes hahaha

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GreatDane

Oh you made me think of something, Symph.  MANY years ago, when I lived in a BIG CITY,  someone gave me a Wise Woman In Training button.  It wasn't very big, but I would wear it sometimes.  People who "got" what I was into, got the meaning of the button, other people just thought I was trying to be, well, wise 🙂    

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Symph
1 minute ago, GreatDane said:

Oh you made me think of something, Symph.  MANY years ago, when I lived in a BIG CITY,  someone gave me a Wise Woman In Training button.  It wasn't very big, but I would wear it sometimes.  People who "got" what I was into, got the meaning of the button, other people just thought I was trying to be, well, wise 🙂    

Omg I love that, that should be on a T-Shirt!  I'm in the process of starting a T-Shirt business, can I put that on a T-Shirt??? hahahaha  I'd need to find the maker of the pin and give them their cut though!

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GreatDane

ahahahahhaha  the people who made the pin probably saw it on a t-shirt!  I liked it was a way of sharing a bit about myself, but only with people who would understand it.

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leroidetrèfle
9 minutes ago, Symph said:

Ooooo wise words my friend, I really like that.  Yeah I'll come up with my own term and just rock it!  Hehehe yeah I really don't wanna consider myself a witch I've just had this little uncomfortable feeling like "But technically am I one?"  I guess not if I don't wanna be!  Hehehe 

You’re welcome, @Symph. It’s not an uncommon desire to have a label. We live in a world where #/label is a virtue. 
 

It’s not an easy path to navigate and it’s harder to point someone. Your tag will align with your path/craft. I wouldn’t use the term used by someone in southeastern Europe — but that’s where my root’s and craft’s lie. But I live and work in the UK — and vegan. So I’ve adapted. The land is important to me. 

 

I can offer some literature — but it’s complicated, again, by approach. A lot depends on you and what you think the craft is.  But I would say perhaps think about looking at your anima loci and local history, alongside some of Ronald Hutton’s history books. 

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Symph
4 minutes ago, leroidetrèfle said:

You’re welcome, @Symph. It’s not an uncommon desire to have a label. We live in a world where #/label is a virtue. 
 

It’s not an easy path to navigate and it’s harder to point someone. Your tag will align with your path/craft. I wouldn’t use the term used by someone in southeastern Europe — but that’s where my root’s and craft’s lie. But I live and work in the UK — and vegan. So I’ve adapted. The land is important to me. 

 

I can offer some literature — but it’s complicated, again, by approach. A lot depends on you and what you think the craft is.  But I would say perhaps think about looking at your anima loci and local history, alongside some of Ronald Hutton’s history books. 

I love to read so I will put him on my list of authors to check out!  Thanks!

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Arania

I think I'd need a wise-ass button 😁

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