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What makes one a Witch?
by bigbad88 (bigbad88)
at March 29th, 2010 (03:10 pm)
cold

current mood: cold
current song: Bat for Lashes - Trophy

I just read an interesting article on one of my favorite blogs (Witch of Forest Grove) that really made me think. The article is entitled "What Makes One a Witch?" I recommend giving it a look see but, in summary the author equates the term and role of a witch to that of a shaman - someone with cunning and supernatural abilities, who can walk between worlds and serve as an emissary between realms. By her definition, this is not a role that everyone who practices a Pagan religion can serve and it is not an easy road. There is an irresistible call and years of practice, dedication and oaths between you and the spirits/gods who call to you. There is nothing wrong however if you never get this, and you are just a layPagan if you will, engaging in simple folk spells and such mostly for seasonal and personal reasons.

What do you guys think about that? Do you agree, disagree, think it's all silly?

Personally, it sounds about right to me. Most other religions have this sort of dynamic, it wouldn't surprise me that the various Pagan paths would as well (well maybe not folks into Chaos magic but who knows). Some people are called "to the cloth" to make certain oaths, to make certain sacrifices and to take a certain leadership/healer/ teacher role in their faith while others may very passionate and devoted practitioners of their faith but, it always remains personal. *shrugs* I guess it's because this is how it feels, at least right now for me. I am perfectly happy dealing with magic on a personal level, observing the seasonal changes and worshiping my gods and local spirits. I have little interest in supernatural abilities beyond the occasional tarot card readings and tasseomancy now and again. But who knows? This may change. I am not 100 percent in control of the path I lead in life.

Comments

Posted by: bee (fy_sanctuary)
Posted at: March 29th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
10-hole boots

I am perfectly happy dealing with magic on a personal level, observing the seasonal changes and worshiping my gods and local spirits. I have little interest in supernatural abilities beyond the occasional tarot card readings...

I'm personally kind of also in this position as well. While having some of those powers and abilities that may possibly be reached, for some reason I feel like I'm very much in my niche and if I need to grow out of this, it'll happen naturally.

Posted by: the_reaper_ (the_reaper_)
Posted at: March 30th, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)

I have to disagree. While not all pagans are witches, anyone who practices any sort of magic, even if its extremely simple, is a witch if they want to call themselves one. I think a shaman is another thing entirely, and shamanic practices can deviate a good deal from the more well known neo-pagan practices. A shaman is a shaman, and a witch is a witch, though I'm sure there are some who do more shamanic practices than others.

Personally, I don't do a lot of magic, but I have done spells for myself and have been asked by others, so, yes, I'm a witch, even if the real foundation of my spirituality is the observance of the sabbats, the mythology, etc. Even the ways in which we celebrate the sabbats includes a kind of magic

Posted by: エリアネ (konekoanni)
Posted at: March 31st, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)

I disagree, as well. The thing is, a "witch" is generally someone who has been initiated into a tradition, by themselves or in a coven, someone who follows the Wiccan religion, and/or someone who practices magic within the Pagan tradition. To make a big deal out of the name "witch" is silly, since it serves the same purpose as calling an Asatru follower a "heathen". It's a name for a particular people.

I call myself a witch because I'm Wiccan, and I practice magic, which I fully believe to be a working of the human mind, not some "supernatural" force. I know a lot of people and other practitioners will disagree with me, but hey, I'm an eclectic.

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