A Conversation for The Five Elements in Relation to the Wiccan Religion
bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran Posted Nov 1, 1999
Definitions are helpful, cause sometimes misunderstandings result from the same word being used to mean different things.
The Oxford dictionary definition of witchcraft is correct, but only as far as it goes. The connection of witchcraft with 'evil' spirits is commonly made by the Christian culture. Other dictionary definitions connect it to prophecy, communing with the dead, and the use of sorcery or magic. Or, powers that are 'more than natural'. This does not necessarily imply that these are evil. It is mainly the church that has made this connection.
In other religions, for example, prophecy has been very respectable and occupies a significant place. Eastern religions have many methods of forcasting the future, and the Oracles of ancient Rome were highly revered.
To understand wicca and witchcraft it is necessary to look at what is actually practiced. And to go above and beyond a dictionary definition of the term 'witchcraft'. But a dictionary definition is certainly useful as a starting place.
Now the next thing I might ask is: 'What IS the craft of a witch, then? And if it isn't invoking evil spirts, what IS invoked?'
bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran Posted Nov 1, 1999
Re: black/white magick
I agree that it is impossible to do something that is strictly good or evil. We can never forsee the full implication or consequences of our actions.
Possibly the distinction is 'intent'. To 'harm none' as far as you can see it is possible, and to feel a consious awareness of the responsibility for your own actions.
There is also the aspect of control. I feel that the attempt to control others is always a dangerous path--what I would call 'black' magick. Whether it is through physical means [like beating them up or shooting them] or focusing negative power on them [turning them into a frog--thats a joke, guys, just a joke] or even seemingly positive power [like a spell to make someone love you] forcing your will upon another is not a good thing.
So I would suggest that a distinction can be made between white and black magick. Although it may not be necessary to declare yourself a practicioner of white magick, the cosmic spectrum is not just one shade of gray, it is many colors and shades. And the wisest will be careful about the shades they select to paint with.
Wow, pretty poetic, huh??? And I'm not even on any medication
Contemplation (Zaphodista in a Cloak of Goo) Posted Nov 1, 1999
"Sometimes, the greatest test of power one can face, is knowing when not to use it."
Loki Posted Nov 1, 1999
The difference between Witchcraft and mericals (sp?), is who you blame the results on.
bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran Posted Nov 1, 1999
That's an excellent point!
There's a big difference in feeling about a 'saint' who performs a miracle, and a 'witch' who casts a spell.
Both are events occurring outside of the natural world, but the attitude towards them has been formed and shaped by the Christian church.
It is the Church that pronounced the working of the witch to be evil and connected it to 'bad' things. In other times, and in other religions this is not the case.
I am definitely going to keep that quote!
MistressV Posted Nov 5, 1999
I'm wiccan, and definitely a Witch!!!!!!!11
Contemplation (Zaphodista in a Cloak of Goo) Posted Nov 6, 1999
Good day, dear Mistress
Well, that did seem a bit pride filled. Not that it is a bad thing, mind you Why do you chose to use the term witch? What is your perspective on all of this? Are witches and Wiccans the same in your eyes? Or is there a difference?
Technoyokel (muse of poetry) Posted Nov 6, 1999
Hi I'm afraid I've been communing with the goddess (or god) of cider and reading "The Prisoner of Azkaban"(Harry Potter) so I may not make MUCH sense! However I like the shades of grey idea, one thing that really annoys me about "morality" is the concept of good and evil... surely the idea of intent is a a good one but also the way people are bought up affects their ideas ... how can abortion be so wrong whereas capital punishment be so right, to use an obvious example?
bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran Posted Nov 7, 1999
Well there you go again, technyokel, asking those interesting questions.
And aren't the Harry Potter books great? There hasn't been a children's fantasy that good and that original in a long time.
Anyway, about this good/evil issue: IMHO part of our difficulty is because we [in the Western world] are usually working from a judeo-christian ethical background when discussing good/evil.
Other religious/philosophical frameworks [not only wiccans] view the whole concept somewhat differently. Many ethical systems are based on the idea of a balance of opposites, the yin and yang, without attributing the idea of 'good' or 'evil' to either of the opposite poles. Life and death are opposites. One is not necessarily bad and the other good, tho.
But, if you think life is a struggle between two warring powers [god and the devil] you may thing that good is whatever 'god' says it is, and that evil is the 'devil' tricking us into doing what 'god' does not want us to do. I do not see it that way. There is no parent figure up in heaven who has set rules for us to follow, and no trickster setting snares for us. And no punishments/rewards based on how well we do.
I feel that it is more complex than that, and that it is necessary to look for a balance rather than to blindly follow the 'rules'. I agree that it IS easier with 'rules'; it IS harder to say 'it depends' and try to figure things out based on experience, compassion and wisdom.
But you CAN have morality and an ethical system that is not simplistic. A moral system should not require us to be children who fear god's punishment so we must do what he says. Morality should come from within, not imposed from without. It should be part of one's search for balance.
Life is not made up of absolutes, it is messy. Answers are not clear cut, they have many variables.
There are times when death is longed for by the elderly, infirm, or someone with a painful chronic disease. There are also times when to bring a seriously deformed child into the world might be far crueler than to abort the life before it begins. The spectre of putting to death an innocent person always looms before proponents of capital punishment, and also what crimes justify capital punishment, and which do not?.
Is death evil in these cases? Is life good? Or is it the other way around? The answer may be that 'good' is finding the best balance of many factors rather than some absolute measure that can be applied.
And yes, the way people are brought up affects their ideas. Just look at what was thought to be 'moral' in other societies to see that there are as many ethical systems as there have been cultures in the history of society. Good and evil are definitely NOT absolutes.
I think you are more likely to get better answers to serious questions when they deal with the issues as they really are, rather than trying to fit them into some preset idea of what is 'good' or 'evil'.
Phew! Now I need some of that cider...
Technoyokel (muse of poetry) Posted Nov 7, 1999
26199 Posted Nov 7, 1999
I'm an athiest myself, but I'm fairly interested in philosophy, religion, and ethics - my own ethical system is essentially one of objectivity... like you've said, no hard and fast rules.
It should be pointed out, though, that the Bible can be interpreted in many ways (although more often that not it's interpreted as you've said)... some of the more enlightened bits aren't all that different from my philosophy of life.
As for good and evil... I can't really bring myself to believe that much of either exists.
I have to agree about the Harry Potter books... my little brother'n'sister have been far more enthusiastic about reading than usual, which is Good. Probably
MistressV Posted Nov 8, 1999
Of course the statement is pridefilled. I would have a bad life if i wasn't proud of what I am. I don't make any distinction between being wiccan and being a witch. Wiccans practice witchcraft, that what we do, besides partying and having a really good time while doing it. I don't see the point in spending so much time discussing the difference between wiccans and witches. Thre are differnces between wiccans and other wiccans. Thats because we are different people. I hope you understand what I mean, i think its a bit hard to explain in a language that isn't mine.
Contemplation (Zaphodista in a Cloak of Goo) Posted Nov 12, 1999
I think that in discussing other veiws of the world that we share helps to enlighten us, and make us more aware of what is. I have known Wiccans who do not practice what is commonly called witchcraft, but who do follow the beleif systems and ideals. I have also known people who are not Wiccans, who do practice. Thus, the terms do not seem to always be related. Some of the people who have posted here in the Wiccan Forum have shown different points of origin in their self images, even though they may have a common thread of beleif.
I really didn't mean any slant towards you when I made the 'pride' comment. It just kind of struck me... I don't know if this will make any sense or not,... as though you were yelling it from the roof tops to the world. For some reason it just kind of screamed self confidence. Another type of self image. I was interested in why, and how you came to be at this point. How did you find Wicca ? (or did it find you?) That is, if you don't mind my asking...?
The Cow Posted Dec 13, 1999
My beliefs at the moment are generally objective ethics, and a general dislike of the Christian church for many different reasons. It seems often that Christians hate other Christians more than non-Christians: eg. Northern Ireland. I definately am religious... I just don't know what it is. I have always been intrigued by the more non-commerical religion, the less mainstream. As a good friend of mine said, it is so often a case of 'Religion: see money'.
Charon Posted Jan 3, 2000
Uhh...maybe GOOD spirits.
I really cannot be bothered to try and define the word witch as you will find as many answers to that as you will witches!
And what really bugs me is people accusing witches of being deluded, where it's them that are too blind to see past the end of their noses.
They think witches are dark beings with supernatural powers... where in fact witches are and have always been people who have an earth based spirituality. Noting more or less.
You would not believe how much this presumption annoys me.
It is people like the reverend who lead last years march against wickedness who are deluded, not us.
phew.......well I got a bit carried away with thAT. It just riles me a bit.
bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran Posted Jan 4, 2000
hullo there, Charon, and merry meet!
While I agree with you that you will find a variety of ways to define the word 'witch', there are common threads that runs through most, if not all, definitions.
But so many others DO misunderstand, and attribute meanings to the word that are NOT held by most who are witches. It is exactly because of the people who accuse witches that it is important to define what we are--at least to the extent that we are able. This will help them see what we are NOT. So that they understand rather than fear us.
Most people who lead 'marches against wickedness' have defined both goodness and wickedness in their own terms, without notice of what is actually believed by the object of their complaint.
Just a thought...
and bright blessings
PS. In my definition the spirits/forces/magick are not good or evil, but rather it is the intent of the practitioner that determines it.
The Cow Posted Jan 5, 2000
I am sorry, I appear to have killed this forum! Anyone fancy saying something?
bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran Posted Jan 5, 2000
Hullo dear cow!
I dont think you killed it...sometimes they just sputter a few times and go out by themselves.
C'mon over the the Wiccan Forum http://www.h2g2.com/A196300 and post something. Maybe someone will add their two cents.
Another place where there is some activity right now is in the new article on Satanism. http://www.h2g2.com/A230211 Not 'xactly my cupa tea, but I put MY two cents in that one anyway. I think I mighta stirred something up, there...
the 'w' word
earthchild Posted Dec 28, 2000
to give you an example of the difference, i'll use myself. i practice magick, but i don't follow any
set rules. most of the wiccans that i know do have an exact riual or set of rules that they follow.
i do not consider myself wiccan. however, i do consider myself a witch of sorts.
Key: Complain about this post
- 21: bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran (Nov 1, 1999)
- 22: bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran (Nov 1, 1999)
- 23: Contemplation (Zaphodista in a Cloak of Goo) (Nov 1, 1999)
- 24: Loki (Nov 1, 1999)
- 25: bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran (Nov 1, 1999)
- 26: MistressV (Nov 5, 1999)
- 27: Contemplation (Zaphodista in a Cloak of Goo) (Nov 6, 1999)
- 28: Technoyokel (muse of poetry) (Nov 6, 1999)
- 29: bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran (Nov 7, 1999)
- 30: Technoyokel (muse of poetry) (Nov 7, 1999)
- 31: 26199 (Nov 7, 1999)
- 32: MistressV (Nov 8, 1999)
- 33: Contemplation (Zaphodista in a Cloak of Goo) (Nov 12, 1999)
- 34: The Cow (Dec 13, 1999)
- 35: Charon (Jan 3, 2000)
- 36: bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran (Jan 4, 2000)
- 37: The Cow (Jan 5, 2000)
- 38: bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran (Jan 5, 2000)
- 39: earthchild (Dec 28, 2000)