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Traditional Witchcraft


In the article, I will frequently use the word "some" because of the vast amount of traditions out there of Traditional Witchcraft.

What is Traditional Witchcraft? Traditional Witchcraft is not Wicca; Traditional Witchcraft is Traditional Paganism. It is the practice of pre-Wiccan and pre-Christian beliefs (or at least trying to revive the old ways). There are many traditions in Traditional Witchcraft and it should be noted that not all Trads have the same beliefs and practices, but there are basic principles that are followed. Now on to the differences: Wicca is an oath bound, orthopraxic, fertility-based witch cult and mystery religion. Gerald B. Gardner created it in the 1950s and he never actually called it Wicca, but rather "Wica". Traditional Wicca requires its members to be initiated into a coven to actually be considered Wiccan and therefore there is no such thing as a "solitary Wiccan". It is said that in Wicca, one must be initiated in order to receive the Inner Court information (such as the deities "true" names). Depending on the tradition, Traditionalists may or may not require the seeker to be initiated.

Traditional Witchcraft does not follow the Wiccan Rede (created by Gerald B. Gardner) or the Threefold Law. "An ye harm none, do what ye will" is a part of the Wiccan Rede and many people refer to this as a law, when in fact the word "rede" actually means advice. We take responsibility for whatever we do, whether it be harming or healing. Traditionalists know that there is a creative and destructive side of nature; therefore there is no "white" or "black" magic. There are many Eastern philosophies included in Wicca (such as Karma), but Witchcraft originated from Western Europe and Trads prefer to stay true to the old ways which include folk magic. Traditional Witchcraft may be considered a religion to some, while others consider it just a craft, incorporating the craft into their religion. It all depends really.

Wiccans write in a journal that's called a Book of Shadows. They keep their workings, rituals, and other information in it. Some Trads do not keep a journal of their workings because of the belief that one should forget about it after it is done and then some write down their workings and experiences. Personally, I keep a binder full of my own workings that I have written and other information (such as moon cycles, planetary symbols and cycles, rune symbols, herbs and their chemical uses, etc.) that I call a grimoire. Some just call their book a journal. It really doesn't matter what you call it. The land and the ancestors are very important aspects of Traditional Witchcraft. Some Trads call on their ancestors for aid in working. I call on spirits and my ancestors in my workings and in divination; I ask for their wisdom and their guidance. While working outdoors, it is not uncommon for Trads to call on the land spirits or communicate with them. Spirits are an important aspect of Traditional Witchcraft. Ancestors are very important in the Trad. Craft because we searched for the old ways, which come from our ancestors! Spirits can provide us with knowledge and power. Spirits protect us when in working; they are called upon to bring power. We are surrounded by spirits, hence why they're important.

Many Traditional Witches do not believe in deities and many do. It all depends on your beliefs. I don't believe in deities and never have. I believe in and use the power of nature. We don't "worship" nature, though, as many people believe. Fate is a belief held by many. Many believe that your past affects your present and your present affects your future. I don't believe that our future has been laid out for us. This is the Way of Wyrd. Free will is also not believed in, as this is a part of Christian faith and the neo-Pagan movement. Although free will is not believed in by many, there is still common sense; if you manipulate a person's mind to love you and they do not truly do, do you believe it will actually last? Hexes, curses, jinxes, etc. are not shunned in Traditional Witchcraft. If one truly needs to perform a hex or something of the like because the individual, friends, or family were hurt badly, then one would. Hexes and jinxes can be seen as a little slap, whereas curses are more extreme in their power. I have performed a few hexes and one curse; the curse was worked because of the extreme pain it caused a certain friend and I and how badly we were hurt for multiple years. I've seen many "fluffy" sites describing how it's always better to fill a person's heart with love instead of performing hexes, jinxes, and curses and not recognizing the destructive side of nature at all! While it is better to perform "positive" workings, do you really think that filling a person's heart with love will stop them from doing the degrading things they have done?

Traditionalists do not believe in the Summerlands as Wiccans do. We believe that spirits dwell in the spirit world, or Otherworld, and may return as a land spirit or in the form of something else. There are three levels of the world: Underworld, where the spirits dwell and where wisdom is kept, Middle World, what we live in, and the Upperworld, the home of the divine. The belief of afterlife varies from person to person. Hedge-riding is a practice that involves travelling to the spirit world through the use of trance work and other various techniques to alter the conscious mind (including entheogens, which are herbs and other substances used to induce trance) which allows the spirit to leave the body. Shamanic journeying is another practice involving leaving the body for spiritual growth; it is very similar to hedge-riding and is essentially rooted off of it. Common techniques to induce trance involve drumming, rattling, heavy dancing, rocking, entheogens, meditation, flying ointments, and a lot more. Books for the beginner are Hedge-Rider by Eric De Vries, Trance-portation by Diana L. Paxson, and The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.

Many Traditionalists do not cast circles and some may cast what they call a "compass round" which is basically a circle, but does not have the same use as a circle does to a Wiccan or neo-pagan. Wiccans use circles in order to keep the energy within it and then send it out to the Universe, whereas a compass round is used for protection. A circle in Wicca creates a sacred space to perform their workings, but Trads consider all land sacred and therefore do not need to perform a compass round for a sacred space. Sabbat, or festival, observations and celebrations differ from tradition to tradition. Some Trads observe four and some observe eight. Personally, I observe eight. I do not relate these sabbats to specific legends that Wiccans believe in. I observe them for the change in nature.

Some Trads use the pentagram to symbolize the elements of the earth (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit) while others don't believe in these elements because it originates from the East. Many neo-Pagan associate these elements with guardians/watchtowers to the four directions of the earth. Personally, I believe in the energy that flows from the four directions and from above and below. Robin Artisson has explained this in detail on his website. The symbol of this is called the "Witches Foot" or Hagal rune (from the Armanen Futharkh). Animism is a part of Traditional Witchcraft because we believe everything on this earth has a spirit (like plants, trees, etc.), just like Shamans.

Although there are many differences between Wicca, Traditional Witchcraft, and Neo-Paganism we all believe that nature is sacred and seek knowledge of the abyss.
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58 Comments

First off...I loved this post and learned so much from just this one thread....so, thank you for sharing your info with the rest of us. I have a question: In the thread, you mention that many Trad Witches do not beleive in deity, but then they believe in the three levels of existance..the underworld, middle world and upper world....the upper world being the place of the "divine". For the Witches that do not believe in deity, do the accept the three levels including the upper world of the devine? If so, "who" is there? I've also always felt, that our life..each one..is planned out before we come to middle earth..the physical plane, and that everthing that happens in our lives..happens the way is should?? So, you think otherwise...that life is only what we "make" it to be?

Thank you...forgive my confusion..as I'm still in learning mode!
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I've also always felt, that our life..each one..is planned out before we come to middle earth..the physical plane, and that everthing that happens in our lives..happens the way is should?? So, you think otherwise...that life is only what we "make" it to be?


Hi, Ophelia:

I do not subscribe to the under-, middle and upperworld concept, so I cannot answer the first question; however, I would like to comment on the other aspect of your post. I can sum up my response by saying that my personal credo is "Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your words and actions". In my humble opinion, believing that everything happens as it was ordained is a cop-out; a convenient way to either give credit to or blame someone or something else (god or whoever) for life's direction. While it is nearly impossible to perfectly control every aspect of life, given that people's paths are constantly crossing, I am a Witch. By virtue, I have a significant amount of control over my destiny. A Witch NEVER (well, very rarely) places his/her destiny in the hands of another (divine or otherwise). The great part is that I get to take credit when things are going well, because the results are likely due to something awesome or at least not totally idiotic that I have done or said. The bad part is that when things don't turn out, I can't claim god's will or destiny. I have to admit when I've really screwed up, which I do more often than I care to admit sometimes. With great Power comes great responsibility. (Wasn't that a line in a movie?) My view point on this will become more evident as you read my posts, as I will often express my annoyance with those who want to practice Witchcraft, but do not want to be responsible for the results.

Just my thoughts . . .
Jevne
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Hi, Ophelia:

I do not subscribe to the under-, middle and upperworld concept, so I cannot answer the first question; however, I would like to comment on the other aspect of your post. I can sum up my response by saying that my personal credo is "Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your words and actions". In my humble opinion, believing that everything happens as it was ordained is a cop-out; a convenient way to either give credit to or blame someone or something else (god or whoever) for life's direction. While it is nearly impossible to perfectly control every aspect of life, given that people's paths are constantly crossing, I am a Witch. By virtue, I have a significant amount of control over my destiny. A Witch NEVER (well, very rarely) places his/her destiny in the hands of another (divine or otherwise). The great part is that I get to take credit when things are going well, because the results are likely due to something awesome or at least not totally idiotic that I have done or said. The bad part is that when things don't turn out, I can't claim god's will or destiny. I have to admit when I've really screwed up, which I do more often than I care to admit sometimes. With great Power comes great responsibility. (Wasn't that a line in a movie?) My view point on this will become more evident as you read my posts, as I will often express my annoyance with those who want to practice Witchcraft, but do not want to be responsible for the results.

Just my thoughts . . .
Jevne


Ah ...Jevne...very much enjoyed this response. So, to take it a bit further...what if, instead of a god or deity being responsible or blamed for everything that happens in ones life, that "WE", before we reincarnated into this life...decided what we wanted/needed to learn, who we needed our parents to be, etc??? Meaning, we can take responsiblity for our actions and thoughts...if WE decided our destiny before birth? Do I make any sense?!
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Ah ...Jevne...very much enjoyed this response. So, to take it a bit further...what if, instead of a god or deity being responsible or blamed for everything that happens in ones life, that "WE", before we reincarnated into this life...decided what we wanted/needed to learn, who we needed our parents to be, etc??? Meaning, we can take responsiblity for our actions and thoughts...if WE decided our destiny before birth? Do I make any sense?!


This still sounds like trying to push things off in some way. If something bad happens to you push it off in a manner and in some way would most likely believe that since you picked out everything you do, therefore everything is okay and therefore you in a sense have no consequences, because you already picked everything out and of course you would make everything turn out okay for you, and even if you didn't in some manner, you would still believe that since you picked everything out there's in some senses nothing you can do about it as you're just acting out the the play you wrote about yourself. To me that doesn't sound any fun and in many ways seems against witchcraft, as witchcraft is in many ways about changing and making your destiny your own and letting no one else do it for you, as the time is here and now.

And as for the upperworld and such, I don't believe in deity but the basics follow as such in my opinion:

under= those who've died, awaiting reincarnation or choosing not to pass on or can't ascend.

middle= the here and now.

upper=spirits/souls who have ascended and no longer need a body as they can survive without the recharging of the spirit/soul that life is, or were never bond to a physical form/body to begin with.
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This still sounds like trying to push things off in some way. If something bad happens to you push it off in a manner and in some way would most likely believe that since you picked out everything you do, therefore everything is okay and therefore you in a sense have no consequences, because you already picked everything out and of course you would make everything turn out okay for you, and even if you didn't in some manner, you would still believe that since you picked everything out there's in some senses nothing you can do about it as you're just acting out the the play you wrote about yourself. To me that doesn't sound any fun and in many ways seems against witchcraft, as witchcraft is in many ways about changing and making your destiny your own and letting no one else do it for you, as the time is here and now.

And as for the upperworld and such, I don't believe in deity but the basics follow as such in my opinion:

under= those who've died, awaiting reincarnation or choosing not to pass on or can't ascend.

middle= the here and now.

upper=spirits/souls who have ascended and no longer need a body as they can survive without the recharging of the spirit/soul that life is, or were never bond to a physical form/body to begin with.


I see...totally get where you're coming form.....so, by believing that our lives are planned out for us..."before' we reincarnate...is using it as an excuse, crutch or reason of "blow it off"...instead taking the responisbility for it in the moment. If we, as Witches, dont like something that is happening, we should have the power to manipulate that energy to create or manifest that which we seek....therefore saying..."if u dont like something, change it.".....and dont blame it on karma...which I'm still on the fence about anyway.
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I see...totally get where you're coming form.....so, by believing that our lives are planned out for us..."before' we reincarnate...is using it as an excuse, crutch or reason of "blow it off"...instead taking the responisbility for it in the moment. If we, as Witches, dont like something that is happening, we should have the power to manipulate that energy to create or manifest that which we seek....therefore saying..."if u dont like something, change it.".....and dont blame it on karma...which I'm still on the fence about anyway.


Exactly. Bad things happen because bad things happen, doesn't mean you were necessarily meant to learn something or that you did anything wrong. Also good happens at times just as random as bad things however when bad does happen, you make it something good. Everyone deserves happiness until the they impede on someone else's. Then it can get interesting^_^

Karma to me is like that whole not doing anything for personal gain or that personal gain is bad, as everything is personal gain in some way or another. If something makes you happy or feel better even when done for someone else, you just did something for yourself even if not intentional.
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Exactly. Bad things happen because bad things happen, doesn't mean you were necessarily meant to learn something or that you did anything wrong. Also good happens at times just as random as bad things however when bad does happen, you make it something good. Everyone deserves happiness until the they impede on someone else's. Then it can get interesting^_^

Karma to me is like that whole not doing anything for personal gain or that personal gain is bad, as everything is personal gain in some way or another. If something makes you happy or feel better even when done for someone else, you just did something for yourself even if not intentional.



ah...interesting way to look at the concept of Karma...once again...I often hear so many pagans speak of Karmic debt..etc...but the concept of it in it's entirety doesnt resonate with me...I think of it as another easy way out or avoiding something. As far as lifes lessons...my feeling on that one is it sometimes "helps" one to get through a tough time..or a bump in the road so to speak....ie: a child of a friend crosses through the veil..the parents are despondent...there's nothing that seems to bring comfort to their tormented souls....until someone says something like..."your little boy was finished with whatever he needed to learn, whether it was 90 years or 10 years...we dont know what his lifes purposes was..but he had one..and only he knows what that is..etc, etc???? Does that actually help....or hinder the event? Using the "our lives are predestined" before we're born theory helps humans to accept "bad things"...so they can move on?
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Ah ...Jevne...very much enjoyed this response. So, to take it a bit further...what if, instead of a god or deity being responsible or blamed for everything that happens in ones life, that "WE", before we reincarnated into this life...decided what we wanted/needed to learn, who we needed our parents to be, etc??? Meaning, we can take responsiblity for our actions and thoughts...if WE decided our destiny before birth? Do I make any sense?!


In order to follow that line of thinking, I would have to believe in the exclusivity of reincarnation, which I do not. The belief in some form of reincarnation is found within many Witchcraft traditions, but does not always follow the commonly accepted understanding of the concept found in Eastern religious philosophies.

That said, my first thought was . . . "then what the hell would be the point?". That is akin to reading the last page of the book first. I'm not saying it is outside of the realm of possibility, given the right person and a specific strength of will, but it would not be my choice.

I believe that once your spirit has separated from its Earthly body, you can do whatever you believe you can do. I plan on joining my family in the Other World. The only parts of me that have "reincarnated" are those aspects that I inherited from my family, so in essence, I am a reincarnation of them. By sharing their knowledge with me, they are helping me to learn what I need to learn. When I join my family in the Spirit, I will add my experiences and knowledge to theirs, and together we will "reincarnate" into future generations

Jevne
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In order to follow that line of thinking, I would have to believe in the exclusivity of reincarnation, which I do not. The belief in some form of reincarnation is found within many Witchcraft traditions, but does not always follow the commonly accepted understanding of the concept found in Eastern religious philosophies.

That said, my first thought was . . . "then what the hell would be the point?". That is akin to reading the last page of the book first. I'm not saying it is outside of the realm of possibility, given the right person and a specific strength of will, but it would not be my choice.

I believe that once your spirit has separated from its Earthly body, you can do whatever you believe you can do. I plan on joining my family in the Other World. The only parts of me that have "reincarnated" are those aspects that I inherited from my family, so in essence, I am a reincarnation of them. By sharing their knowledge with me, they are helping me to learn what I need to learn. When I join my family in the Spirit, I will add my experiences and knowledge to theirs, and together we will "reincarnate" into future generations

Jevne


So, you believe that the ppl who make up your family...are your family in each lifetime? Never thought of that concept.....interesting though..I"m going to have to ponder this one....makes me think..I like that..;) If we can "do whatever we believe we can do", and for the record, lets say there are no three planes of existance....then besides joining ones family in the Other World...what would be some of the other choices?
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So, you believe that the ppl who make up your family...are your family in each lifetime? Never thought of that concept.....interesting though..I"m going to have to ponder this one....makes me think..I like that..;) If we can "do whatever we believe we can do", and for the record, lets say there are no three planes of existance....then besides joining ones family in the Other World...what would be some of the other choices?


The question is not what would you do, but what wouldn't or couldn't you do. The possibilities are endless. What would you do, if you could do anything? More specifically, what would your soul yearn for, if rules that apply to the physical plane were gone. Time, space, etc. are meaningless.

I know spirits who are connected to a particular location (a haunting). I recognize spirits as they pass through, on their way to who knows where. I don't know what they are doing or why. Just because a person dies doesn't mean they suddenly become all enlightened. A nice/mean/stupid person probably becomes a nice/mean/stupid spirit. So, they could be creating havoc on Earth or simply checking on loved-ones.

I just know that to think in such linear terms about the Other World is counter-intuitive. We cannot apply the rules of our world to an Other World scenario. My deceased Grandmother visits me occasionally. I know its her. I smell her perfume and sense her presence. If I called to her, she would come. I don't know what she is doing in between our visits or what other spirits are doing all the time. I have a feeling that it is something for whatever reason outside of our current comprehension.

Jevne
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Ah ...Jevne...very much enjoyed this response. So, to take it a bit further...what if, instead of a god or deity being responsible or blamed for everything that happens in ones life, that "WE", before we reincarnated into this life...decided what we wanted/needed to learn, who we needed our parents to be, etc??? Meaning, we can take responsiblity for our actions and thoughts...if WE decided our destiny before birth? Do I make any sense?!


Hey - being one of the odd ones who does believe in divinity ( :-) ) I'd like to throw a little wrench into the works: The above description of diety (being responsible or blamed for life's misfortunes) tends to be a very Juedo/Xtian/Islamic understanding of divinity. Perhaps there are some other understandings of divinity other than what some witches may consider the "false god" of the "big three's" creation mythos? And even a form of divinity that exists outside of the generally accpeted pagan idea of gods as a source that can be drawn upon for magic?

M
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Hey - being one of the odd ones who does believe in divinity ( :-) ) I'd like to throw a little wrench into the works: The above description of diety (being responsible or blamed for life's misfortunes) tends to be a very Juedo/Xtian/Islamic understanding of divinity. Perhaps there are some other understandings of divinity other than what some witches may consider the "false god" of the "big three's" creation mythos? And even a form of divinity that exists outside of the generally accpeted pagan idea of gods as a source that can be drawn upon for magic?

M


Hi, Michele:

I sometimes wonder if anyone has it "right". I'm one of those people, who likes to think about it all . . . the meaning of life and whatnot. When I think of all of the different belief systems, lifestyles, the magic, the science, etc., my head spins. I'll let my imagination run wild (only imagination, because I can not prove anything that I'm about to say) and become convinced that the answers are so far outside of our comprehension that no one is right; yet, everyone is right, at least on some level.

As a member of a family tradition, I have a strong connection to my ancestors. I can commune with my grandmother and others in my family who have since passed on, so it is entirely possible, that some ultimate, far-back-in time, Divine entity or entities exist. When I think of the Divine, I think of my most ancient ancestors, whose spirits live on in each new generation. What does it take to be a Goddess or a God, after all? Possessing knowledge, power, ability, etc. which go far beyond the capabilities of ordinary humans? Just boggles my mind . . .

Jevne
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Hi, Michele:

I sometimes wonder if anyone has it "right". I'm one of those people, who likes to think about it all . . . the meaning of life and whatnot. When I think of all of the different belief systems, lifestyles, the magic, the science, etc., my head spins. I'll let my imagination run wild (only imagination, because I can not prove anything that I'm about to say) and become convinced that the answers are so far outside of our comprehension that no one is right; yet, everyone is right, at least on some level.

As a member of a family tradition, I have a strong connection to my ancestors. I can commune with my grandmother and others in my family who have since passed on, so it is entirely possible, that some ultimate, far-back-in time, Divine entity or entities exist. When I think of the Divine, I think of my most ancient ancestors, whose spirits live on in each new generation. What does it take to be a Goddess or a God, after all? Possessing knowledge, power, ability, etc. which go far beyond the capabilities of ordinary humans? Just boggles my mind . . .

Jevne


Yes it does! lol, and I have many theories (and even more questions!) and it's one of my favourite topics of discussion (it almost seems like each discussion brings new ideas and questions and avenues to follow). I tend to believe that there is some big, giant (for lack of a better description) something that is so beyond our capacity for understanding that to concentrate on it is probably a waste of time, lol, and I dont' ascribe to it a "human" pesonality - it is quite possible that it is actually beyond personality and even beyond complexity; even beyond knowledge/acknowledgemnt of something as "little" and complex as the human realm. I think that what it takes to become a god is one person to bow down and worship you - there are dictators and emporers (both of a good and bad nature) who have considered themselves, and been considered, gods. I am often loath to actually use the term god becuase for so many it automatically brings up the assumption of an Xtion-defined divinity or of a pagan defined divinity. BUt I think that spark of divinity resides in us all, and that when it "fragmented" the sparks landed everywhere, including in all the spirits of nature, hence the connection to and between us and them and It. I also think that if that spark is accessed and/or awoken, one can access great amounts of "memory" that are slepping within. As for the "lesser" gods of this realm and the world's mythos, I believe that humans recognized certain traits, and "made" statutes and mythos and depecitions to try and get the point across and in so doing, the created became the creators. I think that, regarding the gods, that this recognized trait was then concentrated into these explanations and the energy contained there and ensouled became that god, and as such, it is a god in its own right. The energy and the trait of that energy already existed, but the humans concentrated it through their devotion. That's why "older gods" go to sleep, so to speak, when the concentration of the human/s is removed, the energy loses its focus. These are not the same of the "Elder Gods" that are from before a time of man, thoguh. But whenever one works closely with this energy/god, one can then assimilate that energy and awaken up that specific energy in themselves. Not simply to gain "help" for a spell, but actually to awaken that same power/energy/trait in themselves - sort of like becoming one with one's specific god.

M
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Yes it does! lol, and I have many theories (and even more questions!) and it's one of my favourite topics of discussion (it almost seems like each discussion brings new ideas and questions and avenues to follow). I tend to believe that there is some big, giant (for lack of a better description) something that is so beyond our capacity for understanding that to concentrate on it is probably a waste of time, lol, and I dont' ascribe to it a "human" pesonality - it is quite possible that it is actually beyond personality and even beyond complexity; even beyond knowledge/acknowledgemnt of something as "little" and complex as the human realm. I think that what it takes to become a god is one person to bow down and worship you - there are dictators and emporers (both of a good and bad nature) who have considered themselves, and been considered, gods. I am often loath to actually use the term god becuase for so many it automatically brings up the assumption of an Xtion-defined divinity or of a pagan defined divinity. BUt I think that spark of divinity resides in us all, and that when it "fragmented" the sparks landed everywhere, including in all the spirits of nature, hence the connection to and between us and them and It. I also think that if that spark is accessed and/or awoken, one can access great amounts of "memory" that are slepping within. As for the "lesser" gods of this realm and the world's mythos, I believe that humans recognized certain traits, and "made" statutes and mythos and depecitions to try and get the point across and in so doing, the created became the creators. I think that, regarding the gods, that this recognized trait was then concentrated into these explanations and the energy contained there and ensouled became that god, and as such, it is a god in its own right. The energy and the trait of that energy already existed, but the humans concentrated it through their devotion. That's why "older gods" go to sleep, so to speak, when the concentration of the human/s is removed, the energy loses its focus. These are not the same of the "Elder Gods" that are from before a time of man, thoguh. But whenever one works closely with this energy/god, one can then assimilate that energy and awaken up that specific energy in themselves. Not simply to gain "help" for a spell, but actually to awaken that same power/energy/trait in themselves - sort of like becoming one with one's specific god.

M


Extremely well said (as always). Would the christian god cease to exist if the christians didn't believe in him? Would Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, etc. cease to exist if the mythology (the stories) surrounding them were lost? I also believe that to be human is Divine, because we are the ones carrying the "spark" forward, who have the capacity to remember and use knowledge. The Power (which as you said cannot be assigned human characteristics) resides inside each of us (a little deeper inside some than others).

I do reference Gods and Goddesses of mythology in some of my spells to capture the essence of the traits that their energy represents. I am just as likely to reference the characteristics of my living and dead relatives and friends, especially if they possess(ed) knowledge or understanding beyond mine. I may even ask these individuals to join me (either in person or in spirit) to give even more Power to the working. My mother will say that this is no different than saying a prayer to god for help with something. I disagree, and have a silly story to illustrate my point.

I am a computer-capable person. I have even taught basic and intermediate computer classes, but my work computer occasionally goes all wonky, usually right before a major assignment is due, of course. I try to fix it myself, but that's usually a waste of time. There is nothing like having an inanimate object taunting you. So, I call the technician, a really nice lady named Cathy. She walks in the room, looks at the computer, and it suddenly starts working. I'm like "What the hell?". I have been working on the problem for hours, and she just looks at it, and Whammo! it's fixed.

Did Cathy help? Technically, yes, but not because I worshipped at the feet of the computer god or attended the church of Microsoft, but because Cathy has a connection to and knowledge of technology that I do not possess. She not only understands, but is intimately, deeply and completely merged with the technology. Her education, her background, her personality; all come together in one human being who has found her purpose. That is Divinity.

Jevne
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That's like my car - It will act up, but be good when I get it to the mechanic (until the warranty is up, lol)! But yes, I do think the god/energy is very hard to understand especially as so much of it is peppered with cultural misconceptions and many childhood dogmatic "bad experiences." I don't know if a god would stop existing if a culture or people stopped recognizing it, but I do think that the concentrated energy that was accustomed to being communicated with in a god-like fashion would "fall asleep" to the ability to communicate with mankind if the separation lasted too long, a bit like one would forget Spanish if one knew it in childhhod but then didn't speak it for 50 years. I once read the example that an energy concentrated by a populace (sp?) into a god form and them worshiped builds up power and that the people could then draw upon that power in need, again diminishing it, but then again building it up with worship - almost like putting money in a savings account until you need it. I don't think that makes a god any less a god to the person working with that particular diety, but I also think that is most likely how gods (the "lesser gods" so to speak) were originally created. But by the same token, just because they were created that doesn't make them any less real. The energy which was divine to begin with was real, it just wasn't concentrated or named or perhaps even ensouled. And again, I do believe there are older, Elder Gods, who existed before man created them, but man has been asleep to them for a long time and I don't think they move much in the mundane world. BUt man is unable in his current evolution to understand the creative forces, and as such the "created gods" (still gods in their own rights) surfice to bring man to a greater understanding of the virtues of the creative energy.

M
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sarasuperid
Sep 16 2010 08:17 PM

Hey - being one of the odd ones who does believe in divinity ( :-) ) I'd like to throw a little wrench into the works: The above description of diety (being responsible or blamed for life's misfortunes) tends to be a very Juedo/Xtian/Islamic understanding of divinity. Perhaps there are some other understandings of divinity other than what some witches may consider the "false god" of the "big three's" creation mythos? And even a form of divinity that exists outside of the generally accpeted pagan idea of gods as a source that can be drawn upon for magic?

M


Love this comment Michelle!
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herbal_legends
Sep 23 2010 09:21 PM
I guess I'm the only one that believes in quantum theory. lol
I believe that we attract into our lives whatever we put out....as in our wave length.
It's all about perspective. Happy people live in Happy worlds....Sad people live in Sad worlds...it's the same world.
I believe my emotions, thought process and view on certain things ultimately decide the outcome of my life.
There is nothing separate from us...WE are the divine in physical form. We are, in a sense, the Universe becoming conscious of itself. So in my world, worshiping deities becomes obsolete. I AM the creator of my world.

:ani_witch_moon:
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I guess I'm the only one that believes in quantum theory. lol
I believe that we attract into our lives whatever we put out....as in our wave length.
It's all about perspective. Happy people live in Happy worlds....Sad people live in Sad worlds...it's the same world.
I believe my emotions, thought process and view on certain things ultimately decide the outcome of my life.
There is nothing separate from us...WE are the divine in physical form. We are, in a sense, the Universe becoming conscious of itself. So in my world, worshiping deities becomes obsolete. I AM the creator of my world.

:ani_witch_moon:


You're not the only one but it is about your perspective more than anything else. You can be a horrible person to other people, but if it makes you happy, then you're life is going to be a happy one. Kinda like that, that's actually why I don't believe in the concept of karma. It's your idea of what's good and what's not. The universe has no concept, it just is. And these thought processes of decided how our world works around us and whether or not to make it a happy or sad one has a lot to do with witchcraft in general as your emotions and thoughts are the core of it all.
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You're not the only one but it is about your perspective more than anything else. You can be a horrible person to other people, but if it makes you happy, then you're life is going to be a happy one. Kinda like that, that's actually why I don't believe in the concept of karma. It's your idea of what's good and what's not. The universe has no concept, it just is. And these thought processes of decided how our world works around us and whether or not to make it a happy or sad one has a lot to do with witchcraft in general as your emotions and thoughts are the core of it all.



Simply stated....well defined....love it.
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I love the image of divinity being a spark in everything. Also, that deities are composed of concentrations of collective energy. This feels true at a comprehensive level.

I remember my son, when he was seven, asking a friend about a guru (ammachi)
"if there is god in everyone, why is there more god in her?" the friend replied,
"I don't know, but there is."

I wonder if it is the amount of focus the spark within receives that allows it to grow, or some other sort of awareness.
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I guess I'm the only one that believes in quantum theory. lol
I believe that we attract into our lives whatever we put out....as in our wave length.
It's all about perspective. Happy people live in Happy worlds....Sad people live in Sad worlds...it's the same world.
I believe my emotions, thought process and view on certain things ultimately decide the outcome of my life.
There is nothing separate from us...WE are the divine in physical form. We are, in a sense, the Universe becoming conscious of itself. So in my world, worshiping deities becomes obsolete. I AM the creator of my world.

:ani_witch_moon:


I understand what you are saying here and, to an extent, it makes sense. My question, however, is how would this concept apply to those that have chemical imbalances like depression that preclude them from being a "happy" person a good deal of the time, even though they have very little control over the situation?
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For me, personally, the only Divine is nature and the cosmos itself. It was here before mankind and will be after. It has ample power to give life and to take it away. It is also the place where I feel, by far, the most at peace and "connected"-out among the trees, dirt, wind and plants. I cannot get comfortable with putting any deities' name on it. Just my personal way of looking at it.
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Loved reading this thread.

What do I believe? Well I believe in the unseen, the energies which flow throughout out the universe. Not so outlandinsh even the astro physicist believes that the universe consists of 75% Dark Matter, which cant be seen, cant be detected, cant be proven.....more a leap of faith than any of mine.
I have a Diety, not one I blame for everything, just a really powerfull Entity.
An I always know when something is 100% right and when it's 100% wrong-although if it suits I may persuede myself otherwise. Then theres the stuff I havent a clue about an I should have by all accounts, a 50% chance of being right about.
I feel the energies given off by people and things in the natural world and sometimes use these to steer a path.
I know I've seen an done loadsa stuff that cant be explained scientifically. I also realise that in the scheme of things I know very little, but I am very willing to learn.

Happiness to all.
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Well, I have to retract my previous statement regarding deity, as I have been, recently, smacked upside the head to get my attention from one. So much to learn! :embarased:

Elizabeth
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Well, I have to retract my previous statement regarding deity, as I have been, recently, smacked upside the head to get my attention from one. So much to learn! :embarased:

Elizabeth


Not to rain on your parade, but are you sure it is a Deity that is doing the smacking. The world is full of tricksters and others who aren't what they seem to be or what you think they are. Once you have identified something or someone, you tend to attribute characteristics to it based on your preconceived notions. If that entity is not what you supposed it to be, you could get into a pickle.

Jevne
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