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Hedge Witchcraft?

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#41 Jevne

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:35 PM

I've been reading a lot of Lawless's site and came across this description of how a person becomes a witch:

 

 

" 1) Appearance or interference of gods and/or spirits

2) Dedication to one’s gods or spirits

3) Insistence of spirits or gods to initiate and make an oath

4) Illness or bad luck upon refusal or delay

5) Making an oath or promise of service

6) Acquiring or receiving one’s familiar spirits

7) Acquiring supernatural abilities and/or mystical knowledge

8) Continued visionary and mystical experiences

9) Growth and strength of abilities and experiences the more one practices and keeps their promises

 

So in conclusion – no visionary experiences equals no witch. "

 

 

Just wondering what people here feel about this description of the process... and do you think this process is specific to being a hedge witch, or a witch in general?

 

I have heard of Lawless, checked out her web site and blog, but they really do not interest me, personally.

 

I am a Witch by blood, and I am not going to get into a debate here about whether or not becoming a Witch is possible by other means . . . (There are many of threads on that subject). 

 

But, as for the list . . . any one of those things could happen to anyone, regardless of who or what they are.  For example, xtians dedicate themselves to a god, make a promise of service, and even (some) have visionary experiences, but that sure as fuck doesn't make them Witches.  And, what is up with # 4?  Generally, Witches do not believe in "bad luck" (per se), at least, not as a defining element of their Craft; although, I have heard that some Shamans report that illness or near death experiences triggered their abilities. 

 

When you say "process" are you (or the author?) implying that someone has to move step-by-step through all nine to become a Witch?  I think the list is just a compilation of the commonly reported experiences of people, who claim to be Witches.  It has no significance beyond that.
 


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#42 Michele

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:39 PM

Man, computer just ate my post... I ain't typing that again, lol.


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#43 Jevne

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:45 PM

Man, computer just ate my post... I ain't typing that again, lol.

 

I am sure it was amazing and inspirational (and probably long ;) ), painting a beautiful picture with words . . . we would have laughed; we would have cried.  I for one am truly sorry I missed it. 

 

:D
 


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#44 Michele

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:47 PM

Short version - the above describes how Ms. Lawless came to consider herself a witch. It also implies some sort of choosing by the gods/spirits. It does not in my path define hedgewitchery nor does it accurately define my path/beliefs. I'm not that special, lol. No one/thing "chose" me. I looked and I found. MAJOR difference. Perserverence, persistence, consistent, strength of character, never giving up even when things get tough, putting the craft first. It was my perserverence that led me to find what I found. I am no more or less special to my gods/spirits than Joe Blow down the street, lol. And there will be no magical "xyz" that suddenly makes me a witch. There will only be hard work and a deep relationship. I am not that special, and my path wouldn't recognize me being that special. I can't oath to my divinity and suddenly have "familiars" bestowed upon me. I have to go out and find them, earn the relationship, give and take and continually maintain that. 

 

M

 

Edit - In Ms.Lawless's defense, I haven't read her article, so perhaps my interpretation of her words is incorrect, but from what was cut and pasted, it sounds a bit elite... and that is not  my understanding of the craft. Mine is a "country" craft. Not being special or chosen. 


Edited by Michele, 08 January 2014 - 12:51 PM.

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#45 Michele

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 12:47 PM

I am sure it was amazing and inspirational (and probably long :wink: ), painting a beautiful picture with words . . . we would have laughed; we would have cried.  I for one am truly sorry I missed it. 

 

:biggrin:
 

 

LMAO.... (I wax poetical over morning coffee hehehe)

 

xoxox M


Edited by Michele, 08 January 2014 - 12:48 PM.

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#46 Aloe

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 06:55 PM

 

Just wondering what people here feel about this description of the process... and do you think this process is specific to being a hedge witch, or a witch in general?

 

 

I think some of the things listed can be a triggering point for some people, but like J said they also happen to a lot of other people who are not and never will be witches.  


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"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#47 Stacey

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:51 AM

 

Edit - In Ms.Lawless's defense, I haven't read her article, so perhaps my interpretation of her words is incorrect, but from what was cut and pasted, it sounds a bit elite... and that is not  my understanding of the craft. Mine is a "country" craft. Not being special or chosen. 

 

She does like to think she's special :wink: , but on that list - as J said, it can happen to anyone, doesn't necessarily mean they are a witch. Looking at it, it seems rather God/Spirit specific, like you have to have experienced any of that to be a witch. It wasn't like that for personally, it was more of an awareness than any one sign or indication. But each is entitled to their own experience or judgement. I just hope no one read that and thought 'well I can't be a witch because none of that happened to me'.


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"The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing." Severus Snape - HP and the Order of the Phoenix

#48 Wexler

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:17 AM

I've been reading a lot of Lawless's site and came across this description of how a person becomes a witch:

 

 

" 1) Appearance or interference of gods and/or spirits

2) Dedication to one’s gods or spirits

3) Insistence of spirits or gods to initiate and make an oath

4) Illness or bad luck upon refusal or delay

5) Making an oath or promise of service

6) Acquiring or receiving one’s familiar spirits

7) Acquiring supernatural abilities and/or mystical knowledge

8) Continued visionary and mystical experiences

9) Growth and strength of abilities and experiences the more one practices and keeps their promises

 

So in conclusion – no visionary experiences equals no witch. "

 

 

Just wondering what people here feel about this description of the process... and do you think this process is specific to being a hedge witch, or a witch in general?

This whole list makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

A god form or spirit shows up on your doorstep and insist that you make an oath of service to them. If you refuse, they will punish you. You will never be able to access any magic or powers until you vow to serve and obey them. Once you have sworn fealty, you'll only be able to develop your abilities if you continue to serve the higher power.

 

Maybe I'm just reading this whole thing wrong, but that doesn't sound like the craft I'm familiar with. Everyone has a different path, but to me the most important aspects of the craft are self-dedication and self-discovery. This "you are nothing until a higher power blesses you with knowledge" business rubs me the wrong way.

 

Maybe to be a "real"  witch you have to be specially chosen and bound by spirits, who knows. But if that is what it takes, then I am happy to keep going my own way and leave the real business to others.


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#49 Davenport

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:46 AM

That list makes me more irritated than uncomfortable. 


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#50 MarlaDurden

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:30 AM

That list makes me more irritated than uncomfortable.


Glad to know I'm not the only one, lol. She comes across as quite elitist and with a strong sense of self-importance. I especially struggled with the idea of having to swear an oath to gods or spirits or being punished if you resisted... Who wants to work with entities that treat you like that?

And then once you give in, you get "given" familiars and powers. Hmm, ok... :/

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#51 Wexler

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:35 AM

Glad to know I'm not the only one, lol. She comes across as quite elitist and with a strong sense of self-importance. I especially struggled with the idea of having to swear an oath to gods or spirits or being punished if you resisted... Who wants to work with entities that treat you like that?

And then once you give in, you get "given" familiars and powers. Hmm, ok... :/

I have to admit, being given a familiar sounds a heck of a lot easier than finding one on your own. I guess that's the price we have to pay, though :D


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'Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.'

'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.'

 

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#52 MarlaDurden

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:40 AM

I have to admit, being given a familiar sounds a heck of a lot easier
than finding one on your own. I guess that's the price we have to pay, though :D


We can't all be as special and chosen as her, I guess... :P

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#53 Aloe

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:11 PM

I don't think there's anything wrong with feeling special or chosen, I look at some of the things that have happened to me over the years and they seem so extraordinary that it makes me feel as if something was making sure I knew and embraced what I really am.  I am proud of those experiences because they are mine and mean a lot to me and if I blogged about them I'd probably come across as elitist as fuck lol.  That doesn't mean though that I'm more of a witch than those who have power and didn't have those types of events happen to them.  The issue I have with the list is projecting your own experiences as requirements when the fact is everyone is different, but not having read her entire post that issue may be groundless.  There's also the possibility that those who have the inborn talent and didn't have these types of experiences just had the good sense to follow the path without their guides/ancestors/spaghetti monster/etc. having to kick their ass back on it again through supernatural experiences.


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"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#54 RoseRed

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:13 PM

Without reading the entire post I have no idea what context it was written it.  And, quite frankly, I couldn't be bothered to go looking for it.


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#55 CelticGypsy

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:03 PM

For me simply is paying a price. We all do when we come to know our Path and what it requires from us.  I don't meet the requirement of this " list ".  It does nothing to enhance my Path.

 

IE :  I pay a price of time allotted when I am prompted to do a working or cast during a what may seem to me as a normal mundane day.  Like the other day, I was compelled to banish something from my home. I didn't wake up knowing that I was going to do an impromptu casting.  I just sacrificed 20 minutes out of my day to do so.  I've come to know that One can't put the Craft into a neat little package, what works for one Peer may not work for me. My mind is not that tidy. lol !

 

 

 

Regards,

Gypsy


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#56 Whiterose

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:27 PM

I don't much care for others opinions of what a witch is or needs to be. All I know is that my will makes shit happen whether or not I put in the mundane actions.  Plain and simple.  What makes me a witch is my ability to do magic by will alone.  All the rest is just to give it more umph or direction, focus, or accuracy. If that sounds elitist, oh well. If you can't make shit you want happen, you aren't a witch. 

 

As for the spirit thing, making spirits do your bidding to get what you want is sorcery, not witchcraft. Meaning the person has no or limited power of their own and they force spirits to do their bidding by trapping them.  Sorcerers are people that conjure spirits and no innate ability is needed, only the knowledge of how to conjure, control, and banish such beings.  Think the Key of Solomon and Ceremonial Magic. This is why a regular teenager can attract a spirit on a ouija board; no one has to have an innate ability if they have the right knowledge and tools to use.  Now a witch can do sorcery, but they are still a witch.  A sorcerer is not a witch unless they have ability to change things by other means than spirits. 

 

Then, you can throw god forms in to the mix.  History and mythology are full of regular people that have been gifted abilities by the gods for beings a good supplicant or favored by them.  Its also full of those born with abilities that threaten the gods by their very existence and regular people that are constantly fucked over by the gods whether they deserve it or not. Case in point, Greek and Roman pantheons. My view, no thank you. I don't quite care for russian roulette. 

 

Of course this is my understanding, no one needs to subscribe to it. 


Edited by Whiterose, 09 January 2014 - 05:29 PM.

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#57 Jevne

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

I don't much care for others opinions of what a witch is or needs to be. All I know is that my will makes shit happen whether or not I put in the mundane actions.  Plain and simple.  What makes me a witch is my ability to do magic by will alone.  All the rest is just to give it more umph or direction, focus, or accuracy. If that sounds elitist, oh well. If you can't make shit you want happen, you aren't a witch. 

 

 

I agree.  In my opinion, if a person requires a check list, based on someone else's definition, to determine if they are a Witch, they probably aren't.  It truly is as simple as that.


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#58 Aloe

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:29 PM

Voted you both up, WR and J. 


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"The people who live in the Ozark country of Missouri and Arkansas were, until very recently, the most deliberately unprogressive people in the United States. Descended from pioneers who came West from the Southern Appalachians at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they made little contact with the outer world for more than a hundred years. They seem like foreigners to the average urban American, but nearly all of them come of British stock, and many families have lived in America since colonial days. Their material heirlooms are few, but like all isolated illiterates they have clung to the old songs and obsolete sayings and outworn customs of their ancestors." Ozark Magic and Folklore

#59 LdyShalott

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:22 PM

Voted you both up, WR and J. 

 

x 2


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#60 SororMIMM

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:51 AM

This is not a path I follow as I am one that is very sensitive to plant substances. Also, I had a bad experience one time when my ex had liquid acid on his lips and I kissed him goodnight. I saw everything that was unseen in the room as I was trying to sleep. I don't want to see those things again *full body shudder. I don't mess with psychotropic substances. I don't think that in order to be a "witch" that you have to use flying ointments and such. Its a personal choice and one that doesn't work for everyone. Its not more authentic or anything, its just another type of path. I'm of the opinion that there are several ways to reach the other side or see across to the other side.


Kudos to you, Whiterose, for identifying that entheogens and psychoactive substances are just not your thing! That's awesome. I've run into one too many "witches" who claim to work closely with these herbs and are completely clueless to the point of seriously injuring themselves and their psyche. It really takes a confident witch to know what works for them and what doesn't. It is easy to be pulled into the world of the witching herbs and get a bit lost - they are indeed intoxicating without even ingesting them! And it's great that you're able to reach altered states of consciousness without needing an herb to get you there. Anyway, just thought you made a great point!

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