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Can a man ever be truly a witch?


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#41 Caps

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 11:27 PM

The only men that I've personally known that classify themselves as a witch have a transgender type of issue. I'm not making a judgement call - this is just what I've seen. I'm sure there are others that identify as a witch that don't. I just haven't met any.


I'm certainly not transgender and I consider myself a witch. I do have an atypical sexuality but I certainly identify as the gender I was born as. The main reason I use the term "witch" to describe myself is because I use witchery/witchcraft/sorcery/magic and if this were the 17th century you can most certainly bet that if discovered I would have been tried for witchcraft. Who/what practices witchcraft? Plenty of men were persecuted and executed for it in history.

I really don't understand the gender issue here. Is this supposed to be some sort of personal "paradigm" for people? The use of the word "witch" is only subject to be used to describe females? In reality I think overall this is kind of a silly discussion, albeit an interesting one. Are people here actually bothered by the fact that there are men who refer to themselves as witches? It's only a word, and in our (mostly) Germanic language there isn't any particular gendering of nouns like in the Romantic languages.

Nor do I understand why the context of Lilith is being used as a focal point. There are plenty of members here on this very forum that don't even use those (sets) of mythology as a reference.


@Pikkusisko I have an interesting pdf file somewhere that talks about the way that Seiðr was possibly equated with a type of sexual magic that was mostly attributed to females because of phallic wands they would use. I will have to dig in my old computer but if I can find it I'll send it over to you. What is actually interesting about this though is that homosexuality itself wasn't necessarily looked down upon by the old Norse and there are stories about men fighting for the right to sleep with great warriors, or perhaps it was a certain god in the pantheon, I don't specifically remember.

"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#42 Pikkusisko

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:26 AM

@Pikkusisko I have an interesting pdf file somewhere that talks about the way that Seiðr was possibly equated with a type of sexual magic that was mostly attributed to females because of phallic wands they would use. I will have to dig in my old computer but if I can find it I'll send it over to you. What is actually interesting about this though is that homosexuality itself wasn't necessarily looked down upon by the old Norse and there are stories about men fighting for the right to sleep with great warriors, or perhaps it was a certain god in the pantheon, I don't specifically remember.


If you ever find it I'd love to take a look. The simplified explanation of Seiðr given to me was 'hexing, cursing, with an elemental twist'. I can understand why it has been associated with women, as in many cultures men are raised to be more action filled when it comes to expressing their resents, whereas women are opposingly raised to use more secretive methods. I'm no expert with Norse history/mythology but I do believe they were quite casual with homosexuality and viewed it as a natural thing.

Edited by Pikkusisko, 21 February 2015 - 12:27 AM.

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#43 Caps

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 02:23 AM

Wanted to separate the past life influence.

I think if one believes in past life and if they believe that it can influences the present life then the potential is probably there to do so. Yet that seems to fall into the same notion of otherkin and therionthropy in that belief in it is the critical factor. But it also ties into the notion of false past life memories, planted and suggested influences and such vice actual encoded genetic memory or dna passed type memory. Perhaps even to the notion of borrowed memory where we are close enough to a person to pick up on memory events and see it in the 1st, 2nd or even third person aspects.

====
I think more than anything I am simply suggesting that perhaps some men have been female in a past life, or a eunoch, or a chimera, or any number of things.

The same point could be made about belief/reverence/following of deities and other entities. I think it's important for myself to have a sense of an open mind about this. Some people here follow deities, while I do not and am overly skeptical about any entity claiming to be any kind of deity. In your own words: Belief in it is the critical factor. This pertains to any number of names of pagan Gods that people even on this forum might have reverence for or claim to work with. I cannot judge, as I do not know. People with magical gifts operate in an infinite number of ways across the veil, I cannot say that others have no connection to deified entities whatsoever just because I don't specifically believe in them, it doesn't work that way.

Edited by Caps, 21 February 2015 - 02:29 AM.

"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#44 Solanaceae

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 02:28 AM

To keep this thread on topic, the question was "Can a man ever be truly a witch?" The short answer is yes, if that is the word he wants to use to lable himself and his practice. Whether he can truly understand the female mysteries is a different matter. In that case, I agree with MonSno, he can not because he is not a woman, at least not biologically, hormonally or emotionally.

A bit off topic now, I apologize. For those those of you who may not have picked up on it earlier, for the record I fucking love science and have no issues with it coexisting with magick in the universe.
ClockworkGhost's reply was so polite and well stated I must hereby cease all my attempts to be sarcastic and say good show. :handshake:

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Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence") William Blake


#45 Caps

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 02:37 AM

To keep this thread on topic, the question was "Can a man ever be truly a witch?" The short answer is yes, if that is the word he wants to use to lable himself and his practice. Whether he can truly understand the female mysteries is a different matter. In that case, I agree with MonSno, he can not because he is not a woman, at least not biologically, hormonally or emotionally.

=====
I would have to agree when put like that but what was mentioned I think by Ravenshaw is just as imperative. Can women truly understand the male mysteries? Biologically, hormonally, or emotionally? No, especially since biology and body chemistry are physical factors of existence. Not without it being done artificially through hormones therapy etc..
That's why I brought up past lives.

I don't think this has much to do with whether or not "men can truly be witches." The question of the OP.

I agree with Mountain Witch that it's a matter of semantics.

To me, a Warlock is a guitar :wink:

Edited by Caps, 21 February 2015 - 02:37 AM.

"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#46 Solanaceae

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 02:51 AM

=====
I would have to agree when put like that but what was mentioned I think by Ravenshaw is just as imperative. Can women truly understand the male mysteries? Biologically, hormonally, or emotionally? No, especially since biology and body chemistry are physical factors of existence. Not without it being done artificially through hormones therapy etc..
That's why I brought up past lives.


Yes, it works both ways I do agree.

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Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence") William Blake


#47 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 02:53 AM

====
I think more than anything I am simply suggesting that perhaps some men have been female in a past life, or a eunoch, or a chimera, or any number of things.

The same point could be made about belief/reverence/following of deities and other entities. I think it's important for myself to have a sense of an open mind about this. Some people here follow deities, while I do not and am overly skeptical about any entity claiming to be any kind of deity. In your own words: Belief in it is the critical factor. This pertains to any number of names of pagan Gods that people even on this forum might have reverence for or claim to work with. I cannot judge, as I do not know. People with magical gifts operate in an infinite number of ways across the veil, I cannot say that others have no connection to deified entities whatsoever just because I don't specifically believe in them, it doesn't work that way.



I am jaded in the ability to fully embrace a lot of the past life stuff as I recall all the planted memories and false memories of the 80's. Those cases that are suggestive of true past life recall and reincarnation are few and far between even though paganism of today has embraced this idea of "Past Life" recall and readings. Did my stint as a cold reader and suggestor and far to often it's simply far to easy to create the belief that someone was something in a past life. Not only create it but instill the idea within them so they fully embrace and accept the possibility of it.

Shared memories are something different though I've honestly never encountered a person who shared both memory and physical emotion of the memory. I recall memories from my mother and grandmother yet it doesn't make me know life as a woman or female regardless of the fact the memory allowed me to look over their shoulder to a degree.

I do agree we have to be relatively open towards how other's feel and understand things, especially in the arena of spirituality and divinity. Yet I think equally questioning of the same things and their acceptance of them as factual or explainable. That's one issue I tend to have with current pagan practices, the assumption we have to accept blindly because someone ties it to a belief. If I believe I should be able to defend and discuss yet I don't expect another to accept or believe simply because I do.

But to use the past life scenario just seems suspect. Saying one understands the opposite or is changed because they might happen to recall spurious events and situations and say that changed them seems false to me. People in general have a hard enough time recalling emotions, sensations and such from what happened last week much less from a past life they can't prove but claim they have.

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#48 westofthemoon

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 03:09 AM

"Can a man be a witch?"

A Witch will find a way. So, yes, a man can be a witch. It is not a gender specific appellation. I also didn't read the entire thread here. So anyway, I feel my answer is sufficient.

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#49 RoseRed

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 04:36 PM

I'm certainly not transgender and I consider myself a witch.
- I meant no offense. I merely reported what I have personally seen. You really are the first male that's ever said that to me. And now my experience has grown. Thank you. I'm always open to new possibilities. I don't know it all. I'm always learning and growing.

I think what it is really falls to semantics. I think it's in which definition each practitioner uses to define the word witch. There are many different types and labels of witches based on what they excell at.

I do have an atypical sexuality but I certainly identify as the gender I was born as. The main reason I use the term "witch" to describe myself is because I use witchery/witchcraft/sorcery/magic and if this were the 17th century you can most certainly bet that if discovered I would have been tried for witchcraft. Who/what practices witchcraft? Plenty of men were persecuted and executed for it in history.
- Excellent point.
I really don't understand the gender issue here. Is this supposed to be some sort of personal "paradigm" for people?
- No, as I explained above - it's what's most commonly seen in the Occult Community.

The use of the word "witch" is only subject to be used to describe females? In reality I think overall this is kind of a silly discussion, albeit an interesting one. Are people here actually bothered by the fact that there are men who refer to themselves as witches?
- I'm not. I don't know about any others. I was taught by my Grandmother that women were witches and men were something else. She didn't call them Warlocks (because it's insulting - for real). I never did get a translation on the Russian word she used and I can't remember what it was. I don't know the English version of the word. For me, it's a cultural thing that has little to do with any


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#50 RoseRed

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 04:37 PM

Well damn! I lost more than half my post. I don't have the patience to rewrite it. I hate when that happens.
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#51 Belwenda

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 05:05 PM

IDN," a rose by any other name"..., plus how to reconcile being a man in one lifetime, a woman in another? ( loved that Tilda Swinton movie). Perhaps one is only reminded of "being of the blood" when they are a woman. Gender seems fleeting to me.

Edited by Belwenda, 21 February 2015 - 05:06 PM.

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#52 RoseRed

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 05:30 PM

Now there's a hell of a thought!
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#53 Aria

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 10:46 AM

The only men that I've personally known that classify themselves as a witch have a transgender type of issue. I'm not making a judgement call - this is just what I've seen. I'm sure there are others that identify as a witch that don't. I just haven't met any.


That's a bit of a statement :D !
I am an Italian witch, in Italy a witch is a 'strega'. Unlike English, words have a gender in Italian. So the masculine of 'strega' is 'stregone'. Nowadays, practitioners of Italian witchcraft (stregoneria) tend to go with strega, which does not have a feminine undertone (like in English), its gender is female. Straight people with penuses use it as well as women. In the old days, there would be different local words in different regions of the country, sometimes different for femal and male witches. However, often the term was feminine and remained feminine when used to refer to male practitioners (for example, where I come from a witch is often a janara. Janara can be male, and the fact of being one does not affect's one's virility or masculinity).

Said that, one of the people who influenced the most my path was a transgender woman (although she was biologically male when I met her). I identify as a gay man, although I'd say my sexuality is larger than that. I've met plenty of people who are men and straight and go by the term witch, both in Italy and abroad. It is also true that some practices have always had strong female associations, and that in ancient cultures (in ancient Rome and Greace, for example) men who practiced some forms of magic where considered feminine. But at the same time, having homosexual sex was not considered un-manly in both these ancient cultures. In short, what a men is and what a woman is has changed and changes across history and society, and has not always been about penuses and vaginas only.

I have also met straight male witches who are really picky about it, and want to be called by male terms. These people often tend to have also a very polarized view of sexuality and magic, which I think stands on some solid basis but which I don't share. I think that 'witch' becomes problematic for males insofar as it challenges their idea of what a man should or should not be. Of what is a manly activity and what is a womanly one, magically or otherwise. Personally, I don't care what people call themselves, I care about what they do and how they do it.

Aria

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La strega è un frutto di terra. (M.)

#54 RoseRed

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:57 PM

I was just reporting what I've personally seen and encountered over the years. And now I know a male that falls outside of the 'category' (for lack of a better word due to lack of enough coffee).

It's time to re-evaluate certain things.

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#55 Autumn Moon

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 10:14 PM

I was just reporting what I've personally seen and encountered over the years. And now I know a male that falls outside of the 'category' (for lack of a better word due to lack of enough coffee).

It's time to re-evaluate certain things.

______
Make that two now.

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#56 RoseRed

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 03:00 PM

okey dokey, artichoke!

I have no reason to ever say the above again. Thank you both for showing me something that I didn't know was really real.

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#57 RoseRed

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 03:01 PM

I wanted to add a thought and see what others think of it.

Am I alone in thinking that only woman can be a certain type of witch?

Just as only men could be the Horsewhisperers after the Toad Rite?

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 04:30 PM

I wanted to add a thought and see what others think of it.

Am I alone in thinking that only woman can be a certain type of witch?

Just as only men could be the Horsewhisperers after the Toad Rite?



I'd have to agree with that perspective. In many ways I think a by product of our ability to empathize and sympathize and how it strengthens or weakens our own energies and magics. Though I truly think blood magics is always a woman's calling and can never be embraced by a man no matter how hard we try or think we understand it.

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#59 Autumn Moon

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 05:50 PM

I wanted to add a thought and see what others think of it.

Am I alone in thinking that only woman can be a certain type of witch?

Just as only men could be the Horsewhisperers after the Toad Rite?

____
No, at least in ime. Rules get made up that are quite sexist, and then get promoted on and on. Everyone, male or female, has certain abilities or not (aside from general muscular strength issues). I've seen women who are great at horsewhispering,why preclude them because of some made up rule. Same goes with precluding men from various things, just because they are men (male).

Edited by Autumn Moon, 23 February 2015 - 05:51 PM.

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 06:29 PM

____
No, at least in ime. Rules get made up that are quite sexist, and then get promoted on and on. Everyone, male or female, has certain abilities or not (aside from general muscular strength issues). I've seen women who are great at horsewhispering,why preclude them because of some made up rule. Same goes with precluding men from various things, just because they are men (male).



The problem with that is I see a lot of transgendered people use that same argument in order to lower standards or requirements. I recall when there was such a hoop la over transwomen being told they couldn't come to some of the Dianic type things. They used the same argument your trying to present here. Yet got pissed when any of the women said tell me what your body feels like pregnant or during a heavy menstrual cycle. They couldn't but the fact they weren't biological women didn't matter all that was heaped upon was how they were being discriminated against because that group wouldn't change its status for them.

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