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AngelValentin

European vs American Witchcraft Practices

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Welcome back Zen! I always enjoyed your posts, as well as those, of Blacksmith's. 

Well thank you kindly.

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I really want to BUMP this thread, because I honestly do not believe that their are ANY differences.  The Craft came from all people in all places. 

 

From my understanding, for example, Hoodoo, came from people who were enslaved, and incorporated the European church into their beliefs.  Also, from my understanding, the European Pagans, had Xian beliefs incorporated into their religion, to make it more palatable to the 'changeover'.

 

There is no difference.

 

We all want the same things.  We all want PROTECTION, we all want LOVE, we all want MONEY LOL.

 

So, instead of looking for differences, or, looking towards the past, why don't we start looking towards the future.

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I really want to BUMP this thread, because I honestly do not believe that their are ANY differences.  The Craft came from all people in all places. 

 

From my understanding, for example, Hoodoo, came from people who were enslaved, and incorporated the European church into their beliefs.  Also, from my understanding, the European Pagans, had Xian beliefs incorporated into their religion, to make it more palatable to the 'changeover'.

 

There is no difference.

 

We all want the same things.  We all want PROTECTION, we all want LOVE, we all want MONEY LOL.

 

So, instead of looking for differences, or, looking towards the past, why don't we start looking towards the future.

 

 

When it comes to Hoodoo a lot of my understanding is that the slaves and subsequently former slaves, really had no choice but to incorporate christian beliefs, since practicing their own religion was illegal. Even congregating in large numbers was seen as a problem that would attract the attentions of police. In order for their own religion to survive they had to hide it in plain sight. 

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There is no difference.

 

We all want the same things.  We all want PROTECTION, we all want LOVE, we all want MONEY LOL.

 

So, instead of looking for differences, or, looking towards the past, why don't we start looking towards the future.

 

To be honest this is very much alike saying that all languages are the same, because we all want to communicate. Although languages may have similarities, they also have huge differences that make them unintelligible to each other. Yet they all use sounds and words to describe the same thing. 

 

Of course there are similarities in magical practices around the world, and they often turn around the same big themes. But that does not mean that all traditions of magic deal with the same staff, the same way. In my experience acknowledging these differences (and choosing to engage or not with them) is much more useful than just look at magical practices as one big mash-up of things. 

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@Ialinrises, "hiding in plain site" is the key.  In Europe, Christianity 'swept' in, but 'someone' realised that things couldn't change overnight, and, thus, incorporated Christianity into the native, pagan rituals/festivals.  Hence, people could still celebrate 'Ostara/Easter' and Yule/'Christmas'.  People were burned alive in Europe, if they didn't co-operate.  I really don't want to compare atrocities, there are, sadly, TOO MANY.  Thankfully, we, in the West at least, live in a world where we can all speak and practise our beliefs freely?! 

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@Aria, I firmly believe we are a mish-mash.  What I find interesting on this forum, is, so far, nobody has said anything that I haven't heard already, and I've been brought up with The Craft.  People may practise different areas, but nothing has surprised me yet.  My issue, is when people separate themselves, or belittle others. What is traditional witchcraft?  How far can anyone trace it back to? Where is the origin?

 

What I find fun, here, is to hear the thoughts of others.  I'm too old now to get stoned on flying 'ointments', but it's fun to hear what others do.  I don't contact strange spirits anymore, but it's interesting to hear of other peoples experiences.

 

And I do love the commonality of the English language.  It means that a great many people, from many, interesting parts of the world, can communicate with one another. I make a living out of teaching it! And, like it or not, it is the international language.

 

I just wish, that instead of separating ourselves from each other, we could just get together.

 

And have a big old, fuck off party at the back of the forum :)  :)  :)

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@Aria, I firmly believe we are a mish-mash.  What I find interesting on this forum, is, so far, nobody has said anything that I haven't heard already, and I've been brought up with The Craft.  

 

You may be surprised at how much people do not spill out about themselves on an internet forum :)

 

 My issue, is when people separate themselves, or belittle others. What is traditional witchcraft?  How far can anyone trace it back to? Where is the origin?

 

I don't think this is happening, is it? Luckily, we're years past witch wars and the 'mine is more ancient than yours' argument (although few people and far in between still seem to find value in that). 

To me 'How far can anyone trace it back to?' and 'Where is the origin?', as questions, are misleading. Personally, I didn't go about traditional witchcraft because I felt it was 'older' or somehow more 'authentic' than other paths. That's just the way my path naturally took 15 years ago, through a series of encounters and coincidences. 

I don't care how far back you can trace it, I care that the system of witchcraft that I learnt and developed upon works for me. I don't need a certificate of authenticity to validate my practice, practicing my practice is what validates it for me.

 

So, contrary to you, I do get surprised. One example for all, I am always astonished at how liberally people on this forum seem to use blood in their practice. The way I was thought, you do not spill blood that way, and we use it on few and very structured occasions. The day I won't be surprised anymore I'll retire from witchcraft I believe. 

 

As for the 'what is traditional witchcraft', I don't think this is the topic of the thread, but I find many people have many different answers. I personally dislike the 'trad craft is not wicca' argument, as it defines trad witchcraft for what it is not, rather than for what it is. To me traditional witchcraft is that for of the craft that develops on the long traditions of folk spirit workers, and it is often regionally specific. 

 

 

 

And I do love the commonality of the English language.  It means that a great many people, from many, interesting parts of the world, can communicate with one another. I make a living out of teaching it! And, like it or not, it is the international language.

 

 

I do love English, and as a foreign speaker I appreciate the beauty of the language. 

However, there are large parts of the world in which for thousands and thousands of mile you'll not find anyone speaking English. There are a lot of vehicular languages in the world. Native English speakers, in my experience, are those who are convinced they can get away with English anywhere - until they find themselves in pre-Sahealean West Africa with Dogon people and can't speak a work of arabic or French :) I also work in education for a living, and I can ensure you 'English as international language' is often more a problem than a resource. But we go off topic. 

 

Of course we should get together, but I am not conviced neglecting diversity is the best way to do that. 

Edited by Aria
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I would also add that the United States is a big country and different areas were influenced by different migration patterns. So the practices of those people would alter depending on who went to which place and where the people come from. Too wordy? For instance my ancestors were Irish, English, and Sicilian Jew, but I grew up in an area that was/is heavily Irish, italian, polish, and Cape Verdian, so the forms people use may be distinct in the earlier generations but as time goes by, people meet, exchange ideas, intermarry, they all seem to blend together over time. Of course the Irish make up a much bigger portion than the others I mentioned so they seem to have a bigger influence than the others. 

Edited by Ozman

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