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#1 GreenFaeWitch

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:57 AM

I've been reading on many sites about trad witchcraft, and read many conflicting views!

Some say they are not pagans, others do.

Some say the word witch is bad and call themselves "the people" and other things. Others seem to embrace the word witch and use it often.

Then there's the debate over whether trad witchcraft is a religion or not, some say "yes" and others "no".

I'd love to know any your guy's opinions on these matters!

"There's a little Witch in all of us" My Soap Shoppe

#2 CelticGypsy

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:29 AM

I've been reading on many sites about trad witchcraft, and read many conflicting views!

Some say they are not pagans, others do.

Some say the word witch is bad and call themselves "the people" and other things. Others seem to embrace the word witch and use it often.

Then there's the debate over whether trad witchcraft is a religion or not, some say "yes" and others "no".

I'd love to know any your guy's opinions on these matters!


Hiyas FaeWitch, wow good questions, much to ponder. For me, I'm not into labels, and don't wish to be defined by one. Folks, who practice faithfully their craft enlighten not only themselves, but if they wish to share, will enlighten others, who are open-minded. Whatever their talent may be, by practicing, they by trial and error, will come up with what works best for them. I listen to my intuition, its my barometer. Some folks who are talented in certain crafts, may not be good for me to learn. But I applaud their talent, its right for them. It may not be right for me. Would I gain knowledge, absolutely, but would I be able to benefit from it, or benefit others. There are many inspiring rituals that one can try, if it doesn't appeal to them, or if there isn't results, then keep seeking. Paths are different for all folks.

Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:46 AM

I've been reading on many sites about trad witchcraft, and read many conflicting views!

Some say they are not pagans, others do.

Some say the word witch is bad and call themselves "the people" and other things. Others seem to embrace the word witch and use it often.

Then there's the debate over whether trad witchcraft is a religion or not, some say "yes" and others "no".

I'd love to know any your guy's opinions on these matters!



Hi Green FaeWitch

I'm new to witchcraft as in studying and learning the craft of witchcraft and and learning about Traditional witchcraft.
Personally I don't see Traditional witchcraft as a religion. It is a Craft, a practice, a way of life but not a religion. However it can be difficult to define as to some degree it is a continuation of the old religion practised by early European Pagans, which was then called witchcraft by the conquering Christians. Witchcraft was also not considered to be a religion in itself but rather a practice. These days Traditional witchcraft differs from tradition to tradition. However as I said earlier for me Traditional witchcraft is not a religion but a Craft.
For me witchcraft is a very personal and is also a very spiritual practice. Traditional Witchcraft is not formal at all, however some Witches and Traditions preform rituals and Ceremonial Magic. Witchcraft should be a very personal path for the Witch.

As you can see i don't have a problem with using the term Witch or Witchcraft. I embrace it and both the positive and negative associations that the word Witch has. People generally use different terms to counter all the negative stereotypes that society has.

Yes I agree with Gypsy about labels in a sense. Learn about witchcraft, but that doesnt mean label yourself a Witch. I've accepted the term Witch because I feel this in gut. Feels right for me.

Edited by Chatters, 02 August 2010 - 10:51 AM.


#4 Oceana

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:56 AM

I've been reading on many sites about trad witchcraft, and read many conflicting views!

Some say they are not pagans, others do.

Some say the word witch is bad and call themselves "the people" and other things. Others seem to embrace the word witch and use it often.

Then there's the debate over whether trad witchcraft is a religion or not, some say "yes" and others "no".

I'd love to know any your guy's opinions on these matters!


OK, here's my view on things.

In my opinion, being a pagan means you're religious in some way, whether it's worshipping a god/gods, being an animist, whatever. I have been struggling with the definition but that's where I've got so far :ermm: Some say you can be an atheist pagan, but to me that sounds as conflicting as being an atheist christian. So whether or not you're a pagan witch, to me depends on whether you're a religious witch or a non-religious one.

Some people do consider the word 'witch' bad, which may be why some witches don't want to use that word—they might not want to bear the negative connotations that come with it. So again, a matter of taste. I call myself a witch and don't particularly care about the prejudiced views that some may have in regards to the word.

The last question is simple, to me at least. Witchcraft is a craft, not a religion or a belief system. You can of course combine your religion (beliefs, views, rituals etc.) with your craft, but by default you do not have to be religious at all to practise witchcraft.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust

#5 Guest_Magdalena_*

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:24 AM

I believe it is about being exactly what you want to be without any set rules.

#6 Michele

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:48 AM

I've been reading on many sites about trad witchcraft, and read many conflicting views!

Some say they are not pagans, others do.

Some say the word witch is bad and call themselves "the people" and other things. Others seem to embrace the word witch and use it often.

Then there's the debate over whether trad witchcraft is a religion or not, some say "yes" and others "no".

I'd love to know any your guy's opinions on these matters!


A website that says "this is x and that is y" or a person who says it, is only ever speaking for themselves, or for the people on that website. Some people may consider themselves any and all of the above, some may not. And a child may have a dog named Pagan, and to that person, the definition of Pagan is their best furry, drooling, friend. Words are only the definitions a specific person sets to them to try and describe something. It is handy to get a point across, but the subtle meanings can be different for each person. ANd also, to describe something too much can limit that thing into only what one can describe. "I love you more than I can say" limits one's love to only more than they can say - not more than they can think, feel, or imagine. Sometimes it's better just to say "I love you" and let the emotions behind the words speak for themselves :-)

M


#7 CelticGypsy

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:06 PM

Chatters and Oceana make good concensus agreeing on Witchcraft is not a religion its a craft. Oceana goes further as to say in her opinion it's not a belief system. Magdelena believes it to be what you want to be without set rules. All valid. Oceana would you expound on your theory about it not being a belief system for me? At your leisure, I need clarification. Words are very powerful as you all know. I think in simplistic ways, i.e. " I am religious in brushing my teeth 2 times a day ". What could be more ritual than that ? C'mon ladies, I know you all have rituals in your grooming habits. Because of a belief system, do not we strive to access more enlightenment ? How about talents vrs. gifts. Some are born with gifts, whether they are spiritual or magical, one didn't get to choose, it's a gift. Green Fae Witch has good questions, I know I will benefit from the posts. As you gals, are very intelligent women, and I am honored to be in your company.

With Warm Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#8 Guest_Magdalena_*

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:38 PM

I clean my teeth everyday of course, if I did not I would suffer a lot of pain eventually and lose my teeth, I like my smile.

There is learning, I evolve everyday, and there are very restricting religions and beliefs that totally strangle a person and prevent them from being who they truly are. My mind is very open, I still make the choices that I want not what someone wants for me , that is why I fit so well in Traditional Witchcraft, because I am free to be myself without having someone trying to alter or twist my way of thinking and doing, I am free to take on board or cast aside whatever I wish, I hate to be restricted, if someone is trying to pressure you into believeing there way is the right way then I do not believe they are a TW, You have to know yourself first and foremost.

Anita


#9 Mountain Witch

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:03 PM

I, too, view religion and witchcraft as two separate items. You can be religious, or a witch, or a religious witch or a witch with a religion. Some folks incorporate their religion into their craft, others don't. Witchcraft to me is just that - a craft. Like a woodworker, if you will. There are woodworkers who are really good at turning bowls on lathes and others that can't do that but can make beautiful furniture. A skill that is honed over time and, as in my case, modified as one learns other, perhaps easier (for me) ways of doing things.

My (old-ish) dictionary defines religion as "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" (my italics) and religious as "relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity". I'm not faithfully devoted to any deity so by definition, I'm not religious. Our English language has used words improperly for ages - being "religious" about brushing one's teeth is an improper use of the word which has been accepted into normal usage, i.e., "scrupulously and conscientiously faithful".

Pagan, to me, means being having a religion outside the "biggies" (e.g., Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) and generally earth-based. Although not truly "earth-based",someone who worships, oh, a Roman or Egyptian god would probably be considered Pagan by a Christian since they're not an adherent of a "biggie" religion. But still religion in the generally-accepted sense.

And yes, I'm a witch. Perception be damned.

For purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
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#10 GreenFaeWitch

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:26 PM

To chime in here on my own OP.
I understand the religious VS spiritual and craft views.
Let me explain how i currently feel on the issue.
And it has taken me years to get here, to the beliefs i hold now, and i realize not every trad would hold these beliefs.

OK, for me, I can be nothing else - not a christian witch, not a wiccan witch, not a jewish witch, not a hindu witch, not a buddhist witch and the list goes on. I'm sure some people can fit that in, but I can NOT.

For me witchcraft replaces other religions and conflicts with most other religions, thus for me it is my religion. It's something i do everyday, and it's a belief system for ME. I bet not for all witches, like I said, i don't want to offend, i just want to explain how i feel about it.

It's not an ORGANIZED religion for me (or anyone i dont think) - it's open and constantly evolving, and this is perfect for me. It does not have set rules, guidelines and other things which organized religions do have. We do however have values and faith. If you cast a spell you have to have faith it will work, we call it intent, but it's the same feeling a christian would have when praying and having faith the prayer would be heard. Is faith not supposedly the "basis" for religion in the technical sense?

You study and dedicate yourself to the craft, you live by it, you believe in it, you use it on a daily basis - how much more religious could that be? I may be bending what society thinks of as technically a religion, or the dictionaries description of the word, or the mental view we have given ourselves of the word. Also, i realize for some it does not feel like this in their hearts, and i respect that. But for others it does, and i believe this feeling to be true and should also be respected.

I'd love any input on this and others views, i'm totally open to how others feel on this matter and curious as well.

"There's a little Witch in all of us" My Soap Shoppe

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:17 PM

I always state that I do not follow any religion, I have always found religion restricting, I do not find Traditional Witchcraft restricting, I do not do anything religiously either because I do what comes naturally, I have always been spontaneous and impulsive, I like that. I am not an atheist but I am agnostic. That is me, what I do and believe is my choice, what others do and believe is there choice and not for me to question in a negative way, unless it affects me in any way.

So what I am saying is, I am a traditional Witch but I follow no religion, that does not mean that is how it should be, that means, that is how it is for me.

Anita.


#12 Oceana

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:14 PM

Oceana would you expound on your theory about it not being a belief system for me?


Sure thing :) To me, witchcraft requires no belief, and is most definitely not a belief system. You practise your craft, you get results. It's like taking a piece of wood and a knife and carving a boat - no belief, faith, required. See what I mean? A belief system, again to me, would suggest belief/faith in something that you don't just "know" is there because you have proof, but instead choose to believe in, choose to invest that "blind faith" in.

Hope I'm making at least some remote sort of sense.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust

#13 CelticGypsy

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:40 PM

Sure thing :) To me, witchcraft requires no belief, and is most definitely not a belief system. You practise your craft, you get results. It's like taking a piece of wood and a knife and carving a boat - no belief, faith, required. See what I mean? A belief system, again to me, would suggest belief/faith in something that you don't just "know" is there because you have proof, but instead choose to believe in, choose to invest that "blind faith" in.

Hope I'm making at least some remote sort of sense.


Thank you so much for clarifying that for me. Gads.. someday's the Gypsy other days the Guppy. So you equate practising your craft as honing in a gift or talent. Without the " wood " or the " knife " the " boat carved " would just be a chuck of wood. I like your choice of words, when you say " Choose to invest " That open's up a world of enlightenment for me. Thanks, yer a peach.
Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#14 CelticGypsy

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:45 PM

I clean my teeth everyday of course, if I did not I would suffer a lot of pain eventually and lose my teeth, I like my smile.

There is learning, I evolve everyday, and there are very restricting religions and beliefs that totally strangle a person and prevent them from being who they truly are. My mind is very open, I still make the choices that I want not what someone wants for me , that is why I fit so well in Traditional Witchcraft, because I am free to be myself without having someone trying to alter or twist my way of thinking and doing, I am free to take on board or cast aside whatever I wish, I hate to be restricted, if someone is trying to pressure you into believeing there way is the right way then I do not believe they are a TW, You have to know yourself first and foremost.

Anita



I totally agree with the evolving, and coupled with Oceana's post back to me about practising. Thank you Anita for this post, it was very liberating for me to see some of my own put to self faults, that I have challanged myself in recent years. Knowing yourself first and foremost is something a Seeker like me needs to know, and you did it so gently. Thank you.
Regards in the Warmest Fashion,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#15 Guest_Chatters_*

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:48 PM

How about talents vrs. gifts. Some are born with gifts, whether they are spiritual or magical, one didn't get to choose, it's a gift. Green Fae Witch has good questions, I know I will benefit from the posts.
Gypsy


Hi CelticGypsy

Yes Green Fae Witch has some very good questions. Here I have expanded on some of the points I made in my last post.

For me it is the every day that I can find both magikal and also spiritual. The practice of the Craft is daily and very much a part of who I am. I have said that Traditional witchcraft is not a religion because I do not need a priest or any type of religious leader. I can set my own practice according to my intuition and my beliefs. Witchcraft is connecting to yourself, to the web of energy all around and through you, to sense this web of energy and be able to make changes through you and to realise that you and everything in nature is connected through this. This has nothing to do with religion in my view but is a spiritual act. For example part of my practice includes using herbs, the herbs energy and connecting to the herbs spirit. Every morning I make a mint tea, even this small task can help me sense the natural energy's around me. I can then gently nudge this energy and pour in my intent when I am making a drink and in connecting to the herbs spirit and energy I can use the full medicine of the herb. This happens to be mint so this is both a very practical and spiritual self healing. Other times I may simply just sense the energy of the herb and imagine the herb getting to work on my dodgy tummy while I drink it.

There is lots of ways I do this, simply placing my hands close to the plant and meditating and visualising the energy form the plant and all around the herb or as I said visualising the herb working. Visualisation is a gift, I find that this comes very easily. I also find that if I have a premonition or I sense what is about to happen, this can come to me with images and strong feelings. Is this a talent?? mmmm I still have a lot of work to do before I would call this a talent, A talent comes with hard work, a gift is of course something you are born with. I'm an artist and a very visual person so visualisation / true dreams as I call them and premonitions are a gift but are not something I can control at all and they don't always make sense until what I have dreamt about happens. However we all have gifts, for me this can become a Craft when you work hard to improve these gifts and learn about them through going within.

Another sense that comes easily to me is sensing what others are feeling, I think this is somehow connected to visualisation but I am not sure why, just a feeling. Also sensing energy around me, sometimes I can see energy, usually when I feel tired or very relaxed, this can again also be worked on through trance work and mediation. Again still a lot of work to do.


#16 CelticGypsy

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:48 PM

I, too, view religion and witchcraft as two separate items. You can be religious, or a witch, or a religious witch or a witch with a religion. Some folks incorporate their religion into their craft, others don't. Witchcraft to me is just that - a craft. Like a woodworker, if you will. There are woodworkers who are really good at turning bowls on lathes and others that can't do that but can make beautiful furniture. A skill that is honed over time and, as in my case, modified as one learns other, perhaps easier (for me) ways of doing things.

My (old-ish) dictionary defines religion as "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" (my italics) and religious as "relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity". I'm not faithfully devoted to any deity so by definition, I'm not religious. Our English language has used words improperly for ages - being "religious" about brushing one's teeth is an improper use of the word which has been accepted into normal usage, i.e., "scrupulously and conscientiously faithful".

Pagan, to me, means being having a religion outside the "biggies" (e.g., Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.) and generally earth-based. Although not truly "earth-based",someone who worships, oh, a Roman or Egyptian god would probably be considered Pagan by a Christian since they're not an adherent of a "biggie" religion. But still religion in the generally-accepted sense.

And yes, I'm a witch. Perception be damned.


Dear Mountain Witch,
Simply put, to the point, your candor is like a cool glass of water. Thank you.
Regards,
Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


#17 CelticGypsy

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 09:57 PM

Hi CelticGypsy

Yes Green Fae Witch has some very good questions. Here I have expanded on some of the points I made in my last post.

For me it is the every day that I can find both magikal and also spiritual. The practice of the Craft is daily and very much a part of who I am. I have said that Traditional witchcraft is not a religion because I do not need a priest or any type of religious leader. I can set my own practice according to my intuition and my beliefs. Witchcraft is connecting to yourself, to the web of energy all around and through you, to sense this web of energy and be able to make changes through you and to realise that you and everything in nature is connected through this. This has nothing to do with religion in my view but is a spiritual act. For example part of my practice includes using herbs, the herbs energy and connecting to the herbs spirit. Every morning I make a mint tea, even this small task can help me sense the natural energy's around me. I can then gently nudge this energy and pour in my intent when I am making a drink and in connecting to the herbs spirit and energy I can use the full medicine of the herb. This happens to be mint so this is both a very practical and spiritual self healing. Other times I may simply just sense the energy of the herb and imagine the herb getting to work on my dodgy tummy while I drink it.

There is lots of ways I do this, simply placing my hands close to the plant and meditating and visualising the energy form the plant and all around the herb or as I said visualising the herb working. Visualisation is a gift, I find that this comes very easily. I also find that if I have a premonition or I sense what is about to happen, this can come to me with images and strong feelings. Is this a talent?? mmmm I still have a lot of work to do before I would call this a talent, A talent comes with hard work, a gift is of course something you are born with. I'm an artist and a very visual person so visualisation / true dreams as I call them and premonitions are a gift but are not something I can control at all and they don't always make sense until what I have dreamt about happens. However we all have gifts, for me this can become a Craft when you work hard to improve these gifts and learn about them through going within.

Another sense that comes easily to me is sensing what others are feeling, I think this is somehow connected to visualisation but I am not sure why, just a feeling. Also sensing energy around me, sometimes I can see energy, usually when I feel tired or very relaxed, this can again also be worked on through trance work and mediation. Again still a lot of work to do.

Astounding Chatters, clearing up mysteries for me. Your morning ritual with the mint tea, and enveloping that engery, and incorporating it into a daily self message, is very cool. And I applaud your acceptance of the spiritual as well as it being practical. Gives me the sense that I am going around a corner soon, instead of that circle trap. Thank you so much for this post.
Regards,

Gypsy

" The last thing you wanted a Witch to do is get bored and start making her own amusements, because Witches sometimes have erratically famous ideas about what was amusing "

 

Terry Pratchett Legends 1 


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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:07 PM

Astounding Chatters, clearing up mysteries for me. Your morning ritual with the mint tea, and enveloping that engery, and incorporating it into a daily self message, is very cool. And I applaud your acceptance of the spiritual as well as it being practical. Gives me the sense that I am going around a corner soon, instead of that circle trap. Thank you so much for this post.
Regards,

Gypsy


Hi Celtic Gypsy

Thank you for that lovely reply to my post. I always try to work with my intuition, but I do question myself at times too. So hearing you say this has just strengthened my resolve


#19 Grimr

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 01:08 AM

I can only answer for me and my own travels down the crooked path, I may view things different, similar, conflicting with others but It has been what I have experienced and holds truth for me.

I do not view Witchcraft as a religion, but I do view it as a "faith" - it isn't steeped in dogma but it certainly holds a central core; this core may be experienced in different ways (and likewise under different masks,) and neither one of them is wrong for it holds truth for the individual. I likewise don't consider Witchcraft as Paganism; Witchcraft thrived as a "Malefic" force within both Pagan and Abrahamic religious cultures, Pagan or not the Witch was still "different", still "Other" and to me this exemplifies the differences between the two. The "stereotypical" image of the Witch (often rejected by Pagans and Wiccans alike) holds within it a bit of truth; Witches work and weave magic, fly by night and consult the spirits for knowledge, power, and wisdom.

As far as the "label" of Witch goes, Andrew Chumbley mentioned something about the term "sufic" which holds true for that of the Witch "Do not cling to the word, but rather to that which will remain should the Sufi go unnamed." As with many Cunning traditions the faith has been known by many names - Witch being just one. I uphold the term Witch because it's become ingrained within the folk memory of my ancestral stream - they (and I) respond to the term Witch, but no term is really needed for the work continues on and ever shall it.
Grimr

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#20 GreenFaeWitch

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:25 AM

I can only answer for me and my own travels down the crooked path, I may view things different, similar, conflicting with others but It has been what I have experienced and holds truth for me.

I do not view Witchcraft as a religion, but I do view it as a "faith" - it isn't steeped in dogma but it certainly holds a central core; this core may be experienced in different ways (and likewise under different masks,) and neither one of them is wrong for it holds truth for the individual. I likewise don't consider Witchcraft as Paganism; Witchcraft thrived as a "Malefic" force within both Pagan and Abrahamic religious cultures, Pagan or not the Witch was still "different", still "Other" and to me this exemplifies the differences between the two. The "stereotypical" image of the Witch (often rejected by Pagans and Wiccans alike) holds within it a bit of truth; Witches work and weave magic, fly by night and consult the spirits for knowledge, power, and wisdom.

As far as the "label" of Witch goes, Andrew Chumbley mentioned something about the term "sufic" which holds true for that of the Witch "Do not cling to the word, but rather to that which will remain should the Sufi go unnamed." As with many Cunning traditions the faith has been known by many names - Witch being just one. I uphold the term Witch because it's become ingrained within the folk memory of my ancestral stream - they (and I) respond to the term Witch, but no term is really needed for the work continues on and ever shall it.
Grimr


I love what you've just said! thanks for that :witchnana:

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