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Difference between Traditional and Eclectic Witchcraft?


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#1 Pirkkodiva

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:13 PM

Hi All.

I was wondering if anyone would like to share their thoughts on the difference between Traditional and Eclectic witchcraft. From what I know, Eclectics feel free to pick and choose from different paths. As far as I can tell Traditional Witches follow the customs of what we know about pre-Wiccan witches (practicing herbalism, healing, meditations, spells etc.) without a defined religious core.

Can you be eclectic and traditional, or are the two mutually exclusive?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Errin / Pirkkodiva

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#2 o_O

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:31 PM

What I've seen to be the biggest difference is the involvement of Wicca. Traditional witches will take from any source that speaks to them and do what feels natural and makes sense. Eclectics tend to pick and choose somethings but then form those chosen things around the conform of Wicca(which I always find interesting that's what Wicca is to begin with). I personally see Eclectic witches being just a few steps away from being trads, but need to learn to swim with out their water wings. Truthfully, any real witch is eclectic in their sources, it's really just how they go about using their sources.
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#3 8people

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:46 PM

To be honest I've only seen the term eclectic used in terms of wicca and 'paganism' as a means of picking and choosing bits of religion that they do and don't like.

In terms of witchcraft I guess it can apply to the similar practice of adopting bits and pieces from already established paths to build a 'crazy paving' styled path of your own of what works personally.

Generally modern witches will read through several sources of information, pick what is suitable and appropriate and hew it into a shape they can use and place in gaps in their own path. Familial and lineage traditions have a path already started and future generations add to the length and breadth of the path in similar stones they create in pattern of the old ones.

In essence I guess the difference is between how much you cherry-pick from other sources to suppliment what you have already established and how much you develop and learn from other sources to build on what you have already established.

Edited by 8people, 08 June 2011 - 06:46 PM.

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#4 Pirkkodiva

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:22 PM

Thanks for your opinions!
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#5 Michele

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 10:58 PM

I'd say there's not a much difference "traditional" wise. Many traditional witches are eclectic in their approach. A traditional witch who follows a specific path is path-oriented. A traditional witch who does not follow a specific path is eclectic. I do not think that trdaitionalism is defined by path, but by certain hallmarks of the way the witch works. And to date, most of the traditional paths I have run across (other than specific DNA-family paths, and then not all of them) are divinity-based and have a specific way of working their rituals. Almost all (if not all) the traditional path-based paths (as opposed to eclectic paths) that I have come across do work with ritual in some form, usually a compass. But there are also a lot of eclectic trads who will work a compass. Geez... it is hard to define, lol... I suppose a path-based trad follows a specific "core" set of ways that have been developed prior to the witch developing them and often with a specific core spirit or diety and/or entity.

M

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#6 Blacksmith

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:17 AM

For me the term eclectic is more of a Wiccan concept. The idea of piecing things together like a quilt is, in my opinion, is not traditional witchcraft because the traditional witch learns to blend and meld along their journey. The TW is not trying to create a craft, we are the craft. Most people that I have met that call themselves an "eclectic" are Wiccans, but Wiccan or not, they are trying to cook up a recipe for being a witch. The difference as I see it is that the eclectic views witchcraft almost as a ceremonial path, an acting out of practices, they rehearse, read the common modern books, maybe throw in some old pagan folk lore. They tend to want to follow recipes, so to speak. The traditional witch looks within to find the magic. If the TW has not been taught or connected with a way to do something we will adapt and overcome. The traditional witch is really following the old ways of the original witches, the only difference today is that we have more access to cultures, traditions, and practices globally, and that swiftly. My witchcraft practices include many elements from various cultures, but I do not consider myself eclectic. I have another post in "Witches?" that may help you to understand more of the difference.
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#7 Jevne

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:25 AM

For me the term eclectic is more of a Wiccan concept. The idea of piecing things together like a quilt is, in my opinion, is not traditional witchcraft because the traditional witch learns to blend and meld along their journey. The TW is not trying to create a craft, we are the craft. Most people that I have met that call themselves an "eclectic" are Wiccans, but Wiccan or not, they are trying to cook up a recipe for being a witch. The difference as I see it is that the eclectic views witchcraft almost as a ceremonial path, an acting out of practices, they rehearse, read the common modern books, maybe throw in some old pagan folk lore. They tend to want to follow recipes, so to speak. The traditional witch looks within to find the magic. If the TW has not been taught or connected with a way to do something we will adapt and overcome. The traditional witch is really following the old ways of the original witches, the only difference today is that we have more access to cultures, traditions, and practices globally, and that swiftly. My witchcraft practices include many elements from various cultures, but I do not consider myself eclectic. I have another post in "Witches?" that may help you to understand more of the difference.


Well said.

J

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#8 Michele

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 12:45 AM

If the TW has not been taught or connected with a way to do something we will adapt and overcome.


I, personally, would call that eclectic. Someone who, say, follows the path of CoTC, is following a specific "path" and therefore not eclectic. The path would be added to and evolve, but it is still a specific path with core beliefs. Someone who has not connected to a specific way and does some from here and some from there but does not follow a specific core "way" other than their own, I would call eclectic (and nothing wrong with that). And if the eclectic taught their core "way" to their kids who taught it to their kids, etc., their specific way of working has now become a family-based specific "path" or way. Actually, as very few traditional witches I have met follow a specific path other than their own, I would call most of them eclectic. I have met (internet met, lol)some who follow specific family ways or even specific traditional paths, but those I find are less.

M

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#9 Guest_Elfyd_*

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:39 AM

Boy, this is not an easy thing to properly define. Many of you have put forward reasons why eclectic or not, all are correct and yet none it seems because of the many and varied witches and witch's own personal path.
How about wicca being a design formula, a paint-by-numbers worksheet to be coloured in with one's own outside influences whereas TW is an attempted adhering to the perceived and known past history of our walk with our own ADDED modern components?

FFFF
Elf

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#10 Abraxia Thalgus

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:32 AM

My personal take, I will do what I need, when I need, with what I have. If something speaks to me, then I use it, if not I leave it. Being eclectic is part of being traditional - as I said, to me.
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#11 Marshy

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:05 AM

Some of these posts make sense to me so that must make me both I suppose lol. I see my self as a TW followin the ideas of my ancestors but I will use wotever I need to get the job done, as long as it sits comfortably with me. One thing I am certainly not is wiccan, though I do like bunnies and follow the prescribed method :bunny3: :wiccanpie: +:carrot: :cauldron04: :cauldron:
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Hal wes u, folde, fira modor ! Marshy :flyaway:

#12 Marshy

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:05 AM

removed due to duplication!


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Hal wes u, folde, fira modor ! Marshy :flyaway:

#13 Freki

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 10:10 AM

I, personally, would call that eclectic. Someone who, say, follows the path of CoTC, is following a specific "path" and therefore not eclectic. The path would be added to and evolve, but it is still a specific path with core beliefs. Someone who has not connected to a specific way and does some from here and some from there but does not follow a specific core "way" other than their own, I would call eclectic (and nothing wrong with that). And if the eclectic taught their core "way" to their kids who taught it to their kids, etc., their specific way of working has now become a family-based specific "path" or way. Actually, as very few traditional witches I have met follow a specific path other than their own, I would call most of them eclectic. I have met (internet met, lol)some who follow specific family ways or even specific traditional paths, but those I find are less.

M


Very well said. This is how I feel as well.

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#14 Michele

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 11:28 AM

Boy, this is not an easy thing to properly define. Many of you have put forward reasons why eclectic or not, all are correct and yet none it seems because of the many and varied witches and witch's own personal path.
How about wicca being a design formula, a paint-by-numbers worksheet to be coloured in with one's own outside influences whereas TW is an attempted adhering to the perceived and known past history of our walk with our own ADDED modern components?

FFFF
Elf



Hey - but the original post asked for the difference between trad craft and eclectic... yet there is eclectism within trad craft. So to answer it would be like answering what is the difference between, say, Episcopalien (should have picked something easier to spell, lol) and Christian? They're both the same thing, but one word is a type of the thing and the other word is a general referring to the thing en masse. Eclectic does not always = wicca any more than path-based does not always = traditional. :-)

M

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#15 Guest_Elfyd_*

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 02:35 PM

Hey - but the original post asked for the difference between trad craft and eclectic... yet there is eclectism within trad craft. So to answer it would be like answering what is the difference between, say, Episcopalien (should have picked something easier to spell, lol) and Christian? They're both the same thing, but one word is a type of the thing and the other word is a general referring to the thing en masse. Eclectic does not always = wicca any more than path-based does not always = traditional. :-)

M




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You are quite right about this M, but as topics drift and evolve I tend to go this this flow. One thing we have to agree on in this conversation is "What IS TW?" ad "What is Eclecticism in the witchy sense?" If we can agree on a basis for TW then where would Traditional Chaos Magicians fit? As Chaos was "formulated" around a century ago this I believe classifies as "trad" and if it is not reconised as "trad craft" where are the defining lines to be drawn?

I find myself out of my depth here and before I show my ignorance any more i will turn it over to you.
FFFF
Elf


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#16 Michele

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 02:04 AM

**************************

You are quite right about this M, but as topics drift and evolve I tend to go this this flow. One thing we have to agree on in this conversation is "What IS TW?" ad "What is Eclecticism in the witchy sense?" If we can agree on a basis for TW then where would Traditional Chaos Magicians fit? As Chaos was "formulated" around a century ago this I believe classifies as "trad" and if it is not reconised as "trad craft" where are the defining lines to be drawn?

I find myself out of my depth here and before I show my ignorance any more i will turn it over to you.
FFFF
Elf


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Like I have any clue, lol.... I think most likely many of us on here will use different critirea to define trad craft so ultimately it is probably one of those "5 witches 7 opinions" things...

M

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#17 Pirkkodiva

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:04 PM

All these new posts are great - thank you all so much for your very articulate thoughts. :D :ani_witch_moon:
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#18 Gramayr

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 08:31 PM

I've enjoyed reading these posts and I've been trying to get my head round this subject in a different way to see if I can understand it (I'm not as verbally articulate as the posters above). Going off on a tangent, I've been trying to define trad vs eclectic witchcraft in terms of soup (bare with me).
Trad witchcraft could be seen as a simple vegetable soup, though there can be variations whether it be a family recipe past down over generations or just picking what is available to you in your garden/local market - at the end of the day it is still vegatable soup.
Eclectic witchcraft is the veg soup with added ingredients from other cultures, lentils for instance or curry from India and pasta from Italy. At the heart it's still vegetable soup but has drawn from different paths.
I'll slope off now because I'm suddenly feeling hungry..

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#19 Tana

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Posted 10 June 2011 - 09:42 PM

That is a brilliant analogy!! Hungry too ha ha!
)0( Tana )o(

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#20 Whiterose

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 04:51 AM

I've enjoyed reading these posts and I've been trying to get my head round this subject in a different way to see if I can understand it (I'm not as verbally articulate as the posters above). Going off on a tangent, I've been trying to define trad vs eclectic witchcraft in terms of soup (bare with me).
Trad witchcraft could be seen as a simple vegetable soup, though there can be variations whether it be a family recipe past down over generations or just picking what is available to you in your garden/local market - at the end of the day it is still vegatable soup.
Eclectic witchcraft is the veg soup with added ingredients from other cultures, lentils for instance or curry from India and pasta from Italy. At the heart it's still vegetable soup but has drawn from different paths.
I'll slope off now because I'm suddenly feeling hungry..



:cauldron04: :applause: I really like this.

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