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Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism: The Importance of the Black Santa Muerte for Protection, Revenge and Cursing

Posted in Black Magic, Holy Death, Mexican Witchcraft, neo-paganism, occult, protection spells, Santa Muerte, self-defense, spell books, spell casting, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by littleredridinghood

smredwhiteblueThe problems of injustice and impunity in Mexico have been well-publicized and this is clearly one important reason for the rise of Santa Muerte in popularity there. But, here in the U.S. and in other supposedly more peaceful and just countries many people, especially those who are members of traditionally disenfranchised groups, live daily with injustice and the fear of crime and corruption.

Enemies of Santa Muerte malign her devotees, calling us criminals and prostitutes. But, this is malignant ignorance because the vast majority of devotees of Santa Muerte are not criminals or prostitutes, but are simply not members of the establishment and do not enjoy the privileges of being part of the in-group. The truth is many people become devoted to Santa Muerte after they are victimized by criminals of one class or another. Very often they discover her immense power only after turning to her as a last resort. Very often, they are people without special privileges and without a voice.

There are those who must suffer in silence because giving voice to what is happening to them will only open the door to more crimes against themselves – those who are victims of domestic violence, rape, harassment, stalking and other violent crimes that far more often than not go unpunished. Those people whose lives have been sabotaged over and over again, who have had to rebuild over and over again that which their enemies have destroyed will most understand and appreciate the value of the black aspect of Santa Muerte.

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial (Santa Muerte Series) (Volume 1)

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial (Santa Muerte Series) (Volume 1) by Sophia diGregorio

This is why the black aspect of Santa Muerte is very important. The color, black, represents the most important and powerful aspects of Santa Muerte‘s primordial powers. Before there can be healing, love, prosperity and the other necessities of life, there must be peace.

Before a seed can grow in the soil, it must be covered in darkness and protected, it must not be deprived of its nourishment by thieves, its young shoots must not be trampled by the feet of the wicked.

The cover of darkness in which to work on your plans without falling subject to envy, jealousy, greed and sabotage. Secrecy is important for people who may be targeted in some way.

Santa Muerte, working through her black aspect, can help you to establish your privacy and protect you from those who would harm you in any way. Santa Muerte works in secret, in the darkness, to right wrongs, to protect the innocent, to avenge those who love her and to conceal you from anyone who might wish to do you harm.

Not only does the black aspect of Santa Muerte have the power of stopping dangerous and powerful enemies, even causing the death of enemies who wish devotees harm, but provides extremely powerful protection under the cover of darkness. The great owl companion of Santa Muerte provides eyes in the night with which to see an approaching enemy, to learn of his plots and thwart his sabotage.

Keepers of the status quo warn against the evils of revenge. They admonish the wronged parties to forgive their oppressors. They taunt the victims’ because of their need for anonymity. But, there is no peace without justice.

And, to go forward with your life, to pursuit happiness and fulfill your life’s purpose, you must first have peace. You must not be tormented by evil-doers and those who perpetrate evil against you.

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial (Santa Muerte Series) (Volume 1)

Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death, the Unofficial (Santa Muerte Series) (Volume 1) by Sophia diGregorio

This place of peace is a protected one from which you can live and work in safety. All people are naturally entitled to that kind of peace and opportunity to live their lives without sabotage, without betrayal, without constant victimization.

The black Santa Muerte is the most powerful aspect for all those who have been denied justice, who have been left behind by the established system in some way, those who were not born to privilege, those who do not have the benefit of equality under the law, those who have no representation in places of power, those who are oppressed. Santa Muerte is our greatest ally and a source of personal power.

Traditional Witchcraft: Should I Worry About Bad Karma If I Use Black Magic?

Posted in Black Magic, Healing, occult, protection spells, self-defense, spell books, spell casting, Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by littleredridinghood
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Some people regard black magic as a misuse of spiritual energy. Some define it as any act that interferes with another person’s free will and believe that no witchcraft, even healing, should be conducted without the permission of the subject. Some modern ceremonial magicians call it “the left hand path.” Some warn that it is karmically dangerous to the spell caster.

But, none of this is really relevant in traditional witchcraft. In fact, the purpose of most of traditional witchcraft is to affect the outer environment and those around us and what is commonly called black magic is only an integral part of witchcraft, itself.

The definition of “black magic” used by Winter Tempest Books authors is that it is simply malefic witchcraft, meaning it is witchcraft used for the purpose of causing harm or injury to another. Moral judgments and ethical considerations are withheld and reserved for the individual, who is the only person fit to judge his or her own particular situation. Moreover, we always advocate that, for your protection, such witchcraft should be done secretly and without violating the laws of whatever state, country or other legal jurisdiction you live in.

Some members of modern witchcraft religion state that no “real witch” would use black magic. But, if this were true, why is that that most of the documentation of witchcraft in Western Europe, New England and around the world is full to the brim with instances of curses and demonic visitations? Obviously, this assertion doesn’t hold water.

The dominant class of popular, modern religious witches often warn against the use of black magic because of a fear of it “recoiling” on the one who cast the spell. They have various names for this, such as the “Law of Returns,” and the “Three-fold Law,” and it appears that this modern dogma evolved from the Hindu concept of Karma.

The Doctrine of Karma

The ancient Hindu religious principle of Karma is similar to, but, also, differs from the modern New Age concept, which is described below. In Hinduism, which includes a belief in reincarnation, karma occurs after death and it determines the soul’s path in its next incarnation. Both this life and the next incarnation could be affected by your past deeds. At the core of the doctrine is the concept of cause and effect, the idea that your actions in this life and past ones have have effect on the present and the future. Suffering is seen as a “spiritual gift” by which a person learns and becomes stronger, so disease and other adversity is seen as part of life’s lesson.

This doctrine of karma has been recycled and revamped by Western New Agers and Christianized. Then, it was adapted by Wiccans. (Read more about the Christianization of Wicca in the U.S. in a previous article, “Differences Between Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca: How Wicca Became Mainstream Modern Witchcraft.”)

By contrast, in traditional witchcraft, suffering is not regarded as a spiritual gift. People do not need to learn cosmic lessons by disease, injury, violence, etc. There is no God or system that judges and rewards or punishes.

A danger of this kind of thinking is that it engenders the false belief other people want or deserve to suffer or that we, ourselves, deserve to suffer because of some imagined transgression in this or a past life. Crime survivors might internalize the abuses that have been perpetrated against them by others and imagine that they are somehow deserving because of some imagined bad behavior. For instance, an abused wife may be convinced that she deserves to be abused because she abused her husband in a past life – this is the kind insanity that can flourish when this notion of karma is taken to an extreme.

Karma is a religious doctrine that has no place in traditional witchcraft, which is not a religion, at all. Such thinking prevents people from looking for solutions to health issues, excuses criminal behavior and allows evil-doers to prevail.

Then, there is the negative psychological aspect of accepting this religious belief.

Click here to visit Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

Wiccan Guilt

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Wiccans believe that witchcraft and, indeed, all of life is governed by their version of the law of karma. They are constantly warning people about the dangers of bad karma and bad intent.

Among Wiccans there is a common belief that the things you do now can affect completely unrelated events down the road, either for good or evil, based on the nature of the action you have taken.

Wiccan belief is that if you send out negativity, this causes more negativity in the world, which will inevitably boomerang its way back to you. But, if you send out positive energy, positive energy will come back to you. (To that I say, if you’re a woman, try walking down a street in New York City beaming positive energy at everyone you encounter and see how much positive energy comes back to you. A word of warning: Don’t try this without years of martial arts training.)

This concept of karma within Wicca can become absurd, leading to Wiccan guilt, which is a lot like Christian guilt. Neither are mentally healthy. The New Age belief in past lives affecting the present one is similar to the the Christian doctrine of Original Sin. The Wiccan belief of being cosmically punished if you step out of line is similar to the Christian doctrine of Judgment.

Many Wiccans and New Agers swear this Westernized karmic dogma is true. This is because religious people often have a confirmation bias – if they believe a doctrine, they will look for proof of it where none exists.

For example, a Wiccan who gives a sum of money to charity, then experiences some kindness from a stranger in the next day or two might attribute the kind behavior of the stranger to having made a charitable contribution, when in fact, it was just an encounter with a kindly stranger and nothing more. If the same Wiccan had knocked down an old lady and stolen her grocery money the day before instead, he or she would still have experienced an encounter with a kindly stranger the next day. There is no cause and effect in this situation because there is no cosmic overseer judging and punishing your every move. This is simply a religious belief similar to those held by Hindus and Christians.

To further illustrate, if you think a bad thought about someone and then trip over a piece of loose carpeting and stub your toe, this injury is not a result of your “transgression.” Or, if you fail to adequately tip a waiter and a month later your house is foreclosed on, it is not reasonable to say this is because of a karmic law.

Wiccan guilt comes in when you do good, but good does not return to you – then, you may feel you have not been good enough. If some accident befalls you, a loved one dies or you become the victim of a violent crime, you may be encouraged to believe that this was because of some wrong action or thought vibration on your part. Karma-based beliefs engender a remarkable degree of self-blaming, victim-blaming and criminal enabling.

Letting Go of Harmful Beliefs

The doctrine of karma is simply a religious belief, the key word being “belief.” Such cultural and religious conditioning is a form of mind control.

Holding onto such unfounded beliefs is ultimately destructive. It leads to a state of being in which the person constantly fears they are doing something wrong. To let go of this programming, you only have to allow your rational mind to overcome this irrational and unfounded religious belief.

If you have had the misfortune of being subjected to either Christian or Wiccan indoctrination and consequently fear stepping out of line because of imagined cosmic repercussions, you may have to do some deprogramming before you feel comfortable using black magic.

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The Power of Black Magic

Fortunately, black magic can help break the chains of religious conditioning. Traditionally, black magic rituals involving such things as the recitation of the “Our Father” prayer backwards or meeting a spirit in a cemetery or a crossroad at midnight mark a witch’s passage into the world of witchcraft.

Former Wiccans who want to make a break from their religion might perform a short ritual by writing the “Rede,” “The Law of Returns” or whatever other dogmatic belief on a sheet of paper and burning it in a little ceremony to break the psychological tie to this religious philosophy.

Of course, none of this is really necessary. Simply performing acts of black magic is enough to make the break.

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The use of black magic (malefic witchcraft) is often a matter of survival. Sometimes violent crime survivors discover their ability to use it very spontaneously.

Sometimes using black magic is the right thing to do in a situation to prevent harm to yourself or someone else. Black magic can be a means of restoring justice and peace – and maintaining it.

Black magic can provide the ultimate form of protection. Once you begin practicing black magic, you will naturally require more protection, but the acquisition of this protection is part of the process of learning more about witchcraft, especially communicating with and employing spirits.

Black magic thinking has the power to release people from a sense of being victimized. It helps crime survivors regain control over their lives. If you have been through a terrible ordeal at the hands of some malefactor, black magic helps you heal, restore balance and re-establish more control over your own life.

Above all, black magic is a mindset. It is a strong self-defense mentality. It helps to undo some of the damage done to us by living in a victim-blaming society in which we are blamed for the failures and evil actions of other people. It helps to restore power and autonomy to the individual.

Practical Black Magic: How to Hex and Curse Your Enemies by Sophia diGregorio

Paperback: Practical Black Magic: How to Hex and Curse Your Enemies by Sophia diGregorio

Click here to visit Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

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Differences Between Traditional Witchcraft and Wicca: How Wicca Became Mainstream Modern Witchcraft

Posted in Black Magic, neo-paganism, occult, spell books, spell casting, Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2013 by littleredridinghood
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by Sophia diGregorio

There are many differences between traditional witchcraft and Wicca and while there are numerous articles on this subject – in fact, I’ve written a couple of others on this topic elsewhere – it doesn’t hurt to stress it all the more, especially for newcomers to “the craft.”

The term “traditional witchcraft” is one that has evolved in recent years to try to distinguish more historically-based and folk practices from the modern witchcraft-based religion Wicca, which has become very popular in recent decades. Wicca began in Britain in the 1950s, but was not fully exported to the U.S. until the 1970s. Wicca was first very popular on the west coast, in Colorado, Massachussetts and a few other isolated regions until it became part of mainstream pop culture with the release of the movie, “The Craft,” in 1996.

At this point, Wicca became the loudest and proudest voice among those who practice witchcraft, which has generally remained a secret or, at least, private practice for most people. But, this movie made witchcraft – or, at least, a form of it – popular, especially among high school and college aged people. Since then Wicca has remained relatively popular and it is now very often the first introduction many people have to the occult.

But, there are fundamental differences between this modern form of witchcraft, Wicca, and traditional witchcraft.

Those who wanted to take witchcraft mainstream created a “kinder, gentler” form of witchcraft for mass consumption back in the 1970s.

Click here to visit Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

How Witchcraft in the Form of Wicca Entered Mainstream Popular Culture

In 1974 there was a meeting of some neo-pagans in Minneapolis, Minnesota at which they attempted to codify the beliefs of witches, but they weren’t really talking about witches as much as Wiccans. These people claimed to speak for all witches, but they were actually a group of Wiccans looking for a way to make witchcraft more palatable to Christians.

The following is the result of their attempt to codify and define the beliefs of witches:

“Principles of Wiccan Beliefs” 1974 Council of American Witches

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Wiccan priestess preaching in temple.
Date 26 August 2007
Source The Priestess in the Temple
Author
Flickr user bluheron / Heron Herodias.
Image Lic.: Creative Commons 2.0

We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarter.

We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called supernatural, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity — as masculine and feminine — and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. — and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it — a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft — the Wiccan Way.

Calling oneself “Witch” does not make a Witch — but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with Nature.

We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be “the only way” and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as “Satan” or “the Devil”, as defined by the Christian traditions. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

The Council that came up with this supposedly did so to counteract misinformation and dispel stereotypes, but actually they succeeded in making more of this very thing. Interestingly, this witches’ council was assembled by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, President of Llewellyn Publishing. They have been the primary publishers of books on Wicca and Neo-paganism since, at least, the 1970s. And, it is their books that are common sources of confusion about what witchcraft -at least, traditional witchcraft – is. This is because their Wiccan authors do not usually acknowledge and have even worked to deny the truth about witchcraft.

Not surprisingly, this Council of Witches, which was founded in 1973 ceased to exist by 1975 because of differences among its members.

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Black Magic, Demons and Other Spirits

“Bide the Wiccan Rede, ye must; in perfect love and perfect trust.”

Traditional witches

Traditional witches

A fundamental difference between traditional witches and Wiccans is that traditional witches do not acknowledge or accept the Wiccan Rede or any other moral code. The Wiccan Rede became popular with many non-Gardnerian Wiccans. Gardnerians have never acknowledged it, their “code” is the Charge of the Goddess.

The Wiccan Rede has roots that stretch all the way back to the late 1960s and seems to stem from something said by Doreen Valiente in speech she gave.

On the other hand, traditional witches are entirely self-autonomous and do not acknowledge any code or authority, therefore, they usually have no problem with the practice of black magic. In fact, traditional witchcraft is quite a lot darker than Wicca and the the slick, glittery popular culture conception of modern witchcraft from the movies.

In contrast to traditional witchcraft, Wiccans eschew black magic. Some go a little further and declare that anyone claiming to practice black magic or work with demonic entities is not a real witch. Some, also, claim that Satanists and Luciferians are not real witches. Some Wiccans are very reactionary to this aspect of traditional witchcraft and expend a lot of energy trying to convince people that real witches don’t practice black magic or commune with the devil.

The irony is that many traditional witches don’t consider Wiccans to be real witches. And, in recent years, some Wiccans do not consider themselves to be witches and do not practice spell casting, rather they celebrate the earth and its yearly cycles.

As stated in the “Principles” above, Wicca does not recognize evil, ascribing these characteristics to forces of nature. Furthermore, most Wiccans do not believe in the existence of demons or devils. By contrast many traditional witches work with spirits of all kinds and of different natures.

Traditional witches, also, employ familiars, but they are not cats or dogs – they are spirits. By contrasts, many Wiccans translate “familiar spirit” to mean a pet.

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Traditional Witches Look and Act Like Everyone Else

Traditional Witches

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Most traditional witches, unless they’re in business as witches, do not dress any differently from other people. They, also, typically do not use telltale phrases like, “Merry Meet” and “Blessed be.” The closer we fit to the witch living alone on the edge of town with a black cat stereo-type, the more circumspect we tend to be with regard to our lives and our activities because people knowing anything about our personal business has not worked out well for us in the past.

By contrast, Wiccans tend to be very social and they dress in certain ways and use certain phrases so they can recognize each other in social settings. They are the vocal majority who are “out of the broom closet.

Wicca and the Self-help Movement

Traditional witchcraft is not a self-help movement. It is not about personal empowerment through positive thinking or affirmations. It about changing the outer world. Traditional witches are very serious about altering circumstances in the outer environment, yes, even manipulating other people. Traditional witches understand that there is a an occult science that makes this possible. Witches have a natural power to cause changes in the outer environment and they spend a lot of time studying the occult and trying to improve upon and perfect their natural abilities.

By contrast, many aspects of Wicca focus on self-help and changing things about one’s self as opposed to changing things in the outer environment. Some even forbid using witchcraft for healing without the subject’s permission.

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Wicca’s Earth-centeredness

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Unlike Wicca, traditional witchcraft is not an earth-centered religion or, for that matter, an earth-centered anything else. In fact, it’s not a religion, either. Traditional witches do not worship anyone or anything.

Traditional witches tend to rely more on history, old documents and old practices, whether from old grimoires, the writings of the Hermeticists or from folklore.

On the other hand, Wiccans tend to rely more on their own books on the subject of Wicca, which is really a completely different thing. The Llewellyn Publishing Company is probably the most important publisher to shape present-day thoughts about both Wicca and witchcraft. But, Wicca is in many ways the converse of everything that both traditional witchcraft and historical witchcraft represent.

Another closely related article to this one at this blog is: What is Traditional Witchcraft? How to Know if You are a Wiccan or a Traditional Witch.

Click here to visit Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

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Witchcraft and the Occult: Good Reasons for Staying in the Broom Closet and How to Keep Your Private Business Private

Posted in neo-paganism, occult, Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by littleredridinghood
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The following is an old witch’s advice for other witches, atheists, Satanists and independent thinkers who do not live in a supportive environment.

Since, at least, the 1990s when a form of witchcraft, Wicca, became mainstream, there has been a lot of discussion about “coming out of the closet” as a witch. This is usually a big question for teenagers or college students whose lives may be heavily dominated by their parents. But, it’s, also, a problem for many adults whose families, employers or general environment is dominated by religious fanatics.

Coming out of the closet is not a light consideration, nor should it be approached with a cavalier attitude. Once you’re out, it’s hard to get back in and the consequences can be very unpleasant, depending on your particular circumstances.

A lot of bigotry, some of the dangerous kind, remains in parts of the U.S. where Christianity dominates, although, if you live in a bigger city or a place like Salem, Massachusetts where witchcraft is celebrated, you might find it hard to believe. Similar intolerance may exist in other countries, as well.

If you happen to live in a less than forward-thinking place, considering the following ideas while you make your decision may be beneficial.

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The Pros and Cons of Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Even if the climate is not bad where you are now, this can change – and it has. The churches are businesses that exist with the benefit of billions of dollars annually in U.S. government taxpayer funds since George W. Bush signed the Faith Based Initiative into law by executive order. Many, also, enjoy 501-C-3 status with the IRS, which means they are classified as non-profit organizations. By claiming to be religious organizations and meeting certain standards, they are exempt from Federal and State taxation. This gives them a great advantage over other types of businesses and, as a result, they have grown abundantly in the past few years while other businesses have failed under the burden of taxes and, in some cases, the domination of Christian “morality.”

As they have grown fat on the back of the American taxpayer, they have grown more powerful. This means that where their influence was problematic a few years ago, in some places, it is becoming unbearable. In some parts of the Midwest, the South and in the Mormon Corridor, it is a challenge to find an employer or an employment situation that isn’t dominated by Christians, often very tyrannical, fundamentalist ones. If you are out of lockstep with them, you can lose your job. If you have a business, you can lose your customer base, if they find out you are not one of them.

If you conform or appear to conform to their “standards,” you won’t encounter many problems.

If you can run your business without it interfering with the laws established by the churches with regard to alcohol sales or certain types of entertainment, you are better off doing so.

For most people, witchcraft is a quiet personal practice and there is really no need to discuss it with anyone else. In your interactions with other people, let them make the first move toward any open discussion about the occult. Never initiate the discussion.

If you do have a few friends and hold meetings at your house, be discreet. If you have a spiritual development group, for example, you have a few friends who gather together each week to practice mediumship development or discuss occult-related subjects, try to keep your meetings low-key. You might even devise a cover story and tell outsiders that it is a “Bible Study” group. Religions are given special status and if people think you’re holding a Christian religious meeting, you won’t have any problems.

If you live in a heavily Christian area where people’s lives revolve around their church, you may want to devise a story to tell people who inquire about your “faith.” Usually, if you tell people you’re Catholic, the questions stop there. Many protestants don’t really like the Catholic Church, but they will respect a Catholic enough not to nag or harass them. Tailor your choice of cover story based on the area you live in.

Make a game out of dealing with Christians. If you have religious co-workers, keep them off the scent by throwing a little “Bless You,” or “Thank the Lord,” into the conversation at appropriate times. You can laugh quietly to yourself once their backs are turned, knowing that your privacy is being maintained and you are secure from being hassled.

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Tips for Staying Safely in the Closet Online and In Real Life

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The following are some ideas to consider if you want to guard your privacy online and remain in the broom closet, both online and in real life:

If you have a job working for a Christian-dominated company, do not post on “anti-Christian” sites while at work. It can be traced by your employer and people have lost their jobs this way.

Always stay anonymous online. Never use your real name, disclose your location or family relationships or anything else that could identify you to someone who knows you. There are millions of people online, but it can become a very small world in some online communities. Furthermore, never post pictures of yourself, your family, your pets. Never talk about your work place or your school. People who know you may be able to identify you just from you giving too many details.

  •     Use different UserIDs.
  •     Do not integrate social networking sites with other social networking sites or your e-mail account.
  •     Use multiple e-mail accounts.
  •     Never give personal information that could identify you.
  •     Do not give information about your location.
  •     If you suspect someone is tracking you, leave disinformation crumbs.
  •     If cornered by your employer or anyone who could do damage to your life, remember the words of Bill Clinton, “Deny, deny, deny!”

What is bad about following this advice is that when everyone follows it, it can prevent you from connecting with people you know.

For instance, I joined a closed online witchcraft group once and recognized someone I knew and was friends with by his moniker and photo. I introduced myself and we re-established contact after a couple of years. If everyone is in the closet, it’s much more difficult to make these kinds of positive connections. But, especially, if you are vulnerable, you are better off staying in the closet and letting those who have less to lose by being out (for example, this guy is the head of a Satanic order and is something of an intimidating figure to many people) do so, then you can connect with them, as you like.

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Other Reasons for Staying in the Closet

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Peace of Mind: By staying in the closet, you enjoy more peace of mind. Not wasting time and energy dealing with people you don’t want to deal with gives you more time to focus on your personal goals.

Privacy: Privacy is part of safety and security, online, at your job and in every aspect of your life. People cannot attack you very easily if they know nothing about you.
Related Article

Efficacy: It is often easier to get things done and to have influence, for example, within an organization, if you appear to be a team player. It is an easier position from which to try to persuade others to see things your way. If you come out of the closet in an “in your face” fashion, this will predispose others to oppose you in all matters.

You’re not going to change the minds of religious fanatics by being a good person or setting a good example as a witch (or an atheist). It is their goal to dominate other people and force them to conform to their “standards.” They don’t consider morality, decency, goodness or the content of a person’s character. If you have not accepted the redeeming blood of Jesus, they will regard you as “Satan.” Again, you may have a better chance of influencing them by remaining in the closet and playing along.

All of this advice is meaningless if you are fortunate enough to be living in a place dominated by educated, non-superstitious people who are grounded in reality. If you are not so fortunate, then you really must consider the danger that being out of the closet could pose to you, your safety, you family’s safety and your financial well-being.

Notes on the Regional Nature of The Problem of Intolerance of Witchcraft in the U.S.

The decision to come out of the broom closet or not is absolutely an individual choice. Each witch will have to realistically evaluate the environment he or she lives in to come to the right decision.

Coming out can be liberating and really seem like a relief. But, it can cause some problems, too.

The following is a famous example of what could go wrong:

Brandi Blackbear is a woman who was persecuted at a public school in Tulsa, Oklahoma back in 1999-2000, when she was 15-years old. Lifetime Movies did a dramatization of her story called “Not Like Everyone Else” in 2006. Brandi was not a witch, but her trouble began when she was caught reading a book on the subject of witchcraft from the library. Brandi suffered persecution at her school to an extreme until she received help from ACLU and hers became a landmark case upholding the 1st Amendment. She gave an interview in which she commented that what happened to her was partly related to the region of the country in which she lived. If she had lived in Seattle, WA or Salem, MA, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Other recent incidents:

You may notice that most of the victims listed below are Wiccans. Wiccans are often encouraged to live openly in Wiccan books, which is just not safe for everyone everywhere, as you can see.

The woman in this story objected to having to stand and bow her head in prayer to Jesus before city council meetings in South Carolina. She was prevented from speaking, then things got worse.

‘Wynne … said her home has been vandalized and townspeople have tried to forcibly “exorcise” demons out of her, poisoned her cats and threatened to burn her house. “They flipped over my refrigerator. They squirted ketchup and mustard everywhere. They’ve written ‘Die, witch.'” (“South Carolina: Witch Persecuted by Christians” By Austin Cline, About.com GuideAugust 11,2004 http://atheism.about.com/b/2004/08/11/south-carolina-witch-persecuted-by-christians.htm)

Burnet, Texas has been the scene of two cases of witchcraft persecutions in 2003 and, again, in 2009.

In the first instance in 2003, Wiccans who ran a store in Burnet were threatened and eventually forced to leave town by the local Christians. The original KXAN report cannot be found, but an article, “The Persecution of Wiccans” by Austin Cline, remains at About.com:

“The group says they relocated to Burnet in April after pressure to leave from community groups in Kingsland. They say they’re receiving threats in one case to burn down their business.”(http://atheism.about.com/b/2003/08/03/persecution-of-wiccans.htm)

The original Austin-Statesman article about the 2009 event cannot be found, but a brief article by the same author as referenced above is found at About.com: Austin-American Statesman:

“Over the past 10 months, Allen said, threatening phone calls have poured in and strange cars have followed her home from her store at night. The police dismissed her requests for protection, she said. Allen also claims that in March, one Llano County sheriff’s deputy told her daughter that “we had a family practicing witchcraft awhile back, but we ran them out of town.” (http://atheism.about.com/b/2003/08/06/more-on-the-persecution-of-wiccans-in-texas.htm)

In South Carolina, a Wiccan couple endured extreme harassment from their neighbors and a government agency, DHHR, took their children. They had to sue the government to try to get them back after being accused of engaging in the human sacrifice of their own children.

“A family of Wiccans falsely accused of sacrificing their children during religious ceremonies sued the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources for allegedly harassing them and taking possession of their children.”

“The couple contends they have been continually harassed since moving to West Virginia in 1999.”

“On one occasion, DHHR officials and a State Police trooper were called to investigate an allegation that the couple had killed their youngest child in a sacrifice and were carrying the boy’s body with them. A later DHHR visit came from another false report that the couple’s children had been sacrificed.” (“Wiccan family files suit against DHHR” by Charles Shumaker “The Charleston Gazette,” July 28, 2004 http://wwrn.org/articles/9560/?&place=north-america&section=occult)

Another case from 2008 highlights the dangers of living openly as a witch when you have children and how government agencies that purport to protect children can be manipulated by persecutors. A family was completely torn apart and forced to flee as fugitives because of false reports to the Department of Social Services (DSS) by their Christian neighbors. ( “Pagan Persecution a National Travesty” by Lady Passion, High Priestess, Coven Oldenwilde, Asheville, NC Published February, 2008, in Oracle 20/20 Magazine. http://oldenwilde.org/oldenwilde/members/lady-passion-articles/pagan-persecution-a-national-travesty_part-1.html)

Sometimes the harassment is not as overt, but it can still be very damaging. The following is an example of how witches may be undermined or sabotaged at work. TSA worker, Carole Smith was fired from her job under the pretense of poor job performance, but it seems likely there were other reasons. As a person of integrity, she was concerned about lax security at the airport and became a whistleblower. She was, also subjected to witchcraft accusations by co-workers:

“A co-worker even complained that Smith cast a disabling spell on the heater of her car one snowy evening,” (“Wiccan Lawsuit: Carole Smith claims TSA fired her for being a ‘witch'” by Larry McShane, Daily New Staff Writer, March 31, 2011 http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-03-31/news/29386452_1_tsa-wiccan-witch-hunt)

Some witches do not feel safe or comfortable telling their own family members about their witchcraft practice. The following article is from the New York Times:

“A stay-at-home mother of two in Northern Virginia who was raised Southern Baptist keeps her Wiccan faith secret. Not even her mother knows.” (“Wiccans Keep the Faith With a Religion Under Wraps” by Stephanie Kuykendal, The New York Times, May 16, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/us/16wiccan.html)

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How to Study Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism: Witchcraft Versus Witchcraft Theater

Posted in occult, spell casting, Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2013 by littleredridinghood

by Sophia diGregorio

This article is a continuation of the previous post, entitled “The Dangers of Wiccan Covens and Other Neo-Pagan Groups to Women and Children.”

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Much of what you will find in Wicca and neo-paganism is a kind of theatrical performance. Wicca may be accurately described as a celebration of witchcraft, but most of it bears no resemblance to actual witchcraft (or what we now call “traditional witchcraft” since the overwhelming growth in popularity of neo-paganism). The same can be said of other re-creationist forms of paganism in which participants dress a certain way, get in a circle and perform some sort of celebration.

The Wiccans celebrate the seasons and the sabbats. They celebrate the phases of the moon and they honor the old gods and goddesses. They celebrate to worship nature – literal nature, such as the trees and the planet. Sometimes they do it in fancy robes and sometimes they do it in the buff. But, it is all a theater of ritual. They do it to have a sense of belonging, for fellowship and sometimes to hold onto some vestige of religion after abandoning some form of Christianity, since Wicca and many other forms of neo-paganism are, in fact, religions.

Sometimes, they actually use witchcraft, but the same could be said of the Catholics, the Pentecostals and the Evangelicals, who use some very powerful magic at their services. This doesn’t make them witches, as such. And, the same is true of most Wiccans and neo-pagans. They are witches in name only. And, some neo-pagans never use this term, at all – they are Wiccans (or Asatrur or whatever) and they do not consider themselves witches.

Of course, there’s nothing really wrong with this as long as the new-comer to witchcraft and the occult realizes what he or she is involved in. The problem comes with the misinformation given by the leadership, some of whom are corrupt while others are simply deluded.

Neo-pagan covens, orders and groups all too often quickly come to resemble their Christian counterparts. Sometimes they become a playground for sociopaths in one way or another. If the leader is not luring women for nefarious purposes, they may be draining the member’s time or wallet. The leader and the members of the innermost circle – and there is usually one or more that other members don’t know about and don’t suspect exists – stroke each other’s egos with the idea of having some power over others.

At the very least, these groups are social clubs with their pot luck dinners, pagan night out (often a drunken affair, in my observation) and opportunities to play dress-up. In groups where children are permitted – something that should be undertaken with caution or not at all, especially, if the group practices nudity – there is the opportunity for people with children to find like-minded people with children.

But, this is all witchcraft theater and there is very little occultism, occult studies or witchcraft going on. If you want to study witchcraft, this is not the way to go about it. On the other hand, if you are done with Christianity, but still want to have a religion and be around religious people with their social constructs, then this is an option.

Wicca and neo-paganism are not subjects serious students of witchcraft or the occult linger on for long, even when they are met by them on their first introduction to the occult, which is very common these days, since it is their books that dominate the shelves of mainstream bookstores and they are the most socially acceptable types of witches, being members of a recognized religion.

The fact is that genuine witchcraft is not a religion any more than it is a theatrical production.

How to Study Witchcraft and the Occult

We’ve seen how not to learn about witchcraft and the occult, so here are some ideas for going about it the right way.

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First of all, not all organizations are bad, but many of them are and at the very least most of them are a waste of time. Therefore, when approaching any organization, take a look at the members and their actual purpose. Are they achieving their stated goals? Are their goals your goals? Is the membership comprised of people whose knowledge and expertise you could benefit from? What exactly will they require from you? Never join any organization until you’ve investigated them for a long time and do not reject criticism of the organization without examining its veracity. Always take caution because it is often easier to get into a cult than it is to get out of a cult. Take even greater caution if the group claims to be a coven that is recruiting. Genuine covens do not often recruit, especially from the general public or casual inquiries.

If you must be part of an organization, a better idea is to start your own study group – not a coven or order – with two or three close friends who have similar interests to yours. Let each member research particular aspects of occultism and traditional witchcraft and teach it to the others..

In the very beginning, the best choice is probably not to be part of any organization, but to undertake the study of traditional witchcraft and occultism on your own.

Begin by making your own inquiry into the so-called paranormal. This may be especially important to people who are spiritually out of touch or do not have highly developed psychic abilities. You must verify for yourself the reality of spiritual phenomena.

One of the most important aspects of witchcraft to study is the art and science of healing because it is here that the applied esoteric science of witchcraft can most readily be demonstrated to yourself and others. The skills you will learn as a healer can be applied to other areas of witchcraft and the occult.

Other important areas of study include the history and practice of witchcraft (not Wicca or neo-pagan religions) around the world.

Hermeticism and Theosophical Luciferianism (ie. Blavatsky’s “Secret Doctrine” and the works of the second wave Theosophists, Besant, Leadbeter and Powell) are, also, important areas of study.

Master some aspects of astrology and Hermeticism by learning to read the tarot, which is a powerful initiation into the occult mysteries and a tool for developing phenomenal psychic abilities, as discussed in the book, “How to Read the Tarot for Fun, Profit and Psychic Development for Beginners and Advanced Readers,” by Angela Kaelin. Complete mastery of the tarot leads to a true initiation into the esteric science of witchcraft. This is not something some one can bestow upon you in an initiatory ritual, which is only symbolism and theatricialism, but an genuine initiation.

This may not be as much fun as joining a group and attending meetings and pot luck dinners in your ritual cloak, but it is a true initiation in the esoteric mysteries of traditional witchcraft and the occult.

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

Wicca is the most accessible and acceptable form of witchcraft in existence in English-speaking countries today. It can be a doorway to the the riches of the occult or a trap for the mind and spirit, depending on how it is approached and the knowledge with which this is done.

In “What’s Next After Wicca?” the author answers the question she often heard from her metaphysical bookstore customers who had studied Wicca, but felt dissatisfied with it and wanted to learn more about the subject of witchcraft, in general: “What else is there?”

This book represents the opinion of the author after 25 years of experience in the occult and several years of owning a store that was, also, a networking center for neo-pagan groups. It is written in an informative, yet conversational style, just as she would speak to friends and customers who would ask for her opinions about witchcraft and the occult.

It includes a discussion on the origins and the present state of Wicca, other alternative religions and philosophies including Satanism, Luciferianism, Germanic Occultism, Gnosticism and traditional witchcraft. Throughout are recommendations for other courses of occult studies, including a categorized bibliography.

Note: This is not a spell book or a manual on how to do witchcraft.

Purchase “What’s Next After Wicca?” at Barnes &  Noble, Smashwords, Amazon.com and Kobo.com.

The Dangers of Wiccan Covens and Other Neo-Pagan Groups to Women and Children

Posted in neo-paganism, occult, Traditional Witchcraft, Wicca with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2013 by littleredridinghood

by Sophia diGregorio

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This article deals with the potential dangers of joining Wiccan and neo-pagan groups that I have written about elsewhere, but in less graphic terms than I plan to in this article. Whenever you discuss a topic like this, there is a risk of offending someone, but I think this is something that should be discussed so that people – especially women, who are most often the targets of such machinations – can be warned.

The fact is this: There are people who create religious societies, covens, orders or groups so they can use them to lure women, children and sometimes men into situations for their own depraved sexual pleasure.

Often, their targets are women who have just left Christianity and who are sometimes in a traumatized and highly suggestible state from their experiences at the hands of Christian abusers. They try to get to these women, lure them into their discussion groups and give their own version of what paganism means. Some men target women who are already pagans because they have the opinion that such women are morally “loose” and lack the societal protections that Christian women enjoy. They see them as easy targets because they may be persuaded that paganism or other aspects of the occult are really about cavorting around naked in the woods having sex.

When Joseph Smith founded the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), he essentially founded a witchcraft-based sex cult and put the wrapping of Christianity on it to lure girls as young as 14 and to persuade men to hand over their wives to him. (Smith was a black magician and a con man, from an entire family of witches and witchcraft accusers going back to Salem, Massachussetts.) The Mormon organization was not the first, but may be regarded as a standard prototype for how sexual perverts successfully lure victims by establishing religious cults. Many other cult leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh have used the same pattern. Although their lure was Christianity, the model is the same except that with modern Wiccan and neo-pagan groups the leaders promise women freedom from Christianity – something better and more liberating.

Gerald Gardner’s neo-pagan cult of Wicca is another example of this same model. He used the lure of paganism and the occult to get his hands on women, denigrate and ritualistically rape them. Despite the Wiccan’s “We’re not Satanists,” claim, the original Wiccan organizations looked very much like Satanic covens.

This brilliant model was copied by men who came after Gardner, such as Alex Sanders. There are some old videos him performing his pornographic rites still circulating. You’ll find them once in a while on YouTube before they’re pulled for violating the Terms of Service. The rite shown in the video at the following link, which is very disturbing, is similar to the Five Points of Fellowship washing and anointing rite performed by Mormons in the LDS temples as they were performed in the 1990s, when my family was a member of this cult: http://youtu.be/xF69UCJ9YHA

Women who have been sexually objectified and abused in Christian churches often have no idea what to expect from Wicca or paganism, which when compared to Christianity is more accepting of women. New mini-cult leaders have popped up everywhere. They advertise at sites like WitchVox and pretend to be spiritual leaders, they hold discussion groups, perform handfastings, etc. But, their real purpose is to have perverted sex or to watch as others have sex in a ritualistic setting. Or, simply to get their hands on women and children who make up the vast majority of people interested in paganism and the occult.

We see this same gender dynamic at work in Christianity, interestingly. It is usually women who are most interested in spiritual matters, but it is men who are most often the spiritual leaders. In Christianity, this can be explained by its inherent misogyny and prohibition of women in leadership roles – or even to speak in churches, in some cases. But, in neo-paganism, it’s a little harder to explain away. In both instances, the result is often the same – the men use their leadership positions and their authority to sexually abuse women and children.

Present-day Wiccan apologists justify these problematic aspects of Wicca’s origins by pointing out that Wicca (and many aspects of neo-paganism) was absorbed by the women’s movement by the 1970s. It is true that by the 1960s witchcraft, in general, was becoming very appealing to a lot of women who were awakening to the harsh realities of life in the conventionally accepted social structure. This is illustrated in the movie, “Season of the Witch,” also, entitled “Jack’s Wife” and “Hungry Wives ,” (Please, see related blogpost, entitled “Season of the Witch,” aka. “Hungry Wives” and “Jack’s Wife” and the article, “Review of Season of the Witch” (1973) or “Hungry Wives.”) It is, also, true that a feminist named Z. Budapest took Wicca in hand and molded it into a women’s religion. Although her style of Wicca still has some very strong sexual overtones, hers was the first documented women-only coven.

Read the book, “What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft” by Sophia diGregorio.

My Personal Experiences

I was very young when I escaped the Mormon cult. At that time, it was relatively rare for people to leave the organization and there was no formal procedure in place for doing so. Fortunately, this has now changed, but few people leave this organization without having to leave behind family members and other important aspects of their lives. I was both relieved to be out of the cult, but traumatized by my experience with them. A friend directed me toward a weekly meeting of elderly women who sat around a table and taught and discussed occult subjects. These ladies were witches, but they were a traditional variety and not Wicans and I remember that many of them were very skeptical about it when the subject of Wicca was first brought up to us.

This was the early 1980s, so Wicca had not come to be the popular cultural phenomenon it is today. In fact, it had only been fully introduced to the U.S. by Raymond Buckland about 10 or 15 years earlier. Wiccans were personae non gratae at this time. Possibly this was not true on the west coast, which is where Wicca seemed to take hold in the U.S., but I was not in in California. I was in one of the original Voodoo centers of the U.S (we call it Hoodoo now to distinguish from other practices), a hotbed of Satanic activity and Spiritualist and metaphysical studies in years past. I was a very young person among a group of this old stronghold of occultists from that time.

I had been involved with this group for a year or two before the subject of Wicca was brought up by a new member, who had been studying this subject. She offered to demonstrate a ritual for us and a few of us participated in this sort of mock Wiccan ritual. I became friends with this lady for a short while until it occurred to me that she seemed to be questioning her sexuality and exploring a lot of new things after being newly sprung from a very aggressive anti-woman religion, which I won’t name lest anyone reading this might recognize the people involved. I think she was very traumatized at this time and was open to all kinds of new ideas that she might have rejected out of hand before her departure from this mind control religion. She was the one who suggested I read “Drawing Down the Moon” and suggested I stay far away from the work of Aleister Crowley. She said to avoid Crowley because he had perverted Wiccan rites and rituals – as it turns out this is not true, rather Gardner’s rites and the foundation for Wicca seem to have come almost entirely from Crowley’s work, although, much seems to be derived from freemasonry (Gardner like Joseph Smith was a low level initiate who claimed to be a high level one).

Of course, I read them both. “Drawing Down the Moon” tells the story of neo-paganism in the U.S since the early 1970s, a movement I was unaware of and with which I did not resonate. I found it very hippyish and bizarre, but my friend was originally from the southwest and closer to the age group that accepts the ideas of the hippy era, which my own generation very much rejected. (I’m part of the tail end of the “Me Generation” – Dress for Success, Just Say No to Drugs and all that.)

When I know nothing about a public figure, I like to start with their autobiographies and fortunately, Crowley wrote his own hagiography (biography of a saint), entitled “The Confessions of Aleister Crowley,” which is now, unfortunately, out of print last time I checked. Since then I’ve read numerous others – the man was brilliant, a talented writer and an accomplished occultist who has the ability to convey his own personal discoveries with regard to the Kabbalah, meditation and ritual in a very straightforward and instructional yet friendly way. I have different feelings about Crowley’s personal life, but unlike Gardner, Sanders, Cochrane and others who followed in his footsteps, Crowley was a genuine occultist – yes, admittedly a pervert – but, also, a serious student and teacher of the occult and students of witchcraft can learn a great deal from his writings and those of his associates.

I didn’t hear much more about Wicca until I journeyed westward. I had read about the neo-paganism in Colorado in “Drawing Down the Moon” and as it turned out, by the late 1980s and early 1990s, Colorado Springs and Denver were still strongholds of Wicca and neo-paganism stemming from the 1970s. It was here that I learned more about what these people are all about.

Since I was an occultist, a professional psychic and a witch, when I met people who told me that they too were witches and were going to some meeting or other, I was interested in going along. Up to this point my experiences with other witches had actually revolved around the study of witchcraft, that’s what I expected to find – other students of the occult, other psychics, other witches, but this is not what I found.

My experiences among neo-pagans were varied, but weird, as follows:

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One one occasion I was invited to a Wiccan drumming circle. I was expecting an outdoor event, but instead it took place inside an older home in an older residential area, with a large open room (probably ordinarily the dining room). Once inside, there was little conversation unless it was down in the kitchen or some other room of the house. In the main room a good twenty or more people sat around on chairs patting various types of drums, despite their lack of rhythm. After a while, we left. I have no idea what the purpose of the drumming circle is. The people involved were the furthest thing from musicians I’ve ever seen, so it can’t be about music.

On another occasion, a man invited me to a pagan event that was taking place at someone’s farm house on the outskirts of town. When I arrived, I saw a bunch of guys leaping over a fire. They looked pretty drunk and, in fact, there was a keg or two of beer on the premises. After the fire was put out, I was informed by my host that the participants were now going inside to join a “puppy pile.” I had never heard this term before, so I had to have it explained to me. This is where the people lie around in a “pile” engaging in hugging, caressing and touching. I quickly jumped in my car and got the hell out of there.

Another time, I attended a pagan discussion group, which began with a few people sitting on the floor of a Unity church after hours discussing paganism This first meeting seemed fine. Some time passed and the man conducting this pagan group had begun to amass a few followers. The next time I attended one of his meetings he was standing up at the front of the church like a preacher, which offended some of the pagans in attendance, who left and did not return. But, a few others – all newbies without a clue – were intrigued by what this man had to say.

What was odd about this man was that as he got more power, he got more “familiarity” with women in attendance. The second and last time, I attended his meetings he said “good-bye” to me by pawing me up and down. Shortly after this he began hosting discussions on subjects like “Pagan Sexuality,” clearly trying to feel out (no pun intended) new prospects to see how susceptible they were to his sexual suggestions. As it turns out, he was conducting a swing club in the name of paganism, luring unsuspecting and often traumatized women while disguised as a knowledgeable pagan spiritual leader.

They went on to form a coven of sorts, in which they practiced the Great Rite in a very literal sense. They actually went into the woods, gathered around in a circle and watched as two people had ritualistic sex. Paganism and ritual was the backdrop for their particular sexual fetish. This is all fine and good, except that some of the people this man had lured were women who had recently been exposed to Christian spiritual abuse and were in a state of high suggestibility and completely ignorant about paganism, apart from the perversions being preached by this man.

My position on this matter is this: If you want to have a swing club or any other kind of sex club whose participants are informed and consenting adults, that’s your business, but represent it for what it is. Do not try to disguise it as a pagan group, call yourself a witch, a spiritualist, etc. and try to lure unsuspecting women so that they can be pawed and coerced into sexual activity.

Just as in every other instance, these pagan men and witches some of whom ran around in their robes and other garb carrying staves, were extremely unattractive men who devised this ruse in order to avail themselves of the bodies of innocent and often vulnerable women. It’s not much different from what Christian churches have been doing forever, but it is no less repugnant.

Furthermore, many people who have been abused by the churches and turn to some form of paganism, tend to harbor the same wide-eyed innocence as many church-goers. They have the idea that their spiritual leaders are knowledgeable and have good intentions, however, just as with Christians, this is all too often not the case.

This article is to be continued in the next blogpost, entitled “How to Study Traditional Witchcraft and Occultism:Witchcraft Versus Witchcraft Theater.”

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft” by Sophia diGregorio

What is Traditional Witchcraft? How to Know if You are a Wiccan or a Traditional Witch

Posted in occult, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by littleredridinghood

What is traditional witchcraft?

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The answer to this question seems to depend a lot on who you ask, however, to those who consider themselves traditional witches, traditional witchcraft might, also, be called historical witchcraft. Moreover, traditional witchcraft is a world-wide practice; it is not a religion.

In recent years, the term, “traditional witchcraft,” has  developed to distinguish those who practice old folk magic or historical witchcraft from those who are members of the Wiccan religion or other neo-pagan religions, who, also, sometimes refer to themselves as witches and refer to their religions as witchcraft.

While there is no universal definition of the term, “traditional witchcraft, “Michael Howards, gives an interesting one in his book, “Children of Cain: A Study of Modern Traditional Witches,” when he refers to it as, “any non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan or pre-modern form of the Craft, especially if it has been inspired by historical forms of witchcraft and folk magic.”

Furthermore, traditional witchcraft is not any form of neo-paganism, which encompasses a variety of modern pagan religions, including Wicca.

Much of the confusion about the meaning of the term, “traditional witchcraft, seems to arise from the usage of the term “traditional” within Wicca. Often Wiccans use the same terms as those used in traditional witchcraft, but ascribe a different meaning to them. Within Wicca and neo-paganism, the term “tradition,” refers to the version of Wicca or other form of neo-paganism a person is pursuing. They sometimes refer to this as a “path,” which means a course of study. In Wicca, this might mean that the person is involved in the study or worship of various pantheons. Often, Wiccans choose a pantheon that is in alignment with their own national or cultural origins.

Also, within Wicca, the term “tradition” is used to describe various brands of the Wiccan religion, such as Cochranian, Alexandrian and Gardnerian. You may hear a Wiccan say, “traditional Gardnerian Wicca” or “traditional Alexandrian Wicca.” But, this use of the term has nothing to do with traditional witchcraft, itself, and is only a term used within the Wiccan religion to distinguish various subsets of itself. In this way, the use of the term “tradition” within Wicca may be likened to the use of the term “denomination” within Christianity.

Some Wiccan writers seem to resent the term “traditional witchcraft,” because they hold that their religion is very old and, itself, traditional. But, a little research into the origins of Wicca and its evolution shows that it is a very new phenomenon and while it is a witchcraft-based religion, much of Wicca has little or no resemblance to traditional or historical witchcraft, either here or elsewhere in the world.

By contrast, traditional witchcraft is a worldwide practice, which bears some commonalities based on an ancient esoteric science known the world over. While it may be involved in religion – in fact, there is quite a bit of witchcraft going on in Christianity, although they prefer to think of it as something else – witchcraft is not a religion. People who practice traditional witchcraft include a wide range of people around the world who may be part of a religion that recognizes a supreme being or not or they may simply be atheists.

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Differences Between Being a Wiccan and Being a Traditional Witch

Because Wicca, like Christianity, is a religion, the people who get involved in it often enjoy a sense of belonging to a group – if not a coven or a congregation, then, at least, to some identifiable sub-culture. Christians wear their crosses and Wiccans wear their pentagrams to help themselves recognize each other in public encounters.

By contrast, traditional witchcraft has no such recognizable symbolism.

Wiccans, Christians and members of neo-pagan orders usually have sort of initiation rite or a baptism rite, through which you become a fully-fledged member of their group.

By contrast, there is no moment at which you officially become a traditional witch – it’s not like becoming a Christian through baptism or a Wiccan by means of an initiation ceremony or simply taking a spirit “into your heart,” through sincere belief.  Another major difference, of course, is that there is usually no group to belong to.

When compared to Wicca or any other religion, traditional witchcraft tends to be a much lonelier occupation and often a far more secretive one. The fact that we have no moral doctrines or dogma and that many of us are atheists, makes us unacceptable to many members of the broader society, including many Wiccans and neo-pagans. (As an example of this kind of intolerance, see the requirements for being a member of the large, popular site, supposedly devoted to witchcraft, called WitchVox, –  traditional witches, Satanists, Luciferians and atheists are excluded – only Wiccans or other members of a neo-pagan religion with a moral code are allowed to participate. See their rules here, particularly #8, as follows. When you join, you must promise the following: “I follow a positive code of ethics such as The Wiccan Rede or The Troth’s Nine Virtues. …- I also understand that Witchvox does not list Christian/Satanic listings.. “)

Both Wiccans and other types of neo-pagans tend to focus heavily on a region of the world or a culture, which they  call a “tradition” or a “path.”  They often feel a connection to a particular place or land.  All forms of neo-paganism seem to focus heavily on the earth and create a worship of things associated with it.

By contrast, traditional witchcraft is a universal practice and an esoteric science, which transcends all notions of place, race, nationality, politics or anything else. While practices around the world are of great interest to many traditional witches, they generally make practical use of whatever the encounter. Lacking any prescribed ethics or moral authority, they are often very open to what they find.

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How to Know if You are A Wiccan (and, Therefore, Not a Traditional Witch)

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If the idea of conversing with demons makes you uneasy, you are probably a Wiccan. {pd}

To alleviate the confusion, here is a quick guideline for how to know if you are a Wiccan or a traditional witch:

1. If you call yourself a “Wiccan,” then you are probably a Wiccan. Although, there are traditional witches who will call themselves “Wiccans” if cornered by someone because Wicca is well-known and is more socially acceptable, but some will, also, try to pass as Catholics or a member of any other accepted religious group, if cornered by a religious zealot. Nonetheless, traditional witches are not Wiccans.

2. If you belong to a Wiccan coven, then you are a Wiccan and not a traditional witch.

3. If you participate in Wiccan rituals centering around a goddess, god or some combination thereof, then you are a Wiccan.

4. If you have a Wiccan world view, ie. the earth is a goddess. She is our mother. There is no evil because nature is neither good nor evil. All gods are one. Everything you do comes back to you ___ -fold, etc., etc., then you are a Wiccan and not a traditional witch.

5. If you have a cat or other pet, which you call your familiar, then you are a Wiccan. In traditional witchcraft, familiars are spirits, usually demonic spirits.

6. If you believe in the Gardnerian “Charge of the Goddess,” the “Three-fold Law,” or the “Wiccan Rede,” then you are most certainly a Wiccan.

7. If you accept the “Principles of Wiccan Beliefs” codified in 1974 by the Council of American Witches headed up by Mr. Carl L. Weschcke Llewellyn, owner and publisher of Llewellyn Worldwide, which defines Wicca (and uses the term interchangeably with witchcraft) as an earth-centered pagan religion, then you are most definitely a Wiccan.

8. If you use the term “dark witchcraft” to describe any aspect of witchcraft, then chances are you’re a Wiccan. The usage of this term is a relatively new phenomenon on YouTube in the past couple of years and the source of some witch warring between some moralizing Wiccans and some less-moralizing, more open-minded Wiccans and traditional witches. “Dark witchcraft” is a newly made-up term. (Witchcraft is pretty much all dark, if you’re doing it correctly!)

9. If you have an altar in your home and seasonally “decorate” it, then you are probably a Wiccan or other neo-pagan. (See the article, “Traditional Witchcraft: How to Create an Altar,” for the purpose of an altar in traditional witchcraft.)

See the next article in this series: How Can I Become a Traditional Witch?

Read the book, What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and Smashwords.

What's Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

About What’s Next After Wicca?

Wicca is the most accessible and acceptable form of witchcraft in existence in English-speaking countries today. It can be a doorway to the the riches of the occult or a trap for the mind and spirit, depending on how it is approached and the knowledge with which this is done.

In “What’s Next After Wicca?” the author answers the question she often heard from her metaphysical bookstore customers who had studied Wicca, but felt dissatisfied with it and wanted to learn more about the subject of witchcraft, in general: “What else is there?”

This book represents the opinion of the author after 25 years of experience in the occult and several years of owning a store that was, also, a networking center for neo-pagan groups. It is written in an informative, yet conversational style, just as she would speak to friends and customers who would ask for her opinions about witchcraft and the occult.

It includes a discussion on the origins and the present state of Wicca, other alternative religions and philosophies including Satanism, Luciferianism, Germanic Occultism, Gnosticism and traditional witchcraft. Throughout are recommendations for other courses of occult studies, including a categorized bibliography.

Note: This is not a spell book or a manual on how to do witchcraft.

Read the book, What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan Occult Practices and Traditional Witchcraft

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and Smashwords.