Archive for what is traditional witchcraft

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

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

The_Three_Witches_from_Shakespeares_Macbeth_by_Daniel_Gardner,_1775What is traditional witchcraft? 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 they 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)

devil-yellow-fairy-book

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

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 3-fold, 7-fold, 9-fold, 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

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.

What’s Next After Wicca? is not a spell book or a manual on how to do witchcraft.

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

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

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

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft was written to show the true history of Wicca in Britain and the development of neo-Wicca in the U.S. It tells the benefits and the drawbacks of what has become the most popular, accessible and socially acceptable form of witchcraft. Wicca is the most popular aspect of the occult today, but it is certainly not all there is. This book encourages readers who want more to continue their exploration of witchcraft and their study of its origins.

It was written by a metaphysical bookstore owner who often heard the question, “What else is there?” Find What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft by Sophia diGregorio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Amazon.com: “What’s Next After  Wicca?  Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft

See other books by Sophia diGregorio

Click here to visit Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

 

What is the Difference Between Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft?

Posted in Black Magic, Traditional Witchcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2012 by littleredridinghood
Black Magic for Dark Times: Spells of Revenge and Protection

Black Magic for Dark Times: Spells of Revenge and Protection

This subject confuses many people, including some Wiccans.  Wicca is a religion whose adherents are alternatively called Wiccans and witches.  By contrast, traditional witchcraft is not a religion, but a universal magical practice that transcends any religious belief or lack thereof.

While Wiccans generally acknowledge and revere a pantheon of gods and goddesses, traditional witches may belong to any religion or none, they may believe in a God or gods or they may be atheists.

Where Does the Term “Wicca” Come From?

Wicca is an Old Anglo-Saxon term for “witch” and refers to either a man or a woman. The usage of this word was revived in the 1950s by an Englishman named Gerald Gardner who is credited with founding modern Wicca. This branch of Wicca is commonly referred to as Gardnerian.

In the United States Wicca is, typically, more independently practiced. And, throughout the 1960s and into the present time, it has undergone some changes. It remains a polytheistic, earth-centered nature religion. Adherents are extremely conscious of their one “law” called the Wiccan Rede (“Rede” is Old Anglo-Saxon for “counsel”) which advised them to “Harm none.”

Wiccans observe the seasons and the traditional peasant holidays called Sabbats through celebrations of drumming, dancing and feasting.

In numerous court rulings, Wicca has been upheld as a religion whenever it has come under challenge.

About Traditional Witchcraft

Traditional Witch T-shirt and Other Gifts

Traditional Witch T-shirt and Other Gifts

Traditional witchcraft is a practice of occultism that encompasses many different types of activities including astrology, divination, spell casting, spirit communication and demonology. It includes the practices of many nations, cultures and religions as well as many books and writings from ancient times.

Traditional witches may admire King Solomon or St. Cyprian for their work with demonic forces. They may be adherents to the tradition of The Golden Dawn, which gave birth to the entire New Age movement and grew out of the work of the Rosicrucians.  Sometimes they choose even more arcane forms of magical practices.

They may be inclined toward Satanic witchcraft as it was practiced by Anton LaVey of The Church of Satan.  Or they may be Luciferians or Gnostics.

They may be practice Santeria, Hoodoo or any number of traditional magical practices from countries and cultures around the world.

Some witches are capable healers who have knowledge of herbs, minerals and an alternative science that allows them to heal people at a distance.

They are as different as the individual; and they are as good or as bad as the individual.  Most traditional witches are independent thinkers who try to do the right thing, but they are not encumbered by any pre-defined moral or ethical code.  There are no Commandments and no Rede.

In English-speaking countries, witches are often considered to be evil.  In popular American culture, such as the television show “Bewitched” or the movie  “The Wizard of Oz,” witches usually either good or bad. Of course, whether traditional witches are considered good or bad may be only a matter of opinion.

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Black Magic Vs. White Magic

Another common difference between traditional witchcraft and Wicca is the use of black magic. Wiccans sometimes deny the existence of black magic and some are opposed to spell casting of any kind. Wicca is a religion and a world view, which restricts adherents with the Wiccan Rede, which admonishes them to do no harm.  Spell casting within Wiccca is always beneficial or benign. Usually, they will not even harm someone who wants to harm them.  Like Christians, they turn the other cheek and leave revenge to “karma.”  Typically, they believe it is morally wrong to interfere with the free will of another.

By contrast, traditional witches do not eschew black magic. Moreover, there is no moral code in traditional witchcraft.

Summary

In short, the most fundamental difference between Wicca and traditional witchcraft is that Wicca is a religion and traditional witchcraft is not.

Click here to visit Psychic Powers and Magic Spells

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

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

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

What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft was written to show the true history of Wicca in Britain and the development of neo-Wicca in the U.S. It tells the benefits and the drawbacks of what has become the most popular, accessible and socially acceptable form of witchcraft. Wicca is the most popular aspect of the occult today, but it is certainly not all there is. This book encourages readers who want more to continue their exploration of witchcraft and their study of its origins.

It was written by a metaphysical bookstore owner who often heard the question, “What else is there?” Find “What’s Next After Wicca? Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft“ by Sophia diGregorio at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Amazon.com: “What’s Next After  Wicca?  Non-Wiccan and Traditional Witchcraft

See other books by Sophia diGregorio

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