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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 2 - 8/13/2000
How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft?
If you were writing the definition (in an encyclopedia) for the word "Witch/Witchcraft" (in the modern sense) what would it say?
| Reponses: There are 42 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| A Person Of The Old Religion, A Person Male Or Female Who... ||Aug 17th. at 5:25:32 pm EDT|
|Phynix (Marietta, Georgia US) ||Age: 31 - Email |
A person of the old religion, A person male or female who practices rituals and spell work. One who is of the Earth
Witchcraft: Magick, spell work, working with spells,
| Yep, The Encyclopedia Entry Misses What Witches Really Are. By My Definition... ||Aug 17th. at 4:17:38 pm EDT|
|Ruis (Edinburgh, Scotland UK) ||Age: 27 |
Yep, the Encyclopedia entry misses what witches really are.
By my definition...In the medieval period in Europe, many women and men who practiced herbal medicine, midwifery and sympathetic magic were identified as witches during the hysteria and panic caused by political and economic upheaval and plague. Some so-called witches were individuals who bought the mythos created by mouthpieces of the Church, and practiced a text-book form of witchcraft according to such classics as The Hammer of the Witches. Time, The Church and anecdotal evidence have clouded the issue of real witchcraft as practiced in Europe in the historical period.
The modern Witch is a person who respects nature, believes in the immanent god/dess, practices sympathetic magic and lives by a simple rule of conduct called The Wiccan Rede.
| I Would Like To Consider Myself A "new" Witch....studying, Working, Ritualizing... ||Aug 17th. at 2:53:31 pm EDT|
|Colleen Hawkins (Long Beach, California US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I would like to consider myself a "new" witch....studying, working, ritualizing everyday for myself and others. I have enjoyed many of the descriptions already posted by fellow witches and with many of them I completely agree. Although my description is too flowery to be truly considered as an appropriate book definition, it is my true feelings and thoughts on witches, witchcraft and magick. We are beautiful, kind, sympathetic, nature loving people. Many of our intentions are to hurt no one and promote goodness in the world and spirituality within ourselves. I have experienced many established religions and Wicca/Witchraft/Being a Witch is the aboslute most beautiful and loving one of all. There is no pressure from higher authorities to live a certain way, no condemnation, and no disdain, discrimination or hate for other religions or people. It is truly beautiful beyond compare. Enjoy your gifts and regardless of how any group of people that don't understand us or the Craft today ...including some limited view dictionary authors..know we all have each other and OUR knowledge about what WE do is good enough to help educate ourselves and others. :)
| First, I Have To Say, That The Britannica Definition Of Witchcraft Has... ||Aug 17th. at 2:07:58 am EDT|
|Leim *wolf* Silverbranch (minot, North Dakota US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
first, i have to say, that the britannica definition of witchcraft has just come to my attention. this appauled me to no great end. i can certainly see where there are different ideas of what a witch is in many different cultures, but to not include what many of us ARE is a travesty. my definition would have to include all of the historical accounts of what we know the various cultures have and do consider/ed a witch to be. to do otherwise would be depriving the world of information which could be valuable. what i would certainly have to include is that witchcraft of today is commonly a nature-based, life-affirming religion which teaches harm to none.
oh, and i appreciate having such a foram as this to post my opinion. i am one who sent britannica an email as soon as i was aware of the difinition that they have. :)
love, light, n blessings;
| I Don't Really Have A Definition, But An Observation. We So Often... ||Aug 16th. at 8:18:29 pm EDT|
|Lenore (St. Louis, Missouri US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I don't really have a definition, but an observation. We so often here references to "Sabrina the Teenaged Witch", "Charmed" and "Buffy" as mass media images of Witchcraft. However, "Dharma and Greg" seems to depict a much more realistic image of modern day Witches. I don't watch the show often, but whenever I do I am always surprised and pleased by Dharma and especially her mother. Her mother to me is a typical modern day American Witch. Someone who could define this person who follows nature with wit and wisdom, is of pure heart and of service to her fellow man may just have the perfect definition.
| Reading Over Other's Comments, I Notice That Few Mention What I Perceive... ||Aug 16th. at 5:44:36 pm EDT|
|Lillith 3Feathers (Kent, Ohio US) ||Age: 49 - Email |
Reading over other's comments, I notice that few mention what I perceive to be the common denominators among witches/wiccans. Since I do not consider myself a witch (although I have been called that by others), perhaps I am not qualified to give a defination, but I feel called to write a comment. The witches I have known, and the books about witchcraft I've read, seem to have a few things in common irregardless of tradition or background. Yes, there is a belief in the witch's rede and the threefold law. But there is also the belief in a cycle of the God and Goddess. Thus, there is the belief in the Goddess creating and giving birth, and the God growing and dying and being reborn. What do others think: is a belief in the cycle of the God necessary to wicca or witchcraft?
| The Tech. Definition I Give To My Family Is: An Earth Based... ||Aug 16th. at 4:46:27 pm EDT|
|Patricia L Combahee (Summerville, South Carolina US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
The tech. definition I give to my family is: An earth based religion usualy involving two or more "Gods/Goddesses".Most often relating to duality and balance with the feminine being the more prominent deity.
| Witchcraft Is A Pagan Belief System Which Is Self-empowering And Nature Based... ||Aug 16th. at 3:10:30 pm EDT|
|Silver MayKitten (Springfield, Missouri US) ||Age: 0 - Email |
Witchcraft is a pagan belief system which is self-empowering and nature based, while all Wiccans are witches, not all witches are pagans. The basic tennets of witchcraft are the Wiccan Reade: An ye harm none, do what you will; and the law of tripple return: "What you do will come back to you, " (threefold.) At first look the Wiccan Reade appears to be a seybritic liscence to do any thing you want, but on closer reading and a little thought, this is a stricter controll than the "Golden Rule." Likewise the rule of threes is an accurate descripter of "what goes around comes around."
The word witch is one of the most beautiful words in the human vocabulary, in fact most witches look after themselves well and are for the most part beautiful people. But never call a witch a warlock! Would you run into the middle of a NAACP convention and yell "NIGGERS!"? No this would not be a good idea, warlock is a word of Scott's origen meaning truth changer or oath breaker, and the word for many witches carries baggage that may cause you social harm within the witch community.
While witchcraft is called the "Olde Religion, " and many of it's practices and beliefs seem to belong with the antiquities, many witches are the early adopters of new technologies. In 1994 when the World Wide Wait was being born, one of the first sights to go on line was dedicated to The Goddes Path, Soon to fe followed by a fundamentalist religion site and a neo-nutzi hate site.)
Witch rituals appear to be rather strange at first but with a little study and understanding the reasons for each part becomes clear. (Explanations can be found in many books but the clearest book for beginners is Silver RavenWolf's To Ride a Silver Broomstick.)
| My Definition Would Read: "witchcraft - Indigenous Religious Practices Of Pre-christian European Cultures... ||Aug 16th. at 3:15:28 am EDT|
|Wytchling (Taipei) ||Age: 21 - Email |
My definition would read: "Witchcraft - indigenous religious practices of pre-Christian European cultures. Witch - a practitioner, female or male, of Witchcraft."
| How I Would Write A Defination-something That Leaves U Intune With Everything... ||Aug 16th. at 3:10:41 am EDT|
|Aradia (San Diego, California US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
How I would write a defination-something that leaves u intune with everything around you, a religon full of peace and love, one that gives your independence and does not have someone always looking over your shoulder, telling you that that is the wrong way and that you are going to hell for it. Blessed Be
| My Definition Of The Word "witch"? It Would Be Something Like This... ||Aug 15th. at 2:20:23 pm EDT|
|Richard Gant (Highland Heights, Kentucky US) ||Age: 27 - Email |
My definition of the word "witch"? It would be something like this:
1. (Traditional) An individual who utilizes magic in order to harm others; a practitioner of the black arts.
2. (Modern) A member of a nature-worshipping pagan faith; a practitioner of Wicca (see Wicca).
| As I Do Not Describe Myself As A Wiccan Or Witch, I... ||Aug 15th. at 2:02:06 pm EDT|
|Thomas D. Van Hook - aka "Elf" (Lewisville, Texas US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
As I do not describe myself as a Wiccan or Witch, I feel that I would be highly unqualified, as a Neo-Pagan, to describe a group of individuals based on my opinion of what their beliefs and understandings are.
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