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Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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The History of the Sacred Circle
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 11371
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 4th. 2007
Times Viewed: 6,335
Each year with the changing of seasons, many are beginning to seek out that something inside themselves they do not quite understand. The winds seem to set in motion a stirring that moves from the air into our very spirits, first cool and then warm. The colors of life slowly start to renew themselves around us. It seems to rekindle a lost flame within our very souls, like the balefire flames of spring.
There is an energy that is shared by nature; Spring on the verge of rebirth with life calling from deep within the earth. Those, once absent, find themselves looking to regain a part of who they were, somehow lost in time. Then, as if by some unseen force, they read something, notice a book, or come across an article online. It is about the craft, Witchcraft, Wicca, or any one of the many other names used to describe who and what we are.
When a lady finds herself returning to the craft, she proudly calls herself Witch. Yet, I have known of some gentlemen being chastised for referring to themselves as Warlocks. I cannot remember a time in my life that magick and the craft were not a part of it. Yet, this issue never came up when I was younger, since my Great Grandmother’s coven was made of women.
Therefore, I think it surprises some that my view on this issue differs from what they may have accepted as customary.
Is it appropriate to use, or not use, the word or title of Warlock? I have heard the simple usage of this word in debate within our magickal committees for years. Since I know that all Witches must decide for themselves, I share with you this information for your consideration.
Many Witches, male and female, simply go by the one title of Witch. The word Warlock is seldom used in Pagan circles and is somewhat frowned upon therein. Generally, people feel that the word is inappropriate and the use of it would bring Witches into disrepute. This is, perhaps, due to its confusing and rather disgraceful, past.
In history, we were told that the word Warlock meant, ‘Oath Breaker, ’ or traitor. Others believed that only those who practiced Satanism would be called Warlocks. What the word Warlock really means is frequently and passionately debated among modern-day witches. The usual explanation is that it is an old English word for oath-breaker and was used for a Witch who betrayed his coven. I can't say for sure if that is accurate or not.
Historically, the Christian traditions said that a Warlock was the male equivalent of a Witch, usually in the uncomplimentary sense of Europe’s Middle Ages. The Warlock was also said to ride a pitchfork instead of a broomstick.
A highly speculative (etymology) historical linguistic change, translates 'waerloga' as 'the man of the logs, ' an indirect reference to the small pieces of wood the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian priests and wise men (called bards and skalds, respectively) used to divine, by means of the runes. This etymology seems to have been created to support Neo-Pagan beliefs about the past, in as much as Warlock then appears to be a slang word used critically by Christian religions for those who remained Pagan and practiced the art of the runes or magick.
A more recent identification for the term Warlock refers to a Witch who has been expelled for breaking oaths, revealing secrets, working negative magick, or committing some betrayal toward his coven.
Many in today’s society accept that Warlocks are male Witches. It may partly be due to the portrayals seen on television. Male Witches, called Warlocks, are seen in programs like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and even Bewitched from the 60s. Some of these depictions refer to the male Witch as Witch, if he was considered to be good. Those who were seen as evil Witches were called, Warlocks.
Keep in mind that these same shows also describe a Warlock as someone who is working with the source of all evil and is out to destroy the world. Sound familiar? It rather mirrors the description of a Witch, believed as fact, throughout history.
All the reasons people think the word Warlock should not be used can also be applied to the word Witch. For years, Witches were afraid to call themselves Witch out of fear of the reactions others might have toward them. We have all seen that reaction from family and friends. Even today, we are careful around whom we use the word. It was only a few short years ago that the term Wicca, or Wiccan, became somewhat more acceptable.
The title Warlock is still not a term typically used in the craft today. Most of us just call a male Witch, a Witch. However, popular culture and younger Witches have picked up the term Warlock. I personally don‘t have a problem with it and don‘t think any of us should get a kink in our pointy hats if someone prefers the title of Warlock.
It is my personal belief that it is up to us, the Pagans, Witches, Wizards, and ‘Warlocks’ of this world, to teach who and what we really are. We cannot teach others to accept us if we cannot first accept each other, by whatever title or name we choose to call ourselves. Because those who do not understand our path have turned a once honored title into a nasty label makes it even more unacceptable for us do the same.
When we judge those walking along our path according to their name or title, then we become as narrow minded as those that think their religion is better than any other because of its name. We need to stand together proudly, no matter what title we choose to call ourselves.
We must not allow the stereotyping of the mundane world to affect how we see each other. If we do, we will have a lot more warts and fly on our brooms better. We know the definitions others place on us are no more true for one than for any other.
But, if we accept one, we must accept all.
By: Lady Abigail
High Priestess, Ravensgrove Coven
Orlando Florida Area
Copyright © 11052006
* References, some spelling and names via various online encyclopedias.
Warlock: a male Witch, sorcerer, wizard, or demon; one who practices sorcery and evil magick derived from the devil (See Witch)
Witch: a woman popularly believed to possess magickal powers and practice sorcery; hag; a woman considered to be spiteful, wicked, or overbearing; a being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil.
Pagan: one who has no religion; non-Christian; hedonist; not Christian; professing no religion; heathen.
Copyright: Copyright © 11052006
By: Lady Abigail
High Priestess, Ravensgrove Coven
Orlando Florida Area
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
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