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Author Topic: Origins Of Magick In Wicca  (Read 630 times)

Donal2018

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Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« on: August 27, 2019, 11:10:42 pm »
So I am not a Wiccan but I have cast circles and done occasional solitary rituals for many years on and off. It has often worked for me in the past, and I seem to have an instinctive feel for it. I might need more information about such practices. I am not Wiccan, but I am influenced by Wicca. I am trying to learn more. My understanding is that this type of Magick done by Wiccans is a sort of simplified and rebuilt version of some aspects of older Ceremonial Magick. Is this an accurate belief, or am I wrong about that? What are the origins of Wiccan ritual and spellcasting?

Since I was wondering if this idea is correct, I did a quick google search on the origins of Magick in Wicca. I got no clear and immediate results. So I thought I would ask here on the Cauldron since there is built in expertise here that I do not have. My question is- What is the nature and origin of Magick in Wicca? Also, what is a good basic book on Magick? I imagine this might be a big topic to get into, but any help or information would be appreciated.

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2019, 10:35:07 am »
My understanding is that this type of Magick done by Wiccans is a sort of simplified and rebuilt version of some aspects of older Ceremonial Magick. Is this an accurate belief, or am I wrong about that? What are the origins of Wiccan ritual and spellcasting?

This is a huge and complex question.

a) The influences on modern Wicca are many. People write entire books about this.

b) The specifics depend on whether you are talking about initiatory practice or the broader definitions out there (which lead to a lot more variation). Obviously, it is impossible for non-initiates to discuss the initiatory practices (and for most of the initiatory trads, there are specifics not discussed outside the tradition.) This means you are very unlikely to get an immediate answer to basically any question of this kind.

c) There are also (sometimes significant) differences based on tradition and coven (and also variations based on the individual preferences). Some traditions lean more toward inclusion of ceremonial magic practices, some less, for example.

As a really really broad overview,

1) Many of the structures of constructing a circle as a ritual space come initially from the grimoire tradition and ceremonial magic (but have been heavily modified over the years - for example, the grimoire tradition often focuses on controlling or subduing beings called into the ritual circle, and more common practice in Wiccan uses is to build a cooperative relationship or at least a transactional relationship where both parties get stuff they want.)

2) The elements of magical practice relating to mystery and experience of mystery (including but not at all limited to initiations and other similar rituals) are influenced by various esoteric practices (including but not limited to Freemasonry, various magical orders, etc.) as well as historical mystery traditions (what we know about Eleusis, the Mithras cult, etc. etc. etc.)

3) Wicca is a _witchcraft_ religion, and in ongoing magical practice, there is for many people a heavy influence of folk magical practice, rooted in use of various techniques to deal with core needs - health, prosperity, protection, well-being, etc. etc. using a variety of tools and techniques (candles, herbs, stones, etc.)

4) Other techniques derive from other places. For example, a lot of the broadly used modern techniques for Drawing Down (inviting a deity into the body of priestess or priest) have benefitted from conversations with people in ongoing religions, cultures, and practices that have maintained relevant techniques (notably the African diaspora traditions like Voudoun, Candomble, etc.)

5) There is also a strong element in a number of traditions of energy work (centering, grounding, shielding, cleansing), meditation techniques, and other things like that which include magical applications but are not necessarily magical, and also not necessarily ritually structured.

There's more. That's just me gesturing at the broader and more obvious outlines.

For an overview of where many of the influences come from, starting with Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon will hit a bunch of the broader influences (though not include more American strands or material in the past couple of decades).

In terms of a book on magic, what kind of magic do you have in mind? You're basically asking about dozens if not hundreds of related topics here.
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Donal2018

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2019, 02:24:46 pm »
This is a huge and complex question.

a) The influences on modern Wicca are many. People write entire books about this.

b) The specifics depend on whether you are talking about initiatory practice or the broader definitions out there (which lead to a lot more variation). Obviously, it is impossible for non-initiates to discuss the initiatory practices (and for most of the initiatory trads, there are specifics not discussed outside the tradition.) This means you are very unlikely to get an immediate answer to basically any question of this kind.

c) There are also (sometimes significant) differences based on tradition and coven (and also variations based on the individual preferences). Some traditions lean more toward inclusion of ceremonial magic practices, some less, for example.

As a really really broad overview,

1) Many of the structures of constructing a circle as a ritual space come initially from the grimoire tradition and ceremonial magic (but have been heavily modified over the years - for example, the grimoire tradition often focuses on controlling or subduing beings called into the ritual circle, and more common practice in Wiccan uses is to build a cooperative relationship or at least a transactional relationship where both parties get stuff they want.)

2) The elements of magical practice relating to mystery and experience of mystery (including but not at all limited to initiations and other similar rituals) are influenced by various esoteric practices (including but not limited to Freemasonry, various magical orders, etc.) as well as historical mystery traditions (what we know about Eleusis, the Mithras cult, etc. etc. etc.)

3) Wicca is a _witchcraft_ religion, and in ongoing magical practice, there is for many people a heavy influence of folk magical practice, rooted in use of various techniques to deal with core needs - health, prosperity, protection, well-being, etc. etc. using a variety of tools and techniques (candles, herbs, stones, etc.)

4) Other techniques derive from other places. For example, a lot of the broadly used modern techniques for Drawing Down (inviting a deity into the body of priestess or priest) have benefitted from conversations with people in ongoing religions, cultures, and practices that have maintained relevant techniques (notably the African diaspora traditions like Voudoun, Candomble, etc.)

5) There is also a strong element in a number of traditions of energy work (centering, grounding, shielding, cleansing), meditation techniques, and other things like that which include magical applications but are not necessarily magical, and also not necessarily ritually structured.

There's more. That's just me gesturing at the broader and more obvious outlines.

For an overview of where many of the influences come from, starting with Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon will hit a bunch of the broader influences (though not include more American strands or material in the past couple of decades).

In terms of a book on magic, what kind of magic do you have in mind? You're basically asking about dozens if not hundreds of related topics here.

There is a lot here so I will just make a few comments and maybe come back to this thread later. I think that it will be worth re-reading.

b) I am looking for broader definitions. I am not expecting information from initiatory practices.

1) This sort of answers my question that casting circles in Wiccan practice might have its origins in ceremonial magic. When I have cast circles and called the four corners things seemed to work for me. I think that I got my initial introduction to this stuff through a Llewellyn book. I know that publisher is known for fluffy books that are not considered to be very good sources, but I learned some basics that seemed to work.

3) I am newer to the Folk Magic stuff but have been doing meditation with candles and prayers. I am interested in the Folk Magic aspect, but right now I am trying to gather more info on casting circles and doing ritual magick.

5) I am also newer to the energy work aspects, but I have found that my old Martial Art practice with meditation gives me some idea of this. I am interested in working with power centers/chakras, grounding, cleansing, etc. I am also doing Tai Chi, which helps. More can be done, though.

As far as what kind of Magick I want to do- I want to cast circles and call the four corners. I want to summon power for self initiation. I have some experience of this, but I want to prepare myself to start over, to begin again.

So, self initiation, probably protection for myself and my people. I also maybe want to summon deity. I have done this previously and called upon Christ, and he showed up in a big way, lots of power, and took me over for his own purposes.

I am still learning and want to sort of "re-set" and get back to beginnings. I am not just going to jump into self initiation. I am going to study it, meditate on it, and prepare for it with a serious mind.

Also I think I need to do some sort of wards and self protection. I am not going to open a circle and summon a lot of energy without protecting myself. I will work on this matter and start only when prepared.

As far as books go, I don't know exactly what I want. I guess Magick 101, from a Wiccan perspective would be fine, and one that focuses on casting circles and ritual magick.

I might also want to get a book on Folk Magick especially to do self protection and to protect my family and friends from negativity. For me and my family I want prosperity, protection, and health. I think that I would build up the self protection a lot before going into the ritual work, as in the past the ritual work drew down a lot of power and I want to be protected and grounded.

Anyway, thanks for the good response. I will re-read it and try to use it as a guide for study. I think that I will also look into the energy work aspects, as that is kind of new to me.

Donal2018

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 04:20:13 pm »
There's more. That's just me gesturing at the broader and more obvious outlines.

For an overview of where many of the influences come from, starting with Ronald Hutton's Triumph of the Moon will hit a bunch of the broader influences (though not include more American strands or material in the past couple of decades).

In terms of a book on magic, what kind of magic do you have in mind? You're basically asking about dozens if not hundreds of related topics here.

I will also look into Hutton's book. Not currently having a book on basic aspects of magick, I have been looking at your site- Seeking: first steps on a pagan path. If I make any progress or have any questions, I will report back.

Donal2018

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 04:55:50 pm »
I will also look into Hutton's book. Not currently having a book on basic aspects of magick, I have been looking at your site- Seeking: first steps on a pagan path. If I make any progress or have any questions, I will report back.

Another thing that occurred to me was that I am looking for books on magic that are suitable for Solitary Folk and Eclectics.

Donal2018

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2019, 06:02:41 pm »
As far as what kind of Magick I want to do- I want to cast circles and call the four corners. I want to summon power for self initiation. I have some experience of this, but I want to prepare myself to start over, to begin again...

So, self initiation, probably protection for myself and my people. I also maybe want to summon deity. I have done this previously and called upon Christ, and he showed up in a big way, lots of power, and took me over for his own purposes...

It occurred to me that the mention of Christ in this context might be problematic to some people. So I have taken a section of a comment that I made on another thread regarding my Christian Paganism and reposted it here. I hope that it clarifies a few things. It is as follows-

"So I thought that I would comment further here on the fact that I am a developing Christian Pagan.

I wanted to be honest about it and upfront. I have met some people who describe themselves as Pagan that take offense at Christ being involved in Pagan beliefs and practices. I did not want to hide the fact of what I believe. I also do not want to be problematic to people who have some issues with at least the idea of Christ.

I know that some people who have embraced different types of Paganisms have come from restrictive religious backgrounds, often Christianity. Some of them partly got into their own type of Paganism to get away from that. This sometimes means getting away from Christ.

Also, I know that a lot (most) of different kinds of Paganisms have absolutely nothing to do with Christ. I want to respect those people's beliefs and boundaries as well.

I have gone through phases in my beliefs where I thought I was done with Christianity. It turns out that I may be done with *some* of Christianity, but not with Christ himself.

Where I am at now is a sort of developing Pagan that recognizes many gods, goddesses, ancestors and spirits, but includes Christ as a god in this Pagan scheme. So, a Pagan that believes in Christ, a Christian Pagan. A Christian Pagan Polytheist.

I hope that my expression of this belief does not rub up against too many people here. I just wanted to be open and truthful about it, because I did not want to present myself here on the Cauldron Forums as anything other than what I am- a Christian Pagan."

Jenett

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2019, 06:38:25 pm »
b) I am looking for broader definitions. I am not expecting information from initiatory practices.

No - but you need to realise when discussing Wicca that it's good to know what kind of practice people are talking about. If someone isn't specifying, this is a topic area where you want to figure out what their background is before you go too far.

Quote
1) This sort of answers my question that casting circles in Wiccan practice might have its origins in ceremonial magic. When I have cast circles and called the four corners things seemed to work for me.


So, first of all, "calling the corners" makes no sense in a circle. Calling the *quarters* is a different thing. Knowing what you're doing, why it's called that, and what the implications are would be a good thing to learn about sooner than later.

Quote
I think that I got my initial introduction to this stuff through a Llewellyn book. I know that publisher is known for fluffy books that are not considered to be very good sources, but I learned some basics that seemed to work.

While that was true in the late 90s and very early 2000s, their current senior editor for Wiccan and Pagan material (someone I've had the pleasure of working on major projects with) is amazing (and extremely well-read and aware of the field and current needs). They've put out a number of high quality resources in the field in the past decade+.

They are, naturally, a publishing house, and they want to publish books that sell, and they are not an academic publisher, so are not a prime source for things where academic writing or formal footnotes are relevant. But within those boundaries, the more recent stuff is often very well done. Some of the older stuff is too,  and many of their books about Tarot, astrology, and some related topics have been of good quality throughout.

Quote
I want to summon power for self initiation.

Self-initiation is a complex and problematic term in Wiccan context (within a tradition, it means not "committing to a path" primarily, but "connecting yourself to a web of other people and energies" and is not something one can do solely by oneself. I encourage you to do a search on the term on the forum and do a bunch of additional reading.

A more common approach is 'dedication', and I recommend that in general as a starting point for anyone interested in learning religious witchcraft, including Wicca. It means committing yourself to study and learning and beginning to practice for a period of time (a minimum of a year and a day is common for a variety of reasons), without the additional contextual implications of initiation (of any format).

Quote
Also I think I need to do some sort of wards and self protection. I am not going to open a circle and summon a lot of energy without protecting myself. I will work on this matter and start only when prepared.

While I think centering, grounding, and shielding (and the other skills associated with shielding) are core skills, I actually consider warding to be a variety of circle casting. In my training and my teaching, we teach personal energy work, then circle casting, then people have the skills to decide on warding. In my practice, a properly cast circle will provide the necessary protection in most circumstances if one is doing most forms of personal work (including folk magical work.)

(I often don't necessarily cast circle for smaller magical tasks anymore, because I have permanent warding on my home: they are interchangeable in that sense, but going through the circle cast method has some other benefits.)

Quote
As far as books go, I don't know exactly what I want. I guess Magick 101, from a Wiccan perspective would be fine, and one that focuses on casting circles and ritual magick.

My basic recommended starting list is on my Seeking site (I'd also recommend several of the other articles in the Learning section to your attention when it comes to figuring out useful books in the field.) Each of them has brief comments about why I suggest them.

I'd suggest starting with Thea Sabin's Wicca for Beginners, which covers a lot of introductory ground solidly and will help with some of your knowledge gaps. For energy work, Diana Paxson's Trance-Portation is a very thorough guide. Practical Magic for Beginners: Techniques & Rituals to Focus Magical Energy by Brandy Williams is also a good intro, and Brandy is smart, thoughtful, and also has experience both in witchcraft traditions and in ceremonial magic.

For ritual theory, Deborah Lipp's Elements of Ritual has a few glitches (there's one historical misconception, and a bunch of other things where I don't agree with her final conclusion), but overall, it's a great introduction to the different ritual steps, why they're done, how they can be modified (including for personal vs. small group vs. large group ritual) and some other variations that give a sense of what can be changed without altering the underlying structures.

(I often describe circle casting as like baking bread: there are a lot of possible options, but at some point, you move from 'baking bread' to 'making a cake' or 'making pizza dough' or 'making cookies' and these are in fact different end results that will not be satisfying or helpful if you wanted bread.)

For other options, including magical work, see the descriptions on the linked page. You might find Jason Miller's stuff of interest (but you will probably need to figure out some of his background examples: he does not provide detailed explanation of where he's getting stuff from sometimes). He has a book specifically about protection work, and includes some more ceremonial/ritual magical techniques (but draws from a wide range of sources.) He is notably *not* coming from a witchcraft background, but plenty of witches find his stuff works and much of it can be integrated without a lot of fuss.

Quote
I might also want to get a book on Folk Magick especially to do self protection and to protect my family and friends from negativity.]I might also want to get a book on Folk Magick especially to do self protection and to protect my family and friends from negativity.

So, two things here.

1) Do you think you need a lot of protection from negativity?

As a general rule, people can avoid a lot of it by living ethical caring lives, building meaningful spiritual relationships that work for them, and maybe some really basic energetic cleansing techniques. (And if someone you know is treating other people badly and drawing negativity to them, you maybe don't want to get in the middle of that...) Random passing negativity that lasts any significant amount of time is a lot less common than many people fear.  (More on Seeking over here.)

2) Doing work for other people is an ethical issue and also a practical issue - for good reasons, many people won't do it unless they have permission. Again, you can find a number of discussions here about it if you do some searches. (And most books that are talking about general practice will usually talk a bit about it too.)

Quote
I think that I would build up the self protection a lot before going into the ritual work, as in the past the ritual work drew down a lot of power and I want to be protected and grounded.

So here's a difference between witchcraft as a magical approach and ceremonial magic. Witchcraft generally runs the energy of the working through the witch. Ceremonial magic handles it at arms length. While there are sensible safety precautions to take to avoid unnecessary risks, if you want to protect yourself from the work you are doing, witchcraft is probably not the way to go.

A more common approach in witchcraft is to get a solid sense of the basics, and not to add too much new stuff at once. (And in groups where training is part of it, often people will be restricted from certain types of magical work until they are covered in training and done with the teachers present at least once.)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 06:49:18 pm by Jenett »
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Jenett

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2019, 06:47:26 pm »
It occurred to me that the mention of Christ in this context might be problematic to some people. So I have taken a section of a comment that I made on another thread regarding my Christian Paganism and reposted it here. I hope that it clarifies a few things.

If you do this in future, please provide a link to the other thread, so that it is easy to find it in future. (For future reference, it is this post in the Christians with Pagan Leanings: Why still Christian? thread)

Quote
I wanted to be honest about it and upfront. I have met some people who describe themselves as Pagan that take offense at Christ being involved in Pagan beliefs and practices. I did not want to hide the fact of what I believe. I also do not want to be problematic to people who have some issues with at least the idea of Christ.

Personally, I think that combining Jesus with Wicca, in specific, has a number of theological underpinning complexities and challenges, and that is it often poorly handled. (But of course, I also hold with a more specific definition of Wicca).

(For example, using the term Christ has specific theological implications that are not relevant to a lot of people's models of the cosmos.)

And I'm someone who had deep and meaningful experiences with Jesus in my teens and early 20s, and who didn't have a nasty breakup with Jesus or Christianity but who instead found something that worked much better for me.

I think there's somewhat more room in religious witchcraft, potentially, but some of the same cosmology issues are still relevant.

Personally, I am not at all interested in discussing the integration or potential integration thereof most of the time. It's not relevant to my practice, the same way that the weather on Mars is not very relevant to my practice. Which is to say, if you want comments on how to combine the two, you are not likely to get them from me, and quite likely not from a number of other people who are religious witches with connections and commitments elsewhere, and you may want to take that into account when figuring out how to frame questions, which thread to put them in, and so on. 
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Donal2018

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2019, 08:24:51 pm »
No - but you need to realise when discussing Wicca that it's good to know what kind of practice people are talking about. If someone isn't specifying, this is a topic area where you want to figure out what their background is before you go too far.
 

So, first of all, "calling the corners" makes no sense in a circle. Calling the *quarters* is a different thing. Knowing what you're doing, why it's called that, and what the implications are would be a good thing to learn about sooner than later.

While that was true in the late 90s and very early 2000s, their current senior editor for Wiccan and Pagan material (someone I've had the pleasure of working on major projects with) is amazing (and extremely well-read and aware of the field and current needs). They've put out a number of high quality resources in the field in the past decade+.

They are, naturally, a publishing house, and they want to publish books that sell, and they are not an academic publisher, so are not a prime source for things where academic writing or formal footnotes are relevant. But within those boundaries, the more recent stuff is often very well done. Some of the older stuff is too,  and many of their books about Tarot, astrology, and some related topics have been of good quality throughout.

Self-initiation is a complex and problematic term in Wiccan context (within a tradition, it means not "committing to a path" primarily, but "connecting yourself to a web of other people and energies" and is not something one can do solely by oneself. I encourage you to do a search on the term on the forum and do a bunch of additional reading.

A more common approach is 'dedication', and I recommend that in general as a starting point for anyone interested in learning religious witchcraft, including Wicca. It means committing yourself to study and learning and beginning to practice for a period of time (a minimum of a year and a day is common for a variety of reasons), without the additional contextual implications of initiation (of any format).

While I think centering, grounding, and shielding (and the other skills associated with shielding) are core skills, I actually consider warding to be a variety of circle casting. In my training and my teaching, we teach personal energy work, then circle casting, then people have the skills to decide on warding. In my practice, a properly cast circle will provide the necessary protection in most circumstances if one is doing most forms of personal work (including folk magical work.)

(I often don't necessarily cast circle for smaller magical tasks anymore, because I have permanent warding on my home: they are interchangeable in that sense, but going through the circle cast method has some other benefits.)

My basic recommended starting list is on my Seeking site (I'd also recommend several of the other articles in the Learning section to your attention when it comes to figuring out useful books in the field.) Each of them has brief comments about why I suggest them.

I'd suggest starting with Thea Sabin's Wicca for Beginners, which covers a lot of introductory ground solidly and will help with some of your knowledge gaps. For energy work, Diana Paxson's Trance-Portation is a very thorough guide. Practical Magic for Beginners: Techniques & Rituals to Focus Magical Energy by Brandy Williams is also a good intro, and Brandy is smart, thoughtful, and also has experience both in witchcraft traditions and in ceremonial magic.

For ritual theory, Deborah Lipp's Elements of Ritual has a few glitches (there's one historical misconception, and a bunch of other things where I don't agree with her final conclusion), but overall, it's a great introduction to the different ritual steps, why they're done, how they can be modified (including for personal vs. small group vs. large group ritual) and some other variations that give a sense of what can be changed without altering the underlying structures.

(I often describe circle casting as like baking bread: there are a lot of possible options, but at some point, you move from 'baking bread' to 'making a cake' or 'making pizza dough' or 'making cookies' and these are in fact different end results that will not be satisfying or helpful if you wanted bread.)

For other options, including magical work, see the descriptions on the linked page. You might find Jason Miller's stuff of interest (but you will probably need to figure out some of his background examples: he does not provide detailed explanation of where he's getting stuff from sometimes). He has a book specifically about protection work, and includes some more ceremonial/ritual magical techniques (but draws from a wide range of sources.) He is notably *not* coming from a witchcraft background, but plenty of witches find his stuff works and much of it can be integrated without a lot of fuss.

So, two things here.

1) Do you think you need a lot of protection from negativity?

As a general rule, people can avoid a lot of it by living ethical caring lives, building meaningful spiritual relationships that work for them, and maybe some really basic energetic cleansing techniques. (And if someone you know is treating other people badly and drawing negativity to them, you maybe don't want to get in the middle of that...) Random passing negativity that lasts any significant amount of time is a lot less common than many people fear.  (More on Seeking over here.)

2) Doing work for other people is an ethical issue and also a practical issue - for good reasons, many people won't do it unless they have permission. Again, you can find a number of discussions here about it if you do some searches. (And most books that are talking about general practice will usually talk a bit about it too.)

So here's a difference between witchcraft as a magical approach and ceremonial magic. Witchcraft generally runs the energy of the working through the witch. Ceremonial magic handles it at arms length. While there are sensible safety precautions to take to avoid unnecessary risks, if you want to protect yourself from the work you are doing, witchcraft is probably not the way to go.

A more common approach in witchcraft is to get a solid sense of the basics, and not to add too much new stuff at once. (And in groups where training is part of it, often people will be restricted from certain types of magical work until they are covered in training and done with the teachers present at least once.)


Thanks again for posting. I will be going through the information in this comment for a while. Especially thanks for the book list. Also the correction on terms like "self-initiation" versus "dedication".

My understanding of "four corners" comes from the Greek Four Winds that were called into the circle from the outside. I might be mistaken about the term. I will look into "quarters" instead.

So I have a lot of reading and work to do. I am glad that I posted this on the Magic and the Occult for Beginners Forum. There is a lot to learn.

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2019, 08:38:26 pm »
If you do this in future, please provide a link to the other thread, so that it is easy to find it in future. (For future reference, it is this post in the Christians with Pagan Leanings: Why still Christian? thread)

Personally, I think that combining Jesus with Wicca, in specific, has a number of theological underpinning complexities and challenges, and that is it often poorly handled. (But of course, I also hold with a more specific definition of Wicca).

(For example, using the term Christ has specific theological implications that are not relevant to a lot of people's models of the cosmos.)

And I'm someone who had deep and meaningful experiences with Jesus in my teens and early 20s, and who didn't have a nasty breakup with Jesus or Christianity but who instead found something that worked much better for me.

I think there's somewhat more room in religious witchcraft, potentially, but some of the same cosmology issues are still relevant.

Personally, I am not at all interested in discussing the integration or potential integration thereof most of the time. It's not relevant to my practice, the same way that the weather on Mars is not very relevant to my practice. Which is to say, if you want comments on how to combine the two, you are not likely to get them from me, and quite likely not from a number of other people who are religious witches with connections and commitments elsewhere, and you may want to take that into account when figuring out how to frame questions, which thread to put them in, and so on.

Yes, I am doing an initial search for Christo-Pagans elsewhere to find people to share info and ideas with. It seems that most of the regular people here are not Christian Pagans in any sense. I have seen some posts here on it, but mainly by people that are not really steady posters.

So, if I want a discussion on Christian Paganism, I assume that I will have to go elsewhere, which is fine by me. I just joined a Facebook Group, so we will see how that goes.

I did not really expect to discuss Christo-paganism much here on this thread. I sort of inadvertently brought it up in one post, and realized that I might have to explain myself. So I did.

Anyway, I do appreciate your perspective. Even though I am not Wiccan, I am finding it helpful to study other religions and paths. It helps me to understand what my own views are by contrast. So I appreciate your responses.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 08:40:34 pm by Donal2018 »

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2019, 09:54:13 pm »
My understanding of "four corners" comes from the Greek Four Winds that were called into the circle from the outside. I might be mistaken about the term. I will look into "quarters" instead.

So I did a quick search on Four Quarters versus Four Corners. Here is a link-  www.paganpath.com/study/library/trads/167-watchtowers

The prevailing term or more common usage is Four Quarters, but the article points out that there are alternate terms such as Watchtowers, Elements, and yes, Corners.

An excerpt from the article- "The Four Corners refer to the four cardinal points on the compass, North, South, East, and West."

So the more common usage is Quarters, but Corners seems to be a lesser used but alternative term. This jibes with what I learned from some books many years ago- the Four Corners referred to the Four Winds or Anemoi from Greek Mythology and the compass points, North, South, East, West.

Now that I have seen this distinction, though, I think that I would use the term "Four Quarters" anyway. It seems more euphonic to me than "Four Corners"

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2019, 02:47:57 pm »

1) Do you think you need a lot of protection from negativity?

As a general rule, people can avoid a lot of it by living ethical caring lives, building meaningful spiritual relationships that work for them, and maybe some really basic energetic cleansing techniques. (And if someone you know is treating other people badly and drawing negativity to them, you maybe don't want to get in the middle of that...) Random passing negativity that lasts any significant amount of time is a lot less common than many people fear.  (More on Seeking over here.)


Yeah, I am not too certain about this. It seems to imply that I have negativity in my life because I am not living an ethical, caring life and building meaningful spiritual relationships. I have all of that in my life. The negativity in my life largely comes from being an adult survivor of childhood abuse. So the source of most of the negativity in my life does not come from a lack of ethics and caring relationships. Rather it comes from the adults who harmed me as a child and the fallout of that in my adult life.

Also, I am drawn towards negativity as a protector. I used to work a private security job and have seen a lot of negativity and bad behavior go down. Rather than run away from it, my job was to go towards the negative events and people. A lot of the job was to help those who might need protection from someone who might harm or abuse them. I might have gone into law enforcement if my health were not an obstacle to that. So, I used to be around that form of negativity as my profession.

Furthermore, I have also have worked in Mental Health and Peer Support for people with Psych Diagnoses. The fact is that people in that community are statistically more likely to be a victim of abuse or a crime than they general population. They are a vulnerable population. A good piece of my work there was protecting people who had a hard time defending themselves from abusers and predators. The sad fact is that in that community there will always be a small but dangerous number of people who suffer from sociopathic tendencies. These people will often seek out the vulnerable in this population and abuse them in one way or another. Part of the job was to protect these people from predators.

So, yes, there is a lot of negativity in the world and in my life because I deal with it personally and professionally. Not because I am lacking an ethical, caring life. There is also a spiritual dimension to this, but I will not address it here at this time.

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2019, 03:16:15 pm »
Yeah, I am not too certain about this. It seems to imply that I have negativity in my life because I am not living an ethical, caring life and building meaningful spiritual relationships. I have all of that in my life. The negativity in my life largely comes from being an adult survivor of childhood abuse. So the source of most of the negativity in my life does not come from a lack of ethics and caring relationships. Rather it comes from the adults who harmed me as a child and the fallout of that in my adult life.

Also, I am drawn towards negativity as a protector. I used to work a private security job and have seen a lot of negativity and bad behavior go down. Rather than run away from it, my job was to go towards the negative events and people. A lot of the job was to help those who might need protection from someone who might harm or abuse them. I might have gone into law enforcement if my health were not an obstacle to that. So, I used to be around that form of negativity as my profession.

Furthermore, I have also have worked in Mental Health and Peer Support for people with Psych Diagnoses. The fact is that people in that community are statistically more likely to be a victim of abuse or a crime than they general population. They are a vulnerable population. A good piece of my work there was protecting people who had a hard time defending themselves from abusers and predators. The sad fact is that in that community there will always be a small but dangerous number of people who suffer from sociopathic tendencies. These people will often seek out the vulnerable in this population and abuse them in one way or another. Part of the job was to protect these people from predators.

So, yes, there is a lot of negativity in the world and in my life because I deal with it personally and professionally. Not because I am lacking an ethical, caring life. There is also a spiritual dimension to this, but I will not address it here at this time.

So all of that was a bit off topic but I felt I had to say it. Maybe to get back on topic in a related way-  Negativity exists and there are spiritual aspects to it. I am still interested in warding and magical self protection.

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2019, 03:34:03 pm »
So all of that was a bit off topic but I felt I had to say it. Maybe to get back on topic in a related way-  Negativity exists and there are spiritual aspects to it. I am still interested in warding and magical self protection.

I am looking at the Protection Practices on Jenett's Seeking Site and it seems like good advice. I will continue to review it and see what I can do with the material.

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Re: Origins Of Magick In Wicca
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2019, 05:38:46 pm »
The prevailing term or more common usage is Four Quarters, but the article points out that there are alternate terms such as Watchtowers, Elements, and yes, Corners.

And yet, if you read that article carefully, you will note that it uses 'quarters' throughout (other than mentioning the alternate terms briefly - both so people might find the page, and so that alternates can be explained.)

It's also worth noting that these terms are not in fact interchangeable (the article actually doesn't conflate them the way you have in your summary).  Watchtowers, elements, guardians, quarters, and the compass points are all different things (and in the first three cases, different beings). Using the correct term in the correct usage will both help you find more resources, and be a way other people will decide if you're worth talking to about the relevant topics.

(I use "Calling the corners" as example of a source not to trust when I teach about evaluation of Pagan materials, because it indicates that someone is decidedly out of step with mainstream usage of terminology in the larger community. There are cases where there are specialised terms in use, but in that case, people usually explain them briefly.)
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