collapse
2020 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 17 September 2020: $535 donated. Only $175 more need! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Magick and Wicca  (Read 1606 times)

Evelorya

  • Jr. Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Posts: 1
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Magick and Wicca
« on: May 25, 2016, 11:34:35 pm »
Hello all! I'm a fairly new pagan and I've been looking into various pagan branches to find one that I can stick to and delve into more deeply. I've always been very drawn to Wicca. I love everything about it: the deities, the concept of duality between Mother Goddess and Father God, the Summerland, reincarnation, the holidays, reverence for nature, etc.

The only thing that I can't wrap my head around is the concept/practice of magick. I understand what magick is believed to be and I like the idea, I just don't necessarily believe in it myself or would want to practice magick/witchcraft. I like praying and worshiping and meditating to interact with the divine, I don't have any interest in practicing witchcraft or magick.

My question is can I call myself a Wiccan without believing in/practicing magick? I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but it's been troubling me for quite sometime. Are there other branches of paganism I should look into that are less polytheistic and more dualistic (not sure if that is the right word) like Wicca but don't have such an emphasis on magick?

Thank you,
Evelorya

HarpingHawke

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • *
  • Posts: 1531
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 15
    • View Profile
  • Religion: shapeshifting, witchery, polytheism. under endless construction.
  • Preferred Pronouns: they/them
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 12:00:35 am »
Quote from: Evelorya;191869


My question is can I call myself a Wiccan without believing in/practicing magick? I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but it's been troubling me for quite sometime.

 
Yep! Do what works for you and fit your practice to your "shape."

I unfortunately can't help more than that, as witchcraft is big in my practice and Wicca is very much not. Good luck, though!

(and no question's a stupid question; as I think...yewberry once said, you can't know what you don't know yet!)
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3327
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 838
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 08:47:02 am »
Quote from: Evelorya;191869
My question is can I call myself a Wiccan without believing in/practicing magick? I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but it's been troubling me for quite sometime. Are there other branches of paganism I should look into that are less polytheistic and more dualistic (not sure if that is the right word) like Wicca but don't have such an emphasis on magick?

Calling yourself Wiccan without practicing or believing in magic is a thing some people do, but I think it's confusing in several directions.

It's going to make it harder for you to find and focus on information and resources that would be most helpful to you, make it harder for you to talk to other people about what you do, and confusing for other people who usually assume that if someone describes as Wiccan, witchcraft and magical practice are part of what they do (for reasons I'll explain in a second).

So you might be better off if you found a different term, *especially* since some of the other things you like are part of eclectic Wicca, but not so much a focus in traditional initiatory Wicca (or at least not quite as you're focusing on.)

One of the complicated things out there is that people use the term Wicca in a huge variety of ways. (And on this forum, people tend to use Wicca more in the traditional sense, and will use additional terms to make it clear if they're doing or talking about something else, to help you calibrate on this forum.) I've got a page on my website about different ways people use the term Wicca, and why some of the uses can be very confusing if they turn up without more info in the same conversation. (You might find some of the other stuff in that basics section also of interest)

Quote
I've always been very drawn to Wicca. I love everything about it: the deities, the concept of duality between Mother Goddess and Father God, the Summerland, reincarnation, the holidays, reverence for nature, etc.

So, I mentioned that some of the things you're interested in are a bit different from more traditional uses of the term Wicca (again, the essay I linked above) - that's another reason you might want to consider other terms for what you do. Traditional Wicca honours two deities, but saying they're 'mother and father' is only a fraction of the interrelationships in there. So if that's a big focus for you, identifying yourself as Wiccan may be confusing to other people again.

(And here's another catch: the deities that traditional initiatory Wicca honours and worships are two specific deities - individual beings - but their names are kept oathbound, so 'Lord and Lady' are titles for specific people, like we might say 'doctor' to refer to our specific doctor, not more general personalities or archetypes.)

Quote
The only thing that I can't wrap my head around is the concept/practice of magick. I understand what magick is believed to be and I like the idea, I just don't necessarily believe in it myself or would want to practice magick/witchcraft. I like praying and worshiping and meditating to interact with the divine, I don't have any interest in practicing witchcraft or magick.

So, this is a thing where it depends on how you define magic. Many people assume that it just means spells, but that's not actually true.

Magic in one of its most common descriptions, is 'creating change in accordance with will' (or sometimes Will). Wicca, as a religion, is about creating change in self and the environment to do the work of the Gods, using a combination of techniques which include esoteric and magical ones, to achieve specific non-physical goals (and physical ones, too.)

The fundamental rituals of Wicca are magical : creating a space for ritual that is outside time and space, that has the basic building blocks from which we can create change, align ourselves with particular energies, adapt those energies to specific current needs, keep the Wheel of the Year turning, and many other ritual aspects that are part of why Wiccans serve the Gods they do (and how they serve.) Other ritual acts  such as the Great Rite and Drawing Down are also explicitly magical acts that draw in, focus, and direct energy to a particular purpose (and one that done appropriately, can rock our worldview.)

This is, however, different than spellcraft. Spellcraft is not a required thing, and for many Wiccans (and many other religious witches) not necessarily a common thing.

Again, my website has a longer essay about magic (I identify as a religious witch, not as Wiccan, for what it's worth. I do a bunch of stuff I consider magic, but not a lot of spellcraft, and that essay lays out some examples in more detail of different kinds of magic and approaches)
 
So, this gets us to the question of "If Wicca isn't the best term, what is?" I can think of a couple of options.

If you say, specifically "eclectic Wiccan" that will signal to people you are not using a traditional definition, and the idea that you don't do magic will be less startling (basically, adding 'eclectic' is a sign that people probably need to ask you what you mean by it.)

You might, however, also consider 'Neo-Wiccan' (another term that can indicate 'some Wiccan influences, but doing some different stuff), or 'eclectic Pagan', or 'Neo-Pagan'.

In some cases, it might depend on other things - if you are celebrating 8 Sabbats and full moon rituals, the same way Wiccans would, using similar names and common focus points for the rituals, then that might be more reason to use 'eclectic Wiccan' or 'Neo-Wiccan'. If you decide you only want to celebrate some Sabbats, or no moons (or moons and no Sabbats), that's enough of a difference you might be better off with a more general term like 'eclectic Pagan'.

Thinking about what you've written, I'm also wondering if you might want to look into Reclaiming (a strand of religious witchcraft): Reclaiming rituals may work with one specific deity, or several, depending on the ritual, but no one would blink twice if your personal practice involved two. The amount of magical practice varies person to person, but many of the Reclaiming folks I know personally do a lot of self-awareness and self-change work, and very very little formal ritual magic work. (the amount of spellcrafting varies by individual and circumstance.) It's also possible that some specific Druid groups might also be a fit for you (again, polytheistic path, but many people focus on one or two deity connections.)

It does get complicated, but finding terms that work to best describe what you do helps a lot in talking to other people about it (and in finding resources and ideas) so I  tend to think it's worth the effort.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 08:47:46 am by Jenett »
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

MamaThistle

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location: Mountains
  • Posts: 210
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 33
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Religious witchcraft/Gaelic polytheist
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 08:47:49 am »
Quote from: Evelorya;191869
Hello all! I'm a fairly new pagan and I've been looking into various pagan branches to find one that I can stick to and delve into more deeply. I've always been very drawn to Wicca. I love everything about it: the deities, the concept of duality between Mother Goddess and Father God, the Summerland, reincarnation, the holidays, reverence for nature, etc.

The only thing that I can't wrap my head around is the concept/practice of magick. I understand what magick is believed to be and I like the idea, I just don't necessarily believe in it myself or would want to practice magick/witchcraft. I like praying and worshiping and meditating to interact with the divine, I don't have any interest in practicing witchcraft or magick.

My question is can I call myself a Wiccan without believing in/practicing magick? I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, but it's been troubling me for quite sometime. Are there other branches of paganism I should look into that are less polytheistic and more dualistic (not sure if that is the right word) like Wicca but don't have such an emphasis on magick?

Thank you,
Evelorya

In my experience there are a lot of serious Wiccans that prefer to emphasize the religion and deities over magic. You might like this blog, she also has a youtube channel with more beginner stuff.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/oathbound/
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 08:50:01 am by MamaThistle »
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

- W.B. Yeats

MamaThistle

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location: Mountains
  • Posts: 210
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 33
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Religious witchcraft/Gaelic polytheist
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 09:07:12 am »
Quote from: VelvetHammer;191885
In my experience there are a lot of serious Wiccans that prefer to emphasize the religion and deities over magic. You might like this blog, she also has a youtube channel with more beginner stuff.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/oathbound/

 
To clarify, she does practice magic, of course. However, if you want to learn more about traditional Wicca, I think she is a great source. I agree with Jenett, that a lot of what you described is not traditional Wicca, I too did not understand the difference between eclectic and traditional when I first started. I would encourage you to study as many pagan paths as you can, including traditional Wicca. I think it's important to know what traditional Wicca is and why some paths are labeled eclectic.
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

- W.B. Yeats

RecycledBenedict

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 851
  • Total likes: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 11:04:19 am »
Quote from: Evelorya;191869
Hello all! I'm a fairly new pagan and I've been looking into various pagan branches to find one that I can stick to and delve into more deeply. I've always been very drawn to Wicca. I love everything about it: the deities, the concept of duality between Mother Goddess and Father God, the Summerland, reincarnation, the holidays, reverence for nature, etc.

The only thing that I can't wrap my head around is the concept/practice of magick. I understand what magick is believed to be and I like the idea, I just don't necessarily believe in it myself or would want to practice magick/witchcraft. I like praying and worshiping and meditating to interact with the divine, I don't have any interest in practicing witchcraft or magick.


To my ears, you sounds like a Druid, who would like to know more about Owen Morgan's books. There are several different types of Druids out there, and some Druids practice magic, but magic is seldom as central in Druidry as it is in Wicca. Many - but not all - Druids fit your descriptions of your own path:

Quote from: Evelorya;191869
the concept of duality between Mother Goddess and Father God


It sounds like the worldview of Owen Morgan half a century (or more) before Wicca was founded. Far from all Druids share Morgan's views, but Druidry is not about doctrine. My point is: Among the views on the divine present within the general Druid community, Morgan's views are present, traditional, acknowledged and welcomed, though they exist together with the views of Celtic Recons, Christian Druids, Pantheist Druids, Animist Druids and many more else.

For an introduction to Morgan (pseudonym Morien), this may be useful:

http://www.druidry.org/sites/default/files/pdf-uploads/THIRD%20MT%20HAEMUS%20LECTURE%20.pdf

Quote from: Evelorya;191869
reincarnation


The idea of reincarnation has been around orally among Druids since the 1790s, in print since 1862. The influential 18th century Druid visionary Iolo Morganwg nurtured the idea, and, when his book Barddas was published several decades after his death, it became more prevalent within the Druid movement. Again: There is no such thing as Druid orthodoxy, and within Druidry you will encounter many different views on Afterlife, but the reincarnaton-based cosmology held by Iolo Morganwg is one of them. Iolo didn't invent the idea either: He was probably influenced by the Scottish poet James Thompson's poem The Castle of Indolence (1748).
 
Quote from: Evelorya;191869
the holidays


Modern Druids have been celebrating the Equinoxes and Solstices since the 1790s, more frequently since the 1850s, when the Pontypridd Druids developed a slightly more 'religious' approach to Druidry, than their predecessors and fellow Druids.

Druid writer Ross Nichols began to outline a more complex Wheel of the Year in 1946, and in the 1950s, he and Wiccan founder Gerald Gardner mutually influenced each other in this area. In the early 1950s, the Wiccans seems to have celebrated Candlemas, May Day, Lammas and Halloween. An eight-festival-cycle came out of these Druid-Wiccan discussions in the mid-to-late 1950s, and it is now widespread within both Wicca, Druidry and several other non-reconstructionist forms of Neo-Paganism.

Quote from: Evelorya;191869
reverence for nature


Again: Sounds like Druidry to me. Iron Age Druids performed some, but far from all, of their religious rites in groves. In the 18th century, when modern Druidry came into being, the mention of groves and mistletoe in classical authors caused Enlightenment Era authors, to mistakenly perceive Druids as a sort of 'priests of Nature'.

It is hardly surprising, that this came to be. The industrial revolution, and its negative effects on traditional rural communities and environment, is a backdrop to many of those things we perceive as Druidic today. In some aspects, the Druid Revival was a counter-reaction to industrialism.

Authors like Edward Davies and Owen Morgan caused Revival Druidry (unlike - or in another way than - Iron Age Druidry) to be about Nature, Earth, Sun and Moon. This widespread association between Druids and Nature even influenced Druid groups that sprung up without any organisational ties to older British Revival Druidry: The American network of Druid groves called RDNA, which was founded in 1963, sums its philosophy up in the the sentence: Nature is good.

The 1960s counter-culture and the environmental movement that emerged in the 1970s became fertile ground for new generations of modern Druids. If you read the British Druid Emma Restall-Orr, awareness of Nature is central in her take on Druidry (even more so than the spirits or deities).

Quote from: Evelorya;191869
I like praying and worshiping and meditating to interact with the divine


Many persons do. It isn't something exclusive to Wicca. It is also done within Revival Druidry, with the caveat that those Druids, who are Agnostic, would skip the prayer-and-deities part of it: They still celebrate and meditate. Nature is good.

RecycledBenedict

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 851
  • Total likes: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 11:20:31 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;191892
To my ears, you sounds like a Druid, who would like to know more about Owen Morgan's books. (...) It sounds like the worldview of Owen Morgan half a century (or more) before Wicca was founded.


Regarding this part of my answer, I want you, Evelorya, to be aware of this: I do not recommend Iolo Morganwg and/or Owen Morgan as sources of historical information or well-founded up-to-date research. In that capacity they both would fail severely. What I mean is, that their books could serve as sources of inspiration, rather than sources of scholarly information. The same is true about Edward Davies. Read them like poetry. The same approach of reading-technique could be applied to Robert Grave's The White Goddess, which certainly not is a scholarly work. As mytho-poetry they all work very well. Much of their works is easily turned into guided meditations.

Demophon

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 258
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 09:25:30 pm »
Quote from: Evelorya;191869
My question is can I call myself a Wiccan without believing in/practicing magick?


My answer would be no. Even if you don't use spells, Wiccan practice involves magical ritual acts that are essential to the tradition. Casting a magic circle, for example, is an act of practicing magic.

Your summary of Wicca sounds very simplistic, Scott Cunningham-like, which is fine, it's not a bad place to start, but I would recommend learning a bit more before discarding a big chunk of the tradition.

Blu3Wanderer

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 18
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2016, 06:07:08 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;191871
Yep! Do what works for you and fit your practice to your "shape."

I unfortunately can't help more than that, as witchcraft is big in my practice and Wicca is very much not. Good luck, though!

(and no question's a stupid question; as I think...yewberry once said, you can't know what you don't know yet!)

 
I am a beginner who feels drawn to non-religious witchcraft, may I PM you?

Isilwen

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2016
  • Posts: 9
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2016, 08:26:13 am »
Quote from: Evelorya;191869

The only thing that I can't wrap my head around is the concept/practice of magick. I understand what magick is believed to be and I like the idea, I just don't necessarily believe in it myself or would want to practice magick/witchcraft. I like praying and worshiping and meditating to interact with the divine, I don't have any interest in practicing witchcraft or magick.

 
I registered on the forum because I was also looking for an answer to what's asked on this thread! But my case has a slight difference with Evelorya's and that difference is what I quoted.
I do believe in magic, but I don't feel comfortable practising it? (Rituals included) Haven't tried at all, but the simple idea of doing it makes me feel uneasy, nervous and even scared. I'm scared of working with energy through my body and the fact that doing that can attract negative "beings" or even be dangerous to my own body.

I've been attracted to Wicca for a lot of years now, and everytime I begin to do my research I get stuck in this part, which frustrates me because like I said everything else just warms my heart. And I feel I connect with a lot of its aspects.

Definitely gonna research authors already said in the thread, and read links posted.

And sorry for the intrusion :o

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3327
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 838
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Magick and Wicca
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2016, 09:42:57 am »
Quote from: Isilwen;193561

I do believe in magic, but I don't feel comfortable practising it? (Rituals included) Haven't tried at all, but the simple idea of doing it makes me feel uneasy, nervous and even scared. I'm scared of working with energy through my body and the fact that doing that can attract negative "beings" or even be dangerous to my own body.


Welcome!  

If you've still got questions (which is likely, because there's a lot of different things to learn about), feel free to start a new thread with them.

The way I often talk about it, magical work has some risks, but they're mostly about the same level of risk to our bodies as exercising our physical bodies, or getting in a car and going for a drive.

And just like those things, we can do a lot to limit the risks - starting out gently, not trying things that we don't understand how to do safely, etc. That same concept works with magic and energy work, too.

I do believe that there are nasty things out there, but I also believe that they're relatively few and far between (just like most of us aren't going to run into a major animal predator species most days...) It's more likely that we might run into something curious and non-physical, and there are lots of ways to deal with that. (Those experiences can be a little surprising sometimes, but again, starting simple and building up as you learn more and get comfortable with the earlier steps will do a lot.)

(I'd be glad to expand a lot more on this, but it might be better in a new thread.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
6 Replies
3979 Views
Last post May 09, 2013, 09:49:25 am
by Jenett
14 Replies
5557 Views
Last post December 04, 2015, 02:04:00 pm
by Wimsaur
1 Replies
9282 Views
Last post July 12, 2019, 09:55:56 am
by sevensons
0 Replies
2448 Views
Last post June 30, 2015, 10:54:31 am
by RandallS
18 Replies
3243 Views
Last post August 30, 2019, 08:10:59 pm
by SunflowerP

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 35
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 3
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall