collapse

Author Topic: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions  (Read 8435 times)

Mellee

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 78
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« on: March 11, 2016, 01:48:18 am »
I have a specific question regarding magic and ritual in Witchy traditions, but I'm not sure how to word it so please bear with me.

So, I'm reading (in order to review for a book-group) "The Real Witches' Handbook" by Kate West. The book is exactly what you'd expect from a Lewellyn 101 book first published in 2001 (this edition is 2008). In a chapter titled "Spellcraft and Herb Lore", West discusses the elements of ritual (tool consecration, element evocation, deity evocation, circle casting, symbolic Great Rite etc) and then, separately, "the work itself... the Magic you intend to perform".

My question has to do with this separation. I've always seen Wicca and similar forms of Witchcraft as an inherently magical religion, in large part because performing the rituals as listed above fits the same definitions of magic that I use (see Fortune or Crowley's famous quotes).

But! I've seen instances of (neo-)Wiccans distancing themselves from Witches by saying they don't do magic, and this blows my mind because I can't understand how one would practice Wicca without it.

Is magic something separate from Witch-ritual? Is it specifically spell-casting? Or are these aspects of ritual magical acts themselves?

Any input (opinions welcome, sourced facts appreciated) from Wiccans, Witches or folks with knowledge relevant here would be appreciated.

RecycledBenedict

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 851
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 09:40:32 am »
Quote from: Mellee;187884
I have a specific question regarding magic and ritual in Witchy traditions, but I'm not sure how to word it so please bear with me.

So, I'm reading (in order to review for a book-group) "The Real Witches' Handbook" by Kate West. The book is exactly what you'd expect from a Lewellyn 101 book first published in 2001 (this edition is 2008). In a chapter titled "Spellcraft and Herb Lore", West discusses the elements of ritual (tool consecration, element evocation, deity evocation, circle casting, symbolic Great Rite etc) and then, separately, "the work itself... the Magic you intend to perform".

My question has to do with this separation. I've always seen Wicca and similar forms of Witchcraft as an inherently magical religion, in large part because performing the rituals as listed above fits the same definitions of magic that I use (see Fortune or Crowley's famous quotes).

But! I've seen instances of (neo-)Wiccans distancing themselves from Witches by saying they don't do magic, and this blows my mind because I can't understand how one would practice Wicca without it.

Is magic something separate from Witch-ritual? Is it specifically spell-casting? Or are these aspects of ritual magical acts themselves?

Any input (opinions welcome, sourced facts appreciated) from Wiccans, Witches or folks with knowledge relevant here would be appreciated.


I am not able to speak for Wiccans or 'Traditional' Witches, but let me bring your attention to the cunning folk.

Cunning folk (or 'pellars' or folk magicians) did not view themselves as witches, but persons living in the 20th century reading about them sometimes choose to put the 'witch'-label on them.

Cunning folk self-identified as Christians. Their world-view could in some parts of Europe differ from the official world-view of the church, in that regard, that some spirits from Roman, Celtic or Norse mythology were added to the Christian worldview of Holy Trinity, angels, saints et cetera. What defined them as cunning folk, was not their religion (They had the same religion as anyone else around them, and on grass-root level their additions to the official Christian worldview were oftn shared by the laity in general), but that they performed healing magic or protective magic.

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 2989
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 528
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 11:04:26 am »
Quote from: Mellee;187884
But! I've seen instances of (neo-)Wiccans distancing themselves from Witches by saying they don't do magic, and this blows my mind because I can't understand how one would practice Wicca without it.

Is magic something separate from Witch-ritual? Is it specifically spell-casting? Or are these aspects of ritual magical acts themselves?

Any input (opinions welcome, sourced facts appreciated) from Wiccans, Witches or folks with knowledge relevant here would be appreciated.

I tend to have the same reaction as you: there are many forms of magic, spellcraft is only one of them, and that traditional Wicca and related practices that cleansing, blessing, charging, delineating and constructing space (i.e. circle casting), consecrating objects, people or places, etc. is magic, thank you very much.

(Whether I'd file Drawing Down and similar invocation or evocation as magic or as prayer or some other category is a bit more fuzzy for me, but there's plenty of examples without that.)

My fundamental reaction to the "I cast circle but I don't do magic" is that the person who says that means something fundamentally different about casting circle than I do, and I would need to sit down and ask them a bunch of questions to figure out the differences.

(However, when I have tried this at various points in the past, I have often hit the "It's not magic because I say it's not, it's not like that *spell* stuff." Which is, shall we say, not particularly helpful. I've never managed to find someone who could articulate the difference between different kinds of magical act, or even the theurgy/thaumaturgy divide who argued they weren't doing magic in that situation.

Thus: can't tell if it's something I'm actually missing, something the person isn't articulate about, or if they're just arguing without understanding the actual theory behind what they're doing and how it fits into the general understanding of magic, ritual, prayer, etc. developed by many cultures over many centuries and insisting that the way they use the word is right it doesn't matter what other people do. The conversations have made me inclined to think it's the last, because of other things in them, but I am willing to keep an open mind if people give me other things to look at!)  

There's also a more complicated thing: I believe pretty firmly that part of witchcraft has to be recognising and dancing with that which makes us uncomfortable: the liminal spaces of the world. I've said in the past that the instinctive response in the witches I know who I respect to something that is uncomfortable or upsetting, is to keep poking at it to try and understand it. It's a fundamental part of what makes them *competent* witches, who get results.

(How much poking, how long it takes, how active it is, those depend on people's available time and energy and life circumstances, and sometimes actively poking at it can take years to get back to. But I don't know many witches I respect who just go "Meh, that doesn't fit. I'll ignore it.")

That is, however, a pretty common reaction among a certain category of people (many of whom fall in the Neo-Wiccan sort of category, or in 'Wicca can be anything I want it to be' but they're certainly present in other Pagan paths and other religions, for that matter) where even when they admit there's an inconsistency, there's no sign that they consider that something to resolve.

They just want to do the things they want to do, without worrying about how it fits into a larger functional system - and then they're often suprised when either it doesn't work, or when something really outside that system happens to them, and they have no way to adapt.

And I think that's a shame, y'know? I want people to have structures that actually work for them, but witchcraft isn't a path where you can just trust it's there, you have to do some work (and some learning) to fit the parts together yourself.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 11:08:05 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)

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4778
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 638
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2016, 11:28:25 am »
Quote from: Mellee;187884
In a chapter titled "Spellcraft and Herb Lore", West discusses the elements of ritual (tool consecration, element evocation, deity evocation, circle casting, symbolic Great Rite etc) and then, separately, "the work itself... the Magic you intend to perform".

My question has to do with this separation. I've always seen Wicca and similar forms of Witchcraft as an inherently magical religion, in large part because performing the rituals as listed above fits the same definitions of magic that I use (see Fortune or Crowley's famous quotes).

But! I've seen instances of (neo-)Wiccans distancing themselves from Witches by saying they don't do magic, and this blows my mind because I can't understand how one would practice Wicca without it.

Is magic something separate from Witch-ritual? Is it specifically spell-casting? Or are these aspects of ritual magical acts themselves?

Any input (opinions welcome, sourced facts appreciated) from Wiccans, Witches or folks with knowledge relevant here would be appreciated.

 
My experience is that the people who say they "don't do magic" are people who do not do ... charms.  (I am seriously at a loss for anything other than Harry Potter terminology here, bear with me.)

Also, a lot of the reasons they don't do that stuff are weird, from my perspective - I've heard a lot of "it's bad karma to be selfish / do workings to attain your goals".  The attitude appears to be that magic is so important and sacred and holy that it's critical to never actually use it and/or that magic is innately cheating the universe and thus one must refrain from it.

Which of course means that circle casting and the like cannot be allowed to be magic, right?

The thing that gets me about it is that that sort of undermining of one's capacity for intent - the idea of the illegitimacy of actual action outside of shrine - really undermines a lot of things.  Including the capacity to do actual significant Craft work.

Some of it feels like a carryover from past backgrounds - not the "magic is not something we do" part, but the idea that religion's sole purpose is the ritual space.  Anything that is not in the ritual space, in front of the altar, in the prayer, that cannot be religion, cannot be sacred.  It's very... well, suburban Protestant.  (Maybe another for the List, Sunf, if we haven't hit that from that angle before.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

RecycledBenedict

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 851
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 12:26:14 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;187892
Cunning folk (or 'pellars' or folk magicians) did not view themselves as witches, but persons living in the 20th century reading about them sometimes choose to put the 'witch'-label on them.


Reading what I wrote another time, I realised, that I put my words somewhat badly.

Even before the 20th century, it happened that Presbyterians somtimes put what the cunning folk practiced under the witchcraft label, in company with other things under that label: Some rituals of the Roman Catholic Church and some expressions of Roman Catholic popular devotion.

I have Reginald Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft in mind here. Please remember, that Scot didn't believe in the existence of witch-sabbaths and magic that worked, and the purpose of his book was to dissuade people to believe in the existence of it. He wanted the practice of accusations of witchcraft crimes in courts of justice to be abolished as superstition.

The broad definition of witchcraft used by Scot and his fellow Presbyterians, was not universal among Reformed Christians of the time. Persons who performed Braucherei or Pow-wow in Netherlands and among the Dutch immigrants on the North American east coast, didn't identify the practice as witchcraft in the 'bad' sense*, and both these cunning persons and their clients, self-identified as Reformed Christians. It is worth to notice, however, that cunning men of Dutch ancestry sometimes were known as 'hexenmeisters', a Dutch and German word translatable to 'warlock'. Reality is often too complicated to be reduced into a yes-or-no answer.

* No pacts with the Devil or travels to Blocksberg, but rather prayers to God, invocation of angels and lots of strange formulae.

SunflowerP

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Posts: 7998
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 193
  • Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
    • View Profile
    • If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough
  • Religion: Eclectic religious Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: sie/hir/hirs/hirself
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2016, 03:21:49 am »
Quote from: Mellee;187884
Any input (opinions welcome, sourced facts appreciated) from Wiccans, Witches or folks with knowledge relevant here would be appreciated.


I don't have much to add to what Jenett and Darkhawk said about it; their perspective, experiences, and observations are a pretty close match for mine. I've been perplexed by this attitude for... wow, a quarter-century now. From what I can tell, a fairly large contingent of these folks do equate magic with spellcasting (or, as Darkhawk says, with charms), but it's difficult to suss out why, because their responses, when asked to elaborate, are not very coherent. This doesn't give me much confidence that they know what they're talking about.
 
Quote from: Darkhawk;187895
(Maybe another for the List, Sunf, if we haven't hit that from that angle before.)

 
Heh. I'd already decided, around the second paragraph of your post, that it belonged on the List.

(For those who don't yet know, Darkhawk and I are compiling a list of the common ways in which people pick up assumptions about How To Religion from their birth religions or from culturally-dominant religion, and fail to unpack those assumptions when they take up paganism. Thus far we're mainly brainstorming - sorting into something that can be posted on Kiya's website and pointed to as a resource will come later - but I suspect it will never actually be complete; we'll be finding/thinking of new things that should be included in perpetuity.)

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4778
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 638
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 10:54:45 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;187975
Heh. I'd already decided, around the second paragraph of your post, that it belonged on the List.


I think I actually hit two and a fraction there, the "magic is illegitimate because it is (usurping the power of the divine | innately tainted and cheating)" and "the only true religious action is a devotional shrine-space action; effective action in the world is illegitimate or inferior".

I'm also pretty sure that if I got a sharp stick I could unpack the first one into even more.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Emma Eldritch

Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2016, 11:22:35 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;187895

Also, a lot of the reasons they don't do that stuff are weird, from my perspective - I've heard a lot of "it's bad karma to be selfish / do workings to attain your goals".  The attitude appears to be that magic is so important and sacred and holy that it's critical to never actually use it and/or that magic is innately cheating the universe and thus one must refrain from it.

Which of course means that circle casting and the like cannot be allowed to be magic, right?


 
Oh my god, reading that I had a "ohhhhhhhhhhhh!" moment - I've encountered people who I think must feel that way, but they could never articulate it. It's like you read their minds and explained it to me.

Mellee

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 78
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 01:25:35 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;187892
I am not able to speak for Wiccans or 'Traditional' Witches, but let me bring your attention to the cunning folk.

Cunning folk (or 'pellars' or folk magicians) did not view themselves as witches, but persons living in the 20th century reading about them sometimes choose to put the 'witch'-label on them.

Cunning folk self-identified as Christians. Their world-view could in some parts of Europe differ from the official world-view of the church, in that regard, that some spirits from Roman, Celtic or Norse mythology were added to the Christian worldview of Holy Trinity, angels, saints et cetera. What defined them as cunning folk, was not their religion (They had the same religion as anyone else around them, and on grass-root level their additions to the official Christian worldview were oftn shared by the laity in general), but that they performed healing magic or protective magic.

 
Hiya FB. I'm reasonably familiar with the idea of cunning folk practicing magic outside of religion, and it's totally reasonable! I'm quite attached, actually, to non-religious Witchcraft. However it's not quite what was baffling me, as the book (and thus my question) was specifically regarding modern pagan Witches.

If I missed your point, please enlighten me - I think I used up too much brain power this morning trying to write a review of the book in question. ;)

Mellee

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 78
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 01:42:59 am »
Quote from: Jenett;187893
I tend to have the same reaction as you: there are many forms of magic, spellcraft is only one of them, and that traditional Wicca and related practices that cleansing, blessing, charging, delineating and constructing space (i.e. circle casting), consecrating objects, people or places, etc. is magic, thank you very much.


Well, at least I'm not alone, haha!

Quote from: Jenett;187893
My fundamental reaction to the "I cast circle but I don't do magic" is that the person who says that means something fundamentally different about casting circle than I do, and I would need to sit down and ask them a bunch of questions to figure out the differences.


Right?? There's just not enough information provided about the implications of such a statement.

I'm pro-questions, too, but I feel like this sort of confusion is not ideal for a beginners book.

Quote from: Jenett;187893
Thus: can't tell if it's something I'm actually missing, something the person isn't articulate about, or if they're just arguing without understanding the actual theory behind what they're doing and how it fits into the general understanding of magic, ritual, prayer, etc. developed by many cultures over many centuries and insisting that the way they use the word is right it doesn't matter what other people do. The conversations have made me inclined to think it's the last, because of other things in them, but I am willing to keep an open mind if people give me other things to look at!)


You're, like, the fairest and most open-minded smart person that I know, so I feel like any conclusions you're drawing are probably on the money. Also, that first sentence summed up perfectly how I felt about the "Magic" chapter in this book.

Quote from: Jenett;187893
There's also a more complicated thing: I believe pretty firmly that part of witchcraft has to be recognising and dancing with that which makes us uncomfortable: the liminal spaces of the world. I've said in the past that the instinctive response in the witches I know who I respect to something that is uncomfortable or upsetting, is to keep poking at it to try and understand it. It's a fundamental part of what makes them *competent* witches, who get results.


It seems like part of the baggage that comes with the title of Witch; why would you use that as an identity label without acknowledging and embracing the sharp edges? If you don't want to deal with challenges, Witch is probably the wrong path to take.

I think that's part of my confusion about this magic/ritual issue: if one (and I checked the book, Kate West does) defines magic as 'the ability to make change by force of will' then it makes sense to embrace as magic the changes created by one's will even when those are acts of ritual. If you cast a circle as a sacred container for energy and consecrated place, that's change that you're performing using magical intention. Might not be a moon phase, week day, colour, herb, crystal and chant required to do it, but that just means magic isn't limited to those things.

Or to charms. *grins at Darkhawk*

Mellee

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 78
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 01:52:35 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;187895

Some of it feels like a carryover from past backgrounds - not the "magic is not something we do" part, but the idea that religion's sole purpose is the ritual space.  Anything that is not in the ritual space, in front of the altar, in the prayer, that cannot be religion, cannot be sacred.  It's very... well, suburban Protestant.  (Maybe another for the List, Sunf, if we haven't hit that from that angle before.)

 
I basically wanted to quote your whole post because I loved it. But, hot damn, I wonder if you've hit the nail on the head here.

Also, andI've never practiced a religion before my current one so not sure if I'm qualified to assess this, but it does sort of seem like a division between devotional worship (where change to improve life is left in God's hands) and mundane life (where change is a personal responsibility). Sort of passive versus active.

I probably don't have the right words to describe this, but I rather think the point of modern pagan Witchcraft is that such separation is an illusion. To me, life is sacred and working with the sacred is the point of my Craft.

Mellee

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 78
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2016, 01:54:11 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;187975
(For those who don't yet know, Darkhawk and I are compiling a list of the common ways in which people pick up assumptions about How To Religion from their birth religions or from culturally-dominant religion, and fail to unpack those assumptions when they take up paganism. Thus far we're mainly brainstorming - sorting into something that can be posted on Kiya's website and pointed to as a resource will come later - but I suspect it will never actually be complete; we'll be finding/thinking of new things that should be included in perpetuity.)

 
Sounds extremely interesting, and enlightening!

RecycledBenedict

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 851
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2016, 06:54:31 am »
Quote from: Mellee;188054
Hiya FB. I'm reasonably familiar with the idea of cunning folk practicing magic outside of religion, and it's totally reasonable! I'm quite attached, actually, to non-religious Witchcraft. However it's not quite what was baffling me, as the book (and thus my question) was specifically regarding modern pagan Witches.

If I missed your point, please enlighten me - I think I used up too much brain power this morning trying to write a review of the book in question. ;)



Since you asked about 'Witchy traditions' in your initial post, I came under impression, that the cunning craft - although the practitioners themselves didn't want to be included under the Witch umbrella - was one of the traditions you asked about: Thereby my answer.

I wouldn't call cunning craft 'magic outside of religion' either. Many practices involved prayers to the Christian God and invocations of angels, and - especially in southern Europe - invocations of saints.

Among the modern pagan Witches you ask about, you find persons like Madeline Montalban, Nigel Jackson and - perhaps - Michael Howard, the worldview of whom - if I have understood them correctly - included both an Abrahamite Deity (interpreted Kabbalistically, I believe), Jesus, Islamic prophets, a benevolent Lucifer, 7 planetary archangels, nephilim, gods and goddesses (including a Horned God and a Mother Goddess) and local spirits of nature. Their modern pagan Witchcraft is probably the one that comes closest to the cunning craft, although they are of course not identical. I have no personal experience of their tradition(s), and base my description on the books Howard and Jackson published through the publisher Capall Bann.

unveiledartist

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 59
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2016, 05:08:29 pm »
Quote from: Mellee;187884
But! I've seen instances of (neo-)Wiccans distancing themselves from Witches by saying they don't do magic, and this blows my mind because I can't understand how one would practice Wicca without it.

Is magic something separate from Witch-ritual? Is it specifically spell-casting? Or are these aspects of ritual magical acts themselves?

Any input (opinions welcome, sourced facts appreciated) from Wiccans, Witches or folks with knowledge relevant here would be appreciated.

 
I believe magic is in all rituals but not all rituals are magic spells. I know, that sentence type sounds common; and, its true.

Take a ritual of creating a space for ritual work.  If magic is using physical means to direct ones prayers, then the actual creating a rituals space and its purpose is, by itself, a magic act. Candle rituals are also magic. I honestly dont believe a Wiccan ceremony can be done without the use of magic. For example, the athame, the invocations, prayers, etc are all magic.

They are just not spells.

You have magic rituals as explained above and you have magic spells below.

Some call it sympethic magic or folk magic (if they are practices from a specific culture and/or cultural religion).

Not all rituals have folk magic. Folk magic can be as simple as lighting a candle every morning and a short prayer to one's gods to more elaborate as meditation and prayer with candle light and incense. I dont consider it a ritual unless done in a dogmatic form.

There is the difference!

Magic rituals are usually dogmatic.

Magic spells are usually spontaneous.

Sometmes in rituals you have some spontenuity say dancing while others are specific like how to hold an athame.

Some spells can be dogmatic like lighting a candle each morning but most are spontaneous, no set time to do so..no right way to light a candle....

One is dogmatic the other isnt.

Mellee

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2015
  • Posts: 78
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Magic vs. Ritual in Witchcraft Religions
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2016, 05:21:24 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;188065
I wouldn't call cunning craft 'magic outside of religion' either. Many practices involved prayers to the Christian God and invocations of angels, and - especially in southern Europe - invocations of saints.


Good point. I think I was trying to mean something like "magic practiced additionally to a religion without a traditional inclusion of magic" but even that's not very accurate, is it! So perhaps the separation between "magical practice" and "religious ritual" comes from recognising the magical elements of one's religion and using them in broader ways?

Quote from: FraterBenedict;188065
Among the modern pagan Witches you ask about, you find persons like Madeline Montalban, Nigel Jackson and - perhaps - Michael Howard, the worldview of whom - if I have understood them correctly - included both an Abrahamite Deity (interpreted Kabbalistically, I believe), Jesus, Islamic prophets, a benevolent Lucifer, 7 planetary archangels, nephilim, gods and goddesses (including a Horned God and a Mother Goddess) and local spirits of nature. Their modern pagan Witchcraft is probably the one that comes closest to the cunning craft, although they are of course not identical. I have no personal experience of their tradition(s), and base my description on the books Howard and Jackson published through the publisher Capall Bann.

 
Aww yeah, I love Michael Howard and Nigel Jackson; along with Emma Wilby and Owen Davies, they've provided much of what I know of cunning craft, and have inspired my own Craft practice. <3

I'm not actually familiar with Madeline Montalban, although the name is ringing some bells. Off to do some research, thank you!

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
8 Replies
3567 Views
Last post February 17, 2012, 09:22:51 pm
by Annie Roonie
3 Replies
2003 Views
Last post March 14, 2012, 11:01:05 am
by cigfran
4 Replies
3182 Views
Last post November 07, 2012, 08:43:23 am
by NanoRaven
25 Replies
3692 Views
Last post January 06, 2013, 01:04:05 pm
by Jack
11 Replies
1969 Views
Last post December 17, 2012, 06:10:02 am
by Fausta

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 42
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 8
  • 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.

* In Memoriam

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

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

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

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall