Witches and Wiccans: A New Take on the Great Debate

Author Taryn Anu

Wicca and Witchcraft are by nature surrounded by myths and misconceptions, and though we often try to clear up such misconceptions, there are some issues upon which even we in the pagan community cannot agree. “The Great Debate, ” as those like myself jokingly call it, is one such matter that is at a stand still. In The Wicca Handbook by Eileen Holland, published in 2000, she states, “All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccan.” This statement is based on the assumption that all Wiccans must practice witchcraft in their worship, but that witchcraft can be practiced without the moral code or spiritual purpose of Wicca.

However, in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft Third Edition, published in 2006, writers Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason, along with reviser Miria Liguana, state that “Not all Wiccans are witches, and not all witches are Wiccans, but a lot of them are.”

Instantly there is a giant rift formed between subscribers to either idea. At first glance, one could easily say that it must be a matter of opinion. I would say that is untrue, though to prove my point entails a little bit of research.

First, we will begin by addressing the simplest issues. What is Wicca? What is a witch? According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, a witch is someone who uses magic in everyday life, and Wicca is an earth based religion that honors both the God and the Goddess. Of course, these definitions can be expanded upon, but to do so would mean going further down the path of exploration, which makes identifying their differences more difficult as paths diverge and converge. So, we’re just going to stick with the barest forms of each. In other words, what makes you either a witch or not, a Wiccan or not.

Next, let’s take a look at what practicing Wicca entails. Some say that by engaging in Wiccan ritual you are practicing magic and therefore by default must also be a witch. However, ceremony is not witchcraft. Most, if not all, religions hold firmly to some type of ceremony. This does not translate to witchcraft or spell craft. So what separates ritual from witchcraft? In order to better understand exactly what Wiccans use in everyday practice, we must delve further in its basic examination.

Let’s examine what ritual is in its most basic form. Wiccans rely heavily on the use of rituals in their daily lives and worship. “Ritual”, by definition from The American Heritage Dictionary is: 1. The prescribed form of a ceremony, 2. A system of ceremonies or rites, 3. A ceremonial act or a series of such acts, 4. A customary or regular procedure. Nowhere in this definition of there mention of witchcraft or spell craft. In fact, there is not mention of anything remotely linked to witches at all.

Now, the definition from the same dictionary for witchcraft is magic and sorcery, and we have established from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft that a witch is someone who uses magic in everyday life. So, in their more basic definitions we have already found that witchcraft and ritual are different.

Let us take a look at Wicca. The great debate revolves around Wiccans by default practicing witchcraft. So, in order for us to get a clear view of the issue, we must look at the cornerstone of all Wicca, the Rede. Of course, varying traditions and paths of Wicca have evolved to be more extensive than the Rede. However, it remains the indisputable separator of Wicca from other pagan paths, and in order to follow Wicca in any of its eclectic forms, one must subscribe to the Rede’s laws. Looking closely at the Rede, we find beautiful poetry mixed with wise words as in verse two, “Live an’ let live / fairly take an’ fairly give, ” that not only give us advice but also offer simple instruction on practicing as a Wiccan. Never take without giving back, and take only what you need. Live and let all other life live.

There also seems to be other more extensive verses on how to practice Wicca, examples being verse six through thirteen. In verse twenty-three the Threefold Law is spoken of, akin to Karma, and in verse three one is instructed to cast a circle three times to keep evil out. The only verse that could even remotely be labeled as magic is three, but as we’ve established, that does not necessarily mean magic is involved. Casting a circle is simply a ritual in which magic can be included. The Rede also states that to bind a spell one must speak it in rhyme, but I believe this is to advise Wiccans on spell casting should they choose to use this type of magick in their work.

Finally, I’ve demonstrated that nowhere in the practice of Wicca is there a mandate that magic must be used, but before we can completely solve this debate, we must examine what is magic. Again, let us look at the definition of the word. Using The American Heritage Dictionary we learn that magic is the art that purports to control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural through the use of charms, spells, or rituals. Immediately, one could claim that said invocations using ritual constitutes magic, but as I stated before, many religions use ritual in their practice. That fact combined with the definition of ritual boiling down to a ceremony or series of ceremonies shows conclusively that just because magic is used in ritual doesn’t mean that a ritual must be exclusively magic.

At last, we can apply our gathered logic to our original issue. I have proven that (using the law that to be Wiccan in its simplest form means one must follow the Wiccan Rede) Wiccans must perform some type of ritual in their worship. I have also proven that witchcraft is the active practice of magic, which can be explained spiritually as the manipulation of energy or by definition as the purported control on forces through charms, spells, or ritual. However, going back to the basic definition of a ritual demonstrates how ritual does not have to include the practice of magic. In fact, most consider ritual to be more of a celebration of your spiritual path rather than manipulating energies. (Stay with me!) Applying the same logic to Wicca shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that to be Wiccan means engaging in some sort of ritual but not necessarily magic.

There are those who will claim that the origins and meanings of the words “Wicca” and “witch” change everything I have just presented. At this point, though, I don’t think the words’ origins matter. We are not talking about the practicing differences or similarities of our predecessor witches and Wiccans. The meanings of words change over time, so it is the modern context with which we should be concerned. I know much of following any pagan path is remembering and holding true to its roots, but I firmly believe in the evolution of religion. Not to mention that Wicca is not even an ancient religion at all, no matter where its roots come from (but that is another article for another time) .

The Goddess has had many names and faces over the centuries, after all. Too often do we cling to the past because we are afraid of the future. So what if Wicca and witchcraft were once one and the same? So what if they have evolved into two different practices? So what if Wicca is a modern, fairly young religion with really no ancient roots and often categorized as New Age?

So what?

We need to accept that our religions, our words, and their meanings are constantly changing. Why fight to stubbornly stay constant when all one has to do is experience the Wheel of the Year or look back at the history of nature to see that the world and everything in it is far from unchanging? Wicca is about spirituality and a journey along the path. Whether you perform magick in the sense of witchcraft or simply religious rituals to celebrate your spirituality, the journey is yours all the same. We should embrace all the things that make what we each do unique, rather than fighting to lump them all together.

So celebrate yourself if you are a Witch and a Wiccan, and celebrate yourself if you’re simply a Witch, and celebrate yourself if you sorely practice Wicca! Celebrate just because you’re on that journey, and revel in all the similarities and differences we share!

I Am Damn Angry! + My Strongen-Up Recipe

Merry Meet and welcome to another episode of Witch Quickie, on Wednesday!

WARNING:
THIS VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND STRONG OPINIONS THAT MIGHT BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME.

Let me know if you need the recipe or the spell and I shall get it to you.

To become a student at The Academy of International Witch-Crafting©, send a short message, requesting your application to: aiwc@web.de The entire Witchling (novice) course is a one-time donation of $50.
https://witchcraftandmore.com/join-the-academy-of-international-witch-crafting/

For your customized tarot card reading, starting at a donation of $25., please click the link:
https://witchcraftandmore.com/divination/

To follow the Witchcraft & More Blog, go to this link: https://witchcraftandmore.com/blog-2/ and then click the ‘follow’ button.

I wish you the Brightest of Magickal Blessings!

Merry Part Until We Merry Meet Again!
Lady Silver Sage of witchcraftandmore.com &
The Academy of International Witch-Crafting©

Card Reading for Monday

The card I pulled for everybody today is: The Art of Life: This reveals: “There’s no sacred light in the aura of an invisible life. Be bold in your skin, let your love dance in sight.

Now this card also reveals to me that we all hide to a certain degree. It could be what we practice that we hide, or it could be hiding who we really are.

Now, is the time to stand bold and stop living the invisible life. Stand up for your beliefs and who you are.

I am a witch, a healer, a psychic medium, a card reader, and Native American. I was afraid of revealing this but one day I decided the Creator gave me these gifts and so now I stand proud.

Many blessings!!!!

Card Reading: Hippogriff

The Hippogriff warns that somebody is not seeing you as you really are because you haven’t been grounded. Your spirits are down and they are only seeing the part of you that reveals down and out. Its time to step up, remove the negative thoughts, and fly.

I feel that this card will apply to some. Get those spirits up and start revealing your true self.

WOTC and CL Websites and Coven’s Combined Logo

Untitled

I am going to use this as the combined logo for WOTC, Coven Life, and Heart’s Spirit Coven as all threes logo as part of a letterhead, places that ask for our logo online, etc.

I picked the Tree of Life because to me not only does it represent As Above, So Below but also how 2 separate websites are coming together as one through the Heart’s Spirit Coven. All who read and/or follow Witches of The Craft and Coven Life whether you practice as a Solitary or in a face to face pagan group are a student with Coven Life, etc you are welcome to join me and the rest of Heart’s Spirit Coven for Open Chats, Esbat and Sabbat celebration gatherings. We do not follow a pure Wiccan path but a path of many different traditions so we are a eclectic coven of Solitary Witches and students who come together for gatherings and to chat.

As you can see WOTC is in yellow for Sun light, Coven Life is in blue for Life Giving water, both of which nourish learning and work together to form Heart’s Spirit Coven and Coven Life’s Witchcraft School. Please let me know over the next week whether or not you like this as a logo or not. If not, please give me you suggestions on what you think a good logo would look like combining the 2 websites and coven

Witchcraft today…Has it affected you?



Witchcraft today is going strong. Most people think if you are practicing witchcraft is has to be evil when in truth its actually how you practice it.

I am firm believer in practicing witchcraft and practice it in the light. I know most people get scared and walk away from you. Well, that has happened to me since I have begun this journey. I am also a spiritual medium and I have lost so called friends from finding that out.

Do I care? No, they didn’t deserve me in their life. Witchcraft and mediumship is very important to me. I live my life the way I want to and I don’t need anyone’s approval for that. Accept me as I am or I don’t or need you in my life.

So, has this happened to you? I am sure it has but you know what don’t let it get you down. Just keep going and hold your head up.

Blessed be,

Melinda



My first Spell and Ritual



I am moving along with my Novice lessons and I wrote my first spell and Ritual and I must say I have never been so excited.

I am a published author and when I sat down to write my spell and ritual I thought “Oh gosh this will probably be hard.” But I sat down with confidence and wrote them both within an hour. It was amazing.

I want to say that I love this coven and everybody in it. Lady B is amazing and always there for me and Priestess Hypatia is also amazing. I just want thank the Coven for being there for me.

This is my path. I feel so connected now and its bring the best out of me. So thank you Coven Life and Witches of the Craft for allowing me to be me.

Blessed be,

Melinda



What type of Witch are you?

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There are different types of witches so do you know which one you are? I feel its important to define what a “witch” is. To me, its somebody that practices witchcraft. With that being said, I don’t feel that you have to follow any certain religion to be a witch or practice witchcraft.

I will not go over all witch types here but the ones I feel is mostly used.

  1. Solitary Witch is someone who is not in a coven and practices rituals and spells alone. They either prefer not to join a coven or maybe its because they do not have one that resonates with them. They can use different paths and may or may not use witchcraft as part of their spiritual path.
  2. Traditional Witch is a someone who takes the historical route. They look at various ways such as witch trials, grimoires, historical accounts, and witch lore. This is how they lay their foundation for doing their spell work or rituals.
  3. Hereditary Witch is someone that is born into a family that practices witchcraft. Knowledge is passed down through generations and each one may practice in their own way.
  4. Eclectic Witch is someone who takes different ways from different witchcraft traditions, rituals, etc.
  5. Hedge Witch is someone that works with subtle spaces and the spirit world. A Hedge witch works with the liminal spaces and the spirit realm.
  6. Kitchen Witch is someone uses their home and surroundings as their sacred space. They focus on their food and cooking by putting energy into each meal. They may have their own herb garden.
  7. Green Witch is someone that are nature based. They are usually in-tune with each season and use natural material to create their own tools. They usually perform spell work or rituals outside.
  8. Cosmic Witch is someone that uses astrology in their witchcraft. They follow the alignment of the planets and usually they perform their spells and rituals  based on the position of the planets and moon.

Now, I will share what I do. I am Hereditary Witch, but I am also an Eclectic Witch and a Hedge Witch. I incorporate many different things, especially Native American.

I hope you enjoyed the post today…

Blessed be,

Melinda

Christmas..Witches..Oh My!

The legend of Befana began thousands of years ago and remains to this day a tradition practised by Italian children and their families. As the story goes, one day, the three Magi left their country bearing special gifts of gold, incense and myrrh for the new-born Jesus Christ. They were guided by a star across many countries. At every village that they passed, people ran to meet them and accompany them in their journey.

But there was one old woman who did not join the Magi. She claimed to be too busy with her housework and promised to join them later when she had time. The next day, she realized her mistake and frantically ran after the Magi with gifts for the child, still clutching her broom. But it was too late – the Magi were long gone.

To read more:

https://www.ottawaitalians.com/Heritage/befana.htm

More info:

https://www.summerinitaly.com/traveltips/the-legend-of-la-befana

Blessed Be!

Crystals for the Beginner Witch

Witches I thought it would be a great idea to post today on what crystals that is good to use for the beginner witch. When I started out on my journey in witchcraft I started looking at what crystals I could you and I found it hard to find the information therefore that is why I choose to post this today to help my fellow witches.

List of crystals that every witch should have in their witch toolbox…

Hematite: this is good to use for grounding, protection, and scrying

Rose Quartz: this is good for promoting love and helps fight anxiety and depression.

Clear Quartz: this is good for protection, healing, and clarity.

Selenite: Prevents bad dreams and great for clarity.

Amethyst: Used for protection and helps to rebut effects you don’t want.

These stones will help every witch out there in everyday life and for use during rituals or really anything and everything in your life.

Senate, Congress, White House Contact Information and Commentary

Ok, it is time for Witches and Pagans to come together to speak as one voice no matter what traditions you follow. Write, email, and call your Senator and Congressperson as often as you can. Let them know that although we are a minority in this country when it comes to religions we will step up as one to help our sacred Mother Earth and all living things upon her including the waterways that flow through her and the oceans that surround her land as well as the air above us. As the USA spend billions helping other countries almost yearly we ask… How much is being spent yearly in the United States of America to help our homeless, children going to bed hungry every night, to help those that have willing serve in our military to get proper medical, dental, and vision care, the same goes for the millions of Americans that for whatever reason cannot afford to pay for medical, dental, and optical insurance and make just a little too much to qualify to get insurance from the state they live in.

Are you ready and willing to make your voice heard with ours? Then start today by finding who your congressperson and senators are. Then write, email, call and let your voice be heard every day you can please. 

We the ordinary people are the ones who are going to make America stand out as a leading country around the world again by forcing those in Washington D. C. to vote for bills, budgets, etc as the people who voted them into the office they now hold want them to? Here is the Preamble to the US Consitution. I ask you …Do you think those people sitting in their warm homes with plenty to eat and warm clothes to wear this winter are living up to our given rights under the constitution this wonderful country of ours was founded upon?

Preamble

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

If you want to know more about the USA Constitution and what those who think they are so high and might in Washinton D.C. are walking all over until the paper it was written is no more to them then a piece of toilet paper click on the following link and read one or more of the information that comes up. I did and it was very eye-opening.

United States of America Constitution and Bill of Rights

Just click on the state you live in to get your states senators contact information

All US Senators

To find the US federal district you live in and your specific congressperson contact information. Do not bother writing to a congressperson outside of your own district because your letter or email will wind up in the trash.

Find Your US Federal District

To write to the White House directly

White House Contact Information

 

 

 

Monday Is Ruled By the Moon

cats
Monday Is Ruled By the Moon

This day of the week is dedicated to the moon and all of her magic and mystery. Mondays are for women’s mysteries, illusion, prophetic dreaming, emotions, travel, and fertility.

Some suggestions for Monday enchantments would include:

*Getting outside and looking for the moon in the heavens. Sit under her light and absorb a little glamour. Call on the moon goddess Selene for practical help in magical issues.

*Invoking the god Thoth for wisdom and insight

*Empowering your silver jewelry under the light of the moon. Wear moonstone or pearl jewelry today to add a lunar and magical shimmer to your outfit. Be mysterious and subtle and wear moon-associated colors such as white, silver, and blue.

*Working spells for safe travel with a simple moonstone

*Gathering bluebells, jasmine, gardenias, or white roses to create a little garden witchery with the flowers that are associated with the moon

*Setting up a lunar Tarot spell today to increase your psychic powers

*Eating a lunar fruit such as a melon to be healthy, serene, and at peace

*Brewing up a cup of chamomile or mint tea and enchanting it for sweet dreams and restful sleep

The Witches Must Dos for Fridays

I'll Put A Spell On You!!The Witches Must Dos for Fridays

Fridays are days of loving enchantments and passionate emotions.

See how many ways you could add a little loving enchantment into your life and the lives of your loved ones. If you wish to explore the topic of love and romance witchery even further, then check out my book How to Enchant a Man: Spells to Bewitch, Bedazzle &Beguile. If cat magick has tickled your fancy, then for further study read my book The Enchanted Cat: Feline Fascinations, Spells &Magick.

In the meantime, try sharing red berries with your partner some enchanted evening. Work that meditation, and see what other mysteries Freya has to teach you. Wear a Venus planetary color and call on the Goddess for a little inner sparkle. Burn some floral incense, light up some rosy candles, and set a romantic mood. Try wearing a little copper jewelry, and see how it affects you and your Friday magick. Get those potpourri and philter recipes going, and see what you can conjure up.

Advancing your magickal skills takes drive, ambition, and passion. Work with Eros to discover just how much enthusiasm, inspiration, and drive he can bring into your days, for the imagination is a place where dreams flourish and ideas come to fruition.

Call on these fertile and romantic powers, and create your own unique spells and charms. Just think of all the magickal information that you can now add to your repertoire of witchery. Lastly, remember this: when you combine imagination and a loving heart with magick, you’ll succeed every time.

 

Book of Witchery – Spells, Charms & Correspondences For Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

Monday Is Ruled By the Moon

gothic woman
Monday Is Ruled By the Moon

This day of the week is dedicated to the moon and all of her magic and mystery. Mondays are for women’s mysteries, illusion, prophetic dreaming, emotions, travel, and fertility.

Some suggestions for Monday enchantments would include:

*Getting outside and looking for the moon in the heavens. Sit under her light and absorb a little glamour. Call on the moon goddess Selene for practical help in magical issues.

*Invoking the god Thoth for wisdom and insight

*Empowering your silver jewelry under the light of the moon. Wear moonstone or pearl jewelry today to add a lunar and magical shimmer to your outfit.

*Be mysterious and subtle and wear moon-associated colors such as white, silver, and blue.

*Working spells for safe travel with a simple moonstone

*Gathering bluebells, jasmine, gardenias, or white roses to create a little garden witchery with the flowers that are associated with the moon

*Setting up a lunar Tarot spell today to increase your psychic powers

*Eating a lunar fruit such as a melon to be healthy, serene, and at peace

*Brewing up a cup of chamomile or mint tea and enchanting it for sweet dreams and restful sleep

Monday Is Ruled By the Moon

We Are The Power..♥ Kyuu~
Monday Is Ruled By the Moon

This day of the week is dedicated to the moon and all of her magic and mystery. Mondays are for women’s mysteries, illusion, prophetic dreaming, emotions, travel, and fertility.

Some suggestions for Monday enchantments would include:

*Getting outside and looking for the moon in the heavens. Sit under her light and absorb a little glamour. Call on the moon goddess Selene for practical help in magical issues.

*Invoking the god Thoth for wisdom and insight

*Empowering your silver jewelry under the light of the moon. Wear moonstone or pearl jewelry today to add a lunar and magical shimmer to your outfit.

*Be mysterious and subtle and wear moon-associated colors such as white, silver, and blue.

*Working spells for safe travel with a simple moonstone

*Gathering bluebells, jasmine, gardenias, or white roses to create a little garden witchery with the flowers that are associated with the moon

*Setting up a lunar Tarot spell today to increase your psychic powers

*Eating a lunar fruit such as a melon to be healthy, serene, and at peace

*Brewing up a cup of chamomile or mint tea and enchanting it for sweet dreams and restful sleep