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Witchcraft & Sorcery This is the place to discuss techniques and spells typical to witchcraft and sorcery, including Wicca, Hoodoo, Voodoo, Santerķa, and any form of Shamanism. The discussion of sorcerer-witches like A.O. Spare and Andrew Chumbley is also germane.

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Old 11-25-2009, 09:17 PM   #1
juancarlosjr
 
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Default what is witchcraft?

What is the difference between witchcraft and regular magick exactly? Once you take out Wicca from the equation then what is left?

I have been using those mary/jesus candles you see in hispanic homes, but i have been using each one as a spell for something specific. is that witchcraft? i use the energies of jesus/mary but ultimately i consider them just reasonable good aspects of divinity to work with, i don't hold them as the end all be all.

is the only difference between magick and witchcraft that magick uses hard to get expensive items and witchcraft will use handy items?
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:08 AM   #2
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What is the difference between witchcraft and regular magick exactly? Once you take out Wicca from the equation then what is left?
Yo. Wicca is a religion. Wiccans can be witches, but witches are not necessarily all Wiccans. The religion was created not too long ago by Gerald Gardiner, I believe, in or around the 1970s. Wicca draws off the heritage of witchcraft and Thelema (And harm ye none, do what thou wilt.). Witchcraft itself deals with the elements and with nature and people; ie. terrestrial magick.

"Pure" witchcraft irrespective of backing belief system is "merely" low magick like candle magick and poppet work through the laws of contagion and sympathy. Ceremonial magick on the other hand is typically considered High magick. I wouldn't take the definitions of high and low to express literal value though. I'm no scholar on the subject, and it's just a skimming, but still this is how I'd break it all down for you.


"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

--C.G. JUNG


Last edited by nytek; 11-26-2009 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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Yo. Wicca is a religion. Wiccans can be witches, but witches are not necessarily all Wiccans. The religion was created not too long ago by Gerald Gardiner, I believe, in or around the 1970s. Wicca draws off the heritage of witchcraft and Thelema (And harm ye none, do what thou wilt.). Witchcraft itself deals with the elements and with nature and people; ie. terrestrial magick.

"Pure" witchcraft irrespective of backing belief system is "merely" low magick like candle magick and poppet work through the laws of contagion and sympathy. Ceremonial magick on the other hand is typically considered High magick. I wouldn't take the definitions of high and low to express literal value though. I'm no scholar on the subject, and it's just a skimming, but still this is how I'd break it all down for you.

hmmn
i agree with most of that. I wonder if this subforum is necessary? or should it just be called low magick? Well guess I'll leave it for now and see what happens. I'm still working out all the forums and subforums
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:34 PM   #4
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hmmn
i agree with most of that. I wonder if this subforum is necessary? or should it just be called low magick? Well guess I'll leave it for now and see what happens. I'm still working out all the forums and subforums
As I said, or thought I said, or meant to say at the very last, I'm no scholar, and particularly not in the field of witchcraft though I only have some experience compared to my other fields of specialty I practice daily.

What did you disagree with anyway? Big points or what you consider to be small ones? I'm just curious for myself. Glossing over the spiritual path aspect as it relates to nature? Not aiming and aligning the various traditions of the craft in my reticle?


"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

--C.G. JUNG


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Old 11-27-2009, 11:15 PM   #5
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If so about the spirituality, then I would agree... a low magick forum could definitely be more appropriate.


"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious."

--C.G. JUNG

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Old 12-03-2009, 02:36 PM   #6
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What is the difference between witchcraft and regular magick exactly?
To be fair: it's all "magick". However, that's also unfair to the topic to a degree. The comparison I'd make is that Ceremonial Magick and its various subsets of thought and witchcraft are a bit like comparing a space-shuttle to an airplane. They both fly through the air, and facilitate travel. They are not, however, quite the same thing.

If pressed I'd have to say that most Ceremonial Magick, et al, is possessed by a transcendental bias whereas witchcraft is not. By this I don't necessarily mean to make any judgments about such a bias (it all boils down to what one wants).

The goal of modern Ceremonial Magick (for the most part), in a nutshell, is the attainment of the Holy Guardian Angel or personal Daemon who then acts as a kind've guide, spiritual foreman, as well as giving him/her insight into the deeper mechanics of the systems that one happens to be working with.

Witchcraft isn't really concerned with that (though a modern witch may have the attainment of just such a spiritual guide as a goal). The witch is instead concerned with the accumulation of power, and the ability to bring a personal form of 'order' into their otherwise chaotic lives using magick.

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Once you take out Wicca from the equation then what is left?
Quite a bit, actually. Andrew Chumbley left behind a whole corpus of self-designed modern Grimoires. When Robert Cochrane died in the 60s, he also left behind remnants of his personal system which has in the intervening years flowered into a number of other witchcraft-based systems: the 1734 system here in the US; the Clan of Tubal-Cain in the UK, and a now defunct as far as I can tell (but very interesting, nonetheless) group called "The Regency" which performed open rituals for the public throughout the 1980s.

Furthermore: the British magician often credited with inspiring the Chaos Magick movement named Austin Spare didn't actually consider himself a magician (except when he felt like declaring he was "A BLACK MAGICIAN!!!111"), but instead considered himself a witch. Spare's works still remain pertinent to this day for anyone that wants to dip their fingers into a personalize, authentic system of witchery that allows for nigh-endless exploration.

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I have been using those mary/jesus candles you see in hispanic homes, but i have been using each one as a spell for something specific. is that witchcraft?
It can be. It depends on how you use them, really.

Quote:
i use the energies of jesus/mary but ultimately i consider them just reasonable good aspects of divinity to work with, i don't hold them as the end all be all.
Jesus and Mary don't have much to do with witchery for the most part, at least on the surface. However, tricks like Psalm-crafting (using Psalms in Hebrew, Greek, or Latin to help empower a ritual) certainly have their place!

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is the only difference between magick and witchcraft that magick uses hard to get expensive items and witchcraft will use handy items?
Depends on the person or group. I know some witches who rival ceremonial magicians with their altar set-ups and items. On the other hand: I tend to focus less on the material goods and more on an "urban shamanic" mindset, which means I have a very, very basic altar with very simple items on it. It also allows me to be lazy and side-step the lengthy process of making most 'magical tools'. (I do, however, plan to try and make a Blasting Rod in the next year. If I can just find more details on Alan Bennett's personally designed rod, I'll likely model it on that.)

"One must be wise to discern the use of veil upon veil: the use of demonological terms should not be misconstrued as advocacy for vulgar 'satanism', 'black magic' or such like; neither should our positive use of Judaeo-Christian terms imply religious adherence in any conventional sense." - Andrew Chumbley
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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I'm no scholar on the subject, and it's just a skimming, but still this is how I'd break it all down for you.
Totally noted, dude. The only thing I'd correct you on is the date. Alex Sanders burst onto the UK scene in the 70s; Gardner began working with the coven that would disintegrate and lead him to create his tradition of Wicca as early as possibly 1938. But he'd produced his first fictional book on the subject around 1942; and in 1952, with the repeal of British anti-Witchcraft laws, he published Witchcraft Today... Which popularized and really paved the way for Wicca today.

It's really neither here nor there, though. You're right about the essential points!

"One must be wise to discern the use of veil upon veil: the use of demonological terms should not be misconstrued as advocacy for vulgar 'satanism', 'black magic' or such like; neither should our positive use of Judaeo-Christian terms imply religious adherence in any conventional sense." - Andrew Chumbley
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:53 AM   #8
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Welcome, Jack Flash!!

Thank you for your clear and concise answers. You break it down as clearly as I've seen.

This Chumbley guy seems fascinating though I haven't read anything of his yet. I see he was an initiate of IOT for awhile and was inspired by Spare as well. This is exactly the type of grey area between witchcraft and high magick that I'm eager to explore.

It makes sense Spare would consider himself a witch. His Earthenware Virgin reeks of low magick and his intent seemed to be little more than to accumulate power (if by power I mean more hookers . His mentality seems to run contrary to Crowley's obsession with everyone attaining Knowledge and Conversation of their Holy Guardian Angel before they worry too much about practical magick. No wonder Crowley purported not to like Spare....! I find both their energies fascinating to study due precisely to these differences.

Do you consider yourself a witch, Jack Flash, or is urban shaman a better term? As I ask you that I'm reminded how I hate labeling myself as it narrows things too much...so if you don't label yourself I completely understand. For example, I'm firmly a Thelemite, but I've found in practice I often have more in common with LHPers, Chaotes, and other various schools of thought than I do with old guard Thelemites.

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Old 12-04-2009, 06:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Izabael_DaJinn View Post
Welcome, Jack Flash!!

Thank you for your clear and concise answers. You break it down as clearly as I've seen.
Thank you!

Quote:
This Chumbley guy seems fascinating though I haven't read anything of his yet. I see he was an initiate of IOT for awhile and was inspired by Spare as well. This is exactly the type of grey area between witchcraft and high magick that I'm eager to explore.
Chumbley was a total badass in my opinion. The Azoetia is... just plain fun. I haven't exhausted the uses for his sigils for the Djinn of his system yet. I'm even experimenting with using them in a more GD oriented ritual soon to see if the interface still works out well.

Quote:
It makes sense Spare would consider himself a witch. His Earthenware Virgin reeks of low magick and his intent seemed to be little more than to accumulate power (if by power I mean more hookers . His mentality seems to run contrary to Crowley's obsession with everyone attaining Knowledge and Conversation of their Holy Guardian Angel before they worry too much about practical magick. No wonder Crowley purported not to like Spare....! I find both their energies fascinating to study due precisely to these differences.
Mmm. Spare. The whole Crowley versus Spare thing is a bit overdone. It's not as if a form of enlightenment didn't overtake Spare at times; it certainly did. It just wasn't central to the process, more like a byproduct of dealing with the powers and growing older. I've often suspected that the reason Crowley claimed any magick not aimed at KnC was to control his own ungodly ego.

That said, I'm a devotee of Spare and not Crowley. I own the books too, read them for what insights they provide, and use them at times... but... well... I guess I'll explain why in a moment.

Quote:
Do you consider yourself a witch, Jack Flash, or is urban shaman a better term? As I ask you that I'm reminded how I hate labeling myself as it narrows things too much...so if you don't label yourself I completely understand. For example, I'm firmly a Thelemite, but I've found in practice I often have more in common with LHPers, Chaotes, and other various schools of thought than I do with old guard Thelemites.
Witch works! Wiccan works, sometimes. Depending on what you mean. Chaos magician still works, too!

About the only thing I'm not is a "Ceremonial Magician". I can speak the lingo; do the rituals and all that, but my sense of purpose has never coincided with the path. I do have a ton of respect for those who do take that path, but it's certainly not for me.

"One must be wise to discern the use of veil upon veil: the use of demonological terms should not be misconstrued as advocacy for vulgar 'satanism', 'black magic' or such like; neither should our positive use of Judaeo-Christian terms imply religious adherence in any conventional sense." - Andrew Chumbley
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:44 AM   #10
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Thank you!



Chumbley was a total badass in my opinion. The Azoetia is... just plain fun. I haven't exhausted the uses for his sigils for the Djinn of his system yet. I'm even experimenting with using them in a more GD oriented ritual soon to see if the interface still works out well.
I'm excited to read and study Azoetia but 1 used from $1,299.00 on Amazon. =/ Apparently there is a .pdf floating around but I can't seem to find a working link or torrent =[

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