April 30, 2010

Witchcraft Origins

According to Ann Moura, Author of Grimoire for the Green Witch, people educated in the Old Religion were called "Wicce" - voiced in Middle English speech as Weetch'ie - meaning "wise". The use of that wisdom was called the Craft of the Wise, or "WicceCraft", bringing us to the modern term "Witchcraft". Witches, or those who practiced the Craft, were seen as most honorable and spiritual.

She goes on to describe Witchcraft as involving up to three combined practices:

  1. As a Folk Art, invoking the Power of the energies of deities, spirits, and saints.
  2. As a Natural Craft, elevating the Mannuz (or self) in synchronization with the Universe by enhancing personal power from within, and then combining it with the energies of herbs and natural objects, then directing this energy to accomplish a goal. Conscious spellwork, ritual and tools function through the Elementals, and a Grimoire is created to codify tables of magical correspondences. Religion plays no part in Natural Craft.
  3. As a Religion, identifying the God and Goddess in partnership and union through self-dedication and communion, and directing magic through this union. The Divine All encompasses both God and Goddess, male and female in balance, both separate and united. Religious observances coincide with natural cycles, through observing Sabbats, Esbats, and special days honoring the Divine through the Wheel of the Year.
Witches (and Wiccans - there are some differences), attune themselves to the energies within themselves and to the elemental energies around them in order to harness and direct the power of these energies toward achieving a desired goal. This is referred to as magic or magick. The addition of the "k" was introduced to distinguish practice of the Craft as something real and tangible, rather than the "tricks" of smoke and mirrors we associate with the former term.

Throughout history, every culture has practiced magic in one form or another. Even though groups of people were not in contact with one another as is possible today, their fundamental beliefs regarding the cycles of life, the origins of creation, and deductions regarding the Divine (though called by different names within each culture) were strikingly similar.

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