Books and which Witch is which?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2009
Books and which Witch is which?
6
Tue, 03-16-2010 - 10:10pm

The following

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Wed, 03-17-2010 - 2:16am
I hope that I can help you out here, Jackie. The only two books that you have listed that I have read are the one by Buckland and the one by Cunningham, so I can't give you any insight into the other two books. Hopefully some of the other members here will be able to tell you about them. The Buckland book is a hands-on approach to Witchcraft, while the Cunningham book is more of a way to ease people's minds when they want to equate Witchcraft with Satanism. It's a good book to give to people who are afraid that you're going to start sacrificing babies because you say that you practice Witchcraft. It really doesn't go into the details of magick or ritual.

And you are right: there is a difference between Witchcraft and Wicca. Buckingham is a Witch and Cunningham was a Wiccan. To be absolutely honest with you, I had trouble with Cunningham's books. He was a good writer, but I kept getting the feeling that he was talking down to Witches, because it is folk magick, whereas Wicca is more concerned with ritual. I just felt that he saw Wicca as a higher/better path than Witchcraft. That may be way off base for others, but that is my view of him.



You can practice both Wicca and Witchcraft. There are people who call themselves Wiccan Witches. Some people call themselves Wiccan simply because they don't want to use the word "Witch" because of all the negative connotations with the word. Wicca focuses on ritual, while Witchcraft focuses on magick and healing. There are Wiccans who don't practice any magick at all. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. Back when I was a practitioner I called myself a Witch more than I called myself a Wiccan, because that's what I preferred.



There is no "pure" form of Witchcraft or Wicca. The purest form of Witchcraft is actually animism, which goes back to Paleolithic times. Shamanism is a form of animism. Wicca itself goes back to the 1950s, when Gerald Gardner made it popular. So the purest form of Wicca is Gardnearian Witchcraft (you'll sometimes see this called British Traditional Witchcraft). The purest form of Witchcraft would be the cunning folk, who practiced folk magick in England. People have tried to link Witchcraft as a unbroken religion from Paleolithic times to the modern day, but scholars have debunked this belief. Some Pagans/Witches/Wiccans call themselves "Neo," but I don't use the term for myself. I just call myself a Pagan and a Druid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2009
Fri, 03-19-2010 - 8:32pm

Hi Sisterhoney,

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Fri, 03-19-2010 - 11:24pm
I'm glad that my post helped clarify a few things for you, Jackie. And I understand completely about being a black or white person when it comes to a spiritual path. I used to combine things, but that got quite confusing after awhile. Once I settled on Druidism things got easier for me, because there are specific rituals and specific deities, holidays, etc., and it's black or white for me there. And while there is nothing wring with combining paths, it certainly isn't anything wrong with being a black or white practitioner either.

Both the Dummies books and the Idiot's Guides are really good. I've looked through them, but they were published long after I'd been a Pagan. However, if I was a new one I'd definitely purchase the books because they present everything in a clear way. There is a lot to Paganism and it's very easy to become overwhelmed.



Ok, on to your questions. 1). Witchcraft definitely casts circles, because it is a religion that is based on magick. Wiccans don't always cast circles, because not all Wiccans practice magick, though a lot of them do use circles in ritual and magick. 2). Both use altars and special tools. However, a lot of times Witchcraft uses simple tools, especially if you're a kitchen Witch or focus mainly on healing or hearth magick. 3). Yes, both use special candles. Most 101 books will have correspondence tables which tell you what colors to use for different purposes. It is not absolutely necessary to use those specific candle colors. You can always just use white ones. 4). Witchcraft focuses on magick, while many Wiccans, but not all, use magick. 5). The particular Deities are a matter of choice. If you belong to a coven, you will, of course, follow the Deities of the coven in group ritual, but you might follow different Deities in private ritual. Both Witchcraft and Wicca have Deities, though not all of them follow the all-encompassing Divine as well as other Deities. Some are monotheistic, in that they follow one Deity, usually one Goddess. Some are pantheistic, in that they see the Divine in everything and see the Universe or the Divine as the most important. Some are duotheistic in that they follow a God and a Goddess. Sometimes They have particular names and other times They are known as the Lord and the Lady or the God and the Goddess. And there are polytheists, like myself, who follow many Gods and Goddesses. 6). Both Witchcraft and Wicca follow the main holidays and the moon phases. However, not all Pagan paths will do so. Some have different holidays and names for them and not all of them follow the moon phases. 7). Both can use a BoS. 8). Witches definitely use herbs. Not all Wiccans will, but the ones who practice magick do. Herbs can be used in spells, to make essential oils, to make incense, for healing, to use on altars, to use as offerings, to use in decorations and crafts, etc.



As for where everyone else is, the longer you're here the more you'll see that this board can be rather hit or miss. Sometimes it is an active board but a lot of times it can also be very quiet, like it's been lately.



I hope that I managed to get your questions answered the way you needed them to be. Feel free to ask anymore should you need to.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 2:33am

Merry Meet Jackie.


Just thought I would pass on a little bit of advice, if thats ok with you.


Out of the books you have listed I have only read Cunninghams, & I tend to agree with sisterhoney's opinion on his beliefs. As I live in

Blessed Be


Willowhisp


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2010
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 2:55am
Hi Sisterhoney,
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Registered: 09-20-2007
Mon, 05-31-2010 - 3:24am
Just about all religious/spiritual paths contain rituals. The Catholic Mass is a ritual, as is the praying five times a day facing Mecca by the Muslims. The Jewish Bar Mitzvah is a ritual. Wiccans use ritual in order to celebrate the Sabbats, to petition deity, to cast magick, etc. Wiccans celebrate rituals during the Wheel of the Year: at Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh and Mabon. Wiccans perform rituals for specific purposes, such as a healing, a handfasting or a Wiccaning ceremony (kind of like a christening). They also perform rituals for the different moon phases. Sometimes they perform rituals simply because they want to.

As for magick, not all Wiccans practice it. When they do, it's usually for a specific purpose, like a healing or for casting a certain kind of spell. Many Wiccans feel that magick should be left up to the Witches and other kinds of practitioners and don't practice magick at all.