The Modern Witch And The Use Of Witchcraft

1234 words - 5 pages

The Modern Witch and the Use of Witchcraft

"I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!" The Wicked Witch of the West...

One of the most notorious and stereotypical witches in all literature.

She had green skin, a big wart- covered nose, and a wide-brimmed black hat. She summoned a legion of monsters, stirred evil brews in her black cauldron, and generally made life difficult for the fun-loving citizens of Oz. She, and her fellow "hags" tend to be seen in a rather comic light, despite their appearance, and are usually seen around Halloween. They are one of the two ideas that most people hold of who witches are and what they do. The other is that of the "devil's whore" ...view middle of the document...

Wiccans believe that these are all, in reality, simply individual aspects of one God and one Goddess, rather than individual Deities. Just as there are numerous names for the Divine, so do Wiccans worship them in just as many ways.

There are many different branches, called "traditions", of The Craft, most of which are based on the religious practices of one or more ancient cultures. There are Celtic Wiccans, Egyptian Wiccans, and Greek Wiccans. One of the newest traditions is a hybrid of Celtic Shamanism and the tribal religions of Ancient America. There is, however, a basic outline for conducting worship services that is followed by all covens and solitaries. A standard Wiccan worship service, or ritual, which takes place on one of the eight yearly sabbats (the solstices, equinoxes, and four Ancient Celtic agricultural festivals) or at an esbat (full moon), consists of the creation of sacred space(called "casting the circle;" this is done through visualization), prayers, and offerings (these are usually material possessions, plants, or handmade items; Wiccans never sacrifice animals or people), and a sharing of a simple meal with fellow witches (if a member of a coven) and the Deities. Worship services have many important purposes, but the main reason Wiccans perform rituals is to gain understanding of the energies of the divine and, ultimately, the energies contained in the witch himself/herself. The harnessing and directing of this natural, personal energy is what witches call magic (or magick).

Magic

"Magic is a basic part of The Craft, but it does not have to be the same as the religious aspect. In other words, Wicca may be considered a religion with a Goddess and a God that uses magic in a religious framework," (Moura, 91). There are two types of magic practiced by Wiccans: Religious (ritual) magic, and non- religious (folk) magic. When casting folk magic spells, Wiccans combine the energies within crystals, herbs, stones, and candles with their own personal energies to bring about a desired effect. After the ingredients are gathered,the energies are united and sent out to do their work. This sending out of energy is accomplished through intense visualization that can take a few short minutes or a few hours, depending on the skill and patience of the witch. Wiccans feel that this visualization is the most important part of a spell. All the other components of the spell are simply to assist the witch in raising energy and to place him/her in the correct mindset for visualization. The other type of spellcasting, ritual magic, is quite different. A ritual spell is only done during a worship service and uses none of...

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