Mudcat Café message #991192 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61577   Message #991192
Posted By: katlaughing
26-Jul-03 - 06:19 PM
Thread Name: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
The second definition, used by Wiccans, is simply a woman who learns natural but obscure powers. Not just women, Amos.

By the old patriarchal and fundementalist Christian meaning, anyone who doesn't agree with their beliefs could be and has been labeled a witch and/or pagan. It was and is just another way of trying to "lord" it over anyone who thinks for themself. In the burning times it was often "uppity" women who were accused and murdered, often because they owned property which someone envied and desired for themselves. They were also wise-women in the way of herbs and childbirth. When men started co-opting those realms the women became threats to their livelihood and were best kept out of the way through accusation, torture and murder.

I know plenty of Christians who reject such a definition. In fact there is an Episcopal priest in Wyoming who didn't miss a beat when he greeted me and said he hoped to see me in church on Sundays and I said since I considered myself pagan he probably wouldn't, to which he promptly replied pagans were welcome, too.

Lots of words have changed in meaning over the years...this is one that is slowly changing for the better, imo.