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BS: Witches! Good and Bad?

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harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 01:23 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 01:26 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 01:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM
Bill D 25 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Jul 03 - 02:00 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 02:08 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 02:13 PM
artbrooks 25 Jul 03 - 02:25 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 02:36 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 02:39 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 02:43 PM
artbrooks 25 Jul 03 - 02:46 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,MMario 25 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM
artbrooks 25 Jul 03 - 03:14 PM
Dead Horse 25 Jul 03 - 03:14 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 03:18 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 03:41 PM
artbrooks 25 Jul 03 - 03:44 PM
mack/misophist 25 Jul 03 - 03:58 PM
katlaughing 25 Jul 03 - 04:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Jul 03 - 04:11 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 04:16 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 04:19 PM
akenaton 25 Jul 03 - 05:43 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM
hesperis 25 Jul 03 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,which ol' witch 25 Jul 03 - 06:31 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 11:34 PM
GUEST 25 Jul 03 - 11:51 PM
harpgirl 25 Jul 03 - 11:58 PM
Sorcha 26 Jul 03 - 12:03 AM
GUEST 26 Jul 03 - 12:08 AM
Sorcha 26 Jul 03 - 12:31 AM
Fred Miller 26 Jul 03 - 12:38 AM
GUEST 26 Jul 03 - 01:02 AM
Dead Horse 26 Jul 03 - 02:55 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 Jul 03 - 03:30 AM
Ebbie 26 Jul 03 - 04:11 AM
Catherine Jayne 26 Jul 03 - 04:18 AM
Bert 26 Jul 03 - 08:32 AM
CapriUni 26 Jul 03 - 09:23 AM
Amos 26 Jul 03 - 12:12 PM
Catherine Jayne 26 Jul 03 - 01:32 PM
Amos 26 Jul 03 - 01:44 PM
katlaughing 26 Jul 03 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 26 Jul 03 - 11:17 PM
CapriUni 27 Jul 03 - 12:01 AM
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Subject: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 01:23 PM

I posed a question on the music thread about witches which is better dealt with here so I am posing it. If you believe in witches, do you also believe that some are good and some are bad? How do you distinguish?

I stated my opinion about witches on the other thread and naturally several of our members insulted me instead of saying anything kind, reasonable or enlightening to me, but I'm giving them another chance. What is a good witch? what is a bad witch? How would you know if someone sad they were a good or bad witch? hg


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 01:26 PM

if I understand it correctly - the prime tenet of Wicca is "Do no Harm" - if one adheres to that (and are talking Wiccan witches)- then "good" witch.

Does deliberate harm? "bad" witch. or at least human.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 01:35 PM

Now - based on what I have read - Cotton Mather was a devil's tool - (If there is a devil) - but evil. evil. very evil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM

The good witches dress in white, look pretty, and have a munchkin fetish... the bad witches dress in black, have green skin, and melt in water...

Sheesh...

What's next?

Angles??

Little green men from mars?

Loch Ness Monster? Unicorns??

Some other element of fantasy?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM

why, I saw a 45° angle just yesterday!

The mind is a funny thing...like the Red Queen said, she can believe in several impossible things before breakfast.

Witchcraft seems to me like a complex fantasy game some people play, but, like other such concepts, (ghosts, elves, fairies, angels and BigFoots) they achieve a certain 'reality' in some folks lives. I dunno what to say when something I don't 'feel' or see is taken seriously by others. Best to just duck..*grin*


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:00 PM

Nope... I've never seen an angle... So I don't believe they exist!

LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:08 PM

I just thought that with all the talk about witches around here, some of these witches and witch sympathsizers would have something reasonably enlightening to say about the differences.

"Does deliberate harm" by that definition both Ted Kazcinsky and George Bush qualify as deliberately harmful humans. So are they no different than "bad witches"? After all, Ted chose to kill people for his beliefs and guess what? So did George!


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:13 PM

when you get down to brass tacks -

yup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:25 PM

Sounds a lot like the perennial bashing of "liberals", without a common agreement on what a "liberal" is.

Harpgirl, what, precisely, do you mean by the word "witch?" Reading the comments made in the other thread, it seems reasonably clear that you are not referring to practitioners of the religion, or perhaps "followers of the path" is a better expression, called Wicca. Witch clearly means different things to different people. It would be much easier for me to answer the question if I knew better what I was being asked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:36 PM

Not to mention, knowing what harpgirl's intention is for asking the question. What I sussed out from reading the thread requesting songs about wicca(ns)/witches, was that the enlightened mental health counselor wanted to pick a fight with the people discussing the songs.

Do help us understand what the hades your motives are for starting this thread, won't you Self-Proclaimed Bad Witch of the South?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:39 PM

What is a good witch? What is a bad witch? How can you tell the difference? I thought I asked this in the first post....

What is the "religion?" How do you practice it? How is the religion different from white magic and black magic? Do witches do magic?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:43 PM

I want some answers to my questions. Plus I am sure that if I get to chose I would rather be bad sometimes than to present myself as always good. How about you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:46 PM

Please define the word "witch".


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:51 PM

Isn't it obvious that I know way less about what this word means than you all do? I don't have a dictionary handy so I am totally unable to give you a definition beyond my childhood experience of understanding
, which parallels Clinton's definitions. Sorry...I was hoping someone elsae could actually define this word the way it is being used by everyone here. I'm rather unenlightened, contrary to what our really mean GUEST is saying about me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM

HG - you are contridicting yourself! You say your understanding of "witch" parallels Clinton's - then you make a statement such as "all witches are bad". conflict is major between those two statements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:14 PM

Clinton said: The good witches dress in white, look pretty, and have a munchkin fetish... the bad witches dress in black, have green skin, and melt in water.... These are physical characteristics, and have nothing whatsoever to do with behavior patterns definable as "good" or "bad." Are you defaulting to Walt Disney's definitions? Do you mean the behaviors attributed to the men and women hanged in Salem Village as witches (and whose executions were condemned by Cotton Mather)?

My Webster provides the following definitions:
1. a woman supposedly having supernatural power by a compact with the devil or evil spirits; sorcerous.
2. (Obs.) a man with such power.
3. an ugly and ill-tempered old woman; hag
4. (Colloq.) a bewitching or fascinating woman or girl.

Personally, I can easily believe in Webster's numbers 3 and 4, and they can be either good or bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:14 PM

There are good Catholics & bad Catholics. Define Catholics.
Witches are people, some good, some bad.
Not all the good are good all the time.
Not all the bad are bad all the time.
Wiccans (what most folk regard as white witches) practise a religeon that is MUCH older than Christianity, and has done a darn site less harm.
If you wish to believe in any philosophy, look within yourself to see what YOU wish to worship - be it a god, nature, or mammon.
Then learn about others with similar views - and Hey Presto, there is your religeon!
Personally I worship ale, folk singing & dancing.
(but I have been known to drink lager, sing pop, and do the twist)


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:18 PM

ahem.

Wiccans practice a religion created during the 1800's based on practices that predate Christianity. The actual Wiccan religion as exists today did not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:28 PM

ahem.

Guest 03:18 PM. Most of the Protestant religions practiced today have their roots in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Does that make them suspect, or merely illegitimate in your view, because they aren't old enough to be a Real Religion (tm)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:41 PM

"I don't have a dictionary handy so I am totally unable to give you a definition beyond my childhood experience of understanding"

Yes, I'm sure that's true. After all, it is sooooo difficult for a college educated, computer literate person to find their way to the Merriam Website online dictionary...

"...which parallels Clinton's definitions..."

Thanks for sharing your definition. It seems the definition you are using is one of cartoon caricatures, then.

"I was hoping someone elsae could actually define this word the way it is being used by everyone here"

By everyone here? I don't think so. How about for argument sake, we limit the definition to your and Clinton's simplistic, bigoted cartoon caricature definition of a witch? Or shall we attempt a reasonable discussion, and use the perfectly good dictionary definition graciously provided above by artbrooks? Or a definition from a member of the Wiccan community itself? Silly me, that isn't the harpgirl style. You'd never be that reasonable. You much prefer attacking, mocking, and belittling people you don't like.

"I want some answers to my questions."

No you don't. You want to pick a fight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:44 PM

And rudeness is soooooo helpful.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 03:58 PM

When you can't get a responsive answer to a question as stated, change the statement. Forget witches. Witches are airy-fairy and people are going to give you a hard time about that. Instead, look for the closest parallel you can find. See Maya Derin's book Divine Horsemen for a good parallel. In Voudou, the houngan is a herb doctor, counselor, and leads the services. He may be political or manipulative. He might become relatively rich. But if he does anything overtly evil his congregation will desert. A bokor has the same training but chooses to act alone, without a 'church' for personal power and influence. Does that help?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 04:08 PM

Your first posting on the other thread: There aren't any good witches. Anyone who claims otherwise is just plain wrong...hg

Seems as though you had an idea of what it meant to you at that point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 04:11 PM

I think that should read, "There aren't ANY witches... Anyone who claims otherwise is selling something, deluded, or both"

heh


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 04:16 PM

...nevermind folks...I can't be playful or serious but I'm not going to be cornered...fagedaboutit....byeee


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 04:19 PM

...oh and thinks misophist. I'll have to read the book to decipher just what you are sketching out, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 05:43 PM

My definition of a witch or wiccan is someone who has dicovered the meaning of life how we all fit into the tapestry.Good bad and magic dont really come in to it.Clinton seems to have his head screwed on right regarding this question and i agree with what he says..But I still think these people should be taken seriously as a movement for a better kinder world....


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM

The neo-pagan movement is very diverse. It is silly to paint them all with a broad brush, especially when the intent is to create cartoon images of them.

There is such incredible diversity among all peoples regarding belief systems about the divine, the supernatural, the elements of nature, and so on, that is quite disingenous to single out the neo-pagan movements, IMO. They aren't any more or less bizarre than people who believe in Freud or Stephen Hawking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: hesperis
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 06:19 PM

We don't need to bash people just because they have a question and don't understand what they even mean by that question. How else are people to learn about what witches are?

Harpgirl, I've had experience with healers who were definitely people trying to do the best they could to help themselves and others with powers that some people say don't exist. I've also had the experience of people who call themselves witches who have tried to find a weakness in me that they could exploit in order to have a greater sense of their own importance and power. (The latter were usually male, but not always.)

So to me, a good witch is one to whom the power is a means (a way of doing something) and a gift from the Divine, not an end (a purpose in itself to be sought) and an innate ability to be used for whatever you want to use it for. In other words, a good witch is someone who balances power and responsibility carefully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST,which ol' witch
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 06:31 PM

Everybody here is serious, right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 11:34 PM

I'm not...BTW GUEST, I have Webster's at home here now and the number one definition is 1. a person, especially a woman who professes or is supposed to practice magic, especially black magic;sorceress.

According to Webster, what you describe Hesp is actually called a "witch-doctor." So I'm guessing that most of our self-professed witches are actually "witch-doctors."

Wicca is not in Webster's but I'm guessing that those who say they are WICCA practicing witches are practicing their religion. No comment on that. (no information)

Now, Kendall's definition is surely akin to number four in Webster's: a bewitching or charming woman!

No one has mentioned the definition of water dousing as a witchly activity.

(hg, in search of the truth!) LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 11:51 PM

I'm absolutely serious when I say that Merriam Webster Online takes seconds to use, even with my 31.2 modem speed. From them, I got this, in about an instant (sorry if this is too difficult for you to follow harpgirl)

One entry found for Wicca.


Main Entry: Wic·ca
Pronunciation: 'wi-k&
Function: noun
Etymology: probably from Old English wicca wizard -- more at WITCH
Date: 1959
: a religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature, and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles
- Wiccan /'wi-k&n/ adjective or noun

Of course, harpgirl wouldn't have had her shits and giggles in this thread, if she had simply looked up the word wicca in the dictionary. Hence my suggestion she had other motives and intentions when starting this thread than being enlightened by those more knowledgeable than herself on the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: harpgirl
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 11:58 PM

but what do WICCA practitioners actually do, LR?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:03 AM

Pray, dance, sing, etc. Send good vibes and healing thoughts to other creatures. We just don't do it to Jesus, or Buddha, or any other human, god, goddess in particular. Most of us believe in the power of the Planet, Gaia, Mother Earth or something similar. Ceremonies of blessing, marriage, birth, death, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:08 AM

What do practitioners of the Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu faiths, and all their offshoots, cults, etc. actually do?

They pray, chant, sing, dance, conduct rituals, read about and discuss their beliefs, pass laws and uphold traditions they believe reflect the will of their gods and goddesses, that sort of thing. Some, though not all, have requirements or expectations of practitioners doing community service of some sort, or at the very least, engaging in what the church fathers of their particular faith deem to be meaningful work. Curses and blessings are just different sides of the same coin in most traditional cultures, including Christian ones, so I don't think wiccans and witches have the market cornered on that.

So the simple, short answer is, wiccans do what practitioners of other religions do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:31 AM

Wicca and other forms of paganism are just a lot more up to the individual than formal, mainstream organized religions. Nobody tells us what we have to do, believe, what rituals are acceptable, etc. A lot of it it nature and female oriented.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Fred Miller
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:38 AM

I thought Do no harm was part of the hippocratic thing with medical doctors.

I don't know about witches. I bought some powder and a candle from a self-proclaimed good one in New Orleans once, my parents didn't mind, I was eight or so. It's easy to make fun of witches as a topic, but the ways we understand the sensible empirical things we know are also going to seem ridiculous soon, if history means anything at all. Our good witches wear white lab coats. They've got promising new truth every few days, but haven't cracked any big items lately. Old diseases are piling up, new ones popping up everywhere. And the best ideas seem to be make money to spend money, live by rules, and count the minutes. Whee!

Every member of my immediate family has been slated for invasive surgeries it turned out they didn't need. At all. Some of the surgeries would've been utterly disfiguring, some of the family members, more than once mis-diagnosed.

I believe in a few odd things. Thinking about something seems to make it more likely to happen. When you travel you meet the people you want to meet in any town, when you live there, they live across the street and you never do. The only thing that endures for me about my childhood interest in witches is that books about them were the only place to see pictures of ordinary naked women. That still means something to me, somehow.

I guess you tell something good from something bad by whatever you think you know. The bad witch these days is often merely an educated idiot, with the power to do harm.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 01:02 AM

Another good place to look something up is at www.encyclopedia.com.

Here is that website's entry for witchcraft:

witchcraft   
Related: Miscellaneous Religions

a form of sorcery, or the magical manipulation of nature for self-aggrandizement, or for the benefit or harm of a client. This manipulation often involves the use of spirit-helpers, or familiars.    Public uses of magic are generally considered beneficial; sorcery, on the other hand, is commonly practiced in private and is usually considered malevolent. Nevertheless, accusations of sorcery are frequently public and explicit. Anthropologists have observed that in societies that lack formal political processes, sorcery accusations are often an indication of other social and economic tensions and conflicts. They have analyzed the killing of accused sorcerers as a form of control through which antisocial people are eliminated and social cohesion is reinforced. Anthropologists distinguish sorcerers, who acquire their powers through study and initiation, from witches, who inherit their powers. In some cultures, especially European, however, the two terms are used interchangeably.

    European diabolical witchcraft was a form of sorcery that appealed to pre-Christian symbolism and was associated by Church leaders with heresy. The origins of witchcraft in Europe are found in the pre-Christian, pagan cults such as the Teutonic nature cults; Roman religion; and the speculations of the Gnostics (see Gnosticism ), the Zoroastrians, and the Manicheans. These religions and philosophies believed in a power of evil and a power of good within the universe. Later, among certain sects, the worship of good was repudiated as false and misleading.

    Religious persecution of supposed witches commenced early in the 14th cent. Trials, convictions, and executions became common throughout Europe and reached a peak during the 16th and 17th cent. Under the authority of the Spanish Inquisition, as many as 100 persons were burned as witches in a single day. The auto-da-fé, as this mass burning was called, took on the qualities of a carnival, where one could buy souvenirs, rosaries, holy images, and food. Suspicion also fell on many who were interested in scientific experimentation. The colonies of North America shared in this fanaticism, particularly in Salem, Mass., where in 1692, 20 persons were executed as witches. (The state exonerated all the accused men and women in 1711.)

    Early students of European diabolical witchcraft viewed it alternately as an invention of elites who used accusations of sorcery as an excuse to persecute people for material gain, or as a survival of pre-Christian folk religion. Scholars today seek to interpret it not as a single phenomenon but rather as a complex pattern of beliefs and practices that have been used in different ways at different times. Thus, during the Hundred Year Wars, Catholics and Protestants accused each other of witchcraft.

    In the 20th cent. there has been a revival of witchcraft known as Wicca, or neopaganism. This form of witchcraft has nothing to do with sorcery, and is instead based on a reverence for nature, the worship of a fertility goddess, a restrained hedonism, and group magic aimed at healing. It rejects a belief in Satan as a product of Christian doctrine that is incompatible with paganism.

    See also shaman .



Bibliography: See J. B. Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages (1972); P. Boyer and S. Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed (1974); J. P. Demos, Entertaining Satan (1982); C. Larner, Witchcraft and Religion (1984); S. C. Lehmann and J. E. Myers, Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion (1985); R. E. Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft (1989); R. Briggs, Witches and Neighbors (1996); L. W. Carlson, A Fever in Salem (1999).



Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 02:55 AM

This thread is just turning into a witch hunt.
There, I said it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 03:30 AM

I like your style GUEST - shedding a little light in the darkness. (BTW Many scriptural references to those who shun the light and prefer darkness.)



Random House Dictionary of the English Language - Unabridged Jess Stein Editor, New York, 1973, p.1632



wick-ed (wik'id) 1. evil or morally bad in principle or practice: sinful: vicious: iniquitios: wicked people: Wicked habits. 2.   mischievous or playfully malicious: These wicked kitten upset everything. 3.   distressinly severe as a storm, wound, or colf: This has been a wicked winter. 4. unjustifiiable: dreadful: beastly: wicked prices; a wicked exam. 5. ill-natured vicious: troublesome or dangerous: wicked roads 7. unpleasant: foul; a wicked odor 8. Slang excellent; masterly; He plays a wicked trumpet. He's a wicked man on bass. [ M.E. wiked, equiv. to wikke bad (OE wicca wizard, used as adj.) + ed (-ede -ed) See WITCH



-SYN - unrightous, ungodly, godless, impious, profane, blasphemous; unprincipled; immoral, corrupt, depraved, dissolute; heinous; infamous; amoral, vile, flagitious, atrocious, villaninous.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle



It is nice to find the kitty's tail has been caught, pinched, and she is not stopping my postings at the moment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 04:11 AM

Gargoyle, is your obsession no better yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 04:18 AM

Magic (witchcraft) is colourless...so there isn't a black witch or a white witch. It is the intent behind what you are doing that makes it good or bad. Im what you could a witch but practice a more traditional side of Witchcraft which means I am not strictly Wiccan....If you want to know more PM of if you are in London UK come and speak to me and my friends and family and we will be happy to answer your curisoities. Come to Pagan Events and ask people about it all and the various traditions within Paganism and Witchcraft you will be suprised how friendly we all really are.

Oh.....and I don't ride a broomstick.....I ride a dyson!!!*BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 08:32 AM

A good witch is someone who helps people using knowledge gained from experience handed down through many generations (kinda like folk music). As a lot of this knowledge is not known by ordinary folks it was/is considered mystical or magical.

A single example will suffice, the wise ones, witches, healers, or whatever you like to call them were using mouldy bread to cure infections many hundreds of years before Alexander Fleming 'discovered' penicillin.

Because, long ago, this kind of knowledge was not known or accepted by those in power in Europe, namely The Christian Church. The Church had to get rid of these people who were a threat to THEIR knowledge which they were foisting on the ordinary people. SO, they said that these wise ones were bad and that their knowledge was the work of the devil, and they killed them because they were BAD WITCHES.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: CapriUni
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 09:23 AM

Harpgirl I just thought that with all the talk about witches around here, some of these witches and witch sympathsizers would have something reasonably enlightening to say about the differences.

Okay, I'll try.

People who pray and meditate through the practice of witchcraft are called "Witches." Real witchcraft is a form of prayer and meditation more than anything else. It helps the practicitioner focus his or her mind on a goal, while opening the imagination to the Divine pressence. It has little or nothing to do with fictional witchcraft -- real witches can't turn people into frogs, or children into gingerbread people, or clean the house by wiggling their noses. Real witches are also mortal, and not a seperate, or immortal, subspecies of human. One reason your question might have drawn the ire of some Mudcatters is that the very question itself implies that witches are seperate from the rest of humanity (you may not have meant it that way, but if people interpret it that way, that's enough to provoke the raising of a few hackles).

Many witches follow some form of Pagan, or Neo-Pagan, faith -- in other words, one that sees the Divine as revealed through the natural world rather than through scripture (many of these faiths are polythesitic, but not all). Some witches, however consider themselves Christian, or Jewish, for that matter.

In other words, witches are simply humans who pray and meditate in a certain way.   Like all humans, there is a little good and bad in them all. Telling a good witch from a bad witch is as simple and tricky as telling a good person from a bad person.

I hope this has been of some help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 12:12 PM

There are two (at least) different defintiions of "witch"; the first is a Christian-testament sort of definiton, which matches the earlier reference (woman using powers from an agreement with Satan). Evil by definition, or at least fallen. Good way to marginalize a whole section of society.

The second definition, used by Wiccans, is simply a woman who learns natural but obscure powers. Wiccans do not see themselves as satanic because the aspire to claim a culture that goes preChristian. Nor do they see themselves allied with evil.

SInce the notion of "good witches and bad witches" was popularized (Wizard of Oz) I suppose they must use a generalized definiton. If you use the Christian definition, Harpgirl was correct in her original post -- labeling something or someone a witch means a satanic quality. By definition.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 01:32 PM

Pagans and the many denominations of Paganism do not believe in the devil. The devil simply does not exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 01:44 PM

RIght. My point exactly -- to a pagan there can be good or bad witches, since badness surely exists even though Satan does not. To a Christian the word is reserved to connotate evil -- it is therefore a different territorybeing mapped to by the same symbol. Always a good source of confusion.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 06:19 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 11:17 PM

Random House - seems pretty close to the Oxford English definition little Chattering Chetah - you may choose to call yourself what you may...but a non-gardener is still in adoration of weeds....while the rest of society considers it sloth....a spinner of tales and promises is an invalid to some...and lier to others.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Witches! Good and Bad?
From: CapriUni
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 12:01 AM

"Weeds" are beautiful!!

Long may this Earth be blessed with bio-diversity!!!

;-)


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