I just saw something disturbing on my dash. Someone said, “Witchcraft is NOT a religion!” What’s odd about this statement is that it was made by someone who then claimed to be a regularly practicing witch.
Okay, call me old-fashioned, but… that’s so bloody backwards it makes me want to cry.
Witchcraft is first and foremost a religion, to quote Raymond Buckland. It is the modern incarnation of what is thought to be the oldest of religions. It is a nature religion. It is a personal, customize-able religion. It is a Pagan religion. It is a magical religion. It is an inclusive religion. But it is, in fact, a religion.
Practicing magic (or magick, for that matter) does not a Witch make.
Communion with nature does not a Witch make.
Arbitrarily claiming titles and powers does most certainly not a Witch make.
Any of these things can make a witch. But a Witch (do note the capital letter!) is a practitioner of the religion known as Witchcraft - the most popularly identified branch of which is known as Wicca. One can be a magician without being a religious Witch. One can be Pagan without being a religious Witch. One can be many varieties of actual witch without being a religious Witch. But one cannot claim that Witchcraft is not a religion. To do so is to deny and invalidate all related facets of the practice.
I do hope I haven’t trodden on anyone’s toes with this. I grant that someone’s beliefs are their own… but to blatantly disqualify Witchcraft as a religion is, quite frankly, an abusive statement tantamount to absolute prejudice.
Wow, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
Witchcraft is not a religion, it’s a technique for creating change in accordance with one’s will. People of any religion can be witches, as witchcraft makes no statement on obligatory deity beliefs, etc. There can be Christian witches, Wiccan witches, Syncretic witches, Jewish witches, etc. One does not need to be Pagan to be a witch, and to suggest otherwise is simply ignorant, and it erases the experience of various witches, past and present. Neopagan witchcraft is an entirely new thing - the eight Wiccan sabbats, and the techniques for magic, etc were never, ever before practiced by one group of people at one point in time until the 1970s.
Practicing magic does a witch make, actually. That’s about the only requirement, lol! Wicca is NOT a branch of Witchcraft. Wicca is a branch of Neopaganism which is a branch of Paganism, and *anyone* with any religious belief can be a witch. The witchery simply involves technique and magical praxis. It can involve deity, sure, but does not have to.
Seriously, read some books or something before writing a post about this stuff, because you are just plain incorrect. I’m sad Buckland wrote that as well, as he’s such a friendly, nice dude, but I recall him saying in a video interview that it was convenient to have that stance in the 60s/70s, so the public wouldn’t be overly concerned with ideas of ‘black magic’ and try to discredit all of the other work these practitioners were doing. Please don’t just read one book and think that you understand the world, because what you wrote erases the experiences and realities of many, many magical practitioners, myself included.