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Witchcraft v. Wicca

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Forums -> Misc Topics -> Witchcraft v. Wicca

Witchcraft v. Wicca
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 1
There is so much confusion here! People claiming that Wicca is a religion and witchcraft not.
Let me make it absolutely clear. Wicca and witchcraft are the same beliefs! I will explain.
Many years ago (actually only a few years!) witchcraft was very traditional, and very secret. It was also illegal. In England you could be sent to prison for up to two years.
People such as Gerald Gardner, Aleister Crowley, Alex Sanders, were trying for years to get witchcraft recognised as a religion. It was not until 1947 that the British Government started to listen to their pleas. This was because of the thousands of immigrants,from all over the world, who came to settle in Britain. First from the West Indies. Then India. We had Sikhs, Hindus, Chinese, Japanese. All with different religious beliefs. The Christian bishops were "up in arms" over it all. But the immigrants insisted on being able to practise their own "Pagan" religions. The Christian Churches had to back down. The Government had no choice. They simply could not put thousands into prison because of their "Pagan" beliefs! So up strode the witches! "Why is our belief against the law, when people who are not even British are allowed to practise, and build Mosques, and Temples, and their own type of Churches. When we who believe in witchcraft are persecuted?"
So, the Government made it "lawful", in 1951, for the "practise" of witchcraft. It was then that we had the published writings of Gerald Gardner, who "modernised" witchcraft, and called his followers "The Wica"; from the old word "wicce" (Wise!). Witchcraft became more open. And condemned by the "Established " Church of England, and every other Christian church. The Government simply could not, or would not, declare that witchcraft could be accepted as a religion. There had to be a compromise. The government decided that it was the name "witchcraft" that was really causing the problems. It was decided that the word "Wicca" might be used to describe the Pagan religion; as written about by Gardner. And so Wicca was recognised by Britain as a religion; in 1969.
But make no mistake! Witchcraft and Wicca are two branches of the same tree! Slightly different in practise; but the same beliefs, the same religion.
Here endeth the lesson!
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
I also make a differentiation between Witchcraft (the religion) and witchcraft (the magical practice.

In my view witchcraft, spelled with a small "w", is simply a form of magical practice largely tied to spellwork involving the natural world. In this interpretation one can practice witchcraft while being part of any religion or no religion at all.

Witchcraft, spelled with a capital "W", is a form of Pagan religion which includes the magical practice of witchcraft.

Wicca is likewise a specific Pagan religion which also includes the magical practice of witchcraft.

While both Wicca and Witchcraft are Pagan religions which practice witchcraft their beliefs, ethical codes, and practices are subtly different. It is a common error to assume that all religious Witches are Wiccan...they are not.
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 3

I understand what Brysing and Lark are referring too. Not all witchcraft aspects are part of a religion but many who practice witchcraft see it as part of their religion. To me witchcraft is an art not a religion. It is part knowledge, practice, and skill. Though I also feel that one who makes spiritual connections to the craft inherently enhance their knowledge, practice, and skill. ;)

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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By:
Post # 4
I agree Kts. Witchcraft is an art on it's own, and is also a component of religions apart from Wicca, like theist Satanism for one. Additionaly, the craft is part of histories apart from western European, of course. I am quite happy to be a witch without a religion, and take it very seriously :)
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By:
Post # 5
THANK YOU! Thank you. Finally an intelligent post thread worth reading!
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By:
Post # 6
Very nice post...
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By: Moderator / Adept
Post # 7
Many mistake the word "witchcraft" with "magic". Many religions practise "magic", without a belief in Witchcraft.Magic may well be thought of as an Art. My own witchcraft beliefs are much more than just "magic". One may think of witchcraft as merely an Art, or as merely a religion. Perhaps it is both, or neither! When all is said and done, we may believe whatever we want to believe.The "belief" could well be described as a religion, the "magic" as an Art. For me, both together is "witchcraft".
My training in the Craft was "the pursuit of knowledge". Not very much in casting spells!
All I was trying to say in my original post is that Wicca and witchcraft are pretty much the same. Only the rituals and ceremonies are a little different.
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By:
Post # 8

It seems I have similar thoughts to you Brysing. All I have is soaked up knowlege from this site, not once cast a spell or completed a ritual!

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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By: / Novice
Post # 9
your thinking of the past brysing as always! now adays wicca is a religion and witchcraft isnt. maybe a long time ago it they were the same, i wouldnt doubt that, but now adays Wicca is a religion! you have to stop thinking that the old ways are still around becuase most arint. deal with it. it makes me made that you always have to think of the past and think the past makes sense in the present becuase it doesnt.
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Re: Witchcraft v. Wicca
By:
Post # 10
skiing, you're wrong. and if anyone on this site would know now versus then, it's Brysing. show a little respect.
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