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Silveraura

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16th February, 2011 at 04:22:36 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk

Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
See, how spellcraft works is entirely bent around intent. In a way, it's kind of adjacent to prayer. We may use things such as colored candles, burn specific herbs, or perform special rituals, but it's largely as an aid to help the human psyche. The human mind is a powerful thing. Nothing supernatural is happening however the second you doubt yourself or the spells your performing, the magick is instantly lost and nothing will come of it.



So are you saying it's just a placebo?

I agree that the human mind is a powerful thing.
There are many mind tricks out there that can help people to overcome emotional stress, or to help one become more confident, ect.


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
Also, contrary to popular belief... Wiccan and Witch are not synonymous.



Traditional Witchcraft and the Spellcraft you described above are indeed very different.
Do you consider yourself a Witch as well as a Wiccan?



No. Magick is very real in the world, it's just not supernatural.
Think of electricity. Even today, unless you know how it works, it still seems magickal. However before it was even mainstream, electricity was just one of the many things in our world, which could only be described as magick.
Yesterdays magick is todays science. We're always learning more and more about the world and there are so many things just in our every day life that we either cannot or choose not to try to understand. Unlike something such as electricity though, magick in the form of spells and witchcraft, are controlled through intent. Your mind is the tool which manipulates it. It's part of divinity, which exists within everything.

I would highly recommend reading the book I linked to you above. It's very informative and explains it all a lot better then I can. However that's just one source. No single source should be taken for it's word. Like I said, Wicca has very little structure. Ask 5 Wiccans what Wicca is, and you'll get 6 different answers. It's subject to opinion, individuality, and biasness.

Would I consider myself a witch? I don't know if I'm confident enough to call myself a witch. But I am most defiantly a Wiccan. I tend to do more self-meditation at my altar, than spellcraft.

PS: For a Christian to ask if magick is just a placebo effect would be hypocritical, especially after I just got done comparing it to prayer, which I'm sure you would not admit to simply being a placebo effect. Would you?

Edited by Silveraura

 
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UrbanMonk

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16th February, 2011 at 05:37:08 -


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
PS: For a Christian to ask if magick is just a placebo effect would be hypocritical, especially after I just got done comparing it to prayer, which I'm sure you would not admit to simply being a placebo effect. Would you?



I were referring to when you said "Nothing supernatural is happening however the second you doubt yourself or the spells your performing, the magick is instantly lost and nothing will come of it."

But since you came back and compared it to electricity I'll take that back.


However there is a difference between prayer and spells.

Prayer is talking to God.
Performing spells makes you the god.

It's really funny that you compared it electricity though, so tell me was that in the book?
I'm asking this question because of something someone told me once. I'm just curious as to where this information came from.

 
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Silveraura

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16th February, 2011 at 06:54:05 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk

Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
PS: For a Christian to ask if magick is just a placebo effect would be hypocritical, especially after I just got done comparing it to prayer, which I'm sure you would not admit to simply being a placebo effect. Would you?



I were referring to when you said "Nothing supernatural is happening however the second you doubt yourself or the spells your performing, the magick is instantly lost and nothing will come of it."

But since you came back and compared it to electricity I'll take that back.


However there is a difference between prayer and spells.

Prayer is talking to God.
Performing spells makes you the god.

It's really funny that you compared it electricity though, so tell me was that in the book?
I'm asking this question because of something someone told me once. I'm just curious as to where this information came from.



When performing spells, you're using your mind to basically in a sense, communicate with divinity because divinity exists within everything including yourself. It tends to be a rather hard concept to grasp unless you dedicate a lot of thought to it. That's why most people like to assign either a single God, many Gods or in the case of Wicca and many other pagan faiths, a God and Goddess, which represent the masculine and feminine attributes of divinity.
So to classify yourself as God because you're doing a spell, would also be incorrect. At no point do I ever think of myself as God. If need be, during spells, I'll imagine myself as though I was communicating to the God and/or Goddess, whoever I feel can help me the most. It really varies, not just from person to person, but per situation too.

I don't remember if the comparison to electricity was in the book, or if I thought about it after reading something in the book. I do know that in the section of the book which talks about the Wiccan view on science, that say something very close to what I just said, which was that yesterdays magick is todays science and that nothing in Wicca can necessarily be disproven because we take things as they come. We follow our own path and for the most part, we don't pretend to possess knowledge we don't actually have.
One section of the book when it asks about whether or not Wiccans have a sacred text, describes that Wiccans generally refer to the universe as their sacred text. To that, I add. This is where science can come in - as a tool, a scope or a pair of reading glasses, to help us read what the universe tries to tell us, when traditional or ritualistic magick just isn't working the way we hope.

Which brings me largely to the point of how we live our lives and what we know about the world. Science, in a matter of speaking, when it isn't being used to manufacturer things to destroy others who don't agree with us, in a lot of ways, comes back to what many pagans used to believe about the world. Living in harmony with it, understanding the cycles, understanding that the whole world is in a sense, or at least acts very much like a living thing.

Instead of believing in a single God or deity, Wiccans typically look at divinity as being something neither good nor evil. Completely unbiased and natural. We look at divinity as something a lot more abstract. So much so that in order to understand it, we create an image of either a God or a Goddess, or the many other images of God which many other cultures have used to describe various aspects of life, such as life and death.

In fact, I believe that this is how the Christian incarnation of God probably started out. As being an abstract idea that was given a face to help relate. Over time and many attempts at depicting what the text was saying, and so many passing down their opinions of what the text was saying, that the words of the bible started being taken a lot more literal then symbolically.

Did Jesus exist? Without a shadow of a doubt, he must have. However what we know about him, I feel is extremely vague. He was a man, not born to be great, but grew to become great through his love and passion, his ideas and his messages.

But this isn't about comparing Wicca to Christianity. I'm just saying this because I hope it might help you understand a little more about how Wiccans view the world, and why we are generally very open and unopposed to accepting other faiths for being more or less, just different variations of the same general idea.

 
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Matt Boothman

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16th February, 2011 at 19:47:28 -

Wicca is NOT a 'preservation' of rituals and beliefs held by Pagans many moons ago, and it is arrogant to think it is. Because you are practising Wicca knowing that its myths and legends are hand-me-downs, mixes and matches, and are anachronistic in nature, it becomes less of a living religion and more of a celebration of times before Christianity; times, let's not forget, we have no experience of. Wicca is as synthetic as Scientology. I'm not sure if a fossilised Pagan would consider the Wicca to be a 'preservation' of his beliefs.

That said, I have no beef with anyone practising it. Just don't misrepresent it.

 
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Silveraura

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16th February, 2011 at 22:30:07 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
Wicca is NOT a 'preservation' of rituals and beliefs held by Pagans many moons ago, and it is arrogant to think it is. Because you are practising Wicca knowing that its myths and legends are hand-me-downs, mixes and matches, and are anachronistic in nature, it becomes less of a living religion and more of a celebration of times before Christianity; times, let's not forget, we have no experience of. Wicca is as synthetic as Scientology. I'm not sure if a fossilised Pagan would consider the Wicca to be a 'preservation' of his beliefs.

That said, I have no beef with anyone practising it. Just don't misrepresent it.



How are you going to try to insult what I know to be Wicca, as a Wiccan and then call it synthetic and compare it to Scientology. Forgive me for coming off blunt here, but your ignorance is very insulting. Do some research before you try to accuse a real religion for being something fake like Scientology, just because it's a more modern incarnation.
Wicca originally started out as a witch coven run by Gerald Gardner and it grew from there, to be something more independent. The believes we have are very close to what pagans believed.
Hell man, present day Christians are a laughing insult to what their faith started out as. Wiccans are a hell of a lot more true to their pagan roots than present day Christians, and they still call themselves Christians. Please do more informed research before you pretend to know Wicca. And like I said, the internet is a horrible source to find any information of Wicca. God forbid you might have to buy a book or two to get any real information.

 
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Johnny Look

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17th February, 2011 at 04:59:07 -

"I would have to agree with: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
Religions that don't hurt anyone don't bother me.

Religions I have a problem with are one's that teach their followers to harm others, either to convert or just for the heck of it. "

It's ironic that you say that given that you're christian. In case you don't know, a lot of people got tortured and killed for stating they didn't believe in specific parts of the bible, jews and homosexuals were persecuted and burnt alive, etc... History is full of this sort of incidents, ordered by christian bishops and popes.

 
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17th February, 2011 at 06:17:46 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look

It's ironic that you say that given that you're christian.



Erm... no. It isn't. Just because others of that religion behaved that way does not mean that behaviour encompasses his own behaviour.

And Silverfire, although I don't believe in spiritual or religious divinity, my mom is Wiccan and the way I see it, it is more or less a placebo. Not that it has no effect, but that the meditation and the belief of what you are doing is going to help you puts you in the correct mindset to help yourself. It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy; someone tells you you'll do well so you're more confident and end up doing well, which makes the prophecy true. It's not that there was anything supernatural there, but if the prophecy hadn't been made then it wouldn't be true. A bit recursive, actually. I never get sick because I never get sick; even when I start to develop a cough or runny nose my mindset is determined that I'm not sick because I've convinced myself that I don't get sick, so the symptoms go away very quickly.

 
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Matt Boothman

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17th February, 2011 at 11:07:41 -

@Silverfire: I do know a little bit about Wicca, and I have read books that touch on the subject; just I have read stuff on the origins of Scientology. I, of course, do not know more than you about Wicca, but I have the advantage of being impartial in disliking all organised religions. What I want to know is; how is Scientology any more fake than Wicca? (As any Wiccan will know, religious tolerance and respect for other people's beliefs is paramount.) Scientology and Wicca were invented at similar times, from similarly humble beginnings, and each have grown to be substantial minority religions - so how is Wicca 'real' compared to the 'fake' Scientology. Is it because Wicca is supposedly ancient and naturalistic? Because that doesn't automatically grant creditability, the same as something being more modern in outlook doesn't have to be automatically debunked. Would you be as immediately insulting to something like the Baha'i faith, which by its own admission, is a modern religion?

If I start to practice the religion of the ancient peoples of Ethiopia, do I get to call your religion a 'fake'? No. And is your religion and more or less valid simply because it's based on practices you deem to be ancient and magical? No. Presumably your "Pagan" beliefs don't extend to animal, or human sacrifice, and tell me, do you still bury your dead in ceremonial mounds, stuffed with treasure?

Forgive me for coming across as overly harsh, but Wicca gets an easy ride from some people because it is seen as 'harmless'. Pagan roots, my arse.

 
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17th February, 2011 at 17:35:15 -

"Erm... no. It isn't. Just because others of that religion behaved that way does not mean that behaviour encompasses his own behaviour."

In case you don't know, those acts weren't isolated incidents, those killings and tortures were ordered by the church's highest ranked religious leaders, namely bishops and popes.

In addition, the bible does speak of a few episodes were people were butchered by god himself because they refused to believe him, like the sodom and gomorrah episodes we talked about earlier.

 
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18th February, 2011 at 15:47:25 -

I believe... in FSM and the IPU. Who's with me?

R'amen!



 

UrbanMonk

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18th February, 2011 at 19:23:44 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look
In case you don't know, those acts weren't isolated incidents, those killings and tortures were ordered by the church's highest ranked religious leaders, namely bishops and popes.

In addition, the bible does speak of a few episodes were people were butchered by god himself because they refused to believe him, like the sodom and gomorrah episodes we talked about earlier.



The people of Sodom and Gomorrah loved to roast and rape babies. Yeah, let's let them live.


And no, if anyone kills and tortures in the name of Christianity is messed up in the head, and certainly isn't Christian.

And for the record I don't believe Catholicism is a Christian religion at all.

 
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Silveraura

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19th February, 2011 at 10:27:43 -


Originally Posted by Jacob!
It's not that there was anything supernatural there,



No Wiccan would(under ideal circumstances) admit that their faith is supernatural. I would like to believe that most Wiccans like myself, would consider that it is more or less mental but that the reason it works is in regard to something we don't yet understand. I do believe in divinity but I don't believe it's something supernatural, it's just undiscovered. Sort of like how lavender is used in certain forms of spellcraft to help reduce anxiety, only to have later discovered that there was in fact a reason for why it worked.

There is a significant study to, perhaps not explain or support theories of the external powers of the mind, but the placebo effect has defiantly shown to effect more then simply ones own body, and the fact that science is unable to explain that and a variety of other reasons why our rituals tend to work for us, leads me to believe that something here is real.

If Science can explain it to me, amazing. I love to know more about my world. But if we all lead our lives by what Science told us was true, then Science would be stuck in a linear path of only traversing the knowledge it thinks is true and not the knowledge that it might be expected to challenge.
For example, if we never considered that life existed off of earth, and we simply assumed that through science, it wasn't possible (for some reason), we'd probably never care enough to actually explore it.
At the same time however, in a lot of ways, Science can be more destructive to both the natural world, and the natural imagination we all originally possess. Instead, replacing fascination with expectation. Risk with confidence. Perception is reality. Religion is for you and you alone. So what one person might scientifically call the placebo effect, another person can easily call magick and be absolutely content if not a lot more satisfied with their life, accepting it as such. I'm not admitting to anything here, I'm just hoping I've made a point.

 
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Silveraura

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19th February, 2011 at 10:44:44 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
What I want to know is; how is Scientology any more fake than Wicca? (As any Wiccan will know, religious tolerance and respect for other people's beliefs is paramount.) Scientology and Wicca were invented at similar times, from similarly humble beginnings, and each have grown to be substantial minority religions - so how is Wicca 'real' compared to the 'fake' Scientology.



Scientology is a company disguised as a church. It manipulates people, acts exactly like a cult, and runs like a business. No faith should operating under money. The simple fact that people are afraid to try to stand up to it because it's got a force of lawyers that sometimes seem to have more funding then the US army itself, seems to say a lot about how much it's got to try to defend itself against obvious truths.
No, being modern does not make you fake. But whenever your religion acts more like a cult/corporation and less like a church, something is seriously wrong there.
Wicca isn't even a church nor is it an organized religion. It's a form of faith that is loosely structured around a set of commonly held beliefs which are largely based on the ideals held by pagans prior to the burning times. It's a more modern interpretation of course, but so is every other faith today. With so much science, it's hard for most structured religion to keep itself relevant. The beauty of Wicca is that it doesn't start back peddling and try to erase it's tracks the next time a big scientific advancement is made. Typically in most creditable writings you find about Wicca, they typically keep themselves very up to date and realistic on current science and help explain how it's helped them better understand.

I have nothing against other religions, but when you have something that bleeds into the lives of others through harassment and destructive behavior like Scientology, and you try to compare it to something completely opposite such as Wicca, and assume that because they're both modern, they're comparable, that's just outright offensive.

In fact, this world needs more modern interpretations of religious history. Religions like Christianity have more bandages ripped and reapplied with every new discovery to disprove their sacred texts then anyone could probably count.

Mind you, I stand up for my own Wiccan beliefs. As I've said in previous posts, Wicca is quite unstructured and varies quite differently from person to person. I cannot speak for every or even most Wiccans, I can only tell you what I've read and picked up from speaking with many friends who are Wiccan. I'm basing my words on the idea that despite how different many Wiccans can be, theres a thin guideline that most Wiccans tend to follow, otherwise they wouldn't put themselves in the potentially harmful spotlight of even calling themselves Wiccan. I take pride in calling myself Wiccan but as many customers at work who see my necklace will try to lead me to believe, it's likely to garnish more ignorance then friendship.

 
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Johnny Look

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19th February, 2011 at 12:38:41 -

"The people of Sodom and Gomorrah loved to roast and rape babies. Yeah, let's let them live."

LOL according to the bible god wiped the whole city, including babies (which I don't think raped and roasted themselves) and children. Why wouldn't they be allowed to live ?
And I don't recall the bible talking about people "raping and roasting babies".


"And no, if anyone kills and tortures in the name of Christianity is messed up in the head, and certainly isn't Christian."

Does that mean god isn't christian ?

"And for the record I don't believe Catholicism is a Christian religion at all."
Why not ? It's definitely not a muslim or hindu religion as far as I know.


 
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Deaval

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28th March, 2011 at 05:25:20 -

Dang, these kinds of topics always gets walls of text and debates.

I wonder what would happen if I were to do a Politics thread hmmz.

Anyways, to answer the question without actually writing a long, long long text, I'm gonna say I belive in Aum. So that's more a "I believe in a higher power" kind of answer.

 
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