dianic

Witches Being Misunderstood is an Understatement

As I research this brilliant topic of Wiccan practices, origins, and history- lm learning of how stereotyped Im raised to believe witches and witchcraft alike are. Here’s some examples and rebuddles of what I mean…


“DEVIL WORSHIPPER” 

Who has ever claimed that was the point… Because I do not follow Christian beliefs to a T doesn’t make me a worshipper of satan. These claims were made by Christians who believed the worship of ANYTHING besides “God” (the big guy in the white robe) is their devil.


“Dont do black magick on me!”

 Anyone who has ever been remotely freaked out thinking we would curse their soul or ruin their lives with magic, has obviously never read the Wiccan Rede… what was it again? “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”? Huh…


“Eye of *animal*, Wing of *bird*” 

These ingredients aren’t literal, at all… Although my young, shameless self believed it to be, these are just names made up for herbs, plants, and flowers that are ingredients to remedies witches didn’t want abused.


“Why don’t you carry your broom to fly on?” 

This one makes me laugh. Woman used to literally ride broomsticks… maybe it’s a long story but people wanted to use an LSD like ointment and it was most affective on arm pits and … genitals. So they would lather up the broom handle and well… ride the broom into the night causing hallucinations. Weird shit right?


“You’re too colourful to be a witch” 

How? Did I miss the dress code assembly? Because I can wear whatever the fuck I want. Being Wiccan is positive and peaceful and colours have magick their own. If a witch does decide to wear only black, good for them- black means protection, safety, and grounding (amongst other things).


“Where’s your black cat?” 

Cats were once worshipped as symbols of multiple goddesses. In the beginning of the agricultural age, people brought cats with them where they went to ward off mice. Kittens were even wedding presents. Men went to war and women were stuck with the cat and were often widowed… since the woman lived alone- she was also likely to be accused of witchcraft. The Pope also claimed cats were satanic (?) so cats were burned alive - just like witches… but then the mice and rat population went sideways and here comes the Black Plague! Jokes on you - “Whatever you do shall be returns to you three times over”.


So here’s my explanation on stereotypes through research and the ability to look things up and not assume. These are based off of personal experience, first reactions… I also stuck to Wiccan beliefs along with my own personal thrown in the first one (sorry). There are witches out side of Wiccan who do worship Satan and that don’t follow the Rede but this is all biased. Correct me if I’m wrong anywhere here- I apologize already!

Blessed Be! )O(

The Element: Water

Water represents emotions, absorption, subconscious, purification, eternal movement, wisdom, the soul, emotional aspects of love and femininity. In rituals, it is represented in the forms of pouring water over objects, brew making, healing spells, ritual bathing, and tossing objects into of water.

Gender: Feminine

Direction: West

Energy: Receptive

Symbols: Ocean, river, shell, spring, lake, well, rain, fog, cup

Placing on Pentagram: Upper right

Time: Twilight, Dusk

Cycle of Life: Maturity

Season: Autumn

Colours: Blue, turquoise, green, grey, indigo, black

Zodiac signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Sense: Taste

Stones/Jewels: Aquamarine, amethyst, blue tourmaline, pearl, coral, blue topaz, fluorite

Magick tools: Cup, cauldron, goblet, mirror

Metals: Mercury, Silver, Copper

Herbal: Ferns, lotus, mosses, bushes, water lilies, gardenia

Trees: Apple, Apricot, Birch, Cherry, Elder, Elm, Rose, Willow

Animals: Water snakes, dolphin, fish, cat, frog, turtle, swan, crab

Ritual action: Bathing, dilution, washing, sprinkling, preparing cold herbal infusions

This is the Goddess Hecate’s symbol. Hecate is used by some as a Maiden, Mother, Crone because of being a Triple Goddess.

Most people use Hecate in reference towards the moon however she is three-fold to others with Earth, Sea and Sky. She is also said to where people got the “old hag” look from for Witches, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

In Greek mythology Hecate was the only Titan who was allowed to keep her power and domain. Zeus shared with only her the power to be able to give humanity whatever they wished for, or withhold it. She was, like her cousin Artemis, a virgin Goddess. She wouldn’t give away her independence for marriage.

Because of Hecate’s association with the moon some Dianic’s use her instead of Diana. Some believe Diana is the same as Hecate; that they’re interchangeable.

We understand the Goddess as an all-encompassing Flow/Origin of all life. We see males and females united in the Mother who can create the same as her (daughters) and the different from her (sons). She is the Tree of Life. Hence in her eyes all living creatures partake of her divine essence. She is the beginning and she is the end. Beyond Mother Nature there is more nature. She is everlasting and self created. Circle within the circle, her symbol is the spiral like our DNA, all is from her and all returns to her in the end. In other words, we agree with the new scientist who see the universe as a huge recycling entity, everything we see out there is also within us, we are made of the same stuff as the stars. We are the children of the stars, rare, complex and beautiful…the Goddess is all women – without exception. She is one mighty force, all-inclusive, all-mother.
—  Z Budapest
Let the women who come to my feasts be round like me and fear not their own flesh. Let the soft flesh on their hips imitate my curves, let their laps be soft and receptive, let their hands be warm and silky, and let them stroke their children with their soothing touch. Yes, let my women be round, let their fat bloom on their bones like the fruit on the vine, and let them take up space, lots of space. In my honor let the women grow big and strong.
—  The words of the Full Moon by Zsuzsanna Budapest (from Grandmother Moon).

anonymous asked:

1 Of 2: I don't think the creator of that post said that men couldn't practice magic, just that they couldn't be witches. I don't know if there are any practices available only to witches, but I'm guessing that a wizard, warlock, druid, or whatever can worship the same deities or cast the same spells as a witch. It's important to some people that the title witch be reserved females because it's a historically female term, and I'm not saying that's right or wrong.

2 Of 2: I know you’ve done research and there are claims of historically male witches but I’m honestly a bit dubious of the numbers you’ve provided, and no matter what way you paint it, women were the majority killed in the Salem Witch Trials, the majority who are prosecuted to this day. Shouldn’t there be some female exclusive magic space? There are a number of gender neutral terms for magic users, or male terms, but witch is already associated with females and the only term that has traction. 

And I’m not trying to be bitchy or condescending I’m just confused and I want to understand both sides of the issue.

I got off my phone and on to a computer to answer this question. Doesn’t seem like you want both side of the issue, honestly - I have given mine, quite clearly, and you seem to have picked yours, also quite clearly.

Witch is a gender neutral term. The term witch isn’t “historically” female - it’s only been a term used to describe magic users as mostly women in modern times (1600s; that’s only 400 years). “Witch” has always been a gender neutral term - only in recent times has it been used more exclusively for women, but that was not ever its only usage. Man, even in Wicca, they call men who practice “witches.” 

Druids are not the same as witches; druidry is closed prior to initiation - people shouldn’t be using that title unless they are a druid or studying to be an actual druid - so that term should not be grouped in with the others.

You know, other people made the gender neutral terms, because shit like this made them scared and uncomfortable to use the term “witch.” They were frightened people would come out of the woodwork and tear them apart because “oh you’re not a woman, you can’t use that word!” Think about that.

There are zero practices available only to witches (if you’re referring to “witches” as still women-exclusive then yeah, definitely no practices closed to anyone due to gender either) - witchcraft is an open practice that anyone can delve into, use as they like, and take away however they want. So, yes, literally anyone can cast spells like a witch, but they can also cast spells as a witch - using that term as their classifier, if they so wish. Because witchcraft is not closed in any aspect to anyone, neither is the label. No one can dictate who can use the term “witch.”

I don’t honestly know why you’re bringing up Salem tbh. Yes, perhaps the majority of the people accused during Salem were female, but that still doesn’t give women the right to place ownership over the term “witch.” It seems like you’re trying to imply something about the fact that women were the ones who “mostly” died for it, so they should have a right to it exclusively? Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I’m getting, and oh man does that not feel right to me.

Witchcraft was never a woman-exclusive space, period, and I don’t think it ever will be, and I think it’s great that anyone can come in and be accepted for who they are and practice magic like a boss however they want. If you want there to be spaces exclusive for women, make one, but it’s not the fault of the practice for not being that way naturally; there actually is a woman-specific space in Wicca, Dianic Wicca. However, exclusive spaces and stuff shouldn’t be something that is thrown over the entirety of the community regardless of how anyone else feels about it.

The term “witch” was never exclusively for women, as I’ve stated like a half a dozen times now - it is associated with almost exclusively women because that’s how it’s been used in modern times, but it has been used for men in the past too. It is gender neutral. If you thought it was a term for women-only, I’m sorry, but it never was; we’re not actually taking anything away from anyone, it was free to use from the get-go. You’re free to make your own spaces, but don’t try to take or claim something that wasn’t actually your “property” to begin with, please, and leave the rest of us struggling to fill it in. Just because we may not have “died” for it, doesn’t mean we have less of a right to it. 

(Okay, calm, calm down Richtor, civility.)

You’re also ignoring the fact that there are people who use the term “witch” who don’t fall under the category of either men or women. You declaring it a female-only term or space is not only excluding men. You’re excluding me too, you’re excluding many other people who don’t identify as either, which is why I am standing so hard for this point.

Witchcraft is an open practice. Anyone can use the term witch, and anyone can practice witchcraft. I stand by my point, and the history of the word witch. If you don’t like it, well, I’m sorry, I’m not stopping. I’m standing up for me, for all the male witches, for all the trans witches and the non-binary witches, and the genderfluid witches, like me. We have just as much right to that term as anyone else, because hey! It was never exclusively for women, and witchcraft is a very open practice that anyone can take and use as they like. So I’ll be damned if I stop calling myself a witch, and I will not stand by as other people are bullied for using that term because of their fucking gender.

(Sorry, civility lost, let’s see if I can calm down again.)

This is a passionate issue for me, as I’m sure you can see. Trying to collect myself, I’ve made a few changes to what I wrote, but I’m not changing how I think, or some of my phrasing choices. This is important to a lot of us - having an inclusive space and term would be awesome for our community, in my opinion. A lot of people get into witchcraft because they have not many other places to go, to turn to, to draw strength from. Some people draw their self empowerment and confidence from calling themselves a witch - yes, exactly that term witch, not any other term. It gives them the strength to keep fighting and being active in their own lives, to not take life’s shit lying down. We use the word as armor, sword, and shield. It means the world to some of us, because of how it can be seen, regardless of gender. 

It’s a shame you can’t see past the gender part, really. There are some lovely witches out there, men and people who aren’t either, or who are both, and we just want a place to belong and feel welcomed. Trying to exclude us from a term no one actually had any rights to… It doesn’t feel nice. Which is why I will forever stand by my followers and friends, those who identify as ways other than how the term witch has been used, and still call themselves that with pride. (I still stand by those that use other terms for whatever reason, I stand by all magic users, but I hope you can see my point on this one.) I will keep fighting for the word that has no rightful owner, and for the people who want to call themselves it, regardless of its stereotype. 

If that is something you can’t accept, well, what you do next is on you. Because I know where I stand on this, and I’m not going anywhere.

The Goddess and God

Wiccan views of divinity are generally theistic, and revolve around a Goddess and a God, thereby being generally dualistic, (with the Goddess given primacy or exclusivity in Dianic Wicca). Some Wiccans are polytheists, believing in many different deities taken from various ‘pagan’ pantheons, while others would believe that all the Goddesses are one Goddess, and all the Gods one God. Some Wiccans are both duotheistic and polytheistic, in that they honor diverse pagan deities while reserving their worship for the Wiccan Goddess and Horned God, whom they regard as the supreme deities. Some see divinity as having a real, external existence; others see the Goddesses and Gods as archetypes or thought forms within the collective consciousness.

             

Traditionally in Wicca, the Goddess is seen as the Triple Goddess, meaning that she is the maiden, the mother and the crone. Some Wiccans have a monotheistic belief in the Goddess as One, excluding the God from their worship.

                    

In Wicca, the God is seen as the masculine form of divinity, and the polar opposite, and equal, to the Goddess.The God is traditionally seen as the Horned God or Green Man. 

.At different times of the Wiccan year the God is seen as different personalities. He is sometimes seen as the Oak King and the Holly King, who each rule for half of the year each. Another view of the God is that of the sun god, who is particularly revered at the sabbat of Lughnasadh. Many Wiccans see these many facets, as all aspects of the same God, but a minority view them as separate polytheistic deities.

The first Wiccan authors were Traditionalists who had taken oaths to not make the names of their gods public. As such, they used a variety of descriptions, including simply “God and Goddess.”

Since different Wiccans worship different deities, books often continue to use these terms to reflect whatever pair you are personally following. The concepts are also useful in discussing metaphorical concepts revolving around gender.

Some Wiccans simply address their deities as God and Goddess, either because they haven’t found suitable names, or they see them as the sum of other deities: all gods are aspects of one god and all goddesses are aspects of one goddess. For a variety of reasons, this view has become widely popular in Eclectic Wiccan literature, giving many the erroneous impression that it is the only view of deity that Wiccans have.

-A

drimeth-of-bag-end  asked:

Hi there! I saw your post about males being witches and that it is gender neutral. Would you be able to elaborate (probably bad phrasing but can't think of better) on that for me, as I always thought that witch was for female magic users and warlock or wizard was for males. I don't want to upset anyone or be a dick by insisting wrong information.

EDIT

This post came off as super harsh, and it wasn’t directed at you @drimeth-of-bag-end, I promise! I am sorry if it seemed like I was belittling you or getting mad at you for asking this question, because I was not. It is just a very personal issue to me, and I get really invested in stuff like this, and just got way too… I can’t think of the word. But I was not mad at you, was not accusing you of anything, and I’m sorry if this post felt like an attack toward you, it wasn’t meant to be one. I just took the question as an opportunity to get this all out, and oh boy has it been needing to apparently. I hope you understand where I am coming from, and I hope I didn’t offend.


I don’t know what you mean by elaborate. Witch is gender neutral, and always has been. Only in more recent times (16th century) has the word been used to describe a female practitioner of any kind of magic; not to mention, the use of it being extremely geared towards women magic users in pop culture and modern media has not helped in any way.

Let’s start by saying that a lot of people are confused about the origin of the word to begin with - there are many possible ways it can be derived from a lot of old language, from all over the world.

When you look at [the history of the word], you see that it can be seen to derive from Old English - wicca /ˈwɪttʃɑː/ “sorcerer, male witch” and wicce /ˈwɪttʃeɪ/ “sorceress, female witch”. So, right there, inherent in the word “witch” is more than just “female,” more than one gender. When you look past that (because yes, still only two genders, but old language can be awful like that), the majority of the other origins have nothing to do with any gender at all

Not to mention, there is no solid origin as I’m sure you can see, which to me means there is no solid definition. We can’t accurate say where the word came from, so who are we to really say that there is only one way to use the word when we can’t even pin its origins down?

NOT TO MENTION AGAIN. When you look at language in general, saying a word is “masculine” or “feminine” [doesn’t actually have anything to do with gender]. It is a way to classify words based off grammatical characteristics, like how the last syllable is pronounced (hard, soft, neutral, etc.). So, just because a word has an origin word that was feminine, doesn’t mean it was used to describe the actual gender of the people. So, is it not possible that the terms “wicca” and “wicce” were given gender characteristics based solely on their grammatical characteristics, and had nothing to do with the actual genders of the people they were being used to dictate?

[Another page] states: “[…] the earliest recorded form of witch is Old Engl. wicca (masculine) “man practicing witchcraft”; it first occurred in the Laws of Alfric (890). The feminine wicce surfaced in the year 1000.” Yep, so the term “Wicca” originated from a masculine term. I wonder how that makes Dianic Wiccans feel.

[Long story short]: 

“The word “witch” derives from the Old English words “wicca” and “wicce” (masculine and feminine forms, respectively).  This later became “wicche”, in Middle English, which meant the same thing as “wicca” and “wicce”, but didn’t distinguish between the genders, being used to refer to both men and women.  However, over time, using “wicche” to refer to men became less and less common, being replaced by synonyms such as “wizard”, “warlock”, and “sorcerer”.

“By the 16th century, the spelling had changed from “wicche” to “witch” and, by this time, the word was almost exclusively used to refer to women, as it still is today.  However, in the Wiccan religion, it is now once again somewhat common to use “witch” to refer to both men and women.”

[…]

“The origin of the words “wicca” and “wicce” isn’t entirely known, but it is thought the words themselves originally meant “wise one”, with the earliest references to these words in Old English always seeming to be associated with fortune telling and “teaching”, based on that foreknowledge.”

So how can anyone tell me the term “witch” is exclusive to women? Some of the origins of the term itself have both feminine and masculine counterparts which then delved off to be gender neutral (but fell out of use because it wasn’t used as often); while other origins don’t even talk about gender or people at all. 

Uses of a word change over time all the time - GREAT EXAMPLE, look at [the modern definition of “literally”] (because of how people use it for exaggerated effect), and tell me that doesn’t piss you off. And then try to say that we can’t use “witch” to describe ANY magical practitioner, and confine it to only one gender, and an overdone stereotype that wasn’t even accurate (men practiced magic in the past as well, it isn’t a new concept).

I did so much research for this - I was not fucking around on this post. I have like 20 tabs open. And I have to go to work soon, so this is all I can do for this post, but I hope I’ve made my point.