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Switch to Forum Live View Atheist witchcraft?
8 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2009 - 8:25AM #11
Posts: 1,244


Just two observations.

Labelling such things as ‘Voodoo, Hindu and Native American, Indo Chinese’ as the craft may be misleading to anyone who hasn't done their homework about Pagan Witchcraft. The Craft is a modern term that was borrowed by Gerald Gardner from an occult magazine article (describing something entirely different than witchcraft) as a name for his re-definition of witchcraft. Even witchcraft is an English word projected onto various indigenous belief systems that already have their own names, purposes and history.

My other observation is that while you may be referring to what you know as the earlier days of Wicca, historically the earlier days of Wicca were in Britain in the early 20th century where there were no schools, nothing had been published and the only organisations were the few covens, first from the original Gardnerian Tradition and later Alexandrian. At that time, the ‘yoke of the church’ in Britiain wasn't such that one needed to rebel against it, the Paganism Movement based on my research has its roots in various movements and the creative conceptions of certian individuals. Early Wicca as indeed is lineaged Wiccan Traditions today were not bound in absolutes or dogma either, they did/do change but meaningfully and with respect to what was recognisable as this specific faith. It is only some decades later that the mere basics (non-oathbound information) was then published, exported outside of Britain and the rise of book-taught, author-defined, on the Net versions of Wicca/wicca began to happen.

Now you may consider these observations to be ‘only one perspective’ or being dictated to. I consider them to be based on and yes also limited by my experiences of being a Pagan and a Pagan Witch for the last couple of decades.

As for labelling itself, English is a noun-driven language, at least for the last five hundred years or so. As English-speakers, we depend on nouns to help us sort out the world. That includes being able to quickly (if only at a broad level) identify what someone is and where they fit into whatever one conceives the larger picture to be. Until one can do that, often one doesn’t know how to treat someone. Labels also don't dictate how one treats another. Nouns (with some exceptions) are like energy, they are neutral until the user gives them intent and purpose. For example, when someone else informs me that he or she is a Pagan Witch, that instantly gives me a framework within which to place their potential knowledge and experience. It doesn't tell me what kind of Pagan Witch he or she might be and the variations of the modern Craft are such that we could as Witches have little in common by way of training etc. Yet the framework is there and it is built on two nouns.


No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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8 years ago  ::  May 30, 2010 - 9:39AM #12
Posts: 443

Anyone of any religion (or atheist) can be a witch.  A witch is simply someone who practices witchcraft; i.e. uses magic/spells/potions.  Now, that's NOT the same thing as being a Wiccan.  I do not believe one can be an atheist Wiccan, because Wicca by definition (at least as defined by the person who invented it) involves the worship of a God and and Goddess.  I guess one can call themselves whatever they want, but it doesn't mean that they will be accepted as such by actual members of the faith.


One can be a Wiccan and never do magic (though why, I don't know) or one can be a witch and have no religious beliefs.  Magic is simply magic; it need not have a theistic orientation.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2013 - 7:10PM #13
Posts: 120 

this is a good explanation of Atheist Witch. 

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