What exactly is witchcraft?

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by satz, Feb 5, 2005.

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  1. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    In the bible it is mentioned several times that witchcraft/socery etc etc are sins.

    What exactly is the definition of these sins?

    Is it simply calling upon the power of demons? Or is there something more general?
  2. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    hmm...if i am not wrong ( i could be! ) Paul says rebellion is like or equivalent to the sin of witchcraft. I don't think he actually says that the essence of witchcraft ( or what makes it a sin) is rebellion though...

    i can't remember the verse..can anyone help?

    [Edited on 5-2-2005 by satz]
  3. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    you're right.

    Witchcraft is a religion unto itself, always has been.

    Witchcraft and sorcery are means of trying to control nature, the future, and others. Instead of turning to God you are trying to turn towards other spiritual forces (witchcraft) or a power within self (sorcery) (though of course that invites demons as well)


    Here's an article that you can pull someof the truth of witchcraft out of (and ppl wonder why I have given up "christianized" pagan holidays!):

    So what is ‘Witchcraft’?

    Whilst the belief in Witchcraft is universal, there is no one definition of Witchcraft. The term has different meanings in different cultures and has had different meanings at different times in history. It has both positive and negative aspects.

    At the most basic level witchcraft is sorcery. The magical manipulation of forces through the casting of spells and the conjuring or invoking of spirits. Such manipulation can be for either good or bad purposes.

    Witchcraft -the art of doing magick, casting spells and performing rituals. Witchcraft is simply the act of doing magick without spiritual overtones.

    It was during the Renaissance that witchcraft was defined as evil magic, heresy and Devil worship. It is from this period of history that the association with evil and the Devil linger in our current culture. Witchcraft in our current times has been redefined as a neo-pagan religion that worships the Goddess and Horned God and has no connection with Christianity or the Devil. The focus is on the use of magic for benevolent purposes, never for harm.

    Neo-Pagan Witchcraft has developed since the 1950’s and represents only a small portion of the witchcraft practised by others, both in the West and elsewhere in the world.

    There are many different traditions of Witchcraft:

    Alexandrian - A Wiccan tradition started by Alex Sanders in the 1960s. It is considered an off-shoot from the Gardnerian tradition in which Alex was himself trained. There is very specific training and ritual involved for those in an Alexandrian coven, including the Kabbalah and ceremonial magick.

    BRITISH TRADITIONAL WITCH - This is a mix of Celtic and Gardenarian beliefs. Most famous organization at this time is the Inter-nation Red Garters. British Traditionals move mostly from within the Farrar studies (the famous Witch husband and wife from England.) They are fairly structured in their beliefs, and train through the degree process.

    CALEDONII TRADITION -This was once known as the Hecatine Tradition, this denomination of the Craft is Scottish in origin, and still preserves the unique festivals of the Scots.

    Celtic - which is based on Celtic myth, magic, rites and beliefs. Deities are known by there Celtic names.

    Ceremonial Witchcraft- The followers of this Tradition use a great deal of ceremonial magick in their practices. Detailed rituals with a flavour of Egyptian magick are sometimes a favourite, or they may use the Qabbalistic magick.

    Dianic Tradition - It was first mentioned by Margaret Murray in 1921 in "The Witch Cult in Western Europe," this term appears to include a mixture of various traditions. However, their prime focus in recent years is on the Goddess, and has been pegged as the "feminist" movement of the Craft.

    Eclectic anyone who doesn't strictly follow one particular tradition is often referred to as "eclectic". Eclectic Wiccans/Witches sometimes mix pantheons as well

    Gardnerian - tradition started by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Many people consider Gardnerian Wicca to be the most 'authentic', but many of the details of this tradition are only available to those who have been initiated into a Gardnerian coven. Belonging to this tradition requires a great deal of commitment and learning. There is a specific hierarchy within any coven (initiate, 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree).

    Hereditary Witch - This is one who can trace their Craft through their family tree.

    Kitchen Witch - This kind of Witch practices by hearth and home, dealing with the practical side of religion, magick, the earth and elements. There are some who groan loudly at this type of terminology, viewing it as degrading or simply inappropriate. Just remember that the Old Religion started somewhere, and most likely the kitchen was the hub of many charms, spells, healings, and celebrations. After all, where does everyone congregate during the holidays? Grandma's kitchen has always produced magickal memories for humanity; visions of Mother making that something special for a sick child still holds true today for many of us.

    Neo Pagan - Modern Pagan beliefs such a Wicca are sometimes called 'neo-pagan' because they are actually new versions of older beliefs. Not everyone bothers to make the distinction between Pagan and Neo-Pagan

    Pagan - any of the pre-Christian, poly-theistic religions, or those who practice them. Wicca is one Pagan religion, as is Asatru, Santeria, Voodoo, or Shamanism.

    Pictish Witchcraft -Scottish Witchcraft that attunes itself to all aspects of nature: animal, vegetable, and mineral. It is a solitary form of the Craft.

    Wicca -modern version of the Pagan religious beliefs handed down from pre-Christian times. Since much information was lost during the Burning Times, much has been 'recreated'. Wicca is a peaceful, earth-cantered, poly-theistic religion that has no connection whatsoever to Satanism. Some people believe that Witchcraft and Wicca are the same thing. A simple way of explaining the difference is that Witchcraft is simply the act of doing magick without the spiritual overtones where as Wicca is a religion or spiritual belief system.

    Wiccan -Someone who follows the religion of Wicca. A Wiccan may or may not also be a witch.

    Witch - someone who practices witchcraft (either male or female), regardless of their religious standing.
  4. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Nowadays, they consider the term Warlock an insult...must be a unisex thing...
  5. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    i always thought 'warlock' only came from those fantasy books and stuff...
  6. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    hmm...well, it can't be that its a sin to try to harness another power of force per se, otherwise science would be witchcraft!

    Am i right in saying that the sin is in that the forces they are
    trying to harness are demonic in nature?

    Also, regarding 'spiritual' power, i always believed that there were no two kinds of spiritual power, God's and the devil's. Is that too simplistic?
  7. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor


    a term coined in the Burning Times . It was used to denote a traitor to the Craft, or one who had betrayed the followers of the Old Religion. It's origin is Scottish. Because of the negative connotations, it is not used by most Wiccans today.

    A derogatory term which literally means "oathbreaker". It is a common misconception that male witches are called warlocks. However, male witches are no different than females in this respect and so they are simply called witches.

    A wizard or sorcerer; a male witch.

    A term coined in the Burning Times . It was used to denote a traitor to the Craft, or one who had betrayed the followers of the Old Religion. It's origin is Scottish. Because of the negative connotations, it is not used by most Wiccans today.

    A wizard, a sorcerer, a magician, a male witch; an evil spirit; a sprite; an imp; a man who holds the key that unlocks secret and supernatural powers; a man who practices black magic; a man who practices magic and/or witchcraft; one skilled in the magical arts. It is a common misconception that male witches are called warlocks.Warluck. The word represents Old English wærloga, 'traitor', 'the one that breaks faith', literally 'oath liar'. The term was used to describe men who pretended to be witches in order to penetrate covens and betray them during the Burning Times.
    www.aznewage.com/dictionary w-z.htm

    Antiquated term misused in reference to a male Witch. It means oath-breaker, truth twister, or liar. Most Pagans, Witch's find the term offensive. Web Weaving: Networking with other magickal people via conversation, writing, e-mail, to gather information which will mutually assist each party. Wheel of the Year: One full cycle of the seasonal year. Wicca: A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes. Widdershins: Counter-clockwise motion, usually used for negative magickal purposes, or for dispersing negative energies or conditions such as disease.

    n The male equivalent of a witch, a conjurer, a sorcerer, a caster of spells, a demon. Warcraft III art

    Scottish in origin, the word literally means "oath breaker" and dates back to the burning times. It was used in reference to those who betrayed other witches and, as such, still holds very negative connotations today; despite it's popularisation in Victorian fairy stories.

    A man who practices witchcraft or magic arts; sorcerer.

    a male witch or demon

    Now I see why it's an insult....it's a "witch without integrity"...

    [Edited on 5-2-2005 by LadyFlynt]
  8. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    wow...that's long..

    just curious Colleen, where do you get all those links?
  9. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Google...I asked it for "warlock, definition" ...all that was on one page.

    The one on witchcraft was from an actual craft site...it looked to give the best terminology out of what google had to offer. I didn't want the generalness of the Bible study site, yet didn't want the full deceptive "it's all good" on the wiccan sites.

    Also on the science thing, there was a time that those that dabbled in science also dabbled in astrology, etc. Science (chemicals and such) was thought of as a type of "magic" during certain parts of history and by certain ppl. Take one the the LOTR movies where Saramon is using black powder to make those mines...you and I know that it is a chemical compound that makes gunpowder...but to them, it was sorcery.

    [Edited on 5-2-2005 by LadyFlynt]
  10. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Plus it might help to know that I studied ABOUT witchcraft and all things paranormal (ie, age regression, bermuda, voodoo, clairvoyance, superstitions, spirits, and palm reading...a little on the tarot, but didn't have access to any cards) till God woke me up one night with a command that I was never to touch such again...I haven't since...and yes, I was a Christian at the time, which is why I think He stopped me before my curiousity ran me into trouble. I was in jr high at the time.

    And a friend of DH's married a self-professed wiccan. They also have their own twisted story of Adam and Eve. Supposedly Adam had a "first" wife named Lilith created from the filth of the ground (like Adam). Doesn't this sound like a feminist agenda!

    [Edited on 5-2-2005 by LadyFlynt]
  11. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Lilith comes from Jewish mysticism and is their explanation for the race of giants I believe. So "warlock" means "narc"?!
  12. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Samuel said to King Saul, For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:23.


    [Edited on 6-2-2005 by DTK]
  13. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    I'll answer one of your questions. The Greek word pharmakeia, from which we get our English word pharmacy, is usually translated "sorcery" in the NT. It means "the use of medicine, drugs, or (of course) spells."

  14. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    To continue DTK's idea, which is correct, is to place the "sorcerer" or "witch" in its proper context - its the use of "magical means" for manipulating circumstacnes, and people. Its etymology comes into the common arena of manipulation by any means, especially by words.
  15. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior

    ok...i have no idea what 'etymology' is, but your last sentence seems to suggest that verbally manipulating people would be considered sorcery? What do you mean by 'magical means'?
  16. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Etymology refers to the origin of a word's usage or meaning, i.e. what it meant when used at its earliest discernable usage. It also refers to the study of its transmission from one language to another, and how it has been used in each. In other words, etymology deals with the history of the meaning of words. And Matt has offered you a most helpful way to understand how people used magic, thus manipulating the circumstances (etc.) of people's lives. Often, such magic was drug-induced or through means of the occult itself. It's interesting that the Greek word "pharmakos" is sometimes translated as "scapegoat," but can also (depending on its contextual usage) refer to one who does extraordinary things through means of the occult, hence translated then as a "sorcerer" or "magician."


    [Edited on 6-2-2005 by DTK]
  17. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    :up: DTK.

    Exmaples of modern day "witchcraft" in Christian circles:

    "If you don't...then I'll..."

    "You better do XYZ or you'll never see me again..."

    (Not really knowing the facts but sowing discord when someone says) "Did you know that pastor X said...."

  18. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    You're right, I goofed...sorcery is more a power of elements (and thus similar to science and in many ways used science) but selfish in reasoning and demonic in use (would that sum it up?)...(would this place embryonic stem cell research and cloning in the sorcery category? :eek: ....I know--->overreaching)
  19. Robin

    Robin Puritan Board Junior

    While religion worships God - magic uses God - in the sense that the "witch" asserts he/she has power to manipulate creation (nature) i.e. spells that control things. Part of the offense of witchcraft is that it poses to usurp God's rightful place as Creator-King. Of course, this is the sin of Satan "I will be like God" - the sin of rebellion.

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