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Two Questions With Regards To Ethics


Guest fallon13
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My apologies in advance to the mods if I'm posting this in the wrong place:feel free to move it if you feel its nessesary

 

I have two simple sounding questions regarding ethics in the fields of magic/witchcraft

 

In most of my reading I keep seeing the 'and harm none' and the law of three.In the little working that I've done,I take great care to make sure that a magical solution is the best(rather than using headology,a cup of tea/pint of Guinness),and take care as best I can to forsee any harmful outcomes,

 

My questions are:

 

1 Is it actually possible to avoiding harming something or someone?

 

2 How do people view the concept of like returning?

 

On reading this back I'm setting here feeling like Earl Hickey :o_wink2:

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I rarely do magick these days for a couple of reasons: one, the mundane methods usually yield results and magick is such a “last resort” that I rarely need to have recourse to them, and two, casting a spell is like casting a pebble into a pool: the ripples spread out and you can’t always tell what they’ll touch. You can plan and and anticipate and take the risk, but by the time you weigh up all the probabilities and possibilities, it’s often simpler to stick to mundane methods.

 

I believe that the universe likes balance and the gods like to be paid. So while I believe I’m rectifying a balance in the universe, I know that there’s a price to pay for doing so. And of course, I may not be rectifying a balance, I may be creating an imbalance because I see the universe as a web, and when I pluck one strand I don’t know what all the vibrations down the web are going to do and what impact they might have. So the universe might then be out of balance and have to adjust and the cost of that adjustment falls to me, as it should. And when you bring gods into the equation, they have their own agendas and morals, so working with them requires careful construction and consideration of any working, because the gaps are inevitably where they like to have fun, or decide to teach you a lesson.

 

So far as harming none goes – yes, I suppose, husbands love wives, mothers love children etc, and there’s no harm done there. But I think that as soon as you enter the world, you impact and that impact ripples and causes some damage somewhere. But it depends how your beliefs square with you: I’m an animist and I’m amused at some Vegan Pagans who proclaim their “harming none” credentials – since to me every plant, river, insect, tree stone etc is alive, every meal, cake of soap, house built, deck chair set out etc is using those resources and therefore destroying something alive. For me then it’s impossible to harm none, but it’s about being as sensitive and ethical as possible and trying to minimise that destruction and be as gentle as possible living. I think you have to accept that you can’t live without causing something else to die, and that has to be on your conscience and a reminder to take as much care as possible. Unprovoked and unjusitified harm is probably what the the Rede is referring to, the Wiccan equivalent of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” etc. I don’t think that Gardner, Valiente etc really intended it to be interpreted as a monkish, pious, pallid blamange-ish way to live.

 

So it’s all very complex and tricky – so far as I am concerned :D

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The harm none thing a total & complete minefield IMO, one likely to blow up in your face, no matter how careful you are, well thought out your intentions & even if you think right on your side.

The only way of not harming someone by not doing anything & leaving whatever to run it's course. But some of us, sometime, can't help but meddle & sod the consequences :o_wink: But my days of such things are getting less & less, quite frankly I can't be arsed unless it's to protect something, be animal, veg or mineral. Which I suppose in some ways makes whatever I do that more special & meaningful

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My apologies in advance to the mods if I'm posting this in the wrong place:feel free to move it if you feel its nessesary

 

I have two simple sounding questions regarding ethics in the fields of magic/witchcraft

 

Well, they aren't ethics for anyone except those who hold to them. ;) They csme out of Wicca, so any witches who don't use Wicca as a basis for their beliefs (and even many who do) don't hold to these tenets.

 

1 Is it actually possible to avoiding harming something or someone?

 

I argued a lot with Wiccans about these in the past, and many prominent pagans put forward arguments that (to my ear) sounded like - if you believe it's not harming, then it's not harming.

 

To my mind, no one is in a position to decide what is harm and what is not. For one thing; what timescale do we use? Do we go by intent or what happens? If we intend harm and do good by mistake, does that mean there is no harm? How about if we intend good and do harm?

 

What happens if we intend good and do what seems to be harm, but, twenty years later, the person feels that harm was the best thing that every happened to them?

 

Who is the judge?

 

2 How do people view the concept of like returning?

 

On reading this back I'm setting here feeling like Earl Hickey :o_wink2:

 

It's a nice fairy tale for those who want to believe everyone gets their just deserts.

 

Alternatively, it was put forward to appease the Christians, to persuade some people that magic isn't "really" harmful. Hence the 'an it harm none' bit, as well. Propaganda to make modern paganism more acceptable to non-pagans, and especially christians.. :lol:

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Fallon, you will not find wiser words concerning your questions than those expressed above .... they've taken the words right out of my mouth :)

 

Doing magic should be a rare occurrence when all mundane attempts have been tried .... and then some! If you get it right - it will cost you and if you get it wrong - it will cost you! Nothing is for nothing and the cause and effects can never be truly and completely predicted.

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Its the very reason that we are unaware of what wemight effect that prevents me from mucking about with spellwork anymore. As I've got a bit older a part of me has grown sceptical of spells even working (even though in that case I'd have some huge coincidences in the past) but the other part of me tells me to stay well clear. The Gods do sometimes appear to have a strange sense of humour and seem to pick out anything you said in error or didn't quite make clear enough.

 

Its strange how many become vegans to protect the environment. Ask what they eat during the winter in cold climates and they'll give you a long list of out-of-season vegetables, most of which are grown half way across the world and are flown in to supermarkets.

 

Ethics are very rarely something straight forward. I used to be completely anti-hunting but now I go out hunting myself. I figure that so long as I eat what I kill then it is no different to eating any other animal you buy pre-packed on a supermarket shelf. In fact, its better because at least the animal had a free life of its own until a bullet goes whizzing through its skull. Same with me eating venison. I could never eat a deer years back, but now I realise that they have to cull a certain amount every year or else their numbers will get to high as they have no natural predators in the UK. Im still against hunting with Dogs though...thought Id just point that out.

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What moonhunter said.

 

I do find Morals can be an offshot for those who maybe had rules to follow from other religions. Morals can sometimes be a guilt trip. do i do that? will i get punished for it?.

Its sad that sometimes its that way.

Can someone who say hurts someone to protect themselves be said to have no morals.

Of course not. It depends on the person. If you have a nagging feeling that what you are doing maybe wrong. the simple thing is not to do it. In magic you can always break the spell and put it at the back of the book with a note never to try it again.

 

I never understood what would be returned anyway and what power would do so.

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Thank you all for taking the time to answer and share your thoughts.

 

I had a not quite argument on this subject with a witchy friend,who accused me of laying xtian values on things,where I felt thier so called belief in the Rede was much the same thing!

 

My persoanl felling is that 'You are free to do what ever you want to do.But you will have to live with the consequences!'

 

@Seaxneat:With you all the way on the hunting!While I dont hunt,as long as its done right,I support it.I had an interesting 'discussion' with a bunny hugger that shooting is wrong.I asked if they prefered the idea of poisoning animals as pest control ;)

 

@Naomi:Can you explain a bit more about 'cost'?

 

 

Again thank you all...one of the reasons I came to The Valley was to seek sensible practical opinion,and I've found it

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I can't speak for what Naomi meant, but it resonated with me. I rarely do any magic now because of the sheer effort involved. That is the cost when you get it right. On one occasion, when i was working hand in glove with two gods to such an extent that I was only channeling, I was left so exhausted after 30 minutes that it took me some hours to recover, even after asking them for help and using another, different, recovery method in addition.

 

As for the cost when you get it wrong - that can be anything. Again, just a small example, and again from working with a god - I'd been instructed to do a bit of fairly small magic to repair a bit of damage in a major piece of magic being done by a team. I fluffed it. Oh, I knew i was fluffing it - i was stupid enough to think i could get away with it. It was the first time I'd worked with that god, and it taught me that if he asks for something to be done in a certain way, he means it. As a consequence, something nearly escaped and three or four people had to work to weave the repair. And all that was done to repair the damage caused by a bad ritual 6 months previously.

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@Naomi:Can you explain a bit more about 'cost'?

 

 

 

 

Moonhunter has it right!

 

When I have gone through all my processes to decide whether or not I will actually do the magic, I consider whether I need the assistance of deity - it is not always necessary - and then I ask if there is any god/ess who is willing to help. Sometimes, there is no answer and sometimes someone makes his or her presence felt. At that stage, there is a negotiation on the basis that this is what I want to do, what do you want from me in return? It is usually negotiable but sometimes not ! That is the cost. Nothing is for nothing - it can be simple, like the offering of drink or food or more complicated and requiring of effort ... whatever is agreed has the status of an oath and must be fulfilled or there are consequences - always! These consequences can be many different outcomes.

 

If you know runes, then Gebo will resonate - if not, when you get the chance, read about it!

 

Sometimes, the situation is reversed and I become aware that deity has approached me ... but the negotiation is the same: what do you want from me and can I ask .... in return?

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For me it inevitably, in one way or another, end up in the question of what is personally justifyable.

 

The age old dilemma. You are faced with a countdown timer and a lever. When the time expires, if the lever is in one position your loved ones die. If it is in the other, the city of Ulan Bator sinks into a fiery pit, where all its inhabitants will burn in agony forever.

 

Harm no one often as not isn't an option.

And with me? Ulan Bator is up shit creek without a paddle.

 

Magick doesn't factor in though. I think I could pull it off, actually. I think I could redirect the stream a bit. Enough. But no way could I control the fallout outside of the effect desired.

So I don't do it. =)

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The only thing I want to add into this debate is witchcraft from the historical perspective didn't have ethics or morals of it's own, not that I have found documented anywhere. Magic and witchcraft (especially in the west) has always traditionally been a subsection of a much greater society which is governed by it's own rules, regulations and morality. Take England for example, throughout the past 1000 years or so witchcraft or "the occult" was very well documented and practised openly in many circles (usually the upper classes), but it's morals and ethics were dictated by strict Christian theology.

 

Wicca in itself has it's ethics debated, even the Wiccan Redes authorship is up for debate and is not as easily attributed to Valiente as everyone seems to think. What most people will agree upon is that Valiente probably did write the couplet at the end (the harm none bit) and it probably was taken from Gardners ideas. The rest of the poems language is certainly debated, even a single authorship is argued as unlikely by some due to the different ways in which words such as "ye" are used, all are used incorrectly, but are used incorrectly in different ways attributed to common mistakes from different time periods... But anyway, ignoring there lets assume the couplets are Valientes and she got them from Gardner? Where did Gardner get his ideas? He attributes them to "the legendary Good King Pausol" as he states in his book The Meaning of Witchcraft, but there is no such man in history. Yet coincidently there was a King Pausol in literature in the book Les Aventures du roi Pausole : Pausole (souverain paillard et débonnaire) authored 1901 which was used to create the opera Les aventures du roi Pausole performed in 1930. Notice the dates match the time where wicca was beginning to get fleshed out by Gardner. Funnily enough Les aventures du roi Pausole is all about a King in a land of different morals and the opera is all about what is right and wrong...

 

It's argued by many that this is where Gardner got his ideas from, but there is of course the other link of the threefold law being karmatic in nature which is an eastern philosophy. Where did Gardner spend time? Oh that's right... Asia and Northern Australasia Notably he spent time with the Dusan people of Indonesia who had karmatic principles in their theologies. It all seems to amalgamate into the idea that the wiccan rede as a philosophy is completely made up, and based upon the mish mash of french fiction meets tribal people and was written and formed by a whole host of different authors.

 

Now this doesn't mean that as a philosophy it's a bad philosophy, but when you keep in minds it's origins, why not follow other ethics philosophies? The Christian 10 commandments were probably made up as well, but if you read them they aren't all that bad...

 

What you should really do is form your own ethics through your own personal morality and beliefs, or at least, that's what I believe ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Again thank you one and all for your responses.

 

As to the cost of magic,the sense of physical drain is something I've already experianced,but its nice to get verification of my experiances :o_wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this is an old thread, but i couldn't help myself replying:

 

I've often wondered about the Rede and what the implied deeper meaning is of the "And ye harm none, do as thou will". I picked up a book claiming to do just that, The Wiccan Rede by Mark Ventimiglia and he explicitly states that it is with "conscious compassion" that we see this phrase as meaning. He also states that evaluating our actions in a long term way, up to 7 generations into the future, is an ideology to be followed when concerning negative repercussions. I must admit, Ventimiglia does have a rather idealistically straight forward look on things, but I guess that snippet attempts to offer some sort of clarification.

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Take England for example, throughout the past 1000 years or so witchcraft or "the occult" was very well documented and practised openly in many circles (usually the upper classes)
I think I am starting to understand why I don't always get where you are coming from. When you talk of Witchcraft you have in mind High Ceremonial types like Dee....... whilst I'm thinking of Old Mother Jenkins who lives down the lane, could cure horses and deliver babies :) Is this why you associate Witchcraft with the upper classes. And remember that it is only the lives of the upper classes which got documented anyway and our poorer ancestors didn't leave much written evidence........ doesn't mean they didn't do things. I think much of what people did in their daily lives would come under the heading of witchcraft in modern language. Sorry off topic............... Didn't most "witches" operate within a Christian moral framework? After all they were Christians. Wiccans might be witches, but not all witches are Wiccans. Although open to debate I think the notion of doing what you want without dumping on people...... along with the warning that what goes around often comes around (although not always) is a sound basis for living ones life.
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Take England for example, throughout the past 1000 years or so witchcraft or "the occult" was very well documented and practised openly in many circles (usually the upper classes)

 

I missed this first time round. I have to admit I'd LOVE to know what documentation you have in mind between 1000 and (say) 1500 in England. :)

 

When you talk of Witchcraft you have in mind High Ceremonial types like Dee....... whilst I'm thinking of Old Mother Jenkins who lives down the lane, could cure horses and deliver babies :) .............. Didn't most "witches" operate within a Christian moral framework?

 

My great grandmother didn't usually cure horses. Maybe there weren't that many in the outskirts of Sheffield. :P She may have delivered babies, for all I know. But she used a crystal ball and made cures for all sorts of maladies using herbs. She also made some terrific wines, according to my father - not that he had the chance to taste many of them, as a lad. He got booted out whenever gt-grannie had a "visitor" (client), so perhaps she didn't want his choirboy innocence to know about what she did. I suspect she was a Christian, because everyone was.

 

Hutton draws a dstinction between those who practised such arts and those who claimed to be able to draw on magical powers in their practice. I have no idea which camp my gt grannie fell into. For Hutton, the dsitinguishing feature was the claim, not a label applied by other people. And that's fair enough. After all, before 1945, when penicillin became available, and 1948, when the NHS was created, most people would have to rely on herbal remedies.

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Take England for example, throughout the past 1000 years or so witchcraft or "the occult" was very well documented and practised openly in many circles (usually the upper classes)

 

I missed this first time round. I have to admit I'd LOVE to know what documentation you have in mind between 1000 and (say) 1500 in England. :)

 

 

The very fact that we have the following books in publication between those dates, some of which can be found in famous occult collections from the time. Most were written fairly early, even before 1000AD, but the Latin translations which circulated Europe started popping up in number around the 13th/14th centuries:

 

The Picatrix

The Liber Juratus

The Sefer Raziel Hamalakh

The Clavis Salomonis

The Heptameron written by Pietro d'Abano

And of course The Three books of Occult philosophy to name but a few...

 

I can go beyond the 1500's as well. Dr John Dee (1527–1608) had a massive occult collection, but is probably most famous for his Enochian texts. And books such as The Grand Grimoire, or the Book of Abramelin often claim to be pre-1500's but it's fairly accepted they were written 18th/19th centuries. Beyond that there is obviously the work of the Golden Dawn (and such) which I surely shouldn't have to go into. If you would like to look at some expert texts on the subject of historical British witchcraft then I would suggest reading Professor Ronald Hutton's books, he's quite well known for his study on contemporary paganism, but his historical research has appeared in quite a few academic journals and he's written a few of his own books on the subject as well...

 

Edit: Had to fix some broken links >.<

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I think I am starting to understand why I don't always get where you are coming from. When you talk of Witchcraft you have in mind High Ceremonial types like Dee....... whilst I'm thinking of Old Mother Jenkins who lives down the lane, could cure horses and deliver babies :)

 

I have never split high magic and low magic from the term "witchcraft". Both, for me, are involved within the same subject. I mean most modern practitioners of magical systems such as Wicca are derived from high ceremonial magics of the early centuries. It's no secret people like Gardner and Crowley (who have had a tremendous impact upon the modern practice of witchcraft) took a lot of their ideas from groups such as the Golden Dawn, which in turn had vast collections and libraries of "High Magic" - So in essence, academically, a lot of modern witchcraft practices today have their roots in "High Magic" more so than "Low Magic". There are obvious exceptions to this, and I am in no way implying that everyone follows the same set of beliefs, far from it. But I do think it's pretty safe, and accurate to say most modern day witchcraft practices we see published in stores such as Waterstones (which the majority of the public have access to) do come from High Magic systems.

 

You are correct that most of the High Magic practiced early on within the western world was within a Christian frame work, if not Jewish (some Islamic even thrown in sometimes). But it is a lot more complex than that. If you read books such as Agrippa he talks about a three level world within some of his frist chapters of book one (spiritual, physical and something else, can't remember)... He specifically references Plato's work here and many other Ancient Greek (Pagan) philosophies. Many of his symbolic ritual is taken from other none-Christian religions and he simply replaces the names of Gods with Christian Angels and spirits - The Llewellyn Source Book series goes into far greater detail of this process if you'd like to look into it in their references section.

 

But yes, long story short. for me, High Magic and Low Magic are just two branches of witchcraft, which in terms of modern practices have been mashed together anyway, and in terms of old practices, the word witchcraft was applied to that deemed unacceptable where as the term "High Magic" was the old pagan, but now Christian acceptable form of magical practice. Hence my unwillingness to separate the two ;)

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The very fact that we have the following books in publication between those dates, some of which can be found in famous occult collections from the time. Most were written fairly early, even before 1000AD, but the Latin translations which circulated Europe started popping up in number around the 13th/14th centuries:

 

Ah, my bad. I was thinking you meant works that originated in England. :(

 

I can go beyond the 1500's as well.

 

yes, so can I. that's why I confined myself to before that date. :)

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Ah, my bad. I was thinking you meant works that originated in England. :(

 

The place of origin shouldn't matter as long as we have it recorded in English libraries and collections of the time. The bible wasn't English in origin either, yet I'm pretty sure it was in England and being read/practiced at the same time :P

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I have never split high magic and low magic from the term "witchcraft". Both, for me, are involved within the same subject. I mean most modern practitioners of magical systems such as Wicca are derived from high ceremonial magics of the early centuries....So in essence, academically, a lot of modern witchcraft practices today have their roots in "High Magic" more so than "Low Magic". ... I do think it's pretty safe, and accurate to say most modern day witchcraft practices we see published in stores such as Waterstones (which the majority of the public have access to) do come from High Magic systems.

 

I understand where you're coming from, thank you. It's alien to me, as i don't practice Wiccan or CM ritual/magic. I see that you might think that witchcraft = CM on the basis of the majority of what is peddled in Waterstones, but, on that basis, I'd say magic = Harry Potter.

 

I guess that, because I have been in a minority and battled for the years I was in the PF for recognition of minorities, I dislike recognition of differences ignored because a majority practice exists. On that basis, ISTM pagans may as well give up and let the Christians take over. ;)

 

You are correct that most of the High Magic practiced early on within the western world was within a Christian frame work, if not Jewish (some Islamic even thrown in sometimes). But it is a lot more complex than that. If you read books such as Agrippa he talks about a three level world within some of his frist chapters of book one (spiritual, physical and something else, can't remember)... He specifically references Plato's work here and many other Ancient Greek (Pagan) philosophies. Many of his symbolic ritual is taken from other none-Christian religions and he simply replaces the names of Gods with Christian Angels and spirits - The Llewellyn Source Book series goes into far greater detail of this process if you'd like to look into it in their references section.

 

I'm surprised Llewelyn are publishing anything decent. Which book were you thinking of? Is it one of these? When you refer to Agrippa's book one, do you mean his second book - the occulta philosophia? His three worlds in that book are the elemental, the celestial and the intellectual. He may well reference neo-Platonic thought (did he reference Plato?), but he was (at least according to France Yates and other scholars of the Occult during the Elizabethan period) very firmly Christian. And yes, he used gemetriya and other cabalistic practices, but that, again, was to provide God's protection. This, apparently, is much more obvious from his first work, which he had reprinted again after he produced the second work. :)

 

The place of origin shouldn't matter as long as we have it recorded in English libraries and collections of the time.

 

We are talking from different paradigms. I am looking at the source of historical documents; you are looking at the documents used in the practice of ceremonial magic. :)

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I guess that, because I have been in a minority and battled for the years I was in the PF for recognition of minorities, I dislike recognition of differences ignored because a majority practice exists. On that basis, ISTM pagans may as well give up and let the Christians take over. ;)

 

Ahhh, but I never once disregarded any other forms of magical practice as genuine. I am merely stating the case for what has been labelled "High Magic" to be classified as a branch of witchcraft, and then once we've done that it's very easy to see witchcraft as a practice throughout ours (and Europes) history. Whether "Low Magic" was practiced and for how long is impossible to trace thanks to the lack of literacy among the lower classes. And as I have nothing to argue either way on that I don't touch it. High magic however can be traced very easily... And that's all I'm arguing :P

 

Specifically if we look at Agrippa even his friends at the time cautioned him about what he was doing when writing these books: Johannes Trithemius (Abbot of Saint James of Heroipolis) writes: "Yet this one rule I advise you to observe, that you communicate vulgar secrets to vulgar friends, but higher and secret to higher, and secret friends only. Give hay to an ox, sugar to a parrot only; understand my meaning, lest you be trod under the oxen's feet, as oftentimes it falls out."

 

I also do not debate Agrippa's Christianity, it is very obvious from his works that's he's Christian by the mere fact he takes none christian belief and transforms it into Christian. It has been argued in the past by academics whether his study of books such as Albertus' Speculum (forbidden at the time) prove his none-christian nature (He writes to Theodoricus, Bishop of Cyrene about reading such a book)... But I'd ignore such speculation and look at the plainly obvious christian symbolism in his works and his personal correspondance. You were correct about the "elementary, celestial and intellectual" of course, but it was referred to in Book 1 who's very first chapter is "How magicians collect virtues from the threefold world..." I really should get my books out before trying to remember things xD! It correlates to Platos "Symposium" in which he describes the different levels and the source book here goes onto argue that it corrolates to the work of Hermes Trismegistus, but that text goes further and splits the world into four so I'll leave that debate up to individuals involved (I see the similarities, but it's questionable).

 

But Christian or not, that's only relevant if we say Christians can't practice witchcraft, and then that all depends on your definition of witchcraft again. I think it's quite obvious from the persecution Agrippa and his works faced that certain people of his time regarded the practice as witchcraft. You can certainly see how puritans of the day and evangelicals of the modern world would see it as such ;). Personally, again, I see High Magic as just another branch and the word witchcraft as an umbrella term for "magical practice" but that's just me. People are quite welcome to take the opposite view. :)

 

Edit: Oh Llewellyn's Sourcebook series has good and bad books, specifically for Agrippa I reference this. I think it's more to do with Donald Tysons research than it's links with Lleyellyn which lend to it's credit :P

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Ahhh, but I never once disregarded any other forms of magical practice as genuine. I am merely stating the case for what has been labelled "High Magic" to be classified as a branch of witchcraft,

 

Now I am getting confused. I thought you were arguing the reverse - that what is labelled witchcraft is a branch of High Magic:

most modern practitioners of magical systems such as Wicca are derived from high ceremonial magics of the early centuries. ... So in essence, academically, a lot of modern witchcraft practices today have their roots in "High Magic"

 

and then once we've done that it's very easy to see witchcraft as a practice throughout ours (and Europes) history.

 

I don't think it's valid to relabel the practices known as alchemy or occult throughout the centuries as witchcraft when their practitioners did not call them such. I agree it may be valid to argue that some Wiccan (and so some Wiccan-derived) practices stem from what was called Ceremonial Magic at least from Elizabethan times and so may be argued to be a branch of CM rather than something different, but it doesn't follow from that that it is valid to rename the past. I certainly don't view the development Ceremonial Magic as a branch of, say, Anglo Saxon witchcraft, or the magic practised by the Romano-Brits and can see no valid argument for linking any and all forms of magic under the label 'witchcraft'. Of course, you can call blue green if you have a fancy to, but it won't mean that anyone else will understand you, or agree. It will just mean that, as now, you spend a lot of time explaining what you are doing. ;)

 

Whether "Low Magic" was practiced and for how long is impossible to trace thanks to the lack of literacy among the lower classes.

 

Thankfully, we have various artefacts. Of course, these do not take us that far back, but the possibility of the examination of the products of traditional witchcraft in the UK and elsewhere in the world is certainly possible. and without going much further than Oxford. :)

 

I think it's quite obvious from the persecution Agrippa and his works faced that certain people of his time regarded the practice as witchcraft. .

 

Was he accused of witchcraft? Is there evidence for this? According to Yates:

The publication of his books increased his fame. The imperial ambassador to the English court wrote to him that all learned men in Lond were praising his De vanitate and his De occulta philosophia, and urged him to take up the defence of Queen Catherine of Aragon, repudiated as his wife by the king, Henry VIII. It is said that Queen Catherine herself wanted Agrippa to defend her.
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    • Moonsmith
      I’ve posted a link (in links) to a BBC article in today’s news just to illustrate a bit of the colourful side of Paganism.  Perhaps it will do something to balance my prosaic take on the subject. i know little of Witchcraft but I enjoyed the article and like her approach.  
    • Ellinas
      👍 It's as good a position as any and better than quite a few.  
    • Stonehugger
      Yes, it was in Nettle's "Who are your deities?" thread. I said "I seem to have become an atheist. That was never my plan, but here I am." Veggiedancer later said it better than me - "I don’t exactly believe in deities as such. I think they come from  our minds. Archetypes, ways of identify or characterising the spirit/ magic/ life or whatever it is we sense around us. Ways our minds try to explain the unexplainable to us???"
    • Moonsmith
      I’m probably second guessing Nettle wrongly but it wasn’t all that long ago that you would have read posts about alters, magic, Shamanism, spells etc. I think it was either Teatimetreat or Drachenfach that had a hex on her handbag and her car.  When the car was stolen it crashed and the thief was caught. I agree and would very much like to see more of the colourful side of Paganism back here.  Quite right Ellinas.  I do not understand how anyone can claim to be Pantheist (or even pantheist) and atheist at the same time even though the most prominent Pantheists do exactly that.  As I’ve said elsewhere: why can’t they call themselves Panists.  The prefix “pan” means everything and everywhere as in “pandemic”.  The god’s name arose from the adjective so it wouldn’t necessarily mean a devotee of Pan. pee ess - it may be worth mentioning that there are a vast number of belief groups under the umbrella word Paganism.  Druids Witches, Polytheist and Shaman are only a small part of what the greater picture of Paganism depicts. Dunno and don’t care are probably the biggest groups.
    • Ellinas
      All the above, plus the impression of a preponderance of atheism is currently, as well as historically, inaccurate.  Certainly, I am no atheist.  I believe MS rejects the term as applicable to himself.  Stonehugger, I think, recently said he had headed in that direction, but I've not seen the other resident atheists for a while. However, our ideas of deity are not the same, necessarily.
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