Shove Your Three-Fold Somewhere Else

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I have a serious bone to pick with Wiccans, and those who won’t fess up to being Wiccans but are the first ones to jump up another witch’s belfry and give them a verbal lashing about the Three-Fold Law (that the Wiccans follow) or when called out on it, who then cop out by hiding behind “Karma”.

**Yawn**

I’m typically the first one to referee in a situation like this, when a couple or group of witches go at it and say, “Hey! Can’t we all just get along?” But I do see the dilemma. It’s damned nearly impossible for a group of Traditional Witches and a group of Wiccans to live in harmony. Why?

Because Traditional Witches don’t appreciate being scolded like children. Plain and simple.

It doesn’t really matter that our beliefs are different. We can agree to disagree on all that, or we can even compare notes and find one another fascinating… but that has not historically been the case.

You may be wondering what the difference is, where the line in the sand is drawn. I was once, not so long ago, of the belief that a witch was a witch was a witch. But this is simply not so.

Let’s start with Traditional Witchcraft. Traditional Witchcraft is not Wicca; It is the practice of pre-Wiccan and pre-Christian beliefs, “The Old Ways”, as many of us Traditionalists like to call it– although not all Traditional Witches hold the same practices and beliefs.

Wiccans may honor the dead at Samhain, Traditional witches honor and summon them all year ’round in our work (which also make many of us Necromancers– don’t you just love how we have to be packed and labeled and placed into neat little compartments?). We ‘aint afraid of those bumps in the night, nor do we fear the power of the spirit world–or our own power for that matter– when it comes to summoning and banishing, but we are also wise enough to know that we should never summon what we cannot banish in the first place, so the lesson in moral ethics as far as the spirit world is not needed, thank you, kindly.

Traditional Witches also do not follow the Wiccan Rede, which goes like this:

Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will

By the way, this is the first published form of the couplet, quoted from Doreen Valiente in 1964. So by most standards, this key moral system in the Neopagan religion of Wicca and certain other related Witchcraft-based faiths–and that is exactly what it is– is still relatively new when it comes to witchcraft, (just as Wicca is, Wicca originated in the early twentieth century, when it developed amongst secretive covens in England who were basing their religious beliefs and practices upon what they read of the historical Witch-Cult in the works of such writers as Margaret Murray. It was subsequently popularised in the 1950s by a number of figures, namely Gerald Gardner, who had been initiated into the Craft – as Wicca is often known – by the New Forest coven in 1939. Gardner’s form of Wicca, the Gardnerian tradition, was spread by both him and his followers like the High Priestesses’ Doreen Valiente, {aha! the author of the Rede!} Patricia Crowther and Eleanor Bone into other parts of the British Isles, and also into other, predominantly English-speaking, countries across the world.) ……and yet so many latch onto it like it’s the final say and all-ruling law….

Guess what? It’s not.

There are other slightly different versions of the Wiccan Rede, mostly in the area of word play, replacing “it” with “ye” and so on, bent to suit the individuals preference and molded to fit the practitioner’s own personal level of comfort, just like when this “Key moral system” is thrown in the face of a non-abiding witch… aka: anyone non-Wiccan. I could really delve into cultural appropriation right about now when it comes to taking the belief systems of varying cultures and mixing them all in a neat little box that gets opened when it suits the practitioner–a really hot topic among witches at the moment–but for the sake of my rantings for the evening, I’ll stay on topic here. There’s always another time for another cauldron stirring 😉

Clicking my heels and moving forward….

Traditional Witches take responsibility for whatever we do, whether it be harming or healing. We know, understand and accept that there is a creative and destructive side of nature; therefore there is no “white” or “black” magic. Hexes, curses, jinxes, etcetera, are not shunned in Traditional Witchcraft….. but you can bet your sweet ass they are in Wicca!

I recently had a friend be shunned from a private Facebook group of witches (who were mostly Wiccan) for hexing someone who had continuously brought harm to him and his family. He was very upset by this, because until the point when he’d shared what he had done and why he had done it, (and believe me, he was more than justified) he genuinely thought these folks were his friends. If we truly need to perform a hex or something of that nature because the individual, friends, or family were hurt badly, then we will. Hexes and jinxes can be seen as a little slap, whereas curses are more extreme in their power. Here is one of the biggest differences between the Traditional Witch and the Wiccan Witch. The Wiccan will say “Turn the other cheek!” or, “Fill their heart with love and peace instead.”  or the one that REALLY makes me cringe, “Karma will get them!” The Traditionalist would say, “Buckle up, you’re going on one hell of a ride!” …. In other words, you fuck with me, and I’ll fuck you right back. Simple enough, eh?

Why should we turn the other cheek or fill our wrong-doer’s hearts with peace and love, while we sit around like a bunch of monkeys at the Bronx Zoo scratching our asses on a sunny summer day, while our nemesis is skipping joyfully through their existence without a care in the world because we put flipping love and peace in their hearts or worse-still– completely uncaring and continuing their harmful ways toward us, toward the ones we love or toward others, because we turned the other cheek? Why don’t we just fashion ourselves a door mat from the tree we just hugged and burn into it “Please, walk on me some more.”

Nuh-uh.

I can hear the Wiccans now:

“It is not for you to decide!” …. Well, it was for umpty-fratts hundreds of years until a certain oath bound, orthopraxic, fertility-based witch cult and mystery religion came along seventy-five years ago. Traditional Wicca requires its members to be initiated into a coven to actually be considered Wiccan and therefore there is no such thing as a “solitary Wiccan”…. Solitary practitioner? Yes. Solitary Wiccan? No….and I’d also be willing to bank on that a good deal of the finger shakers and verbal scolders have done nothing more than a self initiation rite, (and even THAT is stretching it, since there seem to be an increasing amount of Google Witch’s these days) as approved by the late Scott Cunningham (Whose work I do actually admire by the way, because he was the first Wiccan to grow a set of crystal balls and tell everyone, “Hey! March to the beat of your own drum, magick isn’t exclusive!”)

Now that I have thoroughly offended an entire group of people, I will say this in parting.

Keep it to yourself.

If you are an able teacher with actual students who want to learn Wicca or some other version of Magick from you, the rest of us don’t need reminding of a law we, nor our ancestors have ever followed.  If we want to worship a skeletal saint of death, it’s our prerogative. If we want to send a spirit to do our dirty work, that’s our business too. You aren’t the Vatican, and we don’t seek, care for or need your approval.

I have quite a few Wiccan friends, and we have remained friends for this reason mostly: Our friendships are above our beliefs. I don’t tell them they’re delusional for letting some jerk rob their wallet or purse, and by letting, I mean turning the other cheek and infusing their souls with rainbows and butterflies, and they don’t scold me like a four year old because I cast something nasty on the person that did it. Thank me instead when your wallet reappears with the money inside, and know full well the person who took it has paid. Better yet, don’t. Give me a nod and your silence and we’ll call it a day.

So, let’s agree to disagree shall we? One thing both Wiccans and Traditional Witches have in common is we don’t appreciate being preached at by the Catholics or the Christians… so I ask you, why are we doing it to each other?

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About krystalmadison

Known as "The Witch of Sleepy Hollow", as a child, Krystal knew that there was more to this physical existence where black and white exist, that there was a gray area many still could not see. But she could. Even as a young child, Krystal was able to see and communicate with those who have crossed over, but at nine years old, a near-death experience thrust her head-first into a world that would make her realize that we really aren't alone. Visions became clearer and made more sense, the spirits that roam the earth would begin to seek her out to relay a message to a loved one she was simply walking past in a super market. She understood even then, that there was more to this life than just existing and believes that we don’t have to live with all the limitations we place on ourselves, nor fear our own mortality. A 10th generation natural born witch with close ties to Salem and New Orleans, Krystal comes from a long line of magickal roots, with grandparents who were Native American and Gypsy, and a mother who was a Santeria Priestess. In May 2012, she founded The Pagan Circle, an online social media community that has grown to 23,000 members world-wide. In May, 2013 the Pagan Circle website was launched. On November 15, 2012, she founded Pagan Parents Online, another social media resource for Pagan Parents. In May 2013, she launched Enchanted Hollows, an online store dedicated to offering hand-made, old-world alchemical and magickal products and in 2014, Deja-Vuduu. Her published works include articles and features in Inner Realm and Wisdom Magazines, and she has made appearances on Darkness Radio, Z-Talk Radio, HEX Education,30-Odd Minutes and other media outlets. Regularly volunteering her time to the Pagan Community, Krystal is also an Ordained Minister and High Priestess of the Raven's Wing Coven in upstate New York, and founder of The Council of the Serment Sacre' (Sacred Oath) the Corvin Method of Witchcraft, and Festival of Witches in Sleepy Hollow, New York as well as playing host to the weekly radio show, "Good Morning Goddess", and Nocturnas Paranormal Radio on Blog Talk Radio. You can visit her on her websites at: http://www.krystalmadison.com http://www.festivalofwitches.com http://www.hudsonvalleybeltane.com
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186 Responses to Shove Your Three-Fold Somewhere Else

  1. Sylvanus says:

    You are obviously not BTW Wiccan. You make all sorts statements that are simply untrue. I believe that your post might be more appropriately assigned to those who call themselves Wiccan but who garner their info from Llewellyn style books. For someone with so much vitriol, you really should have studied your subject matter a bit more. As it is, you only sound like a hypocrite that really doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    • Sylvanus…. here is a happy pill…for *your* vitrol. 🙂

      • Sorry for the foolish reply from the alleged Wiccan. I hate to see a Wiccan acting foolishly and trying to apply Wiccan ideas to non-Wiccans. Even other neo-Pagans get tired of this.

      • It’s quite alright, and I appreciate what you said very much. I ruffled a few feathers (putting it mildly) apparently, and at the end of the day, I’m still OK with it simply because I said what it seems so many (non- Wiccan practitioners) have been wanting to. I’m certainly not afraid to hurt a few feelings with the truth, and I realize that not all Wiccans are this way (which is also something I also noted in the article). I’m afraid that when some read something, they take it personally, and even though it wasn’t personal, it leads me to wonder sometimes if they have been guilty of doing the very things I pointed out 😉

    • Ellanna Shiller (exmo) says:

      Sylvanus, methinks thou are the one who should put forth more effort and study into actual BTW Wicca. Your post reflects back onto YOU!

      • Agreed. Aside from LOL, LMAO, SMH I have no use for abbreviations and I do not understand or speak Walmart.

      • Sylvanus says:

        @Krystal: BTW stands for British Traditional Wicca. It would include traditions like Gardnerian and Alexandrian to name a couple. And, by the way Krystal “Who doesn’t speak Walmart”, vitriol is spelled with an i.

    • She already said she was not Wiccan how did you miss that? I happen to be Alexandrian Tradtion, and I would not be so impolite to a person with a reasonal complaint. I am often embarassed by the shear ignorance of some of my fellow Wiccans. The lady is not Wiccan she said that so now what is your problem. Wiccan rules and ideas are just that Wiccan only.

  2. Babylon says:

    Wow. Just wow.

    I can see where people have read what you wrote and where they clearly didn’t, or failed to retain the context throughout the blog. So here I go…

    First and foremost, if you are a Wiccan, great for you. Krystal was not bashing your religion. What she was doing was venting about some of the people who, on her community Pagan page and personal pages, seemed entitled to tell her and others exactly what they should and should not be doing with their own practices based on their own spiritual beliefs. Admonishing them because she and others did not hold to their view of Wicca and it’s redes/laws. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to gleen the fact that most of the spiritual bullies were armchair practitioners who maybe read a few occult books and then hopped on Google and took what they read at face-value. They now believe that they are the authority as to what other heathens should be doing in regards to magickal practices, spiritual growth, and moral ethics. Allow me, if you will, to state right here and now, that NO ONE is the authority on anyone’s spiritual/magickal practices but the individual themself.

    Also, keep in mind that this is Krystal’s BLOG. Therefore what she has expressed here is only her opinion on the topic at hand. As such, she has every damned right to vent it and say whatever her heart desires regardless of whether or not it causes butthurt to others. Given what has happened on her community and other pages with fluffy bunny types brandishing her and others assholes for practicing their personal religious beliefs, it is my opinion that my dear friend is fully justified in posting this. It has gotten way out of hand, and the moment that she stands up for herself and others who aren’t on the Rede and Three Fold bandwagon, all of the sudden people who have nothing to do with the specific offenses she has referenced are up in her face crying and throwing a gods damned temper tantrum because their delicate sensibilities are hurty. Get over it. If you’re guilty of waggling your finger and shaming other people around you for not following the guidelines of your own doctrines, well then you deserve it. If you are not, then this post wasn’t about you.

    I’m glad to see that many others of the Wiccan faith who commented on here agree with her true point in this post. That it is wrong for ANYONE of ANY FAITH to tell another what to do or believe. Brava, you got the point and you stood your ground and could see where she was coming from without compromising yourself or religious persuasion. To me, the world is a far better place because sensible people like you are in it and can remove yourselves from the trappings of the need to climb up on a pedestal and claim discrimination. Thank you!

    • Sylvanus says:

      She made generalized statements about Wiccans that were not true. There is a huge difference between someone who calls themselves Wiccan and British Traditional Wicca that goes back to Gardner. For those BTW Wiccans, the generalizations made by Krystal are not true. It’s as simple as that. If you can’t clearly see the general sweeping characterizations of people who she simply refers to as Wiccan with no discernment between self styled Wiccans and other BTW Wiccans who would probably take exception to a lot of the untruths she wrote about “Wiccans”, then you need to brush up on your comprehension skills. Just one example is that Wiccans don’t “Hex”. This is false.

      • Sylvanus says:

        Many BTW Wiccans do “hex” and it is not prohibited in BTW Wicca. Knowing this one thing pretty much blows apart her whole premise (At least the way it was worded).

      • Sylvanus says:

        There is nothing wrong with standing up for people who are not on the “rede or Threefold Bandwagon”, but there is something wrong in her characterizing ALL people who are Wiccan as being on that “Bandwagon” when that is demonstrably false. By doing this she is as guilty as the people she is standing up against.

      • Babylon says:

        And by what conceivable notion is your continuing to add fuel to the fire of arguments here seen as helping a damn thing? Frankly, it is not. All it shows is your inability to grow up, take this post for the OPINION it so blatantly is, and get the hell on with your life. I’m here to defend my friend’s right to post her mind, what service are you doing your community by trolling a personal blog and lashing out at the author and those who share her views? This is her platform, not yours. You want one? Go make one yourself and get off of my friend’s coattails.

      • Generalized, yes, mostly. Not true? Hardly. Thank you, Babylon, but they’re losing more sleep over this than I am 😉

    • Dani Poet says:

      dis·crim·i·na·tion
      [dih-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn] Show IPA

      noun
      1.
      an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.

      2.
      treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

      3.
      the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colors with great discrimination.

      4.
      Archaic. something that serves to differentiate.

      Origin:
      1640–50; < Latin discrīminātiōn- (stem of discrīminātiō ) a distinguishing. See discriminate, -ion

      mis·rep·re·sent
      [mis-rep-ri-zent]

      verb (used with object)
      1.
      to represent incorrectly, improperly, or falsely.

      2.
      to represent in an unsatisfactory manner

      Origin:
      1640–50; mis-1 + represent

      ster·e·o·type
      [ster-ee-uh-tahyp, steer-]

      Origin:
      1790–1800; stereo- + -type

      noun
      1.
      a process, now often replaced by more advanced methods, for making metal printing plates by taking a mold of composed type or the like in papier-mâché or other material and then taking from this mold a cast in type metal.

      2.
      a plate made by this process.

      3.
      a set form; convention.

      4.
      Sociology . a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group: The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.

      verb (used with object), ster·e·o·typed, ster·e·o·typ·ing.
      5.
      to make a stereotype of.

      6.
      to characterize or regard as a stereotype: The actor has been stereotyped as a villain.

      7.
      to give a fixed form to.

      There is a very big difference between someone saying they have been discriminated against and someone trying to set the record straight because of a misrepresentation. Yes it is true that some people call themselves Wiccan and see the rede and the three fold law as just that, law, end of story, no getting around it, but there are many more who do not. Now you have extolled Krystal for speaking her mind and standing up for herself, but you turn around and poo poo on anyone else doing the same in response. The truth of the matter is that a blanket statement was made and was directed at a particular generalized group of people that is not true, it would be just the same as saying Pagans are devil worshippers, some are, some aren't. But for those who are not educated in specific areas, or have been TOLD otherwise by others that they are, until the record is set straight those words ring as truth. One cannot stereotype all WIccans together as one group anymore than one can with Christians, or Muslims, or Pagans. Hell there have been wars fought for centuries over a disagreement of Dogma of people worshipping the same damn God. This country was settled by people looking for the freedom to pray, dance, sing or none of the above to whatever God/Goddess they like. You can worship a sea otter for all I care, but if someone told me that you were really worshipping seals, I would be one of the first to say sorry that is not true. Now if you wanted to say those sea otter worshippers are idiots, then I would say well you may be right, but hey it works for them and it's not hurting anyone, let them be happy idiots. 😉

      • Rede means advice not law. It is a nice goal to practice when possible, I have used it for thirty years. But I have also seen it used as an excuse to do nothing, since anything might possibliy cause harm. So if not causing harm is not possible then there is the option to cause the least harm possible to limit it to stoping what made it necessary to do in the first place. So far I have no need to Hex. I find that I can bind the person preventing that person from doing me harm and that seems effective. I have not limited the person beyond not harming me. Otherwise the person can be as harmful or as silly as the person chooses to be. But I always retain the right to self defense. As far as the Rule of Three I consider it as a caution only.

  3. WitchyOne says:

    Doreen Valiente did NOT write the Wiccan Rede. It was written by Lady Geen Thompson, transcribed from her grandmother Adriana Porter, both traditional witches. Valiente was quoted as saing the last couplet in the early ’60s but the long form of it didn’t exist until Lady Gwen published it in the Green Egg in the early ’70s. Valiente did write The Witches Rune which is similar.

  4. Jo Spencer says:

    Dear me it is like a school playground in here…., a public blog is just that, public, if someone is going to make comments about peoples lifestyle choices whether they are Traditional, non traditional, wiccan, BTW, christian, etc etc in very public domain which is part of a social network then you have to be prepared for people defending their beliefs or having an opinion, particularly when friends of the said blogger are reblogging this post left right and centre onto other social networking sites. They shouldn’t need their little gang to defend them either like during schoolyard spats when you’re 12 years old. The whole title, “Shove your threefold somewhere else” is kind of asking for arguments, the whole tone is just pernicious. It pisses me off when people harp on about being natural born/traditional witches etc etc…what a load of old cobblers I say! I come from a line of intuitives that each have their own talents, but it quite often skips a generation now and again as it has with one of my daughters, she just has not interest at all and shows no abilities unlike her younger sister. As someone said above, witches were originally Christian following pellars, or today’s version of homeopaths. And lets not forget, The word witch derives from the Old English nouns wicca /ˈwɪttʃɑː/ “sorcerer, male witch” and wicce /ˈwɪttʃeɪ/ “sorceress, female witch”. So who came first the chicken or the egg??

    • I think I’ve done a pretty good job of defending myself. What my “Friends” do, is of their own volition, certainly nothing I have asked of them.

      I continue to stand by EVERY…word…I …have…written. If people do not like it, it’s really their problem, not mine. For the record, every comment is approved before it’s posted, and I have censored no one, so clearly, I was prepared for a “differing” of opinion. I actually welcome it. 🙂

    • Dana Corby says:

      I thought the title was designed to provoke discussion, and except for a few heated remarks, that’s just what Krystal got. Even though I’m one of the Wiccans she tars with the same brush as people she *thought* were Wiccans but aren’t, I’ve been enjoying the back-and-forth and the opportunity to respond to some of the misapprehensions about BTW that exist in the TIW community. We are very close cousins, not rivals.

  5. Sylvanus says:

    @Krystal, Yes not true. It is simply not true that All Wiccans don’t “Hex”. I am sorry, if that challenges your preconceived notions about Wicca but you frankly don’t know what you are talking about. For example, I am personally quite aware of many Alexandrian Wiccans who do not prescribe to the Rede or the 3 Fold Law at all. Again, Not all Wiccans are as you characterize them through your stereotypes. British Traditional Wiccans are certainly not. You have had some bad experiences with some people claiming to be Wiccans who probably read some Llewellyn books but this is not the same as BTW. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you know what goes on in a BTW Coven because of these jokers who you have run across. But, more importantly don’t let it color your idea of Wicca as a whole insomuch as you think that you can make such general sweeping statements about the people in that religion that are just plain false. There is no “Law” in BTW that says we can’t fuck back with someone if they fuck with us. Its as simple as that. And, you say the opposite. You are wrong.

    • lilituwind says:

      Not too mention that “rede” simply means “advice”. It’s not a law at all. —> http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rede

      • Sylvanus says:

        Yes, and it is advice that basically says if it harms none go for it. It does not say anything about what not to do. It does not comment on what to do if it does harm. The truth of the matter is that sometimes it is irresponsible IMO not to fight back against someone. If for example, I help put a serial killer in prison, I have certainly harmed the serial killer. But, to not do this because of the Rede or some bullshit, then I have done a great disservice to those that serial killer might harm. Also, I should be more clear. When I say that there are people who don’t follow the Rede, I mean in the way that the “love and light” crowd interprets it. And, I don’t mean to suggest that BTW Wiccans might not take it as advice to watch out what shit they get into. What I mean is that they don’t have it as a law to never harm someone, ever no matter what, as some people in the general community seem to think. It is not a law just a reminder for some to think about what they are doing which is good advice for anyone I think. But, this characterization of ALL Wiccans as these complete wet rags who have no balls and who might never throw a good wrench in someones plans because of the Rede is a characterization that is simply false. There are a lot of self styled Wiccans in the general community that BTWs wouldn’t even consider Wiccan (maybe witches but not Wiccans) because they do not have a connection to an initiatory line going back to Gardner which is what Wiccans are in the true sense of the term. And, believe me Wiccans in that sense (Going back to Gardner or BTW) are being misrepresented by the original blog post here because for them the Rede or the 3 fold law are not laws at all. And, they aren’t even an admonishment not to ever harm anyone no matter what. There are certainly BTWs out there that I would not want to fuck with because they would give it right back. And, their religion, being Wiccan, doesn’t admonish them for doing it as the original blog post suggests.

  6. Sylvanus says:

    There is a difference between self styled Wiccan groups or self styled Wiccans who are working out of books like the sort coming from Llewellyn and true initiatory British Traditional Wicca that is directly downline from Gardner himself. This is a distinction that is sorely lacking among the original blog poster and many of the people commenting on here. British Traditional Wicca has NO “Laws” about having to turn the other cheek. Thats ridiculous.

  7. Dienusos O'Moore says:

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience but no one, not one of us is perfect. We all have faults whether they be ego driven or something else. While what they did may have been a knee-jerk response I think it may stem from the tribal fear of persecution and what would happen if the wrong people were to see your post as much as a blind following of dogma (which has been covered here many times over). I want to say that many are ignorant of the differences and for those of you who aren’t it can be incredibly helpful to educate the ignorant so that future incidents would hopefully not occur as often. The rest of us dropped the ball in not speaking up – in that we all share blame. I agree with maintaining silence when working magick but not when it comes to education and fellowship and too often ego or laziness use it as an excuse. The rule of return (3 fold can go away) is just good common sense practice – we all tend to treat others ‘in
    kind’ and in that you do get back what you put out into the world.

    As far as some out there trying to get along with ‘mainstream’ religion there is a benefit in it as far as tax exemptions and such. There are a lot of benefits to be had there and it is only prudent to take advantage of them when we can.

    Common Sense, pragmatism, and practicality go a long way.

    The community is not quite large enough or strong enough that we can be bickering amongst
    ourselves over petty differences.

    I found your article and the many replies informative, educational and illuminating.

    Peace

  8. I totally agree with the article. While I don’t really care for the tone, it does highlight a few really good points but again, fueling that fire between “Traditional Wicca” and “neo-Wicca” (really I just call it eclectic Neopaganism these days). At the same time I realize you’re also pissed, so I know how you feel because I’ve been there myself!
    When I first started out on the path, yeah everything was “Wicca” and “threefold laws” and “dont do black magjickq”, etc. But over time I reached a roadblock after reading all the “wicca 101” books I could get my hands on and realizing that “uh, there’s got to be more to this” because they all say THE SAME EXACT THING. So after reading some historical texts and really educating myself on more traditions and practices, I knew what i was practicing was no longer “Wicca”, not even “neo-Wicca”, just “Neopaganism”, and I’ve been able to really spiritually open up my mind.
    Unfortunately I haven’t been able to experience being a member of a BTW coven because of location, but my goals have changed since, and I definitely defend the Traditionalists’ right to claim their religion and religious practices despite what publishers like Llewellyn and various authors have done to it for the extra buck.
    I used to think that both should be able to co-exist, but now I believe that there needs to be more information put out there about responsibility, because the reality of the matter is the universe doesn’t work by the “harm none” rule. I’ve used this example for someone else before: Fire creates and destroys, you can’t be a “fire wiccan elementalist” (fluff alert right?) and expect not to see the whole picture, because they will experience it, and they won’t like it, and they’ll get burned and go running back to the fundie traditions they came from saying “wah wicca hurt me”. I’ve talked to a few Christians that were “saved from witchcraft” and tried to convert me before, and I always ask them why did they fear it. Their reply is almost ALWAYS: “well things didn’t turn out like I thought they would and it backfired; things got out of control; I didn’t know what I was doing; I just wanted to get what I want and control things”. Well, the universe doesn’t quite work that way.
    Blessings to you! 🙂

    • Dana Corby says:

      Well said, myrnadragonchild! And your objection to the “I wanted power and couldn’t handle it, so it’s the power’s fault’ people is exactly the biggest objection we BTWs — and I’m pretty sure TIWs — have about them as well.

  9. ZENDO says:

    Reblogged this on ZENDO and commented:
    My thoughts exactly!

  10. Vense Everett says:

    When someone believes in their Faith with all their Soul. Without questioning its source. It blows their mind so much. That they will disagree with you, and get up set.
    When I started practicing. Wicca was the only,should I say willingly know Craft to get information. Until I started researching the history of Witchcraft. Started reading what I could get my hands on,like “Real Magic” by Isaac Boneswit. Most of the stuff I came across was bubblegum BS. “Drawing down the Moon”has good information. But there IS no black and white,or good or bad. If you follow the Rede your basicly following the foot steps of someone,like a Tabitan Monk. Nothing will get done.

    • Dana Corby says:

      Again, Vense — the Rede is not a law. But it is good advice. It’s up to the Witch to what extent s/he follows it, and how. And I would put the thought out there that if no one ever followed anyone else’s advice, we’d all be forever stumbling around trying to figure everything out from scratch, which is a dumb way to run a world.

  11. Face palm . . I have left a lot of so called Pagan sites, because arm chair witches and their beliefs. I am a hereditary Witch . and I get so frustrated with those that must put labels on their selves , as a grey witch , white witch , black witch ,,, A witch is a witch , just as a male witch is a witch not a warlock, wizard ect. Some practice the REDE , and live by it , then bash those that don’t. . To each their own, In the end we are all still Witches, I myself protect what is mine, and have NO problem with ‘hexing’ I am also a healer , and know that one must truly know the dark, to know the light ,, Its a balance thing …Thanks for the blog,,,

    • mannyashe says:

      Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. You can’t truly appreciate the Light if you don’t respect the Dark. It’s the two sides of the same coin, they co-exist together and will always tag along hand-in-hand.

  12. mannyashe says:

    Fantastic read. From the various responses I’ve read, it goes to show how many in the Pagan community are either willing to accept differing views from them and those who are so dogmatic and have their egos so far shoved up their asses that they would be there right along the Christians from just a couple hundred years ago burning us on the stake for *gasp* Goddess forbid, go against the Three-Fold Law.

    By your definition I would be a Traditional Witch as I have no qualms with the darker aspects of magick nor with those who employ them. However my personal code of ethics doesn’t allow that unless for self-defense. Which even that, self-defense, of all things seems to be a taboo for so many in the Wiccan community (not all, but many). It almost goes into the argument of Free Will vs Destiny. Do we let Karma/destiny exact retribution on its own and on its own time, when ever the Gods feel like rising their divine asses off their thrones to throw some lightning, or do you exert your own free will and invoke the divine within yourself? If someone throws a curse at you do you just sit idly and turn a blind eye while things go downhill for you? If we are permitted to defend ourselves in the mundane world, what makes the spiritual world any different?

    Not all Traditional Witches have this mindset however, so, I cannot and do not speak for everyone. I feel morality is highly relative based upon your personal code of ethics, and I feel the Three-Fold Law makes a clear contrast between Light/Dark, Good/Evil, when there is no contrast. It’s all relative and there is a little evil in good and vice versa, depending on how you view things. Philosophy of the Yin-Yang, in a basic sense.

  13. Tracie says:

    I feel this was very informative. I myself started as a “wiccan”, but now feel more of the traditional way. I do try to live my life as the “harm none” for everyday..but I do take exception for those that do mean harm to those I love. So I guess for myself, I see both sides, since I have learned a lot from both and made it my own.

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  15. Nice to know there is someone else with the cajones to say it like it really is!

    I see this all the time with many so called “Draconic Circles” too! As I was taught (by the Dragon Spirits, themselves),”Your conscience be your guide”; THAT is the only “law” one must follow (The law of one’s own conscience). Besides that, if one is using the magic of the Natural Powers, they are also using the higher laws (of the “higher realms”) to over-ride the laws of this realm. The “Wiccan Rede” was created in solely in THIS realm, anyway.

    Very interesting that:

    The “turn the other cheek” adage started with the Christian and Catholic thinking. Hmmmm! Tells you where modern Wicca has gotten much of its doctrine from, eh? (No, I’m not Canadian, BTW!) Plus, “turn the other cheek” just means a more-bloodied face as a result. If someone is doing harm to me or mine, and if he/she refuses to cease EVEN after diplomacy was tried, he/she is in for a very rude awakening. It is my right AND DUTY to end the harm being done to another if I am capable of ending it so. So, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear towards the “evil” is also being derelict of one’s duty to Nature and Nature’s God (and/or Goddess).

    “Nuff said.”

    – Rev. Dragon’s Eye
    Founder and Chief-Elder Dragon,
    TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENT DRAGONS

  16. Reblogged this on OddGirlNextDoor and commented:
    Seriously! If it weren’t for the different user name, I could swear I wrote this LOL

  17. Soms Lichear says:

    Hi, I’m spiritual, a Pagan, and mix a bit of Witchcraft, Wicca, Reiki, energy manipulation (to a larger degree) and a few selective principles which all go into the cauldron to get something that works for “me”. 🙂

    I can get where some people take certain teachings as law, much as certain Christians latch onto selective parts of the Bible and thump everyone who doesn’t abide by “God’s Will” – the point is that a lot of things are “guidelines” but not set in stone; otherwise nobody would get anywhere.

    Wicca has a fair foundation to start on, but Witchcraft does too. The bigger difference is that Wicca is a more specifically a religion, while Witchcraft is a practice in most cases. (Being a witch generally means casting spells and adhering to a much less detailed hierarchy of beliefs; at least, as far as virtually anything and everything I’ve come across so far describes; yes, even with the triple aspects of the goddess in terms of crone, mother and maiden from which some derive teachings; anyone can be a practicing witch, while being Wiccan is a spiritual belief system which doesn’t necessarily incorporate witchcraft / practical magic, even though it has leanings towards sympathetic magic).

    Karma is a general rule of thumb, but not an obsolete that comes around to give back to everyone exactly what they gave (like I said; people seem to latch on to certain things as set in stone laws; unlike gravity, Karma is a bit less reliable. I’ve had experience in the good and bad, and plenty of the inbetween – and its nothing to base your religion or entire life on, but good to avoid stepping on people’s toes if you’re not up to starting any fights 😛 ).

    The article itself seemed more to highlight the “head stuck in the sand” variety of individuals who take what they read / learned literally, so it seems a bit more biased than the neutral facts of differences, relating to general issues with sheep to Pagan teachings, and a matter of personal preferences – just because someone else might be “misguided”, doesn’t mean its fair game to preach what is and is not “set in stone” either – just to be fair. (similarly to gender / race equality issues, it doesn’t help to completely trash one gender / ethnicity in order to promote the equality of the other)

    Overall, it’s a decent article, despite being provocative to drive across the point. Thanks for the read. 🙂

  18. Haniel says:

    Three fold law? Hit me three times, I’ll hit you back nine. Hit me seven times, I’ll hit you back twenty one. 9/27 and 21/63, to complete the sequence. I learned that as I passed from student to teacher.

    I’ll also return good equally generously.

    “An it harm none” is good advice for children and new students. Eventually one steps up to the plate and takes responsibility for ones actions.

    Karma? When me or mine are threatened or harmed – I am karma. 🙂

  19. Zeo Frost says:

    I think I have a new Hero! Thank you for finally saying it! I love you!! These fucqing self righteous ‘saviours of man’ reborn pagans really piss me off.

  20. Pingback: Magickal Self Defense: The Difference Between Ethics and Being a Door Mat | bewitchingnewyork

  21. Anthoni Pignanelli-Reed says:

    Just a side note on something Sylvanus said back on Jan. 22 …. I guess things have changed quite a bit in the last 35+ years. BTW actually means “British Traditional Witchcraft” NOT “Wicca” and is/was its own separate tradition. It neither “goes back to” nor includes Gardnerians or Alexandrians; it is certainly a much older tradition than either of those. And there are a fair number of British Traditional Witches who would be (and are) rather annoyed at being lumped together with them or even being labelled “Wiccan”.

    • I happen to be good friends of and acquaintances with a good many BTW practitioners who seem more annoyed by the way the Westerners have taken the practice and done exactly what I described with it.

    • Thank the GODS someone else pointed that out! I just had a similar discussion with someone about that last week. Thank you for your input! 🙂

    • Dana Corby says:

      I’ve been an initiated BTW since 1974, so I was there when the term “British Traditional Wicca” was coined. It definitely meant the older, initiatory lines descended from Gardner, Sanders, and (to some extent) Leek, and only those, and was deemed a necessary distinction when all these self-initiated book-Wiccans started popping up all over the place. At the time, we tended to call ourselves Witches more than Wiccans, as until the late 70s only Gardnerians, and then only in private, used the word ‘Wica’ (as they spelled it.) Not until the late 80s did ‘Wicca’ almost completely supplant ‘Witch’ in the U.S.

      The ‘other’ BTW, refering to the Chumbley/Magisterial style of Witchcraft, was not commonly known until the 1990s, and Chumbley admitted he adopted those initials deliberately to try to illegitimate the older usage. More common and less confrontational naming conventions are TIW — Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft — or TBW — Traditional British Witchcraft.

      Although the two streams are more similar than otherwise, there are enough differences to make a distinction useful. The continual snark, however, is anything BUT useful.

      • You may want to take that up with those who call it the same and say they are from such lineage with no difference (after all, they seem to think they represent us all it seems sometimes) and indifference all at the same time. They are the ones who have successfully blended those lines of distinction, on many levels, to the dismay, grievance and sometimes annoyance of others.

        I believe (and this is nothing more than a theory here) that Wica became Wicca in the US so as to differentiate the paths from the two countries. How often have you seen the U.S. (and this is coming from an American) take a fabulous idea from somewhere else, alter it and call it theirs? You seem to be well read, so I don’t think I’d be out of line by saying that many of the books that have been published in say (a rough guestimate) the last 25 years or so have also strayed in the teachings of Gardener and Sanders (AKA Alexandrian). It’s no wonder why people are confused!

      • Dana Corby says:

        Hi again!

        Forgive me, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here: “You may want to take that up with those who call it the same and say they are from such lineage with no difference (after all, they seem to think they represent us all it seems sometimes) and indifference all at the same time.”
        Could you perhaps be a little more specific about whom and what lineage(s) you mean? (Although it’s been said that there is often more difference between covens in the same Trad than between different Trads.)

        My conjecture about the change in spelling is that the ‘2-c’ version is in old dictionaries while the ‘1-c’ version isn’t. It appears to be of Saxon origin. The general consensus seems to be that it was one of the many misspellings of Gardner’s. Not being a Gardnerian I couldn’t conjecture why they retained it.

        As for the many books that have diverged wildly from what people like me (and possibly you?) call Witchcraft or Wicca, I couldn’t agree more! A pox on them all.

      • I apologize, what I simply meant was that there is a difference between traditions, though it seems that distinction has been blurred… or all but forgotten or dismissed entirely in some cases. It is those (in my opinion) who have given the religion a terrible reputation. The BTW’s I personally know don’t behave in the manner many of the Western “Wicca” do. Using the term, “lineage” was wrong on my part…. or maybe it wasn’t. Because when someone who is “Wiccan” confronts me, I ask them about their lineage (and though you and I both know what I am referring to, for those reading who may not I will explain) they look at me like I have 6 heads and have absolutely no clue what I am asking them.

        The explanation: “Lineage” refers to the line from which you were initiated. When you ask a witch, or better still, a Wiccan, what their lineage is, they should be able to tell you who initiated them, who initiated the person who initiated them and so on, as well as from which tradition and coven, etc., etc…. it actually doesn’t apply to ALL Wiccans, but is rather popular in the Gardenerian Tradition. It’s very much like a biological ancestry, but in our circle, it refers to initiatory ancestry.

      • Dana Corby says:

        Ah — gotcha. But here’s the problem. You say: “When you ask a witch, or better still, a Wiccan, what their lineage is, they should be able to tell you who initiated them, who initiated the person who initiated them and so on, as well as from which tradition and coven, etc., etc” It’s quite possible that some of those who look at you like you have 6 heads are not so much ignorant as astonished. The etiquette among US BTWs is that you shouldn’t recite your lineage for just anyone, and that all you’re obliged to give even those seeking to study with you is a vouch.

      • Ah, but here is what you may have missed…. the Western ones have no issue with reciting that… I’m here in the U.S.

      • danacorby says:

        What do you mean by ‘Western?” I live on the Pacific Coast, and I don’t know anyone who’d just hand over their lineage…

      • Simply because you don’t know anyone who would does not mean that I or anyone else haven’t met others who have.

  22. White Tigress says:

    This was really interesting! I didn’t know a lot of this info. I wasn’t aware there was such a problem among people. To throw in my two cents;

    I personally believe it’s a private choice to choose to hex or curse someone or not. Most Witches are well read and studied enough to take responsibility for their actions, good and bad. If you send something negative to someone who has really wronged you, whose to say you sending that isn’t Karma come to smack them in the face? I think the only time it should be frowned upon is when someone is hexed or cursed for immature reasons. Even so, if that is the case, I think something would come back to the person to teach them to pock and choose their battles more wisely. Sometimes situations like that are meant to be a learning experience, and we shouldn’t judge or shun people because of that!

    A witches relationship with the universe and all of its energies is personal and all things done within. Each life is a learning experience and the universe is our teacher. Sometimes people are placed in our lives to help teach us, but no one should be judged because someone else thinks they’re going down the wrong path. If someone is going down “the wrong path” that’s their choice, or that’s where they’re meant to be at this time in their life. As fellow witches we SHOULD only give advice in a loving way and LEAVE it be. We are not the teachers here, we’re all peers. Some are more experienced but that doesn’t mean you get to dictate what is or isn’t acceptable for everyone.

    But that’s how I feel. C: Thank you for the article!

    • “A witches relationship with the universe and all of its energies is personal and all things done within.” That was my point exactly and you said it perfectly… which is why I’m annoyed when I have the Rede shoved in my face ;)… but ironically, I haven’t had it done since I originally wrote this article….I wonder why?? 😉 LOL

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