Author Topic: Myth of the White Witch  (Read 3114 times)

stormdancer

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Myth of the White Witch
« on: December 12, 2010, 01:05:20 AM »
Aside from the tricks of the movie or TV witch, usually accomplished with special camera techniques, there is no reason why any woman who puts her mind to it and learns the proper method cannot become a full-fledged witch in accord with popular conception. Only those who either do not know the means to success or are too stubborn to use them, once having been told, will persist in defining themselves as witches by using the sanctimonious definition of so-called 'White Witches' working for 'the benefit of mankind.' There will always be those who, furtively desiring personal power but unable to do anything about gaining it, devise their own definition of what a witch should be like, seeing to it, of course, that their definition fits themselves.

The 'White Witch' is the by-product of an emergence in England of an above-ground witchcraft interest at a time when witchcraft was still technically illegal. In order to pursue the 'craft' without harassment and prosecution, the spokesmen for witchcraft attempted to legitimize and justify what they were doing by proclaiming the existence of 'white' witchcraft. 'White' witchcraft, it was stated, was simply a belief in the religion of the old wise ones, or 'wicca'. The use of herbs, charms and healing spells was only employed for beneficial purposed.

It was to be believed that the kind of witches that were dangerous to have were 'black' witches. These were supposedly evil in their pursuits and worshiped Satan. The fact that the 'good' or 'white' witches employed a horned god in their ceremonies was justified because it 'doesn't represent the Devil!'.

Of course, no one admitted to practicing witchcraft ceremonies of any kind. Anything that was associated with witchcraft was pursued in the name of 'study' or 'research'. This was the climate in England between 1936 and 1951.

With the repeal of English witchcraft laws in 1951, all of the underground witches started creeping to the surface, and as their eyes became accustomed to the light of sudden legality, they ventured forth. Unused to such freedom and heavy with stigma of illegality, they went about shouting 'White Witchcraft' even louder than ever, as if expecting at any moment to be snared by a heretic hook.

About this time, interest in the occult was becoming popular in the U.S., so naturally attention was focussed on the British Isles with its rich heritage in all matters ghostly and fanciful. As might have been expected, newly emerged English Witches saw the U.S. as a fertile stamping ground for safe recognition of their 'witchiness'.

'White witch' became a definitive term and thousands who wouldn't touch the practice of witchcraft with a ten foot broomstick found conscience-redeeming opportunity to follow the 'art' by using the new rules of the game. Regardless of what these people would like to believe, the image of the witch has been stigmatized for centuries. All witches were considered to be agents of the Devil, antagonistic to scriptural teachings, and a direct part of the dark side of nature. As there is always a relative outlook as to what is good and what is evil, once witchcraft emerged from its 'all evil' state into neutral territory, a differentiation was bound to occur. The righteous, of course, will always wear the mantle of 'good', 'white light', 'spiritual' and varying shadows of holiness.

An analogy might be made concerning 'white' and 'black' witches. Let us assume that warfare had, for centuries, been called 'wholesome murder' and the men who fought called 'murderers'. One day it was decided that there was something quite noble and dignifies about this old activity of wholesome murder. All the murderers, basking in the light of new found legitimacy, began calling themselves 'good murderers.' The stigma of the word, 'murderer', still remains, but at least the good murderers felt little more at ease. Now, maybe these murderers always had a fairly legitimate reason for going into battle. Maybe they succeeded in saving their homeland from that which threatened it. They might have even had a scholar among them who had traced the origin of the word 'murderer' to an ancient word which meant 'mother'. But the fact remained, 'murderer' was still a negative term in the public's mind. So instead on simply revelling in their subsequent acceptance by the public, their guilt, brought about by long years of stigma, necessitated their placing of the word 'good' in front of 'murderer' as a sort of self-reassurance that they were doing the right thing!

Whenever a woman or girl becomes a 'White witch', you know she is either kidding herself or has much to learn.

peace and love

Storm

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technautilus

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2011, 05:44:42 AM »
Thank you for posting this. You've written in a very clear and non offensive way. I deal with a lot of these people regularly, and they give me a hard time for trying to embrace both sides of the spectrum instead of just being overwhelmingly saccharine all the time.

zerospin

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 02:14:41 PM »
An interesting read, thanks for taking the time to write it out so throroughly :) I'm always curious to learn more about such beliefs.

writer811

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 06:52:20 PM »
I am not sure if this is entirely a speculative topic or a subtle way of condemning witchcraft. It reads like both to me. In any way, I don't see a problem with witches calling themselves "white" if that's what they strive to be. If they make a genuine effort to do only good or beneficial deeds, why not let themselves be "white witches"?

Nakhash

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 01:24:33 AM »
Well, I'm not Wiccan and don't abide by its Rede. I do follow my own moral compass but wouldn't call myself a white witch or a black witch. Perhaps "gray" fits me better. I'm definitely not a fluffy-bunny casting spells of rainbows and unicorns.

Nakhash Mekashefah

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Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
John Quincy Adams

DiminishingInsanity

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 02:31:15 AM »
Aside from the tricks of the movie or TV witch, usually accomplished with special camera techniques, there is no reason why any woman who puts her mind to it and learns the proper method cannot become a full-fledged witch in accord with popular conception.

Are there any male Witches? Are they called Warlocks?
Namaste

writer811

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 12:20:11 AM »
Are there any male Witches? Are they called Warlocks?

I don't know what they are called now but I know that during the Salem witch trials, women accused were called witches and men accused were called wizards. I also know that at least a small part of witches only apply the term "warlock" to those who break their laws.

Nakhash

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Re: Myth of the White Witch
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2012, 12:44:57 AM »
Male witches are called witches too. Warlock has bad connotations attached to it. Traditionally, a warlock was thought to be an oath-breaker. 0The term “witch” is genderless. There is a current movement to bring honor back to the title. A linguist named Niklas, after a study of Scandinavian languages, believes the word evolved from the Norse word “vardlokkur,” an enchanter or conjuror.
Nakhash Mekashefah

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Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
John Quincy Adams


 

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