Merry Meet and Merry Part, and Merry Meet again

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wiccan? Witch? Magaly and Robin Discuss

A few weeks back, Magaly Guerrero, the wonderfully "sexy, dark and bloody" writer at the Pagan Culture blog, and I exchanged an email discussion regarding a commenter on Magaly's blog who was wondering about the difference between being a Witch and being Wiccan....are they one in the same or is Wicca removed from Witchcraft? This discussion between us led to Magaly coming up with a scheme for us to collaborate on a post addressing this question. She suggested we each make a list of 13 things (a Witch's dozen) that describe our Path. We exchanged our lists and are both posting them on our blogs today, along with a compare/contrast summary.  Here is the link to Magaly's blog with her post: Pagan Culture Blog
What do you think? Are Witches and Wiccans the same thing, totally different or a bit of both? 

I now present our Lists, beginning with Magaly:

When a new friend said to me, “I didn’t know you were Wiccan.” I responded that I was not. She gave me a puzzled look and added, “But you just said you were a Witch.”

I smiled, asked her to sit by me, and started a conversation that ended with, “Witch, Wiccan—tomato, potato.” The middle was filled with something that resembled the following list:
1. I am a Witch.
2. I revere Nature and all her creatures.
3. Magic is wild energy that can be twisted and changed.
4. To me, deities are different aspects of Nature.
5. Magic is as benevolent or evil as its intent and outcome.
6. Good invites better and bad summons destruction.
7. Spells are prayers with a flare that makes flesh dance and soul sing.
8. My pentacle is fire, water, earth, air, and spirit dancing together in the circle of life.
9. Darkness is as beautiful, powerful and necessary as light.
10. In my life, sex is physical and spiritual magic.
11. Evil is manmade and man-fed.
12. Spirituality is the garb of the soul.
13. Words have power.

My friend was quiet for a while, and then asked, “What do Wiccans believe?”

It was my turn to stay quiet for a while. I explained that I could tell her what I thought Wiccans believed, but that wouldn’t be true. But a couple of weeks later, I asked my dear friend Robin, from Wiccan Writes, for some help. Here is her answer:

(and this is my list below)

I am happy to have been asked by Magaly to collaborate on this post. I am a solitary practitioner of Wicca. This list reflects my personal path. Other Wiccans may have different views. I consider myself Wiccan and Witch; for me they are one in the same.

1. Honor both God and Goddess.
2. Adherence to the Wiccan Rede: (to paraphrase) Spellwork, rituals and other activities must Harm None; therefore do what you believe in.
3. Three-Fold Law of Return:  Good begets good (three times over) and Bad begets bad (three times over).
4. In rituals/spell work, I use Witch’s tools: wand, besom (broom), cauldron, stones, candles, herbs, incense, altar and more.
5. The Moon and the Sun are symbolic as they represent Goddess and God, respectively.
6. Phases of the Moon are vital to my Path.
7. Celebrating the turning of the Wheel of the Year and 8 respective sabbats (holidays) .
8. Natural magick (directing  Nature‘s energies to effect a change).
9. The Unseen World. There are energies and spirits that may not exist on the human level, but may still be seen, accessed and interacted with by the use of meditation, divination and other methods.
10. Stewardship of our planet and the higher love felt for Mother Earth is a guiding force in my practice.
11. The pentagram is a sacred symbol, the points representing the Four Elements necessary for life and magick: Earth, Air, Fire,Water with the fifth point  representing Spirit.
12. Positive and negative energies influence every aspect of life. I walk on the so-called right hand path, the Light path focusing on positive Work. I do not practice Magick centering around revenge, hatred, violence or manipulation.
13. Wicca is an evolving pagan religion, just as Nature evolves, neither is static; there is always something new to explore even as one keeps Old Ways alive.

And so you can see, in many ways our Lists are very similar. Magaly has such a flare, a rhythm that sets her List a'dancing and a'fire!  We both revere Nature, treasuring all things on this Planet. She embraces Darkness in a way that I don't, not that Darkness is equated with evil, by any means. I prefer to stay mostly in the Light (though I will admit to Dark Moon workings, and a familiarity with the goddess Hecate).  As Magaly says, "Potato, tomato".  Each in our own way celebrate the energies that exist, acknowledge Intent as the key to working magick. We are Witches. My Wiccan Ways enhance my Path, just as Magaly's magical lifestyle enhances hers.  This is my humble opinion.
Magaly is such a dynamic person, her writing reflects her fiery soul and she seizes life by the horns and hangs on! I am thrilled and honored that she wished to collaborate with me!
Be sure to visit Magaly's blog to read what she has to say on this subject. (The link is above)!!


Magaly Guerrero said...

I think I'm sparkling right now. I think you've described me like I see me, and I truly love that. It is official, tomatoes and potatoes make a great stew, and they can definitely be cooked under the dark moon or the blazing sun.

Thanks so much for doing this. I, too, am curious about what everybody else will share.


Anonymous said...

Robin and Magaly, this was a fantastic meeting of the minds. I know that there are Wiccans who do not like or want to be called "witch". I also know that every "witch is not a Wiccan. As Magaly says,"pototo, tomato make a great stew". We can and do blend together for a delicious recipe.

I believe that I am more Wiccan/Witch. I call myself Wiccan and answer also to Witch. I am also a Solitary Wiccan. I do love our lovely and enchantingly wicked Magaly just as she is. She embraces her beliefs and they fit her perfectly. My list would read more like Robin's. I am a child of nature and revere it as Magaly and Robin both do.

Wiccan and Witch,

Aine said...

This was an inspired idea! It is very hard to find the differences between Witchcraft and Wicca - easier to find the similarities. I think it may be like you said, much to do with the "Lighter" vs. the "Darker" work. And the choice is often not a conscious one, but more of a calling towards one or the other.

Thanks so much for this!

Robin Larkspur said...

Magaly, you had a terrific idea, and it was a good opportunity to put these thoughts into concrete words. Thank you for being sparkly!!

Robin Larkspur said...

Jan, thanks for your good words. I think above all, revering Nature and our Mother Earth is the link that brings us all together. And being Solitary allows Wiccans to pursue the acts and beliefs that resonate with each person.

Robin Larkspur said...

Aine, you are so right about choices are not often conscious. I think the longer one walks the "witchy" Path, the more frequent our actions are almost fluid and in sync with the energies around us..we simply DO as opposed to stewing and wondering what action (or non-action) to take.

Magaly Guerrero said...

"We simply DO," I LOVE those words. And Robin, this was a blissful blast; spiritual yumminess ;-)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Wow, it's like I have deja vue this morning. Must be Monday! Seriously, great co-post, Robin and Magaly!

Robin Larkspur said...

Thanks Debra.

Linda in New Mexico said...

Two of my faves made the universe rock and roll this morning in this post. What a great explanation not only for the unknowing but also for those of us who would not or could not put both into brilliant word explanations.
I applaud both of you for your concern to detail and description. I love a win/win beginning to the week. Great job. Oma Linda

Robin Larkspur said...

Linda, my very dear BB! Your comment has truly made me happy. Thanks for the wonderful words!!

Lady Caer Morganna said...

Very interesting lists, ladies ~ and well put together. I have to confess that, in this Wiccan Priestess' humble opinion, I feel that too many people tend to spend way too much time trying to define the "in between" stuff, you know? While it is very true that not every Witch is a Wiccan although a Wiccan is still a witch, I think that these lists speak for themselves and make my point rather nicely as well. I agree with you Robin in that the lists made by Magalay and yourself are not all that different from one another.

Needless to say, this is not too surprising! LOL!

Much love and light to you both ~


Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading about this subject matter, for I found this extremely interesting! Thank you!

Magic Love Crow said...

I just came from Magaly's blog and I will say the same thing to you Robin, I think this was a very special post between the two of you! Your lists are so much the same. I agree, Magaly is a dynamic person! And, you are a sweety ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

Lavender Eagle Feather said...

I am speechless..great words and wisdom from you both...many thanks.

Love and light,

Ametrine Knowing-Willow said...

Robin, this is such a great post! You both covered the subject well & I do have to agree, the list are very similar. Though I consider myself a Solitary Wiccan Witch, I do pick & choose what works for me. Again, WONDERFUL post!

Brightest Blessings!

Jess said...

Reading your descriptions, I think I must be a witch too! I don't like labels personally but that's purely a personal feeling. I think you're both wonderful people. Thankyou for sharing this with us. :)
Jess xx

mrsduncanmahogany said...

This is a really fantastic post! Food for the mind (for me anyway)! Good one!


Jeanne said...

A wonderful post! Though we all may have differences, we are all the same as well.

Ashling said...

Both lists are wonderful, and dance in and around each other. I've always thought of Wicca and Witchcraft as Catholicism is to broader than the other, encompassing the other but not outshining. I have called myself Witch, Dianic Wiccan (no god for me, thank you)...and now more often than not simply "Goddess-loving Pagan". You've both written of your paths beautifully, and it's lovely food for thought.

Mina said...

I saw this post on Magaly's blog yesterday and just loved it. Both of you articulated your beautiful soul's beliefs in such an intimate, honest way. I am proud to stand among you gorgeous ladies as a pagan and a witch, and to have your treasured friendships. Mina