If men don’t create their own rituals they may find inspiration from the rituals and spells of others. If the spells were written for a woman, men will have to adapt them to their own needs and purposes.
This is nothing unusual. The Pagan religion is very adaptable, making room for all sorts of new ideas and beliefs – different ways of looking at the world.
Men should not be uncomfortable about taking part in Witchcraft, Wicca or Pagan groups. There may be some groups which will not welcome men, depending on the unique point of view and focus of that particular group. For instance, there are covens which focus on the female Goddess or Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects of women. In this case, the group would be specific to women.
Many groups and covens are far more generic and welcoming for men, new Pagans and solitary Pagans too. Just as any other time you are looking at a group to become involved with, you have to do some research and get your foot in the door.
Personally, I have a problem with this need to label everyone as being this or that. Witch, Wizard, Hedge, White, Black, Wiccan, each is an individual on their own journey towards spiritual enlightenment, understanding, whatever you want to call it, or maybe just standing still on the Path.
So which Path do you follow? In truth, it’s a labyrinth with many turnings and junctions and crossroads. The symbology of the labyrinth in occult mythology is there for a reason.
Waband, far be it for me to question that remark as I have ony begun posting hubs a short while ago and haven’t been involved in Wicca that long but isn’t it a sweeping statement to say that ‘witches are female’. I’m sure the majority of them are but surely a little research is required before dismissing male witches out of hand.
Don’t let me interrupt. I’m loving to hear about word history – two of my favourite things combined.
Correct Raptorcat, or go back further to ‘wys’. ‘Wizard’ has a different entamology and is more of a construct, though with a similar meaning, from ‘zinoti’ – to know.
There is also a connection to the phrase: ‘Singers of the Earth’s Dawn,’ from a time before the written word, when travelling storytellers passed on news and ancient tales. Many of these tales were what are now dismissed as the creation stories of mythology. A wizard was a travelling story teller, a bard, who ‘knew’ the story of man’s relationship to the gods. The early Church missionaries set out to suppress this ancient knowledge and replace those tales with its own version of creation. Hence the subsequent denigration.
A witch was someone who ‘knew’ the tale keeping it alive where they were. A wizard was someone who travelled to spread this knowledge and wisdom, though that last bit is my interpretation.
Actually, Radical Rog, the word “witch” goes back even further to the original root word “Wicce” which means “Wise” or “Wise one”.
There is also the possibility that it is the root for the word “Wizard” as well, but I am not sure, though the linguistic similarity is there.
To support your argument, the word witch derives from the original, wichá and wiché (masculine the feminine). The word refers to knowledge/wisdom and a more correct transliteration would be:, wise man or wise woman respectively, or even more correctly, one who knows.
It is this knowledge the Church wished to suppress hence their denigration and persecution.
I’m kind of the opposite. I get started with an initial spurt of idea, even something I don’t know much about. Then I dig up information, decide what I think and what I want to say about everything I have found. Then it all piles into the article. I’m not an expert about anything but I use research and common sense to share information and hope for the best.
I do feel that there will be people who read what I have written and tell me I don’t have a clue. But, usually my research, common sense and my own experience pull me through. I just think it is a shame to let someone else intimidate you from writing and sharing the information you have.
My Uncle told me no one should be a writer until they are 40 and have experienced life – which would mean they had something to say at that point. I was about 14 at the time – a long way from 40. I let that keep me from writing anything more than my diary for a really long time. It wasn’t until I was in my last year of high school and then college that someone made me feel good about my writing again.
@That Grrl, Actually, there are a few people on the hub that are at least equal, if not superior to me in that regard. They are also better writers than I am.
It is not with any false sense of modesty that I say that, it is just that I know my own limitations in writing on any subject. In some areas, I am a very skilled technical writer and in others I am a more skilled emotive writer.
I am well versed in many subjects, btw, so it is not as if I feel any inferiority or don’t know my voice, but more that I do know my voice and as I gain more and more knowledge, that voice grows, as all voices do.
If people have specific questions, I am more than happy to address them to the best of my knowledge and experience, but to just start writing on a specific subject is tricky for me. Getting started on anything that is not historical is usually where I run into the problems.
Kittydreamer is one of the HP people I follow. I try to keep a watch out for all the Pagan writers here. (As well as all the other Lauras).
@Raptorcat – You aren’t writing to people who are experts and far more experienced than you consider yourself to be. You are writing to people who know less than you do and would benefit from the knowledge and experience you (in particular) have.
If you always consider yourself to be writing for people who know more than you – how will you ever find your own voice and write anything? There are far more people who know less and would like to know more than there are people who know a lot and don’t want to learn anything else. Even the people you call experts are likely to read your thoughts and find something new or interesting to take away with them.
That Grrl- I found this article interesting also the comments made by Raptorcat were things I never knew in regards to this particular belief system. Paganism doesn’t seem female oriented-although until knowing the true definition for “witch” from Raptorcat I always associated Wiccan belief as female dominate with men taking a secondary role which is the exact reverse for most Western religions. It is informative to know that there appears to be a balance. kittydreamer is a fellow hub-writer who addresses a lot of Wiccan and Pagan beliefs you may want to check her work out.
To be honest, I really would not know where begin. There are a lot of far more qualified and experienced witches out there that can discuss the issue with far more information and knowledge than I.
Authors like Kerr Cuhulain (who has a column on Witchvox) come to mind.
Factually speaking, we are at a point in the craft where we need to move away from the female-centered attitude and start to balance all practices of the craft, taking the male into the same level of serious consideration that we have, to date, given to the female.
Both are mysteries that are equally important to us, as humans and to us as practicioners of the craft.
Raptorcat, I hope you write about Pagan men too. You have a lot more background to make a better post than mine. I got the idea and wanted to write it up before I forgot my ideas/ thoughts. There is a lot more which could be added.
That Grrl, There are a lot of books that are mostly fluff and many more that are complete and utter nonsense. Many are geared toward only the female practicioners, which is kind of dishonest, since Paganism is neither exclusively a male nor female practice (with few exceptions). It is bi-gender, like our species is.
Many books are filled with gems of useful information, but the real trick is to discern the wheat from the chaff. Not an easy task for any newcomer to any Pagan path.
A lot of the books in our personal library are a bit on the fluffy side, but we still have them for the gems of useful information buried within them.
Wabond, the word “witch” is actually based in the old English “Wicce”, which means “wise”, which has no gender. SInce the word has no actual gender, I have never called myself a male witch. I am, simply, a witch.
The wicce have always been the ones that performed many duties, from healing to leading ritual at the sabbats and esbats, to officiating at weddings and funerals. They were always the ones that understood herbalism, signs and portents and, sometimes, counsel to the village elders or even to the nobility before the rise of Christianity.
In some cultures they were called priest or priestess, depending on gender, yet there were other cultures, like the celts that had a single word to denote that person who was of the wicce.
I know people who think there is a big difference between being labelled as a Pagan, Wiccan or Witch. I don’t see it that way myself. It’s a shame you let a label change your path. But, you said there were other reasons too.
@Raptorcat – Thanks for the suggestion of another book. I looked for awhile to find books that seemed worth listing. I remember when I started out and had no idea what the right books were to start with. There are some who trust faithfully in books which I think are pure hogwash. There are always people who will write a book full of fluff and nonsense just to create sales.
Interesting article. As the acting HP of a Gardnerian Coven, I often find myself pointing out that the word “witch” is neither male nor female and that the term “Warlock” is wholly inappropriate as the word means “oathbreaker”, not male witch.
Many of the books that you have listed here I have. They are all good reads, but I would also add the book “Wiccan Warrior”. Most male pagans will find it to be a very enlightening book concerning the warrior spirit found in the God and how it can be applied to both practice and everyday life.
I was a male witch years ago, and never felt comfortable with the concept. That was one of the reasons I got out of witchcraft. To me witches are female, why do we need men to be witches as well?