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MBrown: Religion and Defining Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.christnet,alt.religion.christian,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,talk.religion.misc
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: MBrown: Religion and Defining Magick (Was Catholic Magic is an Oxymoron
Date: 29 Apr 1996 20:28:51 -0700



Thanks for your reply.  Here is how it (Catholic magick) works.
I was raised in a devout Irish-Catholic home so I know all
about these things.:)

First, there is the official version.  Only the official reps
(priests) do official, condoned magick.  They also have official
policies on many behaviours, such as using birth control.  The
higher-ups spend a lot of time thinking all this stuff up and they
publish it in "papal bulls" and whatnot that very few catholics
ever read (or even know exists).  Their policies trickle down through
the ranks to the parish priest and then the populace.  Sometimes
parish priests ignore papal policy, but not too flagrantly.  For
example, many parishes now allow altar girls, even though officially
they are frowned up (and maybe it even says someplace that this is
against the rules).  There have always been some abuses of power
by higher-ups.  Selling blessings and graces, etc....  Even now
this still goes on, in a more subtle way.  Now various organizations
as for "donations" and if you donate then they'll say masses and
prayers for you and that is supposed to help you get into heaven.
(My FIL is always signing my husband and his family up for these.)

Anyway, most ordinary members have little clue what the official
doctrines and interpretations and correct ways of thinking are --
aside from obvious things like sex and birth-control.  Most are
"cafeteria catholics" and they pick and choose what they will do
from the "catholic menu."  This varies by country and culture and
individual preferences.  In this country, Catholics largely ignore
the injunction against using birth control.  (Only the rhythm method
is approved.)  The higher-ups, of course, scorn "cafeteria
catholocism," bit it is still the main type of catholocism that you
will find being practiced, at least in this country.

Now, about catholic folk magick.  There used to be a lot of this.
However, Vatican II made a concerted effort to stomp out anything
"superstitious" (among other things).  I think this was a great loss.
My family used a lot of catholic folk magick, as did other devout
families (not that I knew it was magick at the time).  These practices
still linger on, mainly among older people.  They are a bit
scorned upon by many.  I get the impression that praying for stuff is
the only magickal practice that one is "officially" allowed to do.
Do other things looks superstitious now, to other catholics.  I
wonder if the Vatican had its own reasons for getting rid of the
"superstitions"?  Reminds me of my grandmother criticizing my grandfather
for putting bread out for the fairies.  He taught me to do it too.
She saw it as common and uneducated.  He continued to do it only said
it was for the birds.  

Gotta go!

- Peggy -

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