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Why 'Witch'?

To: alt.christnet,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan,alt.religion.asatru,alt.satanism,alt.thelema,talk.religion.misc,alt.mythology,alt.religion.wicca,alt.magick.virtual-adepts,alt.folklore,alt.folklore.urban
From: (Lorax of the Evul Wikkunz)
Subject: Why 'Witch'? (Was Re: Hail Satan, Ruler of this World!)
Date: 15 Feb 1996 14:40:54 -0800

49960215 merrily met, kin; followup restructure (Jason Posey) exchanges swipes with idiots
and then writes:

|you don't know a damned thing about Satanism. Bigot.

Kindly tell us what you think that Satanism is, then.

|Wiccans get a bad name because they worship the Devil, even though they 
|will steadfastly scream and shout that it ISN'T THE DEVIL!!!!

This is rather convoluted.  Christians accuse others of 'worshipping devils'
or 'worshipping the Devil' as if everyone (or at least the State) should
pay attention to their delusions/paradigm.  The problem isn't the 'bad name'
among the deluded, the problem is the social repercussions which may arise
as a result of this type of religious bigotry and myopic evil (I'm talking
about the myopic evil of the Christians; the rest are surely not devoid of
their own myopias, as are we all).

|They get a bad name because they call themselves "witches," and witches 
|are evil. Why do you insist on calling yourselves witches, when you do 
|not wish to be seen as evil? 

This is the first question of a 'Witch FAQ', and I shall begin such a file
on behalf of The Order of K@s Under Satan.  Consider this the preliminary
introduction file to that FAQ:

01 Why do you use the term 'Witch' to label yourselves?  
   Doesn't that convey an implication of evil, or sociopathy?

	The term 'evil' has absolute meaning only in the minds of
	moralists (excepting those who equate the term with some form 
	of consensual social legal system (e.g. 'bad' = 'illegal').  

	The Great Martyrdom Cult (GMC) (of which Witches are part, with 
	Satanists and others) prefers to take up the adversarial social 
	position with respect to most religious moralism.  Typically this 
	does not involve illegal or even truly taboo activities except 
	in the preliminary stage of a cult's development (when the
	psychic contents of the shadow may be engaged by challenges to 
	social custom and even biophysical response in taboo-breaking
	rites), though some perverse individuals benefit from it all
	through their religious path.

	Therefore you are using the term 'evil' in a way with which 
	few Satanists or even the greater Neopagan community would 
	agree (when they used it at all, which is uncommon).  

	The question you ask has merit, however, in that you ask about
	the dynamics of nomenclature and its value when this includes
	antagonistic implications ('Satanist' or 'Witch', for examples).

	There are many possible responses to this question, and it
	is a complex religious and sometimes theo/alogical knot that
	takes a bit of background study in several religious traditions
	to understand many of them.  The most popular within the Temple
	at present appears to be the notion that the association of
	the ENEMY with the SHADOW is almost universal.  The shadow is
	that which is repressed.  The enemy is that which is destroyed
	or eshewed (in either case of a society or an individual).

	To prepare the delicate working of socio-psycho-analysis, one
	first isolates the repressed contents of the social psyche.
	This may require several years of study or an intuitive approach
	which leads to concentric social and personal shadows.  

	It is far easier to surf the social network of occultists and 
	taboo-challenging underground beneath the umbrella of an accepted 
	social tradition.  This is why counter-cultural organizations 
	begin: as protection for or deliverance of the minority social 

	Due to such things as fairy tales, films and games (i.e. media)
	a host of psychic content concerning wrathful, evil or what is
	called 'Satanic' mythos and folklore has been proliferated
	throughout society.  From here the relation betwixt the Witch
	and her title will be personal and perhaps geographical or
	due merely to a pleasant jest of Eris.

	It has likely been the various Christian-Islamic fears of 
	their nightmares and history which has stirred and fertilized 
	young minds in the direction of 'witchcraft' or 'sorcery' (along
	with the general oppression which appears to accompany all human
	social bodies).  Biblical tradition tends to condemn it variously
	as 'the workings of, for or by minions of the Devil', 'playing
	with (potentially dangerous) spirits', or 'dabbling in the
	occult', the last of which categorizes nicely the entirety of 
	repressed social tradition (as 'occult' relates to the 'hidden').

	From these backgrounds came most of the early Neopagans and
	Witches, and many likely held onto a great deal of Christian
	terminology, even calling upon archangels, God, YHVH, or
	the Devil, Lucifer, the Goat, Satan, etc. in their religious
	or magical rituals or emotional turmoil.

	The term 'witch' is popularly associated with the fairy tale
	hag, astride a broom, wearing a black hat and sporting a crooked
	and wizened face, her black cat riding hehind her as she kicks
	up her boots to the clouds.  Often she has brewed forth a potion
	or fruit or flower that contains the transformative, sometimes
	death-dealing magic.

	Normally she is portrayed in Grimm's and perhaps other fairy
	or folktales (Disney, perhaps Anderson, etc.) as malevolent,
	or at least an agent of death or destruction.  She is what
	many Neopagans call 'the Crone', and it is the visage and
	character of the Crone which both Wiccans and Witches choose
	as their social umbrella-banner.

	The Old Woman is a largely forgotten and denigrated social
	media figure.  Western religious history almost completely
	ignores her (except in obscure Biblical and Qur'anic text),
	and, at least in American society, family and government
	support programs for the aged (let alone the female aged, who
	constitute a special class) are ever-dwindling (this last may 
	be somewhat inaccurate depending on what senior and women's 
	political orgs have been able to accomplish lately).

	Films, television, books and magazines fare slightly better
	with the Old Woman, but typically cast the Witch as a bitter
	and demonic villain in the Grimm and Disney style.  These
	latter media forums are responsible for the common conceptions
	of the 'witch=evil old potion-/magic-using woman' which are so 
	very important to the study and worship of wrathful gods.

	Raised to believe from church and home-life that witches were
	poisoners or evil people (often women) in league with the Devil,
	the Great Travesty was later revealed by 'Wiccans' (and, in some
	cases by Witches too) as an almost Jewish-sounding martyrdom
	complex including a continued and consecutive force of oppression 
	from the Church, stretching from 'the Inquisition' (in which the 
	more radical witches and Satanists claim 9 million -- sometimes 
	all women! -- people died) to the present 'mischaracterization 
	of preChristian religious tradition'.

	Many of those who participate in nominally Witch-related rites
	or Wiccan religious ceremonies today may not have come to the 
	Craft with this type of background, but my speculation is that 
	most did.  Given this, it is understandably psycho-spiritually 
	transformative to adopt the identification of the martyred cause, 
	regardless of the actual historical foundation or adopted 
	metaphysics, and this transformation is even symbolized by the
	mythotype in question: the witch.  

	It is the same with the Knights Templar and other antagonistic 
	or heretical organizations within Muslim and Christian culture 
	(e.g. the Hasheeshin and the Cathars).  They function as release
	valves for the society, and, protected from the social consciousness
	(an action which is becoming increasingly difficult on a wider
	and wider global scale), can lead to the establishment of a splinter
	religious group of resolved stamina.  If too potent for the greater
	social fabric to handle, then this could lead to social unrest in
	those who hear about who have been seeded conservative doctrines
	that speak of their 'evils'.

	It is in some ways a propaganda compaign and for this reason I
	would again recommend books about the shadow of society, the
	imaginings and intentional manipulations of the visage of the
	Adversary (the literal meaning of 'shaitan/satan').  

	Some might compare the personal spirituality and social psycho-
	analysis of which witches are a part to be a kind of judo throw 
	(I am not that familiar with judo, though I've seen a few 
	demonstrations), disorienting and rendering a social psyche 
	more stability as it reifies the contents of its shadow until 
	that identification no longer carries the repressed potency.
Lorax of the Evul Wikkunz

"Is he evil?"...

"I don't think so.  But his motives have always been obscure.  No one
has ever, as far as I know, been able to tell what he would do or why.
He is, as I said, more powerful than any mage now living, including
myself.  But his mind is like a murky and bottomless well, into which
all the wisdom of the ages and all the accumulated trivia of several
universes have been indiscriminately dumped.  He is both wise and
innocent, incredibly devious and hopelessly scatterbrained, and by
this time, I fear, quite mad."

Salteris Solaris
 (Hambly, _The Silent Tower_)
To ensure my response CC all public replies to email (READ alt.magick.tyagi) 
(emailed replies may be posted) *

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