I found these on eBay. Kirk’s Folly turned out to be a company which has closed down this year. At least that’s how it looks to me. There were more Kirk’s Folly witch hats for sale on other eBay stores than their own website. The company was around for 35 so there are likely more witch hats to be found. I liked these.
This is only for fun and maybe just a bit of fantasy too.
To those who believe in God and the Bible… your book says humans are the stewards/ the caretakers of the Earth. You worry about getting into heaven or going to hell for your sins…
How will you explain the mess the planet is in, the animals being killed by human pollution and human over population and all the rest – to your boss? Do you even think about the production, consumption and packaging which you throw away every day? Do you ever wonder were it all ends up? Do you really try to use less or is it easier to just go ahead and do what you want and just buy more stuff?
When you think about your sins, consider those against the environment, the planet and the life on it. Maybe your God will be upset about the wreckage of the planet more than the small sins you think are so important, to you.
I’m not perfect. I won’t pretend I don’t cause pollution and add to the problems of the planet. But, I do think about the planet and, being human, I do think we are responsible for the planet and our own actions. I don’t expect any higher power to come along and fix everything while forgiving us all for making such a mess of it all.
If you are a male Pagan you could be the only one, or one of few, in your coven or group. There may be many men working as solitary Wiccans, Witches or Pagans just because they feel isolated even when they are in a group. Women are drawn to Paganism, at least partially, because it is a religion (set of beliefs) which focuses on the feminine Goddess.
However, Pagans don’t have a one sided belief. Pagans have a dual God and Goddess. The Horned God, the Green Man, are names for the male God of the Pagans. It’s a mistake to think of Wicca, Witchcraft, or Pagan paths as female centred only. If it were not for the men who began researching the older Gods, ancient religions and societies we would not have some of the great Pagan history and literature which we enjoy, study and follow in our modern days.
Actually, there have been a lot of men in the Pagan religion. Some of the most popular books for Pagans have been written by male Pagans.
- Scott Cunningham
- Aleister Crowley
- Robert Graves
- Raymond Buckland
- Stewart Farrar
- Gerald Gardner
- Isaac Bonewits
- Charles Godfrey Leland
- Sir James Frazer
Finding Pagan Men Online
- Male Witches Unite | Facebook
- The Pagan Man
- Pagan Men, Unite! | Pagan Culture
- Pagan Men Alone – PaganSpace.net
- Facebook: Pagan Men’s Society
- The Pagan Man: Being a man in Wicca
- Male Witch.com
- The Home of the Pagan Man
- Can Men Be Pagans or Wiccans?
- Reading List for Pagan Men
- Witchvox Article – In Praise of Pagan Men
Men are Welcome
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.
Comments from the original post on HubPages:
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?
When I was about 20 I decided to look into religions. I knew the traditional Christian ways were not for me. I didn’t like they way these religions viewed women. I had just read a book where the women were put into isolation after having their period or giving birth, they were “unclean”. This was on top of growing up with the Adam and Eve mythology. From that point the Bible (written and rewritten by men) just goes on to look down on women, and worse. If I were a male, I would probably never have become Pagan. I would never have begun researching other religions and beliefs and looked deeper than the surface. Most likely I would have put religion behind me as not being all that important.
My Early Pagan Experience
I started with Witchcraft and Wicca because I found a book written in the 70’s. It’s a book I wouldn’t choose to read now but parts of it were enough to send me looking for more information from more reliable sources. I found a Pagan bookstore referred to in a book. I made the hour long bus trip to downtown Toronto and found the place. Entering for that first time was not easy. I felt daring and yet I also felt I was walking into a place I didn’t fully belong and might not be welcome. I wondered if they could see inside of me, my mind and my thoughts. Would they know what I was thinking, could they see my future and my past, my aura…? That was creepy.
The first thing that really happened was the smell. Ever since then I have noticed the same smell, strongly of incense over time, in every Pagan bookstore. I like pulling out a book I bought in a Pagan store. Even a couple of decades later I can smell it in the pages. If the smell ever goes away I don’t know. So far it hasn’t.
My adventure in that first Pagan store was intimidating. If I were less determined or less curious I doubt I would have tried another Pagan store. The people there did watch me and yet said nothing. Maybe they thought I was going to walk off with something, maybe they were just curious too, I won’t know and I didn’t ask then. I was already the shy type. I bought a book and a couple of polished rocks and I left, glad to be out of there. I was left with the feeling of not belonging and I never did go back to that store. Luckily there were others and more came along later.
Finding Where and How I Fit In
A few years more and the Internet came along too. By that time I was making my own decisions about what I believed and how I believed it. I didn’t accept Wicca as it came. I took what felt right to me and put it together with how I felt about the world and it’s people. I still believe this way; I’m very much an eclectic solitary type of Pagan. I gave myself the label of Earth Witch and I’ve stuck with that, to keep the explanation simple. To me an Earth Witch means I focus on the Earth, the natural and I don’t feel influenced by deities or magick. I believe we each create our own magick from ourselves and it is up to each of us to choose how to use it, or not use it.
I have written about my Pagan beliefs before but not shared much of my actual experience. I used to get email from young women who wanted to know more about being Pagan. The main thing they wanted to know was how to hide it from their parents. I was never behind this. For one thing, if you have to hide it, maybe you should rethink the whole thing.
I do understand that some families are very Christian and close minded or even afraid of Pagan ideas and Pagan ways. If that is the case and you are living at home, this is not the time for you to explore being Pagan. Wait until you can do it openly. In the meantime, there is no reason you can’t do simple things like have a collection of rocks, maybe some shells and feathers, keep a journal about your observations of nature, history and people. These are things you can do without upsetting your parents and family. You can be Pagan without having to prove you’re Pagan. Know it yourself and start there.
For me, being Pagan is a personal thing. I mainly keep it to myself. I’ve found a local group with weekly meetings but I have yet to venture out and attend one. I think I will. Each time I have stepped out and met other Pagans I have enjoyed the experience and learned new things about history, religion and beliefs. But, I’m comfortable with what I believe now, the way my feelings about being an Earth Witch have evolved. So I’m not as eager to stir myself up as I was when I was younger and just starting to explore and discover.
Atheists don’t believe in any god or goddess or combination of either. It’s a bold choice. Like playing without a net when it comes to your beliefs about death and what comes next. Many people ‘get religion’ when death touches their lives. They become afraid and want something to believe in. Something that has power over them, something bigger than themselves, something that can give them possibilities rather than just an end to life.
I think atheists are brave or bold or angry or young or something… to stand out on that ledge and not believe.
Atheist beliefs are more than just not believing in god or following a religion. Atheists can be religious, they can be part of an organized religion. But they have a slightly different outlook because they don’t believe in the gods of the religion. This may seem complex or as if you are not really following the religion at all.
For myself, I would call myself a Witch, however I don’t believe in any gods or goddesses. This does not mean I don’t believe in something. I do believe in reincarnation. I believe there is some law of nature (something I don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand or define) which controls what happens to us after we die. Reincarnation makes sense to me, like recycling.
In this way, I follow the Pagan ways, share most of the Pagan beliefs but I have given them my own slant as a free thinker, not quite an atheist.
This free thinking changes my outlook on everything religions connect with a god or goddess. I don’t pray. But, I don’t think prayers are something wrong. Prayers give words to your deepest thoughts, emotions and needs. I also don’t believe in Adam and Eve. I believe in evolution.
People wonder why I don’t believe in god. It started when I began feeling religions hold god, heaven, devils, hell, etc over people – as a threat and a bribe to make them conform to certain standards. I began to feel I could not respect any god who would use such methods – or any god who needed or expected to be worshipped at all. Why would a god (something all mighty) need to be fawned over? It would seem to be empty praise, remote, automatic and even forced. What would that really be worth.
I started looking at other options, other beliefs. I began to merge my thoughts, feelings and values with what I found others believing.
My strongest connections were to beliefs which gave women power (rather than thinking them the ‘weaker vessel’) and those which focused on man/ humans as being responsible for their own actions rather than letting a god or devil be held to account for everything.
Through reading more about atheism I found the Free Thinkers. That’s where I will be exploring next. I like having the option to change my mind without having to change my whole religion every time.
- What does Atheism really mean? | Thinking Matters
- What Does it Mean to be an Atheist? | HubPages
- Atheism 101: Introduction to Atheism & Atheists – Atheism About.com
Humanists, atheists, agnostics, non-theists, skeptics, freethinkers and other non-religious people
- Central Ontario Humanist Association
- Ontario Humanist Society
- Society for Ontario Freethinkers
- BC Humanist Association
- Secular Connexion Seculaire
- Humanist Canada
- Centre for Inquiry
- Canadian Atheist
- Canadian Secular Alliance
- Atheist Nexus
- Freethought Blogs
- Friendly Atheist
This post was originally written and posted to HubPages. I’ve cut and pasted the comments in because they added to the topic.
No one should be quick to pass judgement on another belief system/ religion until they have an understanding of it. Of course, once you begin to understand it that well, parts of it will make good sense and become worthwhile to you.
I think people have a need to worship something bigger than themselves because, deep inside the psyche, they feel inadequate and fearful. I believe that, once individuals have dealt with personal inner fear as it applies to their particular circumstances, the ideas you talk about here fall into place as options for forming a personal life philosophy.
I like your gentle approach to such a potentially contentious topic. We need more people exploring this important part of life with your open and genuinely inquisitive attitude.
I follow Frizbetarianism.We believe when you die your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there…
The Real question we each need to answer is;Does self awareness survive death?Without it nothing else matters…seems to me…
It’s always good to hear there are others who think differently. A lot of people seem to carry on with beliefs without questioning anything or really appearing to think at all.
This is a very nice essay. I am, also, an atheistic witch. I apply the term “traditional witch” a lot, but then I have to define that term because it means so many things to so many different people. I hold that, historically, most traditional Western witches were atheists.
The only reason we have to talk about “god” is that so many other people are talking about it and these people are sometimes politicians and people who could have a negative impact on our lives.
Nice hub, Thatgrrl. I’m more of a Pantheist myself, which to the general masses is too close to Atheist for comfort. Oh well. I do believe that when you are not bound by the limitations of a religion that you are free to see the world in a different light.