Wicca is commonly believed to be the root of the word Witch. Actually, wicca is the masculine form of the word and wicce is the feminine. This wording stems from the Indo-European root wiek, which in its primary form means clan, or the social unit above the household. From here the root develops in meanings which include: craft, wise, cunning, village, to bend, to shape, to mold, and to weave. Some researchers place, as a secondary etymological source of witch, the Indo-european root weid, which primarily means to see. As we follow the development of this root we find that its meanings include: guide, learning, wisdom, prophet, magic, council, wise, wise one, vision, advise, supervise, story and history. Based purely on the background of the word witch we can construct a satisfactory definition thus: Witch; a wise, cunning, village person who offers council and vision in their advice. A magical person who preserves history through their telling of stories (myths). This definition works as it somewhat accurately describes most of the witches we know, yet witchcraft is more than a word, it is a sociological phenomenon - a way of living - the experience of which varies from witch to witch.

During the time of the burnings, roughly 1375 to 1775 A.D., the word Witch was used to characterize the followers of the Old Religion as worshipers of the anti-Christ in order to hound them from the land. Until this perversion of the word became popular any Priest of the old Celtic religion was known as a Wise One. The Magi were scholars and men of the highest learning and Wisdom. Even the King James version of the Bible retains the word Magi in reference to the three Wise Men who attended the birth of Jesus.

The word Druid is derived from Middle French the word stem being drui, means tree. Before the destruction of Celtic Culture these Druids were the Priesthood of the Old Religion and were named for the sacred groves of oaks in which they conducted their rituals. The Priesthood of the DCW to this day are still characterized by this word Druid and the Craft  is considered Druidic only insofar as Celtic derived culture is concerned. The DCW is not Druid reconstructionst group, nor do we claim Druid lineage. We are a modern initiatory path based on ancient wisdom teachings. The word craft derives from the German and enters English from the Anglo-Saxon. The word krafft is still current in German vocabulary and still means what it did then -- art, skill, ability or power. To us the word Witchcraft means the arts and skills of the Wise people. Power (Krafft) is simply defined as the ability to do. Thus we see in perspective the meaning of the word Witchcraft as the ability which the Wise people have to do things.

There has never been a time during the history of man when the Craft as we define it did not exist. Legend has it the Craft arose in the earliest times of man's emergence of Earth when these arts were taught by the Great Gods Pan that man might, by means of them, learn to live in harmony and grow to adulthood and thus be like the Celestial Mother and Father. We acknowlege the Craft to be the oldest religion on Earth; the mother religion of all subsequent religious systems. Many refer to it as "the Old Religion", yet it is not a religion in the modern sense at all, but merely a methodology for a simple, natural, beautiful way of life. Wherever one goes on the face of the Earth one finds members of the Craft; it is, and always has been, universal. These people are, in some places, called Witch-doctors, Medicine Men and Women, Shamans, Kahunas, or Curanderos, and frequently they have no name at all, but these are all part of one great stream of teaching which emerges full blown from antiquity.

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Ariel's Corner

 


 

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