First posted in a newsletter e-mail 2019 Dec. 5 to talk about my Western Witchcraft I: The Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis independent study course
What is the difference between witchcraft and ceremonial magic?
I’ve been struggling to understand for myself what the distinction is between witchcraft and ceremonial magic. Because the immediate go-to points of differentiation you often hear people reach for feel kinda superficial.
There are more significant differences between two different traditions under the heading “witchcraft” (or two different traditions under “ceremonial magic”) than there are the alleged differences between the main generic headings “witchcraft” or “ceremonial magic.”
It was all “maleficia“…
Pretty much up until witchcraft or maleficia was no longer outlawed, what we today might associate with ceremonial magic would have been tucked under the heading “witchcraft.”
The law (back when the law cared about public accusations of maleficium…) lumped it all together and while I was doing historic research for my novel, bishops and otherwise powerful men had gotten accused of witchcraft and for being witches (though in those cases, they were probably false accusations; those men were just challenging political power).