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Occult Practices and Their Association with Witchcraft
The word occult for many years has carried with it a stigma of ominous dealings and dark forces, but in reality the word occult simply means “hidden,” or “secret.” It has also come to mean “knowledge of the paranormal,” and “a knowledge of hidden things.” Because many dark magic practices were often carried out in secret, the term came to define this type of activity, however, Wicca was, and has been, practiced in secret due to the misconceptions many had about what witchcraft was and is. While many of the spiritual principals of Wicca are still kept under a cloak of mystery, the true nature of its roots in paganism and nature based philosophies are now more well known, and thus, less frightening to the general public. The occult & witchcraft often go hand in hand, Witchcraft or Wicca traditions and beliefs are often passed from witch to witch, and these teachings are not widely available for public view and consumption. While this does lend the religion a flavor of mystery, it by no means deems it evil or unsavory. In fact, Wicca is a spiritually based religion that stresses doing “no harm” to others, better known as the “Rule of Three,” which basically states, that whatever you do to another will return to you three-fold. Many believe that because Wicca is a feminine based religion that masculine based religions and groups sought to paint a picture of wrong doing when it came to Wicca practices. The truth of the matter is that most religions have some “secret” or occult aspect that is not widely known or shared within the general public. Divination as it is practiced in Christianity could be considered occult as the activity is not broadcast to the masses and is often done in secret. Likewise, the study of Kabbalah is cloaked in secrecy and taught to only a chosen few individuals within the Jewish community.
Occult witchcraft and pagan beliefs essentially fall under the same categories. Since many Wicca practices rely on intricate knowledge of the paranormal, occult & witchcraft are practiced simultaneously, to varying degrees. Most witches are involved in spell casting of some kind, thus this can be considered a form of occult witchcraft. Wicca has several types of practitioners, first are those who become witches only through initiation and invitation from another witch. This is the most secretive of the Wicca societies as information is passed only within the coven or group, therefore this group would be considered occult witchcraft of the highest order. Other practitioners create informal covens that are not as strict with their laws, rules and the sharing of information; these would be regarded as a lesser form of occult witchcraft. Also, there are many sole practitioners, who venture out into self-learned witchcraft that is rarely, if ever, hidden and secretive, and which are, in fact quite vocal about their practices and beliefs. This would be the least clandestine and thus the only occult witchcraft involved would be that of ventures into the paranormal. However, the sole practitioner who does not broadcast their religious or pagan beliefs and keeps a private “Book of Shadows” would then be considered one who is involved in occult witchcraft.
The occult & witchcraft are very involved aspects of spiritual growth. Like any religious and spiritual practice, occult witchcraft involves devotion, practice and commitment on the part of the practitioner. As mentioned, those who practice the occult & witchcraft often perform spells, additionally, most also practice some form of ritualized activity. Many of those who are uninformed about Wicca rituals tend to think that these practices are dark and foreboding, however, ritual is practiced in every religion known to human kind. Wicca is not an exception to this practice, but is the least understood. Most rituals practiced in occult & witchcraft involve the changing of the seasons and are meant as a form of recognition of what the Earth has given to humans. Most of these rituals are quite ancient and were established to thank the Goddess for the bounty provided. For instance Harvest rituals have been practiced for thousands of years to mark the season when food crops were collected. Showing thankfulness to the Earth for food was, and still, is a means of assuring a good food crop in the future.
If you have interest in the occult, you may be interested in mustika pearls. These magical tools are used by various practitioners of the occult to aid in spiritual growth and understanding.