Witch: A very controversial term often misunderstood by the general public to describe a practitioner of witchcraft. Many biblical scholars disagree with both the origin and meaning of the term, with some describing the term as meaning "woman who spits curses" to a "user of potions or poisons". The term Witch is NOT used by the members of Servants of Solemnity. The term witch simply does a poor job of describing the type of magic discussed here, and use of the term witch for anything other than a description of those wishing to be called by the term, or the Halloween decoration of the same name simply complicates things too much.
Witchcraft: A generic term used to describe virtually anything magic, unexplained or supernatural in nature. It has been awarded a negative aura by popular culture, religious zealots and rebellious anti-Christians. The Servants of Solemnity do NOT use this term to describe the types of magic that will be discussed on this page.
Wicca: Forget anything you think you have been taught from the pulpits about this neopagan religion because it probably isn't true. Wiccans while they do rely on spells for a variety of issues that arise in their daily lives, have STRICT cannon about NOT using magic to harm or control others and the "threefold rule" which states that any harm done to another will be visited back on them threefold - I find that to be a rather self policing belief system and am rather satisfied that Wiccans are benign. Most Wiccans adhere to these edicts closer than many Christians to the Beatitudes. On average, Wiccans are militantly anti-Christian, with strong anti-male sentiments, that for the most part wish to be left alone by Christianity as a whole. Contrary to popular belief, the average Wiccan does not belong to a secret coven of "witches" that get together every Saturday night to host a black Sabbath. They are not unfriendly people but their experience with most Christians is that of persecution and so they are automatically on guard against it when you are introduced to them as a Christian and aware of their Wiccan religion. They are not Christian and do not even believe in the "one true God" making their religion fit completely outside of the Judeo-Christian philosophies. Wiccans most likely do practice divination and some necromancy which they earnestly believe to be in the interest of Good.
Harry Potter: Stop, just stop taking your children's Harry Potter books away from them. The type of magic "practiced" in the books simply doesn't exist. This is a purely fantastical fantasy world that is in effect no different than a Jedi knight or slow moving laser beams that make noise in the vacuum of space. There are no flying broomsticks, wands that make things dance about the room, or animated chocolate frogs. The only real harm that could come from such a fantasy is that it could lead someone to investigate sorcery seeking the abilities demonstrated in the books and movies. Christians that address these issues with their children have little to fear from watching this fantasy.
Magic/majick/majik/magick: the numerous spellings tell you just how much various neopagan religions and magic practitioners have to differentiate their brand of practice with any other. So I will break down the types of magics that people may be familiar with in an attempt to clarify things:
Type 1 Magic: This is the magic that we have seen in Harry potter movies, television shows and so forth, that generally is the result of complex stunts, camera effects and GCI in most recent pictures. This type of magic is not a reality.
Type 2 Magic: This is what one might see performed in a club at Vegas, or might watch the Statue of Liberty disappear. This is really (however grand the illusion) called prestidigitation and it equates to slight of hand, and ingeniously engineered props. This is simply not magic although it is fun to see performed skillfully.
Type 3 Magic: This is prayer or invocation of pagan deities, Gods or spirits that is designed to heal or provide a beneficial task for mankind. Since Christians do not believe in the existence of other deities, this is relatively harmless form of magic to us and in general, appears to be nothing more than a pagan speaking to a non-existent deity. A "calling corners", a prayer to the goddess, an invocation of the hunter, etc. these are all non Christian practices, but are a lesser form of magic in the eyes of the Servants of Solemnity. As Christians we believe this is wasted breath but it is a clear indicator of the practices or intentions of the proclaimant and if recited aloud could be an invitation to a demon posing as the deity the practitioner is attempting to invoke.
Type 4 Magic: This is what most people think of when they hear the word witchcraft. Only we use the term sorcery. There are several categories of type 4 magic:
1. Alchemy - no this is not trying to transmute lead into gold, this is more importantly the construction of potions or 'remedies" constructed of various ingredients that rely upon magical properties to bestow a benefit or curse upon the user. Potions may be consumed by drinking, or spillage which could include a salve-like compound. We know that this type of magic has biblical reference as the Archangel Raphael created a potion from a "Great fish" to cure the blindness of Tobias the elder in the book of Tobit.
2. Necromancy - This is the practice of both invoking the dead, and trying to communicate with the dead. Talking to a ghost wandering about in your home is necromancy and can leave you open to demonic influence or oppression. Use of an Ouija board (not just the parker brothers game but any home-made variant too) is both necromancy and divination.
3. Divination - this is the practice of using astrology, necromancy or alchemy to attempt to "see" the future, or gain information in real time about areas or persons far from you using supernatural means. Picking up the telephone to call your mother and ask "hey what ya doing?" is not divination. Using a crystal ball to "see" what mom is up to without talking to her at all is. Tarot cards fall into this category but one has to be aware that in general the practice of "tarot reading" is a form of charlatainism that relies on the rader citing obscurities or vague principles that the subject is then able to inject into thier lives. The practice is generally frowned upon by most of Christianity as a whole.
4. Spells - spells are generally verbal or somatic or a combination of both consisting of "magic words" designed to invoke a spirit or demon to perform a specific task or set of tasks for the 'caster" of the spell. Spells may include the use of props such as a poppet or doll as in the case of a "voodoo doll". Spells may be used to heal or to harm. Spells that are intended to cause harm are often called curses.
5. Channelling - this is a form of necromancy that allows one to open their body and mind for the use of a supernatural being. Often "sensitives" or "mediums" will allow themselves to be "channeled" by a spirit for the purpose of communication with the living. This equates to possession and is an extremely dangerous form of sorcery. Ghosts in general cannot harm a living being while in their non-corporal spirit form. A ghost that possesses a human body has that restriction removed and is free to harm others. Remote writing or "ghost writing" is both Channelling and Necromancy.
6. Astral Projection - If a person is seriously able to exit their body, and travel to another location they do so without the blessing of God. During demonic posession victims have expressed a feeling of being "out of body" while the Demon had control of thier body, but they did not travel to another location.
Type 5 magic: This is blood magic. This type of magic requires living sacrifices, exchange of bodily fluids, sanguination, desicration of holy items such as blessed hosts or holy water, etc. This is a very uncommon type of magic and there is much speculation as to whether such magic is 'real". In truth, we find that if the practicer believes in what they are doing, there is sufficient surrender of free will to leave the user susceptible to demonic influence. While I do not necessarily believe that the slaughter of a rooster and drinking its blood will make the desired effect happen, the willingness of the party to do so will leave them susceptible to demonic influence or oppression and allow them to play the part the demon(s) have cast for them.
Type 6 magic: This is angelic magic but is really not magic in the sense that we have come to "know" magic. This is supernatural or preternatural abilities that defy scientific explanation and way exceed the bounds of human abilities. There are two types of this magic. There is the magic that Angels are given by God to use in his service, and there is the inherent magic that was bestowed upon the angels when they were created. Each "class" of angel has inherent magical abilities that are virtually beyond our comprehension, each having their own set of rules and limitations. It is the general belief that fallen angels (demons) are only capable of using their inherent magic to oppress and influence mankind, since they do not serve God and are outside of his grace, they are not given additional abilities to use in his service. It is for this theory that it so often appears that a lesser angel is capable of defeating a higher ranked demon. Man is incapable of practicing angelic magic, the bible has informed us in no uncertain terms that the angels were made "slightly above man".
Note: I did not create categories for White or Black Magic. Many cultures that currently practice "magic" like to believe that "white" magic is good magic, and "black" magic is evil. The Servants of Solemnity do not recognize that any form of Magic is "good". We believe that all types of "magic" practiced by Humans is from the same source which ultimately is evil.
Satanist: there are a few forms of this word which is quickly going the way of the word "witch". First there is the Satanist that is a member of the church of Satan which was formed by Anton Szander LeVay in 1966. This religion does not actually believe that satan exists as an entity, but rather views him as an idyllic representation of carnal pleasure. Satanists in this church believe that they should indulge themselves fully enjoying the flesh, so long as it doesn't harm another being in the process. These "Satanists" are rather benign, and take great amusement at the misunderstanding most of Christendom has with this religion. Just the same tho, every religion has its extremists and it is possible there are members of that church that simply misunderstand their idealism. There are believed to be factions of unorganized or secret sects of Satan worshippers, most likely stemming from an extreme disdain or loathing of Christianity. Satanists like this should they be encountered could prove very dangerous.
The second form of Satanist is the extremely rebellious anti-Christian who chooses to follow the ways of evil. This type of religion is wholly disorganized being cell based if centralized at all. Most likely this type of Satanist would be a sole practitioner and would rely on demonic influence to serve his personal interests and further his malevolence. This would be characterized in a traditional "black magic" style voodoo king, or the like. This type of sorcerer is extremely dangerous and will rarely reveal him/herself for what they really are. They would most likely practice their sorcery in secret and do as much harm as their companion demons will help them to perform. They will actively work against any efforts to undue their harm. It is unlikely that these people call themselves Satanists but it is clear where their loyalties lie.
Sorcery: This is what you probably mean when you use the term witchcraft. See Magic above.
Demon(s): In Christendom, the term Demon is used to describe a fallen angel. Many cultures and religions have their own forms and descriptions of demons. The Servants of Solemnity mean "fallen angels" when using the term demon. These are the original followers of Lucifer. Demons have an intelligence far beyond our comprehension. The belief that a human can outsmart a demon is folly at best. Demons can harm humans at will, they can even kill humans. Humans cannot kill demons. Demons have a variety of inherent magical or supernatural abilities that are too numerous to list. Demons can assume a corporal form at will, or can choose to remain incorporeal. Demons can silently observe humans at will, but cannot read their minds. They have been around since the beginning of man tho and are super intelligent so they can read body language, behavior and smell at a level beyond human ability so they are able to appear as tho they can read your mind when they are simply anticipating the very predictable behavior of humankind. Demons can quote scripture better than you and do not have a language barrier. Demons are able to pretend to be virtually anything and do not require your permission to enter your home or your body.
(The)Devil: Satan, Lucifer, the prince of darkness, the evil one etc. This is the original angel that rebelled against God and took a third of the angels in heaven with him. Satan is the ultimate source of evil, and makes every effort to make people believe he doesn't exist. The common belief is that he resides in Hell, this is not so. Satan was cast down to earth and has freedom to tempt mankind. It is highly unlikely that you will have an encounter with Satan personally, he has millions of fallen angels to do his bidding and while he would be amused by the arrogance of believing you are important enough for him to "go after" its unlikely he would waste his time trying to tempt you personally although it certainly can happen. The devil is not a cloven hoofed pan like creature wearing a red jumpsuit, sporting horns and a pitchfork. Lucifer was an angel of light, most likely from the choir of the Seraphim, and can appear as anything he likes. Many scholars disagree about whether Lucifer and Satan are the same being.
Clairvoyant: The ability to see the supernatural. This ability is awarded by God but only very rarely. Most of the time this ability is granted instead by evil to lure unsuspecting victims into believing they have been granted supernatural powers. Some people may be clairvoyant without realizing it, and there are numerous degrees of clairvoyance.
Clairaudient: The ability to hear the supernatural. This ability is also awarded by God only very rarely. The majority of the time this ability is granted by evil to lure unsuspecting victims into believing they have been awarded supernatural powers. While sometimes anyone can hear the supernatural when that entity wants you to, clairaudients and clairvoyants cannot turn this ability on and off. It is always with them and they spend their daily lives seeing and hearing what lies beyond the natural realm. This can often take its toll mentally, physically and spiritually on an individual with these gifts.