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 31 
 on: May 19, 2015, 03:07:56 PM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by Ashe Isadora
I think a large part of the resentment, and most of the confusion for new Seekers,  comes from all that secrecy, Ashe. I understand, and appreciate, that there are aspects of the Wiccan religion that are, and must remain, secret. But when you get so many new Seekers from Christian backgrounds (since a large majority of the people I've read about on this forum are), there is a tendency to see the secrecy as just another obstruction, a way to keep Deity from being experienced by everyone, unless you do it just their way. What you said just then, about the actual aspects of Deity that you worship being specific to the Tradition, is the first clarifying statement I've seen about why people would join an established Trad coven. Thank you for that. Because, until that statement, I had wondered what made the secrecy so important, and why someone would join a coven other than for teaching and guidance.

I understand that the secrecy the Traditions keep is a way of preserving the integrity of the belief systems, and to a degree I applaud this. Eclectisism has its place, because it gives those with freer spirits the chance to discover what works best for them, without the hassle of finding a guide and adhering to a strict set of teachings; it also allows for those who are unable to find a teacher the chance to discover themselves and their spirituality, to gain a true sense of who they are before they do find a teacher and go on to those stricter teachings. However, I think the secrecy also harms the Traditions, because it gives people the sense that there are private "clubs" into which only a select few "special" people are allowed, without a clear definition of what makes one "special" enough to be allowed to join. If there was some way to better define what a Traditional path is, instead of just "it is a mystery path that one must be initiated into", then I think more people would be intrigued by the thought of joining a Trad coven instead of feeling like there are groups out there who look down on those who either choose to remain solitary or those who have to due to circumstances.

So, to clarify, is there a better definition of what the difference is between Traditional Wicca and the wicca that Cunningham and Buckland introduced people to (which, unintentionally, tends to come off as a watered down version of Traditional Wicca)?
The difference is in our praxis and in the nature of the gods that preside over our Traditions (and covens).  We do ritual and worship them in a very specific way that does honor to these particular deities.  This is what defines us. Something I'd add here is that the different BTW Traditions (Gardnerians, Alexandrians, Mohsians, Central Valley Wicca,some lines of Blue Star ) have slightly different practices, some have different deities, and we don't reveal this oathbound info to each other.  See, I THINK we have different gods, but I don't know since it isn't discussed outside our own Trads.  And I would never ask, nor does this bother me in the least.

All I'm trying to say is that secrecy doesn't necessarily equal elite.

Twixt, your posts have been great.  I'd like to ask something, if I may.  Does the secrecy of other non BTW Pagan traditions that I mentioned, such as Isian Witchcraft, NROOGD, Old Dianic, et al, bother you as well?

 32 
 on: May 19, 2015, 11:37:07 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by C_A
The issue is quite simple. Many who are part of a tradition, and saying that just boils my blood, seem to feel and express as such that their path is better than those who do not join a group.  The attitude is why I say and fully believe they seem to feel they are better than those who are solitary.  That they know more, have more experience and so forth.

In all honesty, almost everything one would learn in a coven from a known 'tradition' can be learned outside of the coven.  And again, claiming tradition on a path that is less than a century.....  another thread all together.

It does not matter what size your W is. And those who think it does are the ones who are sadly mistaken.  Wicca or wicca, either or is what is and neither is above the other.  I don't claim my path as superior even though it is much older than Wicca or wicca.  The African Vodu practices are not better and they are as old as witchcraft. Druidism, Shamanism, Kemeticism, all decades older than Wicca or wicca but none is above the other.  And there you have the main problem. Wiccans are not the be all end all.  So when they get on the high horse it just strikes a nerve.

(Emphases mine)

Khara, you're expressing opinion, here.  That's fine.  What I have, (as have several others), been saying, over and over, is that none are "above" or "beneath" any other.  We have different ways.  We have different strengths and weaknesses.  We have different issues that we face.  We have different parties for that matter.  We have different arrangements with ourselves, our G-ds, each other... It's not about "knowing more", it's about knowing an entirely different experience and having an entirely different methodology for attaining that difference.  As you say: "almost everything".  I said the same thing.  That's what it is.  Almost.  If a person is okay with that, fine.  If not, fine. 

All I have tried to do - all that I have ever tried to do - is point out that there are, indeed, differences.  Not that one is more or less worthy than the other.  I do feel particularly strongly that coven-based traditional Wicca is the best religion in the universe.  Now, that may be a bit toward proselytizing, but it's not meant to be deprecating or denigrating. It is my opinion.  You have yours.  I don't feel that my opinion is any more or less valid than mine.  Why, then, do you?  Just because it's only a few decades along?  How long does a religion have to be "in place" before it's qualified to be accepted?  100, 500, 1000 years?  Aye, witchcraft has been around since we stood upright....but is it the same?  In some cases yes and in some cases no.  As you are fully aware, there are witches who practice the Craft with no acknowledgement of deity at all...and not a care in the world to find one. Better?  Worse?  Religion?  Craft?   

 33 
 on: May 19, 2015, 10:15:38 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by Khara
I would suggest that part of the resentment and confusion for newbies to Wicca, is that they believe that all the knowledge is there available to them; once they discover that some of it is foresworn, and they aren't going to get to that, they feel denied and excluded. That's a hard pill for someone to swallow when they start off thinking they can be true Wiccans.

So are you saying here that solitaries are not true 'W'iccans?  Because they are not part of a coven? 

Indeed.  Many times "we" are considered to be bearing an attitude of "holier than thou" or "better than you" when all we are trying to do is explain the value of gaining the knowledge of the Mysteries.  The value of the rewards of the study and practice that puts us within reach of our goals as they pertain to the Divine, and the fellowship of people you come to know, love and trust.  After all, there is much known about our people such as Buckland, Gardner, Sanders and the rest, but not ALL is known.  Which is, from our perspective, as it should be.  There is much known about such things as casting a Circle, Calling the Quarters and, save us...the Great Rite.  But again, not all is known.

I mentioned earlier that, in my chest, is a heart.  One committed to who I am and what I do.  I, as so many here, was born a Roman Catholic.  I left the Holy Mother Church after Vatican II.  I, as so many here, was a seeker.  I found my way through the maze of different denominations, religions and even cults...thanks to a little shop in New York City and there I was.

I believe there is room for all sorts of things in the Craft.  Witches, Recons, Yoni Celebrants, Morris Men, Sacred Hunters, Solitaries, Dianics, Aradians and such.  Matter of fact, there are some traditions that have their own mysteries and their own paths to learning them.  I will go so far as to say that anyone seeking can and should follow their heart.  As well, follow it a ways down the path...even if it means hacking through a jungle, (in many cases, that means "auteurs"), to see where it leads.  Never lose sight of the trail head behind you, for you might just want to back up and try a different direction - but - exercise much caution on burning bridges!

In light of the fact that many still approach the Craft from the Christian point of view, a seeker needs to learn with fresh eyes!  Viewing everything through the lens of a bad experience...tasting different things before rinsing the bad taste from your mouth from your past...serves only to make the jungle more dense.

The issue is quite simple.  Many who are part of a tradition, and saying that just boils my blood, seem to feel and express as such that their path is better than those who do not join a group.  The attitude is why I say and fully believe they seem to feel they are better than those who are solitary.  That they know more, have more experience and so forth.

In all honesty, almost everything one would learn in a coven from a known 'tradition' can be learned outside of the coven.  And again, claiming tradition on a path that is less than a century.....  another thread all together.

It does not matter what size your W is. And those who think it does are the ones who are sadly mistaken.  Wicca or wicca, either or is what is and neither is above the other.  I don't claim my path as superior even though it is much older than Wicca or wicca.  The African Vodu practices are not better and they are as old as witchcraft. Druidism, Shamanism, Kemeticism, all decades older than Wicca or wicca but none is above the other.  And there you have the main problem. Wiccans are not the be all end all.  So when they get on the high horse it just strikes a nerve. 

 34 
 on: May 19, 2015, 10:03:45 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by DragonsTalon
I wonder if the fact that so many have come from a Roman catholic background might explain why this whole argument kindof has a catholic v protestant feel to it

 35 
 on: May 19, 2015, 09:36:58 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by C_A
Indeed.  Many times "we" are considered to be bearing an attitude of "holier than thou" or "better than you" when all we are trying to do is explain the value of gaining the knowledge of the Mysteries.  The value of the rewards of the study and practice that puts us within reach of our goals as they pertain to the Divine, and the fellowship of people you come to know, love and trust.  After all, there is much known about our people such as Buckland, Gardner, Sanders and the rest, but not ALL is known.  Which is, from our perspective, as it should be.  There is much known about such things as casting a Circle, Calling the Quarters and, save us...the Great Rite.  But again, not all is known.

I mentioned earlier that, in my chest, is a heart.  One committed to who I am and what I do.  I, as so many here, was born a Roman Catholic.  I left the Holy Mother Church after Vatican II.  I, as so many here, was a seeker.  I found my way through the maze of different denominations, religions and even cults...thanks to a little shop in New York City and there I was.

I believe there is room for all sorts of things in the Craft.  Witches, Recons, Yoni Celebrants, Morris Men, Sacred Hunters, Solitaries, Dianics, Aradians and such.  Matter of fact, there are some traditions that have their own mysteries and their own paths to learning them.  I will go so far as to say that anyone seeking can and should follow their heart.  As well, follow it a ways down the path...even if it means hacking through a jungle, (in many cases, that means "auteurs"), to see where it leads.  Never lose sight of the trail head behind you, for you might just want to back up and try a different direction - but - exercise much caution on burning bridges!

In light of the fact that many still approach the Craft from the Christian point of view, a seeker needs to learn with fresh eyes!  Viewing everything through the lens of a bad experience...tasting different things before rinsing the bad taste from your mouth from your past...serves only to make the jungle more dense.







 36 
 on: May 19, 2015, 09:25:19 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by Draconis Rex
I would suggest that part of the resentment and confusion for newbies to Wicca, is that they believe that all the knowledge is there available to them; once they discover that some of it is foresworn, and they aren't going to get to that, they feel denied and excluded. That's a hard pill for someone to swallow when they start off thinking they can be true Wiccans.

 37 
 on: May 19, 2015, 09:02:25 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by Twixt
I think a large part of the resentment, and most of the confusion for new Seekers,  comes from all that secrecy, Ashe. I understand, and appreciate, that there are aspects of the Wiccan religion that are, and must remain, secret. But when you get so many new Seekers from Christian backgrounds (since a large majority of the people I've read about on this forum are), there is a tendency to see the secrecy as just another obstruction, a way to keep Deity from being experienced by everyone, unless you do it just their way. What you said just then, about the actual aspects of Deity that you worship being specific to the Tradition, is the first clarifying statement I've seen about why people would join an established Trad coven. Thank you for that. Because, until that statement, I had wondered what made the secrecy so important, and why someone would join a coven other than for teaching and guidance.

I understand that the secrecy the Traditions keep is a way of preserving the integrity of the belief systems, and to a degree I applaud this. Eclectisism has its place, because it gives those with freer spirits the chance to discover what works best for them, without the hassle of finding a guide and adhering to a strict set of teachings; it also allows for those who are unable to find a teacher the chance to discover themselves and their spirituality, to gain a true sense of who they are before they do find a teacher and go on to those stricter teachings. However, I think the secrecy also harms the Traditions, because it gives people the sense that there are private "clubs" into which only a select few "special" people are allowed, without a clear definition of what makes one "special" enough to be allowed to join. If there was some way to better define what a Traditional path is, instead of just "it is a mystery path that one must be initiated into", then I think more people would be intrigued by the thought of joining a Trad coven instead of feeling like there are groups out there who look down on those who either choose to remain solitary or those who have to due to circumstances.

So, to clarify, is there a better definition of what the difference is between Traditional Wicca and the wicca that Cunningham and Buckland introduced people to (which, unintentionally, tends to come off as a watered down version of Traditional Wicca)?

 38 
 on: May 18, 2015, 04:52:41 PM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by Ashe Isadora
Spyderjem, you said something that really gave me pause, and maybe I could help clarify things a bit. I've never heard anyone say that Trad Wiccans are separating people from the divine, and I find that thought very painful, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Trad Wiccans worship specific, tutelary gods that are are just one facet of the divine, not the totality. There are many, many other god/desses, paths, traditions, religions and BTW Wicca is just one.

I'd add that there are many pagan paths, and many that are not pagan, that are also initiatory and oathbound..  The New Reformed Order of the Golden Dawn, Isian Witchcraft, Old Dianic Witchcraft, The Spiral Path, Church Of All Worlds among many others  - all are closed, oathbound mystery traditions. How about Masonry, Rosicrucianism, Santeria, Candomble?  Many, many religons, paths and traditions require years of study before you can even think of requesting entry.

Every Trad Wiccan BTW HP/S spends exhaustive hours reaching out to the magical community to make their coven's presence known, teaching Outer Court students and preparing people for initiation and elevation.  They network constantly to assist BTW Seekers in locating BTW covens that are accepting students.  Acceptance isn't based on money (the HP/S's won't accept it), education, social status or social connection. It's based on the ability to serve the Gods of the Wica and the Craft.  Period.  There are many, many people who serve Isis, Odin, Brigid or a host of other deities to express their devotion to the divine.  In fact, there are infinite ways to do this! And no Trad Wiccan I know or have heard of would ever, ever say that their Tradition has he only "correct" way to see the divine.

Well I've rambled on a bit.  I hope I've explained more than I've confused. But I'm glad you brought that up because I can see how that could cause resentment, perceived that way.

It bears repeating.  The Gods of the Wica are only one aspect of the divine among many, not "The Divine".

 39 
 on: May 18, 2015, 02:53:47 PM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by spyderjem
I second the like button for Twixt's comment.

I can also understand MW's sentiments....  To some extent, (I'm sorry for this, please don't take offense C_A) it can come across that Wicca is a private club for the "in" crowd and when we get that perspective it brings out the rebel in some of us. (Or maybe this is just me.)

I think it boils down to perspective and prior experiences. For instance, I was raised strict orthodox Christian, I was told what to believe, how to believe it, what to worship, and how to worship. I was never introduced to "spirituality" and had no contact with a "divine." It was embracing my own spirituality and getting in touch with the divine that led me out of Christianity. As I perceive it, the "church" stood between me and the divine, hiding the Divine from me. So when someone talks about Wicca being a secret religion, requiring linage, etc. in my perception it blends in with the "church" and takes the same position. And the idea of someone, anyone, being between me and the Divine absolutely infuriates me.

But this is MY perception and is not FACT. From what C_A has said many other places, Wicca doesn't chase you down and make you do anything. It's just a matter of labels...... after all if you pulled out the ketchup bottle and squirted some on your fries only to find someone refilled it with mustard, you wouldn't be happy!

Both C_A and Ashe are passionate about something that it looks like most people (for various reasons) actually TRY to misunderstand. I think they are only trying to make the point that you should only put ketchup in the ketchup bottle and leave the mustard in the mustard bottle.

 40 
 on: May 18, 2015, 11:21:02 AM 
Started by Mystik Witch - Last post by MoonlitWings
Thanks for clarifying that C_A. I was thinking I missed something when I first looked into Wicca XD

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