Thank you for the OP, Ashe. I've wondered this myself. I'm still super new to all of this. Basically been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last 6 months, but I've read about both sides. "Anyone can do it with patience and practice." to "This is definitely not for everyone."
Though I have no idea what path I'm on or have any sense of what I'd call myself (Well, I jokingly call myself a "Witchician in training") I do feel like I'm in the right general vicinity.
I seem to like little pieces of many paths, but I think pagan religions like so many things aren't for everyone. I mean, it's not easy for one. It takes so much determination, patience, and practice, and I think the "McWitchs" either give up, or aren't actually
practicing any craft. They're just "wearing the outfit," as it were. Plenty of people think
they're meant for something until they realize it's going to take really hard work to achieve...So, I guess, long story short, I don't think wicca or witchcraft is for everyone.
I think part of it is that Trad Wicca and some other venerable traditions make it a challenge to gain entry, for valid reasons. But the publicity given to the Craft has greatly increased the demand for knowledge and training, and that's left a huge population that finds Kraft Lite, McWicca etc., very attractive.
Is there a way to make Wicca and other traditional Craft paths more available to serious students? If not formal training, at least enough information to have a solid understanding?
Ashe, this^^^ I thought about pursuing pagan paths in the past, but backed off when I saw the random, silly books on "The Craft" that are out there, as well as the myriad of info on the internet. It was overwhelming. I felt deep down maybe magic is
real, but then I'd go to the new age section of the book store and it's like "Witchcraft for Hip Teens" (Complete with black lipstick and eyeliner
), and it totally turned me off. I'm glad, however, I overcame my personal embarrassment and dug in to find some books of worth. They led me here, where I've found much more help than I expected.
But in the old days the founders and teachers had ties to some very learned occult groups who had proven their worth for generations. In this day of instawitches, who watches the Watchers? At least on the internet there's good chance false information and bogus claims will be challenged by witches who've been Around Awhile. In the cell system you're suggesting given the masses of students who want Craft/occult training,, where's the quality control to protect the nOObs?
I'm intrigued Kuerden, just batting this around.
I also worried (worry still?) about this, Ashe. Even here. No offense! Everyone has been lovely, but I get this nervous "Anyone can claim anything is true on the Internet!!" feeling from time to time. I'm solitary, because I don't think there's a pagan community in my area, and because I think I'm still too shy to go more public than alone in my back yard. But I keep reading "You can't learn everything in books."
I would love access to more authentic and verified practioners! I think you're on to something, Kuerden!
Mainly, though, over the last many years I've developed my own eclectic and somewhat mongrelous system of Witchcraft which I've designated Ordo Meum Sanguinarium Individualis ("My Own B---dy Order") otherwise known as the Path of the Wise Serpent, combining elements of Wicca, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Chaos magic, hard science and wild speculation ..... despite its dubious pedigree, it seems to hang together remarkably well, for me at any rate. You should see my Book of Shadows - one might charitably describe it as a dog's breakfast of monumental proportions (I'm up to Volume 4, and show no signs of stopping......)
Blessed Be everyone,
Alchymist, OMSI 33o
Alchymist, love the title and blend of your practice. I haven't heard much about Chaos on this forum, but read a very interesting book on it, and am incorporating some pieces of it into my practice. I'm also reading a book on Hermeticism! Glad to know serious mixing and matching can/does work for some.