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Author Topic: Is Wicca for everyone?  (Read 5776 times)

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Ashe Isadora

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Is Wicca for everyone?
« on: November 07, 2015, 08:19:32 AM »

A friend of mine who is a long time Feri witch (who I respect very much) recently stated "You know, about half of the Wiccans and Neowiccans I know are actually suited to it".  Followed by "Wicca is not, and never has been, a religion for the masses".

How do you feel about these statements? 
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Lazarus Long

marisol

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2015, 09:37:56 AM »

Ashe I agree with your friend. I think people are looking more so these days for something to connect to. A religion that offers more.
So naturally when they find Wicca they think, where has Wicca been all my life. This must be the answer to all my problems, and Wicca is awe inspiring to those of us who feel our lives lacking. We want to know everything. The best way is to join a coven, which is not possible for everyone. There are many solitary's that study Wicca. Like any religion, Wicca requires commitment. Not everyone is suited for this. It's not possible to learn it all without teachers.

Some are more interested in the lure of magic and witchcraft, believing this can solve all their problems. They are wrong. Of course, witchcraft and Wicca walk hand in hand. A Wiccan is a witch, but not all witches are Wiccan. I think of myself as an Eclectic Witch, I
incorporate many Wiccan ideals in my practise. As much as I want to be Wiccan I'm not. I have not given up the idea to attend a teaching coven, I'm not any longer sure this will happen. Our paths change often on our journeys and we wander, there is nothing wrong with this. I feel a personal relationship with the God and Goddess is more important for me right now.

Wicca is not, and never has been, a religion for the masses. Wicca does not recruit members like other religions do. If you find it and stick with it that is fine. If you find it and your path turns in an other direction that's fine. Many can never understand a fertility religion.

I guess I've rambled on long enough. I'm sure there are others with something to say.

**I will say I have chosen a tradition I'm interested in and I adore Wicca, that is unlikely to change.

Blessings
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 10:47:31 AM by marisol »
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Canis

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 04:31:08 PM »

I too would have to agree with your friend Ashe. Wicca, and most neo-pagan paths, are seeking religions. Many are happier having beliefs fed to them. If that's brings them spiritual happiness then good for them. For others though, being spoon fed beliefs and doctrines doesn't work and for many of those, a religion that starts you off with a foundation to build on and then encourages you to go out and seek out the mysteries of the universe is more likely their calling.
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oldghost

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2015, 05:38:58 PM »

Won't confine this just to the young but I think to many people nowadays just want a fast solution to their problems and a get what they thing they have a right to fast and easy . Flew who try stop when they find out it is not as easy or fast as they want and to many get what they believe is the power from movies and tv crap . Or some stupid book . Nothing worth it's salt comes easy .

Wicca I think has to have more then your brain involved but also your heart and spirit . Without those you just a joke .
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2015, 04:19:46 PM »

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?



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Lazarus Long

Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2015, 03:01:08 PM »

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?

Personally, I would like to see a return to the old underground networks, like the one in which Joseph Wilson, Ed Fitch, Gwydion Pendderwen (and Victor Anderson), et al were involved in the '60s and '70s. These could be organized into "chapters" across the US and Great Britain, and further sorted by city or region.  Wilson wrote:

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"In early 1970 I initiated a correspondence committee consisting of myself (Oxfordshire England at the time), Tony Kelly (Wales), John Hansen (Pennsylvania),  Tom Delong aka Gwydion Penderwin (Oakland, California) Ed Fitch (various places in the US) and John Score (London).  Our purpose was  to create something for every seeker no matter who they were or what their background was, to be available either without cost, or for the cost of printing and postage alone.

"John Score dropped out after the first couple of letters . . . He subsequently created Pagan Front in England which later became something else.

"Ed coordinated the project and wrote most of the material, John, Tony, myself, and Tom contributed to it.  We were idealistic in those days . . .

"All of us were involved with distribution in the United States, England and Wales."

This is further described on Joe's memorial:
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"After the publication of Witches USA, contributors Ed Fitch, John Hansen, and Joe, along with Gwydion Penderwen (Tom DeLong) created a publication of practices, which later evolved into three sister groups: 'Nemeton' on the west coast of the USA (Gwydion), 'Pagan Way' on the east coast of the USA (John and Ed), and the 'Pagan Movement In Britain and Ireland' in England (Joe)."

... and at neopaganism.com, on the page describing Ed Fitch and the Pagan Way:

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"Ed Fitch, Joe Wilson, and Gwydion Pendderwen organized three sister organizations: the Pagan Way on the East Coast of the U.S., Nemeton on the West Coast, and the Pagan Movement in England (which later became The Pagan Federation). Nemeton later became part of the Church of All Worlds."

Victor described his participation in the second, expanded edition of Susan Roberts' Witches USA and in an "Open Letter" to Llewellyn:  "I am the founder of the chapter of my faith on the West Coast of the United States."

I understand that some individual authors, including Leo Martello (through his W.I.C.A. organization, which he, sadly, turned over to SRW). Ray Buckland and Hans Holzer operated their own independent networks as well. I have talked with surviving elders and proposed reviving or recreating this network, and they like the idea also. (If any INITIATED traddies are interested in doing this, PM me.)
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2015, 03:05:30 PM »

I meant, some individual authors ran their own networks.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2015, 03:14:52 PM »

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.
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Lazarus Long

Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2015, 03:17:43 PM »

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.

That's why I'm suggesting only initiated traddies head the cells. They would be responsible for screening future potential seekers.
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2015, 03:23:20 PM »

I would further propose that if they are BTW, they must be 2░ or 3░. If they are from another established trad, they can be vetted through proper channels.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2015, 03:25:05 PM »

And we all know no one ever fakes initiatory status, and seekers know the right questions to ask.  Seriously, how can the average student know how to verify their teacher's claim?  Or even that the claim is from a creditable tradition/grove/lodge?  Not that students don't face that problem now...
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2015, 03:36:21 PM »

Even in the old days, seekers who wrote to Joe or Gwydion or Ed may not have known who the hell they were or their credentials. Anyway, the seekers who wrote to them were referred by people within the network. ONLY good potential candidates were referred.

The way it worked is that someone would read a book and write to the author. If the author felt the person was a candidate, he or she referred them to someone in their area (already vetted). They would then write to that person.

What I'm proposing is simply that a small group of qualified initiates from various trads (they don't all have to be one trad) get together and restart the network. The initial group can vett each other. And any future applicants who want to head a cell/chapter would be vetted by the original members.
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2015, 03:40:52 PM »

Incidentally, something like this goes on already. Just not as organized. In fact, I just received an email today from someone who was referred by someone within my personal network. Now, they should have told me before referring the seeker--that's what I mean by it's not very organized today. So I had to write to my contact and ask if they knew the person who had just emailed. Turns out they did.
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2015, 06:04:57 PM »

Kuerden: would the proposed "network" be ecumenical, i.e. a kind of umbrella organisation covering a variety of different traditions (there are very authentic and vital traditions that are not BTW, for example Reclaiming), or would everyone in a given "network" be expected to adhere to a specific set of beliefs, and accept, say, the Gardnerian Book of Shadows as a basic text? - much as all Thelemites, of whatever tradition (Caliphate, Typhonian, etc.) are expected to accept Crowley's (or Aiwass's) "Book of the Law" as a sort of "received text" which is not to be questioned?

It might work as an umbrella organisation for all the BTW traditions - Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Feri, etc., - but it seems to me that a lot of other people might be left out in the cold, so to speak .....

You say representatives of other traditions would be "vetted through proper channels." What, exactly, does that mean? Who would decide what a "proper channel" might consist of? That word "proper" starts a rather loud alarm bell ringing for me - as if to say that only a few of today's Witchcraft traditions are "proper", and all others are "improper", inauthentic, false in some way.

There was the case of a BTW High Priestess, some years ago - I can't remember her name, but I have a note of it somewhere - who declared herself "Queen of All the Witches", and demanded that all other HP's submit their Books of Shadows to her so that she could put together a definitive Book of Shadows that henceforth "everyone" would have to adhere to. The response - quite rightly, it seemed to me - was loud laughter, and nothing came of it.

Part of the beauty and attractiveness of Witchcraft, it seems to me, is its very diversity. Here in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, for example, we have a very diverse Pagan community which encompasses Druids, Trads, Reclaiming Witches, Dianics, Voodoo practitioners, Chaos Magicians, Solitaries - perhaps even a few Fluffy Bunnies who are gradually losing their fluffiness - and we all seem to get along with each other though our beliefs and practises are very different. How would the proposed "network" handle that kind of diversity?

Kuerden, please don't take this necessarily as a criticism. It's more of a request for information and clarity. I wouldn't like to see any kind of a Network set up that excludes some very knowledgeable and hardworking Pagans, just because they don't subscribe to a particular set of beliefs and practises. Ball's in your court......

Blessed Be,

Alchymist. 
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2015, 07:02:34 PM »

Kuerden: would the proposed "network" be ecumenical, i.e. a kind of umbrella organisation covering a variety of different traditions (there are very authentic and vital traditions that are not BTW, for example Reclaiming)

Yes. The original network consisted of members from various traditions, not only BTW.

It might work as an umbrella organisation for all the BTW traditions - Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Feri, etc., - but it seems to me that a lot of other people might be left out in the cold, so to speak .....

Feri is not BTW. And the original network included Feri elders Victor Anderson and Gwydion Pendderwen. So right there you have assurance that no one would be left out in the cold.

You say representatives of other traditions would be "vetted through proper channels." What, exactly, does that mean? Who would decide what a "proper channel" might consist of? That word "proper" starts a rather loud alarm bell ringing for me - as if to say that only a few of today's Witchcraft traditions are "proper", and all others are "improper", inauthentic, false in some way.

It shouldn't set off any bells. What I mean, simply, is that--if you know who to ask--it is somewhat easy to vett BTWs, as Ashe Isadora will verify. Now, it could be trickier vetting non-Wiccan Witches, as there are so many new traditions--but it CAN be done. That's all. Again, it's all in who you ask.

There was the case of a BTW High Priestess, some years ago - I can't remember her name, but I have a note of it somewhere - who declared herself "Queen of All the Witches", and demanded that all other HP's submit their Books of Shadows to her so that she could put together a definitive Book of Shadows that henceforth "everyone" would have to adhere to. The response - quite rightly, it seemed to me - was loud laughter, and nothing came of it.

Laugher and derision, I'm sure.  ::) We would never ask anyone to submit their coven BOSs regardless. It's a network not a Witches' Council.
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