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Author Topic: Is Wicca for everyone?  (Read 7790 times)

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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2015, 07:46:48 PM »

Part of the beauty and attractiveness of Witchcraft, it seems to me, is its very diversity. How would the proposed "network" handle that kind of diversity?

The thing I'm not sure that I'm getting across is that I'm not proposing a council or organization for BTWs, but a network headed by traddies, be they Wiccan or witch. In the quote from Joe Wilson I posted earlier, he called it a "correspondence committee." I like that. So, naturally, anyone may participate. As Joe wrote (all caps mine for emphasis): "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."

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......

Thanks. I didn't take it as criticism. It's a valid question. I'm Vicia, not BTW, and since I'm proposing this, I sure as heck am not suggesting the network contacts should only be BTW. What we are suggesting is that the representatives in each cell/chapter be vetted for quality control so that knowledgeable people refer seekers to other credible teachers, rather than people making bogus claims or misconceptions.

What we don't want is a network of primarily eclectics, which is what it would become if the cell/chapter contacts aren't vetted. There are far too many people who set themselves up as "mentors" and "teachers" who maybe have only read a handful of books, usually put out by Llewellyn, and had a few years of practice. I've witnessed this on the forums. Typically, they have read Cunningham and a few other titles, and suddenly they think they're Wiccan. And they want to "guide" others? I think not.

As Ashe Isadora said earlier (all caps mine for emphasis): "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?"

The network is my proposed solution.

It worked quite well in the old days, and I see no reason it couldn't today, more effectively via email, though I would propose going paper primarily, or in addition, vs. electronic only.

Eclectics already have the web to connect with like-minded. But of the student who wants to learn trad Wicca or traditional witchcraft? She or he often has to wade through a lot of crap.
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2015, 07:51:28 PM »

But *what* of the student who wants to learn trad Wicca I meant.

And actually, I should have highlighted "other" in Ashe Isadora's quote: "Is there a way to make Wicca and OTHER TRADITIONAL Craft paths more available to serious students?"

IOW, it's not just made up of BTWs.
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2015, 07:54:38 PM »

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.

It's precisely BECAUSE of people like that that I am proposing vetting potential network contacts!  ;)
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2015, 08:09:58 PM »

I'd point out that the person in question - Lady Jessica Bell was it?- was not properly initiated, in fact I believe she claimed she was initiated over the phone. It's people like that that a naive seeker might not see through.  She could use all the right buzz words and drop the right names and look very legit, but a vet and vouch would reveal more.  Could she have valuable teaching to transmit?  Quite possibly, but the student should know an initiation from her wouldn't hold up.

Eclectic teachers can be marvelous, new trads can be fabulous, but there has to be transparency so the student knows exactly what s/he's getting in his/her spiritual growth and in their standing in the pagan community.
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oldghost

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2015, 08:32:38 PM »

Interesting but where would that leave solitary practitioner's . There are groups that will not recognize solitary Witches as not being real . An then there are solitary Witches that don't trust groups because to many of them have and our way or no way attitude .

Not how can you vet someone that follows a Magic Path that is different from all the ways you understand . Like Alchy said now a days there are those who follow new ways . Ways where the traditions are of their own making , it does not make them wrong ; we know that Magic follow the path needed for each person . So how do you handle something that is outside of your knowledge . If you have a governing body sooner then later their rules will change to stating their way is the right way . If something like that happens then corruption soon turns too something rotten . This I think is why we have no churches and a mass believing the same is no longer anything but organized control of those not running the place . If you think on it as they did in the olde days , they only got to gather for special occasions or to warn all that bad days were coming . This I think is why the Coven were kept small , things could go the way the group thinking lead and chance of someone spilling their gut to the bad guys kept the lost of many from happening .

There is to much about the times we live in about have certain people think they should and are better then others to rule .

Place like this site where we can gather without being told what is or isn't the right way are the best . Small groups can and do work more in harmony then massive amounts of people . Is there ever a need for large groups . Well yes as long as it is for the benefit of all , then when the work has been done they can all go back to their individual ways . The bigger and organization is the more rules it has to have to keep it running and those that make the rules can only see their way as being right .
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2015, 08:44:07 PM »

Og, I didn't see this as proposing that one group rules.  It looked to me like he's envisioning a confederacy of small, unique groups who co-operate in making sure the group leaders have vast experience in their particular traditions and are who they say they are. This would not prevent Eclectics and Solitaries from being their students if the teachers are agreeable to it. Students are always free to move on.

And there will always be Solitaries, which is how it should be and has been for centuries (mellinia?}  It's just that the commercialization of the Craft has made it more difficult for a Solitary to know they're getting a solid foundation and accurate info about occult teachings.  There may never be a perfect solution, this is just one idea.

Did I get that right, Kuerden?  I'm getting used to retirement and I may be addled.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 09:24:41 PM by Ashe Isadora »
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2015, 09:31:11 PM »

Og, I didn't see this as proposing that one group rules.

No. I never proposed that.

It looked to me like he's envisioning a confederacy of small, unique groups who co-operate in making sure the group leaders have vast experience in their particular traditions and are who they say they are.

Exactly. Hence, vetting is important and necessary. (And I just realized I've been spelling "vet" with two t's. LOL.)

And there will always be Solitaries, which is how it should be and has been for centuries (mellinia?}  It's just that the commercialization of the Craft has made it more difficult for a Solitary to know they're getting a solid foundation and accurate info about occult teachings.  There may never be a perfect solution, this is just one idea.

Did I get that right, Kuerden?

You certainly did. Thank you.
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2015, 09:50:15 PM »

Again, we are proposing a NETWORK of knowledgeable contacts from VARIOUS traditional Wicca and witchcraft sects--not a single group that imposes rules on everybody. I hope I have made this clear.

We are not proposing a church. Not a council. But as Joe Wilson said, "a correspondence committee" that fields requests from potential candidates for traditional training, and recommends them to a credible teacher. This worked in the past, it can work again.

I don't know how else to explain this. It has nothing to do with creating an organization that imposes rules. That's not the point. At all.
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2015, 01:25:43 AM »

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.

Found it. Yes, it was "Lady Sheba", otherwise known as Jessica Wicker Bell, at the Witchmeet gathering in Minnesota in 1974.

It has nothing to do with creating an organization that imposes rules. That's not the point. At all.

Okay, good. A sort of federation then, with no one group having overall authority.

Feri is not BTW.

Of course it isn't, you're quite right. It slipped in there, somehow, while I was distracted by something else. It's been a crazy week ....... no excuse, I know. ;D

..... there will always be Solitaries, which is how it should be and has been for centuries (mellinia?}  It's just that the commercialization of the Craft has made it more difficult for a Solitary to know they're getting a solid foundation and accurate info about occult teachings.

This is a concern for me, since I'm essentially a Solitary and have been for 50+ years, although I worked briefly with a Gardnerian coven in Vancouver many years ago and am presently involved with the aforementioned Okanagan Valley Pagan community. I also survived, along with several fellow Witches, two week-long intensive Witch Camps (1989-1990) with Starhawk and her merry crew, plus several weekend workshops, so I suppose I could, with some justification, call myself a Reclaiming Witch.

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   
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2015, 09:57:26 AM »


..... there will always be Solitaries, which is how it should be and has been for centuries (mellinia?}  It's just that the commercialization of the Craft has made it more difficult for a Solitary to know they're getting a solid foundation and accurate info about occult teachings.

This is a concern for me, since I'm essentially a Solitary and have been for 50+ years ...

What's the concern?

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") ...

Love that--your motto! (Very Golden Dawn of you.)
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2015, 10:26:25 AM »

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.

Found it. Yes, it was "Lady Sheba", otherwise known as Jessica Wicker Bell, at the Witchmeet gathering in Minnesota in 1974.

I find it amusing that Sheba, who broke her vows and published the BOS, would demand that everyone else also break their vows. The gall.

Okay, good. A sort of federation then, with no one group having overall authority.

Yes, you got it!
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2015, 04:23:58 PM »

..... there will always be Solitaries, which is how it should be and has been for centuries (mellinia?}  It's just that the commercialization of the Craft has made it more difficult for a Solitary to know they're getting a solid foundation and accurate info about occult teachings.

This is a concern for me, since I'm essentially a Solitary and have been for 50+ years ...

What's the concern?

Just wondering how us Solitaries will fit into your general scheme.

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") ...

Love that--your motto! (Very Golden Dawn of you.)

Thank you. It's been a while since I studied Latin at school, so I may not have my declensions quite right. But it's the thought that matters, right? ;D

Alchymist
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DragonsTalon

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2015, 08:12:58 PM »

..... there will always be Solitaries, which is how it should be and has been for centuries (mellinia?}  It's just that the commercialization of the Craft has made it more difficult for a Solitary to know they're getting a solid foundation and accurate info about occult teachings.

This is a concern for me, since I'm essentially a Solitary and have been for 50+ years ...

What's the concern?

Just wondering how us Solitaries will fit into your general scheme.


Simply put...we don't.

The main problem i foresee is that this ideal is very hard set in a time before the Internet existed. And trying to take that door to information that has been opened and try to force it closed again is about as likely to succeed as 1 person holding off an avalanche with a kettle and some string.
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Arnemetia

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2015, 08:31:13 PM »

I really like this basic idea.  A group that accepts all whether they be solitary, initiated or direct lineage is exactly what has been needed.
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2015, 02:36:37 AM »

Since "Lady Sheba" was apparently never initiated into a Gardnerian coven, it's at least debatable whether she actually broke any vows by publishing her BoS. Though since her BoS actually differs in only minor respects from the Gardnerian version, one might wonder where she obtained it..... It has been claimed that she somehow stole a copy of the Gardnerian BoS, or someone else who had a copy broke his/her vows and gave it to her, or lent it, or something......

A similar controversy arose in the 1980s when Janet and Stewart Farrar published almost the entire text of the Alexandrian BoS in "The Witches' Bible" - both these revelations, it is rumoured, sent a great many Gardnerian and Alexandrian HP's frantically scurrying around, changing their rituals so that they could then point to their own BoS's and say, "No, no, Lady Sheba/the Farrars got it all wrong, these are the real rituals ......" A merry tale, if true, one must agree.

No matter. The cat is out of the bag, the beans have been well and truly spilled, and we Solitaries and Independents are all the richer for it. There is, after all, nothing really revelatory or Earth-shaking in either BoS for today's students, when such a wealth of Magical information is freely available either in print or on the Net (not all of it reliable, of course). Many would perhaps have felt differently, forty years ago.

Anyone interested can peruse a pdf file copy of Lady Sheba's Grimoire, which includes the BoS, at https://lukas33etkriss.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/jessie-wicker-bell-the-grimoire-of-lady-sheba.pdf (it's a fairly big file, 26.50MB; takes a few minutes to download), and the Aidan Kelly version of the Gardnerian BoS at
http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/gbos/index.htm , and compare the two.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

To return to the original subject of this thread; is Wicca for everyone? There seem to be two schools of thought on this. There are those who would de-claw and de-fang Wicca in an attempt to make it acceptable to the mainstream culture, able to take its place alongside all the other mass-market religions; then there are those who feel that this would be a mistake, a travesty of the real meaning of the Craft; Wicca, they say, should be true to the ancient Craft of the Wise, wild, antinomian, transgressive, a celebration of liberation from artificial limitations, of ecstasy and sexuality, of dancing naked around a ritual fire at midnight while the full moon rides like a mystic ship through threads of cloud - and thus, by its very nature, belonging to the margins of society where Entropy nibbles at the edges of culture, the pursuit of a dedicated few.

 ............. it's 2.30 a.m., and I need to sleep; but I'll be back, with some more thoughts on this subject, probably later today,

Blessed Be everyone,

Alchymist.
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