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Author Topic: Is Wicca for everyone?  (Read 7740 times)

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oldghost

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2015, 05:10:00 AM »

So basically what your saying is , it would act as a guiding force for others to show them the right way of doing things ?.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2015, 07:05:58 AM »

I'm not sure "right way" is what he's saying. He's suggesting a process for referring those seekers who want training in an initiatory, mystery tradition within paganism. Not everyone wants that type of training, nor do they have to have that to be "right",unless they claim to be a part of an initiatory tradition.

This is to identify who is whom, not to determine anyone's spiritual correctness. At least that's what I'm understanding here.
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2015, 06:21:55 PM »

............. 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,

 ...... Or not ..... It's been a weird few days. I'll come back soon, truly I will ......

Alchymist
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2015, 08:31:03 PM »

I'm not sure "right way" is what he's saying. He's suggesting a process for referring those seekers who want training in an initiatory, mystery tradition within paganism. Not everyone wants that type of training, nor do they have to have that to be "right",unless they claim to be a part of an initiatory tradition.

This is to identify who is whom, not to determine anyone's spiritual correctness. At least that's what I'm understanding here.

Yes, it's only going to be of interest or use to those seeking training in an established initiatory tradition. If you're not, or have no such interest, then don't worry--there are 100,000 websites, forums, message boards, groups, etc., for solitary eclectics to meet and continue doing ... whatever it is they do.
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oldghost

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2015, 03:15:11 AM »

While what you say has some merit I think something along the line of a more formal basic instruction would be better , like a junior college . A two year program covering all know paths . One that gives a general knowledge of all known aspects with the ability to open new classes as new things develop . This way someone can get a better understanding of the various path for one to follow in what they choose .
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LadyOfShalott

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2015, 12:53:55 PM »

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.  ;D
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2015, 01:01:58 AM »

Greetings Lady of Shalott,

Peter Carroll's "Liber Null" and "Psychonaut", usually published as one single volume, are the basic texts of Chaos Magic; there's also "Oven Ready Chaos" by Phil Hine, available online at http://philhine.org.uk/writings/pdfs/orchaos.pdf , which provides a concise but comprehensive overview. Chaos Magic emphasises avoidance of dogmatism and the prime importance of personal experience - it's a good fit for Witchcraft, in my opinion. My personal signature, "Believe Nothing: Question Everything: Think For Yourself", I take as a seven-word encapsulation of the heart of Chaos Magic (and of OMSI, of course).

Quote
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.

You can probably guess which side I'm on in this debate. Some Wiccan leaders might find it expedient to reach some kind of accommodation with the mainstream faiths, and in all fairness such an approach has certainly won Paganism a few small victories, for example Wiccan chaplains in the armed forces; but for me, and many others, the battle lines were drawn many millennia ago, when Humanity accepted the Serpent's challenge and decided to seek knowledge and wisdom through personal experience in defiance of the lies of the flawed god Yahweh (or Iaoue) of the Old Testament. After more than three thousand years of vicious oppression and genocide, it's hard for many of us to place any trust in any of the Big Three monotheisms.

Blessed Be everyone,

Alchymist.
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LadyOfShalott

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2015, 06:28:23 AM »

Greetings Lady of Shalott,

Peter Carroll's "Liber Null" and "Psychonaut", usually published as one single volume, are the basic texts of Chaos Magic; there's also "Oven Ready Chaos" by Phil Hine, available online at http://philhine.org.uk/writings/pdfs/orchaos.pdf , which provides a concise but comprehensive overview. Chaos Magic emphasises avoidance of dogmatism and the prime importance of personal experience - it's a good fit for Witchcraft, in my opinion. My personal signature, "Believe Nothing: Question Everything: Think For Yourself", I take as a seven-word encapsulation of the heart of Chaos Magic (and of OMSI, of course).

Liber Null and Psychonaut are in my shopping cart, just waiting for next pay day!

I've nearly finished Condensed Chaos by Phil Hine, which I'm really enjoying. I love that there's a focus on personal experience. The idea that "if it works, it works!" in magic is appealing to me. People are so unique, so why wouldn't their magical practices be? :) Chaos has felt more textbook (if t by at makes sense?), it's not flowery, but encourages you to be thorough in your research and practice, scientific in a way, which I really like. Where wicca and witchcraft have the natural elements and encourage you to grow closer to the earth and elements, which I also dig.
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Alchymist

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2015, 01:43:47 AM »

"Oven Ready Chaos" is simply the online version of Phil Hine's book, "Condensed Chaos". They are the same, word for word, so no point in reading both!

There are some (and I emphasise some) among the exponents of Traditional Wicca who have a tendency to sneer at us Eclectics, calling us McWiccans, Dilettantes, fluffy bunnies and worse, claiming that the "only" way to approach Witchcraft (and occultism generally) is by way of formal initiation within a specific tradition. "Otherwise", they say, "unless you've been properly initiated in our Wiccan Tradition by a fully initiated 2nd or 3rd degree High Priest/ess, you won't be accepted as a Wiccan of our tradition by other Wiccans of our tradition," or words to that effect.

Well, duh.

This applies to, not just to Wiccans, but to every esoteric group. If you haven't been properly initiated into the AMORC Rosicrucians you won't be accepted as an AMORC Rosicrucian by other AMORC Rosicrucians, even if you're 4th Degree in Max Heindel's Rosicrucian Fellowship. If you haven't been initiated into Strict Observance Scottish Rite Freemasonry by a fully initiated Strict Observance Scottish Rite Master Mason, you won't be accepted as a Strict Observance Scottish Rite Freemason by other Strict Observance Scottish Rite Freemasons, even though you're 4th degree in the Ancient and Accepted Memphis and Mizraim Rite. If you haven't been properly initiated into ADF Druidism, no other ADF Druids will accept you as an ADF Druid, even if you're an Archdruid of Druidiactos ....... And so it goes.

If it's acceptance you're looking for, by all means get initiated into a proper Gardnerian or Alexandrian coven - or join the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses. But far too often this kind of "acceptance" can degenerate into mere one-upmanship - "Oh, I took my Third Degree last year," - with of course the implicit subtext "So I know stuff you don't."

What many followers of these Traditions find uncomfortable, is that the founders of all of them were unashamed Eclectics. Gerald Gardner put together bits and pieces of OTO and Golden Dawn rituals, the allegedly surviving rituals of a coven of traditional Witches from southern England, Freemasonry, Malaysian magic, stuff he got out of books by Margaret Murray, naturism and woodcraft, and invented "Gardnerian" Wicca (although he never called it that). Similarly, in 1982 or thereabouts, Isaac Bonewits put together the very little that was actually known about Druidic practises with elements of Freemasonry, already-existing Neopaganism, and probably sheer fantasy (the Asterix graphic novels, perhaps; who knows?) and called it Ar nDraiocht Fein - which means "Our Own Druidism" (he was remarkably honest about it to that extent, it seems - although a few 21st century ADF members seem to want to turn it into some kind of dogmatic orthodoxy, which was far from Bonewits' original intent).

So those of us, called Eclectics, who pick and choose what we want to believe and practise from several existing traditions, perhaps adding our own idiosyncratic elements, are in good company, it seems. There's another word for us, too: we're also known as Heretics - a swear word in some quarters, but I prefer to think of it as a Badge of Honour. It comes from the Greek word Heiretikos - "one who chooses".

Choose wisely, my friends, and may the Gods and Goddesses smile upon you; in my experience, they all have a well developed sense of humour. The ones worth bothering with, anyway.

Blessed Be,

Alchymist.
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marisol

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2015, 10:55:05 AM »

Alchymist your words hold many truths and I agree wholeheartedly with them.Most everyone has been eclectic at some point in their journey. I am very proud of being so. We go through our lives picking what works and discarding the useless.Being an Eclectic Witch
is satisfying to me, it allows the individual to celebrate the differences in each of us. In our own way we have each brought into being
our own solitary tradition.

All religions and traditions are man made. So who should we trust to know the truth? The God and Goddess are who I trust.

As far as solitary eclectics go, I will continue within my own mystery tradition.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 12:22:36 PM by marisol »
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LadyOfShalott

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2015, 07:49:15 AM »

Very true, Alchymist! Thank you! I suppose I don't want to fit into one niche, because I've done that before. I was raised in a strict, Christian environment, where there was "one right way" to be. This journey has been so good for me, because I'm getting more than I ever got, learning more, and growing happier with myself by trial and error. My borrowed bits and pieces are slowly forming something unique that works for me. :)

I didn't know the root of Heretic, and I love it! Badge of Honor, indeed! I will always prefer to be known as "one who chooses" over "one who follows."

I've been stressed out, and getting away from my little practice in the past few weeks, and yesterday made time to take an hour for myself. It was the best decision I could have made, and I think, "If I feel so good when I do this, why don't I make more time for it?!" But life does seem to get in the way, and distract you.
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Ashe Isadora

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2015, 03:33:34 AM »

I get it, Lady of Shallot.  I really do.  But there's a key difference to bear in mind.  Christianity teaches there's one true way to salvation and the different denominations are convinced everyone. should believe as they do.

Trad Wiccans don't give a rat's patoot what anyone else believes, including other pagans and witches. We only ask questions if you call yourself Wiccan because that label  has a particular set of practices that defines it.  We certainly don't believe Wicca is the One True Way.

I think this point is often missed.
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Kuerden D˙ghlas

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2015, 09:41:41 AM »

What Ashe Isadora said is right, IMHO. If one prefers to be Eclectic and has no interest in joining a coven or an initiatory tradition, then the network would not be for them. It is not for everyone. And no one is suggesting that they "have" to join, but what I'm hearing a LOT of is defensiveness. The implied message, IMHO, is: Let's not make it available for those who do wish to pursue an initiatory tradition. Why? A network of traditionalists is of no interest or threat to the Eclectics. Period. It's a service to those who wish to connect with an already established path. Simple as that.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 01:49:19 PM by Kuerden D˙ghlas »
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marisol

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2015, 11:36:45 AM »

Would questions be excepted or would that be thought of as defensiveness? TCC as a community of many paths has always supported it's members in what ever path we might choose. We pride ourselves on our tolerance for each individuals decision re: personal growth, no matter the direction taken. We take our spiritual journeys quite seriously. All of us know we will not be required to join anything we do not wish to.

I feel that what you view as defensiveness is curiosity. Possibly wondering if this method is being offered to recruit for certain traditions? No one is saying lets not make this available. I don't feel this service would in any way prevent the seeker from finding
their way to Wicca, but it would make it easier for the seeker to skip the journey in finding their path. I am not sure that is a good
thing. Finding something too easily sometimes under minds the work needed to get where we need to be to make a life decision
that may not be the correct decision.

There are may eclectics here on TCC. I see no reason any of us would feel threatened by traditionalists. Traditionalists offer much
in the way of knowledge which we value a great deal. You may find at times we have heated conversations, but that has in no
way anything to do with much of anything except difference of opinion.

It's not as simple as that. We know and trust the traditionalists on this forum and please do not be offended when I say, we just don't know you very well yet. Give us a chance to know who you are. If all our traditionalists trust you, we will trust you.
These thoughts are mine alone, I have spoken only for myself.            BB
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 12:58:38 PM by marisol »
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Is Wicca for everyone?
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2015, 12:52:24 PM »

I think a network is a great idea, I have seen many such on Farcebook claiming to be the definitive source. I always feel it falls way short of the target but hey, it's Farcebook after all  :-p A properly established network would be beneficial for those who wish to be initiated. I think the only danger is from those who would maybe view such an endeavour as being elitist. I'm sure you can see how that may come about.
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