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Author Topic: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?  (Read 13420 times)

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DaNerdling

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Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« on: November 05, 2010, 01:47:44 PM »

Hello, first off, let me start by saying I am not Wiccan. BUT, my girlfriend is. So I came here in hopes of better understanding Wicca and show some support for my girlfriend. So basically she does all this Wiccan stuff (Yule, Samhein, X3 rule, etc) and I try to be understanding, I really do, but it all just seems kind of... odd. I don't mean to offend, I'm just trying to help myself understand. When we get in fights I end up mockign Wicca when I really don't mean too. I say mean things like calling it voodoo and stuff like that, but that is solely due to ignorance and lack of understanding of the subject. Also, I consider myself Christian, but I am open to new ideas, so basically what I'm wondering is... Is there anyway I can take part in Wiccan traditions without having to convert? I love nature and some of the Wiccan traditions are really cool, but other parts I'd rather not be a part of (building altars, herbalism, etc.). Anyways, I'm rambling, hopefully you guys can help me out here, it's be much appreciated.
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Hjolmaer

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 03:10:38 PM »

First off, I'm going to piss you off.  If you read beyond that, you'll have a much better understanding.

First:

You insult your girlfriend's religion because it's an easy target.  Fight or no fight, what you are doing is displaying a level of bigotry and intolerance.  If you really do want to support her in her chosen spiritual path, then the first thing you need to do is learn to FIGHT FAIR.  How would you feel if, in the next fight you two had, she started popping off comments about you worshiping the child of a girl raped by a seraphim?

No insults.

Argue the point at hand.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The past is the past, and anything outside the situation at hand is just that: outside the situation.  Leave it there.

Now stop insulting her religion.

Pissed off yet?  Not my problem.

Continuing on.

You get bonus points for registering with a forum to learn more about her religion.  No, some of it won't make sense unless you've immersed yourself in the path itself.  That's a given, and no one will fault you for that.  

First and foremost in learning, there is a thread on internet resources which you should find extremely useful. That can be found here:

http://wicca.com/forums/index.php?topic=89.0

One particular site from that list I tend to offer people is:

http://wicca.timerift.net/

It breaks things down decently.  Makes them a bit more manageable.  Now if only I could get the wife to read it......

But I'm fine answering her questions when they come up.

I'm going to guess your girlfriend isn't a member here?  Why not have her sign up too?

As for taking part in Wiccan traditions, look at it this way:

Is it really that hard?

No one will tell you that you have to participate in a ritual (which, as a Christian, would technically fall under "worshipping other gods", but that's an individual matter and I'll leave you to that) but there are many aspects of Wicca in which you could participate.

Take Yule, for example.

Do you decorate your house for Christmas?

If so, good.  So does she.  She just calls it Yule and celebrates it a few days earlier than you celebrate Christmas.  That's a grossly over-simplified view on it, but it covers the essentials.  Without getting into the various theologies and myths surrounding various sun gods and their various births on or around the winter solstice (which is what Yule is).

Yes, much of pagan paths will seem odd to those who don't walk them.  But having an open mind is the absolute best start you could have.  Good on you for that.

So, I'll toss the ball back into your court: What traditions are you comfortable with, and which ones aren't you?  We'll leave altars, circles, and ritual itself out of the equation for now, and focus on other traditions.  What is your current understanding of Wicca?

Oh, and fair warning: in looking for help, you're going to find yourself answering about five times as many questions as you ask.  This is to help us tailor the answers and advice we give you to your specific situation.

And remember: no insulting the religion.  Insulting the religion is bad.  Not insulting the religion is good.  Keep your voice level, even when you want to shout.  Shouting only produces more shouting.  And breeds anger.  And make yourself listen when she's talking.  Ask her to make herself listen when you're talking.  One of the biggest reasons arguments turn into fights is because both sides stop listening and start trying to hammer home their point.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 03:30:25 PM by Hjolmaer »
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DaNerdling

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 05:16:41 PM »

How would that piss me off? I understand I am totally in the wrong by mocking it, hence why I confessed it here.

First off, I'll answer your questions: What am I comfortable with? Basically anything that doesn't deal with magic. For example, I can't remember what the specific ritual was, but she told me once she did some kind of ritual, then had a dream where it revealed her "spirit guide" or something to that effect. I believe that is coincidence, or mind over matter. I can't think too specifically, but basically I have no problem respecting nature and anything that does not require super-human abilities (I'll provide specifics if you want).

What am I not comfortable with? Altars, spells, rituals, potions, herbalism, etc. I'm aware this pretty much includes a good half of Wiccan culture, but depending on what advice you can give, I'd be open to giving some of those a shot.

What is my current understanding of Wicca? That's a tough one. I know that the basis of it is being one with nature and "The God and Goddess" (and coming from a Christian heritage, I don't quite understand how there can be more than one). I know that the "Golden Rule" (if you will) of Wicca is (something along the lines of) "Do as thou wilt, so long as it harms none" And there was something about negative reprecussions coming back to get you 3 x 3 x 3 (that I REALLY don't get). I know that Samhein is the Wiccan New Year (according to my girlfriend anyways, is that one true?) and that it is the day when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.  (I have to double post, I'm having problems on my end, hold on)
 





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DaNerdling

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 05:22:34 PM »

Anyways, as I was saying...

I also know you carry around a knife called an athame (sp?) which also confuses me. I know that a few days before Christmas (the 21st? I think) is Yule and you must stay up 2 days in a row to help "The Goddess" give birth to the sun (or something to that effect). I know that Pagans and Wiccans are two different people, though the concept is more or less the same. Umm... that's about it.

I read a book by Michael Cunningham about the basics of Wicca, but it still didn't entirely make sense to me. Maybe I should go over it again.

And yes, my girlfriend is a member here, but she has never posted for some reason.

Yes, I do decorate for Christmas, but I don't understand why Wiccans also put up a tree and tinsel and whatnot, because technically it is a Christian holiday. And as for worshipping other gods... no offense to the Christians, but Christianty makes about as much sense to me as Wicca does sometimes, I only follow it because I was raised that way (hence why I have such an open mind about Wicca). Does that clear things up?
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Hjolmaer

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 05:58:11 PM »

How would that piss me off? I understand I am totally in the wrong by mocking it, hence why I confessed it here.

First off, I'll answer your questions: What am I comfortable with? Basically anything that doesn't deal with magic. For example, I can't remember what the specific ritual was, but she told me once she did some kind of ritual, then had a dream where it revealed her "spirit guide" or something to that effect. I believe that is coincidence, or mind over matter. I can't think too specifically, but basically I have no problem respecting nature and anything that does not require super-human abilities (I'll provide specifics if you want).

What am I not comfortable with? Altars, spells, rituals, potions, herbalism, etc. I'm aware this pretty much includes a good half of Wiccan culture, but depending on what advice you can give, I'd be open to giving some of those a shot.

What is my current understanding of Wicca? That's a tough one. I know that the basis of it is being one with nature and "The God and Goddess" (and coming from a Christian heritage, I don't quite understand how there can be more than one). I know that the "Golden Rule" (if you will) of Wicca is (something along the lines of) "Do as thou wilt, so long as it harms none" And there was something about negative reprecussions coming back to get you 3 x 3 x 3 (that I REALLY don't get). I know that Samhein is the Wiccan New Year (according to my girlfriend anyways, is that one true?) and that it is the day when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.  (I have to double post, I'm having problems on my end, hold on)

Alright.  Let's start here.

Her finding her spirit guide is a good step for her.  A spirit guide would be something akin to a guardian angel in the Christian mindset.  I'm not terribly good with Christianity, so bear with me as I grasp for comparisons.  Firesong might be able to clear up some of my points on Christianity and comparisons if he'd be so kind.

Super-human abilities is something I have come across quite a bit.  The first thing to understand, or accept, here is that in the Wiccan view none of what she refers to is "super-human".  All people are capable of these things, to one degree or another.  It's a natural aspect of being human.

And Herbalism isn't necessarily occult in nature.  It's actually quite normal.  In fact, I believe there's a passage in the bible about using all manner of plants.  That's herbalism.  The using of herbs to cure/treat various issues/illnesses/etc.  Ever see the herbal supplements at Wal-Mart?  That's herbalism in commercialized form.

As for the rest: remember that you don't necessarily have to participate in those things.  Just accept that it's her path, and that all she needs from you is your willingness to accept it and support her in it.

As for the God and Goddess, Divinity is viewed as polar, yet complimentary opposites.  The idea is that creation is an act between the masculine and feminine.  Think of it in terms of child-birth.  Takes a man and a woman to create a child.  Takes masculine and feminine energy to create...well, anything.  Hence the view of a God and a Goddess.

The Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do as thou will". Basically, do freely those things which cause no harm.  Anything else is between you and your gods.  As you said, the golden rule.

The Three-fold Law: The belief that whatever you send out into the world, good or ill, will be revisited upon you three-fold, or 9 times.  Look up karma.  That is the basis of it.

Samhain: yes, it's the Wiccan new year.  Actually, the Celtic new year, but let's not split hairs. 

I'll elaborate more later, if you're willing to be patient.
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rainman657

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 06:17:55 PM »

This seems like a good topic for my first reply. I suppose the first question is how much do u actually care about her? There is no need to answer me, just ask yourself, because if you truly don't understand her religious beliefs, but was too naive to realize that the internet will give you answers to any question that you don't understand, then perhaps you don't need to be in that relationship, because you aren't willing to do the work to understand her.

Look, I don't know what you believe, and I don't really care. Try talking her directly, that may help you get the answers you seek.

Now, to answer your questions directly.....You should observe her worshiping directly, if she feels comfortable allowing you to do so.
Superhuman abilities??? Those can often be resolved in a very reasonable way, there is a lot of training involved. Try some meditating it may help open your understanding of the world.
The God and Goddess aspect of Wicca is simple, at least to me. Every aspect of nature has masculine and feminine tendencies. Read the story, of "before time was"  that may help. If you think hard some things in nature are clearly feminine, while others are masculine. the Wicca religion reflects on that.
I wouldn't say you would have to convert to take part in Wicca practice, converting is often a strictly private manner.

I truly do hope i was able to help. "Cold silence, has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion."
Don't be like so many others, if you deeply care for her, speak to her, and research more about this religion....that is if you want to.
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Snake-Man

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 06:50:26 PM »

How would that piss me off? I understand I am totally in the wrong by mocking it, hence why I confessed it here.

First off, I'll answer your questions: What am I comfortable with? Basically anything that doesn't deal with magic. For example, I can't remember what the specific ritual was, but she told me once she did some kind of ritual, then had a dream where it revealed her "spirit guide" or something to that effect. I believe that is coincidence, or mind over matter. I can't think too specifically, but basically I have no problem respecting nature and anything that does not require super-human abilities (I'll provide specifics if you want).

What am I not comfortable with? Altars, spells, rituals, potions, herbalism, etc. I'm aware this pretty much includes a good half of Wiccan culture, but depending on what advice you can give, I'd be open to giving some of those a shot.

What is my current understanding of Wicca? That's a tough one. I know that the basis of it is being one with nature and "The God and Goddess" (and coming from a Christian heritage, I don't quite understand how there can be more than one). I know that the "Golden Rule" (if you will) of Wicca is (something along the lines of) "Do as thou wilt, so long as it harms none" And there was something about negative reprecussions coming back to get you 3 x 3 x 3 (that I REALLY don't get). I know that Samhein is the Wiccan New Year (according to my girlfriend anyways, is that one true?) and that it is the day when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.  (I have to double post, I'm having problems on my end, hold on)
 

I'm going to chime in here.  First off, you say you are not comfortable with anything having to do with magic.  Well, I hate to break it to ya', but that is a pretty big part of the Wiccan religion.  On the subject of Spirit Gudies: H is right about saying they are akin to Angels in the Christian religion.  Moving on...

You say are also not comfortable with altars, spells, rituals, etc.  I'm not sure you've noticed, but Christian churches have an altar (at least every single one I've been in, anyway, and I've been in a lot: Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Evangelical Free).  On the Christian altar is candles, a cross or crucifix (representation of the God), a chalice, a plate with communion wafers or some equivalent (for the communion service).  All of these items are used for rituals.  When you take part in Holy Communion...that's a ritual.  You are symbolically imbibing the blood and body of Jesus Christ, or God.  A Baptism?  That's a ritual.  Wedding ceremony?  Ritual.  Funeral service?  You guessed it...another ritual.  So Christianity and Paganism (and Wicca is a branch of Paganism) are really not that different in that aspect.  You also say you can't understand the notion of a God and Goddess, or a triple Goddess (Maiden/Mother/Crone), but you worship a triple-God.  You have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Same concept.  And the way Catholics view Mary, she can be seen as a Goddess persona.

Lastly...you said you have a problem with potions and herbs.  Have you ever taken medicine, in liquid or pill form??  Well, those are just moden versions of potions and herbs.  Hope all this has helped or enlightened you in some way.
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DaNerdling

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 07:00:13 PM »

Maybe I should elaborate more. I am a Christian in the sense that I believe in God and Jesus, I do not attend church, I do not pray, I have yet to read the bible, etc. And my beliefs don't stretch that far eiter, but I won't lecture you on that.

And the magic thing needs some clearing up too: as I said, I am open to these ideas, which is why I came here. "Uncomfortable" was your phrase, so I used it. I'm not necessarily uncomfortable with these things, I'm just not one who believes that because I prayed to the gods for rain, it rained. That is coincidence. That is a minor example.

Look, I truly don't mean to offend anyone here, I am simply trying to gain a better understanding of Wicca, and I was hoping to get some poitners from you guys on how to immerse myself in the culture without having to make it my life.

And to whoever said I don't care about her, when did I say that? The fact that I even came here should show I care about her enough to try to understand a religion that originally made no sense to me. So please, I'm almost begging here, I'm looking for some guidance here.
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C_A

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 07:00:34 PM »

I have some very-thinly veiled issues going on here....many of the "regulars" will spot them quickly.  First a question from me....why on Earth would she "carry around" her athame?

And now...I was almost ready to put a post here and lock the thread.  Nearly ALL of the information you seek is in the "stickies" at the top of each category...Information that most pagans should know, many other participants DO know, and ALL Wiccans should be able to provide instantly.

Listen, Hjol has done a fine job, here.  The other replies weren't bad either.  But I'm certainly not big on "spoon-feeding" information to people who WANT to be Wiccan....let alone those who "stop by" for one reason or another.  You HAVE taken a certain amount of care in crafting your posts, BUT...a little more "honest effort" would carry you further in the eyes that have been focused on you in the last 24 or so.

As for Scott Cunningham's books, (and there are many), the amount of effort you put into reading them,(as opposed to skimming through), is DIRECTLY proportional to how fervently YOU desire to understand your girlfriend.

 
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Michelle

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 07:06:39 PM »

What am I not comfortable with? Altars, spells, rituals, potions, herbalism, etc. I'm aware this pretty much includes a good half of Wiccan culture, but depending on what advice you can give, I'd be open to giving some of those a shot.

I don't profess to know a great deal about anything, but I don't really understand your concerns about altars, spells, etc. Firstly, Christian churches have altars. The worship is very ritualised. Spells? Well, to me a spell is like a prayer. I don't think any wiccan would confess to having any real kind of power themselves. They (I am not wiccan, only a seeker) would hold a ritual where they would ask their gods to favor them and help them. If the "spell" works, it's because the gods have answered the "prayer" and done what Gods do. Christians do the same thing. I myself have often asked for Gods help (christian upbringing). Getting down upon my knees and putting my hands together in prayer, the reciting of a few well used prayers to begin before I ask my question - these all seem to resemble wiccan ritual to me. You say prayer, they say spell. You pray in church, they "pray" outdoors. You see God as masculine, they see God as a duality where the God by himself is not God, nor is the Goddess all powerful, only when they are togeather are they considered to be the "divine" (Crumbs! I hope I have that right). What I am trying to say in my studid rambling way of ever saying anything, is that I am new to all this and even now I am not sure if I believe in "magic". But I can see that wicca is not that different from christianity. As I like to think of it - If God sat atop a mountain, all paths up the mountain would lead to the same place, would'nt they?. You're very lucky to have a wiccan girlfriend.
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nykkifletcher

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 07:16:12 PM »

Maybe I should elaborate more. I am a Christian in the sense that I believe in God and Jesus, I do not attend church, I do not pray, I have yet to read the bible, etc. And my beliefs don't stretch that far eiter, but I won't lecture you on that.

And the magic thing needs some clearing up too: as I said, I am open to these ideas, which is why I came here. "Uncomfortable" was your phrase, so I used it. I'm not necessarily uncomfortable with these things, I'm just not one who believes that because I prayed to the gods for rain, it rained. That is coincidence. That is a minor example.

Look, I truly don't mean to offend anyone here, I am simply trying to gain a better understanding of Wicca, and I was hoping to get some poitners from you guys on how to immerse myself in the culture without having to make it my life.

And to whoever said I don't care about her, when did I say that? The fact that I even came here should show I care about her enough to try to understand a religion that originally made no sense to me. So please, I'm almost begging here, I'm looking for some guidance here.

The best advice I can give is for you to keep an open mind, an open heart, and be supportive. You don't have to participate in rituals, cast spells, or wear pentacles to be supportive of her. Let her know you are willing to learn and let her teach you what she knows. Really read the literature, don't just skim it, and really listen to what she has to say. If you aren't comfortable with magic, don't practice it, but it shouldn't mean that she has to stop! As far as hoildays go, celebrate both! She can do Christmas with you, go to dinner, open presents and you can do Yule with her! She can do her ritual, you can both eat together. There is a happy medium, you just have to find it.

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Snake-Man

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2010, 07:18:21 PM »

Quote
Posted by: DaNerdling 

Anyways, as I was saying...

I also know you carry around a knife called an athame (sp?) which also confuses me. I know that a few days before Christmas (the 21st? I think) is Yule and you must stay up 2 days in a row to help "The Goddess" give birth to the sun (or something to that effect). I know that Pagans and Wiccans are two different people, though the concept is more or less the same. Umm... that's about it.

I read a book by Michael Cunningham about the basics of Wicca, but it still didn't entirely make sense to me. Maybe I should go over it again.

And yes, my girlfriend is a member here, but she has never posted for some reason.

Yes, I do decorate for Christmas, but I don't understand why Wiccans also put up a tree and tinsel and whatnot, because technically it is a Christian holiday. And as for worshipping other gods... no offense to the Christians, but Christianty makes about as much sense to me as Wicca does sometimes, I only follow it because I was raised that way (hence why I have such an open mind about Wicca). Does that clear things up?

The Athame is a ceremonial knife, usually black-handled, double-edged, used for drawing energy, and consecrating other tools.  It is NEVER used to physically cut anything, or draw blood, especially on human flesh.  And we don't actually carry it around at all times for defense purposes (I have my switchblades for that)...it mostly stays on the altar.

As far as Wiccans and Pagans being two different people...yes and no.  All Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccan.  Just as all Lutherans are Christians, but not all Christians are Lutheran.  Get it??

Now...your idea that Christmas is stricty a Christian holiday...wrong.  Christmas, and all the traditions associated with it, were originally Pagan, celebrated around December 21st as Yule.  When the early Christian Church was created, and set about trying to convert the Pagans of Europe to their way of thinking, (the Roman Empire did a lot of this) they adapted many of the ancient Pagan holidays, and rewrote them, more or less, to fit their religious story and dogma.  So, instead of celebrating the birth of the Sun God on Yule, they celebrated the birth of Jesus instead, ("Christmas" meaning, "Christ's Mass", or "birth") although, it is believed that Jesus was actually born in March, not December.  Easter is another Pagan holiday the Christians adopted.  "Easter" is a play on the word "Eostre", or "Ostara", and originally celebrated the first day of Spring, when the Goddess blankets the earth with fertility, and the God stretches and grows to maturity.  The Christians changed this to celebrate Jesus supposedly rising from the grave after being crucified.  But...the traditions of the evergreen tree, holly, and Santa Claus around Christmas and decorating eggs, and bunnies and chicks around Easter, are very distinctly PAGAN traditions.  You need to do more research, bud...I refer you here:

http://www.wicca.com/celtic/wicca/wicca0.htm

Also...that author you mentioned...Michael Cunningham...do you mean SCOTT Cunningham, instead??  'Cause he's the only Cunningham that I know of, associated with Wicca.
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dark magus

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 07:25:55 PM »

There is a Micheal Cunningham who write fiction novels about disfunctional families and misuse of drugs and alchohol, nothing to do with wicca.
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Carbon

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2010, 07:38:17 PM »


Now...your idea that Christmas is stricty a Christian holiday...wrong.  Christmas, and all the traditions associated with it, were originally Pagan, celebrated around December 21st as Yule.  When the early Christian Church was created, and set about trying to convert the Pagans of Europe to their way of thinking, (the Roman Empire did a lot of this) they adapted many of the ancient Pagan holidays, and rewrote them, more or less, to fit their religious story and dogma.

Actually MOST Christian holidays are based off pagan celebrations :P

As for not being comfortable with magic, rituals, etc.  Think of it as if she was Christian and praying.  They are different in their own respects but similar none the less.

to the OP:

You get kudos for having the gonads to come to a wiccan forum and admit to mocking our religion but its pretty cool you want to learn more about it.

There are a few different traditions within Wicca - the best place for knowledge on how your girlfriend practices is to honestly ask her.  It would probably mean a lot to her if you sat down and truly tried to understand her beliefs.

Like C_A said - A lot of the information is found in stickies through out the forums.  More particularly at the top of this section. 

You can learn the religion without making it your life.  You have questions and with enough reading you will find answers.  The thing is - for every answer you find you will have another 2 or 3 questions :P 

One of the first books I read was "Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner" by Scott Cunningham. You can find the book new for like 10 bucks (give or take depending on where you buy it).  Or you could find a used copy for cheaper.  Read it - It explains a lot.  I found it was probably one of the better books that I have read and explains a lot.
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DaNerdling

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Re: Wiccan Girlfriend ...Help?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 07:59:47 PM »

I wasn't aware this would get that heated.

Here's the thing: I have done a lot of research, but you gotta remember, I have ZERO background on the subject and have only been farmilliar with it due to her. So the amount I do know I'd say is decent.

And yes, I did mean Scott Cunningham, I realized my mistake after I posted. His writings seem to be fairly basic and easy to understand for beginners, but the reason I came here is so I can learn how to USE what's in that book.

Ugh, look, I'll say this straight up: I know hardly anything on the subject, I've read the book, and heard tid bits from her, and frankly, my retention skills are less than average. But I thought that I could seek guidance from other Wiccans on the subject. But if it's going to turn into a mild hate fest, you can lock the topic right now.
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