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Wyldkat

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How do you know?
« on: March 21, 2011, 03:48:51 PM »

Ok, we've done the whole what is Wicca vs what isn't Wicca, coven vs solitary, fluffy vs traditional bit over and over.  I still have a question though.  It might have been covered in one of the other threads and I either missed it or forgot it, but here goes.

I was Wiccan for awhile.  I was a solitary and never met another Wiccan who was anything other than goth fluffy until near the point I started drifting away from strict Wicca.  Everything I knew I learned from books, practice and my guides (messages from deity, however you want to phrase it).  This was back before the plethora of books we have now so pretty much everything was vigorously unfluffy.  Now I considered myself a Wiccan, but had never worked with a coven, much the less a fully lineaged one.

So....  How do I know how much of what I practiced was "actual" Wicca?  How do I know what I was missing not being in a coven?  Can I ever have an idea?  Joining a coven was never an option since there were none available.  Can a solitary ever really have a traditional practice?
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blue

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 04:07:46 PM »


 There's a saying that when the student is ready a teacher will come.

 I think you just have to trust that spirit will provide you with everything that you need ... not necessarily what you want or expect. Maybe the best that any of us can do is just let go and ride the tide to wherever it's going to take us.

 I know ... it's not much to go on but i think this involves trust in spirit and faith that everything will work out just as it should.
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Wyldkat

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 04:36:39 PM »

There's a saying that when the student is ready a teacher will come.

 I think you just have to trust that spirit will provide you with everything that you need ... not necessarily what you want or expect. Maybe the best that any of us can do is just let go and ride the tide to wherever it's going to take us.

 I know ... it's not much to go on but i think this involves trust in spirit and faith that everything will work out just as it should.

Oh, I totally agree.  I do not currently identify as Wiccan nor do I have any plans to so again at this point.  Trusting in the universe is what has gotten my where I've gotten to on my path and I'm very happy with where I'm at.  It's intellectual curiosity based off of conversations here and looking back at my early practice.
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Wyldkat

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 04:37:48 PM »

There's a saying that when the student is ready a teacher will come.

One of my favorite sayings, by the way.
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blue

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 07:56:54 PM »

Wyldcat:

Oh, I totally agree.  I do not currently identify as Wiccan nor do I have any plans to so again at this point.  Trusting in the universe is what has gotten my where I've gotten to on my path and I'm very happy with where I'm at.  It's intellectual curiosity based off of conversations here and looking back at my early practice.

 and

So....  How do I know how much of what I practiced was "actual" Wicca?  How do I know what I was missing not being in a coven?  Can I ever have an idea?

 Blue

 It's just my opinion but i think you can have a generally good idea of what was " actual " Wicca. You just have to reason it through and fit all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.

 First off .... what is the real Wicca ?  Reason would dictate the original tradition is Wicca ... true ?

 Things get a little uncertain once you start to get into the later trads and a solitary practice so let's ignore those for the time being. We can always come back to them later and compare them to what we know is the real deal to see if they still fall under the umbrella of Wicca or if they've morphed into something else.

 I suppose it would depend on who you talk to but in my opinion if a piece of information is in writing and out in the public domain then it's not one of the secrets of Wicca.

 What do we have available to us ?  Well ... there's quite a bit of information out there isn't there ? There are the Ardanes, The Gardnerian Book of Shadows, all of the writings of those that took part in the founding of this new religion that was created some sixty some odd years ago, and .... seeing as Wicca is thought of as being sort of a patchwork quiltfish one could study all of the different elements which were woven together to make it.

 Maybe ... just maybe ... you might be better off to think and decide for yourself rather than to blindly take the word of someone that's in a coven thirty times removed from the original.

 The question of a teacher came up. If we look at the ardanes maybe we can get an idea of how it was originally done.

         153. It hath been found that  practicing the Art doth cause a fondness
          between aspirant and tutor, and  it is the cause of better  results if
          this be so.

          154.  But if  for any  reason this  be undesirable,  it can  easily be
          avoided  by both  persons from  the outset  firmly resolving  in their
          minds that if any such ensure, it shall be that of brother and sister,
          or parent and child.

          155. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught by a woman and
          a woman by a man and that woman and woman and man and man should never
          attempt these practices together.

          156. And may all the Curses of the Mighty Ones be on any who make such
          an attempt.


         This tells me volumes.  What do you think ?
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Wyldkat

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 08:54:35 PM »

It's just my opinion but i think you can have a generally good idea of what was " actual " Wicca. You just have to reason it through and fit all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.

 First off .... what is the real Wicca ?  Reason would dictate the original tradition is Wicca ... true

 I suppose it would depend on who you talk to but in my opinion if a piece of information is in writing and out in the public domain then it's not one of the secrets of Wicca.

See, that's sort of what my issue is.  If Wicca is based on the teachings of Gardner and others and they were all oath bound in covens, doesn't it sort of leave any one who isn't in a coven directly descended from one of those out of the loop as far as "official" teachings go?

If Gardner said "This is how it works, now don't tell anyone" and you aren't privy to that info doesn't that automatically exclude you from an important part of the practice?

Quote
What do we have available to us ?  Well ... there's quite a bit of information out there isn't there ? There are the Ardanes, The Gardnerian Book of Shadows, all of the writings of those that took part in the founding of this new religion that was created some sixty some odd years ago, and .... seeing as Wicca is thought of as being sort of a patchwork quiltfish one could study all of the different elements which were woven together to make it.

But as you said, if it is out there and public it can't be one of the "secrets."  Also if it was cobbled together from this and that then isn't it that much more important to have ALL of the information?  What makes someone on their own making due with what is available out there actually Wiccan?  They could be dumping in a whole bunch of stuff Gardner never intended.  I know, there are the basics which are pretty easy to find (unless oathbound info totally negates some of it), but there is a bunch of stuff that isn't "The Rede" or "The Ardanes" and so on.  How is someone to know if this bit or that bit is actually based off of how Gardner organized it all?

Quote
Maybe ... just maybe ... you might be better off to think and decide for yourself rather than to blindly take the word of someone that's in a coven thirty times removed from the original.

I agree, which is why I am no longer Wiccan.  Following something that I wasn't sure exactly what was "official" and what isn't wasn't my cup of tea.  The path I now follow all the info is there to find if you look, anything oathbound is specific to certain cultural paths, none of which I personally follow.

Quote
The question of a teacher came up. If we look at the ardanes maybe we can get an idea of how it was originally done.

         153. It hath been found that  practicing the Art doth cause a fondness
          between aspirant and tutor, and  it is the cause of better  results if
          this be so.

          154.  But if  for any  reason this  be undesirable,  it can  easily be
          avoided  by both  persons from  the outset  firmly resolving  in their
          minds that if any such ensure, it shall be that of brother and sister,
          or parent and child.

          155. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught by a woman and
          a woman by a man and that woman and woman and man and man should never
          attempt these practices together.

          156. And may all the Curses of the Mighty Ones be on any who make such
          an attempt.


         This tells me volumes.  What do you think ?


To me it is stressing duality and the importance of a close connection between teacher and student that is kept platonic.  I might be missing exactly what you are seeing though.
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blue

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2011, 05:12:53 AM »

Wyldcat:

See, that's sort of what my issue is.  If Wicca is based on the teachings of Gardner and others and they were all oath bound in covens, doesn't it sort of leave any one who isn't in a coven directly descended from one of those out of the loop as far as "official" teachings go?

Blue:

 Ok ... well ... let's think it through.

 We know that there is a system in place for giving a new coven it's credentials. It's like a pedigree ... right ? It's sort of like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It says that this coven meets certain minimum standards.

 If you look at the Ardanes it clearly describes how new covens are formed.

 It's not like ..... the Christian Catholic church where if you want to open up a church you have to get a charter (permission) from a central authority.

Instead .... one coven springs forth from another like offspring from a parent. Think of it as being like the branches of a tree with offshoots fostering offshoots as Wicca spreads across the landscape.

 There's a weakness in the Wiccan system. What happens when you make a copy of a copy of a copy ? That's right ... there's a little bit of error introduced with each cloning isn't there. Allowed to run unchecked these errors compound themselves and the religion of Wicca evolves into something else

 Now if Wicca were like the Catholic church there would be a central authority to hold the line unchanging. If a coven which was cloned twenty times over and started to drift way off course, and there were a central Wiccan authority, a coven could have it's charter revoked. It's not like that though. There's nobody like the Pope to speak for what Wicca is and is not.

Wyldcat:

 But as you said, if it is out there and public it can't be one of the "secrets."  Also if it was cobbled together from this and that then isn't it that much more important to have ALL of the information?  What makes someone on their own making due with what is available out there actually Wiccan?  They could be dumping in a whole bunch of stuff Gardner never intended.  I know, there are the basics which are pretty easy to find (unless oathbound info totally negates some of it), but there is a bunch of stuff that isn't "The Rede" or "The Ardanes" and so on.  How is someone to know if this bit or that bit is actually based off of how Gardner organized it all?

Blue:

 I would say this ... you can accomplish AMAZING things with the use of reason and logic.

 There's a saying " that a great mind, given one solid fact, could envision the universe."

 There's much more than one solid fact to work with here.  :)

--------------------

 The other thing is that while Gardner is credited with creating the Wiccan path it was actually a group effort. Think of him as the front man for the band. IMO you have to look at all of the different people who were involved in the creation of this thing to get an understanding of it.

 Remember ... they were ALL very human, just like us, and were making it up as they went along.  ;)

Wyldcat:

 To me it is stressing duality and the importance of a close connection between teacher and student that is kept platonic.  I might be missing exactly what you are seeing though.

 Blue:

 Let's look at it again but in a different context.

153. It hath been found that  practicing the Art doth cause a fondness   sexual attraction  between aspirant and tutor, and  it is the cause of better  results if
          this be so.

154.  But if  for any  reason this  be undesirable,  it can  easily be
          avoided  by both  persons from  the outset  firmly resolving  in their
          minds that if any such ensure, it shall be that of brother and sister,
          or parent and child.


155. And it is for this reason that a man may be taught by a woman and
          a woman by a man and that woman and woman and man and man should never
          attempt these practices together.


156. And may all the Curses of the Mighty Ones be on any who make such
          an attempt.


 It reads a little differently now doesn't it ?  What can we determine from this ?

1: It looks like there might be a bit of sexy teaching going on because it's believed that this aids in the learning process.

2: If that's a problem for some reason it can be resolved from the outset that there won't be any hanky panky going on.

3: Wicca seems to have a real problem with homosexuality in teaching. LOL .. may the curses of the mighty ones be upon them !

---------------------------------

 See what i'm saying though ? We know that Wicca is a fertility religion. Folks practice skyclad and perform the Great Rite. If you look at the rite of initiation from the Gardnerian BOS it's abundantly clear that there are some other sexy things going on.

 It's not hard to make the connection. Just substitute the euphemism " fondness " for sexual attraction and it makes sense.  :)



« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 07:35:14 AM by blue »
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Alchymist

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 04:16:04 PM »

There's a saying that when the student is ready a teacher will come.


Getting nitpicky for a moment here; that isn't quite how it goes....

The saying is: "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."

That might sound like a trivial little quibble, but if you think about it for a minute, you see that it changes the whole sense. The teacher APPEARS. He, or she, might have been there all along; it's just that the student, for some reason, didn't notice, or wasn't conscious of his/her presence. Hence, when the student is ready, the teacher suddenly comes into focus.

This little aphorism points up the fundamental necessity for awareness on the part of the student. The Teacher doesn't suddenly come knocking on your door when you're ready; he/she was already sitting in your armchair, drinking your beer, having a conversation with you; and suddenly you become aware, and you realise; "My Teacher is sitting right here....!!"

May the Prize be worth the Quest for you.

Alchymist.
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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 04:42:19 PM »

 Interesting point ...  :)

 It's been my experience many people have a certain amount of ... i don't know ... pride maybe ?  For one reason or another there's often some kind of internal resistance to new learning within the student.

 A teacher has to devise ways of doing an end run around that block.

 I can't help but feel that it may sometimes be best for the teacher to be invisible.

 A teacher may appear when needed but not necessarily be visible as such to the student.

 It's not until much later that the student has one of those *aha!* moments and they realise that a certain person was their guide.

 By then the concepts are in place and the teacher is long gone !     :D
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 04:46:15 PM by blue »
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Alchymist

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 05:13:27 PM »

You're absolutely right, Blue.

Sometimes the Awareness doesn't happen until the Teacher has long gone. There have been many important Teachers in my life that I have, unhappily, failed to acknowledge while they were still around. My father, for one. And a dog, who taught me much about courage, loyalty, cheerfulness.... and the importance of sometimes taking a snooze when nothing interesting is happening, because there will certainly come a time when things get so..... interesting..... that sleep is out of the question. Then you'll be heartily glad that you've banked a few hours......

Alchymist. 
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C_A

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 11:25:07 AM »

This is a rehash of the WHOLE "Best Of:"  "CAN a solitary BE a WICCAN" in a different light.

Good.  It will help answer the question...

The "SHORT" Answer is "NO". 

Let me qualify...

WHile it is TRUE that there ar several copies of "THE Gardnerian Book Of Shadows" online, (as we ll as many assorted books / papers / transcripts), I can assure ALL of you that NO, it is NOT complete or unabridged.  There really ARE still things out there that are oathbound secrets.  The same holds true for Alexandrian and Seax.  And I am CERTAIN that it's true for the "over-all" of BT Wicca.

Now...the "long" answer is yes.  There is ENOUGH "out there" in bookstores and online, to get a person that is TRULY SEEKING the Wiccan way to petition the Lord and Lady for blessings onto themselves and on their workings and rituals.

WICCA IS a SEEKING / MYSTERY religion...yes....but that's NOT to say that the Lord and Lady are DEAF...They HEAR the queries from the dedicated. 

A while back, there was some "discussion", (not here), about my use of "Wicca" and "wicca".  In some circles it has caught on bBECAUSE it does the job and does it well. 

If you were to go to a board, even one that I've never been to, and said "McWicca" or "Wicca Parmagiana/ Wicca with meatballs", EVERYONE would know VERY quickly what you meant.  After all...even though "fluffy bunny" wasn't one of the terms that I coined, we ALL know what it means! 
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Wyldkat

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 12:02:52 PM »

C_A, I wasn't trying for a rehash actually.  I had a question that had not been answered by any of the other threads so I asked it hoping for an answer.  That's how this is supposed to work, right?

So....  How do I know how much of what I practiced was "actual" Wicca?  How do I know what I was missing not being in a coven?  Can I ever have an idea? 
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blue

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2011, 01:38:11 PM »

Oh, I totally agree.  I do not currently identify as Wiccan nor do I have any plans to so again at this point.  Trusting in the universe is what has gotten my where I've gotten to on my path and I'm very happy with where I'm at.  It's intellectual curiosity based off of conversations here and looking back at my early practice.

 There's been sort of a break in the discussion as it's been idle for a bit. There's a line of thought that runs through a thread. I think that for many of us there is that intellectual curiosity. Maybe it's enough to have a very good working knowledge of the faith without having to have access to everything that others might wish to keep private.

 It's sort of like a year and a day in the traditional sense. A new person is introduced to the faith and given enough information so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not Wicca is a good fit for them.

 Seeing as those of the third appear to have the right to hive off and form their own coven Wicca could be construed to being a calling to the clergy ?

 A calling to the faith is a calling. It's really not something that one would choose is it ?

 Your calling chooses you ?
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Wyldkat

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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2011, 01:56:38 PM »

I would definitely say your calling chooses you and not the other way around.
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Re: How do you know?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2011, 02:35:07 PM »

How do you know any of these "teachings" or "callings" are real? How do you know it is not a manifestation of your subconscious?
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