So let's face it, you really aren't a Wiccan if you're not initiated into a Gardnerian coven. "Thou shall not be a Witch alone..." As stated in the "What is Wicca" page, Wicca is a very specific religion with very specific rules and beliefs. Either accept that or stop calling yourself Wiccan. Wicca is NOT "whatever you make it." Gerald Gardner would roll over in his grave (if his perpetual boner ever gave in) if he knew what people have done to his religion. Yes, SHAME on you! We can think Raymond Buckland (pbuh) and the Farrer's (and let's not forget "Lady Sheba") for bringing it into the light. The Farrer's, of course, were Alexandrians (the first wanna-be's, but close enough to still be rightfully called Wiccan), and their "witches bible" is still pretty far from the crap that's presented as Wicca these days. As for Raymond Buckland, he went off and created his own little tradition, in which he titled: "Seax Wica." The funniest thing about Seax Wica is the Pictish "alphabet" Bucky presents in Buckland's Big Blue Book of Shit. Come on now, a little research would -SHOW- you that the Picts didn't have a written alphabet, and existed for a VERY short amount of time (too short to draw a tradition from especially). Check out "The Mythology of the British Isles" by Geoffrey Ashe for more on this. From then on, authors have jumped on Wicca like vultures to a carcuss and picked it clean of its tradition and core beliefs and practices. Don't like working nude? DON'T! The magicjkhkhkhkhkhkgkdkxcK (I think I missed a K somewhere) goddess doesn't care! Don't like taking orders? That's OK! We can change shit around, and add this, and take this out, and still call it Wicca, even though it is nothing like the real tradition!
So what am I getting at? Your roots can't be from China, but be a full-blooded American. You can't be a Christian and pray to Krishna, and you CAN'T be a Wiccan and follow some shit you pieced together yourself! The only reason you think you're Wiccan is to try and validate your meaningless lives. You think you need to have a title to BE someone, but guess what, you DON'T! I'm not saying that people who KNOW what REAL Wicca is, and still practice a similar religion are stupid, no, far from it, they're the only "Wiccan" friends I have. They obviously are drawn to the formality and beliefs of Wicca, and can, in my opinion, rightfully, but unofficially call themselves "Wiccan," because that's the religion they're closest too! All those books you see at Barnes & Noble, and BooksAMillion are crap! They're a waste of good trees, and I feel SO SORRY for the tree that was WASTED to print SHIT sold for $14.95! Don't read those books, spend your money on good books. They may be more difficult to find, but one day you'll thank yourself for waiting an extra week for a GOOD book, instead of buying a piece of garbage. I honestly do NOT see how ANYONE can take a book written by someone calling themself "Silver Ravenwolf", or better yet, someone who uses her name as a registered trade mark and prances around a certain northern American city in a black robe looking for attention all day seriously! Are you MAD?! Your mother should be slapped for letting you buy that crap! Go join the Catholic church and be a part of something that has some real spiritual maturity.
It has also completly passed me by until recently that the Gardnerians (a name given to them by Cochrane) actually call themselves "The Wicca" or "The Wica."
Felt good to get that off my chest, now I can get on with my day.
...is full of a lot of really bad information. There are aceptable historical antecedants for solitary practitioners. There isn't...and I repeat ISN'T...any good historical evidence for half the things Wicca professes. I am a Wiccan BTW.
Unforutnately far too many people are completely binlded to the mistakes and flaws in the religion. This would be becasue, just as with Jews, Catholitc and Muslims, it's all "faith". Faith nearly by definition is blind to logic. It rises above, or sinks beneath, logic and allows you to do and see things that logic tells you can't be. Unfortunately it also allows you to believe thing that logic was right about, if you aren't careful.
It is sadly unfortunate that you apparently have a very bigoted and biased view of the religion. Most people coming newly to the Religion left mainstream religions in order to avoid people like that.
it is a constantly changing thing in every tradition and creed. While every sect has its own strict constructionists who attempt to impose a static interpretation (through their modern lens of course) the fact remains that while the world changes religion will too...it has to did mohammed anticipate cars, asymetric warfare and internet porn? did jesus know about insider trading? People in every time take principles and try to apply them to their own time and situation.
As for the wiccans - if dancing naked in the moonlight with a big book of incantations by someone called silver ravenwolf that they got from barnes and noble gives them their jollies and helps them make sense and ethical direction in their lives - more power to them.
the problem with attempting to impose a static view on any religion is that it inexorably leads to a condemnation of those not following that view within the sect. That belief of correctness is given an ecclesiastical rubber stamp by the constructionists who then feel not only justified but duty bound to carry out persecution and attrocities against those who dont see it as they do.
But it is rather ironic that you are getting this upset in defense of a religion that is at least half fictional to begin with. I mean, after all, this is a religion based on Celtic roots, but the ceremony and traditions are only aprox. sixty years old.
It is natural that any young religion like this would be subject to broad interpretation. After all, how can there be an "orthodox" version? The time frame is simply to short.
7. I'm not knocking the belief, nor the value it can have for the individual
Edited on Sat Mar-27-04 08:29 AM by MadHound
But it is a religion that, while using the skelton of Celtic history, tradition and myth, is fleshed out with ceremonies, traditions and beliefs that were made up entirely out of whole cloth. At least CS has older religious books upon which to base their values, Wica has no such inherent backbone. That is why I call it fiction, perhaps that was an unwise word choice, but the best I can come up with on my first cup of coffee.
Nothing personal. As I said in my first post on this thread much of the Religion has no good solid footing in history...including the "celtic skeleton". Your statement that traditions and ceremonies were "made up out of whole cloth" makes it sound like someone just sat down and wrote a story. It is entirely probable that many ceremonies actually id start out that way. Let's face it, you do have to start someplace. Most of those got changed in the first night of practice though. Rewritten the next day because it didn't work right...etc. In addition to being a practicing Witch I am also a cancer researcher. Sciecne works a lot like this too. You have a base of knowledge, you say "well, this should work let's try it out" then you make changes to the protocal till you have it right, or you've shown that the idea was fundamentally flawed and then try something new. I'm in the middle of this process as we speak on my inhalation project.
I'm not sure I can come up with a better word than "fictional" myself. I haven't even had a sniff of coffe yet. I'm sure there is one though.
If Wicca is "half fictional", then why are other religions any more valid? I speak as an atheist, an unbeliever to any of them.
What is required for a religion to be "accepted"? How long must it have been around? 2000 years? 1000? 250? How many believers must it have? 25% of the world's population? 5%?
The Greco-Roman panthenons were once the mainstay. Now they are regarded my virtually all as "mythology".
Christians were once hounded as loonie members of a freakish cult. But today, Christianity is respected. What was the transition point? When the emperor (was it Justinian?) converted to Christianity?
I ask not out if disrespect, but out of sincerely wanting to know how a theist defines different religions as "respected" and as "mythology", outside of the view that one's own religion is the one true religion.
To me, they're all the same, to the extent that they don't compel their members to do freaky/harmful things (Heaven's Gate cult, Scientology).
44. Yes, well, you are prolly more openminded than most.
Edited on Sat Mar-27-04 02:50 PM by TXlib
My guess is pagans and wiccans are more likely than Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc, to see all faiths as being different routes to the same place.
Even many mainsteam, fairly liberal christians tend to regard their own faith as being the "right" one. My father in law is a retired pastor, and I know my mother in law thinks faith in Christ is the ONLY route to salvation; they are both quite liberal. She's genuinely worried for them because I'm an atheist.
50. Most people would argue with calling me openminded.
:) Being an "Eccletic Solitary" almost forces me to be openminded. I've also seen a lot of people "locked into" a certain tradition or set of beliefs that once they opened their mind to an alternate view suddenly found themselves a whole lot happier, and better able to "push energy". I prime example of this is a friend of mine who has been a "witch" for far longer than I have been. I introduced her to "men's magic" and she found that it works much better for her. God "talks" to her easier than Goddess does.
There were a bunch of religions started in the early 1800's in america and the ones that are still around are turning that corner to acceptance and respectibility now - there was an article in MBA Jungle magazine about the effectiveness of Jehovas witness sales techniques, mormons are all over the senate and congress when 150 years ago it was legal to shoot them on sight in some states.
but I support anyone in an honest search for some way to touch the Devine.
There are hucksters and truthmakers to be found in every walk of life. The only thing you can do is study, try out ideas and concepts and practices to see if they fit with you. If they don't, then move on to some other version or something else entirely.
I don't really get hung up on the orthodox versions of things, if I may borrow that word. I'm a great believer that if something off the rack doesn't fit you, you should make a suit (Coat of many colors?) yourself. :D
I don't remember the author, but someone once pointed out that the search for the divine is you "hero's journey". There are no roadmaps, no guides, to aid you on that quest. In his opinion, and I tend to agree in princilple with him, orthodox religion attempts to codify, draw a roadmap for, the individuals hero's quest. This is why they ultimately fail for so many people, why so many people are unhappy within their religion. No orthodox religion is going to work completely for even 90% of it's adherants.
"Hero's Journey" - sounds like something Joseph Campbell would say. He was big on the archtypal hero myth (all archetypes really) that runs through cultures and across time.
orthodox religion attempts to codify, draw a roadmap for, the individuals hero's quest
I wonder about people who feel a genuine need for an orthodox faith, complete with all the standardized rules and rituals, and recognizable guideposts. There is a genuine lack of understanding in their part about those of us for whom the standard story doesn't work. It's as if the rules are more important than the meaning of them.
Edit: I'm one of those people who finds more meaning finding my own guideposts. I like wandering in the desert to see what I can find.
Might be Campbell. I honestly can't remember. It's one of those things I read, liked, and incorproated so long ago the source has faded from memory. I'll have to go back and see if I can find it in Campbells stuff. I'm about due for a re-read of him anyway.
In addition to questioning the "need" for that kind of rigidity in a belief structre I also question waht you "learn" by following that map. I mean, you can see all the sights in LA by following the tourist map, but you are probably going to miss that very cool bistro over on the backstreet. Sure there are risks of getting lost, or ending up in a bad setion of town, but precious few things worth doing come complwetely free of risks. Hell, even the roadmaps can take you into places where you are in "mortal danger".
I consider myself Wiccan, BTW. As a fellow Witch once noted "we're practicing our religion the way our Ancestors did: making it up as we go along". One of the best things about having a religion that wasn't bought as a "packaged brand" is that one does tend to be more tolerant of others.
12. "You can't be a Christian and pray to Krishna..."
Why not? God comes in many forms. Here's a couple of lines from one of my daily prayers:
"Allow us to recognize you in all Thy Holy Names and Forms As Rama, as Krishna, as Shiva, as Buddha Let us know Thee as Abraham, as Solomon, as Zarathurstra, as Moses, as Jesus, as Mohammed And in many other forms, known and unknown to the world...."
(from Salat, one of the prayers that came through Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, the father of several western Sufi orders)
68. As long as you recognize that all of Wicca....
...even your horribly narrow and myopic view of it, is nothing more than pieced together shit I have no problem with that. If you aren't then you are in grave danger of have a severly hypocritical view of reality, or the lack there of really.
14. Wasn't "Silver Ravenwolf" a Plastic Medicine Man?
The era of the Plastic Medicine Man. You've seen the fliers, come to a free talk at a bookstore being given by someone with an odd native-american sounding name like "Silver Ravenwolf" or "Gathers-no-Moss"....Then you get a sales pitch to come spend a weekend on a "Journey of Discovery" for only $1500.....And when somebody presses ol' Silver for some credentials, they get "Shit, man, I'm an Indian because I SAY I'm an Indian..."
Reminds me of my days in the "Men's Movement". There was something there, but it soon got squashed by all the Plastic Medicine Men and the "New Warrior's Training ADVENTURE"..."Give us $700 and 48 hours and we'll CHANGE YOUR LIFE!" Monthly gatherings degenerated into sales presentations for the NWTA, and men chose to close themselves off to the group, claiming "I need to 'process' this with my Warrior Lodge..." (IOW, screw you un-initiated little boys, I need to discuss this with REAL men...)
Golden Dawn, Gardnerian, Hermetic, Ray Buckland,etc.... seems like "Wicca" is as fragmented as Christianity.
52. that is some of my problem with the "selling" of alternative
or "new age" concepts or beliefs. I personally do not believe that religion or spirituality should be for sale. When it becomes a business is when it ceases to be spirituality for me. Spirituality is a very personal and private thing for me personally. Perhaps a "journey of discovery" can be good, but should it cost more than a couple mortgage payments? Just a thought.
61. well it's the hawkers of all kinds of stuff that can be self-aggrandizing
-with books people can make up their own minds. I am interested in Wicca and that is why I checked out this thread in the first place. I try to keep an open mind in general and would probably read any books that caught my eye, until I developed more discernment of what is hokum and what is not.
It may be just that I have developed a healthy skepticism of Gary Null and his ilk. ( just my opinion, I think he is scary!) Beware of snake oil salesmen of all types. :)
I can say "Hoka hey" and "Mitake Oyasin" with the best of them.
So I hit the road with my little pipe carved from a chunk of pipestone I bought at a pow-wow, and my dyed turkey feathers, and I offer to teach people "Ancient Cherokee Spirituality" from Ancient Times in Oklahoma before Oklahoma becaume a White Man's territory (even though I know damn good and well that the Cherokee didn't arrive in OK until the end of the "Trail of Tears" in 1839) and I pepper my tall tale with lots of references to "Brother Sun" and "Sister Moon" and "Cousin Wolf" and "Coyote, the Trickster", and mis-pronounced Lakota "buzzwords" and I offer the really pretty women "Special PRIVATE Ceremonies" in the Sweat lodge (which isn't as hot as it is for the mixed groups)...
And I charge everyone $1500 for the weekend, screw some beautiful women, and rake in some nice "gifts", too. And I'm not taking bags of Bull Durham, either. "Hao, Kola, Wakan Tanka told me you should sign that Explorer over to me since my F-150 is on it's last legs..."
I'm very sceptical, too. While I understand that everyone has to eat, my bullshit detector starts screaming loudly when I see what some of these "trainings" cost. I just illustrated "How you, too, can be a Shaman for Fun and Profit..."
What do you think happens when your coven developes a new spell for a specific event? What are you doing when a particular ceremony dosne't quite fit waht you want, so you end up tweaking it to make it fit? hate to bust your bubble but you are making it up as you go along. Yes, you have guidelines from what has worked before. You have expereince to tell you what should work this time. however you are still making it up as you go along. Really hate busting your bubble but...no, wait. No I don't.
or 200 or what? mormonism is the fastest growing religion in the US with 5 million of the buggers here its only 170 odd years old. Jehovas witnesses are only 100 or so as are 7th day adventists. sikhism is less than 500 years old as are most protestant christian churches.
I just think that it is a bit dangerous to try to label people's FAITH by their particular SECT. Everyone from a self-described Roman Catholic to Quakers are Christians, with their common belief in Jesus Christ.
37. Agreed....which shows the danger of judging by sects....
A religious studies class would have no trouble classifying all as Christians, although the individuals in the various sects might.
And, I would argue, that the same religious studies class would have no trouble classifying Wiccans as anyone who professes to follow any of the pre-Christian, magical traditions of Northern Europe and their associated deities.
I mean if you narrow the definition enough they are all right. billions of religions with a membership of one. I would certainly hesitate at being lumped in with most religous sects (or even broader category like christian) for fear of being identified as exactly like person X who thinks...
crazy idea - lets deal with people as individuals and just respect their individual belief as long as it doesnt hurt anybody in a reasonably universally definable way....unless they have oil, or the wrong ideology then we can trample all over their mosques. :crazy:
At first I laughed, thinking you were being sarcastic. But then I wasn't sure....
Look, people can believe anything they want. It may not fit into the "correct" little box, but it's still their belief. I'm tired of fundamentalism of all stripes.
And why can't you be an American Christian and pray to Krishna? I'm sure many do, especially on the West Coast, where I live. :)
I'm not Asian, and I consider myself Buddhist, and also believe in Christ. I certainly don't fit into any boxes. My parents think I'm weird or going to hell because I think meditation brings me closer to the divine than going to a church and praying. But yet they don't understand how I could be Buddhist while having some Christian beliefs. (Neither do some Buddhists, but not most that I run into.)
Back to your topic...I was Wiccan for a few years while in college (after dropping out of the Catholic church as a teen, I was a searcher for a while). I joined a coven, the whole nine yards. I loved it until I ran into attitudes like this. I didn't want to wear a robe, I didn't want to affiliate with COG, and so on. And I loved SilverRavenWolf, and the "barnes and noble" witches, which of course was disdained by my coven leader. I couldn't believe how hyprocritical they were being. They hated the Christian church because of what they had done to witches, but then heaped scorn on "neo-Wiccans" like myself, who were just trying to find a spriritual home. I didn't see why we couldn't respect the older teachers while still enjoying the books by newer teachers.
I once went into one sikh families house in England where they had pictures on the wall of all the people they venerated - Guru Nanak (of course) next to a picture of jesus, one of joseph smith, a small shinto shrine, good old ganesh the elephant headed guy was there, and a statue of buddha.
a real eclectic religous buffet. they were happy so i dont see anything wrong with it. but Im not a fundementalist :silly: for any of those religions
This is why the vast majority of world religions, even Wicca and it's related religions, have a mythology that includes multiplicity of faces for both the God and the Goddess.
Some people posit that even the God and Goddess are jsut two different faces of the same pure divinity. In that way the JedeoChristianIslamic traditions are closer to certain truths than any of the pagan/polytheistic religions including that great polytheistic religion Catholicism.
These "Y Tylwyth Teg" people, who claim to belong to a "pre-Gardnerian" Welsh tradition, with its roots in the "ancient druids" and the "lost continent of Atlantis" (yawn) are in reality nothing but people using obvious Gardnerian material, and a LOT of other plagiarized material, with 'impressive looking' Welsh names stuck on it. 'Taliesin', the man that these people claim their "lineage" or "tradition" from, was an ex-Gardnerian Wiccan from Gardner's Hertfordshire Coven, who was active in the 1960's.
These SAME people BLATANTLY Plagiarised Robert Cochrane's article entitled "Witches Esbat." Get ready to roll the floor. These people claim that Robert Cochrane was a "pretend witch" and a "charlatan", and yet, they plagiarize his writings with no shame and with total, malicious intent to deceive others. Can someone explain why they would want to steal the words of a "charlatan" and a "pretend witch" and put their names on it? Why throw accusations at a dead man, destroy his reputation, defame his work, and then try to claim it as your own?? Because they know that it is real and powerful, it has genuine power and insight that they LACK and can NEVER HAVE on their own. And they are greedy and jealous. And now people can see it.
Here's a good one, one of the prerequisites to joining their coven is thus: an attractive female must consent to unprotected sex with "Rhuddlwm Gawr" *snort* before initiation. Less attractive females must have sex with a "lower priest." As for men, they must have sex with "Cerridwen." What about gays you say? There are no gays in Y Tylwyth Teg, they're a bunch of homophobic rednecks from Georgia. Do I need to mention that ANYONE who opposes them gets written up as "ex-cons who have sex with children, animals, and participate in other devious, illegal sexual activities?" RIIGGGHHHTTTT, the pedophile, animal-boinking sex fiends are in a league to destroy the integrity and holiness that is "Y Tylwyth Teg" (don't miss next months NAMBLA meeting folks!)
I had not conceived the interest this topic has sparked. To go into tremendous detail would break some confidences. I just grow weary of teenagers seeing "The Craft", then wearing pentacles the size of hubcaps, hoping to scare their parents. I also grow weary of adults that think divination decks made from LOTR characters are just fine :eyes:
I used to know some kids in the Army that would dress up in Goth gear after duty hours and practice 'wicca'. I'm not sure what they did but they swore up and down that the card game "Magic the Gathering" was somehow deeply rooted in their religion. I always thought they were morons.
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