A Conversation for Wicca - a Legacy of Persecution

"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 1

JadeaFaith

We’ll take this bit-by-bit shall we, for a start as someone has already pointed out the religion hasn’t even reached 100 years old yet, any persecution towards witches or pagans is very much separate from that of Wicca, even if it were not the case fact remains that the ‘more persecuted than thou’ attitude really doesn’t stand up – saying Wicca or Pagans were persecuted in this way is about as valid as saying Wicca were burned in the witch trials, it’s simply inaccurate. The burning times had nothing to do with Wicca, and very little to do with paganism or witchcraft, it was as you said hysteria and more to do with sociological factors than any religious ones.

"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."
You do realize that the above statement is a contradiction in terms right?
Religion is formalised organisation, you cannot simply make it up as you go along, a religion follows practices and doctrines along with the beliefs, Wicca itself is a religion, or a priesthood depending on whom you talk to, either way it is not something you can do yourself. Wicca is an initiate only religion, there is no way around that, it is part of the practice and being an oath bound mystery tradition there are certainly things no one could ever learn from personal study and exercise. Neo-Wicca may well follow Wicca beliefs, practice in similar ways however they are not Wicca, without initiation no one is Wicca no matter how much they scream and shout about it, it’s one of the core principles of Wicca.
Wicca are pantheists, they worship that one deity, but with duel polarity of goddess AND god, not just the goddess, sometimes including soft-polytheism – other comments written I’ll leave unaddressed because god knows what you were attempting to say.

On ‘Magick’ and for that matter on witchcraft in general, to lump witchcraft and Wicca together is ignorance, ignoring a whole host of other witchcraft and magic systems, Wicca is young and given the increase in Neo-Wicca it has been diluted so knowledge is limited. Wicca itself does teach a wide variety and I am a freak of magic mechanics, however as many non-religious witchcraft groups point out religious witchcraft is dependant on belief, not actuality, so to alienate those forms of witchcraft is to throw magical logic out the window. To say witches do not use magic for monetary reward is also inaccurate, even within Wicca ethical codes. I’d imagine all Wicca need proof of their powers, if there were no proof then simply there would be very little point in doing anything at all.

On beliefs, in this case Wicca morality/ethics there are no ‘rules’ certainly no Wicca is bound by the rede, the rede is not to say that one cannot harm, it is to say that you cannot do whatever you want in case you harm someone/something else, it is cause and effect not ‘Harm none’. The idea of ‘harm none’ may well come form pantheist beliefs, it makes little sense to purposefully harm something which is part of your own divine. Wicca ethics brings up an issue of ‘What is harm?’ sometimes harm is needed it is part of learning, experience and in many cases is more positive than negative, as already stated, it is cause and effect not a simply case of ‘harm none’ if ethics were that easy someone would have thought of that long ago. Wicca are perfectly capable of using their own ethics, they don’t need a cold hard rule with no room for personal ethics or changes in situations.

Wicca are not polytheistic at all, an example of polytheistic pagans would be someone like the Asatru, Wicca are pantheists, occasionally including soft-polytheism – those who work with soft-polytheism often will choose one pantheon to work with, not span across many.

Not all Wicca believe in the threefold law, in fact many reject it because simply it has no basis except perhaps in western karmic theory, the issue I could go into much detail I am sure however I feel it would simply be repeating myself, fact is many Wicca reject the law of return, there is simply little need for it and again cause and effect is the main point of Wicca ethical and moral thinking.

"Wicca is a religion, not a boy band. The Old Ways have existed since the dawn of time."
Wicca is a religion, your right there, yet many don’t treat it as such, for many, like yourself, the words ‘religion’ and ‘Wicca’ seem to be meaningless terms. The old ways have nothing to do with Wicca.


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 2

soeasilyamused, or sea

"Any persecution towards witches or pagans is very much separate from that of Wicca,"

Wiccans are pagans and witches. That's like saying that African-Americans in the US today have no connection to the Africans who were slaves centuries ago. They do have a connection. It's part of their history, their heritage.

"Even if it were not the case fact remains that the ‘more persecuted than thou’ attitude really doesn’t stand up – saying Wicca or Pagans were persecuted in this way is about as valid as saying Wicca were burned in the witch trials, it’s simply inaccurate."

I think perhaps the "more persecuted than thou" attitude you refer to is something perceived on your side. I certainly don't cop that attitude, and if I have, it's because people come along and pick apart my beliefs and try to prove me wrong.

"The burning times had nothing to do with Wicca, and very little to do with paganism or witchcraft, it was as you said hysteria and more to do with sociological factors than any religious ones."

So the puritans suddenly had a mass hallucination, decided to single out everyone who was different, and call them this arbitrary term 'witches', which has no connection with the people who practice an old magickal religion and call themselves witches? Pardon me if I find that a little far-fetched.

""Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."
You do realize that the above statement is a contradiction in terms right?
Religion is formalised organisation, you cannot simply make it up as you go along,"

I disagree. While I will readily admit that Wicca is not a formalized religion (and have never claimed to the contrary), I do believe that you CAN do religion yourself, and you SHOULD. I don't support organized, formal religion. Religion is a collection of beliefs that shape the way you look at the world, not a political party or ethnic distinction. It's about what YOU believe, not what your church teaches you to believe.

"A religion follows practices and doctrines along with the beliefs, Wicca itself is a religion, or a priesthood depending on whom you talk to, either way it is not something you can do yourself. Wicca is an initiate only religion, there is no way around that, it is part of the practice and being an oath bound mystery tradition there are certainly things no one could ever learn from personal study and exercise."

Yes, there are indeed sects of Wicca that do initiations and practice in covens. However, there are Wiccans (like myself) who do not. My personal beliefs have not changed since I was 8 or 9, even though I converted from Catholicism to Wicca when I was 14.

"Neo-Wicca may well follow Wicca beliefs, practice in similar ways however they are not Wicca, without initiation no one is Wicca no matter how much they scream and shout about it, it’s one of the core principles of Wicca."

You're reading a different Wicca Bible than I am, and yours sounds remarkably cliquish. The Wicca I know accepts everyone, no matter how they want to practice. Religions aren't about exclusion. When that's what they become about, they've ceased to be a religion.

"Wicca are pantheists, they worship that one deity, but with duel polarity of goddess AND god, not just the goddess, sometimes including soft-polytheism – other comments written I’ll leave unaddressed because god knows what you were attempting to say."

........Personally, I don't worship all gods. I worship the ones that resonate with me, which happen to be the Greek gods and goddesses. Maybe you should read it again if you didn't catch it the first time, so I can understand what you're referring to. smiley - winkeye

"On ‘Magick’ and for that matter on witchcraft in general, to lump witchcraft and Wicca together is ignorance, ignoring a whole host of other witchcraft and magic systems,"

I never said that Wicca was the only sort of witchcraft.

"Wicca is young and given the increase in Neo-Wicca it has been diluted so knowledge is limited."

You're making it sound cliquish again. I disagree. I think the spread of Wicca is beneficial. One path, one way of thinking... It stagnates ideas. It's unhealthy.

"Many non-religious witchcraft groups point out religious witchcraft is dependant on belief, not actuality, so to alienate those forms of witchcraft is to throw magical logic out the window."

....I'm confused as to what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that religious magick is not reality? Because the basis of magick in general is belief, and one of the central ideas of the practice of magick is that if you believe you can do magick, your spells work. You believe it, you make it real. That's why prayer magick works for Christians. It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe SOMETHING. smiley - smiley

"To say witches do not use magic for monetary reward is also inaccurate, even within Wicca ethical codes."

Magick doesn't create something out of nothing. You can do spells to bring money to you, but there's no guarantee how much. You might cast for money, and discover a lost piggy bank containing $1.87. If you cast a spell wanting $100 to magically appear, I can guarantee it won't work. And if it does, I think you're dealing with something you definitely don't want to mess with. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and if someone offers one, the price might be more than you're prepared to pay.

"I’d imagine all Wicca need proof of their powers, if there were no proof then simply there would be very little point in doing anything at all."

Oh, you get proof. You see your spells working. I've seen mine work. What I said in my article is that I don't need to prove to anyone else that my spells work. What's the point? Why should I care if someone else believes I can do magick?

"On beliefs, in this case Wicca morality/ethics there are no ‘rules’ certainly no Wicca is bound by the rede,"

Then you're not talking about Wicca. You're talking about something else.

"The rede is not to say that one cannot harm, it is to say that you cannot do whatever you want in case you harm someone/something else, it is cause and effect not ‘Harm none’. The idea of ‘harm none’ may well come form pantheist beliefs, it makes little sense to purposefully harm something which is part of your own divine."

Isn't that what you just said? "Harm none" vs. "Don't do things that are going to harm someone else"? Sounds very similar to me.

"Wicca ethics brings up an issue of ‘What is harm?’ sometimes harm is needed it is part of learning, experience and in many cases is more positive than negative, as already stated, it is cause and effect not a simply case of ‘harm none’ if ethics were that easy someone would have thought of that long ago. Wicca are perfectly capable of using their own ethics, they don’t need a cold hard rule with no room for personal ethics or changes in situations."

There is plenty of room for personal ethics. What could you do that would hurt others? Good. Now don't do it. It's that easy.

"Not all Wicca believe in the threefold law, in fact many reject it because simply it has no basis except perhaps in western karmic theory, the issue I could go into much detail I am sure however I feel it would simply be repeating myself, fact is many Wicca reject the law of return, there is simply little need for it and again cause and effect is the main point of Wicca ethical and moral thinking."

Again, you're clearly practicing a different kind of Wicca than I am. It is, after all, a religion you do yourself, therefore I'm not surprised it's practiced differently from person to person. smiley - smiley

"Wicca is a religion, your right there, yet many don’t treat it as such, for many, like yourself, the words ‘religion’ and ‘Wicca’ seem to be meaningless terms. The old ways have nothing to do with Wicca."

All words have meaning. I just might not use them the way you do.

Wicca is loosely based off of the Old Ways. It is indeed a religion, though not an organized one. You might be confused by my use of the words "Wicca" and the "Old Ways". The Old Ways refer to the practice of magickal religions throughout the ages, and the traditions that have survived. Wicca is the modern religion based on the Old Ways.


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 3

JadeaFaith

Wicca are pagans, and yes some are witches, however the issues are very different, the burning times and other such so called persecution against ‘witches’ has little to do with Wicca, it isn’t persecution against Wicca unless it is aimed at Wicca, the burning times certainly were not aimed at Wicca.

You do ‘cop that attitude’ in the way in which you are trying to say that Wicca were persecuted during the burning times, I am not Wicca myself although I was formally trained and I can say safely that no Wicca I have ever known has experienced persecution, nor have they attempted to pass off the burning times as persecution of their priesthood, because quite simply it is not. The burning times has nothing to do with Wicca, it is only those with a ‘more persecuted than thou’ attitude that try to claim otherwise, the history of those events are clear, hell the history of Wicca is clear.
You are claiming the burning times was about Wicca, Wicca wasn’t even around during the burning times. Here I will also point out that the burning times had very little to do with witchcraft, it was the superficial reasoning behind it however yes it was something done to single out those whom were different, persecution of women, and sociological reasoning’s, as well as issues such as religious supremacy and social class issues – certainly it wasn’t just witches burned, there was no issue of persecution towards witches certainly non against a priesthood not even existent, they weren’t mind readers, nor were they psychic they couldn’t seek out the real witches from everyone else (even if they could they could earn a hell of a lot more from accusing the rich) and they couldn’t psychically tell who’s family would bore a Wicca a few hundred years later.
It might be an idea to read about the burning times before claiming it as evidence of persecution towards a priesthood which didn’t exist during those times, the burning times had nothing to do with persecution towards witches, it was a social issue not a religious one.

Religion can not be done alone, that is what religion is, a formalised organised grouping of people with shared beliefs, practices and dogma, certainly in the case of Wicca it is not possible to ‘do it yourself’ as it is an initiate only religion, there is simply no way around that fact – if you don’t practice the religion then you are not part of said religion.
Religion is not what ‘YOU’ believe, I think you will find that would be New Age, belief or spirituality, not religion, Wicca is a priesthood, it has set beliefs, practices and dogma, that makes it a religion not a belief system – a belief system around Wicca would be Neo-wicca not Wicca.

If you are not initiated then you are not Wicca, you are Neo-wicca, you can’t get more basic than that, saying you are Wicca without initiation or even a basic understanding of how the priesthood works is like saying you are a certified Rabbi after reading a copy of ‘The idiots guide to Judaism’.

Your beliefs don’t have a play here, Wicca isn’t just beliefs, Wicca is a religion, all of whom practice in covens. If it were as easy as just saying ‘I am Wicca’ everyone could claim to be Wicca and the term will soon become redundant and meaningless, Wicca is a priesthood, a religion, it has definitions, beliefs, practices and dogma, part of these is that Seekers find a coven, get initiated and only then are they taught the mysteries and can claim to be Wicca.

What makes you Wicca if you don’t follow the religion?
Nothing, thus it is a redundant term if you take away it’s meaning, anyone can call themselves Wicca, but unless they follow Wicca then they are not Wicca.

It is not ‘do it yourself’ it can only be done within a coven because it is only a lineage coven whom can initiate and train you in the mysteries and oath bound material, there is no possible way to be an uninitiated Wicca – I think perhaps you should research Wicca before claiming the name, Wicca is an initiate only mystery priesthood, Neo-wicca is the Wicca beliefs, there is a huge difference and a huge importance in getting the terminology right, media and children have done enough damage and brought enough ignorance as it is without more people doing so – there is no excuse for wilful ignorance, even more so if you are passing it off in places like this as truth.

Wicca bible? No such thing, I was taught by an hereditary Wicca group, I didn’t just read a few books and claim to be Wicca, I was formally trained, trained others and have been running Wicca sites, communities and organisations for the past 6 years. The Wicca I know accepts everyone too, however what it does not accept are people claiming to be Wicca without even a basic grasp of the religion, all people are welcomed in perfect love and perfect trust no matter what colour, sex, sexuality, and so on, but what is not welcomed is wilful ignorance towards others religion, such as those who claim to be ‘Wicca’ without understanding simply to play to a fad, it isn’t cliquish it is a religion trying to stop their religion dying out thanks to ignorance of their religion.
If you think that Wicca is cliquish then I ask you – why claim to be Wicca?
This is what Wicca is, it isn’t something you make up as you go along, it is a priesthood with very specific practices and dogma, you take away that and you are just left with a term used to impress friends as part of some fad, there are a lot of people out there who do practice Wicca and have to cope with the fall out of ignorance after the Wicca fad dies off, it really doesn’t take much to read about Wicca and learn what it is about past the fad or past Neo-wicca.

I had not said you worshipped all gods, I was pointing out that Wicca are pantheists – one divine, sometimes with soft-polytheism – multifaceted divine.

You used ‘witchcraft’ as an interchangeable term with ‘Wicca’ that to me says that you are claiming Wicca to be witchcraft, if that weren’t the case then you would have said ‘Wicca witchcraft’ or ‘Pagan witchcraft’.

I had not said that the spread of Wicca was a negative, nor did I say that it is ‘one path, one way of thinking’ Wicca is an ever evolving religion, it is not one path, nor does it stay static, that is one of the positive features of Wicca. My point was with the increase of Neo-wicca, increase in popularity of Neo-wicca the information on wicca seems to be becoming diluted because more people want to follow a religion based on the new age like Neo-wicca than the more formal dogmatic religion of Wicca.

I’m saying that you were alienating forms of magic that work with physical actual world rules, with quantum mechanics, herb lore etc. religious witchcraft works on belief alone, having belief is one thing but to miss out witchcraft that works with actual rather than belief alone is cutting out a hell of a lot. There are far more of us that work with actuality in witchcraft than beliefs alone, many witches, such as myself are atheists, or agnostics, belief isn’t everything, certainly not when witchcraft is concerned.


"On beliefs, in this case Wicca morality/ethics there are no ‘rules’ certainly no Wicca is bound by the rede,"

Within Wicca there are no rules when it comes to morals and ethics within Wicca, the majority of Wicca morals and ethics are centred around cause and effect, you cannot make a set of rules to fit to the cause and effect of every moral situation. The rede is not followed by all Wicca because many see it as redundant, a half-baked piece of bad poetry that reminds Wicca of cause and effect, a moral/ethical idea which they already follow through their own ethics and morals through belief and personal experience.
In all my time within Wicca and Paganism I have never found any Wicca whom follow any sort of ‘rule’ or ‘law’ they may well follow dogma, but that is a teaching not a rule, rules do very little in the Wicca philosophies and dogmas.
The rede is a reminder of cause and effect ‘do what thou wilt, an if it harm none’ does not mean ‘harm none’ it means ‘you can’t do what you want because it may harm others’ the two have subtle differences but they are important ones, it is the difference between a rule telling Wicca they can’t harm (which incidentally in a literal sense would mean Wicca would die from malnourishment and stupidity) and a reminder of cause and effect.
If you tell someone simply ‘Don’t harm!’ that does not leave room for personal ethics, that does not leave room for situation ethics, it does not leave room for utilitarian ethics, there is nothing personal about following a rule as wide as ‘harm none’, they didn’t set that rule, Wicca is about personal ethics and morality, not following a rule.
We aren’t talking about hurt, we are talking about harm, they are two very different things.
Wicca isn’t practiced different from person to person, not in relation to dogma, yes people do practice differently, but the dogma of Wicca is just the same, not all Wicca believe in the threefold law and not all Wicca follow the rede, certainly not as ‘harm none’.

Religion is organised, Wicca has specific beliefs, practices and dogma, Wicca is a modern religion based on the old ways, yes however you are making out that it is the same thing, that Wicca were persecuted during the burning times and simply passing on ignorance does nothing but further the persecution that does actually happen today to Wicca.


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 4

soeasilyamused, or sea

"It isn’t persecution against Wicca unless it is aimed at Wicca, the burning times certainly were not aimed at Wicca."

Oh, for the goddess's sake...
If you had bothered to READ the article, you would have noted that NOWHERE THEREIN DID I EVER CLAIM THAT THE BURNING TIMES WERE AIMED AT WICCA. I SAID THAT THEY HAD TO DO WITH ---> WITCHCRAFT <---.
Wicca =/= Witchcraft. Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is a collection of all types of magickal religions IN GENERAL. Like Christianity and Catholicism.

"You do ‘cop that attitude’ in the way in which you are trying to say that Wicca were persecuted during the burning times... The burning times has nothing to do with Wicca, it is only those with a ‘more persecuted than thou’ attitude that try to claim otherwise, the history of those events are clear, hell the history of Wicca is clear.
You are claiming the burning times was about Wicca, Wicca wasn’t even around during the burning times."

See above. Like I said before, your perception of my "more persecuted than thou" attitude is on your end, NOT mine. I KNOW Wicca wasn't around during the burning times. Wicca is based on religions that WERE around, and therefore some of its history (the history of the people, not of the religion Wicca itself... The history of the traditions it bases itself on) is related. Baptists weren't around during the crusades, but they count it as part of their history because IT'S PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE TRADITIONS THEY BASE THEIR RELIGION ON. You might note that the section on history begins with the words, "The origins of the religion of WITCHCRAFT..."

"Here I will also point out that the burning times had very little to do with witchcraft, it was the superficial reasoning behind it however yes it was something done to single out those whom were different, persecution of women, and sociological reasoning’s, as well as issues such as religious supremacy and social class issues – certainly it wasn’t just witches burned"

Here's an excerpt from my article:
The ironic thing is that the vast majority of the people who were burned were not even witches. Most of them are believed to have been devout Christians who were wrongly accused. Victims were often elderly, senile, homosexual or freethinkers. During this time, people began to blame their problems on witches and witchcraft. Witches soon were blamed for every misfortune - they were thought to have the power to raise the dead, turn water into wine, control the weather and foresee the future.

Did you even READ the article?

"It might be an idea to read about the burning times before claiming it as evidence of persecution towards a priesthood which didn’t exist during those times"

It might also be a good idea to READ an article before claiming its author is completely and utterly wrong. smiley - winkeye

"Religion can not be done alone, that is what religion is, a formalised organised grouping of people with shared beliefs, practices and dogma, certainly in the case of Wicca it is not possible to ‘do it yourself’ as it is an initiate only religion, there is simply no way around that fact – if you don’t practice the religion then you are not part of said religion."

Clearly you're operating off of a textbook definition of the religion, which like many things, has very little applicability in the *real* world.

"Religion is not what ‘YOU’ believe"

...it's what someone else tells you to believe? Pardon me if I think that's not the point of a beliefs system...

"If you are not initiated then you are not Wicca, you are Neo-wicca, you can’t get more basic than that, saying you are Wicca without initiation or even a basic understanding of how the priesthood works is like saying you are a certified Rabbi after reading a copy of ‘The idiots guide to Judaism’."

So because I'm not in a coven, I'm not allowed to follow a religion that I believe in, that makes me feel good about myself, that teaches me to be a good person, that makes me happy about doing good, and that gives me a feeling of spirituality that I've never found through any other path? B.S. B smiley - bleeping S.

"Your beliefs don’t have a play here, Wicca isn’t just beliefs, Wicca is a religion, all of whom practice in covens."

Didn't your writing teachers ever tell you that it's never a good idea to make sweeping generalizations? Not all Wiccans practice in covens. Not all Wiccans have access to covens. It all depends on if you want to pursue a Solitary path or a Coven path.

"If it were as easy as just saying ‘I am Wicca’ everyone could claim to be Wicca and the term will soon become redundant and meaningless, Wicca is a priesthood, a religion, it has definitions, beliefs, practices and dogma, part of these is that Seekers find a coven, get initiated and only then are they taught the mysteries and can claim to be Wicca.What makes you Wicca if you don’t follow the religion?
Nothing, thus it is a redundant term if you take away it’s meaning, anyone can call themselves Wicca, but unless they follow Wicca then they are not Wicca."

Oh, please. Do you even read your posts before you post them? To be a part of a religion, you must believe in its belief system. That's a central idea. I'm not saying that anyone should just be able to say "I'm Wiccan" and be Wiccan, but anyone who believes in Wicca's teachings should, coven or not. Initiation or not. It doesn't matter. Christians can be christians without being baptized. It's just a symbolic ritual anyway. You aren't *really* washed of your sins. Or did you believe that was what really happened?

"It is not ‘do it yourself’ it can only be done within a coven because it is only a lineage coven whom can initiate and train you in the mysteries and oath bound material, there is no possible way to be an uninitiated Wicca – I think perhaps you should research Wicca before claiming the name, Wicca is an initiate only mystery priesthood, Neo-wicca is the Wicca beliefs, there is a huge difference and a huge importance in getting the terminology right, media and children have done enough damage and brought enough ignorance as it is without more people doing so – there is no excuse for wilful ignorance, even more so if you are passing it off in places like this as truth."

I think you should read my article again before you claim I haven't researched Wicca. I did a lot of research on a lot of religions before I chose to follow a faith again. Please don't insult my intelligence by suggesting I wrote my article without a single iota of knowledge on the subject.

"Wicca bible? No such thing, I was taught by an hereditary Wicca group, I didn’t just read a few books and claim to be Wicca, I was formally trained, trained others and have been running Wicca sites, communities and organisations for the past 6 years."

How nice for you. However, what drew me to Wicca was the fact that its doctrines exactly matched the beliefs I held *even when I thought I was Catholic*, but lacked the stupid pomp and circumstance aspects of a formalized religion.

"The Wicca I know accepts everyone too, however what it does not accept are people claiming to be Wicca without even a basic grasp of the religion, all people are welcomed in perfect love and perfect trust no matter what colour, sex, sexuality, and so on, but what is not welcomed is wilful ignorance towards others religion, such as those who claim to be ‘Wicca’ without understanding simply to play to a fad, it isn’t cliquish it is a religion trying to stop their religion dying out thanks to ignorance of their religion."

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, I see what your major malfunction is. You're against me and my ideas because you were a coven Wiccan and I'm a solitary Wiccan. So much for your claim that "all people are welcomed in perfect love and perfect trust no matter what color, sex, sexuality and so on"... What about "no matter how they choose to pursue the religion"? What about what's right for ME? Shouldn't I follow the path that feels right to me, and not what a priesthood tells me to do?

"If you think that Wicca is cliquish then I ask you – why claim to be Wicca?"

I never said Wicca was cliquish. I said *you* were. You look down at solitaries because you're in a coven.

"This is what Wicca is, it isn’t something you make up as you go along"

...........
I'm so tired of correcting your misinterpretations. If you'd bothered to read the article, you would not think I said that Wicca is something you make up as you go along. There are beliefs systems involved, but no one said you have to do it a certain way. If you climb stairs forward, and I climb them sideways and enjoy the view, who's to say I'm wrong?

"it is a priesthood with very specific practices and dogma, you take away that and you are just left with a term used to impress friends as part of some fad, there are a lot of people out there who do practice Wicca and have to cope with the fall out of ignorance after the Wicca fad dies off, it really doesn’t take much to read about Wicca and learn what it is about past the fad or past Neo-wicca."

There you go again, suggesting I'm a trendy fad-follower. That's incredibly offensive. You've discounted my beliefs several times now, and I'm growing tired of it. Don't be rude. It's not the way to continue a discussion.

"I had not said you worshipped all gods, I was pointing out that Wicca are pantheists – one divine, sometimes with soft-polytheism – multifaceted divine."

So that's the path you're following... what about everyone else? Or are you claiming that YOUR way of practicing is the only right one? If you are, you might as well go get baptized, 'cuz you're not Wiccan, you're Christian.

"You used ‘witchcraft’ as an interchangeable term with ‘Wicca’ that to me says that you are claiming Wicca to be witchcraft, if that weren’t the case then you would have said ‘Wicca witchcraft’ or ‘Pagan witchcraft’."

See my explanation above about how Wicca =/= witchcraft. The words aren't interchangeable. They can't be. If you think they are, you're the one who needs to do some research. Read the article again, and this time don't assume that when I say "witchcraft" I mean "Wicca". I typed what I meant. I don't see a need to distinguish by saying ‘Wicca witchcraft’ and ‘Pagan witchcraft’. That's just stupid. "Pagan witchcraft" is redundant.

"I had not said that the spread of Wicca was a negative, nor did I say that it is ‘one path, one way of thinking’ Wicca is an ever evolving religion, it is not one path, nor does it stay static, that is one of the positive features of Wicca. My point was with the increase of Neo-wicca, increase in popularity of Neo-wicca the information on wicca seems to be becoming diluted because more people want to follow a religion based on the new age like Neo-wicca than the more formal dogmatic religion of Wicca."

So whose fault is that? Yours, for accepting people into your religion, or mine, for finding a religion that I agree with? I think you're a little caught up with the use of the terms "Wicca" and "Neo-Wicca". I've never heard of 'Neo-Wicca', and therefore couldn't have used the term in my article to satisfy you and make your silly distinction between "pure Wicca" and "diluted Wicca". If you feel the need to have that distinction made, feel free to write an article yourself. Be sure to include a few salutes to Hitler while you're at it, because what you're saying reeks of fascism.

"I’m saying that you were alienating forms of magic that work with physical actual world rules, with quantum mechanics, herb lore etc."

So in one article, I'm supposed to cover each and every possible form of magick that exist in the world? I'm sorry, but I don't have that much free time. Mine's at a premium already.

"Religious witchcraft works on belief alone, having belief is one thing but to miss out witchcraft that works with actual rather than belief alone is cutting out a hell of a lot. There are far more of us that work with actuality in witchcraft than beliefs alone, many witches, such as myself are atheists, or agnostics, belief isn’t everything, certainly not when witchcraft is concerned."

I disagree. I think that you don't need anything BUT belief. I think that belief is so strong that it causes actuality. That's why magick works. That's why Christian prayer circles help people to get better. It doesn't matter HOW you get the results. If you believe enough in what you're doing and why you want it, that's all the power you need. Nothing is more powerful than the human mind.

"Within Wicca there are no rules when it comes to morals and ethics within Wicca, the majority of Wicca morals and ethics are centred around cause and effect, you cannot make a set of rules to fit to the cause and effect of every moral situation."

No kidding! That's why the rede is so general. You have to follow the meaning, not the semantics.

"The rede is not followed by all Wicca because many see it as redundant, a half-baked piece of bad poetry that reminds Wicca of cause and effect, a moral/ethical idea which they already follow through their own ethics and morals through belief and personal experience."

Ah, but you know what it is. Clearly *someone* taught it to you, even if it is redundant. It's the idea that matters, not the wording.

"In all my time within Wicca and Paganism I have never found any Wicca whom follow any sort of ‘rule’ or ‘law’ they may well follow dogma, but that is a teaching not a rule, rules do very little in the Wicca philosophies and dogmas."

Again, maybe that's your way of following. It's not mine, and certainly not one I had heard of prior to writing my article.

"The rede is a reminder of cause and effect ‘do what thou wilt, an if it harm none’ does not mean ‘harm none’ it means ‘you can’t do what you want because it may harm others’ the two have subtle differences but they are important ones, it is the difference between a rule telling Wicca they can’t harm (which incidentally in a literal sense would mean Wicca would die from malnourishment and stupidity) and a reminder of cause and effect."

I completely agree with that statement. That's what I've been saying, I'm just being misunderstood. Maybe it's the cultural difference. You are European, aren't you? Maybe it's the slight nuances of language that cause difficulties between us. *shrug* smiley - smiley

"Wicca isn’t practiced different from person to person, not in relation to dogma, yes people do practice differently, but the dogma of Wicca is just the same, not all Wicca believe in the threefold law and not all Wicca follow the rede, certainly not as ‘harm none’."

I think Wicca is and should be practiced differently from person to person. That's what makes it different from (and, in my humble opinion, better than) Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. Or shall we all follow your definition of Wicca and pray to Mecca at a certain hour of the day?

"Religion is organised, Wicca has specific beliefs, practices and dogma, Wicca is a modern religion based on the old ways, yes however you are making out that it is the same thing, that Wicca were persecuted during the burning times and simply passing on ignorance does nothing but further the persecution that does actually happen today to Wicca. "

I think I've explained your misconception enough times here. I'm not furthering the persecution of Wicca, but it sounds to me like you're the one copping the "more persecuted than thou" attitude now. smiley - winkeye


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 5

JadeaFaith

The title of the article is ‘Wicca – a Legacy of Persecution’ if not aimed at attempting to make out that Wicca were persecuted during these times then why mention it, what is it’s relevance? As I pointed out the burning times was not about witchcraft it was a sociological issue, it says it itself, most people whom were accused were not actually witches, more along the lines of people with enemies, out of the norm or with a lot of money that could have been looted when the accused stood trial.
Incidentally witchcraft isn’t a collection of all types of magical religions in general, there are many magical practice which have little at all to do with witchcraft, much the same as there are many magical practitioners whom are not religious.

That isn’t my end, you’re the one who is writing attempting to say that Wicca are persecuted, very few are, certainly bringing up something that has nothing to do with Wicca as evidence of persecution sounds like a ‘more persecuted than thou’ attitude to me, next you will be cursing those bad, bad Christians.
Your argument is that there were religions that influenced Wicca around the time of the burning times, seriously? The religions Wicca were based upon were also around during biblical times, I don’t see you discussing the persecution of women, Christians, blacks, Jews, as with the burning times, yes the religions which influenced Wicca were around then, but like the burning times they have very little relation to Wicca nor do they show as evidence of persecution of Wicca.
There are lot of things in the history of Wicca, however you have chosen something that has very little to do with Wicca and used it as an example of persecution against Wicca, which it isn’t, can you explain why this has any reference to the persecution of Wicca past the fact it involves the word ‘witchcraft’?

Your arguments seem to continue along the lines of ‘Have you read the article?’ Yes I have, my argument remains that you are including the burning times, something that has nothing to do with Wicca, as an example in an article about the supposed persecution of Wicca.

I am working off the definition of religion, it doesn’t change from person to person, that’s not how language works, this is what religion is and Wicca is a religion/priesthood. You can’t change the meaning of ‘religion’ any more than you can change the meaning of ‘Wicca’ to suit your own needs, kick and scream all you like fact remains Wicca is a religion, as such it has beliefs, practices and dogma, if not followed than you are not following Wicca.
A belief system is not a religion, a belief system is something you believe, a religion is beliefs, dogma and practice, religion is not personal, it is only since the new age that personal beliefs have come into play, within Christianity for example there is a belief system, however it is not about YOUR beliefs but the beliefs of the religion, it’s not a spirituality nor is it a belief system on it’s own, it is a religion.

If you are not in a coven then you are not following the religion, there is nothing stopping you from following a religion, no one said you were not allowed to follow the religion, but if you are not initiated into a lineage coven then you are not part of said religion. Wicca isn’t just a bunch of beliefs, that’s Neo-wicca. Wicca is a religion, if you don’t follow it then you don’t follow it, it is as simple as that. If you want to follow Wicca then go ahead, no one is stopping you, but unless initiated your not Wicca, you may have the beliefs but you don’t practice and don’t have the dogma, that leaves you under the definition of ‘Neo-wicca’ or ‘Pagan’ – if you are so happy with your beliefs then why do you feel the need to claim to be something you are not?

That is not a sweeping statement, it is a factual one, unless initiated you are not Wicca, you can only be initiated through a coven, there are solitary Wicca however they are still initiated, they were still coven members and more often than not they are still part of a coven even with solitary practice – as with Gardner.

Do you read your points before you post them?
Yes to be part of a religion you must follow it’s belief system, but religion is not just a belief system it has practices and dogma, and as you said anyone who beliefs in Wicca teachings should be able to call themselves Wicca, and you know what, that dogma does say that one has to be initiated into Wicca – that is one of the teachings of Wicca. Initiation does matter, it is part of the practice and dogma of Wicca, without it anyone with vaguely Wicca beliefs can call themselves Wicca, I think that would pretty much cover 50% of the pantheists in the world. Initiation is one of the most important dogmas of Wicca, coming from both witchcraft and masonry, it is one of the key points Gardner set out, and without it one cannot be Wicca, one cannot learn the mysteries, it’s basics of Wicca, there is no way around it initiation is the only way into Wicca, it cannot be book taught, it can’t be a ‘do it yourself’ religion.
One can become a Christian without having to undergo training, initiation or oaths, however Wicca does involve initiation and oaths, as well as teaching of things you cannot learn through any other way. Baptism can hardly be related to initiation, baptism is simply a ritual to cleanse and welcome new life into the faith, it is not needed to enter into Christianity, however initiation involves not only this but also an entering into Wicca, oaths, teaching, entry into the degree system, it’s the only way into Wicca.
Wicca is a mystery tradition, only through coven training can these things be learned, same goes for oath bound material, where is the mystery in copying mechanical magic from a Ravenwolf book?

....................


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 6

JadeaFaith

....

I did read your article, and I know that your knowledge is minimal, you seem to think that Wicca is a ‘do it yourself religion’ which it is not, if you had taken the time to research Wicca then you would know this, it is one of the most important of the dogmas within the religion. Please don’t insult Wicca by passing on such wilful information, I have had to cope with a lot of issues in my work because of people passing on this sort of wilful ignorance, it doesn’t take much to research a religion, you obviously have not, if you do not like what I am saying then research Wicca before claiming you are Wicca.

“lacked the stupid pomp and circumstance aspects of a formalized religion.”
You ever even heard of Freemasons?

No I’m not a coven Wicca, nor am I Wicca, I am not against your beliefs, you can believe in whatever the hell you like, it doesn’t bother me, however what does bother me is the fact that you are wilfully ignorant, passing on misinformation about other peoples religions for the sake of looking good in front of your friends – which I assume is the case, for why else claim the name of a religion that you do not follow if not for selfish purposes?
I have never said that you cannot follow the path which you wish to follow, however if you do not follow Wicca then that is not the path you are following, it is a simple idea to follow – you don’t follow Wicca, so you are not Wicca.

“You're reading a different Wicca Bible than I am, and yours sounds remarkably cliquish.”
Considering I am talking about Wicca, as is, not some made up version of Wicca so I can claim the name to impress my friends, then yes, you are calling Wicca cliquish. I’m not in a coven, nor do I look down on solitaries, I was one myself, I look down on ignorant people who pass on their ignorance as fact and whom would rather take the name of someone else’s religion as part of a fad than actually take the time to discover what that religion is about and stay true to themselves and their chosen path.

There are belief systems involved, but that isn’t all Wicca is, it is a religion not a belief system, there is no certain way of practicing as long as you are practicing as a Wicca, if not practicing as Wicca then you are not Wicca.

Your claiming to be Wicca is incredibly offensive, I don’t see any evidence of you doing anything other than following a fad, you have taken the name of a religion which has a fad following, you have no knowledge of the dogma or practice of Wicca – again I ask why take the name of Wicca if you do not follow it? Why don’t you attempt to research Wicca before claiming to follow it?
I haven’t discounted your beliefs at all, this is not about your beliefs, you can have whatever beliefs that you wish, this is my discounting your claims about being Wicca because it is obvious that you have no knowledge of Wicca, you have not been initiated and so you are not Wicca.

That isn’t the path I am following, it is the path of Wicca, you have mentioned a few times about the belief systems of Wicca – that is that of pantheism, with soft-polytheism, what are you trying to claim that monotheists are also Wicca? You have already diluted the meaning of Wicca down to a belief system, now you are trying to dilute it to basically being what I said, that anyone can call themselves Wicca, without the practices, dogma, and now the belief system?

Who’s fault is that? I’m guessing the ignorant people whom follow a fad and pass on misinformation, You haven’t found a religion you agree with, you have found a religion who’s name will give you street cread and taken the name, ignoring the practices and dogma of the religion itself.
I’m not caught up in the terms ‘Wicca’ and ‘Neo-wicca’ they are vital to distinguish between, if you had researched then you would have found not only information on Wicca but also the term ‘Neo-wicca’ for certain you would have known that what you claim is ‘Wicca’ is not.

Everything I have said has been putting your wilful ignorance right, if you don’t like what I am saying then you don’t like Wicca, this is how Wicca is, it is not do it yourself and it cannot be done without initiation, look it up for yourself, try researching Wicca, you’ll find that past the fad Wicca is a serious religion, it’s not something you ‘do yourself’.

Wicca is different from person to person, however to be Wicca you have to fall into the category of Wicca, if you don’t practice as Wicca then you don’t fall into that category, if you just had the beliefs then you could very well fall into Paganism, however it’s the practices and dogma with the beliefs which make you fall into the category of ‘Wicca’.

You are furthering the persecution of Wicca, you are passing on WILLFUL ignorance, ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds hate, hate breeds prejudice.


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 7

soeasilyamused, or sea

Okay, I'm done talking to you. You're rude, nasty, bigoted, and I'm through being accused of being a teenybopper by someone who isn't even Wiccan. Who are you to tell me what I am and am not?

Have a nice life. I don't want to speak with you again.


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 8

JadeaFaith

"Bigot:
big·ot n.
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

If I were bigoted that would mean that I’d be Wicca whom is intolerant of others who differ, I am not Wicca and the only people I am intolerant of are people like yourself whom are not only wilfully ignorant but whom also pass on such ignorance about other peoples religion just to make yourself look good.
I may be rude, but like attracts like, personally I find no excuse for such horrific ignorance of someone else’s religion especially if it is someone like yourself whose only interest is through a fad – yes, it is through a fad, you claim to be Wicca yet don’t know the basics, it’s simple, you don’t follow the religion of Wicca then you are not Wicca, it isn’t bigoted it is matter of fact.
There is no excuse for what you are doing, it is a horrifically pathetic and ignorant thing to do, research the religion, pick up a book once in a while, talk to other Wicca like amber and Jet, see how your idea of ‘Wicca’ stands up against other Wicca, get your head out of the Ravenwolf book.


"Wicca is a do-it-yourself religion."

Post 9

KashaUK

I totaly agree with what you are saying here, if this person was calling themselves 'Wicca' for any reason other than fad they would know fine well what Wicca is and the practices involved.
Lighting a few candles and taking a hissy fit everytime someone tries to correct you on your ignorance does not make you Wicca, it makes you an ignorant moron with no respect to Wicca or it's followers.
Ignorance is bad enough, but actually trying to pass it off as knowledge and complaining when they get pulled up for it, there is something VERY immoral about that sort of action.


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