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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,665,372  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 199

Lurker/Post Ratio: 164 to 1

Question of the Week: 17 - 12/4/2000

Does Older Equal Better?

Whether it is Traditional Wicca vs. Solitary Wicca or Coven Trained vs. Self-Initiation, there are folks on either side of the issue, "Is Older Really Better"? We have even heard of some folks 'padding' their experience (or years) so as not be called a "newbie" or a 'wannabe". Is there something 'wrong' with being a new seeker? Is there something inherently right about being what some call the "Old Guard"? Is there a point where revering the 'old way' of teaching/passing on the knowledge actually becomes 'resistant to change'? Should the new generations of Pagans follow closely in our footsteps or should they be free to break new ground? Can the old traditions survive if they do? Should they?

 Reponses:   There are 199 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

As A Neo-pagan I Don't See Anything Wrong With Being What Some... Dec 9th. at 6:54:36 am EST

Lore (Caledonia, Missouri US) Age: 21 - Email

As a Neo-Pagan I don't see anything wrong with being what some call a 'newbie'. because in all pagans they at one point and time were new themselves, noone is born knowing all they have to in the way of the craft and all make mistakes. I have been a witch for about half a year now and am still collecting things for my self-initiation. Am I afraid to be a lone witch in the area of Missouri dubbed as "The Bible Belt"? No. I see it as my chance to show that I don't embrace wicca to be viewed as 'cool' by anyone and instead use it to grow in my spirituality. I take time to learn of other religions also because knowlege creates understanding and if you can see why someone believes differently then you are one step closer to understanding why you believe what you do. The old ways are fine to many and I am trying to learn of them to gain the heratige I wanted to take when I embraced witch craft as my religion. Noone is wrong as logn as they strive to do what is good for themselves and their family be it animal, insect, plant, or the Mother Earth. Just do what comes naturally, hide your ears from the thoughts and persecution and listen to your spirit and you can rarely go wrong. And those times where you do go wrong you will often times learn from your mistakes. But... this is just the view of one new witch.

Just As We Have The Right To Follow A Pagan "religion," We... Dec 9th. at 10:44:30 am EST

Christy (Powder Springs, Georgia US) Age: 26 - Email

Just as we have the right to follow a Pagan "religion, " we also have the right to follow it as we please. I admit I'm a newbie. In fact, I'm in the read, read, and read some more stages. I've seen different perspectives in the books I've read. To be honest, the dogmatic ritualism scared me at first. I have read some authors (i.e. Scott Cunningham) who say that not everything is written in stone - "do what pleases you." Besides the basic beliefs that attracted me in the first place, this view appeals to me.

I found Christianity stifling (not to mention misongynistic). If I felt I would be raked over the coals for not celebrating every sabbat or esbat, or for wearing street clothes during ritual, I would have stopped my study of witchcraft. For those who prefer the old way, to each her own. I think we all have things to learn from each other.


Being A Druid Myself, I Feel That Traditional Means Are Better For... Dec 9th. at 11:48:10 am EST

Jacob Lewis (Fayetteville, Arkansas US) Age: 20 - Email

Being a Druid myself, I feel that traditional means are better for learning. Passing up the wisdom and experiences of the prior generations means you have to make the same mistakes they did, with many similar consequences. It also means you have a history and an ideal to fall back on. That having been said, I must confess that I am a *self-taught* Druid, although much of my teaching was given to me by elders who were not of that class. Having a history and a body of knowledge to fall back on is great, but it seems a waste to not use it to try to push ahead.

The Problem Dosen't Always Seem To Be Older Is Better, The Problem... Dec 9th. at 12:23:44 pm EST

Pattie Rose (Dover Plains, New York US) Age: 32 - Email

The problem dosen't always seem to be older is better, the problem is the traditions they follow. for example one Pagan may choose to follow, do, or believe something different than another. What it then comes down to is a battle of I've practiced longer than you therefore I am right. And if they can't get you with that it becomes who did you learn under and what books do you read. I for one am very upset with the witchier than thou mentality.Pa

There Is One Definitive And Unquestionable Answer To This Question: It All... Dec 9th. at 12:58:52 pm EST

Green Sprite (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) Age: 18

There is one definitive and unquestionable answer to this question: IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOU. Old or new, coven or solitary, Druidism, Wiccanism, Shamanism, and all these other details mean less than what feels right to you. I'm not saying be greedy, the universe doesn't revolve around us, but I am saying that for us as a race and as individuals it is healthy to have variety, and I happen to think it's equally healthy for the divine that we should worship it in so many different ways, it really gives it a personality. And besides, if the Gods and Goddesses compell you along your own path you should follow that compulsion, as you should if they compell you to choose a traditional path, they do know best when they help us find our proper paths in life.

Listen To The Gods And Goddess, To Nature, To The Magic And... Dec 9th. at 1:06:40 pm EST

Green Sprite (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) Age: 18

Listen to the Gods and Goddess, to nature, to the magic and music of the universe, to your spirit, heart, and mind (but don't let your mind control you in these matters, the time for that is while taking a math test), to the scriptures of the world, to your gurus and loved ones and friends, and ultimately do what feels right all those things (and maybe others) taken into account. Then you will make the right decision. And be not ashamed for being a "newbie", for the new is the compliment to the old as light to shadow and hot to cold, not the subordinate.

It Doesn't Matter Who You Are Or How Old You Are. The... Dec 9th. at 1:51:06 pm EST

Samael Schafer (Mission Viejo, California US) Age: 47 - Email

It doesn't matter who you are or how old you are. The only one thing that matters with Wicca is that you know the truths about it, and you follow the truths about it. By this I mean, a 13 year-old probably isn't mature enough to be Wiccan because their minds simply cannot comprehend the reasons behind the religion. But ... If a 13 year old takes it seriously and isn't only following this path for the magick, then all the power to them. I don't appreciate this religion becoming a media topic, and I don't appreciate seeing people "become Wiccan" because they think it's "cool." I want to see more people realize that their whole life has been this way; that their whole life, they have been in tune with nature and all its forces. That's what we need more of. Not people talking about how the religion is decaying or progressing. Keep things naturally the way they are, and you'll find it to be better that way.

This Is In Reference To What Pattie Rose Said. "the Problem Dosen't... Dec 9th. at 1:55:36 pm EST

Samael Schafer (Mission Viejo, California US) Age: 47 - Email

This is in reference to what Pattie Rose said.

"The problem dosen't always seem to be older is better, the problem is the traditions they follow. for...

example one Pagan may choose to follow, do, or believe something different than another. What it then comes down to is a battle of I've practiced longer than you therefore I am right. And if they can't get you with that it becomes who did you learn under and what books do you read. I for one am very upset with the witchier than thou mentality."

My perspective on this is that a true Witch would not have this attitude. It is just plain wrong to think you're better than someone and question their knowledge and experience in the religion. Someone who claims to be a Witch and does things such as this, are mistaken and need to reconsider their ways.

A Silly Question, It Doesn't Matter. If One Must Have A Religion... Dec 9th. at 2:49:22 pm EST

Shaggy (Miami, Florida US) Age: 18

A silly question,
It doesn't matter. If one must have a religion, then it doesn't matter if it's Cristianity or Wicca or even doaism. All religions (phyilosophies) through time studied Magic. Jesus was one of the most powerful Magi that walked the earth and even if you wish to limit your mind by saying that he was the son of god, (we are all gods children), Moses is another prime example of a powerful magi. And please think he had a Staff! All of you who are druids trully understand this joke! The point is it doesn't really matter if your a "newbie" or if you've been studying for years. Truth be told psyical age doesn't matter. I've seen 12 year olds mentally overpower there parents who have been practicing for years. A souls age is far more important. So all you old timers out there. Think about that next time you try to sneek a peek at the inside of some of us young kids. You may find that some of us kids are far older than most of you. The old souls are coming back for a reunion of sorts. Some of you know what I mean.
Peace be with all.

I Really Loved Everyones Responses Here...for My Two Cents: Alot Of... Dec 9th. at 3:33:03 pm EST

Casey (Commerce, Georgia US) Age: 18 - Email

I really loved everyones responses here...for my two cents: Alot of people say that you have to have Witch Blood to be a Witch, your mom or familymember must be a Witch. You have to be initiated into a coven by a Witch who was by a witch and so on, and all this stuff. But my question is to them....."Who made the first Witch?" and the answer to that is God and Goddess. It does not take names, degress or years to be a Witch. I think its a bunch of kiddy talk argueing over who is best. Initiation, degrees, wearing the jewlelry, reading books, joining a coven does not make you a Witch. Its you who makes yourself a Witch, and thats devotion, disipline, and the power to take control over your life and make a change with the natural forces of nature which anyone can find deep within their heart. and in the spirit of nature of which we were created from. I have been on my path as a Solitary Eccletic for five years. and I do agree with the one who says they are more of a Witch then one who has been initiated in a gardnaran coven and lived in those times. We are all equal Witches, and learning each thing when it is are time to know it. We are the children of the Goddess back from the dead, as silver ravenwolf pointed out. We are all old and some new souls, but we can't let that get in our way because we started new somewhere and some how. We did not skip and we will be on the same level as our Witch friend when our time is right and know the same thins as them.. I think that was worth my two cents. I would like feed back if anyone would like to; go ahead and feel my inbox up since I will not be coing to this page as much. Blessed be.

Better? What An Offensive Word To Apply To Spirituality. "my Religion Is... Dec 9th. at 4:39:44 pm EST

Green Sprite (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) Age: 18

Better? What an offensive word to apply to spirituality. "My religion is better than yours, nah nah nah nah nah." That's not how it works. There is no "better" in these things, spirituality isn't about competition.

Sometimes It Feels Like People Hold Their Number Of Years On The... Dec 9th. at 7:36:50 pm EST

Whisperwind (Tacoma, Washington US) Age: 33 - Email

Sometimes it feels like people hold their number of years on the path as a badge of importance. When this happens I have to ask myself "What have they really learned." The more I learn on my path the more aware I become of how little I do know. The more knowledgeable I get the less knowledgeable I feel. It is like a never ending quest into the fantastic, around each bend there lies something that may change the way I look at things forever, and this is a really curvy road! So I feel there is nothing wrong with being a new seeker because we all have things we know nothing about. Following the old ways is wonderful as long as new ideas are looked at openly, and it is the newbies who bring in the newest of ideas. As times change we must change, as new information is discovered old ideas must be reformed this is how we grow.

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