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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: 20,285,866  

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 

I Think The Old Traditions Would Survive Much Better If Those More... Dec 5th. at 8:10:35 pm EST

Misttan (Carsonville, Michigan US) Age: 25

I think the old traditions would survive much better if those more experienced would be willing to share more. As someone who is struggling to find her path in this wonderous, yet confusing journey I would welcome the guidance. I often feel intimidated because I am afraid to ask questions and be called a wannabe. Without Newbie's the old traditions would never survive

I Have Only Been Practicing The Craft For A Year And Have... Dec 5th. at 8:15:40 pm EST

Elizabeth Cale (Decatur, Illinois US) Age: 15

i have only been practicing the craft for a year and have learned more than the person who has been practicing for ten. I have devoted myself to the lord and the Lady, and am infended when called a "wannabe". Blessed Be

I Believe Everyone Has A Right To Choose There Own Way. The... Dec 5th. at 9:32:34 pm EST

Quietwater (jacksonville, Florida US) Age: 34 - Email

I believe everyone has a right to choose there own way. The way that feels right to them. If not we would just turn into just another bible thumping religion. There will always be people who choose to follow traditions and there will be those who choose there own way. That is what makes us who we are. Trying different things to find what is the right path for each of us. As we grow older these choices may chage, but at least we should have the right to choose. My own choice is (at least currently) as a solitary. I need to find my own way to inner peace and happiness. After that, I will always have a place to go no matter what happens around. I believe a person needs know where they stand within themselves before they journey with others.

I Am A New Seeker Of Wicca And I See Nothing Wrong... Dec 5th. at 10:14:41 pm EST

Alizera Dragonwind (San Angelo, Texas US) Age: 15 - Email

I am a new seeker of Wicca and I see nothing wrong with it. I think that if somebody is truly iterested in Wicca they should go ahead and go for it. But if a person is just looking into Witchcraft for their own personal need and just to learn how to cast spells, then that person should be taught that Wicca isn't just to cast spells.
I think it is good to look to the older Witches because they have been around longer and have more experience, but these people should also learn to accept change and that their way isn't always the best way to do things.

I Am Relatively New To The Wiccan Religion. I Became Interested Many... Dec 5th. at 10:31:01 pm EST

Sherrie C. Lansberry (North Port, Florida US) Age: 42 - Email

I am relatively new to the Wiccan religion. I became interested many years ago, but only recently have been seriously studying. There was a shop in my home town that was run by Wiccans and after long conversations with the owner, he recommended that I try reading Wicca for the Solitary Practioner by Scott Cunningham. I quickly devoured this book and went on to read many more books by Mr. Cunningham. I do not claim to be self-initiated because I feel that I have so much more to learn. I have expanded my library to other authors, but I still feel that nothing will compare to actually talking with a more experienced pratitioner. I do not understand the closeness of the religion. I have not been able to find anyone who will open up and help me learn. Who will the "Old Guard" teach if they do not allow "newbies" into their societies?

I think the new generation of Pagans should follow the teachings of the old ways, but finding a teacher is extremely difficult from my standpoint. I do not consider my self part of a new generation as I am 42 years old, but I am just a baby in the eyes of the Mother and Father. I do not think their intention is to shield ourselves from others who want to learn. I think we should all share our knowledge and experience with each other and grow together.

I Am What Would Be Called A Newbie. I Am A Self... Dec 5th. at 11:28:15 pm EST

Aryel Greencraft (West Sacramento, California US) Age: 51 - Email

I am what would be called a newbie. I am a self initiated solitary Celtic Witch. I performed my initiation on July 11th of this year (2000) and although I am new to the Craft of the Wise I think I have picked up a few bits of wisdom on my path to get here. I have studied many arts and sciences to arrive where I am. I started with yoga and meditation at age twelve and progressed through several martial arts style before ending up studying Shoalin. Some may be aware that this is a Chinese Shamanic system that involves use of herbs, meditation and manipulation of many energy forms for healing, and divining in additiion to the martial aspects. However when I finally heard my calling to the Craft I knew I was home. But I don't think all my life up to now was a waste of time, it was all preparation for where I am now. I have long believed in the spiritual world of eastern spiriuality meeting that from the west. Now I feel my mission is to try to bring what I have learned from the east and incorporate it into Witchcraft which really came from the east too but the other way around. So by whatever path we get here, no matter how twisted and complex, we are all trying to get to the same place. And if we have all come to the Craft then where we are all going is very much the same.

Merry Meet To All... My Path Is Unknown Yet I Repect All... Dec 6th. at 12:47:13 am EST

Angela Herring (Herrin, Illinois US) Age: 20 - Email

Merry meet to all... my path is unknown yet I repect all pagan and wiccan aspects and agree with what I myself believe. My opinion to the oldways surviving is highly without a doubt that it'll live on forever so long as we key out the doubt that it will not. For there may not be one "true" path, but theres the great passion of our own wills that are together put in our hearts and that's the goodness in what you trust is right for yourself.

I Am New To Calling Myself A Wiccan. But It Is Something... Dec 6th. at 1:11:11 am EST

maer again (Keswick (still), Ontario CA) Age: 37

I am new to calling myself a Wiccan. But it is something that I have felt a kinship with for my entire life. I have always felt that everyone should be able to express their spirituality in the way that makes them feel happy and comforted. No way is right. No way is wrong. Comparing the old way, and the new way is an apple/orange proposition. I think there is beauty in the old ways, and these traditions should be revered, and kept to pass down to those who will follow. However, I also think that some of us are not ready to follow the old ways in their entirety. Now we can bring the things we feel good about from that aspect to our own spirituality. That freedom to choose is one of the most beautiful things about Wicca, and Paganism. For that, I am thankful. We are Blessed. And this time, I'll get it right! (sorry)

I Have Been Practicing Wicca (solitary) For The Past Four Years. I... Dec 6th. at 2:58:06 am EST

Caelum (Dallas, Texas US) Age: 26 - Email

I have been practicing Wicca (solitary) for the past four years. I will explain my beliefs, but I don't feel that I should have to defend them to anyone. If I am considered a 'newbie, ' then so be it. Most of the Pagans I have met do not condemn a person for wanting to understand a new path. I'm not claiming to be a High Priestess or anything. I just want to be left in peace to believe as I do and celebrate in the way I see fit. Should new generations be allowed to break new ground? Absolutely. Is not the law "Harm none and do what ye will?" )O(

I Feel That There Really Is No Difference Between The Old Seeker... Dec 6th. at 6:07:05 am EST

Iucunda (Tampere, Finland) Age: 26

I feel that there really is no difference between the old seeker and the new seeker, both are just seekers. In Wicca no practitioner is above or below the other, and therefore people who seek power haven«t got a clue to what everything is all about, but that is no surprise since that is what is wrong with the world, peoples hunger for power where wicca and paganisms are against rigid authorities and someone being better that the other. After all, it«s just us, the animals, and the gods.
The problem with most religions is that they are not willing to evolve where the evolution of humanity has taken enormous leaps ahead. If religions do not evolve they perish or they force peolple to hold themselves back. The reason why most have turned to paganism and/or wicca is that they don«t feel comfortable with the rigidness of mainstream religions, and find the rules constrictive and obsolete and the dogmas too simple and contradictory to themselves. And the fact that we're having this conversation means simply that not all people are willing or able to let go of pride and the need to be recogniced and accepted by others as a valid practitioner, which is the result of bad self-esteem.

I Suspect A Lot Of The Frustration In The "old Guard" As... Dec 6th. at 9:59:13 am EST

Fishgoat (Winnipeg, Manitoba CA) Age: 36 - Email

I suspect a lot of the frustration in the "Old Guard" as you put it comes from the masses of newcomers who, instead of being true seekers, are just out for a quick "Wicca fix". You know the type: "Gimme a spell to get back (or get back at) my ex." or "Can you teach me how to shapechange, just like in The Craft?" and then turn around and be nasty because someone tried to explain to them that Wicca is a spiritual path and , no, "I will not hex your ex for you" (or whatever). I end up dealing with far more dabblers than seekers on-line, which depresses me.

That being said, I don't necessarily think that the older traditions are automatically better, just because they are old. What I am concerned about is the fact that much good lore, poetry and magickal knowledge (not to mention Wiccan history) is being abandoned just because it IS "old", or requires "too much work", or isn't "happy" enough, or whatever. If it doesn't work for you, fine. At least study it a bit before automatically rejecting it. (The same goes for "traditionalists": take a look at the newer rites and such first before dismissing it *all* as "fluff".)

Let's keep Wicca diverse so that seekers have a place to go that fits *them*. Let's also continue to be aware of our diversity, to experience it, and to celebrate it, so that we can be a good example to the new seekers AND be able to direct them to likeminded folks.

Me? I'll continue to be an eclectic traditionalist ;)

Not Neccessarily. Older Is Usually Better If Only For The Tapestry Of... Dec 6th. at 10:24:04 am EST

Gary Reed (Dallas, Texas US) Age: 41 - Email

Not neccessarily.

Older is usually better if only for the tapestry of experience that been gathered. However, simply passing on knowledge is somewhat hollow if it is not accompanied by wisdom.

To stick to old traditions or ways is a good way to maintain a link to our heritage. However, if things never changed, we would still be living in mud huts, hunting with spears and cowering in fear at every eclipse.

Change is inevitable and if we can guide that change it will be to the good of all. Traditions give us roots. Change gives us wings but, like Icarus, we must be careful to temper our flight and not stray too far too quickly.

So, to those who choose to just pick there practices they want to fit their lifstyle or whim, be careful. Make your choices only after becoming informed and educated as to where that particular practice, tradition, spell or rite came from and how it fit in its original intention. Some practices fit well with other traditions while others, may seem OK on the surface but after close examination, actually may conflict with your base belief systems.

To those who insist that your tradition is the only acceptable way, remember that mud huts where a tradition at one time. I'm not saying you must give up your traditions but don't cling to them so tightly that your spirituallity stagnates.

So children, FLY and be free, but don't lose sight of your ground. After all, we are all children of the earth.

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