Your browser does not support script

Pagan Perspectives

Weekly Question

Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Views: [32,767]
Responses: [2,666]

The Rules
Note: The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

For Further
Visit The

WitchVox List
of 242
'Net Sites:

Chat Boards
Email Lists
IRC Channels

Past Questions
112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

109. The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate? - [129]

108. Do You Speak Pagan Geek? - [38]

107. Would You Be A Good ‘Reality Show’ Contestant? - [49]

106. What Is Your Inner Animal? - [127]

105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

102. Do Interfaith Conferences/ Discussions Work? - [29]

101. Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations? - [85]

100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

98. Would You Live In A Haunted House? - [166]

97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

96. If You Were Granted Three Wishes... - [179]

95. How Do You Feel About War? - [153]

94. Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List? - [91]

93. Should Pagans Apply For Federal Funds? - [56]

92. What Do You See in 2003? - [47]

90. Which Christmas Ghost Would You Like To Be? - [82]

89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

88. Are We Alone in The Universe? - [67]

87. The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes? - [50]

86. How’s Your Gratitude Attitude? - [64]

85. What’s Your Motivation? - [97]

84. Between the Veils: What Did You See? - [80]

83. Time to Talk Politics and Elections… - [109]

82. Your Samhain/Beltaine Musings - [50]

81. ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past? - [97]

80. Polytheist, Monotheist, Dualist or Other? - [104]

79. Have You Switched Pagan Paths? - [110]

78. Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan? - [268]

77. Pot-Kettle: Do We Have Our Own Fundamentalists? - [91]

76. America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer? - [103]

75. So What Do YOU Think of the Pagan Web? - [43]

74. What is/was your 2002 New Year's resolution - [23]

73. Do You Believe in Faeries? - [44]

72. Is 'Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men' Possible? - [28]

71. How Do YOU View the Balance of Light and Dark? - [22]

70. What's News? - [22]

69. What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? - [17]

68. Are You Wild About Harry? - [80]

67. What Is Music? - [18]

66. What Did You Do this Samhain? - [8]

65. What ARE the most "Frequently Asked Questions' About Witches? - [31]

64. What Are YOUR book/video/dvd Recommendations? - [119]

63. Have You Done Any Protection Spells or Workings? - [38]

62. What Are Your Thoughts On The Current "War on Terrorism"? - [77]

61. Are You Willing To Give Up Some Civil Liberties To Be Safe? - [69]

60. What About Those Pagan Leaders Again? - [289]

59. 911 America: Talking Through The Terror... - [969]

58. What Are Your Plans For Fall? - [21]

57. If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island... - [56]

56. What Would You Like to See at The Voice? - [65]

55. What Lies Beyond? - [28]

54. What is the connection between Spirit, Nature and Humankind? - [18]

53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

52. Have you ever been to a Pagan Festival? - [26]

51. What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"? - [44]

50. What's Your Magickal Focus? - [33]

49. Ending Religious Discrimination-What's It Gonna Take? - [41]

48. How Fares The First Amendment? - [20]

47. Are you a Talker or a Listener? - [14]

46. Predator and Prey - What Beasts Live Within You? - [44]

45. Who Do You Trust? - [22]

44. Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants? - [24]

43. What's On Your Balloon? - [52]

42. Is There An Energy Crisis? - [30]

41. What Makes You So Special? - [33]

40. What is Your Guilty Little Secret? - [101]

39. Who Are Your Gods? - [55]

38. What Are The Greatest Challenges That Pagans Face Today? - [35]

37. What's On Your Altar? - [45]

36. Should the United States Apologize to China - [32]

35. Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike - [60]

34. What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide? - [95]

33. What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred? - [108]

32. Why Are Kids Killing Kids? - [60]

31. Whassa Matter With Kids Today? - [71]

30. What Do You Support and Why Do You Support It? - [21]

29. How About Some New Holidays? - [39]

28. Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name? - [93]

27. Where Are The Pagan Social Programs? Do We Care? - [22]

26. What Do You Think About Bush's 'Faith-Based' Initiative Plan? - [87]

25. What Are The Boundaries? - [26]

24. What is Pagan History and What is Pagan Belief? - [44]

23. Who or What is a "Pagan Leader"? - [61]

22. What More Do You Want To Know About Paganism? - [45]

21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

19. What do YOU of our newest entry into the Presidential Political Pool? - [61]

20. What have YOU done to trace your family history? - [11]

18. Your Gift, Craft and Holiday Celebration Ideas! - [43]

17. Does Older Equal Better? - [199]

16. What is the best gift that you ever received? - [28]

15. What are YOU Thankful For? - [87]

14. The Unresolved US Election - [263]

13. Divination - [29]

12. Pagan Choice for the y2k US Election - [129]

11. Hollywood Hype - [74]

10. Money and the Craft - [82]

9. Pagan Jokes and Humorous Stories - [37]

8. Misconceptions About Witches, Wiccans and Pagans - [63]

7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

5. Pagan books/web sites-dynamic or drivel? - [46]

4. The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View? - [181]

3. Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View? - [122]

2. How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft? - [42]

1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 25,802,052  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 91

Lurker/Post Ratio: 360 to 1

Question of the Week: 77 - 9/15/2002

Pot-Kettle: Do We Have Our Own Fundamentalists?

Does religious fundamentalism exist in some Pagan and/or Heathen communities? Can a closed group or tradition be considered as fundamentalist? Are there some Pagans and/or Heathens who 'preach' one true Pagan or Heathen way? Is resistance to the 'mainstreaming' of Paganism/Heathenism a form of fundamentalism? How can we approach the preservation of Pagan and/or Heathen spiritual and/or cultural integrity and identity without falling into fundamentalism? Is fundamentalism even necessarily a 'bad' thing? You can also check out Isaac Bonewitt's essay on fundamentalism at: A Call to Arms for definitions and other background material.

 Reponses:   There are 91 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

The Fundamentals Are Good, Fundamentalism Isn't Sep 22nd. at 11:38:37 am EDT

Laura (Rhode Island) Age: 22 - Email

I have been surprised and disappointed in the past year to encounter a number of people who hold what can only be described as fundamentalist views on Wicca. Many of these people belong to one of the paths that fall under the heading of British Traditional Wicca (BTW). Not all BTWs are like this, of course, by any stretch of the imagination, but this attitude does seem to be most prevalent among them.
This "fundamentalism" stems from a valid and praiseworthy desire to keep Wicca a definable and recognizable religion. Many practitioners of BTW are dismayed to see the large numbers of people who call themselves "Wiccans" without making a thorough study of the religion, or who practice in ways that are so different from the traditional ways as to be unrecognizable as practices of the same religion. Traditional Wiccans do not wish to be associated with these radically different practitioners, because they do not see these altered practices as being truly Wiccan.
I will agree with them as far as to say that a line should be drawn. "Wicca" cannot mean "whatever I say it means". BUT, I will also say that some practitioners of BTW draw this line a little too close to them.
Solitary Wiccans are sneered at by many members of the traditional community, who say that "only a witch can make a witch" and that self-initiation is not valid. Some go farther, and say that many established covens and traditions are invalid, as they do not trace their lineage back to Gerald Gardner.
This is, in my opinion, preposterous. I agree with these people that everyone who wants to call him/herself a Wiccan should learn the history of the religion, and learn the fundamentals of it. They should know where the practices originated, and how they developed. There are certain things that should always be included in Wiccan practice: the celebration of the Sabbats, worship of the God and Goddess, the ritual tools, the Rede, etc. Also, I believe that most Wiccans would do well to study at least for awhile with a coven. But, there is much room for flexibility within these parameters. Flexibility prevents the religion from stagnating. When balanced with a respect for tradition, it can make the religion more lively and fulfilling for more people.

You Betcha! Sep 22nd. at 1:18:27 pm EDT

Stephen Coslett (Portales) Age: 48 - Email - Web

There are fundamentalists everywhere and no group is immune to this. It's not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it a disease, but part of the human condition. What we all seem to forget is that, for the most part, people desire to be a part of something. Sometimes that desire manifests itself in a very strong way and can even lead to alienation instead of togetherness.

I know quite a few folks who meet the criteria of "Fundie Pagan." Soem of these are seekers and some have been on the path for a long time. I have heard many of the arguements; "only a witch can make a witch" ... "it should be hereditary" ... "self initiation is invalid" ... blah-blah-blah ... so forth and so on ...

We should be careful not to confuse fundamentalism with fanaticism; our country and the world has a very harsh reminder of religious fanaticism. Let's try and keep out of that lane, folks ... it's just a dead end and it can do a great deal of harm. Too many folks cry, "Fundie," when some of them should be looking in the mirror.

I one of the folks who think that you are what you truly believe in and that the best test of your beliefs are time, commitment, and conflict.

Bless You and All That You Are.


Does The Pagagn/Wiccan/Heathen World Have Fundies? Sep 22nd. at 1:44:24 pm EDT

Mae Silverpaws (Ga.) Age: 37 - Email

Unfortunately all organizations,religions and ways of life have their exstremests.
And sadly the Pagan/Wiccan/Heathen world(s) is no exception.

I'd Say Some Of Us "Traditionalist" Take It A Bit To Far.... Sep 22nd. at 3:13:44 pm EDT

Jade (Ct, USA) Age: 19 - Email

bear with me... because im gonna write an essay here!
ok, me, belonging to the British Tradtional Wiccan (BTW) community, would have to agree that some of us do take things a bit too far sometimes.... i do agree/ believe that "only a witch can make a witch" but, in this day and age, there would be coven waiting list in order to be properly initiated!.... so, i also agree that self-initiation is a valid way to get started in you pagan path.... but, to call oneself "Wiccan" persay, i think that knowlege of the roots, philosophies, "tenets", theories, beliefs, ethics, practises, etc., etc. of this craft is essencial.... mabey then to pursue dedication & initiation to a coven for proper "training" if one decides that Wicca is what the person is... i think that "Wicca" has become a laymays term (atleast in USA) to substitue for the word "Witchcraft".... all the "eclectic wiccans" are valid... but, i dont think they should call themself wiccan... especially if they have no working knowlege of just what wicca really is. i have no problem with solitaire witches... some people can work w/ a group, some cant.... i, personally, think that a witch (especially wiccan witchs) should experience both... for it would be greatly enriching... but, fundie-ism is somehting that all religions must deal with... just as long as that fundamentalism doesnt evolve into fanatisism.... i think it is vital for wicca to grow and evolve over time though, and that would take some degree of *eclectsism* in every coven/ family/ "practisionaire"... or else we will become a dinosaure religion, like catholosism, or orthodox judaism.... it wouldnt be good!.... well,i guess this opinion is just coming from the BTW point of view.... do you think i am fundie now? its your opinion...

I Wish We Didn't! Sep 22nd. at 4:49:10 pm EDT

rosie stewart (ireland) Age: 36 - Email

As someone who has been exposed to all kinds of fundamemtalism during her life, both religious and political, it boils dowm, i feel to ego.
If we let the ego overtake our instinct and open-mindedness, we are in trouble! It has been my pleasure to undertake the journey alone and only in recent times to share with one close friend (whom i met thru this site- bless you!). For me there is no right way. Each must find their own path and that path takes many turns and twists on its way. If we close our minds then we have lost the very essence of our spiritual journey. All those we meet have something to teach us. We have no right to claim"truth". Truth exists only in our own experience and everyone's triuth is different. We can give and share but never claim to be right. Shouldwe do so, we are ctting ourselves off from so much that we can learn and grow from. Blessings all. Rose

Sadly, Yes................... Sep 22nd. at 4:58:41 pm EDT

Myrddin (Wisconsin) Age: 55 - Email

Of course there are "fundamentalists" - even "elitists" in the pagan world. Just as there are in every other field of endeavor, philosophy or human pursuit. It is human nature to want to feel "special" or "better than" others....remember how excited and happy you felt when you KNEW the right answer in grade school and were called on? And the other kids didn't? Unfortunately that normal child-like pride is taken into maturity by some and refined into arrogance. It IS human nature to want to be special: we ALL ARE special each in his own way. We each have our own unique contributions to make. It is when we get into the realm of saying "playing the drums isn't really music! REAL music is playing the violin as I do!" or.......more to the point.....the God and Goddess are an orchestra. Is it really valid to claim that only the strings section, or the horns section are the only ones playing the REAL music? That only one of those sections TRULY represents the God and Goddess? I don't think so. Is it more prestigious to be in the string section than say, percussion? WHY should it be so? The BEAUTY is that all are playing the Goddess's music, and that music is all the more beautiful for its individual notes and tones combined.

Traditionalists putting down other pagans or paths is focusing on the violins. By and large, that claim - though not confined to - is made by Garnerians. I find that rather ludricrous. I have been around quite some time.....I got involved back when Wiccan was really taking off as an alternative to other religions. I read deeply everything that was available. The two biggest groups attracting followers were Gerald Garner's brand of wiccan, and LeMay's brand of Satanism.
Gladly, LeMay floundered, was found to be an opportunist, and THAT particular path is not much mentioned today. The thing is......Gardnerian form of Wiccan is an amalgum folks. Gerald Gardner claimed to have been inducted into the last surviving, very secret English Coven. 60 years later we have come to realize that no such coven really existed. He came into a group that was trying to re-discover the Old Ways. I do NOT make little of their efforts. I do accept (and was initiated) Gardnerian as a legitimate interpretation of what the Old Ways MIGHT have been originally. I also recognize that much of the ceremony and laws were borrowed from Masonic rites, from Margaret Murray's research and study of primitive cultures tainted by her desire to interpret some things within a context that she HOPED to find.......and many other interpretations of Old Ways or beliefs. It is a wonderful path to follow for those who wish to. But it is NOT the only answer to what the Old Ways truly were. Only by being ONE OF those folks way back when before Christianity quite obliterated and obfuscated could we truly know what the belief systems and rituals were. And even then, Druids in England probably had somewhat different beliefs or rituals from those in France....though similar enough to see the core of them both.

The point is......Gardnerian form, or Druidic form, or Shamanistic form is no more valid than any of the three or the others which one wishes to my opinion. They are ALL notes of the orchestra. We should be celebrating the music, NOT one section of the orchestra over another.

Love, peace and BB to all,

 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8  

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.