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Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 4,706,935  

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 


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 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.


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 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 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 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 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


If They Are Well Trained I Don't Care If They Come From... Dec 5th. at 7:22:02 pm EST

Rose Welsh (Cedar City, Utah US) Age: 32


IF THEY ARE WELL TRAINED I don't care if they come from the Santeria-Starhawk-Elvis trad or straight from Reclaiming. The problem we have is the same problem a lot of Christian denominations have that are a religion of clergy: poorly trained clergy that go out thinkin' they know what they are doing and screw up royally. These people give us bad press by doing stupid things; they mess up their trainee's heads because they don't know anything about counceling (and we have our share of screwed up seekers!); they hold rituals that couldn't keep a guy on speed awake; and they don't have a clue how to teach magick or spirituality without bringing their ego into it.

My two cents.


Tee Hee--a Loaded Question. Are You Referring To "older" As Gardnerian... Dec 5th. at 6:32:50 pm EST

Lynne-Renee (rural St. Louis area, Missouri US) Age: 29 - Email


TEE HEE--a loaded question. Are you referring to "older" as Gardnerian? I hate to show my ignorance so well but I suppose "wicca" doesn't really get any older than that. Now if you mean follow the "Old Ways" that's different. I belong to the FOI but that's it for organizations. I was taught a lot of folk magick and was raised in a house that prayed to divinty and beings from Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddism and Mother Nature (now I call Her the Goddess). Did I mention the winds? My family has been in the broom closet ever since REGULAR people made their own brooms. Does this mean I know more? Heck no! Shucks, I know enough to rely on my intuition most of all--that's what the main lesson was (from people I knew born in the 1800's). Of course, some up and died before being able to teach me the intricacies and left me a very curious, open, little girl.

I have no interest in being in a coven after seeing the others I'd be "new" with. That sounds worse than I mean. It's because I CANNOT get worked up and excited about most of what I'm at least acquainted with let alone the whole "club/clique" atmosphere. Talk about a test.

Having said that: I think following dogma laid out before you is an excellent idea for real beginners/curious folk and also for trying something different (traditions). Also, if you are going to say you are "wiccan, " you had better have done all the studies and at least be under the tutilage of a HP/S. I am not wiccan per se. I am currently studying; I wanted to see the differences and learn new ways that perhaps I've never encountered to aide my spiritual life. Wicca completely (so far) goes along with the ideals of my upbringing.

Better? I haven't yet (studying Wicca proper) experienced anything stronger or with more grace than I did since I was a small child. However, I am technically a newbie even after almost 30 years of real life-family spirituality.

Who knows?


Well, As A New Practitioner ( I Know I Spelled That Wrong) I'd... Dec 5th. at 6:03:24 pm EST

Merrie Melody (Bluffton, Ohio US) Age: 15 - Email


Well, as a new practitioner ( I know I spelled that wrong) I'd say that my religion and thoughts are just as valid as the traditionalist and in some ways, more suited to what I need. About the "newbie" thing, I would like anyone who has ever said that to remember that they too were once in that situation, and if someone had disvalued their ideas, then think how they would have reacted. I do think, however, that the old(er) trads should be kept alive and that even if you're not going to join that particular coven/tradition, you should at least at one point in your life study with other people. Not only will you get feedback on your ideas, you'll get to evaluate other's ideas and hear them as well, benefiting all others. I would use an anaolgy to explain what I mean...
You learn from your parents basic things. How to talk, walk, ect, but at a point you'd be able to survive on your own (fairly early) but you would have to learn from a multitude of mistakes that could cost you your life and wouldn't be able to interact with other people as well as you could now. It's like that with older and newer trads and practioners, the newer could survive on their own as we are now, but we would loose what other people have already come up with, making it a difficult learning process to re-learn what it's taken meleniums to learn and centuries to re-learn.


I Think That We All Need To Find Our Way. But We... Dec 5th. at 5:42:39 pm EST

Daniel Standley (coffs harbour, South Australia AU) Age: 20 - Email


I think that we all need to find our way. But we need to be careful not reinvent Wicca/witchcraft as it would soon disapper. I guess what i am trying to say is follow wicca the way you feel is right. But don't change too much.

Blessed Be


What In The Name Of The Elements And All Things Noble Makes... Dec 5th. at 5:33:29 pm EST

Erin (HB , California US) Age: 17 - Email


What in the name of the elements and all things noble makes you ask such a stereo typical question?! Where age may mean years of expeirence, youth isn't stupidity, either. i am 17 and just out of novice hood and have a friend who is 35, and quite the novice herself! However, my fave witch of them all, is well in his 50's and quite strong in his power. so what does that mean to anyone. age is irrelevent. my husband to be is younger then me, and my best friend is 80!! However, the question regarding the old ways vs. new age, i would have to say it lies in the witch him/herself. i embrace the old ways, because i think our elders of then were quite impressive. However, new age has come to my alter frequently enough to say it really doen't matter much.

Moreover, I think that maybe a spell is a spell is a spell, requardless of age, and a witch is a witch is a witch, as to the level of power, age has no foothold. i hope to be a very powerfull sorceress, however, i know it will take time, and i embrace that. I know how age can be involved in time, but you are only as old as you feel.

Merry blessing, and wisdom, love embrace you all,
Witch Of Center Being, Erin.


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