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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 12,916,801  

Vox Q Stats

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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 

The Old "traditions" Are By Their Very Name Established Religions/practices. I... Dec 4th. at 10:06:49 am EST

Nephteri (U.P. of Michigan, Michigan US) Age: 51 - Email

The old "Traditions" are by their very name established religions/practices.

I agree that the term "Pagan" is broad, and covers many philosophies. I have been Pagan for forty years, but have only been studying what others have to say about the subject for 10 months. That makes me a "newbie" in my own eyes.

How can being a newbie be "wrong"? Or elder be "right"? The "newbie" may just become that "elders" instructor. (If the elder is wise, s/he will see this possibility and embrace it). And as I suggest above, how does one classify newness? To some, -(warning: upcomming patronizing statement to make a point)- I've been Pagan longer than they've been alive, yet THEY are MY "elders", and I revere them as such.

Paganism has changed over the millenia. It will change in the future. Resisting change is futile-but I believe we CAN direct the change.

You Know, It's Funny. I Always Hear Witches And Wiccans Say, "i've... Dec 4th. at 9:14:48 am EST

Candle Ogham (Sacile, Italy) Age: 22 - Email

You know, it's funny. I always hear Witches and Wiccans say, "I've been on this path for a couple of years, but I've always been a Witch." I know that this is true with me. I still remember being a little Witch with my Ouija Board, tarot cards and out of body traveling. I remember getting points taken off papers at school b/c I refused to spell Earth with a lower case E ("But if we spell God with a big G, why not Earth?"). I think that we all get our calling early when we are still wide eyed and curious. I've been a self-dedicated Witch for just over 2 years now and have devoted my life to Wicca. I think that the ones who are looking for a way to get their boyfriends to fall in love with them quickly find a path more suited to them.

No religion can go without change. If Christianity never changed, we'd all be Puritan zealots. Wouldn't our ancestors laugh at the way we learn about our religion thru people we met online?

The old way works for some people, but those of us without access are screwed... should religion be like this? No it should not. And I am no less a Wiccan b/c of it. The information is already inside of us, we just have to remember what it was like when we still colored auras in crayon around stick figures of our parents.

Is Older Really "better"? Not Necessarily. It Really Depends On How One... Dec 4th. at 8:21:06 am EST

Daphne Inari (Des Moines, Iowa US) Age: 34 - Email

Is Older really "better"? Not necessarily. It really depends on how one approaches the craft. If a person has devoted herself whole-heartedly into study and practice, she can probably have more "experience" in two years than someone who has just "dabbled" can have in ten. The fact is, we are all seekers, always.

There is a wisdom that comes with age, but that wisdom is the experience of life itself, and is not bound to religion.

Although innovation can be in and of itself a good thing, I would be hesitant to say that too much "new ground" be broken--so much of our culture worships youth and all things "new". At some point, a practice evolves to the point of being unrecognizable--at that time, the practice should be re-named and deemed a new path. Our family of religions are certainly flexible to accept another practice alongside the ones established. But we should still be allowed to hold those old ways if we so choose.

Well, While Age Is Usually Responsible For Breeding Wisdom, There Are Exceptions... Dec 4th. at 1:20:06 am EST

Kori Parathena (Nashville, North Carolina US) Age: 27 - Email

Well, while age is usually responsible for breeding wisdom, there are exceptions to every rule. For the most part, older witches tend to be more level-headed and dedicated to their religion. I have known older witches, however, that were as flaky as a coconut pie.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a "newbie" witch. We all have to start somewhere. Unfortunately, some older witches, upon finding a newbie, immediately begin to patronize and "play elder" to the new witchling. This can lead to either disgust on the part of the newbie (as it did with me) or some weird Pagan groupie syndrome (ick!).

As a self-dedicated witch, I also am deeply offended when I run across those members of the old guard that puff up their chests at their "lineage" or recite that old maxim, "Only a Witch can make a Witch." While lineage is something to be cherished and honored, it does not "make" the witch. And as for that goofy, outdated saying...where did the FIRST witch come from? I was initiated by my Goddess, and if anyone wants to tell Her that Her initiation was no good, I say more power to them!

Our traditions will not die by being changed where necessary. We must evolve, as all nature evolves, or we risk extinction.

And in case you are wondering, I've been practicing for six years...still a Witchling!

I Think If Older Equals Better Than More People Should Be Attempting... Dec 4th. at 1:03:22 am EST

Matt (Atlanta, Georgia US) Age: 19

I think if older equals better than more people should be attempting to reconstruct paleolithic practices.

Hi, All!; These Questions Can Be Relevent Depending On What One Is... Dec 3rd. at 11:19:37 pm EST

Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 58 - Email

Hi, All!;

These questions can be relevent depending on what one is doing within
the milieu.

Is one only Pagan? Is one specifically Wiccan? Is one a Witch?

Modern Paganism gets my vote as a religious expression because it is disorganized.

Witchcraft is my practice, because it requires Magical Discipline and dedicated application.

Wicca, I generally ignore.

The object of Witchcraft is the practical application of the traditional Occult Arts and Psychic Sciences. Yes, it does require an "Old Guard" to train and pass on a sound foundation in the study.

One is required to create practical occultists out of one's students who become formidable minds moving metaphysical Time and Space; magicians, if you will.

That, however, is not for everyone.

Wicca sort of gathers the middle ground between Paganism and Witchcraft with its nicey-nicey magic. There one can find all the shades between Traditionals and Starhawkian activists.

Wicca can be eclectic and innovative. Witchcraft is tradition bound and authoritative.

Paganism, as functioning in this Modern World, has no central hierarchy, nor doctrinaire clergies. That makes it a perfct religion for the Witch. who is the consummate heretic towards religious belief, but comitted perpetual student of the arcane. BB

Well, I'm A Newbie, By Most Wiccans' Definition, And I Haven't Run... Dec 3rd. at 9:52:13 pm EST

Adeline (Orlando, Florida US) Age: 27 - Email

Well, I'm a newbie, by most wiccans' definition, and I haven't run into any unpleasant events with regard to my newness. I've heard stories and I think it's funny because most people claim to have knowledge of the old ways, but no one truly knows what that is. If there is a new religion dawning, you better believe I want to be a part of it. If not, then great, I'm already a part of something established. There is good to be drawn from everything if you choose to see it as such. From what I've seen, a lot of people within this community criticize eachother individually as well as other covens for whatever reason. I really don't get that. Isn't the criticism the very thing we're trying to stay clear of?

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