Articles/Essays From Pagans
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Are You My Familiar ?
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?
June 15th. 2014 ...
Becoming Your Own Wise One
Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha
June 8th. 2014 ...
Moral Relativism and Wicca
Paganism in Cebu, Philippines
June 1st. 2014 ...
Rediscovering My Pagan Faith
13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah
May 25th. 2014 ...
Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)
How to Work With Your Muse
10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch
May 18th. 2014 ...
Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)
The Medea Within Us All
Visits from the Departed
May 11th. 2014 ...
Breaking the Law of Return
Karma and Sin
Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!
The Sin Concept
May 4th. 2014 ...
When to Let Go...When to Hold On
Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty
Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance
April 27th. 2014 ...
Mental Illness in the Pagan Community
World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action
Being Pagan, Being Bipolar
"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!
April 20th. 2014 ...
Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide
Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus
Morality and Controversy in the Craft
A Pagan Perspective on Easter
The Star Child
April 13th. 2014 ...
Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils
Being a Worrisome Witch
Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!
What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops
April 6th. 2014 ...
The Elements and the Quarters
Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014
How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”
13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah
March 30th. 2014 ...
Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order
True Meaning of Community
Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis
My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective
March 23rd. 2014 ...
Spirituality and Social Change
The First Step to Anywhere!
March 16th. 2014 ...
From Christian to Pagan (Part I)
Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar
The Teeth in the Darkness
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Solitary or Tradition: The Right To Be Called Wiccan
Article ID: 12722
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,231
Times Read: 4,938
RSS Views: 35,494
Author: Ryan Hatcher
Posted: July 20th. 2008
Times Viewed: 4,938
I have read many articles in which the authors state that those who follow traditions are true Wiccans and that solitaries cannot abide under the label ‘Wiccan’. However, Wicca, and most pagan branches had to have been created from somewhere and someone had to have created these branches, be it Gardner, Sanders, Buckland, an ancient Druid or an ancient Native American Shaman.
These ideas must have been created in the minds of these individuals, and with the more modern individuals, the pooling of ideas from other sources would have been a great start, (as with Gardner, pooling the rituals of Dorothy Clutterbuck’s coven, with those relayed by Alistair Crowley, as well as some of Crowley’s Thelema practice and procedures and techniques portrayed in the Greater Key of Solomon).
I’m all for traditions, and I agree that being taught by an experienced individual is far better and more beneficial than being self-taught, but I do strongly feel that solitary eclectic practice is just as valid and creditable as traditional practice.
If a witch is self-taught, they must research and study as much as possible and as thoroughly as possible, checking and double checking things through as many sources as the individual has available.
From then, the Solitary Witch will be able to make an educated evaluation on how to practice, and will then be able to decide which areas of their new spirituality they wish to master, ‘student of many master of none’ need not apply if the student has researched thoroughly, and is then selective of the areas they study and therefore master them.
I fully understand that mixing traditions can damage the authenticity of the traditions that are mixed. However, if individuals are still drawn to these traditions then they will be kept alive and authentic and a mystery by those who are oath bound to them.
It is easy enough to say that in order to be a true Wiccan, you need to join a traditional coven, but not every person has a traditional coven available to him or her. Does this mean that they can never become a true Wiccan and must search for another path, though it would not feel right to them? Of course not! If there is no other option, then the path of the solitary may be the way to go.
As a solitary though, eclecticism my not be necessary. There are some traditional texts available to the public, for example Janet and Stewart Farrar have made the practices of the Alexandrian tradition widely available in their many books (I have A Witches’ Bible open in front of me as I write this), also the Gardnerian Book of Shadows has become available, whether in extracts or in its entirety.
This searching for traditions to become part of has become easier due to the birth of the internet. But, how does one become par of a tradition without being part of a coven? The simple answer is Self-Initiation.
Some may seem shocked or appalled at this idea, but Doreen Valiente herself endorses it, in a sense anyway, in that she published a self-initiation rite in her book Witchcraft for Tomorrow and other tips that can be applied to a solitary practitioner as do The Farrars in their book A Witches’ Bible (p.244) , whom follow the Alexandrian tradition. They themselves have said, “We no longer believe, at this stage of the Craft’s history, that it should be inflexible. Moreover, insistence on it is unrealistic; a large section of today’s Craft (and by no means necessarily an inferior section) either is self-initiated or stems from people who were self-initiated.” This was stated in the mid 80s, and we now are in 2008, nearly 28 years from that point, so why is there still such conflict between solitaries and traditionalists? Therefore, those who seek tradition, yet cannot find a nearby coven, self-initiation into that tradition is an available option.
But what of eclectic witches? Many individuals have a thirst for knowledge, and they may find being restricted to the ritual structure of a specific tradition is stifling and doesn’t allow for growth in knowledge and experience of the wider world of Witchcraft. And so, such a solitary witch seeks out as much information and knowledge on practicing their beliefs and then develops their own structure.
But I have to ask, how is this process any different to the development of the older ‘more valid’ traditions? In essence, the eclectic practitioner, providing they don’t change them, is able to keep the traditional techniques authentic, so long as they acknowledge the tradition that they came from. Sadly however, it is a natural process to adapt the pieces to fit the puzzle so the traditional procedures will become changed.
Who’s to say that in the future there won’t be an eclectic tradition, that is open to people from all magickal backgrounds and traditions that won’t discriminate against other traditions or paths of paganism, a tradition that will truly see every path, solitary, traditional, every path, as equal in the eyes of divinity, with none being superior to others, and with no sense of inferiority of fear of not being a valid, accredited Witch or Wiccan.
Therefore, I put forward that Solitary practitioners, and eclectic practitioners have as much right to be classed as Wiccan if they wish to be, so long as they truly believe in their hearts the ideals of Wicca as a religion.
As the late -- and most definitely great -- Doreen Valiente, the woman who helped Gerald Gardner give birth to the beautiful religion of Wicca, said in Witchcraft for Tomorrow (p.22): “You have a right to be a pagan if you want to be….So do not let anyone browbeat you out of it” and I agree with the Farrars who say that this presumably includes “pedantically minded pagans”.
Brightest Blessings to all
**) O (**
A Witches' Bible - Janet and Stewart Farrar
Witchcraft for Tomorrow - Doreen Valiente
Location: Swaffham, England
Other Articles: Ryan Hatcher has posted 9 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Ryan Hatcher... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 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 G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
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.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).