Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 10th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
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How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
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Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
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August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
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June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Of Witches And Hate
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Article ID: 10175
Age Group: Adult
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Times Read: 7,449
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Posted: November 13th. 2005
Times Viewed: 7,449
You would think that in a community as diverse and open-minded as we Pagans are, we would be more accepting of everybody’s differences. I was naïve enough to think that every Wiccan respected each other’s religious practices and beliefs. But, like every group that has ever existed, there are supporters of the status quo, and there are dissenters. There are people who claim, as I do, that everybody’s beliefs and views are valid. Then there are those who insist that to listen and/or believe the lessons of certain Witches means that you are following an incorrect theology, thereby making you less of a Witch yourself.
See, there’s an online website for students where I post frequently. Among the many forums available is one for religious debate. Now, I’ve always been hesitant to discuss religion, because from what I’ve experienced, whenever the subject of faith comes up, nobody’s going to be happy. This is often because you will oftentimes find that one individual who will not be respectful of another person’s beliefs, and either insists that their way is the correct way, or that your religion is not legitimate.
I’m not saying that this is always the case. In real life, I’ve had quite a few who have earnestly inquired about my beliefs, both when I was a Catholic and presently as a Wiccan. Online, however, seems to be a different story. I finally got the courage to visit the religion forum one afternoon. After reading the guidelines and making a few commentary posts, I introduced myself, and since this was a religion forum, I mentioned that I was an aspiring Wiccan.
I got a mixed reaction. While there were many who welcomed me, one actually asked me if I was a fluffy bunny or a legitimate Wiccan. My, was I taken aback. I posted that I was trying to be legit, to answer his question. But then I began to wonder why he would even ask such a question. Turns out there had been a surge of teens in the past claiming to be Wiccan, but were just causing arguments for the sake of arguing. I wasn’t there for that, I explained, and the issue was settled without much fuss.
But now my curiosity had been provoked. I had heard about the derogatory term “fluffy bunny, ” but I thought it was outdated and used only for Witches who were always about the mysticism, not even acknowledging the modern world. Turns out there was a much broader definition of what fluffy bunny entailed than what I had known. One of the users on the forum listed a website run by Wiccans who used the term avidly. This group, who I will not name to avoid more conflict, claimed to be there to dispel the mistaken beliefs that some Wiccans hold, particularly in regards to our history.
Now this was the oddest thing. I agreed with much of what they were saying. I never bought into the old religion mythos which Gerald Gardner and Margot Adler had made popular in their heyday. I know that the vast majority of Christians are not out to get us, nor will they always hate me for being Wiccan. The only problem I had with this group of Wiccans was how they were presenting their information, as if every reader was among the fluffy bunnies. That really didn’t sit well with me.
Then came what really made me go “What the…?” They had a list of Wiccan authors, whom they claimed to all be of the fluffy bunny category. Among the list were several authors of books I had read, such as Scott Cunningham, DJ Conway, Konstantinos, and (*gasp*) Silver RavenWolf. In fact, they disliked Ms. RavenWolf to the point that they wrote a whole article condemning her, all based on her book To Ride a Silver Broomstick.
Being American, I am well aware that everybody is entitled to their opinion, and we have the right of freedom of speech. But I was appalled by the anger these Wiccans had towards these writers, many of whom had introduced a whole generation to Wicca. I was feeling unnecessarily embarrassed at having bought DJ Conway’s Celtic Magic or Konstantinos’s Nocturnal Witchcraft. Suddenly, having Silver RavenWolf’s Book of Shadows for the New Generation Solitary Witch was a waste of money.
Why the anger, I wondered? The reasoning I soon found was that these Wiccans felt that the authors listed had a similar viewpoint. They had been raised and educated in the age of televangelism, where being Wiccan and being vocal about it was looked down upon. So these authors, going by their experiences, wrote works that are products of their times. Realizing this, I came to the conclusion that this website was being directed at adults who grew up learning from these authors. They apparently don’t want that generation or the next to grow up believing the past is still the present.
Does that mean I should disregard the works of authors whom they claim are fluffy bunnies? Honestly, no, because they are just as much a part of our Wiccan history as any other author. We should read and learn from sources irregardless of their age, because it shows how much our community changes overtime. I read every book on Wicca and Witchcraft that I can get my hands on, albeit with a discerning eye, because the more you read, the more you learn, the better you can actively discuss and, in the future, educate about your particular path with others.
On the other hand, should we be accusing one another of being fluffy bunnies because they’ve got their histories a little mixed up? Again, no. In my opinion, calling a Pagan a fluffy bunny in our community is like a white person calling a black person a nigger, or a straight person calling a gay person a faggot. But it’s made even worse in the fact that both parties are among the same group, so it’s like creating a private club within a group. Remember, the Wiccan Rede states, “An it harm none, do what ye will.” How is addressing certain people with a derogatory title like “fluffy bunny” (oddly enough, a name that doesn’t sound as harsh at first) not harming anybody?
Wicca is a path of constant spiritual growth, and with that growth comes much needed respect and admiration for our fellow Witches. But if we continue to throw around negative labels, accusing one another of not being true Wiccans, then we lose much of that growth. We lose the ability to recognize each other’s beliefs as valid to the believer. If we ever hope to develop the power and compassion needed to live up to life’s expectations, we need to learn to get along, plain and simple. We can discuss our history and the deeper tenets of our faith. But leave the fluffy bunny talk at the door, okay?
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