Articles/Essays From Pagans
April 3rd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
February 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
February 22nd. 2016 ...
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
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
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 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
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
My Concept Of Grey
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
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
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
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
'Pagan' Safer Than 'Wiccan'?
Article Specs |
Article ID: 10578
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,674
Times Read: 8,120
RSS Views: 72,971
Posted: April 9th. 2006
Times Viewed: 8,120
So Iím up at the student union at my campus, watching from the sidewalk as our local fundamentalist group is preaching in lieu of Mardi Gras. While Iím there, my friend from high school, Adam, comes up to me. We were never really tight, but still, we were pretty good friends. One thing that he didnít know about me until that moment was that I was Wiccan (I wasnít exactly out of the broom closet in high school).
Now on campus, Iím pretty much open about my Wiccan beliefs. Generally, nobody asks, even when they see me wearing my pentacle Ė itís simply implied, and nobody cares. This time, however, Adam gave an exasperated sigh and asked what I was wearing. ďUm, a pentacle.Ē I responded. He began to laugh. When he asked why, he said something to the effect of Wicca being a fad. Needless to say, that struck a chord in me.
Whatíd I say? ďActually, I Pagan.Ē
He didnít know what being Pagan entailed, so I explained my beliefs a bit. I did say that my practices and beliefs were influenced by Wicca, but that I dealt more with the Egyptian deities, and I believed that all religions were right in their own way. He took this definition more seriously than Wicca, and moved on.
Unfortunately, now I felt bad, because I felt like I was denying something I felt so passionately about. I love the Wiccan religion, and am glad to be a part of it. Yet when Wicca is put in a bad light by someone I know, Iíve been finding myself reverting to saying Iím just Pagan, instead of defending my choice of faith.
In my experience, this doesnít just happen with non-Pagans, although those who do find fault with Wicca tend to be more vicious or mean about it than Pagans who look poorly at Wicca. In part this is because of my age Ė teenagers like me who are serious about Wicca are nonetheless almost always perceived, especially at first impressions, as fluffy bunny, angst-driven teens using Wicca for attention.
But this can be compounded by non-Pagans who donít think of Wicca as being a real religion. They see the vast number of people who follow this path (in their eyes, predominantly teenagers) as being part of a hippie fad. In most of their eyes, they see Wicca equated with Witchcraft, and since most of them donít believe Witchcraft to be real, they seem to dismiss Wicca as being a fantasy in and of itself.
When it comes to these people, I do tend to be quieter about my beliefs. As with Adam, I just say Iím Pagan, explain a little bit about what that is, and go about my regular business. And for the most part they tend to accept my being Pagan more than my being Wiccan. Why? In my opinion, itís because Paganism hasnít received as much media hype as Wicca has. Wicca has been played up in our modern pop-culture, whereas Paganism is resigned to just being a real religion. Simply put, Paganism sounds more real than Wicca to those who think Wicca is a fad religion.
This problem isnít resigned to just non-Pagans. I know some Pagans who feel that Wicca has indeed been far too hyped in our culture, having overshadowed other Pagan religions such as Asatru, Reconstructionist religions, Afro-Caribbean religions, etc. In this case, they see new Wiccans as being part of that hype. And the general attitude is that Wicca has indeed become a fad and as such needs to be ignored.
Then there are the elitist and fundamentalist Pagans Ė yes, such Pagans, and even Wiccans, exist. As with the above groups, I canít speak accurately for everyone, but the general consensus of this group of Pagans is that most people who call themselves Wiccan are in fact fooling themselves, because most of them are not a part of the original Wiccan traditions, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian. If not this, then itís because theyíre solitary practitioners, or because theyíre eclectic in their practices, or, heaven forbid, theyíre publicly open about their beliefs. Woe be to the Wiccan who fulfills these criteria, for in the eyes of the elitist, they are regarded with great contempt.
Truthfully, all these negative attitudes towards Wicca, at least in my experience, have been minimal. But when faced with such adversity, is it any wonder I wouldnít want to say that Iím Wiccan? I know it sounds like a cop-out, but Iím not the kind of person who likes to make waves. Iím a pacifist at heart who looks for ways to avoid conflict. And it is my belief that if someone truly has a problem with my Wiccan beliefs, then itís none of their business, and theyíll just have to live with what I tell them. In these cases, itís a matter of peacemaking and protection as opposed to stirring up arguments and hurting feelings.
Still, no matter how much I justify my lying, it doesnít erase what I feel inside Ė that Iím not being true to myself. Anybody who lives a life hiding a secret about themselves knows what Iím talking about, and Iím sure many of you in the broom closet know this feeling all too well.
And at times this conflict has made me question my commitment to Wicca. While Iím completely in love with the religion and the philosophy behind it, what does it say about me when I deny loving it? Is it a sign of shame? In the eyes of the above groups, yes, because letís face it Ė Wicca holds a stigma about it that other Pagan religions donít. Otherwise itís just a matter of safety, in which case Iím not ashamed. As far as Iím concerned, Iím not in a place where I can be proudly open about being Wiccan with everyone.
But it is a growing problem when saying youíre Pagan is more appropriate than saying youíre Wiccan. Itís a sign that weíre willing to let ourselves be ignored, that weíre willing to hide ourselves under the umbrella of Paganism. In short, when we allow this, weíre turning into doormats, letting everyone walk all over us. I for one no longer wish to be a doormat. Iím working very hard to stand firm in my Wiccan beliefs, not just hiding behind being Pagan. Iím careful about who knows, obviously, but I am making a commitment to not be afraid of being Wiccan. After all, those who matter wonít care, and those that care wonít matter, right?
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Author's Profile: To learn more about Shadow - Click HERE
Other Articles: Shadow has posted 11 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Shadow... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 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, Wren‚Äôs Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches‚Äô 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).