Articles/Essays From Pagans
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
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
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
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
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
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
In Defense of Blended Tradition Witches
Article Specs |
Article ID: 10948
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,765
Times Read: 5,417
RSS Views: 79,729
Posted: August 20th. 2006
Times Viewed: 5,417
There’s been some heated debate lately about the validity of certain types of blended Pagan traditions, Christian-Wicca in particular. By blended traditions, I’m referring to people that deliberately mix Pagan beliefs and practices with non-Pagan religions. In an effort to solidify Wiccan beliefs, to keep us from falling into a weak coalition of various beliefs and/or to get rid of the idea that “anything can be Wiccan”, many Wiccans have been making much press about how incompatible Pagan and non-Pagan religions are, how you can’t be one if you’re the other.
Now, just to clear up any misconceptions, I myself am a Wiccan, eclectic only in the fact that I revere certain Egyptian deities as well as the Lord and Lady. I have not mixed my religious beliefs with non-Pagan ones. Though I come from a Catholic childhood, I no longer claim any parts of the Catholic faith as my own, and though I sometimes study other religions in what spare time I have, I have not incorporated their religious practices into my own.
Yet I also find it a bit disturbing that we Pagans are so willing to “kick out” (for lack of a better phrase) those who would be of blended traditions. I guess we’re getting a little defensive as we become more and more mainstream. As we become more recognized as a real group of religions, we want to be able to explain our beliefs concisely, and as with other religions, be able to show how we differ from other religions. I would also find it rather unnerving if someone wrote a book saying something like certain Christian beliefs and practices are really/also Wiccan.
We need these divisions, obviously. We are a group of religions, not philosophies. If we start saying anything is Wiccan, then we would backslide from an established religion into something completely different than what we started with. I realize some Wiccan/Pagan beliefs have changed over the decades, but we’ve always stayed true to the core of our religions.
But when it comes to the idea of mixed religions, several things come to mind for me. Though I cannot remember the article I read this from (it had something to do with mixed pantheons), I remember a statement that goes along this line: “To say that all ancient Pagan religions were clearly divided is to suggest that their believers never bumped into one another.” There is clear evidence that in ancient times, it wasn’t uncommon for an empire to incorporate the gods of a conquered land into their own pantheon – that’s how some pantheons came to be to begin with. Ancient Egypt is a perfect example of this, as many of the worshipped gods were centered in single cities or came from completely different regions. Okay, maybe that’s not the same as mixing established religions, but the idea that we are vessels for different religions and that we never interact with non-Pagan believers is ludicrous. And truthfully, we are all influenced by other religions, however slight that influence may be.
The next thing that comes to mind, and this is my personal biggie, is a story I read many years ago. Back in the eleventh grade or so, I had to read The Life of Pi (1) for English. This is fiction, yes, but the main character is very real. Pi is a young man from India who, during his childhood, commits himself to three religions – Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. You think Christianity and Wicca are incompatible, just try fitting those three together and see what happens! In the twenty-third chapter, the local priest, pandit, and imam approach Pi and his parents, whereupon Pi’s religious endeavors are exposed. The three holy men get into a heated argument much like a fundamentalist clash over one man, and by chapter twenty-five, all three refuse to allow him into their temples or give him a harsh time whenever he shows up, making it so Pi had to sneak in and out in order to worship.
Yes, I realize this is a work of fiction, but it’s a fitting description of what we Pagans sometimes do when someone claims to be of both Pagan and non-Pagan religions. Here we are, Witches vs. Priests/Imams/Rabbis/Pandits etc., arguing semantics and trying to make these people choose one religion over another, and when they can’t choose, we reject them as heretics, blasphemers, fluffy bunnies etc.
Now, you and I who have chosen one path may at first not understand the why behind the religious choices of these Witches. But maybe, by blending different religions, these Witches have found a spiritual comfort that one religion alone couldn’t do. They have found solace in embracing the Goddess as well as Jesus. They find peace with Hindu practices as well as with Norse Gods. They enjoy contemplating and incorporating Taoist practices into their beliefs while still practicing magic. Even Gardner said, “I can see no real reason why one cannot be a good enough though unorthodox Christian and a witch at the same time.” (2) They are a living paradox, and like many natural paradoxes, they have their niche in the Pagan community.
What I am personally displeased with is how quick we are to condemn these Witches. Yes, they are unorthodox, but they are nonetheless Pagan. We need not make them victims of our Witch Wars. We need not hang our own. No good comes out of maligning our brethren.
Trying to give those of mixed religious beliefs a name for their practices is also a stretch. For starters, many would object to you forcing a label onto their beliefs. Secondly, changing their faith’s name won’t change their practices. I’m sure many of you will want to argue semantics with me, but ultimately it’s neither of our businesses, for neither of us will know of the spiritual peace that a blended Witch feels with their mixed practices. On a side note, if you’re going to throw the “Come up with a name for your faith” argument at blended Witches, then how about helping to come up with a name, working with them instead of dominating them.
As I’ve already said, we need the established boundaries of what is and is not a part of the Pagan religions. How are we going to call ourselves a real religion if we can’t even answer what our beliefs are, after all? However, it is folly to put down our brothers and sisters who mix different religions. We should embrace our Christopagans, our Jewitches, our Hindu-Wiccans, our Muslim-Heathens, our Taoist-Druids, our Celtic-Buddhists, and all our blended Pagans. Regardless of semantics, the gods and goddesses will recognize their own, and I’m betting they’re willing to share. And regardless of what we say to the contrary, it will never change the solace that mixing traditions gives to these Witches.
1Martel, Yann. The Life of Pi. Orlando: Harcourt. 2001
2 Gardner, Gerald. Witchcraft Today. New York: Citadel Press. 2004. pg. 121
Copyright: © 2006 Shadow
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, 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).