Articles/Essays From Pagans
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
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!
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
An Open Letter to the (Eclectic) Pagan Community
Article Specs |
Article ID: 12818
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,052
Times Read: 3,763
RSS Views: 46,746
Author: Pall Tryggr Ageirr
Posted: January 18th. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,763
First let me start out by saying this is not an attack on your beliefs, I am a firm believer in religious freedom and the ability to express said freedom, and I am of the position that a person’s path will come to them and no matter what that happens to be no one has a right to judge you. I am a bit of an Eclectic myself as I am a neo-Pagan who is influenced by several Pagan religions (ancient and Modern) and am also influenced by the ideas and philosophies found in Gnosticism and I find wisdom and knowledge in the Gnostic teachings of “The Christ” Yeshua.
So obviously I have no problem with eclecticism in and of itself. My problem lies with how some people express their eclecticism. Like I said, I am a firm believer in religious freedom and peoples right to express it how they so choose. I also think that people should be a little smarter about how they present it.
So let’s take for example the most noted modern day Neo-Pagan religion as it has currently flooded our culture, Wicca. When I think of Wicca, I think of Wicca circa 1950’s Gerald Gardner style. While I respect people and their right to practice their eclectic style of Wicca, and follow what ever path and tradition their heart desires -- be it Dianic Wicca, or “Celtic-Tradition” Wicca, or “Egyptian Wicca”….or whatever else is out there that you can come up with -- it is a deviation from what was originally intended.
When I think of Wicca, I think of a modern pagan religion that is influenced by older religions and by occultism and esoteric and mystical magickal orders such as Crowley’s O.T.O, The Golden Dawn, and Free Masonry. Wicca has its own unique tenets, philosophy, rituals, hierarchy, and gods. As far as I know to be a Wiccan you still have to be at least 18 years of age (Or whatever your local laws are governing the age of consent) and you must be initiated by a High Priestess or Priest of a coven with an established lineage.
Now you can follow a Wicca-inspired path… as in you are a Pagan who is influenced by the outer-court Wicca 101 style information that is freely available in the public domain. It’s really okay to be a Wiccan-Inspired Pagan as you can be a multitude of religions, and still be a Pagan.
You can be an Eclectic and still be a Pagan. You can follow a path completely made up by you to suit your personal growth and needs and still be a Pagan. As to my base understanding, to be a Pagan is to follow some type of Earth Centric Path.
The term Pagan is actually an umbrella term that encompasses many different religions, paths, and spiritual traditions, that is typically Earth-Centric. A Pagan path is also typically polytheistic and duothestic, worshipping one or more Gods and/or Goddesses. However a Pagan can be monotheistic as well, choosing to worship only one particular god or goddess from a chosen pantheon or choosing to see each god or goddess and attributes as smaller parts that when combined makes up a Universal-Divine, an all knowing all powerful deity…or God.
So just because you follow a Modern Day Pagan path that is influenced by Wiccan Teachings, just because what you do in ritual is similar to what a Wiccan does, it does NOT make you a Wiccan. As such you should not call it that. You should call it something else… such as “wiccan-Inspired Paganism.” It’s okay, really.
Another pet peeve of mine is the mixing of two religious ideals. Yes, I admit I am guilty of it, as I said in the opening paragraph. I am a Neo-Pagan with Gnostic and Mystical Christian Influence. I follow a Path of my own devising, but I call it what it is, not something else.
I would like to come to a phenomenon known as “Christian-Wicca” or “Christo-Wicca”…
Now this is a touchy subject for me, as I will admit once upon a time I called myself by this term, because I did not know of any other way to describe it. I followed a heavily Wiccan-Inspired Pagan path mixed with my Christian upbringing and admiration for the teachings of Jesus both of the mainstream Variety and from the Gnostic Teachings.
I do not rule out the possibility of eclecticism, as I said I am an eclectic, though I like to say I’m a “Universalist.” While I have no connection or involvement with the “Unitarian Universalist” movement in any manner whatsoever, I like to classify myself as a Universalist. I enjoy studying all the different world religions and I am able to gain wisdom, and knowledge in my studies.
I am a firm believer that each religion, each spiritual tradition, no matter if it is established or made up from someone’s eclecticism, when being peeled to the core really all have the same basic truths to them. I tend to regard each god and goddess from each religion and spiritual path as being a unique entity unto their self; however, I do believe they are connected, as I believe them to be facets of a Universal-Divine force.
I believe that each philosophy, each worldview, each religion, was a way for this Universal-Divine to reach out to each individual culture in a way that each culture would be able to understand. I believe that the only way to be able to heal our wounds is when we come to this realization and recognize this. When we are all able to awaken to this possibility only then is Unity able to be reached and this world can find some form of solace and peace.
So my problem does not lie in the idea itself, as I firmly think it is possible. My problem lies with the term itself.
I think that the term "Christian-Wicca" is an Oxymoron, as Wicca as its own gods, tenets and set of beliefs and Philosophy. And so does Christianity.
Let me reiterate that I do not think it is impossible to be open minded, and able to have a Universalistic approach to religion and spirituality, to be able to garner wisdom and comfort from studying word religions, and if you feel so inclined, to incorporate aspects of the religions that call to you into you're own brand of spirituality.
But when you do this, you should not call it by a title already in use of another religion. Of course I don't like titles and labels much to begin with but to call something "Christian" or "Wiccan' when it really is neither, is really disingenuous. What you should do is find another title for your beliefs.
Or don't go with a title at all.
I call myself a Pagan because most of my belief is centered on neo-Pagan Philosophy, and when I do ritual it is based on how modern Neo-Pagans might conduct their ritual.
Being a "Pagan" encompasses many things. there are a multitude of religions and spiritual traditions that fall under the term "Paganism"
In modern times "Paganism" typically denotes someone who isn't a Muslim, Christian, or a Jew and who usually almost always follows some type of earth based spirituality.
I think it might be okay to be a Pagan-Christian, as in the practices are Pagan, ritual etc. but you use Christian concepts and names for your deities.
Christians have been practicing ‘paganism’ for years. On Easter, they paint, or hide, or hunt Easter eggs. They send out Valentine’s Day cards. When they celebrate Christmas, they are celebrating not only the birth of Christ (Who if any one has done any bit of study would know that Christ was not born in December, and it was decreed that it would be in DEC. by a Roman Emperor who wanted to incorporate the followers of Mithras into Christianity as it was already a holiday they celebrated.) but they are also celebrating the Winter solstice.
So you know if a Christian can practice Paganism, then I am sure it can go the other way around. Of course the purist from both sides might argue that point, and not be happy about it, but that is what I think.
But I do not think one could be a "Christian-Wiccan" or at least should not call themselves as such. Wicca is a specific religion and spirituality under the umbrella of Paganism, with its own unique tenets, rituals, beliefs, and philosophy. – But I guess you certainly could be a “Wiccan-Inspired” Christian, just like you can be a “Wiccan-Inspired” Pagan. Or try this one on for size, a “Christian-Inspired” Pagan…hmmm?
My ideas of Jesus/ Yeshua are also heavily influenced from Gnosticism, which I readily admit is a different entity all together than mainstream Christianity. In my studies and understanding, Gnosticism takes on a more mystical and hands on approach of self-study, self-realization, and self-achievement, which is why I personally think it meshes so well with Modern Neo-Paganism.
Again, this essay is not an attack on Eclectic Paganism, or those who blend ideas from Pagan paths with those from Gnostic, and Christian doctrine together, but a simple plea to sit and rethink our position and the names we give to our chosen path.
Thank you very much, and I look forward to any feedback, comments, or critiques I may get for writing this. It is always much appreciated, and I always try to come to these discussions with an Open mind, heart, and soul and hope my readers will do the same.
Pall Tryggr Ageirr
Location: P, Ohio
Author's Profile: To learn more about Pall Tryggr Ageirr - Click HERE
Other Articles: Pall Tryggr Ageirr has posted 5 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Pall Tryggr Ageirr... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 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).