Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 16,461,494


April 13th. 2014 ...

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

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


March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright


March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects


February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are


February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?


February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings


February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)


January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected


January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence


January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression


January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild


December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed


December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)


December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots


December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward


December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism

Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?


November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy


November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?


November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?

Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return

The Celtic Tree Calendar

Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs


November 3rd. 2013 ...

The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?


October 27th. 2013 ...

Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 12770

VoxAcct: 278774

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,075

Times Read: 4,453

RSS Views: 25,955
Eclecticism a.k.a. The Salad Bar Hypothesis

Author: Talitha Dragonfly
Posted: August 10th. 2008
Times Viewed: 4,453

The television was on in my bedroom the other day. I wasn't really paying attention to what was on. It was something that my husband was watching. I couldn't even tell you what program it was, or even what it was about.

But one sentence jumped out at me from across the room. One of the characters in the show said, "Religion isn't like a salad bar where you can pick and choose what you want, and leave the rest behind."

To be perfectly honest, it unsettled me quite a bit. This very much sounded like accusatory scolding I've received in the past, and not just from people of mainstream religions. I've also been told this by some of my fellow Neo-Pagans in reference to my Eclecticism.

I silently thanked the Divine for allowing me to hear this television show's sentence first before anyone else could use it on me and claim originality!

But why did it bother me? What about this statement sent my thoughts rattling around in my head like a pair of dice in a cup?

I chose to throw those dice, loaded or not, and carefully considered why what had been said was getting to me.

I'll admit it. I often look to people who claim to follow one of the mainstream religions yet seem to live their lives in complete opposition to their faith's core beliefs, and I'll silently scold them for not adhering to what they are supposed to be doing. Take for example the Catholic girl who goes to church on Sunday with her boyfriend, yet takes birth control pills because that Sunday-best dress gets tossed onto the floor in the back seat of her boyfriend's car every Friday night.

Paganism can be like that, too. There seems to be the opinion that there are things that we as Pagans are supposed to be doing. I recently read one online group accusing that anyone who chooses to follow a mixed pantheon is "exploiting" other cultures' beliefs. "How can you put Cernunnos and Kali on one altar?" they gasp in honest horror. "They were never intended to be put together, and the gods surely would be offended by such a haphazard combination."

The Salad Bar Hypothesis rears its ugly head.

So why do I think that it's wrong for the Catholic girl to be engaging in premarital sex, yet it's perfectly all right for me to define what it is to be Pagan for myself through Eclectic practices? Isn't this two-faced of me?

What makes me different from that Catholic girl is simple: Knowledge. She is ignorant not only about all the different beliefs of all the world's cultures other than her own, but she is bound to be totally and completely ignorant about her own religion as well. How many Catholics, or people from other religions for that matter, actually take the time to do a little research on the origins and true history of their faith? How many of them instead choose to just accept what's rattled off to them by society, church, and equally naive family members?

The same can be said for a good number of Neo-Pagans. How many of us have done any kind of genuine academic exploration of the true origins of our myths, gods, practices, and beliefs? How many of us could be accused of simply adhering to what's been written in "officially" sanctioned books authored by only a handful of opinionated modern writers? How many of us have bothered to get down to our true roots?

The poor girl can hardly be blamed for throwing her panties to the wind. She is acting on natural instinct and hormones. Her official faith simply does not and cannot offer her any support other than to say "You're SINNING!" No wonder she can't follow the rules. Perhaps instead if she was made to feel more like a Goddess and an equal in the equation of the Divine instead of an inferior female, she might make different choices than getting bonked in the back of a beat-up Geo Metro. Or, on the flip side of the coin, she might be more at peace with her decisions.

But still she "sins". She's grazing at the Salad Bar, and not following the rules of her faith.

One of the things that first attracted me to Paganism was the joy of freedom. There is no suffocating dogma for me to blindly obey, and no official "bible". There are no hard-fast rules, no holy commandments written in stone for all of eternity, and no divine thunderbolts to zap me if I get anything wrong.

A whole new world was opened to me. To ME! It had fully become my right to explore spirituality in a way that had personal meaning for ME, free from the shackles of simply performing what was most comfortable and strategically viable for the masses. And it was a world that I intended to explore through fresh new eyes that had had the veil of obedience and ignorance fully lifted. This new approach was revealing some things that were spectacularly miraculous to me.

I am not simply taking bits and pieces of what I like, and disregarding all the rest. To me, Paganism is ENDLESS. There are no limits to where my spirituality can take me. Totally absent are any "No Entry" signs to different images, symbols, and inspirations of the Divine. The entire Universe is mine to explore. And I choose to go wherever I am called.

I'm not picking and choosing from one single religious tradition. I'm embracing EVERY possibility of the Divine that reveals Itself to me. I'm not disobeying any rules. I'm simply figuring out that there really are no rules.

I am free.

In closing, I would like to offer a definition of what I personally believe it is to be Eclectic. It is not the following of any one single system of belief or Tradition. It is instead finding inspiration in many different yet complimentary systems. It is not a grab-bag approach to spirituality. And it certainly is not grazing at the Celestial Salad Bar.

It is celebrating the universal common grounds of what it is to be a human being contemplating the Divine, and finding the answers absolutely EVERYWHERE. It is this one woman's humble action of sitting under the night sky filled with stars and realizing that no single person or group of people can ever know all of the answers. But together we can try.

And it can be fabulous.






ABOUT...

Talitha Dragonfly


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Author's Profile: To learn more about Talitha Dragonfly - Click HERE




Other Articles: Talitha Dragonfly has posted 8 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Talitha Dragonfly... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Talitha Dragonfly ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



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, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ 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.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


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).