Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Wicca and Respect
Article ID: 15131
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 290
Times Read: 2,314
RSS Views: 53,115
Posted: September 2nd. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,314
Wicca. The word conjures (pun intended) an image of a young girl, probably dressed in black, almost assuredly Caucasian, wearing a large ostentatious pentacle in silver and draped in a cloak of dime store velveteen while surfing pet listing to find a black cat without that annoying rogue white paw. It probably also brings up youthful ‘phases’ of writing in a Book of Shadows, watching The Craft (but pretending not to like it) and reading whatever you can find at the local bookstore on witches while mispronouncing everything and hollering about ‘the burning times’¯ at the drop of a hat. It seems to me that all the images we have of Wicca are of young, beginning people who have a very childish approach to religion. Surprisingly, I don’t get these images from anti-Pagan Christians or from mocking nonbelievers. I get these images from fellow Pagans.
Wicca seems to be viewed by other Pagans as an entry-level position, so to speak. Many Pagans I speak with found Paganism through the lens of Wicca before they moved onto their current paths. What I want to highlight in this essay is that moving from Wicca to another Pagan path should not be viewed as a path …but instead as a move ‘away’. ¯ Wicca is a path of its own, with its own symbolism and mythos that is not a simple stop-by on the Pagan spiritual progression.
I came to Wicca late in the game, so to speak. My entry into the Pagan world was not through Wicca but through Hellenismos and other Reconstructionist Pagan paths. When I was researching religion after deciding to leave Christianity and finding Buddhism not working for me, the last thing I wanted was Wicca. Wicca seemed to me to be a childish sort of Paganism reserved for teenagers that had no intellectual weight. The stain of poor history put forth by early Wiccans about witch-cults and Gardner’s past seemed to be unavoidable and troubling to say the least. Reconstructionism seemed to me to offer a more intellectual and historically accurate form of worship and ritual. I had a problem, though. Every time I worshiped or performed ritual in these ways, I felt like I was running into a wall. I felt no inspiration and I felt like I was going through the motions. I was an atheist for a long time and I just felt like nothing was going to move me. Then it happened.
I decided to give Wiccan ways a try. I mean, what did I have to lose? I had read a lot on Wicca and I knew many of the basic ways they worshiped and did ritual. I built an altar with homemade items. I cast the circle, saluting the elements and the God and Goddess. The candles were beautiful, the sweet incense enticing. And it happened. I felt something. It was not some thunderstruck prophet-moment. It was just a simply joy that filled me up. I felt comfortable, beautifully involved with what I was doing and happy. I continued doing rituals and simple blessings daily at my patchwork homemade shrine and my joy continued. I felt refreshed and inspired. I felt like I had found something that truly worked for me. The writings of Gardner, Valiente, Sanders, the Farrars, and the rest were a big inspiration. I no longer took them literally, nor did I need to. I took them as a toolkit: a language, a symbolism, and a system to organize spirituality. It worked.
As I rejoiced personally in my newfound spirituality, I began to get dismayed at how Wicca was talked about and how fellow Pagans portrayed it. I was told on forums and in person that I should give up “that silly stuff” and focus on something more serious. When I talked about the God and Goddess I received frowns or eye-rolls from Recons and irritated sighs from Eclectics who told me that the BTW form of Wicca (the form I feel closest to and want to work with) was elitist and full of holes. I was constantly pointed to “better scholarship” that was meant to show me the error of my silly witchy ways. It began to get overwhelming. When I tried to explain to people that it was the ritual of Wicca that appealed to me and that the Goddess and God duality was simply a form of deity that inspired me, it didn’t seem to matter. How can it not matter?
I do not believe that other approaches to the gods are wrong. I believe that the hard polytheist Recon and the soft polytheist or pantheist Pagan can work together. I know they can for I have seen them do it. What I find puzzling is that these two groups can agree to disagree but all seem to be willing to shoot down Wiccan duotheism as a poor path. This seems unhelpful and judgmental, to say the least. If the pantheist who uses polytheism as a lens through which to see some greater truth is welcome at the table then I see no reason whatsoever that the Wiccan’s duotheism can not be welcome either.
There are serious and dedicated Wiccans out there, believe you me. I have met with them, spoke with them and learned from them. Many Wiccans practice their path with the same dedication and love that other Pagans do. Are there beginners who give a bad name to the religion? Of course there are. Think of this. How many liberal, kind, loving Christians do you know? If you're like me, you know many. Now, do those free-thinking and loving people allow the screeching conservative faces of their religion to get them down or define their faith? No, of course not. Why can't we in the Pagan community do the same? Many Asatru practitioners were not willing to allow racists to hijack their religion and we Wiccans are not willing to let sloppy practice and bad scholarship poison ours. You’ve dealt with your wing nuts; we’re dealing with ours.
Wiccan rituals may not be ancient. In fact, most Wiccans freely admit that they aren’t. Does it really matter? If traditional Wiccan practices give people a way in which to worship and a structure for ritual and a mythos of one’s own then I see no reason why it can’t be welcomed openly in contemporary Paganism. Wicca deserves a lot of the credit for bringing Paganism into the mainstream and popularizing earth-centered spirituality. Wicca has allowed thousands of people who felt empty and closed off from religion to find a place where their voices are heard and their experience celebrated. Wicca has been a therapeutic and restorative religion for so many. It deserves a little respect for all of this, does it not?
I am not a teenager. I am educated. I am dedicated. I respect history and scholarship. I respect the views of others and realize that my duotheism may not jive with others. I am all of this, and I am Wiccan. If Wicca was a starting point for you but you felt that it did not fulfill something in you, then that is perfectly fine. If other Pagan paths called to you or if a more Eclectic branch came out of your spiritual workings then that is great. Please, however, do not think that leaving Wicca is somehow graduating to something with more meat and less fluff. I firmly believe that religion can only give out what you put in. If a newly converted Pagan practices Wicca and only uses bad scholars, poorly written rituals and mass media portraitures of witchcraft, then what could the expected outcome be? Many of us, on the other hand, are putting in love and dedication, intelligence and devotion.
What we get out of Wicca is beautiful. Mutual respect is crucial to any religion, especially one as diverse and contemporary Paganism. Let’s try and respect the religion that did so much for modern Pagans, and does so much for thousands of practitioners today.
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Witcher... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 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, Wrenā€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesā€™ 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).