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What in Hades Has Happened to Our Traditional Roots?

Author: Jon "Athrawon" Edens
Posted: March 15th. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,500

What in the world are new Wiccans and Pagans learning?

Why are newbies teaching newbies? and where are the ones with even a little bit of experience to help guide the new seekers?

While these questions may appear confrontational to confusing, they are something that we in the Wiccan/Witch/Pagan community need to really look at.

Traditionalism could be seen as unmoving and unyielding, but it really is not. I personally have no problem with eclecticism in the Wiccan community because we do need to grow and adjust according to the culture, area, or even household so we can experience that connection with the Divine. The problem lies with those who are new seekers or those who claim to have been practicing for some time but have no idea or desire to learn, experience or teach the basics of the Wiccan religion that are traditional and form the very foundation of the belief system.

We, as a community, are forgetting that Wicca, no matter what path you follow, is a Mystery religion. We must seek and learn the Mysteries as part of the practice of Wicca. Now granted there are many Mysteries that are geared for and meant for the individual seeker, but there are many that are universal no matter what path you follow or how long you have been practicing.

We give lip service to the fact that there is a balance within the Universe of a female AND male divine being. A Goddess AND a God. When was the last time you have actually honoured the God? When was the last time you did a sunrise ritual to align yourself with the male energy of the Universe? We easily recognize the Goddess in all beings but we just as easily dismiss the role of the God in all things because it smells too much like Christianity.

Remember folks, you cannot have creation or procreation without a male and female energy, sperm and egg, mother and father, Goddess AND God. Folks, this is one of the Mysteries you must learn... It may seem obvious but until it really clicks in your brain you do not have that deeper understanding that occurs in those "Ah-Ha!" moments.

Most of the Mysteries are just as obvious

Along with learning Mysteries you should use the proper terminologies. I am sorry but someone who is non-magical or non-Wiccan is not a friggin muggle! They are called "cowan" in the proper terminology, or at the very least you call them "mundane." We do NOT live with Harry Potter in a world of fiction. Get it through your pea brains folks!

Also, athame is not pronounced "a-thay-mee." It is "a-thugh-may." Deosil is not pronounced "dee-oh-sill" it is pronounced "jess-sill."

A bolin is a working knife. A besom is the broom. A baculum is your wand. Invoke means to bring within yourself and evoke means to bring before you. A dagdyn is a magical sewing needle. A thurible is an incense burner. Cingula are the cords a Wiccan wears, and to top it all off a warlock is NOT a male Witch or a wizard but an oath breaker, a liar, a fraud. If you call yourself a warlock you are announcing to the community that you should not be trusted nor even really allowed in their presences. Hell, in some older traditions you would be killed on the spot.

People, learn your path and your beliefs and experience even a little bit before you start proclaiming what you are to the entire world.

This brings me up to the next two questions... What are newbies learning and the answer to that is based on the fact that newbies are teaching newbies. Would you want a brand new physician with no real experience teaching in a medical school? How about allowing a 16-year-old drive the school bus your kids go to school on?

When you are talking about learning a new religion and one that promotes the fact that each practitioner is a member of clergy, well, would you leave the role of a true clergy up to a 17-year-old high priestess of the Dragon Crap Clan? Or even a 14 year old? Or how about a 35-year-old techno geek who picked up a Mistress Witch Leaf Blower book last week?

Those who have practiced, and I mean legitimately practiced, should take the reins and step up to help guide those who are seeking our chosen path. We have traveled this path for some time and are familiar with all the potholes, poison ivy, tree roots that cause us to stumble and sometimes fall down as well as all the dead ends that branch off our path. We need to help guide these seekers as they learn the path and all of its pitfalls as well as all the beauty that exists along it.

And a final note... I am so tired... More specifically:

I am tired of being so politically correct that we are afraid of calling out those who present themselves as elders of the community and they have absolutely no idea what that entails.

I am tired of people claiming to be clergy and when you look at their Book of Shadows it is filled strictly with pages printed off from the Internet.

I am tired of sitting in on classes and the instructor hands those very same pages from the Internet out to the students.

I am tired of those who think they are Pagan because they can drink, party, sleep around, and watch naked women romp around the balefire but they have no idea what it is like to truly commune with the Gods, to truly follow the Sabbats and Esbats, to truly try to learn the Mysteries.

I am tired of Pagans thinking they have to look like hippies with ratty hair and covering their lack of hygiene with tons of patchouli oil. I am not saying this is a bad thing if that person wishes to live this way (the live and let live thing) but if you are trying to present yourself to the cowan community this is definitely a way to get noticed but not a way to build trust or to gain respect from them.

I am tired of Pagans feeling like they have to remain in the "broom closet" because of their beliefs. I work in a very conservative field that is largely overrun with evangelical Christians and I have been out for more than 20 years with no retaliation or retribution. Why is this? Why have I not suffered at the hands of the conservative evangelicals? Because I refuse to do any of what I have outlined above and because I present myself as a knowledgeable, intelligent and caring person. Yes, I have long hair and yes, I have a beard, but I present myself in a professional manner at all times.

And most of all, I am simply tired.

I am tired of the fight, of trying to get Pagans to wake up, and tired of trying to organize those who feel organization is a Christian idea and therefore wrong. I am tired of all the in-fighting within the Pagan community over who is the biggest, baddest and most powerful among them. And I am tired of trying to get some of these people who have stagnated but continue to call themselves “elders” to step out of their comfort zone to truly learn the Mysteries and become true leaders.

You know, I have actually had more luck educating the cowan to the true beliefs and practices than I have been able to teach the Pagan community itself. There is something wrong with that, don't you think?


Jon "Athrawon" Edens

Location: Conroe, Texas


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