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Old 08-Mar-2010, 09:41 AM (09:41)     1        37953
Makbawehuh
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Exclamation A Question for the Atheists Here

I understand that the dominant religion is currently Christianity here in the US and in much of Europe, and that the crimes and moral issues imposed by the judeo-christian religions span the world and impose themselves on many societies, but when I look at stats of modern religious movements and the state of paganism, I have to ask...

...Why aren't you guys giving more thought to Wicca? I'm not trolling or stirring shit, here. I'm seriously wondering. Yes, it's a nice religion, but it breeds the same kind of intolerance that christianity does when in the hands of idiots, and it's currently being mass marketed and put into the hot little hands of thousands of young people every year, who's impressionable minds pick up the shiny new "old religion" and use it as an overlay for all kinds of icky bigotry. Nothing really changes except who they say they're worshipping and the justifications that get used.

I understand that aside from being the dominant religion, many atheists come from christian households, and it's something you'd want to address in society...

...But IMHO Wicca has the potential to be just as dangerous, and might be worth keeping an eye on.

*awaits flameage from all corners*
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 09:53 AM (09:53)     2        37954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makbawehuh View Post
... ...Why aren't you guys giving more thought to Wicca?
I know when I started off, as a vocal atheist on atheist boards, I was prejudiced against it (the "cafeteria religion/spirituality" thang about Wicca), but I like most atheists simply don't know much about it at all. Since then I've met folkies -- folk-music semi-professional musicians -- who biased me against Aseratu and Wicca even more, but I do realise that's because they are folkies, not because of their Aseratu or Wicca (all artists are very difficult, and folkies are artists, if musical ones, and difficult --- all IMvHO).

I have lost my prejudices against Wicca now, and now I see the value in cafeteria religions -- but with Aseratu I am still bloody careful and cautious, because you do get a lot of racist types in that. I have not yet met any racist Wiccans at all. Seem mostly nice.

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I'm not trolling or stirring shit, here. I'm seriously wondering.
We know. No worries.

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Yes, it's a nice religion, but it breeds the same kind of intolerance that christianity does when in the hands of idiots, and it's currently being mass marketed and put into the hot little hands of thousands of young people every year, who's impressionable minds pick up the shiny new "old religion" and use it as an overlay for all kinds of icky bigotry. Nothing really changes except who they say they're worshipping and the justifications that get used.
Please detail much more on this. I did not know this. Please describe in detail.

And ......... please blog on this TOO.


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...But IMHO Wicca has the potential to be just as dangerous, and might be worth keeping an eye on.
Again please detail much more. I am ignorant.

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*awaits flameage from all corners*
You will probably be disappointed -- I really would expect far more curiousity than flames. Most of us know nothing about the Wiccan scene at all. At least I don't.

I do know one thing -- the Pagans and Wiccans have no good smilies of their own. I know this because once I went on a huge search throughout the net löooking for Wiccan and Pagan smilies to steal get.

Results? None. None. None. Lazy unimaginative bastards, if you ask me.

In regard to smilies, anyway.
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 10:31 AM (10:31)     3        37955
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lol. I'll agree. Favicons too, I can tell you that from experience.

There is less prejudice against gays and the like in the Wiccan community than in the Christian one, I'll give it that, but then there's stuff like the Dianic Wiccans. Have I ever mentioned how much I don't like them before? The way some of them go on, you'd think a war never started because two women wore the same dress to a party, and all evil comes packaged with a penis. I've mentioned this in one of my older blogs, but while I do consider myself a feminist, I also consider the lack of support and insensitivity with which men are treated in society to be a crime, and they have the sort of attitude that does more harm than good for everyone. Meeting hate with hate isn't the way to fix things, and no matter what you call the hate, hate it is. Of itself I consider that a problem that the Wiccan community ought to be addressing on it's own, because it's an issue of policing their own.

There's also the issue of blatant misinformation and bigotry in the books kids are picking up and declaring changed their lives. Seriously, have you ever picked up Silver Ravenwolf's books? She markets her stuff specifically to teenagers, and some of it's pretty nasty in my opinion. She's not the only one, either. I have yet to pick up a book on Wicca that doesn't spread some sort of misinformation, bigotry, or both.

There's a sort of martyr complex inherent in Wicca (because of the "Burning Times") among young folk who don't know how to actually research anything, and it's not something that the authors or publishers bother to try and fix. There's a few grassroots bloggers who point it out, but does it do much good? No, not really.

It's the same sort of dangerous, nasty martyr complex that's inherent in Christianity ("The Romans fed us to the lions!"), and leads to the same sort of self-righteous "you owe us!" sort of behavior. You get that kind of thinking, and it doesn't matter if you're part of a minority religion, or the majority religion- In your mind, you're part of an oppressed minority.

When you couple that with the focus on making the world a positive place, in a very vague sort of set of terms, then you get all kinds of interesting things. People can take that to mean whatever the hell they want, and the reality is that most people aren't thinkers. They aren't leaders. Including Wiccans, no matter that they're all supposed to be their own priest or priestess.

At this point I'm about to fall over on the keyboard, so I'll post more tomorrow. Workin on story tonight.

And please, don't get me wrong. I've run into some very nice Wiccans... But when I look at the whole of the movement, it scares me. I see the potential for an age of darkness that rivals Christianity. A different sort of darkness, but just as evil. I've been told I have a knack for seeing far-reaching patterns where others only see chaos, and I'm not sure whether this is me being paranoid or whether I'm really on to something... But my gut says I'm not being paranoid, and I'd rather alert people who might be willing to look further into it than do nothing.

Last edited by Makbawehuh; 08-Mar-2010 at 10:40 AM (10:40).
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 10:52 AM (10:52)     4        37956
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Is it not supposed to let me add tags after the initial post, or am I being a dip somehow?
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 03:30 PM (15:30)     5        37959
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Is it not supposed to let me add tags after the initial post, or am I being a dip somehow?
It's a bastard glitch in the software, incurable despite best efforts, that means if tags get edited or added after the OP goes up, rather than before, then one must go into Full Advanced Edit -- QuickEdit doesn't work for it.

Then there is the window of time you have to edit; up to one hour after posting. So if you want to edit or add tags after that time, it takes me or Never to do it. Just say here what you want done with the tags, and I or Never will do it.
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 09:42 PM (21:42)     6        37963
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I'll agree with Gurdur on this. Most of us simply don't know much about Wicca. I know I've never researched any of it. Maybe I should. I've only met one Wiccan that I know of for sure---friend of a friend type of thing. He was into it really big time I guess. But he never discussed it much around me the few times I was around him.

He had a lot of issues of his own, but I doubt they had much to do with Wicca.
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 10:57 PM (22:57)     7        37965
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Most people's issues don't have much to do with religion, IMHO. Religion is just the exuse they use to rationalize their actions.
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Old 08-Mar-2010, 11:51 PM (23:51)     8        37966
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Most people's issues don't have much to do with religion, IMHO. Religion is just the exuse they use to rationalize their actions.
I'll disagree with you to this extent because I have personal experience with it----------some Christian denominations---and I was raised very strict Roman Catholic--------imbue you with a streak of perfectionism that is impossible to satisfy-----ever. I had it happen to me. It causes all kinds of problems later in life. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not always innate personality traits that cause these issues. Sometimes one can be "trained" to have the issues. Or at the very least be encouraged to have them.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 12:07 AM (00:07)     9        37967
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*former Catholic as well, comforts* You got me there, but religion is also a great rationalizer for stuff that would be otherwise unacceptable.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 03:49 AM (03:49)     10        37981
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I'm adding a link to my review of Mr. Raymond Buckland's "The Witch Book", in case you haven't seen it. As angry as something like his weird angle on Satanism and his blatant disregard for documented history in general makes me, I have to say that this sort of thing is *really* common in Wiccan circles. I will make a larger post someday soonish on my issues with Wicca, and I'll post reviews on the one or two... Or one... Decent book on Wicca and Neopaganism I've ever run into. I'll also do a blog post at some point on basic Wiccan theology and my issues with it, too, but that will all have to come after my Roleplay as therapy posts, of which I'm looking at doing at least two or three more.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 05:56 AM (05:56)     11        37988
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This is really going places, you know. Please do develop on it. Getting back to your Review thread; a blog like yours would be a great way of policing the Wiccasphere. I'm very serious; after all, we bgin to have precendents from the atheist world, yes?
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 07:16 AM (07:16)     12        37989
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It's going places? This is just one of my many bitches, lol. I can understand why people would want a religion that's not Christianity, but trading one set of lies for another just irks the hell out of me. On one hand I feel like I ought to apologise for airing Wiccan dirty laundry in public, but on the other, I know damned good and well it wouldn't be a deserved apology; they need to be policing themselves, and they aren't.

Also, I posted my Q and A in my blog area. Seriously, any questions about the magical community that anyone wants answered, they can go in and ask... I'll be happy to post another blog post with the best answers that I can come up with. As I pointed out there, I don't tolerate bullshit well, so you'll get as much straightforwardness as I can give.

I"m off tomorrow, and I need to work on my car (still) but if I can get that put aside in time I'll whip out my books on Wicca and see if I can put together a blog post.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 09:02 AM (09:02)     13        37990
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This website is actually pretty straightforward and saves me a lot of work, though it glosses over a great deal, which I will get to later.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 09:10 AM (09:10)     14        37991
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It's going places?
Yes.

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This is just one of my many bitches, lol.
So all we gotta do is work out how to infect you and the other pagans here with ambitiousness.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 06:44 PM (18:44)     15        38012
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I don't bother with Wicca because I'm never exposed to it - outside of a few of the more "out there" forums I visit, anyway, and when I do see it I treat it the same as any other religion.
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Old 09-Mar-2010, 08:45 PM (20:45)     16        38015
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...Why aren't you guys giving more thought to Wicca?
Fanatical Wicca (I hate Alexandrian the most) is too Lulzy to touch the subject I'm guessing.

Makbawehuh, what is your opinion about stregheria by itself?
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Old 10-Mar-2010, 05:12 AM (05:12)     17        38029
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I didn't see a reason to replace the Xianity I dropped with some other religion, Abrahamic or otherwise. I've put my focus into other things, like humanism, which isn't a religion so much as a philosophy.
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Old 10-Mar-2010, 05:54 AM (05:54)     18        38036
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Stregheria as a tradition? I think it's taking the "I belong to a family of witches that goes back five hundred years and we survived the Burning Times, and our lineage can be traced back to before Christianity!" to whole new levels. IMHO it's just one more sign of the sickness and self-deceit the whole religion is built on.

Then again, I grew up in an Italian household that was less than two generations from the Old World. Forgive me for snickering behind my hand at someone having read too much Margaret Murray.

Last edited by Makbawehuh; 10-Mar-2010 at 06:04 AM (06:04).
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Old 10-Mar-2010, 06:01 AM (06:01)     19        38037
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Stregheria as a tradition? I think it's taking the "I belong to a family of witches that goes back five hundred years and we survived the Burning Times, and ourl lineage can be traced back to before Christianity!" to whole new levels. IMHO it's just one more sign of the sickness and self-deceit the whole religion is built on.

Then again, I grew up in an Italian household that was less than two generations from the Old World. Forgive me for snickering behind my hand at someone having read too much Margaret Murray.
xD I love your rage at time, forgive me for that. Why are the so insistent on the whole "my religion is older then yours" gimmick? Religions have shelf lives after all, others are too stubborn to die out so why on earth would you want to speed that up?

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Old 10-Mar-2010, 06:24 AM (06:24)     20        38038
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Time is a concept I respect. More than respect. As I'm sure you know... Chronos isn't my man because I hate him.

What I can't stand is people trying to lie to validate themselves, and people wanting to rewrite history (again!) to suit themselves. History should not be dictated by the wishful thinking of a few who want to be martyrs because it helps them feel a part of something. They -left- that sort of thinking, said they wanted change, and fell into the same trap again because it feels comfortable and new at the same time. There are plenty of crimes to leave at the feet of Christianity and the uncaring world without adding ones that have nothing to do with reality.
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Old 10-Mar-2010, 06:51 AM (06:51)     21        38041
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Another thing to consider that religions copy each other or to say take mythological elements and make it their own, Mithra, Dionysus to Christ, Odin to Christ in some aspect, both nailed to a tree, both with into the underworld. Tiamat to Ymir, Apep to Jormungand to Azhi Dahaka to some aspect. (to my knowledge the last two example of ideas never met but that would suggest to me that some Aretypes are universal but that not what im getting act).

Hell, El(ohim) the Canaanite god was hijacked by Judaism, later demonologists came by and corrupted Ba'al to bael (demon) and Beelzebub (lord of flies or scat sometimes) from Baal Zebul (lord of lords), so now their talking smack.

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Old 10-Mar-2010, 07:56 AM (07:56)     22        38043
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I'm sorry, I'm being dense, but that feels out of the blue.
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Old 10-Mar-2010, 09:37 AM (09:37)     23        38044
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I don't like when one group of people take something lets say the Enochian watchtowers and put it into Wicca magic circle construction and the later claim it's "theirs", I understand learning and using other magickal tools like the chakras and mandalas, or or using fetishes for works but know where it came from. This is why I don't like like xians and wiccans, I know most cultures blend or share ideas (like the origins of most christian holidays lol) but to take one concept and claim if it it's own just bothers the hell out of me they refuse to knowledge that some of their practices come from different cultures or different cultures have similar ideas instead of acting like their original, that pisses me off probably as much your mad at historical points. Sorry if my post is little off or still incoherent (i suck at expressing thoughts), im getting tired so off to bed.
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Old 10-Mar-2010, 09:50 AM (09:50)     24        38045
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Ah! Yeah. What I hate even more than that, is when they have the balls to tell someone else they're "doing it wrong" if they suggest doing whatever-it-is in the traditional manner. Or when they otherwise throw a fit if an actual, say, practitioner of Vodoun comes in and tells them that they're using the wrong color correspondences for their gris-gris bags, and that it'd work better if maybe they did things so that the Orishas could understand them.

May all the Gods forbid, also, that someone points out that -they- are doing something blatantly idiotic with their practice. I mean, every way is right, right?! No one has the right to criticize them!

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for paradigm shifting, but if you're going to sit in a worldview and work with a pantheon, work within the established customs so that the godforms understand what you're trying to do. You don't go to China and expect the natives to speak Nigerian.

Edit: for anyone looking, that's just a rant as a practicing magician, not an actual bitch about Wiccan theology... Though I think it says a thing or two about the mindset of many practitioners.
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Old 15-Mar-2010, 10:01 PM (22:01)     25        38354
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This is a fascinating discussion. I met a Wiccan at a bar one time. When I asked her about their beliefs she basically described pantheists who get high a lot. I just generalized that that describes the whole lot and never considered them dangerous at all, though I know what you mean about the cafeteria religions.

"I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual" usually translates as "my beliefs are so f'ing wacky that no group with a modicum of self respect would adopt them." It's a gigantic red flag.
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Old 16-Mar-2010, 12:42 AM (00:42)     26        38357
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This is a fascinating discussion. I met a Wiccan at a bar one time. When I asked her about their beliefs she basically described pantheists who get high a lot. I just generalized that that describes the whole lot and never considered them dangerous at all, though I know what you mean about the cafeteria religions.

"I'm not religious, but I'm very spiritual" usually translates as "my beliefs are so f'ing wacky that no group with a modicum of self respect would adopt them." It's a gigantic red flag.
I'm stealing this.
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Old 16-Mar-2010, 01:05 AM (01:05)     27        38358
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Wiccans have a rather sparse theology compared to the other major religions, and there's a lot that's open to individual interpretation. Most of it's pretty harmless, and yeah, it can be pretty whacky... But there's also a bit of a culture developing within Wicca that I'm going to need to do some blog posts on once I'm done with the roleplay series, and it's that, in conjunction with their "anything goes, so don't tell anyone they're wrong for any reason" attitude that is an issue. Like I said in previous posts, they don't police themselves.
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Old 16-Mar-2010, 01:06 AM (01:06)     28        38359
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To be completely honest I think I might have unconsciously stolen it from someone else. It's a damned catchy meme.
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Old 18-Jul-2012, 02:55 PM (14:55)     29        45304
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Ok, some background on me first. Yes, I'm atheist, have been since age 15. Along the way, and it's a long way from then to now, I have studied other religions. Including Wicca. I actually participated when I found a friendly coven; the high priestess allowed me to take dedication and initiations. Well, she'd asked if I believed in a higher power; I told her I did but didn't say it was me! So I am a third degree initiate, high priestess myself! Not practicing, of course, any more than I practice RC or UB.

So I'm familiar with the so called Celtic tradition and partly familiar with others. What I see is an unorganized religion which isn't capable of policing itself. Depending on which group one is in, the deities and traditions are different. Most Diannic covens are simply all female, not necessarily feminists; the two I knew of were strictly women of all ages who felt more comfortable sharing their inner lives with other women. Groups are far more different than are the many divisions of Protestants!

Granted, some Wiccans are very much opposed to other religions, since so many of them have come from Judeo-Christian backgrounds, same as atheists! However I was fortunate to have found a highly tolerant coven which had been in existent for more than one generation.

Part of the problem for Wiccans is the common belief that they are Satanists which they laugh about since they do not believe in Satan.

If I can, since I do have some experience with Wicca, I'll answer any questions.
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Old 21-Jul-2012, 03:47 AM (03:47)     30        45311
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Awesome reply! I had forgotten all about this thread. Thank you so, so much!

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Originally Posted by Shadowfox View Post
Ok, some background on me first. Yes, I'm atheist, have been since age 15. Along the way, and it's a long way from then to now, I have studied other religions. Including Wicca. I actually participated when I found a friendly coven; the high priestess allowed me to take dedication and initiations. Well, she'd asked if I believed in a higher power; I told her I did but didn't say it was me!
I don't know how okay that is in Wicca, but speaking as a chaos magician, I'd say that's a perfectly valid line of reasoning in the high power arena, lol, and not too different from my own!

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So I am a third degree initiate, high priestess myself! Not practicing, of course, any more than I practice RC or UB.
Good! means I have someone new to bounce things off of from time to time. Most of my contact with Wiccans seems to be either with younger folks (and a large number of my concerns are centered on the culture among youth in Wicca, in all reality), or with our more well known local coven...

We'll just say that the high priestess and I have energy frequencies that don't mesh well. She runs the local witchy shop, and I can't even go -in- if she's there. I thought it was just me, but after speaking to some of my other local fellows, it seems I'm not the only one she affects that way. I run across some of the kids she picks up from time to time (she hires them on part time in exchange for teaching, a practice I, personally, consider repulsive.) and... Yeah. I am always willing to talk, and my methods are not anything like hers. Her "students" like it, but I notice they don't stay long after they talk to me either.

Maybe that's why she glares when I come in, nowadays?


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So I'm familiar with the so called Celtic tradition and partly familiar with others. What I see is an unorganized religion which isn't capable of policing itself. Depending on which group one is in, the deities and traditions are different. Most Diannic covens are simply all female, not necessarily feminists; the two I knew of were strictly women of all ages who felt more comfortable sharing their inner lives with other women. Groups are far more different than are the many divisions of Protestants!
Both between groups of Wiccans, and sects of paganism, there's a huge disparity, yes. My issue with Dianics is that (at least with the ones I've run into), there seems to be a lot of "If you have a penis, we hate you, or at least we make it clear that we don't like you much", which is not in any way cool in my opinion. Different =/= evil.

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Granted, some Wiccans are very much opposed to other religions, since so many of them have come from Judeo-Christian backgrounds, same as atheists!
This actually follows from the above with a couple of my other concerns. With Atheists there seems to be efforts here and there to help with the deconversion process, the walking away from where you came from, and learning to come to grips with it. Obviously, this has varied success, but I have never seen anything like that in Wicca, or in any other Pagan group. So, as an issue with Neopaganism in general, I've seen a lot of anger, and a lot of hatred, being turned towards people and things that they came from, without a whole lot of thought or help to deal with that anger. And it does need to be dealt with, because it causes some pretty big wounds that carry on.

*also, inserts rant on people changing religion and not changing their beliefs along with it, which has nothing to do with anything* *ends rant* *continues*

The thing that concerns me most, though, is sort of adjunct to my prior subject, and that's the subject of the martyr complex that is... Mostly with the youth, not as much with the older Wiccans I've run into. I hear a lot of bunk about the whole burning times thing, and, besides being patently ridiculous, feed into an entire martyr complex that just intensifies the whole anger I've mentioned above. I've seen it become really nasty, and it hurts people and (yes, I'll go there!), families as well. With Wicca being one of the fastest-growing religions in the US, having that sort of thing on the ground level is a recipe for Very Bad Things when it grows up.


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However I was fortunate to have found a highly tolerant coven which had been in existent for more than one generation.
This is awesome, and I am happy for you. I ran into one such when I was younger, but it was pretty clear early on that whatever I was, it wasn't going to be Wiccan, so while we had goings on and were always friendly, I really couldn't bring myself to formally join.

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Part of the problem for Wiccans is the common belief that they are Satanists which they laugh about since they do not believe in Satan.
LOL! Yes, I get that one from time to time, too. People are funny creatures. I usually don't laugh it off when I get it, though... no matter how much I want to. I always figure that if that's what they think, and they're willing to come out and ask, then they're probably willing to sit and be educated on what things actually *are*. Usually I'm right, though people frequently seem to have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of something that is not in any way bible-based, and has nothing at all to do with Christianity, Satan, God as they understand it, or any of their familiar theology. It's taking the abstract, and making it tangible and real. Occasionally it gets loud and nasty, but most people just end up being embarrassed, and then curious. I suppose that's where I have an advantage Atheists don't... Atheists don't have a religion to throw back at religious folks or ideas that they're able to bridge over to easily. There's a paradigm shift involved there, and at least I can answer that I answer to a higher power, it's just not the same as the one they answer to, and yes we're totally harmless, and no we don't eat babies.

Edit: Unless it's the full moon, of course. Everyone knows babies are tastiest, then!

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If I can, since I do have some experience with Wicca, I'll answer any questions.
That is welcome enough from me, though if I ever get back to this series, you may be more of a wall to bounce things (mostly ideas, but if I ever find a way to digitize soft and fluffy things, maybe those, too!) off of.

Last edited by Makbawehuh; 21-Jul-2012 at 03:55 AM (03:55).
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