So I have been on a spiritual journey for some time now (havent we all...) and while I was brought up a Southern Baptist, it never really fit, and went in search of what I need to complete myself spiritually. Wicca and Druidism are the two Pagan 'religions' that fit with my beliefs the best. However, it may be my Baptist upbringing that strives for solid structure of beliefs, but I can't seem to satisfy my spiritual hunger with what I have found thus far. Any good websites, reading, anything at all would be amazing. It is my understanding that Wicca has Covens, and much of the information is oathbound? I'm having trouble wading through what is myth and legend versus what is an actual practiced faith....I've read earlier posts concerning the 'umbrella' that Paganism creates, as well as what seems to be a wide variety of beliefs just within Wicca...
well if you can't tell I think I'm confusing myself even more trying to explain myself....lol
I have the same touble it sounds like. I was raised roman cathlic, and beliefs point more towards paganism, and wicca, and i honestly don't know much about it. But I have read some books by Margarite Starbird. I don't know is she is considerd pagan, but her books are really good. She does disuss the Goddess if your interested in that. let me know.
It is my understanding that Wicca has Covens, and much of the information is oathbound? I'm having trouble wading through what is myth and legend versus what is an actual practiced faith....I've read earlier posts concerning the 'umbrella' that Paganism creates, as well as what seems to be a wide variety of beliefs just within Wicca...
Well I just posted a version of this elsewhere and have done before here on these boards. Hopefully this might be useful for you as well.
I use an analogy of three circles. Draw a small circle on a piece of paper. This represents the Religion of Witchcraft conceived circa 1930’s by Gerald Gardner in Britain that later became known as Wicca. It was conceived as being a mystery religion celebrated within small intimate groups known as covens, presided over by a High Priest (HP) and a High Priestess(HPS). The origins of this Religion have been researched and documented as have the myriad of influences from history, folklore and British-European Movements and along with this documented history there is an entwined and vital mythological history that lay claim to far greater antiquity. Over time, distinct traditions (unique and usually shared practices of the same core beliefs and structure) evolved within this Religion. The oldest Traditions are usually transmitted through lineaged transmission (teacher/coven to student) using oathbound information that could not be spoken of outside of one’s Tradition. This included the original pantheon of the Gods of Wicca as well as preparatory instructions to participate within the Mysteries of Wicca. A specific re-definition of witchcraft (from numerous that exist/ed) was and is used within Wicca, known as the Craft though the Craft now had numerous definitions. While Witchcraft has no definitive definition, this Witchcraft 101 thread here might (I hope) help you find more specific questions at the least
Now draw a larger circle so that only a small part overlaps the first smaller circle. From the 60’s onward, the non-oathbound basics of this specific Religion of Witchcraft came to be written down and published and was exported to North America and in time to other English speaking countries around the world. The basics included the nuts&bolts of the Craft and other core beliefs such as those listed here that may be useful towards recognising what is acknowledged as being Wiccan. A written statement by Gardner on which of the pantheon of the Gods he considered most important became the new definition of the divine for these book-taught traditions. As he could not name Them, he called these two The Lord and The Lady and being generic titles, these newer Traditions often choose from a global pantheon to Name these Two. Throughout the 70’s to today as the 20th century Neo-Paganism Movement became marketable both in books and on the Internet, authors as well as self-taught groups and solitary practitioners of the Religion continue to adapt, change and alter what they believe, know and were taught in good faith as Wicca. So long as these traditions, faiths and personal practices contain sufficient core beliefs (first circle) to be recognisable as this Religion, they generally are acknowledged as such. Where recognition tends to not be forthcoming is when a Wiccan (practitioner or author) incorporates something else into his or her personal practice claiming that this is now part of the Religion or has always been part of the Religion. Or perhaps that doing this something makes someone Wiccan by default. The core beliefs as well as the nuts&bolts of the Craft itself also form part of the Neo-Paganism Movement having been adapted to many self-definitions.
Now draw one final circle, overlapping the second circle but not the first. This is sometimes referred to Neo-Wicca or as something being Wiccanesque. Essentially this is where the name wicca may indeed remain uncapitalized because wicca does not refer to anything recognisable such as the Religion of Wicca. Here, adaptation, personal preferences and prejudices and regretfully sometimes the naïve and unthinking acceptance of whatever is written, claimed or published as ‘wicca’ or ‘Wicca’ leaves little to no resemblance to how this religion was conceived or as it was meant to be practised. Angels, unicorns, white lighting (nothing dark or bad allowed), spellcraft, candlemagick, crystals and practising divination or just being psychic in some way are some of the examples of what I have seen mis-labelled as being wicca. Or that by default again make someone instantly Wiccan. Generally, anything resembling a faith found within this circle tends to be uniquely personal, rarely defined sufficiently to be transmittable to others and often transitory in duration.
It is fascinating journey exploring all that may or may not be Wiccan. There is a Beliefnet Wiccan forum as mentioned with a Welcome Board here and a Main board here as well as a Discuss (Debate) Board here.
Welcome to all the Boards in the Earth-Based Forum by the way. :) If you post slightly off topic, there are generally enough regulars around to respond regardless.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.