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6 years ago  ::  Dec 13, 2008 - 2:59PM #1
dustyskies
Posts: 4
Hi, im new to beliefnet and i regard myself new to wicca. I have been interested in it and doing research for around 5 years but i feel there is a lot i do not know and should. I mainly use internet but most of this is conflicting.  Hopefully i can find things here.

dustyskies
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 14, 2008 - 6:09PM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
[QUOTE=dustyskies;954366]Hi, im new to beliefnet and i regard myself new to wicca. I have been interested in it and doing research for around 5 years but i feel there is a lot i do not know and should. I mainly use internet but most of this is conflicting.  Hopefully i can find things here.

dustyskies[/QUOTE]
Dustyskies,

Welcome to Beliefnet and the Wicca Forum.

I use the following to illustrate why one will get such conflicting information about Wicca.

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 is a mystery religion celebrated within small intimate groups known as covens, presided over by a High Priest (HP) and a High Priestess(HPS). Over time, distinct traditions - unique shared practices of the same core beliefs and structure - evolved within this Religion, the oldest being transmitted only through lineage (teacher to student) using oathbound information that could not be spoken of outside of one’s Tradition. This oathbound information 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 the many that now exist) was and is used within Wicca. Gardner chose the name The Craft from an occult magazine article (about a different subject). Gardner also claimed that his Religion of Witchcraft had been passed down but to date, there has been no definitive proof of this. Many of the influences involved however can be traced back into history, folklore and various British-European Movements. Together with this documented history, there is an entwined and mythological history that one must understand as well as the actual history.

Now draw a larger circle so that only a small part of this overlaps the first smaller circle. From the 60’s onward, the non-oathbound basics of this religion came to be written down and published for use in training. This led to the creation of many non-lineaged book-taught traditions as well as the evolution of the solitary Wiccan practitioner.  The Religion of Wicca along with the Craft (not always the same thing) was duly exported to North America and in time to other English speaking countries around the world. These basics included for example the Wheel of the Year, the sacred celebratory calendar of the Religion since adapted and adopted through much of  the far larger Neo-Paganism Movement. Other core beliefs are outlined here on Expansion on the Core. Many of the core beliefs as well as the Craft itself have also been adapted and evolving outside of the Religion and form part of the Neo-Paganism Movement. A written statement by Gardner on which of the pantheon of the Gods of Wicca he considered most important became the new definition for these book-taught traditions. As Gardner could not name Them, he called these two The Lord and The Lady. Being generic titles, book-taught Traditions and solitary practitioners often choose from a global pantheon in order to Name these Two. Throughout the 70’s to today as Neo-Paganism 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 as Wicca. So long as these traditions, faiths and personal practices contain sufficient core beliefs to be recognisable as this Religion, they generally are acknowledged as such. Certainly practitioners here can form relationships with the Gods of Wicca as they know Them to be and create a viable and dynamic practice as Wiccans. Usually and always with solitary practitioners, they cannot participate in the fullness of what the first circle stands for, the Mysteries of Wicca. Where recognition in the second circle tends to not be forthcoming usually is when a Wiccan (practitioner or author) incorporates something into his or her personal practice and then claims that this something is now part of the Religion or has always been part of the Religion.

Now draw one final medium circle, overlapping the second circle but not the first. This represents Neo-Wicca, sometimes referred to as being Wiccanesque. Essentially this is where the name wicca may indeed remain uncapitalized because wicca does not refer to anything recognisable as also being the Religion of Wicca. Here, adaptation, personal preferences, biases and prejudices and regretfully sometimes the naïve and unthinking acceptance of whatever is written, claimed or published as ‘Wicca’ leaves little to no resemblance to what this religion was conceived as or is meant to be practised as. Angels, unicorns, white light, the mere act of practising divination or being psychic in some way are some of the examples of what is mis-labelled as making one wicca. However, most of what is found within this third circle tend to be uniquely personal, not defined enough to be transmittable to others and also tend to be transitory in duration.

I hope something in that was helpful for you in sorting out all that conflicting information.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2008 - 5:11PM #3
dustyskies
Posts: 4
thanks, C.H.  for your reply.

dustyskies
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 20, 2008 - 11:40PM #4
meribast69
Posts: 11
[QUOTE=dustyskies;965477]thanks, C.H.  for your reply.

dustyskies[/QUOTE]
I would take the info from the Creaky Hedge Witch with a grain of salt. S/he seems a little "my way is the right way and all the others are not."

Wicca as practiced by Gardner and documented by the Fararrs(sp?) seemed all about an excuse to having sex with other women and bondage play which I don't agree with myself as necessary. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sex with women but not as being necessary and not trying to convince them they should practice skyclad (nude).

The main beliefs that hold together as being Wicca (as I see it) are four-fold:

1. Worship the Goddess (in whatever incarnation you see fit or inspires you).
2. Wiccan Rede - "an it harm none, do what thou wilt" meaning if it doesn't harm anyone, do what you like.
3. The three-fold law: Whatever you send out, you get back 3 times. If you wish someone ill or do someone wrong it will be revisited upon you three times what you did or wished to happen to them.
4. The belief that will and belief can change reality (magick).
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 21, 2008 - 1:07PM #5
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244

I would take the info from the Creaky Hedge Witch with a grain of salt. S/he seems a little "my way is the right way and all the others are not."



It is she, not he, thank you for providing for either option.

I agree, one should always take any source whether written or from an individual with a grain of salt. Actually if salt equals scepticism, I’d go for a heaping spoonful on all occasions myself. I can appreciate that perhaps my style of posting might suggest otherwise (I do have strong opinions and tend to be long-winded…) but I most certainly do not ascribe to ‘my way is the right way and all the others are not’. I will in fact pointedly disagree with anyone who presents such an opinion, regardless of the subject. I do however believe each of us has the responsibility as well as the right to form and the choice to share our opinions and that being just opinions, these are not binding on anyone else. I also know that after due thought, consideration and experiential resonance, I often incorporate something someone else has written and appreciate being able to do so even if I initially disagreed with them. In fact, I tend to learn far more from those who disagree with me than those who agree.

You mentioned in another thread that you were a Tameran Wiccan, which I suspect is where your experience and my opinions may have disconnected. I am not Wiccan nor have never been but I have had the privilege over the years to benefit from relationships with knowledgeable Wiccans mostly from a BTW background. I have also done research for about ten years on whatever is accessible on this religion. So I hope you will understand that this has shaped what I recognise as being Wicca, which is what I post about. I would be most interested if you would care to share more about your Tradition as it is one that I am not as familiar with nor could be as someone who is a practitioner.

If enough of the core beliefs are present in a newer Tradition, I certainly am open to such recognition. Not that anyone needs my recognition to be Wiccan of course. I do however draw the line at recognising actual additions or what is blended into Wicca or what Wiccans do in his or her personal practice as within themselves having been Wiccan or always part of that religion.

At this point from your description alone, I can certainly recognise Tameran Wicca as a tradition that does incorporate some of the core beliefs of the Religion. It obviously includes the Law of Return and belief in magic, although belief in magic is usually combined with a belief in witchcraft within Wicca as the latter is a Religion of Witchcraft. Are Tameran Wiccans also Witches?
The Rede is a later addition commonly found in the newer traditions as well as being adapted throughout the Neo-Paganism Movement in various forms. Not a core belief, just a commonly found one.
I would hope that Tameran Wicca is not based on a single goddess however. A God at a minimum in addition to at least one Goddess is needed to be recongised as Wiccan and even more to be hoped, a pantheon given that Wicca is recognisably polytheistic. Obviously I would therefore expect to find that Tamerans as Wiccans have an individual relationship with at least a Goddess and a God, that being the most common generic identification for the newer book-created Wiccan Traditions. Based on a written statement of Gardner actually, he couldn’t name the two he thought most important in the original pantheon (oathbound) so he just used the terms The Lord and The Lady. Newer Traditions therefore use names from throughout a global pantheon as a result to identify these and Tameran Wicca may also incorporate a wider pantheon from the Egyptian.
Do you have anything resembling the Great Rite with this Tradition, perhaps adapted to an Egyptian context? 
Obviously your Tradition would have a celebratory calendar similar to the Wiccan Wheel of the Year with its Sabbats and Esbats though you might call these celebrations differently.
I would expect some degree of experiential validation amongst Tameran Wiccans. Do you have your own Mysteries? Wicca was originally conceived and is practised as a mystery religion but newer Trads don’t have access to the information about the specific Mysteries of Wicca, this being oathbound. So often the Mysteries are dropped but not necessarily so.
Do you consider that some parts of Wicca can’t be taught, only experienced?
Lastly, I would also expect to find constant improvement in some measure as a belief.

Please let me know (if you are willing to share) if my expectations are anywhere accurate.

May I also respectfully offer the opinion based on what I know of this religion that your perception, really more applicable to the older Traditions of Wicca, is one that has been expressed by others over time. There have been some rather lively debates on the old Beliefnet Wicca boards about this, I’ll see if I can find a link to such. Those who mis-understand and/or mis-use the term Wicca for their own purposes also have fed these impressions. With the expectation that experienced Wiccans will correct me if I err, Wicca is first and foremost about honouring the Gods of Wicca. It is on some levels also a fertility religion therefore sex is celebrated not just through the sacred marriage of the Great Rite but also through consensual sex between responsible adults. There are specific religious rites I believe that might be mis-interpreted as bondage though these are usually only found amongst the BTW Trads and within a framework of lineaged information that give such meaning. The press on these perhaps owes more to the Western titillation over anything sexual than anything properly relating to that religion. As for skyclad, being so is about trust not sex amongst the members of a coven, that small intimate grouping of people that Wicca is meant to be practised by. Having practised skyclad within my own non-Wiccan religion upon occasion, the most general reactions tend to range from physical discomfort (where IS that draft coming from???) to ‘no one has anything here that I haven’t seen before -yawn’. Given that one is supposed to be focusing on the Gods and the ritual, being skyclad more than anything else seems to end up serving to identify those who aren’t really committed to what is being enacted.

Long-winded as usual. Sorry about that and welcome to the boards by the way.

C.H.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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