Is Wicca pagan-lite?

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by Leveller, Jan 21, 2022.

  1. Leveller

    Leveller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2022
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    65
    The idea of nature-based religions has long interested me. At a time of searching, I made a brief investigation of Wicca. At the time, it was the only one that I had heard of.

    It was, to be frank, pretty disappointing. I have zero interest in spells and am not overly fond of ritual. Furthermore, much of what I found online seemed to be aimed at teenage girls and young women (no disrespect intended).

    I joined an attractive looking forum but found that many of the questions were of the "how do I tell my parents I am a witch?" variety.

    So, is Wicca as the title suggests? Has it perhaps evolved into something rather picturesque that is for people not wanting to be bothered by a deeper approach? Or are there some Wiccans out there doing and hopefully writing some good stuff?
     
    Unveiled artist likes this.
  2. 'Amir Alzzalam

    'Amir Alzzalam Šayṭānist

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2022
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    112
    New Age Fluff IMO
     
  3. Unveiled artist

    Unveiled artist Real life Dolls

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2022
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    58
    I looked into Wicca very briefly but I too wasn't attracted to the "young" focus. Actual Wicca,so read, is an initiation religion with strict rituals and practice. I don't think most have access to covens in order to get the deeper side of it. Sounds more individualistic.

    What I'd suggest is listing your spiritual experiences separately. On another list what beliefs you believe and "know" is true based on those experiences, and basically questions you want to learn reflecting them.

    The religion isn't new age, but it can be off-putting when reading stuff about it online. I took my advice above and found my experiences and knowing matched with ancestral practices that became more profound after my grandmother's death. I'd set the term Wicca aside, really. Start from experiences not belief.

    Just my thoughts
     
    Ella S. and Leveller like this.
  4. Leveller

    Leveller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2022
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    65
    That is an interesting comment. I think it was Rupert Sheldrake who described attending religious events seeking an experience as opposed to matching things with his views. That apparently is how he became a churchgoer. It is not, IMO, an idea without some merit.
     
  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    3,074
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    There are several lineages of Wicca, with various degrees of new-age fluff, commercial commodification, and appeal to younger audiences.

    I've talked to Wiccans here in Germany, who seemed quite profound and hands-on in their practice. They were long-time adherents, raising their children in the tradition.

    The emphasis on rituals and spells can be partially traced back to the influence of Gardner on Wicca. Gardner came from a background of Victorian ceremonial magic.

    But there are other Wiccan groups who do not incorporate or emphasize the Gardner material. And there are plenty of pagans who are not Wiccans, though with them, an overlap with racist ideology is often (but not always) the case, unfortunately.
     
  6. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Messages:
    7,751
    Likes Received:
    1,781
    This guy is always good:

     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    12,072
    Likes Received:
    2,444
    Personally I find the sociological impulses that gave rise to all manner of '.alt religion' movements in the late 19th/early 20th century interesting, although I must declare I've never gone into it deeply.

    If I were to research I'd look at the idea of 'alt religion' as a response to 'enchantment and disenchantment' within an existing order of the mundane world and its institutionalised religions.

    A line for me is the Industrial Revolution and the consequent counter, the the Romance Movement – enchantment/disenchantment again.

    So I'd look at the likes of Crowley and Gardner and their contemporaries, and the currents on enchantment and disenchantment in the English social system as we totter towards the collapse of empire – for me they seem to have much to say about their age, as well as being products of it.

    Men and women such as these were the new 'knights' searching for whatever 'grail' they could lay claim to ... Egyptology was all the rage, the Mystery of the Orient and all that ...

    Underneath all this, of course, are currents embedded deep in the psyche, (the four yogas, for reference) and how these springs emerge and the courses they follow in the mental and material worlds inhabited by the persons involved.
     
    wil, Ella S. and Leveller like this.
  8. Leveller

    Leveller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2022
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    65
    I agree but would add the 1950s/60s to that. The Romantic movement is certainly an important part of the mix. I know some Modern Druids have written on this, perhaps others too. Environmentalism, I think, has given some of the sentiments a new lease of life.
     
    Thomas and RJM like this.
  9. Ella S.

    Ella S. Utilitarian Logician

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2021
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    512
    Every time you look for Wicca, you will inevitably end up with fluff-bunny New Age sources by scam artists just making things up or plagiarizing other traditions out of context. I hate to say that, but it's true.

    Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, however, are Hermetic-based, bitheistic religions tied to the alchemical concepts of Solus and Luna. They build upon the same Hermetic traditions as Mathers and Crowley. They also require initiation into a coven by a priest/ess who has been initiated into a Grand Coven. A lot of these types of Wiccans stick to European folk magic and, while some of them do take a sort of eclectic approach to Indo-European Polytheism, this is usually done through the lens of Hermetic duotheism, which many pagans adopted themselves in the face of increasing Christianization.

    Hermeticism really did become widespread as a tradition to blend various surviving pagan influences. Early Hermetic texts had rituals calling upon figures like Pluto, and later texts continue to mention sylphs, gnomes, salamanders, etc. Even Cerberus survives as the name of a spirit in later goetic grimoires. Wicca essentially just de-Christianizes the Hermetic tradition; something like Wicca was bound to happen eventually as religious freedom allows more people to openly divorce themselves from Christianity.

    Most Wiccans don't even know what Hermeticism is, but I wonder to what degree these people could actually be considered Wiccan. Chakras, crystals, and sage certainly aren't Wiccan. Mojo bags aren't Wiccan. Colored candles aren't Wiccan. And yet a lot of self-identifying Wiccans use these things out of ignorance of their own tradition, never having even been initiated.

    And, yeah, I know that's some tough talk, but I feel like they aren't really Wiccan in the same way "psychic mediums" aren't Spiritists and "voodoo witch doctors" aren't really Vodousaints and plastic shamans have nothing to do with authentic Native American traditions.

    Figures like Silver Ravenwolf jumped on a trend and, because the general public didn't know anything about this obscure and secretive religion, made a quick buck off of other people's ignorance and slandered the name of Wicca while doing so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  10. Leveller

    Leveller Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2022
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    65
    Thank you @Ella S. that really puts matters in perspective.
     
    Ella S. likes this.
  11. 'Amir Alzzalam

    'Amir Alzzalam Šayṭānist

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2022
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    112
    When the religion first came to public attention, it was commonly called "Witchcraft". For instance, Gerald Gardner—the man regarded as the "Father of Wicca"—referred to it as the "Craft of the Wise", "witchcraft", and "the witch-cult" during the 1950s. There is no evidence that he ever called it "Wicca", although he did refer to the collective community of Pagan Witches as "the Wica" (with one c). As a name for the religion, "Wicca" developed in Britain during the 1960s. It is not known who precisely invented the term "Wicca" in reference to the religion, although one possibility is that it might have been Gardner's rival Charles Cardell, who was referring to it as the "Craft of the Wiccens" by 1958. The first recorded use of the word "Wicca" appears in 1962, and it had been popularised to the extent that several British practitioners founded a newsletter called The Wiccan in 1968.

    Doyle White, Ethan (2016). Wicca: History, Belief, and Community in Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
    Doyle White, Ethan (2010). "The Meaning of "Wicca": A Study in Etymology, History and Pagan Politics".
    Seims, Melissa. "Wica or Wicca? – Politics and the Power of Words"
     

Share This Page