Wicca - Too Many Rituals?

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by BeautifulMadness, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    The Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law are certainly common among Wiccans but they are not universal, and as people have pointed out they are not considered to be absolute commandments by even those Wiccans who do include them in their philosophy.

    There are Gardnerian and Alexandrian covens that do not include the Rede for instance. Are they not Wiccans because they don't include the Rede in their practice?

    I highly recommend that all Wiccans read the essay The Wiccan Rede: A Historical Journey and also the material in Shea Thomas' The Wiccan Rede Project for a better understanding of the Rede in particular and how it has come to prominence within some Wiccan denominations.
     
  2. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Are we back to "10 different witches, 10 different answers"? :)
     
  3. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    That's what we get when the religion does not have a central authority. No pope and no single central scripture means there is diversity.

    Personally I think that this is one of Wicca's greatest strengths. But it is definitely a double-edged sword.
     
  4. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    No, ten witches and one Catholic...lone man is out. :eek:

    v/r

    Q
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    ah me thinks we could quiz 10 priests even 10 bishops or cardinals and get 10 differing answers...

    how about 10 IRS agents or CPAs or lawyers...

    just because there are more rules it doesn't imply concise thinking....
     
  6. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    The big difference with IRS agents, priests, bishops, CPAs, and lawyers though is that they are, generally, working in a system where there is a centralized authority. Either they have some sort of written document which is considered authoritative, or else they have a hierarchy in place where the people at the top are the final arbiters on matters of what the rules are which they must follow.

    Wicca is a religion where there is no central authority. We do not have a pope, no council of elders, not even a holy scripture to provide that central authority. Each denomination is free to make up its own rules, and in many of the denominations they even explicitly state that each coven is autonomous.

    Things like the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Return are common among Wiccans, but because we don't have a central authority there is no way they or anything else can be enforced as requirements.
     
  7. morningstar2651

    morningstar2651 New Member

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    I second the book nomination. I haven't read it cover-to-cover, but it's very good, and I always recommend it as the first thing to read. I want students to find answers to the question "why?" before they look at the question "how?"
     
  8. Wendigo

    Wendigo 98

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    Usually the 'fluffbunny' types are drawn to such things as wicca, because they feel they can do whatever the heck they want and still be part of the wiccan community. what ever happened to discipline in a spiritual path? with no discipline, there is no direction and growth. and in regards to magick, casting a circle is a precautionary practice, because magick isnt all in a happy, peaceful realm; there are dangers to it. Thats a risk you take if one is not prepared, and doing whatever they 'feel'. It reminds me of that old Simpsons episode where the town decided to 'do what they felt like' everything began to fall apart.
     
  9. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Scarlet Pimpernel demned elusive

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    Maybe this is already cleared up to everyone's satisfaction, but I'd just like to add my two cents. I think what Barefootinthegrass (cool name) is saying here is basically that we are all imperfect. Just like in Christianity there are rules for behaviour, but no one lives up to them perfectly all the time. And then there are consequences. Wiccans strive to "harm none", but sometimes we fail in that. Just like people of any religion. But in Wicca there's no one else who's going to get you out of your own mess. You made your bed, now you lay in it.
     
  10. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Diversity is a mixed blessing. It means there is a lot of variety to choose from, but it also means that there are varying standards. No matter what you do there will always be someone out there who is "more serious" than you and who will likely consider you to be the "fluff bunny."

    Even religions that are based on hierarchical systems with authorities -- leaders of the particular group, and even formal "holy scriptures" -- have some measure of diversity. Who owns the term "Christian" and has the authority to say which groups are allowed to call themselves that? What about "Jewish" or "Muslim"? Can someone who is not serious enough be told that they are no longer allowed to consider themselves to be Christian, Jewish, or Muslim?

    Wicca is not a hierarchical system with a single authority that dictates to all Wiccan groups and practitioners. Sure, there are established groups within the Wiccan community that do have their own authority structures in place -- but they are only authoritative within their own groups. There is no Wiccan Pope and no Wiccan Holy Scripture that all must follow. Some see it as a problem (such as the frequent agonizing over "fluffy bunnies" who are clearly not Wiccan enough by some standards) but the autonomy is something that many Wiccans are loathe to sacrifice.

    If we were to abandon the autonomy of individual Wiccan denominations, groups, and solitary practitioners for the sake of establishing an Ultimate Wiccan Authority, who should be that authority? The Gardnerians? The Alexandrians? Who?

    It's like expecting Protestants to hand over ultimate authority over what is Christian to the Roman Catholics. It just isn't going to happen.
     

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