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Author Topic: Define "Wiccan" ?  (Read 2235 times)

Queen of Wands

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Define "Wiccan" ?
« on: July 18, 2012, 04:15:01 pm »
I am currently working on a show, which features a (positive portrayal!) of a Wiccan character and the character is advertised as Wiccan. Because of this, I get a lot of people asking me what "Wiccan" is (this being a predominately Christian town), having never heard of it before.

Although there's a great moment in the show where the character describes what being Wiccan is, I'm struggling to come up with an acceptable and easy, safe definition so not to scare people off from seeing the show for themselves while educating them properly.


Suggestions?

Tana

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 04:40:47 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;64794



Wicca as in neo-wicca or as in Gardnerian traditional wicca?
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Elani Temperance

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 05:21:03 pm »
Quote from: Tana;64797
Wicca as in neo-wicca or as in Gardnerian traditional wicca?

 
Because if it's the first, please, please don't call it Wiccan. It's a personal pet-peeve but one shared amongst a lot of Pagans.

Good luck with your show!
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Queen of Wands

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 05:30:44 pm »
Quote from: Tana;64797
Wicca as in neo-wicca or as in Gardnerian traditional wicca?

 
It's unspecified, unfortunately.

Tana

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 05:37:07 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;64801
It's unspecified, unfortunately.


Hmm, well that's not making it easier.
How about reading a bit here Wicca for the rest of us - there is some good stuff on this page.
Could be helpful.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Queen of Wands

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 05:56:19 pm »
Quote from: Tana;64803
Hmm, well that's not making it easier.
How about reading a bit here Wicca for the rest of us - there is some good stuff on this page.
Could be helpful.

 

Thanks!


I've more or less been telling those who've asked that it is a religion that believe in the God and Goddess and typically celebrate nature and the changing of the seasons, but it feels like a very loose and lame explanation to me still. Ugh. I just can't seem to find a good way to put it! I don't want to start the Salem Witch Trials by talking about magic but I can't always just tell to them to wait and see the show.

Micheál

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 06:14:02 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;64810
Thanks!


I've more or less been telling those who've asked that it is a religion that believe in the God and Goddess and typically celebrate nature and the changing of the seasons, but it feels like a very loose and lame explanation to me still. Ugh. I just can't seem to find a good way to put it! I don't want to start the Salem Witch Trials by talking about magic but I can't always just tell to them to wait and see the show.

Close, it's actually a mystery tradition, craft, and priesthood which serves specific deities, BUT, the name has been adopted and applied to other things.

I could go on and on into the contexts it has been historically used, and how it surfaced, and this&that, but I wouldn't be saying anything new. Those that follow the original praxis see it differently than those adopt its other aspects, so it depends on who you talk to.

Jenett

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 06:35:45 pm »
Quote from: RoselynLibera;64810
Thanks!


I've more or less been telling those who've asked that it is a religion that believe in the God and Goddess and typically celebrate nature and the changing of the seasons, but it feels like a very loose and lame explanation to me still. Ugh. I just can't seem to find a good way to put it! I don't want to start the Salem Witch Trials by talking about magic but I can't always just tell to them to wait and see the show.

 
I specifically don't identify as Wiccan (even though by a bunch of definitions of neo-Wicca, I am), but I usually say:

"I'm a priestess in a religious witchcraft tradition. What that means is that I celebrate the cycles and seasons of the sun, moon, and the turning year, I honour multiple deities, both male and female. And while I do believe in the power of magic, I consider magic to be creating change in the world through focused will and intention - which has, in my life, been everything from a concrete plan to find a new job through a combination of sending out a lot of resumes and improving my skills with a side of meditation and divination to help me focus my time and energy, to sending good wishes to friends in need, to creating sacred spaces where I and other people can celebrate, grow, heal, or whatever else is needed."

It's not quite an elevator speech, but it hits the major points.
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outlaw393

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 09:42:24 pm »
Quote from: Tana;64797
Wicca as in neo-wicca or as in Gardnerian traditional wicca?

 
When I was Wiccan I used to really hate the term "neo-wicca". Lol.
Wicca is Wicca is Wicca is Wicca IMHO. The only difference between the non initiatory and the lineage based branches is that the lineage based branches (Gardnerian for example) have their own "secret" traditions and prefer to initiate people and pass down a "lineage", or basically a line of priests and priestesses they can trace back to their founder.

This is all my personal opinion, of course. :)
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Jenett

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Re: Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 08:40:12 am »
Quote from: outlaw393;64882
When I was Wiccan I used to really hate the term "neo-wicca". Lol.
Wicca is Wicca is Wicca is Wicca IMHO. The only difference between the non initiatory and the lineage based branches is that the lineage based branches (Gardnerian for example) have their own "secret" traditions and prefer to initiate people and pass down a "lineage", or basically a line of priests and priestesses they can trace back to their founder.

This is all my personal opinion, of course. :)

 
Thing is, though, that's not the only difference.

Initiatory trads work with specific deities, whose methods of contact (precise names, identifying features, etc.) are oathbound. (I tend to think the Gods reach out to the people they reach out to, but also that the only way you can be *sure* you're working with precisely the same deities as those oathbound trads is confirmation from within the trads.)

They have specific practices that generally involve group work, specific training and exeperience (starting with, but not limited to, the initiations themselves.) Some of those practices have solo options. Some don't, or are vastly different experiences.

And while I don't think that there are tons and tons of Very Secret Practices, I do think that the amalgamations of practice and approach do make a difference. (Think of it like going to different colleges: even if you're talking about two people who take very similar courses if you look at the names, the actual experience of education at two schools is going to be different. Different people, different priorities, different physical considerations, different places people socialise.)

Saying they're the same is a bit like saying "Oh, well, it's all music, it's the same thing" when describing someone who sings by themselves in the shower, and someone who's a professional musician in a group. Both might actually be making really great music - but the skills, experiences, and techniques needed for one are not the same as for the other, and while some things are interchangeable, not everything is. (That goes both ways, btw: I know a number of highly trained musicians who have a really hard time in less formal/structured settings unless they work hard on building the solitary enjoyment skills too.)

Clearly related. But that doesn't mean the same. And I think it makes it harder for people to find the things they're looking for when we imply they are.
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Elani Temperance

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Define "Wiccan" ?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 11:28:18 am »
Quote from: Jenett;64946
Thing is, though, that's not the only difference.

...

Clearly related. But that doesn't mean the same. And I think it makes it harder for people to find the things they're looking for when we imply they are.

I have nothing to add here but jumping excitedly up and down and saying 'this!' over and over again. Thank you, Jenett, for writing it down to eloquently.
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