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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!  (Read 2472 times)

arete

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 02:19:13 pm »
What do you mean? As far as I can see, karma doesn't work that way. As I see it, karma is about what you do not what religion you follow.
Isn't theistic satanism about doing evil works?

arete

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2018, 02:21:22 pm »
Since neither theistic Satanism nor Wicca is a dharmic religion, I don't think karma is of particular relevance to either.
But theistic satanism isn't evil doers? Karma can't overlook evildoers.

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2018, 03:26:37 pm »
Isn't theistic satanism about doing evil works?

Not particularly. In my admittedly limited experience, most Satanists who consider the figure of Satan significant to their spirituality view him as a liberating Prometheus-like character, not a patron of evil.
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2018, 05:35:36 pm »
Isn't theistic satanism about doing evil works?

Not all the time... but a lot of the time, yes. 

Devil worship is often is about giving a face to what people subjectively perceive to be “evil”, and worshipping it... usually to find power, pleasure or purpose in areas that may in whatever way be malevolent, malicious, sadistic, nefarious, criminal... etc..

Even among those who understand and acknowledge the profound subjectivity of “right” and “wrong” and “good” and “evil”- people who may not even prefer using those words- there are those who deliberately seek out and embrace and at times even create deities who represent those alleged “evil” or “wrong” sides of individual and collective human Nature.  Everyone has their reasons... even if they do not comprehend them.

Whatever name you give it- be it “Satan” or the name of some archdemon or angel, or some ancient god or goddess- worshipping the more sinister sides of human Nature and whatever embodiment you give them, well, that is theistic satanism at its core.  From my perspective.

Of all the so called “theistic satanists”... the ones I respect the most, well, they don’t just worship from afar.  They embrace.  They radiate. They don’t just talk a talk but they walk a walk.  They take their god(s)with them to the places they go and in the things that they do, and they utilize that energy.  That power, that strength, that inspiration.  Those inclinations.  The world around them changes.  The people around them are affected.  Their god(s) transform(s) our world through these individuals. 

Before I am painted as some advocate for “wrongdoing”, I feel the same about other theistic religions.  I respect the feeling, the purpose, the calling, of transforming the world around you through combining your own power with the power of your gods.  What I advocate is forging a religionship with the divine and utilizing that relationship to live how you will to live and be who you will to be. Whether those gods wear white robes or breathe hellfire makes no difference to me. 




« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:38:56 pm by Goddess_Ashtara »
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Kaio

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2018, 09:50:16 pm »
 Thank you all that replied so far!

Wicca is an excelent complete religion. Theistic Satanism is bad for karma. Wicca is flexible
...
(...)
:) You can choose whichever you want and that's the beauty of it.  :)

 I said previously that recently Wicca and Theistic Satanism are the religions that I'm considering the most because they meet many of the requirements that I seem to have regarding a religion. But I also said "I have many personal issues than make difficult or that even may prevent me to practice Wicca". Maybe that's the time for me to provide more context regarding it.

 While I agree with you that Wicca is flexible, maybe especially so when Wicca isn't understood as just Gardnerian Wicca, I don't think I may do whatever I want whatever way and call myself a Wiccan. That makes things more complicated for me because I think I would have to adapt so much that I may end up developing a practice hardly recognizable as Wicca.

 I practices Wicca a long time ago, in my early teens. I read what you would possibly call a Wicca 101 book by a popular Brazilian Wiccan author and, by myself, I made a self-initiation ritual and started to practice.
 At that time I made a commitment to a certain Goddess; I told Her that if She gave me what I asked Her for, I would celebrate every Esbat* in Her honor (and by this I think I meant that She would be the Goddess I would call upon my circle every Esbat that day on if She gave me what I asked Her for). I don't remember if and how long I kept this commitment (on my part), and I don't know what I would do about It now. Should I keep it? Should I avoid celebrating full moons* altogether? Should I celebrate new moons instead?
 This is just one question; there would be several more:

 - should I really cast a circle everytime I do anything religious, like before saying a prayer or a simple sacrifice indoors? If not, should I ever cast a circle? If yes, when?
 - Can one be a polytheist and a Wiccan? What about the Wheel of the Year?
 - What about the Wheel of the Year where there's just two seasons, the dry one and the rainy one?
 
 The more I consider Wicca, the more I think of these questions.
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2018, 01:51:44 am »
But theistic satanism isn't evil doers?

Correct.  Theistic satanism isn't evil doers.

Quote
Karma can't overlook evildoers.

I am not a follower of a dharmic religion and do not give a shit about karma.  I also do not care about halacha, miasma, or not eating meat on Fridays, to give examples of other things that are NOT A PART OF MY RELIGION.
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2018, 08:56:22 am »
While I agree with you that Wicca is flexible, maybe especially so when Wicca isn't understood as just Gardnerian Wicca, I don't think I may do whatever I want whatever way and call myself a Wiccan. That makes things more complicated for me because I think I would have to adapt so much that I may end up developing a practice hardly recognizable as Wicca.

There is, at least, a broad community of people who do likewise, though finding the specific bits that are helpful to you can be complex. There are a lot of forms of religious witchcraft out there, many of them without a ton in common with Wicca (either British Traditional or more eclectic)

This is part of why I suggest to people who want in person community practice that a good way to start is spending some serious time figuring out what might be available near you - which can take a while, as small groups often only take in new members occasionally - while also developing a personal practice that works for you but leaves space for expansion or specific directions if you find one of those later.

Anyway, I do have a couple of specific things to your points - there are discussions of all of these buried in other threads in the forum, so you might also want to do some more searches to find a wider variety of takes on the topics.

Quote
I don't remember if and how long I kept this commitment (on my part), and I don't know what I would do about It now. Should I keep it? Should I avoid celebrating full moons* altogether? Should I celebrate new moons instead?

The term Esbat actually generally applies to both full and new moons.

In the case of an old commitment, my suggestion is usually to reach out to the deity (or other being) in question, make a suitable offering (the equivalent of 'making a meal your friend likes when you're apologising to them or doing something extra nice' - nothing super big or fancy, but attentive and more than your smallest level of offering had been) See how that goes. You might wish to try divination or meditation, if either of those are useful tools for you.

You may get the strong sense that you're just fine. You may get a sense that there's some specific thing you should do to make amends. You may get nothing in particular. If you get a strong sense of a thing to do to make amends, do that if you can, or make an alternate offer that you can do, and see how that goes. For the other two, you're probably fine.

Quote
Should I really cast a circle everytime I do anything religious, like before saying a prayer or a simple sacrifice indoors? If not, should I ever cast a circle? If yes, when?

This depends on specific things you determine about your practice, and also what you consider a circle to be doing. I have an article here breaking it down in detail for my practice, and with an explanation of common uses of a circle in many religious witchcraft practices.

I don't cast circle for daily practice, or for small routine rituals (I have a regular small ritual I'm currently doing every Thursday, and another every Friday, for example.)

I do cast a full circle (which takes about 10-20 minutes plus about another 15 minutes to setup the physical objects involved) when I'm working with other people, when I'm doing more specific ritual focus, or when I want that container to help me focus and harness the energy I'm working with. (And there's one ritual a year in my tradition where I specifically want the protective qualities of the circle and set it up in a slightly different way as a result.)

I sometimes do a very scaled down one (more like 5 minutes tops) for some kinds of divination and meditation work (the container is made by my house warding, but I will make a brief explicit welcome to the directions and Guardians, and to deities if that's relevant to what I'm doing.)

Quote
Can one be a polytheist and a Wiccan? What about the Wheel of the Year?

Absolutely, yes. British Traditional Wicca focuses on specific deities, but many people have relationships with other deities besides those. When one moves into other kinds of religious witchcraft practices, a wide range of deity approaches are common and widespread.

(I'm polytheistic: I work closely with a pair of deities for personal practice, two specific deities for some particular tradition rituals including initiations, and other deities as makes sense for the particular work I'm doing. Deities for Sabbats depend on the focus of the Sabbat, for example.)

Quote
What about the Wheel of the Year where there's just two seasons, the dry one and the rainy one?

While the Agricultural Wheel of the Year is one way to structure (and one that makes a lot of sense in British Traditional Wiccan practice, given the origins), it is not the only way. There are a fair number of resources these days for alternates.

My own tradition acknowledges the local climate (ok, so it helps that I live somewhere that roughly maps to the Wheel, but it also mostly worked in Minnesota, with some adjustments, even though spring came a lot later there on average) but the bulk of our focus is on a cycle of transformation and learning that is more centered on length of day and focus than on agriculture.

I've got a description of different common models here: the two that are explicitly less tied to local climate are toward the end of the page. It's possible that a variation on the Oak/Holly King approach might also work where you are.
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2018, 09:28:18 am »
I like reading scholarly papers and studying languages by myself. I really do. That’s why I’ve been downloading – and reading – texts regarding religion and languages for several years now. And I have hundreds of files on these subjects.

It, however, isn’t religion. It certainly is not enough. And after years it can be exhausting and frustrating not coming to any conclusion. It’s somewhat like working hard and not getting paid.

 It's been years, more than ten, since I viewed myself as a member of a definite religion.

There are lots of people qualified to help on this forum, and I am glad they are chiming in already. :)

I am largely in the same boat as you religion-wise; lots of years researching and zero to show for it. I'm basically chiming in to say "Woot! Go you! You can do this!". Hopefully this thread gives you lots to consider and maybe even an answer with options to explore.

(I wrote half or more of this post late at night and English isn’t my first language; that means this text may contain several mistakes.)

For late night, second language writing you did very well. :)

arete

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2018, 10:56:47 am »
Not particularly. In my admittedly limited experience, most Satanists who consider the figure of Satan significant to their spirituality view him as a liberating Prometheus-like character, not a patron of evil.
That is nice! I hope they are not seeking a patron of evil.  :-\

arete

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2018, 11:00:00 am »
Not all the time... but a lot of the time, yes. 

Devil worship is often is about giving a face to what people subjectively perceive to be “evil”, and worshipping it... usually to find power, pleasure or purpose in areas that may in whatever way be malevolent, malicious, sadistic, nefarious, criminal... etc..

Even among those who understand and acknowledge the profound subjectivity of “right” and “wrong” and “good” and “evil”- people who may not even prefer using those words- there are those who deliberately seek out and embrace and at times even create deities who represent those alleged “evil” or “wrong” sides of individual and collective human Nature.  Everyone has their reasons... even if they do not comprehend them.

Whatever name you give it- be it “Satan” or the name of some archdemon or angel, or some ancient god or goddess- worshipping the more sinister sides of human Nature and whatever embodiment you give them, well, that is theistic satanism at its core.  From my perspective.

Of all the so called “theistic satanists”... the ones I respect the most, well, they don’t just worship from afar.  They embrace.  They radiate. They don’t just talk a talk but they walk a walk.  They take their god(s)with them to the places they go and in the things that they do, and they utilize that energy.  That power, that strength, that inspiration.  Those inclinations.  The world around them changes.  The people around them are affected.  Their god(s) transform(s) our world through these individuals. 

Before I am painted as some advocate for “wrongdoing”, I feel the same about other theistic religions.  I respect the feeling, the purpose, the calling, of transforming the world around you through combining your own power with the power of your gods.  What I advocate is forging a religionship with the divine and utilizing that relationship to live how you will to live and be who you will to be. Whether those gods wear white robes or breathe hellfire makes no difference to me.
And what about karma?

arete

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2018, 11:06:17 am »
I am not a follower of a dharmic religion and do not give a shit about karma.  I also do not care about halacha, miasma, or not eating meat on Fridays, to give examples of other things that are NOT A PART OF MY RELIGION.
Karma works all the time. it's one of the many reasons  I believe Hinduism is real  :)

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2018, 12:02:59 pm »
And what about karma?

And what about Jesus?
And what about miasma?
And what about do ut des?

If someone does not subscribe to something involving these things then they are not going to take them into account because they do not care.

It doesn't matter if you believe they're wrong.  There are plenty of Jesus-followers who believe that someone not taking Jesus into account are wrong and you are quite willing to dismiss those even when they say they know Jesus works all the time and that's why they believe Christianity is real.

Your beliefs are not binding on others.  You are not secretly more correct than other people in a way that obligates them to answer to your theology regardless of their own beliefs.  It is just as much the case for "karma" as it is for "Judgement Day".  Go on believing that other people are deluded and ignoring critical facts about the universe if you want, but that will not make other people convert.
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2018, 03:28:46 pm »
And what about karma?

No matter who we are or what our beliefs are, everything we do has consequences.  Everything.  Whether you believe in this simple fact of life or not, it happens.  Whether you perceive it all through some lens of cosmic duality, or not, it happens.

We live in a world of ifs.  If this happens, this other thing happens, or could happen.  If this entire series of events happen in exactly a certain way, this other thing happens.  If this thing does not happen, none of these other things will ever happen.  Etc.

The ifs of the here and now and the distant past are far reaching and affect futures beyond what any human can predict.  That is definitely worth thinking long and hard about.  But supernatural afterlife theories?  People can only speculate over whether or not the ifs of this life have any effect at all on what may or may not be experienced when death inevitably happens to them.  Many see value in obsessing over it.  Purpose even.  I do not.

So if a pagan or a satanist or a three headed dragon angel from another star system chooses to perceive our world of ifs through some concept of karma, they will.   
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Kaio

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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2019, 12:35:01 am »
There is, at least, a broad community of people who do likewise, though finding the specific bits that are helpful to you can be complex.

 Thank you very much for your thoughtful, informative response!

 I didn't make my mind yet but, all in all, Wicca seems to be the religion that meets most of my several requirements. I, however, still consider Gaulish reconstructionism (seldomer) and Quimbanda (oftener).

 As for Wicca, well, all these years of scholarly text reading and a recon bent won't just go away; reconstructionism changed me religion-wise. Even if now it seems to be untenable (in my opinion) if parts of ancient religions are to be given the degree of attention they seemed to have gotten back in the old days.

 To sum up my "case", I think I could practice Wicca again if:

 - I could "bring along" ancient (at the expense of more popular, more modern) ritual practices. This means hymn recitation, libation and resin incense burning, for instance, instead of meditation and visualization;
 - I could choose not to celebrate any Esbats;
 - I could seldom cast a circle, and change its procedure when I do it. (I think circumambulatio is appropriate in the context of worship of Deities primarily associated with Gaul, but I don't know if it can be viewed as circle casting);
 - I could perhaps celebrate less than eight Sabbats and/or change their names;
 - I could perhaps focus on Gods more than on Goddesses;
 - I could choose not to have several of the common tools, or to have different tools;
 - I could choose not to have a book of shadows;
 - I could follow the longer Rede, that allows a more flexible morality.

 Can I practice so altered a form of already self-initiatory Wicca and still call myself, and maybe be regarded as, a Wiccan?
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Re: I can't make up my mind! Please help me!
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2019, 08:22:04 am »
To sum up my "case", I think I could practice Wicca again if:

So, that's an awful lot of differences.

(And that's before getting at what is perhaps a more key one: what would be the central religious mysteries of your practice?) Mine focus on transformation: this is why I describe my practice as initiatory religious witchcraft, rather than Wicca, even though a lot more of my practices are closer to Wiccan in various approaches than your list would be.

Why are you so insistent on identifying with Wicca here? If you want a community of people to talk to, identifying as a religious witch gets you a lot of the way there.

(You'll have to explain some of what you do. But frankly, if you identify as Wiccan, but don't cast circle, celebrate Esbats or a number of Sabbats, don't work with a pair of deities in ritual, you're going to have to do a lot of explaining anyway any time you have a more than very surface discussion. In my experience, it's often easier to start with the religious witch label, explain the thing I do, and go from there than to work outward from other people's expectations.)

Looking at specifics:

Quote
- I could "bring along" ancient (at the expense of more popular, more modern) ritual practices. This means hymn recitation, libation and resin incense burning, for instance, instead of meditation and visualization;

The hymn recitation, etc. is not a problem (pssst, my practice includes libation, and also incense, though I don't use resin incenses for other reasons.) Avoiding meditation and visualization is more of an issue (and the kind of issue that will separate you from other practitioners, since visualization is a key part of creating sacred space for many Wiccan and Wiccan-derived paths.)

Quote
- I could choose not to celebrate any Esbats;

This is a pretty big difference. People have plenty of variation in how they celebrate Esbats, but dumping them entirely is basically saying "This whole thing, not relevant."

Quote
- I could seldom cast a circle, and change its procedure when I do it. (I think circumambulatio is appropriate in the context of worship of Deities primarily associated with Gaul, but I don't know if it can be viewed as circle casting);

Again, this is a pretty big difference. There are a number of different approaches to the why and how of circle casting, but the idea of "We create a specific space for ritual, for magical working, and to honour our gods" is a pretty key concept. Again, not doing it all of the time is one thing (I've described earlier in the thread how my practice varies), but never doing it or seldom doing it... that's a "Why do you want this label so much if you're avoiding a key practice" thing.

Quote
- I could perhaps celebrate less than eight Sabbats and/or change their names;

It depends on which ones you're not celebrating: doing either the solstices/equinoxes or the fire festivals has a lot of historical background and still forms a 'wheel'. (And in fact, Wicca started with four, and one strand of modern Druidry started with four, and they decided eight was more fun.) 

Picking and choosing some of each makes a very uneven wheel and is a lot harder to talk about as a core Wiccan or Wiccan derived practice. Changing the names is less of a problem - there are multiple sets of names out there, and traditions that have their own.

Quote
- I could perhaps focus on Gods more than on Goddesses;

Wicca is designed in many ways around the idea of active balance, and the friction of movement between multiple parties or concepts. If you focus more heavily on Gods, you lose a lot of that.

(And this particular focus puts you on the outer edge of Wiccan and Wiccan-derived practices, because of the at-large societal focus on male deities in a way that focusing on female deities doesn't necesssarily do as much, because they are still in counterbalance to the mainstream. And of course, there are plenty of deities whose genders do not fit into "God" and "Goddess" slots.)

Quote
- I could choose not to have several of the common tools, or to have different tools;

Again, those tools exist for specific reasons in the practices. If you are not using those practices or those tools, why do you want the label of Wicca?

(Not everyone uses all the tools or all the time, but if you are never using the key ones - athame or alternative, wand, cup, pentacle, then people are going to be baffled a lot, and you are doing something else. Think about food cultures that require specific tools to make them - you can use substitutes, and that's fine, but if you change the tools entirely or use them in a different way, you maybe want a different label for your dish.)

Quote
- I could choose not to have a book of shadows;

Keeping notes and records of your practice is good. What you call it matters a lot less.

Quote
- I could follow the longer Rede, that allows a more flexible morality.

You should have a good long look at the history of the various Rede versions: people have many different takes on the ethics (frankly, mine tend to be more driven by the Charge of the Goddess and the "What will future me be glad to have done, and unhappy to have done?" guideline.) But the longer Rede is not a great "one true source" either.

Quote
Can I practice so altered a form of already self-initiatory Wicca and still call myself, and maybe be regarded as, a Wiccan?

And this part brings another question - which is to say, self-initiatory Wicca is a problem for a lot of people. Assuming you'll be welcomed as an *initiate* because of it is definitely one. "I have done a bunch of personal work and dedicated myself to a path" is fine - but people will want to understand how your path fits with theirs when sharing ideas and information. Using a label that takes a ton of clarification is not great there.

Given what you've said, I encourage you to consider options like "religious witchcraft", "dedicatory witchcraft" (or dedicatory religious witchcraft", or "influenced by Wicca", etc. that will give a sense of what you're doing and give you a clearer base for the next layer of explanations (as you want to talk to other people.)
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Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

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