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Author Topic: Prejudice in the pagan community against "neo-wicca" - what do you think?  (Read 11973 times)

SunflowerP

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Quote from: RandallS;55822
At the time it was written, no one would have thought it would be otherwise used. Hindsight is ever so much better.

 
Heh - yeah, I was figuring that, given that it was one of the first "this is how you can do this if you don't have access to a coven" books.

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Quote from: Jabberwocky;54592
Making sweeping statements about how all Pagans follow things like the Threefold Law and worship nature.  That kind of thing.  

 
Indeed, I myself have made this mistake before, and I definitely do not consider myself neo-Wiccan. My apologies to everyone, and as for the poster's question, I would agree with the rest of the replies in that it just comes from most people's preconceived notions.

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Quote from: Ainne;54515
Something I have noticed over the years is somewhat of a prejudice against non- british traditional wicca in the pagan community - as if "neo-wicca" is below british traditional wicca. Why do you think this is? I have pondered the question and cannot come up with a good reason.

 
I haven't noticed this at all. Of course, I don't think there are any British Traditionalists in my area at all, so I guess my word only means but so much. If they do show prejudice I wouldn't care because I don't particularity care what others think of my spirituality.

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Quote from: Jabberwocky;54592

This is probably a good excuse to post the Pagan Hierarchy Chart.  (All excuses are good excuses when it comes to posting the Pagan Hierarchy Chart).

 
This would make a wonderful poster. I had to come back and bookmark it.

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Quote from: Ainne;54515
Something I have noticed over the years is somewhat of a prejudice against non- british traditional wicca in the pagan community - as if "neo-wicca" is below british traditional wicca. Why do you think this is? I have pondered the question and cannot come up with a good reason.

 
I don't think people necessarily think Neo-Wicca is inferior to traditional Craft, just that it can be very different, and it gets frustrating when they get conflated as if they were one and the same. I think a traditionalist of any religion gets annoyed when they are perceived with misconceptions propagated by a separate movement.

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Quote from: SunflowerP;55511
To a very great extent, NeoWicca was built upon Cunningham's work, often by readers reading things into it that he didn't actually say, or interpreting things he did say more broadly than he intended (often more broadly than the text supports, though in some cases his word choices did have implications I don't think he meant them to).

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You have a point, but as much as this authority or that may be respected and sited..in the end it is the individual who must determine how much of someone else's truth speaks to them and it is subject perhaps to further alteration and intrepretation ..Following a tradition no matter how old does not make you better or more authentic than someone newly in the craft..afterall older traditions blossomed out of someone's ideas or inspiration..there is entirely too much judging and not nearly enough paying attention to one's own path ..which should be an ever green and growing pathway to illumination..we will never know it all..and whether you choose a traditional craft or craft what feels right to you..it is authentic and if you find yourself worrying or offended by what someone/s thinks about it,  it maybe be wise  to do some very deep soul searching to examine why it's is an issue..maybe some changes are order..(imo)
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GaiaDianne

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Re: Prejudice in the pagan community against "neo-wicca" - what do you think?
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2012, 04:13:54 pm »
Quote from: Ainne;54515
Something I have noticed over the years is somewhat of a prejudice against non- british traditional wicca in the pagan community - as if "neo-wicca" is below british traditional wicca. Why do you think this is? I have pondered the question and cannot come up with a good reason.

 


GAIA:

Hi and Merry Meet, Ainne --

Well, there are many who have made "Neo-Wicca" into pretty much "whatever they want it to be" regardless of how much sense (or nonsense), historical validity, philosophical or logical consistency, etc it may (or may not) have.  

There are also many who claim to be "Wiccan" without even knowing what Wicca IS --
Check out any Pagan chat group and count how many folks say they are Wiccan -- and then they ask (often in the very same post!)  what Wicca is, what its "beliefs" are, etc.  How can you be Wiccan without even knowing what it is???  Clearly, they are motivated by something other than informed knowledge.

There are many who claim to be Wiccan who can't explain (or don't know) its history, principles, practices, or much of anything, really -- other than "It's cool and about Nature."  Well, many Pagan religions are "about Nature" -- what distinguishes Wicca from any other Pagan path?  They can't say.

And they are often the ones who claim or aspire to be "Priest/ess" or even "High Priest/ess", coven-leaders, etc. -- and who tell other beginners they don't need training, Initiation, etc., and discount, disregard, insult or disrespect actual High Priest/esses.  (And btw, These are often the very same folks who pray to the Goddess to send them "a Wiccan Teacher or friend"!)

This troubles many more "Traditional" folks who often have studied many looooong years to earn their Degrees, and hold that knowledge and experience sacred and essential to being Wiccan.  It can be extremely difficult to maintain the kind of patience and forbearance that an experienced Wiccan should have .

Furthermore - I'd have to say that the "prejudice" often goes both ways.  Unfortunately, people tend to get *very* defensive about their religious practices and beliefs -- Especially when they're somewhat insecure about or new in them.  

And often, when a "Traditional" Wiccan says, "There are  differences between Traditional Wicca and Neo or Solitary-Eclectic", what the Solitary-Eclectic hears is, "Yours is not as good as mine."

A difference is a difference -- not better or worse, just *DIFFERENT*.

Solitary-Eclectic (or "Neo-Wicca") has many fine and good points, and is (of course) a valid religious path, as is "Traditional" Wicca.  The point is, they both have positives and negatives, benefits and drawbacks.  One must simply decide which drawbacks they are willing to live with, in order to get which benefits.

I hope that's helpful -- Please Don't hesitate to ask any other questions --

Good Luck and Blessed Be ~ Gaia

Phouka

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Re: Prejudice in the pagan community against "neo-wicca" - what do you think?
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2013, 02:33:26 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;54526
This.

Having been around the community long enough to see some Very Badly Planned Ritual Things, I consider this self-preservation. (That said, because I feel strongly that information is good, I also consider it part of my job in life to provide info on improving that kind of thing when I reasonably can.)


Oh, you mean like a Beltaine festival where the HP & HPS has worshippers use SALT instead of SEED to fertilize the earth? And when before the ritual a HP from a different circle told them that salting the earth is killing it's fertility, they told him off and we went away without participating?

Phouka

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Re: Prejudice in the pagan community against "neo-wicca" - what do you think?
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2013, 03:56:34 pm »
Quote from: Phouka;96424
Oh, you mean like a Beltaine festival where the HP & HPS has worshippers use SALT instead of SEED to fertilize the earth? And when before the ritual a HP from a different circle told them that salting the earth is killing it's fertility, they told him off and we went away without participating?

 
That's bad ritual design, but no, the stuff I take really serious issue with is the stuff that puts people at serious long-term risk.

Bad fire-management techniques. (10 foot tower of flame from a chemical fire indoors is .. um, non-optimal). Use of apparent Draws to push a community in a particular direction, rather than listening to the Gods.

Lack of attention to physical safety stuff (intense lengthy rituals that involve exertion when it is hot and muggy out, f'ex, and heat exhaustion is a factor, or continuing with ritual when it is raining and cold enough to cause hypothermia considerations: 50ish and damp is actually really dangerous if there's a wind.)

Compared to those, "this is stupid ritual design" is .. I care, but that's much more minor.
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RedHawk

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Re: Prejudice in the pagan community against "neo-wicca" - what do you think?
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2013, 10:40:39 pm »
Quote from: Ainne;54515
Something I have noticed over the years is somewhat of a prejudice against non- british traditional wicca in the pagan community - as if "neo-wicca" is below british traditional wicca. Why do you think this is? I have pondered the question and cannot come up with a good reason.

 
I think the whole thing is stupid, insulting others or making others feel low about themselves. I have no problem with BTW but I do have a problem with BTW's insulting Neo-Wiccans. I'm not Neo-Wiccan but I've practiced it before. Personally, don't we have enough problems with Christians thinking that we worship the Devil or something. We don't need this!

Louisvillian

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Quote from: Micheál;54658
That's what's hard to understand, because I've never seen it used in a derogatory manner. I think it is a clear term indeed that serves its purpose quite well.

 
I've pretty much always seen it used in a derogatory and derisive manner. A way to imply or brand solitaries or non-trad practitioners as not-Wiccan. It seems to me like a very conservative and elitist approach, which I disagree with; religions change, their definitions and thresholds change. I don't see anything wrong with non-trad practitioners being described as Wiccan.

yewberry

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Quote from: Louisvillian;107821
I've pretty much always seen it used in a derogatory and derisive manner. A way to imply or brand solitaries or non-trad practitioners as not-Wiccan. It seems to me like a very conservative and elitist approach, which I disagree with; religions change, their definitions and thresholds change. I don't see anything wrong with non-trad practitioners being described as Wiccan.


There's nothing inherently "wrong" with anyone self-identifying as anything.  But the lack of distinction between an initiatory mystery tradition (wherein the mystery is revealed by the initiation into a specific tradition) and someone going it alone can cause real confusion.  Especially when the latter believes their experience equivalent or in some cases identical to the Trad Wiccan's.  They might be, but it's impossible to know for sure.

It's always made more sense to me to give quasi-parallel paths modified names to show the distinction.

Brina

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Quote from: Louisvillian;107821
I've pretty much always seen it used in a derogatory and derisive manner. A way to imply or brand solitaries or non-trad practitioners as not-Wiccan. It seems to me like a very conservative and elitist approach, which I disagree with; religions change, their definitions and thresholds change. I don't see anything wrong with non-trad practitioners being described as Wiccan.

Most usually do personally, but in public discussion boards it does help with understanding and clarification. (I for instance prefer to simply refer to myself as Wiccan, and the only times I add 'Alexandrian' is when conversing in diverse pagan communities like this one with numerous paths&traditions) I personally don't think it's elitist to specify as we are talking about different systems, unless it is actually being used in a derogative manner. Time does have a way to influence things, but Traditional Wicca is structured. It may, and has, adapt to new circumstance, but its core praxis hasn't, or will ever, change, which is another reason why I personally think these things help for clarification.

RandallS

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Quote from: Louisvillian;107821
I've pretty much always seen it used in a derogatory and derisive manner. A way to imply or brand solitaries or non-trad practitioners as not-Wiccan.

A strong case can be made that the term originated (or at least co-originated) on the late 1990s incarnation of this board (back when we were on Delphi, before it changed its name to Delphiforums). I used it as a simple way to distinguish between the older, more traditional forms of Wicca that were before Cunningham's Solitary Wicca and before Silverwolf. The differences were of beliefs and practices, for example see this article on our web site. The new forms of Wicca were "cleaned up", perhaps to be more acceptable to a more conservative society.

Some way was needed to distinguish between the two forms, this board started using "Neo-Wicca" for the newer form, not to put it down, but to allow conversations without confusion. When you look at older Wicca and newer Wicca and different branches on the tree instead of the same thing, you avoid a lot of one group calling the other group's beliefs and practices wrong -- but to do this easily the two groups need different names. That's all "Neo-Wicca" was meant to be and that's generally how it is used on this board. It's not our fault others took the term and turned it into "name-calling."
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FollowerofOdin

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Quote from: RandallS;107836
A strong case can be made that the term originated (or at least co-originated) on the late 1990s incarnation of this board (back when we were on Delphi, before it changed its name to Delphiforums). I used it as a simple way to distinguish between the older, more traditional forms of Wicca that were before Cunningham's Solitary Wicca and before Silverwolf. The differences were of beliefs and practices, for example see this article on our web site. The new forms of Wicca were "cleaned up", perhaps to be more acceptable to a more conservative society.

Some way was needed to distinguish between the two forms, this board started using "Neo-Wicca" for the newer form, not to put it down, but to allow conversations without confusion. When you look at older Wicca and newer Wicca and different branches on the tree instead of the same thing, you avoid a lot of one group calling the other group's beliefs and practices wrong -- but to do this easily the two groups need different names. That's all "Neo-Wicca" was meant to be and that's generally how it is used on this board. It's not our fault others took the term and turned it into "name-calling."

I've read Cunningham's book 'Solitary Wicca' and found it to be a very good book. Wish I still had it. I've read a number of other books, I think over eleven, and I continue to learn. I've got no problem with Neo-Wicca, and that's the path that I've returned to. Add the fact that I'm also reading about, and practicing, Kitchen Witchery, and I think that I should, in the end, be a very well read person.

I do agree that there is a difference between Cunningham's book and SRW's books. This long period between the two, from what I've read on the years that both were written as copyright. Solitary Witch is older than 'To Ride a Silver Broomstick' and Silver's book, 'The Stir A Magick Cauldron' was actually the first book that I read. I didn't know anything about Scott Cunningham or even Gardner. I think that Silver mentioned him in her first book, though.

I hope I made some sense here.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 11:12:39 am by FollowerofOdin »

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