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Author Topic: Prejudice in the pagan community against "neo-wicca" - what do you think?  (Read 11939 times)

outlaw393

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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.


When I was Wiccan I used to HATE the term "neo-wicca". It's a term to further divide people.

To me Wicca is Wicca.
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yewberry

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Quote from: outlaw393;108510
When I was Wiccan I used to HATE the term "neo-wicca". It's a term to further divide people.

To me Wicca is Wicca.


You do understand how mystery traditions work, right?

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Quote from: outlaw393;108510
To me Wicca is Wicca.

That's like saying "Christian" is "Christian" so there is no need to distinguish between a Southern Baptist and a Catholic in discussion they all believe and practice the identical religion.
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Quote from: RandallS;108523
That's like saying "Christian" is "Christian" so there is no need to distinguish between a Southern Baptist and a Catholic in discussion they all believe and practice the identical religion.

 
Well, compared to Wicca and neo-Wicca, they do.  Heh.
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Quote from: yewberry;108512
You do understand how mystery traditions work, right?

Brina

This would be very applicable if Wicca was solely an initiatory religion. It's just plain not like that anymore. Traditional Wicca is, sure, and I will not contend that it isn't. But Wicca is more than just the Traditional form. It has changed to include solitaries and non-lineaged covens. Acting as if these variations aren't Wicca, and referring to them in derisive terms, is prejudicial and closed-minded.

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Quote from: Louisvillian;108526
This would be very applicable if Wicca was solely an initiatory religion. It's just plain not like that anymore. Traditional Wicca is, sure, and I will not contend that it isn't. But Wicca is more than just the Traditional form. It has changed to include solitaries and non-lineaged covens. Acting as if these variations aren't Wicca, and referring to them in derisive terms, is prejudicial and closed-minded.

Otoh, there does need to be a way to differentiate is there are going to be actual conversations on the subject.  Otherwise it really is a meaningless word.

MadZealot

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Quote from: RandallS;108523
That's like saying "Christian" is "Christian" so there is no need to distinguish between a Southern Baptist and a Catholic in discussion they all believe and practice the identical religion.

 

Yes, it's intellectually unsound, and ingnorant of some pretty substantial organizational and doctrinal differences.
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yewberry

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Quote from: Louisvillian;108526
Acting as if these variations aren't Wicca, and referring to them in derisive terms, is prejudicial and closed-minded.

 
Who's doing that here?  Neo-Wicca isn't inherently a derisive term.  And it certainly isn't on this forum.

Dude, I don't care what anyone calls themselves.  I honestly don't.  But don't assume I'm going to stop using useful terminology because you've decided it means something it doesn't.

Brina

Snowdrop

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Quote from: Louisvillian;108526
This would be very applicable if Wicca was solely an initiatory religion. It's just plain not like that anymore. Traditional Wicca is, sure, and I will not contend that it isn't. But Wicca is more than just the Traditional form. It has changed to include solitaries and non-lineaged covens. Acting as if these variations aren't Wicca, and referring to them in derisive terms, is prejudicial and closed-minded.

 
I think it's one of those things where having terminology to separate the groups is extremely useful, but it does need to be used judiciously.  The comparison to the Christian situation is fairly appropriate: it's good to have words for all of the different denominations, so that we do have the understanding that when we're talking about something Pentecostals do or belief, that may or may not apply to Anglicans.  On the other hand, in Christianity also the denomination terms get used in a biased way.  ("They're not Christian; they're Catholic.  It's totally different.")

It's the same with Wicca.  What exactly comprises Wicca is pretty amorphous since it's begun to change and expand so much, so one can't exactly say Neo-Wiccans "aren't Wiccan."  On the other hand, refusing to make the distinction makes it impossible to define what either form of Wicca actually is.  

The books I read when I went through my Neo-Wiccan phase did a particularly bad job of this: they mentioned that Trad-Wicca exists and talked about what some of the trads are, but then implied that what they were teaching was the same as the trads anyway, so the distinction didn't really matter.  And seriously?  This was confusing.  For years I wondered why anyone would go to the work of seeking out a trad coven and joining it when they could just pick up a $20 book at Barnes and Noble and get the same thing.

I mean, I think prejudice against Neo-Wicca is a real thing, but I think it's also largely a response to big-name Neo-Wiccans not being clear about the difference between their teachings and Trad-Wicca.

Enid

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Quote from: HeartShadow;108527
Otoh, there does need to be a way to differentiate is there are going to be actual conversations on the subject.  Otherwise it really is a meaningless word.

 
To some degree, Wicca is a meaningless word. In my almost 20 years in the Pagan community, there have been so many people claiming that Wicca is so many different things. Words do have meanings. I think part of that is so many of the 1990's and early 2000's books that treated Wicca as a kind of "choose your own adventure" religion, or as my friend calls it the "Chinese Restaurant Menu" - I'll take a goddess from column A, a god from column B, and two egg rolls. The books told us anything could be Wicca, we could call upon any goddess and god without any really background. Which ended up with me being in a ceremony for the great and loving Kali.

I think that having defined words such as Trad-Wicca, Neo-Wicca, Eclectic Wicca, and the like help Wicca a great deal. I know many Pagans, especially recons, kind of turn up their nose when they hear Wiccan, but only because it's hard to understand what Wicca is based on encounters with practitioners.
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Quote from: Enid;108537
I think that having defined words such as Trad-Wicca, Neo-Wicca, Eclectic Wicca, and the like help Wicca a great deal. I know many Pagans, especially recons, kind of turn up their nose when they hear Wiccan, but only because it's hard to understand what Wicca is based on encounters with practitioners.

 
This, exactly.

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Phouka

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Quote from: Micheál;55532
Oh yes, indeed. What I do find odd is that many who do enter the pagan community on his Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, and think they're connecting with ancient concepts that they feel entitled to label "Wicca," tend to read over where he says in his own words during the preface, "The Wicca as described here is "new." It is not a revelation of ancient rituals handed down for thousands of years." I can definitely see a foundation for Neo-Wicca there.


That's because most people (in my experience) do not read the prefaces or forwards of a book, but just jump to chapter one.

Khep

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Quote from: RandallS;55394
Definitely Neo-Wicca wasn't really around when Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitarty Practitioner was published -- his book isn't really Neo-Wiccan. However, by the time Ravenwolf's To Ride a Silver Broomstick was published, Neo-Wicca existed and this book was Neo-Wiccan.


I've been looking up definitions of several things like "magic," "animism," and so on, recently. So I'm finding this thread really interesting.  Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide . . . is one of the few books I've read so far.  I'm a little confused by the statement that it's not "really Neo-Wiccan."  I gather from this thread that BTW practitioners would not refer to it as "Wicca" either.  How, then, can the practises the book sets out be classified?
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Quote from: Khep;110572
I've been looking up definitions of several things like "magic," "animism," and so on, recently. So I'm finding this thread really interesting.  Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide . . . is one of the few books I've read so far.  I'm a little confused by the statement that it's not "really Neo-Wiccan."  I gather from this thread that BTW practitioners would not refer to it as "Wicca" either.  How, then, can the practises the book sets out be classified?

 
As being part of the third cluster of traits, in Jenett's article on the various different ways the word 'Wicca' is used, on her very useful Seeking pages.

One of the reasons 'NeoWicca' was coined, here on TC many years ago, was to distinguish it from Eclectic Wicca (more properly, eclectic neoPagan religious Witchcraft derived from exoterically-available materials on (BT)Wicca, but at the time it emerged, in the '70s, 'Wicca' was a more acceptable term for non-BTW to describe themselves with, than 'Witch') - that's, basically, what Jenett's third cluster of traits refers to. While there were already, under the 'Eclectic Wiccan' umbrella, people whose practices fit more with the fourth cluster, it wasn't the predominant form of 'not BTW but clearly related', or even readily distinguishable as a distinct thing - what Randall is refering to is the emergence of NeoWicca (or, roughly, that fourth cluster) as a thing distinct from EW.

Cunningham's Wicca was almost certainly instrumental in the emergence of NeoWicca as a distinct branch, but it's not itself NeoWiccan, except to those who class all non-BTW forms as 'NeoWicca' - an individual using Cunningham's book as a major source for developing a bootstrapped solitary practice might be anywhere along the continuum described by the third and fourth clusters.

As to how BTW initiates would refer to it, BTW is not a monolith, so it varies considerably - some would call it NeoWicca, some would call it Eclectic Wicca, some would just call it Pagan.

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Khep

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Quote from: SunflowerP;110576
As being part of the third cluster of traits, in Jenett's article on the various different ways the word 'Wicca' is used, on her very useful Seeking pages.


Thanks very much, Sunflower.  
I've learned another few interesting things just by reading through the linked page.

Khep
“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination.”    ― John Keats

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