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Author Topic: Eclectic Neo-Paganism? Some Questions  (Read 2476 times)

Willow

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Eclectic Neo-Paganism? Some Questions
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:41:16 am »
I tried looking at a few sites about Eclectic Neo-Paganism. But It just didn't really all make sense to me on what exactly it is. After a huge debate on another site about Wicca and Eclectic I just decided to look into Eclectic Neo-Pagan because I was told it was more of what I was doing.

So I have some questions, I get that the things they follow are similar to the Wiccan Rede. That makes sense.

So, from what I've read it's just a combination of different Pagan traditions?

When I was practicing before, I had my book of shadows with spells and such. But I also have some random blurbs to the Lord and Lady. I was wondering if that was okay to have in there?

I get that they believe similar things to what the Wiccan Rede says, but what exactly do they believe?

I know this might make me look dumb, but I would just rather have it explained by people then keep looking for stuff on the internet where I'm never sure if the information is correct.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 08:21:52 am by RandallS »

Elani Temperance

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Re: I have some questions
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 03:27:25 am »
Quote from: Willow;64516
I tried looking at a few sites about Eclectic Neo-Paganism. But It just didn't really all make sense to me on what exactly it is. After a huge debate on another site about Wicca and Eclectic I just decided to look into Eclectic Neo-Pagan because I was told it was more of what I was doing.

I'm going to answer your questions to the best of my abilities but I first want to share that I think the practice defines the practice, not the label. A label comes after you have settled your practice. From that point on, you can add to or subtract from your practice to fit the label. I could call myself Christian without doing any of the work; taking a label is easy, but it's a lot harder to actually be Christian. This goes for any religion, including the host of Traditions we assume to be under the Neo-Pagan banner. So don't get bogged down by labels; practice should come first.

Quote from: Willow;64516
So I have some questions, I get that the things they follow are similar to the Wiccan Rede. That makes sense. So, from what I've read it's just a combination of different Pagan traditions? I get that they believe similar things to what the Wiccan Rede says, but what exactly do they believe?

Yes and no to all of this. Eclectic (Religious) Witchcraft is a kind of catch-all for anyone who practices something related to any of the Traditions within Neo-Paganism but combines too much of two or more of them to fit under any one Tradition. This means that some Eclectics follow the Rede, others don't. Some worship the God and Goddess, others don't. Some practice magick, others don't. Eclecticism is exactly what it advocates to be; eclectic. Drawing conclusions on this group is virtually impossible beyond the fact that they don't follow a single Tradition.

The real difficulty is in the understanding of the difference between Neo-Wicca and Eclectic Religious Witchcraft. Wicca is (or should be, IMHO) a protected term. You need to be initiated into it, it should be practiced in a coven and that coven needs to be lineaged properly to Gardner. A Neo-Wiccan, then, is anyone who practices from the Outer Court material of Wicca, available in books written by the likes of Cunningham et al. Most often, these are solitary practitioners whose religious practice resembles Wicca (so it includes the worship of the God and Goddess, holds fast to the Rede and the magickal system used is related to the Wiccan one) but because they are not lineaged and don't have access to the full body of work from the Wicca Tradition, they are not allowed (and yes, I use that word with thought) to call themselves Wiccan.

The difference between Neo-Wicca and Eclecticism, to me, is that within Eclecticism, you are free to reject parts of the Neo-Wiccan banner and substitute your own. You could, for example, honor the God and Goddess but discard the Rede and the (Neo-)Wiccan magical system. In its place you could accept the Nine Noble Values from the Asatru teachings as your moral guideline and practice Hoodoo as a magickal system.

I hope this makes the difference a bit more visible.

Quote from: Willow;64516
When I was practicing before, I had my book of shadows with spells and such. But I also have some random blurbs to the Lord and Lady. I was wondering if that was okay to have in there?

Your practice is your practice. There is no right or wrong about it. Some systems are safer than others but worshipping the God and Goddess as well as having a magickal system in place seems just fine to me.

Quote from: Willow;64516
I know this might make me look dumb, but I would just rather have it explained by people then keep looking for stuff on the internet where I'm never sure if the information is correct.

Two things; anything said by any of us is always subjective, just like anything you read on the internet (mostly because this forum is part of the internet) and no question is dumb. Looking for an informed opinion (because that is what we can give you) is a good thing and no one here is going to think you're dumb for asking a perfectly valid question. We all started out once and we all struggled with the realization that our religious and/or magickal practice came with an opinionated community. Feel free to ask whatever you want, that's what the beginners section of the forum is there for.

Also, welcome to  the Cauldron! If you would like to, you can share a bit about yourself here so we can properly greet you.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 03:29:21 am by Elani Temperance »
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HeartShadow

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Re: I have some questions
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 07:09:17 am »
Quote from: Willow;64516


 
The problem is, you're looking at the *other* that's already IN the *other* category.  There's the *other* of pagan, then there's the *other* inside that of eclectic.

Which means, honestly, that it doesn't mean anything in-itself.  If that was the only information on someone that I had, it could mean anything from fairly Wiccish with some odd elements to worships Sputnik as the new hope for humanity.  (I'm pretty sure I made that last one up, but who knows, google weird enough and you may find it!)

So it's really impossible to say if something fits or doesn't.  Anything presenting that as a specific path (as opposed to THEIR specific path) is confused.  My eclectic does not need to match your eclectic in ANY WAY, that's what the word means.

Does that help at all?

SatAset

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Re: Eclectic Neo-Paganism? Some Questions
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 09:09:03 am »
Quote from: Willow;64516
I tried looking at a few sites about Eclectic Neo-Paganism. But It just didn't really all make sense to me on what exactly it is. After a huge debate on another site about Wicca and Eclectic I just decided to look into Eclectic Neo-Pagan because I was told it was more of what I was doing.


 
You may find these links helpful.  Here is the Pagan Primer: http://www.ecauldron.net/newpagan.php

Here is Darkhawk's essay on Eclectic  Paganism: http://www.ecauldron.net/eclecticism.php
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

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