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Author Topic: Interested in Wicca but Wiccans scare me  (Read 9550 times)
Wonderbug
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« Topic Start: January 26, 2010, 02:42:59 pm »

I'm happy to say I'm not Wicca-curious because "every other cool person is doing it". This nature-based pagan religion resonates with me and I find books about it extremely fascinating. In other words, I'm doing independent research.

However, I am very hesitant. The Wiccan community kind of scares me. This is not some stereotype I've conjured up in my mind. I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project? And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

The community is important to me because I don't really want to be a solitary practitioner, if I were to follow this path. But the darkness permeating Wiccans makes me weary and distrustful.

I hope I haven't offended anyone.
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« Reply #1: January 26, 2010, 03:19:51 pm »

However, I am very hesitant. The Wiccan community kind of scares me. This is not some stereotype I've conjured up in my mind. I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project? And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

Fortunately for a lot of us, this is not the whole community. (I do not identify myself as Wiccan generally, as it's a little inaccurate when we get precise, but initiatory religious witchcraft tradition, yes. Wiccan-influenced, yes. initiatory three-degree system with mystery aspects that works in a circle, with four elements, and with both male and female)

Anyway: there are lots of us out here who aren't those things. I'm currently wearing a black skirt (practical! pockets!) but a seafoam-green shirt, a necklace made of silver and light blue stones and glass, and a silver spiral hair pin. I look pretty much like a slightly eclectic librarian, which is pretty much what I am. (Hence practical shoes and clothing, because I'm as likely to be crawling under a desk as walking around for an hour helping people as typing.)

My music tendencies veer towards Pagan musicians, but also people whose music focuses on myth, legend, and related topics (some filkers out of the SF community, some traditional British folk music, some modern Scandinavian stuff that hearkens back to traditional forms, some musicals, and a side of early European music (medieval, renaissance). And my reading is all over the place, though I can blame being a librarian for that.

My current student is a tech support person. The people who trained me work for the state lottery and as a counsellor/therapist. Other people in the community I know work for medical device companies, as teachers,  in a variety of customer service roles. We've tended to cluster in education, geekery-for-fun-and-profit, and in health care of various kinds, but that's just a tendency. Our reading, music, and movie tastes are all over the map, but pretty wide ranging. (My teacher's music tastes range from Pagan stuff to jazz to very theoretical 20th century composers, for example.)

One thing I'd look at, as you look at various websites, is that the people who are either older and/or have several years experience in the Craft community, rather than being relatively new (5-10 years) and who seem to be reasonably well-centered in reality will tend away from what you've discovered so far. (Even the folks who are deliberately Goth, and I know some great ones, will have other stuff in their lives they're fascinated by, if they've gotten past that initial infatuation stage where Everything Is All Serious All The Time).
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« Reply #2: January 26, 2010, 04:28:10 pm »

I'm happy to say I'm not Wicca-curious because "every other cool person is doing it". This nature-based pagan religion resonates with me and I find books about it extremely fascinating. In other words, I'm doing independent research.

However, I am very hesitant. The Wiccan community kind of scares me. This is not some stereotype I've conjured up in my mind. I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project? And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

The community is important to me because I don't really want to be a solitary practitioner, if I were to follow this path. But the darkness permeating Wiccans makes me weary and distrustful.

I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Not Wiccan myself, but personally, I don't think the Craft is a bad movie, or even a bad pagan movie.  Sure it has a psycho evil witch, but it also has a witch as it's protagonist, and, within a Wiccan context, it does make use of the Threefold Law where the bad witches get their comeuppance.  I can totally understand why a Wiccan would like it.  You just side with the NOT-EVIL one.

In regards to the other things: what's wrong with Evanescence?  Amy Lee is HOT, and she has a good voice; Black can be classic and sophisticated or simply mysterious as easily as it can be "grim"; and I feel that darkness need not be equated with evil in the first place.  Darkness can be nice.  The dark of the night sky is filled with the beauties of the moon and the myriad stars.  In a sort of pagany sense, darkness can be the womb of the mother goddess (whichever you like).
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« Reply #3: January 26, 2010, 04:34:48 pm »

I'm happy to say I'm not Wicca-curious because "every other cool person is doing it". This nature-based pagan religion resonates with me and I find books about it extremely fascinating. In other words, I'm doing independent research.

However, I am very hesitant. The Wiccan community kind of scares me. This is not some stereotype I've conjured up in my mind. I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project? And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

The community is important to me because I don't really want to be a solitary practitioner, if I were to follow this path. But the darkness permeating Wiccans makes me weary and distrustful.

I hope I haven't offended anyone.


There are some very grounded, sane, smart Wiccan. You just have to hunt for them. You bring up an interesting topic to me because I often rant about my own community's failings. I'm not Wiccan, but we have some of the same problems. OTOH, there are some pretty dark, negative, malicious Christians too. (Hellfire and brimstone anyone?) You get what you concentrate on... Just focus on the types of Wiccan/Witches you want to be friends with/work with/or get to know, and ignore the rest.

As for the color black, it is not a negative color--it's been given negative connotations however by a public that thrives on sensationalism and horror. IOW, people project their fears, prejudices, etc. onto things. Why do people never say that nuns or priests who wear black are "evil", grim, etc.? Think about it. I'm not goth, but I wear black a lot because it looks good on me/I look good in it. But I also wear blue, green, and less often red.

BTW, my fav Witchy movie is "Bell, Book and Candle". Smiley
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« Reply #4: January 26, 2010, 04:45:27 pm »

In a sort of pagany sense, darkness can be the womb of the mother goddess (whichever you like).

Ooo, that's very Feri. Wink

BTW, I like your counterpoints about "The Craft."

Which leads me to wonder, Wonderbug...perhaps you are focusing on the negative? Might that be a projection of your own fears? As I said, you get what you concentrate on... Expect darkness, etc., and you will see it mirrored around you, because you'll be looking for it. Just like Xtians see Satan at every turn.

Frankly, I see far more Wiccan listing "Practical Magic" as their fav movie!
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« Reply #5: January 26, 2010, 04:53:48 pm »


What you're describing is not, by any sense of the word, an accurate description of the greater Wiccan community at large. (It sounds like you're describing some stereotypical teenager's MySpace page actually.  Roll Eyes) As stated by other people, darkness and black don't necessarily equate to evil, and neither does adopting the goth scene make one Wiccan. I myself am not Wiccan because I find too many strains of it to be too light for my liking. It's all in which parts someone chooses to focus on, I suppose.

I suggest this site (http://wicca.timerift.net/ ) as a good, non-fluffy, non-Evanescence alternative to the sites you were talking about. (Maybe you could post a few links to show what you're talking about? I have a feeling they'd be good for a laugh.)

Also, while I do like Evanescence, I absolutely hated The Craft. That movie disturbed me on a bunch of levels and I never, ever want to see it again.

Not all Wiccans focus on the dark, or portray it in the way that you've described. Do some more research, pick up a couple books (there are plenty of good recommendations, but Scott Cunningham is still one of my favorite Wiccan authors), and explore the religion firsthand yourself. If you don't like what you've seen on some of these websites, do it differently! There are a million ways to honor the God and the Goddess, and you don't have to do anything you don't want to.

Cheers (and welcome to TC!)
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« Reply #6: January 26, 2010, 05:27:03 pm »

I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project?

Some web sites attract people like that that. It has little to do with their religion and much to do with their personality (and age, in some cases). I know of a lot of Wiccans like you describe, but most of the Wiccans I actually know well in real life aren't like that at all.  The Wiccans you describe are just the loudest and most easily noticed type -- like Protestant fundies are the loudest and most noticeable type of Christians in the US. Neither are very representative of their religion as a whole, however.
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« Reply #7: January 26, 2010, 05:36:21 pm »


Actually, I know exactly what you mean.  There are very few pagan-oriented or Wiccan-oriented forums and sites that I use, for this very reason (well, that, or the other extreme wherein the site seems to have been invaded by Disney's version of fairies).  I would like to reassure you that there are scads of practitioners who aren't all Vampy McDarkpants about it, but the Internet being what it is, the most "vocal" people tend to be younger and into that sort of thing while the rest of us have a quieter way.

That said, I identify with the goth scene, myself, and have darker tendencies anyway.  Doesn't mean anything regarding my spirituality; I just like a certain kind of music and tend to wear dark colours (hey, they look good on me).

Edited to add: looks like Randall and I were answering at the same time and pretty much along a similar vein. Smiley
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« Reply #8: January 26, 2010, 05:59:02 pm »

BTW, my fav Witchy movie is "Bell, Book and Candle". Smiley

Ha! What a coincidence, I am watching Bell, Book, and Candle right now! I love this movie! Lol, Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite actors.

In regards to the topic at hand, however:

I think that a lot of the groups that DO fit in with the stereotype you are presenting (and there do seem to be quite a few) are succumbing to their own desire to be "individual." It is the constant problem with people who try to be non-conformist for the sake of being non-conformist. By wearing black and doing other things that seem to seperate them from others, they are forming their own stereotype. Some of it, IMO, is this and some the things others have already mentioned in this thread.
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« Reply #9: January 26, 2010, 08:16:18 pm »

Ooo, that's very Feri. Wink

I've looked into Feri, and I like it a lot.  I'm not sure going fully Feri is right for me, but I do have tremendous respect for it, and find a number of Feri tools useful.
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« Reply #10: January 26, 2010, 09:03:14 pm »

 I would like to reassure you that there are scads of practitioners who aren't all Vampy McDarkpants about it...

Favorite line of the day!!!!  Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #11: January 26, 2010, 11:11:21 pm »

Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project?

"Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a disservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this, I am sure." -Alan Moore. Smiley

I think if there's any logical connection between Wicca and "dark" themes, it's probably in the fact that there are a lot of cthonic aspects to the religion. Even though it's a fertility religion, it also focuses on death as part of the cycle of life, and there are aspects of the Wiccan gods that reflect that, such as the Hunter or the Crone. In my opinion, a lot of newcomers to Wicca like to play up and focus on the dark subjects because they appreciate the fact that it's there at all. It's a contrast to the more typical social attitudes that death and darkness are bad and shouldn't ever be talked about.

However, most people who end up sticking with Wicca will balance that out over time. Most traditional and/or sane groups will not spend all their time and focus on spooky woo-woo stuff. If you're one of those Earth Mama types, you'll be gold - the vast majority of Wiccan groups and practitioners I've come across have been far more "earthy" than "Underworld-y." (Yes I am referencing that movie. Cheesy)
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« Reply #12: January 27, 2010, 12:37:36 am »

However, I am very hesitant. The Wiccan community kind of scares me. This is not some stereotype I've conjured up in my mind. I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project? And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

The community is important to me because I don't really want to be a solitary practitioner, if I were to follow this path. But the darkness permeating Wiccans makes me weary and distrustful.

I'm not a Wiccan, but I like Evanescence (good music, not fussed about their religion), I wear black because a) I am very pale skinned with long dark hair and very sharp angles to my face and it looks good on me and b) because it is very slimming (sshhh-don't tell anyone that I need to look slimmer, will you?), and I enjoy the Craft as just a very interesting film, nothing more. If you want to listen to a band that just screams Pagan, try looking up some Sonata Arctica. They are a rock band from Finland and they are a completely Pagan group. I have all their albums and they are brilliant live.

I think that you will find a 'darkness' as you called it in most religions, but you need to try to look past it and see the real content behind that first page, as it were.
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« Reply #13: January 27, 2010, 01:15:45 am »

I'm happy to say I'm not Wicca-curious because "every other cool person is doing it". This nature-based pagan religion resonates with me and I find books about it extremely fascinating. In other words, I'm doing independent research.

However, I am very hesitant. The Wiccan community kind of scares me. This is not some stereotype I've conjured up in my mind. I've visited many Wiccan community websites and networks. Why is it so rare not to find a Wiccan not addicted to grim black color, sinister music or even Evanescence (yuck)? It's a huge turnoff for me, personally. Why is there so much darkness that many Wiccans seem to project? And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

The community is important to me because I don't really want to be a solitary practitioner, if I were to follow this path. But the darkness permeating Wiccans makes me weary and distrustful.

I hope I haven't offended anyone.

These are a lot of stereotypes associated with neo-pagan community. I've actually seen the complete opposite, with wiccans/neo-wiccans that associate too much with "love&light". I think you'd have to look at the lifestyle and age range of these people as well. Most of the Traditional Wiccans I know keep low profiles, and you'd only be able to encounter them on their private, invite only sites. I'd recommend seeking out a proper coven in your area, that I'm sure would be able to give you a different perspective. http://www.witchvox.com/vn/gr/usny_gra.html
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« Reply #14: January 27, 2010, 10:20:22 am »

And it also seems that even though stereotyped media is despised in the Wiccan community, many of them list "The Craft" as one of their top favorite movies. I hate that movie so much.

Heh, I just dressed up "The Craft" style for a 90's party recently. Funnily enough, I thought I looked pretty boss rocking the gothic schoolgirl look. Normally, you wouldn't be able to tell me from your average atheist or apathetic young adult (definitely couldn't mistake me for a Christian  Cheesy) I wear bright colors and tend to enjoy the goofier things in life, though I do enjoy horror movies, especially bad ones.  At any rate, I think everyone has already stated what needs to be said, we're not all goth obsessed, and dark things aren't necessarily evil and so on. Please do post some of those links to the dismal gothic sounding forums.
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