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Author Topic: Interested in Wicca but Wiccans scare me  (Read 9549 times)
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« Reply #15: January 27, 2010, 02:33:55 pm »

"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
(Great quote.  I heart Alan. Wink)

I think it might be a generational thing, because I know very few dark, gothy pagans.  Most of my pagan aquaintances are old hippies, especially the neo-wiccans among them.
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« Reply #16: January 27, 2010, 04:53:53 pm »

(Great quote.  I heart Alan. Wink)

I think it might be a generational thing, because I know very few dark, gothy pagans.  Most of my pagan aquaintances are old hippies, especially the neo-wiccans among them.

*looks innocent*  Old hippies?  Where?  *hides love beads, handmade patchwork skirts and patchouli bottles*  I don't see any old hippies. *tucks away vast collection of Grateful Dead stuff and switches music* 

*sigh*  Okay, you got me.  Dyed in the wool (and dyes wool, too) old hippie here. 

My experience is that the younger pagans, converts mostly, go for the goth thing mostly, while those who are either lifers or converted before 1980ish are hippies.  Mind you, we all tend to also be rather amazing chameleons.  I can fit in at a hoity-toity formal event, pull of business attire or pretty much anything else, as required.  My everyday attire, though, is Cali '70s hippie child with a soupçon of Midwestern rural for flavor.
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« Reply #17: January 31, 2010, 07:56:42 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.


Well, I am Wiccan. I love the colour black and Evanescence. The colour black makes me look thinner and Evanescence was the music I listened to during a really tough time in my life. I was very turned off by Wicca when it was a fad at my high schol, and when I started I practiced quietly so people would leave me alone about it. And I rarely talk about it to other people who have tried out Wicca before; it's really personal to me.

Oh, and I have never watched The Craft...  I hope you find happiness on whatever path you choose, good luck!
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« Reply #18: January 31, 2010, 08:40:07 pm »

I was very turned off by Wicca when it was a fad at my high schol...

It was a fad at my high school, too, and has always left me with an unfortunately bitter taste when I hear the word 'Wicca'. My then best friend started to gravitate that direction, not to the Wicca portion exactly, but the whole dark, goth, doom-and-gloom thing. She started dating a guy who thought he was a vampire and would bite her neck in the middle of the hallway and she wore a collar for which he had the leash and they'd walk through school that way, with her trailing behind him like a pet. At the same time, she started hanging out with two seniors who had recently discovered Wicca and were obsessive with telling peoples' futures with their tarot decks, and there ended up being a huge fight between these two because one treated her deck sacredly and wouldn't let others touch it while the other would hand it around willy-nilly. They would argue over who took it more seriously. These two girls, along with the vampire boyfriend, started actively pulling my friend away from me, and she was beginning to rebel against her birth religion, Catholicism, which she'd embraced up until about this point. She loved the darkness and the bad connotations that go with it and she took to cutting herself so she could taste her own blood. A lot of scary, scary things happened, especially for little ole me, at the time. We had a huge falling out and, unfortunately, I associated Wicca with all those other dark, scary things and all the pain that year in high school brought me.

That being said, I do know that my perception is greatly flawed exactly because of this experience, and that I need to separate the experience and the people involved from the Wiccan community as a whole. The farther I go down my own path (which is not Wicca), the more I encounter people who are who couldn't possibly be more different from those high school witches, and it's a wonderful eye opener. And then it makes me sad that what I encountered was the worst of the stereotypes, the gothic doom-and-gloom witches (who all loved Evanescence, too). So I'm working very hard to rid myself of this bad aftertaste.

Years and years later, this ex-best friend and I have made amends, are friends once again, though definitely not in the tight, sisterly way we were as teenagers. And after her foray into doom-and-gloom, she has now developed a strong interest in Kemeticism, to the point where she spent a couple weeks in Egypt. At the same time, I've begun down my Celtic path, so really we're still no different, we just took very different paths to get where we are.

I agree, though, black is a very slimming color indeed!
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« Reply #19: February 08, 2010, 04:23:42 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.


My first "calling" into paganism was back in high school and Wicca was my first intro.  But when I went into my neighborhood pagan bookstore, I had a Raymond Buckley book and a Raymond Buckley wanna-be who, I felt, wanted nothing more than to practice the Great Rite sky-clad with me (I was a hot little number back then!).

It freaked me out so badly that I didn't find my way back to paganism until seven years later.  My degree is in biology, so I very much related to earth-based theologies and I found my way back to Wicca (I'm not Wiccan now, however).

So what I learned was that that guy was a total dickweed and had nothing to do with Wicca as I came to understand it.

My advice is, don't just judge Wicca by some of its proponents, just as you shouldn't just Christianity or any other religion by some of its proponents.  Go to the source.

There's some funky people out there.  Bypass them and go to the source.

Me ka pono~
Pythuna
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« Reply #20: February 08, 2010, 01:57:58 pm »

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.

Not to sound flip, but it doesn't seem to me like you've found a good cross-section of the Wiccan community. Out of the 50+ folks involved in my Wiccan tradition, most of us wouldn't get a second look in Walmart or the grocery store. I wear jeans and t-shirts with science fiction stuff on them most of the time.

But the greater question I think you should explore is what's so scary/icky about goth people and exploring dark topics. Wiccans in general don't shy away from exploring deep personal issues, death, war, and other scary things. Are you uncomfortable with the shadow aspects of life, or do you merely find goth stereotypes annoying?

Karen
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« Reply #21: May 27, 2010, 06:47:54 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.

You're absolutely right! This isn't something you conjured up. It's sad that it's become a stereotype. I myself am new to the Pagan paths. I at one point wasn't hesitant for this very reason. Then I started reading and realized it's a trend. I don't know if you've noticed but 'bisexuality' has sort of become a trend too.
My suggestion? Find some interesting books, and start reading. I think you too will realize the difference.
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« Reply #22: June 19, 2010, 12:15:47 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.

Okay I'm going to try and answer in depth here, so try to follow my meanderings and I apologize if I offend anyone...:-P
I completely understand your concern, having been down this road myself as a teen. What I have found through research and just plain experience is that USUALLY the kind of "Wiccan community" you speak of, carrying on the goth look and horror movies, tend to just be youngsters experimenting with rebellion and has little to do with the religion of Wicca. Few of these kids even really understand what they're doing and mix all sorts of myths and movie nonsense into their craft.

Wicca in a nutshell is more an ancient nature religion emphasizing worship or respect to a multi-faceted Goddess or male/female pair of deities, the essence of the human spirit creating a bond among its followers. Often seen as a "female" religion because healing and herbalism are part of it, naturally leading to skilled midwives. Now bring along strong conquering Christianity with its patriarchal and misogynistic tendencies, and Wicca becomes easy fodder for missionaries to malign. Practice of magic outside the Church is forbidden, therefore Wiccans become pagan witches. Wicca emphasizes the feminine spirit of sex and motherhood, which the Christians want control of, so midwifery goes from a welcome and respected art to a menial drudgery. Centuries later, add in Kabbalah, the nineteenth/20th-century orders such as Golden Dawn,Thelema, and Satanism and people get really confused. Smiley Raymond Buckland's popular books combine all sorts of rituals from vastly different beliefs and string them all together then label it under the generic term "witchcraft" or Wicca.

So, quick history lesson over, that means that the majority of people basically have no clue what they're talking about when it comes to witchcraft or Wicca, which are not necessarily the same thing. (And I am not referring to anyone present here!) Goth is a completely different thing, a musical style and aesthetic that in itself has nothing to do with any kind of spellcraft or religion. Blame Hollywood for turning all Goths into demonic magicians (and I should know, having been a Goth myself for over twenty years! lol) Unless specifically called for in a ritual, no religion or magical order requires a full-time "look". So I would trust your instincts and be wary of a coven that bothers you; they probably will not make you comfortable with yourself as you should be. Honestly like others have pointed out too, most of the lifelong Wiccan practitioners I know could waltz through WalMart and the local bank without a second glance :-) I too started out with the teenage "Wiccan" coven, but didn't like it much and over the years found out they were more Golden Dawn than Wiccan...eventually I found my own way to this group and realized that I've been practicing Chaos magick my whole life without even knowing what it was...

If you are starting on your journey, hold on to the concepts you LIKE and try to find the most comfortable group or practice for YOU. As you grow in that environment, you will become more relaxed and confident about exploring outside that comfort zone. Push it too far too fast, and it will scar you and turn you off forever.
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« Reply #23: June 19, 2010, 12:36:21 pm »

Wicca in a nutshell is more an ancient nature religion emphasizing worship or respect to a multi-faceted Goddess or male/female pair of deities, the essence of the human spirit creating a bond among its followers. Often seen as a "female" religion because healing and herbalism are part of it, naturally leading to skilled midwives. Now bring along strong conquering Christianity with its patriarchal and misogynistic tendencies, and Wicca becomes easy fodder for missionaries to malign. Practice of magic outside the Church is forbidden, therefore Wiccans become pagan witches. Wicca emphasizes the feminine spirit of sex and motherhood, which the Christians want control of, so midwifery goes from a welcome and respected art to a menial drudgery. Centuries later, add in Kabbalah, the nineteenth/20th-century orders such as Golden Dawn,Thelema, and Satanism and people get really confused. Smiley Raymond Buckland's popular books combine all sorts of rituals from vastly different beliefs and string them all together then label it under the generic term "witchcraft" or Wicca.

So, quick history lesson over,

This is not history.  This is not even history-ish.  This is a fable told in the recent past to attempt to give lineage and legitimacy to a brand-new religion.  It is on a level with the Great Universal Matriarchy and the 9 Million Witches Killed in the Burning Times.

I will leave it to Sunflower or Jennet or Amberheart to give the correct info, as they are both more knowledgeable and more patient than I am.  Neither Wicca nor witchcraft-as-religion have ancient ties, unless you count the last couple of centuries as ancient.  That was commonly taught and believed during the latter part of the 20th century in a great many places, but it is simply not true.

Absent
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« Reply #24: June 19, 2010, 12:58:21 pm »

I will leave it to Sunflower or Jennet or Amberheart to give the correct info, as they are both more knowledgeable and more patient than I am.  Neither Wicca nor witchcraft-as-religion have ancient ties, unless you count the last couple of centuries as ancient.  That was commonly taught and believed during the latter part of the 20th century in a great many places, but it is simply not true.

I think you did an exemplary job.  I'm just sitting over here twitching and making clicking noises in my throat.  Kudos to you.

Brina
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« Reply #25: June 19, 2010, 03:01:40 pm »

This is not history.  This is not even history-ish.

I completely forgot to post this.

Brina
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« Reply #26: June 20, 2010, 01:22:03 pm »

This is not history.  This is not even history-ish.  This is a fable told in the recent past to attempt to give lineage and legitimacy to a brand-new religion.  It is on a level with the Great Universal Matriarchy and the 9 Million Witches Killed in the Burning Times.

I will leave it to Sunflower or Jennet or Amberheart to give the correct info, as they are both more knowledgeable and more patient than I am.  Neither Wicca nor witchcraft-as-religion have ancient ties, unless you count the last couple of centuries as ancient.  That was commonly taught and believed during the latter part of the 20th century in a great many places, but it is simply not true.

Absent

Hey, no need to attack here! Sad
Sorry but I was relating what I picked up from several books and people I personally spoke with. No I don't claim to have done a ton of research into the origins of the term Wicca, I was just trying to explain that there are a lot of strange ideas about what witchcraft is. And OK maybe I've heard a lot of bull too...but have never come across any more "accurate" sources...
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« Reply #27: June 20, 2010, 01:40:07 pm »

Hey, no need to attack here!

Nobody attacked you.  It is a touchy subject here, however.

Quote
And OK maybe I've heard a lot of bull too...but have never come across any more "accurate" sources...

There a ton of great resources available.  In the beginning, you probably want to stay away from popular press titles and read books put out by university presses.  It generally indicates a title that was peer-reviewed, meaning that the author's academic peers reviewed the research.  The Cauldron has a great section of book reviews for your perusal:  www.ecauldron.net/bookstore.php

Should get you started.  Wink

Brina

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« Reply #28: June 20, 2010, 05:32:21 pm »

There a ton of great resources available.  In the beginning, you probably want to stay away from popular press titles and read books put out by university presses.  It generally indicates a title that was peer-reviewed, meaning that the author's academic peers reviewed the research.  The Cauldron has a great section of book reviews for your perusal:  www.ecauldron.net/bookstore.php

Should get you started.  Wink

Brina

Thank you :-)
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« Reply #29: June 21, 2010, 12:48:39 am »

Thank you

You're very welcome.  Smiley

Brina
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