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Author Topic: To be Wiccan  (Read 23017 times)
V
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« Reply #15: June 08, 2007, 01:57:33 pm »

...Silver Ravenwolf on beginning Wicca.


Yikes!  <<small shudder and shrug as I realize that I sat myself up for this when I said above that even bad books will be meaningful>>

Okay, I've recovered so I'll give my opinion:  I think most of the books fill one or more of the following categories of needs:  1)the book tells me what they do, 2)the book tells me how they feel when doing it, and 3)accuracy (which means to me that the author distinguishs the difference between what's based on fact and what's based on opinion, and the facts can be verified through authoritative sources. 

Note:  If the word "they" refers to those Wiccans who agree with the author who wrote it, then the book is a candidate for being considered GOOD.  If however the word "They" refers to the broader Wiccan community (resonates for a lot of diverse paths), then the book is a candidate for being considered GREAT.  In my answer, I'll distinguish between some Wiccans ("they") and the broader community ("They").

Maybe, I can further explain with examples.  I'll use 5 offerings to illustrate my point.  They are:

-Ravenwolf's To Ride..., To Stir..., and To Light... (I group them as one work because I see them as a set.)
-Cunningham's Living Wicca
-Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft
-Vivianne Crowley's Principles of Wicca
-Valiente's Witchcraft for Tomorrow

Category 1:  The book tells me what They do:
For me Vivianne Crowley's and Valiente's works are great!  (Crowley is great for beginners and Valiente is beyond great, but more advanced.)

Good books in the category of what they do include Cunningham and Buckland.

Category 2:  The book tells me how They feel: I rate Valiente's as beyond great and Cunningham and Crowley as great. 

A good books in the category of what they feel is Ravenwolf's.

Category 3:  Accuracy:  Valiente and Crowley seem great to me. 


Quote
...If Wicca is right for you, you will always end up back by the God and Goddess' side.  Merry Meet. Cheesy

I agree as long as we're talking about someone who is going to read a LOT of books and really test the information.

My tradition is eclectic so I encourage students to read a broad range of books--both from inside the Wiccan perspective and from outside the purely Wiccan perspective.  I do admit, however, that I heavily weight their reading list with books that were written before 1990.
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« Reply #16: June 08, 2007, 05:39:26 pm »

...Silver Ravenwolf on beginning Wicca. 

Granted, Silly Feathered Puppy is terrible on most things, but I will say that for correspondences listings/circle castings/etc--ie, anything that doesn't have to do with history or morality--she's ok. (I actually joined this site because of an article I read on here about how she's the worst thing to happen to Wicca.) I started out on Teen Witch and I didn't turn out so bad! Wink By the time I got around to reading the To Stir/Light/Set On Fire/Whatever set I was pretty over her condescending tone, and just read it for magick theory/correspondences/etc. For starting out I would definitely recommend Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. Or anything else by him. If you must read SFP/SRW, keep your salt shaker handy.
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« Reply #17: June 08, 2007, 06:05:24 pm »

Granted, Silly Feathered Puppy is terrible on most things, but I will say that for correspondences listings/circle castings/etc--ie, anything that doesn't have to do with history or morality--she's ok.

True, she's actually not that bad when she is talking about magic and spells. She's not great, but she is much better than when she is talking about religion or history or morality or...
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« Reply #18: June 08, 2007, 06:29:17 pm »

True, she's actually not that bad when she is talking about magic and spells. She's not great, but she is much better than when she is talking about religion or history or morality or...

....anything else. Yeah. I still use my Solitary Witch as reference book--strictly.
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Read Bellica here!
Innocence and Immanence

"i am not an angry girl, but it seems like i've got everyone fooled -- every time i say something they find hard to hear they chalk it up to my anger and never to their own fear. and imagine you're a girl, just trying to finally come clean, knowing full well they'd prefer you were dirty and smiling."
--Ani DiFranco, Not a Pretty Girl.
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« Reply #19: June 08, 2007, 06:52:12 pm »

She's not great, but she is much better than when she is talking about religion or history or morality or...

I'm sorry /*giggles uncontrollably*/ this is really off topic I know; but the title of this thread has been niggling in the back of my brain fro a few days now, and your comment about religion has just given me the light bulb moment....arrrghh now I have filk in my head.

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a Wiccan.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound - his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a Wiccan.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a Wiccan.



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« Reply #20: June 08, 2007, 10:26:46 pm »

I'm sorry /*giggles uncontrollably*/ this is really off topic I know; but the title of this thread has been niggling in the back of my brain fro a few days now, and your comment about religion has just given me the light bulb moment....arrrghh now I have filk in my head.

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a Wiccan.

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound - his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a Wiccan.

Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a Wiccan.





Ok, I see what EverFool means.  Silver can get a little lofty on her broomstick sometimes but I take every Wiccan book with a grain of salt, discarding what doesn't work and keeping what does.  I have been adapting some of her spells from her Abundance book lately and they have worked well for me so perhaps I am a little biased.

But HELLO Buckland has been known to advote saying the Lord's Prayer backwards.  I am not be a Christian but that boarders on religious disrespect to me.  Everyone has their faults.

So are we completely off topic now? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #21: June 08, 2007, 10:50:53 pm »

But HELLO Buckland has been known to advote saying the Lord's Prayer backwards.  I am not be a Christian but that boarders on religious disrespect to me.  Everyone has their faults.

I thought the point of saying the Lord's Prayer backwards was more for the person doing the recital, and not really as an insult to the church.  That is, being able to say the Lord's Prayer backwards just proves to oneself that one has moved on from Christianity.
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« Reply #22: June 08, 2007, 11:21:07 pm »

I thought the point of saying the Lord's Prayer backwards was more for the person doing the recital, and not really as an insult to the church.  That is, being able to say the Lord's Prayer backwards just proves to oneself that one has moved on from Christianity.

That was the explaination but all I could think when I read the passage was, "You could think of something better."  Ofcourse, Buckland was writing to a different generation and time that I don't fully understand.  But my opinion is that it is in poor taste to go messing with other's prayers for any reason and it that suggestion isn't found in any modern books I have read.
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« Reply #23: June 08, 2007, 11:27:53 pm »

That was the explaination but all I could think when I read the passage was, "You could think of something better."

Such as?  The emotional impact of reciting a prayer backwards is going to be pretty strong for someone who was raised Christian.  What else could you do that would have a similar impact and not have the same iconoclastic overtones?
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« Reply #24: June 08, 2007, 11:59:44 pm »

Such as?  The emotional impact of reciting a prayer backwards is going to be pretty strong for someone who was raised Christian.  What else could you do that would have a similar impact and not have the same iconoclastic overtones?

Having been raised in the Catholic Church and finally coming to terms with the fact that in my heart I did not believe anything I had been taught and would never "fit it" with Christianity as a whole was pretty emotionally traumatic to me.  I didn't need to say The Lord's Prayer backwards.  If someone is having that much trouble breaking away from their religion maybe they should rethink the decision otherwise doing things like saying prayers backwards is just going to put them on an unnecessary guilt trip.

To answer your question...I would recommend someone write down what they do and don't believe and really give it some serious thought.  I have a whole journal from "back then" where I explored my belief system before truly coming to terms with being Wiccan.
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« Reply #25: June 09, 2007, 12:37:45 am »

Having been raised in the Catholic Church and finally coming to terms with the fact that in my heart I did not believe anything I had been taught and would never "fit it" with Christianity as a whole was pretty emotionally traumatic to me.  I didn't need to say The Lord's Prayer backwards.

OK, but that's one person's experience.  I was also raised Catholic, but I didn't find it traumatic to "leave" the Church (using quotes because I'm sure I'm still in the files somewhere, since I never sent them a letter or anything).  I just stopped going and doing and didn't miss anything.  There was no "coming to terms" or really any time I can point to and say, "that's when I left."  More of a Cheshire-Cat-style slow disappearance.

Nonetheless, Catholicism was a major part of my life throughout my childhood, and thus it's going to affect my present, even though it wasn't a spirituality I truly embraced.  Perhaps, when I decide to move onto a specific path, I will feel the need to draw a harder line between my past as a Catholic, by making a strong statement to myself that "I no longer believe in this."  In this case, maybe reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards would be appropriate for someone like me.

If someone is having that much trouble breaking away from their religion maybe they should rethink the decision otherwise doing things like saying prayers backwards is just going to put them on an unnecessary guilt trip.

I don't think it's so much a problem breaking away from the religion as a desire to make a very distinct break.  And part of it is that one shouldn't feel guilty after doing it, if that happens, then maybe they do need to rethink the decision.

To answer your question...I would recommend someone write down what they do and don't believe and really give it some serious thought.  I have a whole journal from "back then" where I explored my belief system before truly coming to terms with being Wiccan.

This is certainly a possibility, but it is very intellectual.  Not everyone's going to get a deep emotional experience from writing in a journal.  Some people need to do something.
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« Reply #26: June 09, 2007, 04:47:31 am »

But HELLO Buckland has been known to advote saying the Lord's Prayer backwards. 

Backwards? Shoot, I can't even say it forwards. Neither can my Christian friends. Wink

/off-topic-ness
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« Reply #27: June 09, 2007, 06:07:44 am »

But HELLO Buckland has been known to advote saying the Lord's Prayer backwards.

This is the first time I've encountered somebody telling Buckland said so. I know Paul Huson did, as pretty much the first exercise in his book Mastering Witchcraft. Which book of Buckland's was this in?
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« Reply #28: June 09, 2007, 09:20:13 am »

But HELLO Buckland has been known to advote saying the Lord's Prayer backwards.  I am not be a Christian but that boarders on religious disrespect to me.  Everyone has their faults.

Buckland or Huson? Huson's Mastering Witchcraft suggests this as psychology: to get your mind to sit up and take notice that you making a major change in your worldview that is very much counter to that of the society you grew up in.
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« Reply #29: June 09, 2007, 09:36:46 am »

This is the first time I've encountered somebody telling Buckland said so. I know Paul Huson did, as pretty much the first exercise in his book Mastering Witchcraft. Which book of Buckland's was this in?

I just had a flip through the Complete Book of Witchcraft and it's not in there.  Maybe it was a mistaken attribution.  Huson doesn't write about Wicca as far as I know though.
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