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Author Topic: Pseudo History, Fluff Bunnies and Wicca  (Read 52215 times)
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« Reply #210: June 24, 2010, 06:10:08 pm »

Wha?  Who said anything about pretending rape doesn't happen?  I have no idea why you're bringing this up.

I point to Chabas' most recent post in this thread.  I think it's ridiculous to remove a central rite from a religion and claim to still be practicing that religion.  And I don't understand why anyone would want to.  That's my only claim here.  It makes a lot more sense to be inspired by Wicca and forge your own way.

Brina

Pretending rape doesn't exist happens by attempts to exclude people from a religion because they have been raped or ignoring the effects of it and expecting people to just do it. I was Wiccan before I was raped and damned if I will change my whole religion just because of that one sick person did to me. I want to do it because I don't want that person to remove the one good thing I had in my life.

I seriously wonder what the reponse would be here if I was Christian instead, and that if it had been rape that took my virginity what peoples reactions would be if I was told that I could not be Christian because I was no longer a virgin, despite it not being my choice. Everyone who is saying that I am no longer Wiccan because of the effects the rape had on me, are doing exactly the same thing. How dare anyone tell me that I can not have my religion just because I was raped? Its not like I am choosing not to do it for the fun of it! Its not like I waved my hands and said hey, over here, I want you to rape me and screw me over with my religion! He is not taking my religion from me. I will not allow it.
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« Reply #211: June 24, 2010, 06:32:11 pm »

Pretending rape doesn't exist happens by attempts to exclude people from a religion because they have been raped or ignoring the effects of it and expecting people to just do it.

I was Wiccan before I was raped and damned if I will change my whole religion just because of that one sick person did to me. I want to do it because I don't want that person to remove the one good thing I had in my life.

And yet...I can't really put this delicately so I'm just gonna say it...you are changing your religion because of what one sick person did to you.

Quote
I seriously wonder what the reponse would be here if I was Christian instead, and that if it had been rape that took my virginity what peoples reactions would be if I was told that I could not be Christian because I was no longer a virgin, despite it not being my choice.

Christianity doesn't require someone to be a virgin to practice the religion.  Catholicism (just as a for-instance) does require certain actions of its adherents.  If they are unable to fulfill them, then yes--they may not be considered Catholics in the eyes of the church.  Feelings about fairness (mine or anyone else's) are neither here nor there.  I don't need to think it's right for it to be the way of things.

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Everyone who is saying that I am no longer Wiccan because of the effects the rape had on me, are doing exactly the same thing. How dare anyone tell me that I can not have my religion just because I was raped?

Okay, you need to stop putting words in people's mouths if you want to be taken seriously.  Now.  Nobody said anything remotely like that, and it's incredibly insulting for you to insinuate such.  I'm sorrier than I can say about what you went through, but you don't get to treat people shabbily because of it.

What people actually have said is that to take away the core of a thing is to alter it, sometimes to the point of making it into something else entirely.  You can continue to call yourself Wiccan without the Great Rite.  But it's unreasonable to expect your coreligionists to agree.

Brina
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« Reply #212: June 24, 2010, 08:03:04 pm »

And yet...I can't really put this delicately so I'm just gonna say it...you are changing your religion because of what one sick person did to you.

Okay, you need to stop putting words in people's mouths if you want to be taken seriously.  Now.  Nobody said anything remotely like that, and it's incredibly insulting for you to insinuate such.  I'm sorrier than I can say about what you went through, but you don't get to treat people shabbily because of it.

What people actually have said is that to take away the core of a thing is to alter it, sometimes to the point of making it into something else entirely.  You can continue to call yourself Wiccan without the Great Rite.  But it's unreasonable to expect your coreligionists to agree.

Brina

I am not changing my religion, I am changing the practise of my religion temporarily so that I can continue to practise without it triggering a nervous breakdown. Continuing to practise in the exact same way and deliberately causing harm to myself would just be silly. The fundamentals are the same, just approached in a different way. I am not putting words in peoples mouths. A number of people here are saying that I am not practising Wicca, and I am defending myself. The only reason I am apparently not 'really' practicing Wicca is because of my approach to fertility/sex and the fact that a) I approach it from a different angle, one which I can deal with in my current situation and b) one that is not human-centric.

I have not taken the core away from anything. Wicca itself is an umbrella term which can be used for a number of different paths. I never claimed to be Gardnerian and therefore my focus does not have to be on human-focused intercourse for the Great Rite. What I have claimed, is, in regards to the article, that calling anyone who does not make human-centric sex the be all and end all of Wicca fluffy is hardly fair, given that fertility is found in many forms, that sex can take dark forms which the article is clearly ignoring, and that it does not take into account the experiences of a third of the female population. Expecting survivors to either stop considering themselves Wiccan or to just suck it up and practice the Great Rite anyway, despite psychological repurcussions is for the former completely inconsiderate and in the latter plain dangerous.
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« Reply #213: June 24, 2010, 08:48:18 pm »

Okay, you need to stop putting words in people's mouths if you want to be taken seriously.  Now.  Nobody said anything remotely like that, and it's incredibly insulting for you to insinuate such.  I'm sorrier than I can say about what you went through, but you don't get to treat people shabbily because of it.

Brina,

I know this is a frustrating discussion (for everyone), but...  please watch how you're wording things.  Telling people that they need to stop doing things now is a little too close to moderating other posters.  (Advice about how not putting words in other people's mouths would be more productive is fine, but the way it is, this is too much like a command.)

Speaking to everyone now:  This is a very sensitive subject, and I can see that people are getting very frustrated with the discussion.  If you find yourself getting too upset, please consider taking a break from the discussion and/or putting the poster(s) who are frustrating you on ignore.  This is just a discussion on an Internet forum; it's not worth the damage to your blood pressure, and chances are that the discussion will be more productive if everyone can keep a cool head anyway.

Thanks.


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« Reply #214: June 24, 2010, 09:31:23 pm »

A number of people here are saying that I am not practising Wicca

A number of people here are traditionalists on the subject and probably don't consider you Wiccan if you're not part of a lineaged coven, irrespective of any other event in your life.  I think that's what everyone was dancing around and too afraid to tell you earlier.

Quote
Expecting survivors to either stop considering themselves Wiccan or to just suck it up and practice the Great Rite anyway, despite psychological repurcussions is for the former completely inconsiderate and in the latter plain dangerous.

This A) assumes all women do or will respond as you did to the Great Rite after a rape and B) assumes I said any such thing, which I very adamantly did not.  If this is a temporary state, a place from which you're beginning to heal, it makes a lot more sense.  At no point did I suggest that you're no longer allowed to call yourself anything you please.  If, however, you're never able to perform the Great Rite again, that's an entirely different and more problematic thing as far as religious definitions are concerned.  I'm not the arbiter of What's Wiccan (because I'm not anything like Wiccan).  I was trying to convey the problematic nature of changing a religion so fundamentally as to undermine its intent...and how it might be viewed by those who practice more traditional Wicca.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, but I understand why it might feel that way.  I'm stepping out (Star, heard and understood).  I wish you well.

Brina
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« Reply #215: June 24, 2010, 09:35:26 pm »

Pretending rape doesn't exist happens by attempts to exclude people from a religion because they have been raped or ignoring the effects of it and expecting people to just do it. I was Wiccan before I was raped and damned if I will change my whole religion just because of that one sick person did to me. I want to do it because I don't want that person to remove the one good thing I had in my life.

That's an understandable position. However, many more traditional Wiccan groups are orthopraxic, which means "correct practices" are the major requirement of the religion (as correct beliefs are in orthodoxic religions). In those forms of Wicca, participating in the Great Rite is a required practice of the religion (just as believing Jesus is the son of God is a required belief in most forms of Christianity). If you don't follow the practices you aren't of the religion, according to those who follow more traditional forms of Wicca -- just as if you don't believe Jesus is the son of God, most Christians will say you are not really Christian.  While neither of these positions may be fair to those who want to call themselves of that religion in spite of all, religions do have the right to define their own membership requirements. And members of those religions have the right to say "person X is not a member" if person X does not qualify as member if if this annoys person X. It may not be polite or PC, but that's the way it is.
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« Reply #216: June 24, 2010, 11:46:26 pm »

That's an understandable position. However, many more traditional Wiccan groups are orthopraxic, which means "correct practices" are the major requirement of the religion (as correct beliefs are in orthodoxic religions). In those forms of Wicca, participating in the Great Rite is a required practice of the religion (just as believing Jesus is the son of God is a required belief in most forms of Christianity). If you don't follow the practices you aren't of the religion, according to those who follow more traditional forms of Wicca -- just as if you don't believe Jesus is the son of God, most Christians will say you are not really Christian.  While neither of these positions may be fair to those who want to call themselves of that religion in spite of all, religions do have the right to define their own membership requirements. And members of those religions have the right to say "person X is not a member" if person X does not qualify as member if if this annoys person X. It may not be polite or PC, but that's the way it is.

That presumes that the members all have one opinion on the matter though, which in my experience they do not. I would say that 99.999% of Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God and in defending that position are the voice of that percentage of Christians. I think Wicca is a lot more diverse than this. Yes, the traditionalists may have a problem with it, but that's only one opinion in a religion of many opinions on the subject. I don't think there is a large enough majority on any side to then be able to say so-and-so is the only way in which Wicca (or the Great Rite) can be practised. Anyone who claims that the Great Rite must be performed in terms of human intercourse only, and preferably in actuality rather than symbolically, speaks for themselves, their coven, and like-minded people, but to claim that this is the only way then ignores a lot of other opinions and ways of practicing from people who also consider themselves Wiccan. I don't believe any one opinion on the matter is right or wrong, just that it speaks only for that particular type of Wicca, not for Wicca as a whole.
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« Reply #217: June 25, 2010, 12:34:41 am »

I seriously wonder what the reponse would be here if I was Christian instead, and that if it had been rape that took my virginity what peoples reactions would be if I was told that I could not be Christian because I was no longer a virgin, despite it not being my choice.

Let me give you a different example here (and then also a story)

Instead of your example, let's look at the experience of someone who had been abused - as regrettably far too many have been - by a Catholic priest. There are many ways that someone can handle this with internal integrity. Some people take time, and then come to the decision that the abuse they suffered was at the hands of a specific individual (or individuals, in the case of a heirarchy not taking action), but that they are open to other relationships with Catholics (and other priests) in ways that *are* spiritually healthy and fulfilling for them. In other words, that one action, no matter how evil, does not (given some healing time) taint the entire context.

Other people decide that while they value a great many things about Catholicism, they cannot return to that practice of faith. There might be many reasons for this, but they all basically come down to the person needing to find some other option that does serve them. Which one, of course, depends on the specific reasons for leaving: someone who can no longer find it in themselves to be comfortable in a heirarchical church structure will probably seek different answers than someone who wants a clergy that does not require celibacy or allows both men and women.

Both answers have integrity, but one answer is not the right answer for everyone. What matters, in my eyes, is that someone think about it, think about their reasoning, and do the best to seek out what is truly best for them.

There's a third group, after all - people who rant and rave about the injustices of the Church that hurt them. The hurt is very real, and very wrong - but there are certain kinds of responses that do not, over time, allow people to begin to heal. And worse, there are some kinds of responses that not only hurt the people who did evil and wrong things - but that also damage people who did not have any part in the hurt, and who might be hurting and in pain themselves. The kinds of things that happen when a parish is so low on clergy that they cannot minister to the dying, or that they need to shut down a food shelf or social justice program. That not only doesn't solve the problem of the people who did harm (which should be addressed) but fundamentally changes the possibilities for those who might create and nurture particular strands of goodness and potential in the community.

The same parallel lies in Wicca: one can either rail and scream against the stuff that is not what that person needs. Or that person can have the integrity to say "Wait, this isn't working. What are my options, and how does each one actually serve me, *and* how does this choice affect the context of the community?"

Which is where my other story comes in. I have had, frankly, an incredibly hard year. There have been months of this year when reading, for even five minutes at a time, has been beyond me. When medical issues wrapped me up so far in a mess of fog and exhaustion that the simplest acts of ritual work were beyond me. I'm doing noticeably better now, but I am still at a point where I need to view myself as having disabling medical issues compared to my presumption of 'normal for me', and need to be very cautious about energy, sleep, medication, food, and other such things.

I'm a priestess, working alone without another initiate in my immediate coven at the moment. So if stuff was going to happen, I was it. I could have railed and screamed and cursed the universe for being unfair, for the tradition I honor and serve and am oathed to for having specific expectations. Or, I could get on with stuff *but* do my best to be forthright and clear with others - in my tradition, with my prospective student - about what I could and couldn't offer.

- I'm clear that what we do, while it owes a lot to Wicca, is arguably not Wicca anymore. (It is by general definitions, like the one you appear to prefer. It's not by the stricter definitions *I* prefer.) This means that I already start from a place of defining what is important and what isn't in our practice as clearly as I can, which makes the next few points easier.

- I'm clear about the places in my current circle practice that are different from my preferred ideal: I believe (and my tradition practices) that the Great Rite in symbol requires two people able to run a specific kind of energy interaction (and that doing that with someone creates some particular kinds of energetic connections.)

It's not physical sex, but it's a pretty intimate and specific energetic connection - much like being someone's best friend, or sharing a first kiss, or being someone's beta reader for their fiction, or any number of other emotionally intimate acts. It's not something a thoughtful person does lightly with others, and it's not something to be tossed around carelessly. (And thus, not something one asks a non-initiate in the tradition to do under most circumstances, for a variety of reasons.)

And so I'm clear that right now, that's not a part of our ritual structure, in general practice, but that it will be again at some point, when there's an appropriate someone to do that with.

- When I was at my worst, medically, I was also really clear that what I was doing - because doing *some* kind of ritual work was important to me - was a very limited portion of my usual range when I was healthier. I held myself to the stuff that I really could do with very low reserves, that relied a lot more on habit than on closely held focus, and that relied on built power-reserves for specific connections (with deity, with tradition entities) rather than propelling it with my personal energy (which was pretty tiny.)

Again, not my preferred choice - but being honest about it was much better than not being so. As stuff's gotten better, I've been able to pick up some pieces of this again, and been clear about where and how that's happening with my student. And about what that means for her, and her experience, and her ability to learn the *full* tradition I am committed to share and teach. But I'm also really clear it's a work in process.

Is what I'm doing still [my particular trad]. Yes and no. A religion whose name and path we share with others has context with others. Integrity, grace, and community understanding therefore, to my mind, mean that we *have* to be clear about what that means, and about what that means when we make changes, no matter *how* compelling the reason for the changes are.

That you were raped is horrible. That you need healing is to be expected. That some things will take you time to decide how you want to handle them - not only now, but six months, a year, five years, fifty years from now. The same is true for me: I can rail at the circumstances (which include someone acting in ways that substantially increased my stress, and therefore almost certainly my health issues), or I can go "Y'know, let me go find the stuff that actually helps, and be honest about that, with myself and with others."

I do a certain amount of railing at the unfairness of the situation (which has, incidentally, cost me a job and community connections I loved in many ways over the last decade), but mostly I'm doing my best to look forward and to redefine myself and my relationship to my profession, to my religion, and to my world in ways that let me move forward, but that do so with as much honesty and integrity in what I can commit to right now, and in the future, as I can manage.

You also, along with that, have the choice in how you deal with that with other people. Do you say "Much of my practice is Wiccan-based, but the Great Rite in any form is not part of that right now"? That's something I personally would consider to be a position of integrity and grace - it's clear, and it doesn't misrepresent either yourself or general Wiccan practice.

Or do you say "Well, I'm Wiccan" (with no further explanation), and both muddy the water definitionally (which has its own problems) but also potentially open yourself up to conversations or invitations that might be triggering to you? (If I am inviting, for example, someone to an open ritual or to guest at a group ritual where I know certain things are problematic for them, I handle the invitation far differently than I do if I don't know those things. Same deal in general conversation about matters of religious practice, though there are some things I'll make specific notice of before I dive into deep discussion unless, like this topic, it should already be pretty obvious.)

The choices you make now - just like the choices I make now - aren't the only choice out there. And they may not be your final choice (just as I'm pretty sure my choices aren't my final choice.) But I also know, from long and painful experience, that some choices leave more options open for you down the road than others. And I - and a number of other people in this thread - are suggesting that in an orthopraxic community like Wicca and its offshoots, being clear about where you separate from common practice will leave you more choices in the future, whatever those choices may turn out to be. It's up to you to decide how to handle that.
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« Reply #218: June 25, 2010, 08:07:51 am »

That presumes that the members all have one opinion on the matter though, which in my experience they do not. I would say that 99.999% of Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God and in defending that position are the voice of that percentage of Christians. I think Wicca is a lot more diverse than this.

That's a subject of great debate. Traditional Wiccans claim that only traditional Wicca is Wicca and that other Wicca-like religions need to use a different name. To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that they originally tried to claim sole use of the word "witchcraft" (and the term "witch") instead of the word "Wicca" (and "Wiccan") for their religion, I would agree with them 100%. As it is, I think that the more a religion deviates from traditional Wicca, the less right it has to claim to be "Wicca" and the more right traditional Wiccans have to bluntly say that it is not Wicca.

I realize that my position does not please either traditional Wiccans or those who want to say they are Wiccan while having a much different religion from traditional Wicca, but that's too bad. At least here on this board it's the position I use to determine when one side or the other has gone overboard into rudeness.
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« Reply #219: June 25, 2010, 10:44:15 am »


I realize that my position does not please either traditional Wiccans or those who want to say they are Wiccan while having a much different religion from traditional Wicca, but that's too bad. At least here on this board it's the position I use to determine when one side or the other has gone overboard into rudeness.

Jumping off from this, if that's okay.

Aithne,
I think this is an important distinction. There are places in the world where words matter. I think this forum is one of them. It makes communication easier if you're more specific. For example, by calling myself Wiccan-ish, it tells everyone here that what I practice is derived from Wicca, but not exactly Wicca. That way, when I'm discussing topics with others they have a better idea of where I'm coming from. There are other places and people that I talk to where it isn't necessary to add the -ish. They know me and are familiar with how I practice my religion. There are also people, mostly in my family, where adding the -ish would only complicate the issue and add confusion. So, in those situations I just call myself Wiccan unless they want specifics (which hardly ever happens). Then, I'll give them a clearer picture of what it is that I practice.

I don't think it really matters what you call yourself until you are interacting with other people. Realizing, and being honest about the fact that what I'm doing isn't exactly Wicca, isn't denying my religion. It doesn't change the relationship I have with my God/desses. But, it does allow me to communicate better and gives me the freedom to explore other options and forms of religious expression that are beneficial and meaningful for me. For the most part, I follow the basic beliefs and practices of Wicca to the best of my ability and understanding. However, that doesn't make me technically Wiccan. The distinction matters here because 1) I am interacting with a lot of different people who don't know me personally. 2) Some of those people are technically Wiccan. 3)There is a general consensus about what defines Wicca as a religion.

To simply call myself Wiccan, IMO, would be like someone going into a Catholic congregation and claiming to be Catholic when they don't go to confession, or take communion, or celebrate Christmas. Can that person feel like a Catholic in their heart? Certainly they can. But, are they recognized by the church as Catholic? Probably not. 

Look, what happened to you was a terrible thing. I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect that after such a traumatic experience, your religious practices would change. Spiritual paths are full of twists and turns, dead ends and detours. It's okay to change how you practice for whatever reason, but it's important to recognize those changes for what they are.
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« Reply #220: June 26, 2010, 11:34:40 pm »

That's a subject of great debate. Traditional Wiccans claim that only traditional Wicca is Wicca and that other Wicca-like religions need to use a different name. To be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that they originally tried to claim sole use of the word "witchcraft" (and the term "witch") instead of the word "Wicca" (and "Wiccan") for their religion, I would agree with them 100%. As it is, I think that the more a religion deviates from traditional Wicca, the less right it has to claim to be "Wicca" and the more right traditional Wiccans have to bluntly say that it is not Wicca.

I realize that my position does not please either traditional Wiccans or those who want to say they are Wiccan while having a much different religion from traditional Wicca, but that's too bad. At least here on this board it's the position I use to determine when one side or the other has gone overboard into rudeness.

I look at it in the same way that I view splits within certain Christian denominations. "Traditional" Anglicans don't like the fact that homosexuality has been accepted by part of the Anglican community, but that doesn't stop those who support homosexuality from calling themselves Anglican. Whenever any religion is in the public sphere I think it needs to expect that it will split and fraction depending on the needs and wants of the different people involved in that religion. I don't see why it is the right of anybody, on any side, to claim that their way is the only way to practise a certain religion.

To go back to the Anglican example, Anglican bishops and deans who are homosexual, or support homosexuality, would not call themselves "Anglican-ish", because to them, and their congregations, they are Anglican. I see it as exactly the same for Wicca - if there are Wiccan covens and groups of Wiccan people who recognise the practise of someone as Wicca, and are recognised as Wiccans themselves, then they are Wiccan.  In both cases, Anglican and Wiccan, there are differences between the traditionalists and what I will call neo-Anglicans or Wiccans. That doesn't mean, however, that either side ceases to be that religion, but that the religion has grown and adapted to people's needs, which is what is going to happen when something is in the public sphere.
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« Reply #221: June 26, 2010, 11:48:19 pm »

To go back to the Anglican example, Anglican bishops and deans who are homosexual, or support homosexuality, would not call themselves "Anglican-ish", because to them, and their congregations, they are Anglican. I see it as exactly the same for Wicca

Okay, I'm not gonna get into the emotional end of this, because it's none of my damn business, but I really, really, really feel the need to respond to this.

The closest comparison to the Great Rite in Wicca in Christianity is Communion.  That is the central rite, and the thing around which the entire theological structure hangs.  This is why there are scandals around Catholic priests saying that various politicians cannot take Communion because of the way they vote - because the concept of partaking of union with Jesus the Redeemer in ritual is fundamental to the mystical structure that Christianity is built around.  If you take away Communion, what you have left may be based on Christianity, but it is fundamentally and essentially different; it has to be organised around a different center and have different cognitive processes engaged.

Homosexuality in Christianity is more of a "do you associate fire with the wand or with the blade" level question, in which people will have giant throw-down nasty pissing matches about it complete with citations from various sources, but which, fundamentally, has not a damn thing to do with the essentials of the religion.  Some people are highly invested in having their way of doing it be considered the right and fundamental way laid down by divine proclamation, some people have opinions and choose their affiliations or congregations on that basis, some people think the people who get wound up about it are dumbasses.


Okay, I will get into the more personal level of stuff here.

Some Christians don't take Communion.  For some, perhaps they're recovering alcoholics and are in a denomination where Communion is performed with wine.  Or maybe they're gluten-intolerant and their church doesn't have alternative breads available for them.  Some feel that they are not in a state where they can properly connect with the ritual for reasons of their own, and that may be a temporary or a long-term state.  However, I think most of these would respect the centrality of Communion for the practice of their religion, and most would wish to get into a place where they could partake.
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« Reply #222: June 26, 2010, 11:58:36 pm »

The closest comparison to the Great Rite in Wicca in Christianity is Communion.  That is the central rite, and the thing around which the entire theological structure hangs.  This is why there are scandals around Catholic priests saying that various politicians cannot take Communion because of the way they vote - because the concept of partaking of union with Jesus the Redeemer in ritual is fundamental to the mystical structure that Christianity is built around.  If you take away Communion, what you have left may be based on Christianity, but it is fundamentally and essentially different; it has to be organised around a different center and have different cognitive processes engaged.

Hey, just want to put in my two cents. Communion in Catholicism doesn't speak for Communion in other parts of Christianity. In my own experience with my family's Presbyterian church, anyone can take Communion regardless of religion affiliation and it's a far more symbolic ritual than that of Catholicism, where the bread and the wine are believed to literally become the body and blood of Christ. In my Presbyterian experience, Communion is important, but it's really not a big deal if you miss it. So even within Christianity, the taking of Communion/Eucharist/whatever may serve different purposes within different denominations.
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« Reply #223: June 27, 2010, 12:55:10 am »

So even within Christianity, the taking of Communion/Eucharist/whatever may serve different purposes within different denominations.

I think the point is that Presbyterians don't call themselves Catholic.  They gave themselves a new name for a reason.

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« Reply #224: June 28, 2010, 09:32:53 am »

We perform the Great Rite symbolically at each rite, but there is VERY little copulating going on in any of my circles. In fact, it is usually reserved for high level elevations or special rites, and usually between existing paired couples.

I haven't followed this entire bit of the thread but...

This is how my tradition does it. If anyone in our trad has ever done a full Great Rite, it was done in private and not during ritual time. As, I think, it should be. The Lord and Lady deserve their privacy to be intimate just like everyone else.

Also having said that, one of my covensibs is a rape survivor. I've never seen her have issues with the symbolic Great Rite. Everyone's different, of course, and I didn't know her back when the tragedy occurred. She may not have even been Wiccan then, as I've known her for over 10 years and it was old history even then.

But I think one of the most important facets of Wicca is learning to work through your fears and issues in order to grow as a person. If the Great Rite, symbolically or otherwise, is causing someone distress, they shouldn't just get rid of it IMO.

Instead, work through it. Journal, meditate, seek professional counselling if needed, but make an effort to regain power over what happened to instead of letting it be in control. The healing process takes time, often a very long time, but I think it's better than living with bits of your emotional self alienated from the whole.

Karen
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