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Author Topic: Rede and Fluff  (Read 38139 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: October 11, 2007, 04:27:50 pm »


Web Site Article Discussion ThreadThis thread is for discussion of a specific article on our web site. Please limit discussion to questions and comments specific to this article. Feel free to start a new thread in an appropriate board if what you wish to discuss is not specific to the named article. Note that if you have arrived here from the discussion link on this article on our web site and are not a member of this message board, you will need to register an account to post in this thread. Thank you.

Rede and Fluff

I hear people saying "But I don't follow the [Wiccan] Rede" with a certain vehemence these days.

Which is entirely reasonable when it is in response to yet another appearance of that well-known stereotype, "all Pagans are Wiccans and therefore follow the Rede as moral law" (frequently found in combination with "all Christians are Fundamentalists and therefore incapable of rational thought.")

But every so often the sub-text seems to be a third stereotype, just as offensive as the other two: "all followers of the Rede are mindless fluff-bunnies with the academic rigor of a lobotomized newt."

Read the Full Article
 
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« Reply #1: October 11, 2007, 07:06:11 pm »

[modbreak=Web Site Article Discussion Thread]
This thread is for discussion of a specific article on our web site. Please limit discussion to questions and comments specific to this article. Feel free to start a new thread in an appropriate board if what you wish to discuss is not specific to the named article. Note that if you have arrived here from the discussion link on this article on our web site and are not a member of this message board, you will need to register an account to post in this thread. Thank you.
[/modbreak]

Rede and Fluff

I hear people saying "But I don't follow the [Wiccan] Rede" with a certain vehemence these days.

Which is entirely reasonable when it is in response to yet another appearance of that well-known stereotype, "all Pagans are Wiccans and therefore follow the Rede as moral law" (frequently found in combination with "all Christians are Fundamentalists and therefore incapable of rational thought.")

But every so often the sub-text seems to be a third stereotype, just as offensive as the other two: "all followers of the Rede are mindless fluff-bunnies with the academic rigor of a lobotomized newt."

Read the Full Article
 

I think the most prevalent reason for being vehement about not following the rede is the assumption by many who do follow it that they can apply it to all pagans willy nilly.  I know I find it insulting to have it applied to my actions and beliefs when I don't consider it a part of my religion or belief system.  This response has nothing to do with how fluffy or not the person saying it is. 

It is the same vehemence I get when someone assumes that I know how to use a blow dryer or nail polish simply because I'm a woman.  I don't use either one, so due to lack of practice/experience I don't think I can be considered accomplished at either one.  But I do know how to use a certain number of carpentry tools quite well - because of practice/experience.  And, in reality, it is as much an insult for someone to assume that I follow their moral code as it is for them to assume that I know how to do certain things simply because I am a woman.

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« Reply #2: October 14, 2007, 06:18:35 pm »

I think the most prevalent reason for being vehement about not following the rede is the assumption by many who do follow it that they can apply it to all pagans willy nilly.  I know I find it insulting to have it applied to my actions and beliefs when I don't consider it a part of my religion or belief system.  This response has nothing to do with how fluffy or not the person saying it is. 

It is the same vehemence I get when someone assumes that I know how to use a blow dryer or nail polish simply because I'm a woman.  I don't use either one, so due to lack of practice/experience I don't think I can be considered accomplished at either one.  But I do know how to use a certain number of carpentry tools quite well - because of practice/experience.  And, in reality, it is as much an insult for someone to assume that I follow their moral code as it is for them to assume that I know how to do certain things simply because I am a woman.


I agree with what you are saying here. Another reason I have found when talking to people who think the Rede is the only way to go, is that they think that the other Pagan traditions really have no sense of morals or ethics. They don't understand that the Rede is just one set of ethics and that is normally just applies to Wiccans. I find that most people that think the other traditions are ethicless have really never looked into any other tradition but Wicca and have never really grasp its history. That is where they started so they see no reason to step out of their comfort zone.
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« Reply #3: October 15, 2007, 12:14:18 am »

[modbreak=Web Site Article Discussion Thread]

Rede and Fluff

I hear people saying "But I don't follow the [Wiccan] Rede" with a certain vehemence these days.

Which is entirely reasonable when it is in response to yet another appearance of that well-known stereotype, "all Pagans are Wiccans and therefore follow the Rede as moral law" (frequently found in combination with "all Christians are Fundamentalists and therefore incapable of rational thought.")

But every so often the sub-text seems to be a third stereotype, just as offensive as the other two: "all followers of the Rede are mindless fluff-bunnies with the academic rigor of a lobotomized newt."

Read the Full Article
 


I am not Wiccan, but I do like the concept behind the Rede. I never thought it meant simply "play nice", but more like "be mindful in your magic" because as the article says you really cannot do a spell with out "harm" at some point. Harm can be a matter of interpretation. 

(Why do I feel like I'm quoting Spiderman here? "With great power comes great responsibility"), Okay, so magic is really not that great of a power, but I do feel there should be a realization on the magic workers part that they do have a responsiblity to own up to the outcome of any work done.

There is a Kemetic text with a similar flavor (although some have interpreted it differently) but basically magic is a gift for protection and healing. I don't like magic used for revenge or harm, but that is a matter of personal opinion.

Usually though, even in the case of revenge or even for protection against an individual the worker has a reason for doing the work.

I personally have never come across anyone who just willy nilly did a negative spell for fun against a random person. Which of course would give magic a bad name. To my thinking anyway, that was partly what the Rede was cautioning against as well.

Yes, I detest the term fluff-bunny because it is derogatory in nature. It makes people feel superior to others. There are many paths and many stages of paths and to belittle someone for being at a different stage is merely making pompus so-and-so out of yourself. Not to mention how it makes people run about trying hard to prove they are not a cotten headed ninney muggen. The fact that the word was even coined in the Pagan community (eek! did I just use that phrase?) is a bit telling as to where the pagan religions may be headed.
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« Reply #4: October 15, 2007, 08:05:58 am »


I am not Wiccan, but I do like the concept behind the Rede. I never thought it meant simply "play nice", but more like "be mindful in your magic" because as the article says you really cannot do a spell with out "harm" at some point. Harm can be a matter of interpretation.

There is nothing wrong with the original version (and intent) of the Wiccan Rede as simple moral advice. The Neo-Wiccan interpretation of it as a moral law that requires one to never cause harm to any living thing (or even just any human) has lots of problems, however, as it is simply living can cause harm.  Be that as it may, my problem isn't with the Rede, but with those who insist that it is the main moral law for all Pagans. There really isn't anything like it is Hellenic Paganism (and in many other Pagan Religions).
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« Reply #5: October 15, 2007, 08:14:24 am »

There is nothing wrong with the original version (and intent) of the Wiccan Rede as simple moral advice. The Neo-Wiccan interpretation of it as a moral law that requires one to never cause harm to any living thing (or even just any human) has lots of problems, however, as it is simply living can cause harm.  Be that as it may, my problem isn't with the Rede, but with those who insist that it is the main moral law for all Pagans. There really isn't anything like it is Hellenic Paganism (and in many other Pagan Religions).


It's safe to say that Ares doesn't hold His worshippers to it.  Grin
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« Reply #6: October 15, 2007, 08:52:23 am »



Rede and Fluff

 

I think another reason "Rede Adherant" can be seen as meaning fluffy is because most of the people spouting it about their practices aren't Wiccan.  They've taken a catch phrase and started using it as a shield against anyone who might raise and eyebrow at a spirituality that incorporates magic.  Giving the impression that all magic users should be bound by the same if they are 'good people'

It can in reverse be used to paint spiritualities that incorporate magic without being Rede adherant as being irresponsible, inherently negative and dark. 
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« Reply #7: October 16, 2007, 05:25:30 pm »

It's safe to say that Ares doesn't hold His worshippers to it.  Grin

Neither does Morrigan. Grin

There is nothing wrong with the original version (and intent) of the Wiccan Rede as simple moral advice. The Neo-Wiccan interpretation of it as a moral law that requires one to never cause harm to any living thing (or even just any human) has lots of problems, however, as it is simply living can cause harm.  Be that as it may, my problem isn't with the Rede, but with those who insist that it is the main moral law for all Pagans. There really isn't anything like it is Hellenic Paganism (and in many other Pagan Religions).

Exactly. I am so sick of people telling me that it's "wrong to cause harm to any living being EVER" because a) this is COMPLETELY impossible to live up to, and those who hold that belief IMO have no understanding of what it really is to live and b) it really really strikes me as Pagan Fundie (Going to hell? no, but Karma is gonna get ya!!!). That, and I just hate having others' beliefs shoved down my throat, or worse, ascribed to me while I'm not around to defend myself. Grin
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« Reply #8: October 16, 2007, 05:35:57 pm »

Neither does Morrigan. Grin

You could say that Wink

I think you hit what bothers me about it - not all those who do follow it and have thought it through etc but those who take the sound bite and then don't THINK further.
Ok, so people who won't think annoy me...  Embarrassed
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« Reply #9: October 16, 2007, 06:26:23 pm »

Ok, so people who won't think annoy me...  Embarrassed
<admires PW's restraint in choosing such a mild word as "annoy">

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« Reply #10: October 16, 2007, 06:28:03 pm »

<admires PW's restraint in choosing such a mild word as "annoy">

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« Reply #11: October 16, 2007, 10:02:16 pm »



But every so often the sub-text seems to be a third stereotype, just as offensive as the other two: "all followers of the Rede are mindless fluff-bunnies with the academic rigor of a lobotomized newt."

Read the Full Article
 

Hmmmmm. Now I want to go online and find a picture of a cross-eyed newt as my avatar.

I took myself off line and out of the local "pagan" community several years ago to remove myself from the plethora of sterotypical cliches being tossed across boundaries. Fluff bunnies, Hard Gards, white lighters, and my favourite, Satanists. All being dumped into the great melting pot of western neo-paganism without due attention to detail.

The Wiccan Rede (emphasis on Wiccan) was really only meant to apply to Wiccans, and then only to the small group that "choose" to apply certain constrictions to their practices. This should probaby exclude "wiccans" who insist wicca is anything you want it to be, and wiccans who take the name, but none of the body of the craft or religion.

Why anyone would insist that the Wiccan rede applies to any but Wiccans is beyond me. In Traditional Craft, the Rede is precious as part of our belief structure, but bear in mind we don't subscribe to sound bite theology. There is a large amount of oral lore around it's understanding, and a certain amount of personal interpretation encouraged.

As a Wiccan, I do follow the Rede. I don't expect any other pagan group to do so, nor do I question their ethics when they don't.  And I don't subscribe to the belief that all western neo pagan religions or recreations are even remotely similar to one another.

I am reminded of an old web page that was dedicated to keeping the craft traditional, not sure if it's still online but it was a sort of anti-fluff bunny page. The creators of that page were not nearly the hard line evil "only traditional witches are Real witches" grumps that many interpreted them to be. They were simply trying to point out that over the decades, Wicca has been so absorbed into mainstream neo-paganism (I can't believe I said that, mainstream?!) that the core beliefs and practices were almost lost in the fluff, white light make-it-up-as-u-go newbie practices. And some of those fwlmiuaug newbies were very vocal, some agressively vocal, about the Way It Is, and the Real meaning of Wicca. *sigh*

So, here we are again. The lobotomised newt defending her right to claim a personal ethical crede that was never, really intended to apply to anyone but her.....

Ah pooh. Let's be vocal too. if you don't like the Rede, don't call yourself Wiccan. If you subscribe to the belief system of any other pagan,neopagan, reconstructionist (insert your group name here), the Wiccan Rede does not apply to you.

Although walking lightly upon the earth, and our follow Cauldron posters, is never a bad idea.....
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« Reply #12: October 17, 2007, 07:43:26 am »

The Wiccan Rede (emphasis on Wiccan) was really only meant to apply to Wiccans, and then only to the small group that "choose" to apply certain constrictions to their practices. This should probaby exclude "wiccans" who insist wicca is anything you want it to be, and wiccans who take the name, but none of the body of the craft or religion.

In my experience, the latter two groups are the ones most likely to tell everyone they must follow the Rede to be Pagan. They are also the ones who are most likely believe that the Wiccan Rede is a law that commands "Cause harm to none!" instead of advice that says something more like, "if what you want to do causes harm to none, then it is definitely okay to do it."
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« Reply #13: October 17, 2007, 06:41:44 pm »

Ah pooh. Let's be vocal too. if you don't like the Rede, don't call yourself Wiccan. If you subscribe to the belief system of any other pagan,neopagan, reconstructionist (insert your group name here), the Wiccan Rede does not apply to you.

I agree.  Heck, in my opinion I would go so far to say that if you aren't an initiated, oath bound Wiccan, it most often doesn't truly apply.  There is nothing binding you to the Rede in that case but a personal interest, no consequence if you break it, since you can redefine any term within the Rede at will without the consequence that a group of witnesses to your oath would bring upon you - even if it were just the psychological consequences of feeling that you had gone back on your word before a group of people whom you had given your word in front of.
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« Reply #14: October 17, 2007, 07:06:15 pm »

even if it were just the psychological consequences of feeling that you had gone back on your word before a group of people whom you had given your word in front of.

I do think that this can happen, whether or not there are witnesses. If I broke the oath I took, I would feel the guilt, the shame of knowing I'd done so. And there were not witnesses to said oath.
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