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Thread: Ask a Pagan.

  1. #11
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vala Faye View Post
    whereas Wicca is a specific type of religion,housed in the Witchcraft branch of the Paganism Tree. Wicca believes in the threefold law (everything you do comes back to you threefold) and the Wiccan Rede (Harm None, do as Ye will).
    I've found that most "wiccans" don't really have any shared beliefs except some vague notion of karma and selective adherence to their own form of the "golden rule"... In other words, most people who call themselves wiccans are actually scattered weirdos and social outcasts who think labeling themselves as wiccans or pagans is totally kewl. It's just a novel idea for some people or maybe some personal method of self-mind-fucking, like when I became a Pope of Discordia or a neophyte in Thelema. Most of the wiccans I've known were basically agnostic with interests in mythology and the supernatural so it's nice of you to share something beyond "i <3 nature + I like having really long nails".

    I'm more interested in the Thelema, Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism, etc but, since you're here...
    based on your post explaining god/goddess duality it seems that wiccans are actually theists or is the god/goddess thing not to be taken literally?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  2. #12
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Thanks Is there a divide at all in the magical community between Pagans and strictly practical magic users?
    I think there's a bigger divide between the different faiths, but yes. There's many varieties and choices though so the divide isn't clear.

    You could say that within each religion you have the 'Priests' and you have the 'Magicians' (this is an extremely crude generalization but bear with me). If we take Asatru as an example once more: Gythia are the priests. They honor and worship the pantheon of gods, research the lore, often become reconstructionists and are mad about history, in order to restore that religion to its former glory. They tend to be able to quote the Lore, know the gods intimately, and actually actively pray to the Gods. In addition, they might practise Galdr (a form of chanting magic) and Runemagick and maaayybe some Seidr (Trance magic usually practised by the female magician side). But it's not their specialization..its something they add to their 'worshipping' practices. They tend to perform rituals enhanced by magical components, often referred to as ceremonial magic.

    Compare this to the 'magician/witches' of this tradition. These people might be asatruar (a believer of the pantheon gods), but will often more likely focus on the magical part. They're likely to incorporate more 'folk magic' styles (more simple, day to day stuff, spontaneous, non scripted magic). They tend to specialize in either runemagic (Magicians), which is using the magical alphabet to form incantations with, or Seidr, which is typically practised by Völva (the northern witches as such). Seidr is considered a shady practice so often gythia won't go near it. It involves going into a trance and crossing over into the spirit realm to visit the dead, the alves, etc etc. Often these magicians work together with several types of spirits, amongst which their own (their fylgia/soul), spirits of their forefathers or even a patron God who guides them along their path and they feel affinity with.

    Notice the difference: work with. Not pray. they might pray as well to the gods in general, as the gythia do, but it's not what their path is focused on.

    This, with the unique cultural differences is found across most pagan religions. Wicca for instance has the same deal: you can practice wicca without ever doing magic. Or you can do both. Or you can focus on the magic of it. But not believing in the Duality of the Gods, and not obiding by the dogma of Wicca= not being wiccan.

    If you practice magic, and are 'spiritual' but do not have a religion as such, you're most likely a Witch. They go for the sheer magical side of it all and are technically not Pagan, I guess but are still lumped in together with Pagans and generally accepted as such. They also get very tired of being considered Wiccan everywhere they go, as Wicca tends to be the mainstream idea of how people see modern witches these days, while often Witches absolutely don't agree with the dogma that Wicca upholds.

    Still with me?
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  3. #13
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Is witch interchangeable with pagan?

    A note, I probably would identify as Christian, but I love nature religions, I think I'm going to stonehenge for summer solstice next year!
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  4. #14
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEGERdeMAIN View Post
    I've found that most "wiccans" don't really have any shared beliefs except some vague notion of karma and selective adherence to their own form of the "golden rule"... In other words, most people who call themselves wiccans are actually scattered weirdos and social outcasts who think labeling themselves as wiccans or pagans is totally kewl. It's just a novel idea for some people or maybe some personal method of self-mind-fucking, like when I became a Pope of Discordia or a neophyte in Thelema. Most of the wiccans I've known were basically agnostic with interests in mythology and the supernatural so it's nice of you to share something beyond "i <3 nature + I like having really long nails".

    I'm more interested in the Thelema, Rosicrucianism, Hermeticism, etc but, since you're here...
    based on your post explaining god/goddess duality it seems that wiccans are actually theists or is the god/goddess thing not to be taken literally?
    You are correct. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Wicca tends to be 'accepting' of just about anything as long as it upholds the threefold law, it is also open to a lot of...welll 'spam'. Add to that that it's the thing that was exposed to mainstream the most of all nature religions and well, garbage ensued.

    What you described is known as people who are 'fluffy bunnies'. Since it makes you speshul and there's money to be made off of it, there's a lot of stuff that just gets made up and has no spiritual basis whatsoever. Wicca suffers hard from this, but you find those people in *every* religion, including the mainstream religions. This, along with the fact that all pagan religions get identified with Wicca and wiccans tend to dominate pagan communities, is one of the main reasons that many members of other pagan religions develop an allergic reaction to Wicca and all it entails.

    On the other hand, Wicca serves an important function as a gateway, a portal for people to go through and find the pagan religion that best suits them as Pagans tend to not do PR. We don't have an active converting policy as many of the mainstream religions do. In fact, there's a tradition of secrecy and checking for worthiness (and the snobbishness and elitism that automatically follows this unfortunately) amongst Pagan religions. Seeing as we're scattered and not as present anymore as we were back in the day, this often makes it hard for people to find their way. Wicca plays an invaluable role as gatekeeper to that end.

    As for your question, even Wiccans cannot answer this question. There's a lot of debate within the community as to that 'label' but technically they only have 2 gods that they work with. Many of them have their own theories as to those gods being both an aspect of the Universe itself (mixing in more eastern philosophy, which is already existing within Wicca itself at its core), while others lean towards the polytheistic view of understanding that all gods are an aspect but finding that every individual god has their very own distinct personality and value and cannot be compared to others especially outside of the particular cultural context they belong to (for instance, Aphrodite isn't Freya, or even Venus, there's a distinctly different 'vibe' to all three goddesses).
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Is witch interchangeable with pagan?

    A note, I probably would identify as Christian, but I love nature religions, I think I'm going to stonehenge for summer solstice next year!
    It most definitely is not. A witch can be a pagan, and a pagan can be a witch, but neither is a guarantee for the other

    Awesome, enjoy, it's an amazing sight, so I'm told
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  6. #16
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Yeppers.. loud and clear.

    I had a huge interest in the occult as a youth. I still kind of do.

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    Where did you first learn about paganism and when did you accept it as your philosophy/spirituality/religion?

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Where did you first learn about paganism and when did you accept it as your philosophy/spirituality/religion?
    I heard the buzzing word 'Wicca' around the age of 18-19. I actively researched it online when I turned 20. Which is when I became Wiccan (I moved on a couple of years later). Ordered some books and became an eclectic solitary practitioner as it's called

    When did I get my call? Early. But the actual moment I remember was when I was 12-13 and wondered why it was people had no problem worshipping some old guy sitting on his cloud in the sky, but didn't even consider honoring the Earth beneath our feet as the Mother who provided us with everything we needed in life. I contemplated starting my own religion, but my lack of J stopped me
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  9. #19

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    Have you ever danced naked outdoors? (Bonus points for a full moon and a bonfire.) If so, was it related to said 'pagan beliefs'?

    ...be honest!

    Also, do you view your beliefs as a religion or a philosophy?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vala Faye View Post
    became an eclectic solitary practitioner as it's called
    No moonlit orgies???


    How do you relate your paganism to the rest of the world? Is it mostly solitary, or does it influence how you interact with others?

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