Friday, June 12, 2009

Go hang with the pagans, you will like it there, they don't make many demands

This was how an e-mail I received was signed to me this afternoon. This blog entry is partially story of how that e-mail came to be, a rant, some common sense, and hopefully a bit of good information. I received this e-mail as apparently my parting gift from a member of a social networking site I created for Wiccans and Pagans, and Admin with 6 other people. Two of those folks are very interesting very nice and very much BTW Wiccans in the Gardnerian tradition of Wicca. The other 4 are Pagans on varying paths but also very fine people. While I do not always agree with all of them that is OK because I respect them all. One of these folks started a new forum post on a web site he had found which he felt was giving responsible information on eclectic Wicca. This is where this story starts to get a bit interesting.

A different member of the site, who is not one of the Admins but at one time was responded to the post and basically wanted to know why anyone who was not BTW (for those that don’t know BTW stands for British Traditional Wicca i.e. Gardnerian or Alexandrian) could not just be happy calling themselves Pagan. That true Wicca or in her words Wica was not eclectic. Now my dear readers I want to give a bit of full disclosure here. I was once a BTW person this person who responded is still very much a BTW person and of the same Trad I once was. BTW has long ago lost its appeal to me for being closed minded. As the bumper sticker says Minds are like parachutes they only function when they are open. Anyway in response to her post I pointed out in a wonderful book The Triumph of the Moon (which I think should be required reading for all who Practice BTW, Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism, or any of a number of different paths. ) The author who is not Pagan but Rather a university professor in England by the name of Ronald Hutton, was given unprecedented access to Gardner’s and Sanders surviving papers. The one thing they made clear is that they drew from many source in the founding of Wicca and sometimes just straight made stuff up.

These my friends are the hard facts about the founding of my beloved path. The religion I love and live is eclectic at its very roots, or to use the e-mail senders words Hodge podge. Does this make it less of a path? No. Does it mean it is not valid? No. It simply means that some very talented and smart folks took what worked and created a tradition that I call Wicca and others call BTW. Now the e-mailers definition of Wicca is being able to have a direct and verifiable lineage back to either GBG or AS in other words they folks who started BTW. Now in my mind fundamentalist are fundamentalist weather they worship the Christian God or a Pagan Goddess. The idea that if you can’t trace yourself back to BGB or AS you are not Wiccan is simply absurd and part of why I am no longer Trad. If that is what it means to be a Trad Person narrow minded and caught up in dogma such as that I will happily go hang with the Pagans, at least they remember this is a religion of love, healing, light, humor, and fellowship. They are not caught up in keeping there secrets, and knowledge to themselves.

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