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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

NeoNotes — A long hard look

I don't think a group should be defined by the actions of an individual, even if the individual was a leader. Bradley was bad. Many pagans did denounce her, and many more took a long hard look at why no one said anything earlier. Pagan groups are still dealing with that fallout.

Personally I find Wiccans don't stay Wiccan for long. These days the term has some "fluffy" connotations.

In all fairness, if you told me that "Judeo-Christian" morality applied to anyone who was not Judeo-Christian, I would tell you no it does not. The conversation probably would not go well after that.

As for the Dianics, well…

As for the Dianics, well, blazes, even I can't defend the Dianics as a group.

Excellent questions.

Here's where I offend some of my fellow pagans.

In very broad terms, there's a difference between a revealed faith and an experienced faith. One approach is not necessarily better, but they are different in their approaches. A revealed faith is based mainly in what has been written and interpreting those writings.

An experienced faith requires people to do, to act. And there is also going to be at least one moment where you get a glimpse of what the Divine really is. That's something I really don't have the words for and it seems to be different for every person. Some embrace it. Others run from it. And others are so afraid of what they see that they go all Sweetness and Light and Candycorn.

What they become depends on their response to facing the Divine. Some drift off to other paths, something more "hardcore." Others try to find a way to cope. Some turn away from their path all together and embrace the "faith of their fathers" or atheism or something completely different.

Wicca, particularly in it's post-modern form, is very much a gateway, a transition. Most people grow beyond it. That's why you won't find many "system" books beyond the 101 level. At some point you should go out and find your own way.

"Fluffy" comes from "fluffy bunny."

If it works for you and challenges you to be a better person, more power to you. It is not my place to question that, it's between you and the Divine.

Yeah, about that.

Technically some pagan trads draw in part from fertility cults. So some misguided people see joining a pagan group as a way to get their rocks off. They could meet Hot Bisexual Pagan Chicks and have mind-blowing Ritual Sex under the Full Moon!

It doesn't work like that.

Those are the ones who soon "wash out" or spin off to form their own sex-based group. When they can't attract members to the new group, they blame everyone but themselves. After all, they're open about sex. Why wouldn't people line up to have sex with them?

You have no idea.

They want flashy cheap answers to their problems. In easy to swallow pill form if possible.

They want to believe they are victims to mysterious forces that are out to get them.

They don’t want to take responsibility. They want to be saved.

I’m tempted sometimes. With a few less scruples I could make tons of cash from some very gullible people. There’s a part of me that still longs for the thrill of exploiting people and knowing that mostly they are too lazy and foolish to fight back.

Wicca probably originated in the late 19th or early 20th Century. Parts were older, but parts of Christianity predate Christ.

Not exactly.

The origins of Wicca are snarled, Gerald Gardner liked being the mysterious wise man.

There are four distinct threads. One was the folk tradition that Gardner was initiated into. This tradition was incomplete and placed the emphasis on practical magick rather than Deity and worship. There was the stuff that Gardner researched from pagan sources, which focuses more on Deities and worship. There was the stuff that Gardener "borrowed" from Freemasonry, the O.T.O. and the Golden Dawn. Finally there was the original stuff which tried to make everything cohesive. This last bit probably mostly came from Doreen Valiente. Gardner didn't give her credit for years, that almost certainly led to their falling out.

Well through the 19th Century, it wasn't unusual for a Christian sermon to last for hours. Some of the early 20th Century tent revivals lasted hours. In our time, I don't think you could keep an American congregation still for a half hour even with a gifted preacher. That's what the hymns are for.

Religion changes.

I'm not about to give up my clean sheets and my hot running water.

There's no "unbroken line" running back to prehistory.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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