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What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby SpiritTalker » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:27 am

Possible? Heh heh of course it's possible!! There is no authority but yourself.

I think it depends on what definition of Wiccan you're using, traditional or modern. If you're initiated to a traditional coven then you'd follow the coven guidelines in group matters. Not all covens recognize harm-none as a moral guide but will use the tools, altar set up & basic ritual practices adapted from ceremonial magic by Gardner for Wicca. Solitaire witches make their own decisions. Who do you allow to dictate your beliefs?

There had been an attempt in the '70's to determine guidelines to recognize American Wicca. It's noted in the WC FAQs. wiccan-principles-t36795.html Make of it what you will. :)

For some info on the rede.
http://web.archive.org/web/200312180010 ... index.html
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:16 pm

Florenna wrote:
Lady_Lilith wrote:NW94: you're right. The "harm none" isn't even a rule. It's advice. Valiente specifically said it's not a call to be a pacifist. People have twisted it over the decades.

Lady_Lilith wrote:Misinterpreted Wiccan rede, is not a call for pacifism. Three fold law is also misinterpreted. And don't get me started on karma. I don't really believe in karma or the 3 fold.

This is really, really interesting to me, as these are the things I have issues with, about Wicca... (Being new here, I actually wanted to ask about this and was wondering where I could do it, but I guess it's probably better to join an ongoing conversation than start a whole new thread?)

I'd love to know it is indeed possible to be a Wiccan and yet not believe in the Rede (as an absolute life rule) and especially the 3 fold law? (I haven't seen much evidence of karma around in the world - bad things do happen to good people and vice versa...) I don't call or consider myself Wiccan (just Pagan), at least for now, but I do relate to so much of it, besides these, so would love to have some clarity on this issue.


It is. Valiente did not believe in 3 fold and it only was supposed to govern witches concerning other witches. It's misinterpreted like the rede is.

Here is a history of the ethics of Neo-Wicca and the Rede: http://www.waningmoon.com/ethics

"Rede" also means "advice" not "rule". As Starhawk and Valiente say, harming none can harm people if for example, a violent person is not cursed/bound.
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Florenna » Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:30 am

SpiritTalker wrote:Possible? Heh heh of course it's possible!! There is no authority but yourself.

I think it depends on what definition of Wiccan you're using, traditional or modern. If you're initiated to a traditional coven then you'd follow the coven guidelines in group matters. Not all covens recognize harm-none as a moral guide but will use the tools, altar set up & basic ritual practices adapted from ceremonial magic by Gardner for Wicca. Solitaire witches make their own decisions. Who do you allow to dictate your beliefs?

For some info on the rede.
http://web.archive.org/web/200312180010 ... index.html

Thank you! There are no covens whatsoever anywhere near me, or even in the same country as I am (to my knowledge), so it's not even a question, solitary is the only way (and frankly one I prefer, too) ;)

And I greatly believe in having no authority but myself ;), but as I've understood, from everything I've read, the Rede & 3 fold law are seen as the very basic principles of Wicca, and if you don't adhere to them you simply aren't & and can't call yourself Wiccan. But good to know that's not the case!

Lady_Lilith wrote:It is. Valiente did not believe in 3 fold and it only was supposed to govern witches concerning other witches. It's misinterpreted like the rede is.

Here is a history of the ethics of Neo-Wicca and the Rede: http://www.waningmoon.com/ethics

Thank you! Yes, I remember reading that the 3 fold law is actually a later addition, not even part of original Wicca, but it's just confusing because everyone, and I mean everyone, mentions it along with the Rede as core beliefs or binding principles of Wicca, whenever talking about Wicca and its principles & ethics.

Lady_Lilith wrote:"Rede" also means "advice" not "rule". As Starhawk and Valiente say, harming none can harm people if for example, a violent person is not cursed/bound.

Yes, that goes for granted (for me at least), but I've read that even e.g. haggling over price of something can be seen as causing harm (!), as the seller / vendor is forced to lower their price... :shock: That simply goes beyond all reason to me. (Not to mention the harm caused to me, the higher price I have to pay ;))

But going beyond everyday issues like that, I do believe as a general principle that one has the right to harm (curse or at least bind) those who have harmed them first - eye for eye, tooth for tooth, simple & fair. I do wonder if that's in any way compatible with Wicca..?

(Just to add that I do understand why this has historically come to be, as witches have mostly been considered somehow "evil" for centuries, so the "whitewashing" has been seen as necessary, also as described in the Waningmoon.com article linked above; but in my view, simple reciprocity like the one I described is not "evil".)
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby SpiritTalker » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:31 am

The simplest explanation is human nature & the choice of acting from fear or from love.
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Florenna » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:38 pm

Could you maybe elaborate on that a bit, SpiritTalker - did you mean that my "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" philosophy (which IRL is much more complicated than that, of course, that's just a very simplified version) is acting from fear...? As I don't see it that way, but that's why I'm asking ;)
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:32 pm

Florenna wrote:Thank you! Yes, I remember reading that the 3 fold law is actually a later addition, not even part of original Wicca, but it's just confusing because everyone, and I mean everyone, mentions it along with the Rede as core beliefs or binding principles of Wicca, whenever talking about Wicca and its principles & ethics.


Here is the interview where Doreen says she does not believe in 3 fold nor karma. She wrote the rede.

It isn't a "core belief". See, Neo-Wiccans are primarily going on very misinterpreted outer court (public) material on Wicca by other untrained Neo-Wiccans, which none of them are going by what is intended.

Wicca is much more about right practice, than right belief. This is why you encounter a variety of theistic beliefs in Wicca; monotheism, soft/hard polytheism, henotheism, pantheism, atheism, etc. No one is required to agree and have "principle beliefs". (Other than maybe being a witch, lol.) Heck, even Gardner was allowed to be question, he is not a Jesus like figure.

When I read about people "In order to be Wiccan you have to believe...." I always am thinking "STOP right there.". Wicca is NOT dogmatic and these people are not trained, and are inserting their original Christian orthodoxy (right belief) stuff onto Neo-Wicca. I would beware of any such person(s) because they tend to never know what they are actually talking about or allow critical thinking about why they believe it. :lol:

I am but a mere seeker at the moment, but in my Neo-Wicca I try to be as traditional as possible. People repeat popular misinformed authors such as Silver Ravenwolf about Wicca, and end up being very far flung from traditional Wicca from which it originated because of the disinfo. (Such as the conflating Wicca with New Age.)

Lady_Lilith wrote:"Rede" also means "advice" not "rule". As Starhawk and Valiente say, harming none can harm people if for example, a violent person is not cursed/bound.

Yes, that goes for granted (for me at least), but I've read that even e.g. haggling over price of something can be seen as causing harm (!), as the seller / vendor is forced to lower their price... :shock: That simply goes beyond all reason to me. (Not to mention the harm caused to me, the higher price I have to pay ;))

But going beyond everyday issues like that, I do believe as a general principle that one has the right to harm (curse or at least bind) those who have harmed them first - eye for eye, tooth for tooth, simple & fair. I do wonder if that's in any way compatible with Wicca..?

(Just to add that I do understand why this has historically come to be, as witches have mostly been considered somehow "evil" for centuries, so the "whitewashing" has been seen as necessary, also as described in the Waningmoon.com article linked above; but in my view, simple reciprocity like the one I described is not "evil".)


I actually have a link on Neopagan and Wiccan ethics from a friend's website, if you want it. It goes in depth on the history of Neopagan/Wiccan ethics, but also goes in depth on the modern ethics of the movements.
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Florenna » Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:28 am

Lady_Lilith wrote:When I read about people "In order to be Wiccan you have to believe...." I always am thinking "STOP right there.". Wicca is NOT dogmatic and these people are not trained, and are inserting their original Christian orthodoxy (right belief) stuff onto Neo-Wicca. I would beware of any such person(s) because they tend to never know what they are actually talking about or allow critical thinking about why they believe it. :lol: .

Yeah, NOT dogmatic is what I thought about Wicca too, that's one reason I find it contradictory that people generally see it as having these two insurmountable dogmas ;)

Lady_Lilith wrote:I actually have a link on Neopagan and Wiccan ethics from a friend's website, if you want it. It goes in depth on the history of Neopagan/Wiccan ethics, but also goes in depth on the modern ethics of the movements.

Yes, thank you, I would be interested in this.

Can I ask what's your view on the compatibility of the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" philosophy and Wicca? (Just in case someone might think so, I'm not trying to fit myself into Wicca "by force" or anything like that, if my beliefs are too far from it, I'm just curious about whether I indeed do or don't fit into Wicca; it's fully possible that what I am is maybe closer to for example Traditional Witchcraft than Wicca.)
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Sat Jan 26, 2019 3:51 pm

Florenna wrote:Can I ask what's your view on the compatibility of the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" philosophy and Wicca? (Just in case someone might think so, I'm not trying to fit myself into Wicca "by force" or anything like that, if my beliefs are too far from it, I'm just curious about whether I indeed do or don't fit into Wicca; it's fully possible that what I am is maybe closer to for example Traditional Witchcraft than Wicca.)

This is such a personal question, I don't think I am qualified to answer it. Like I said earlier, "rede" is advice and tbh I think there are cases where vengeance should be enacted. But I also think there are cases where it shouldn't. (Traditional Wicca is Traditional Witchcraft, btw.) I think you can make it compatible. After all that sort of morality is based on the Code of Hammurabi.

For a run down on ethics, my friend has a bunch of ethical articles here. (Under "Ethics:") They also have a bunch of articles on Wiccan and Neopagan history, modern movements, etc if you're interested. Wicca is not about strict pacifism and Doreen herself was super against that sort of morality, because it did more harm than good. If us Wiccans were meant to be pacifists, we wouldn't be in Law Enforcement or the military. :)
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Florenna » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:43 am

Ok, I think you actually did answer my question, though, Lady_Lilith. ;)

Also, I found this blog post by someone who considers herself Wiccan and practices dark magick, which clarified the matter for me a lot - I will post it here as IMO it's very enlightening. (Possibly it's by you, as you're both called Lilith? Though you don't have to answer that. ;)) http://lilithslabyrinth.blogspot.com/20 ... art-2.html

On the subject of practising dark magick:

I have realized that many pagans seem to fear karmic retribution as christians fear hell. I think perhaps it is residual christian conditioning that keeps them in a mindset of needing to have something to fear... but all it does is disempower them. They are so afraid of "upsetting the balance" that they do not realize they themselves have become imbalanced, and are now content to sit and watch villains get away with evil, rather than step in and use the very tools we have been given by the Universe to make it right. Our hearts and spirits are fully capable of showing us right from wrong, and we should be able to tell whether a curse is truly in order, or if the poor ignorant soul just doesnt know what they are doing. Some people are truly evil at heart, and completely deserve to be taken down.
A witch who cannot hex, cannot heal. If you can't curse, you can't cure.
This is said for a reason. It is because we need both the light and the darkness. Witches are powerful because we are to be emissaries of the Goddess and the Universe. She will not be angry at us for doing ourselves what we would ask Her to do. She gave us the tools, and we have the power Within to accomplish anything. As long we know we are not being unjust, then it is Right. We must have discernment and wisdom regarding these things however, and must not simply curse anyone who looks at us the wrong way. We must have a good, strong foundation of reason and even impartiality to know what needs to be done. We must be able to see it not only from our own perspective, but also from that of the Universe.
Just like superheroes, we must protect the innocent. In my opinion, it is better to beat up the bully who is hurting an innocent kid than to just watch the kid get the shit beat out of them. Teach the bully a lesson right? The universe gave us the power to do something about it, so why sit around and wait on the Universe to do it for us?
Other pagans do not see it this way however, and I'm not sure why... So, adhering to the "Be Silent" rule, we must keep this to ourselves, or risk alienation. It isn't fair, but sadly that is the way it must be.


Lady_Lilith wrote:Traditional Wicca is Traditional Witchcraft, btw.

No, the two are separate; traditional witchcraft (maybe better with lowercase initials, to avoid confusion) is practiced by witches who don't consider themselves Wiccan, often distancing themselves from it entirely. e.g.
Pagan studies scholar Ethan Doyle White described it as "a broad movement of aligned magico-religious groups who reject any relation to Gardnerianism and the wider Wiccan movement, claiming older, more "traditional" roots.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_witchcraft) There's also a forum called Traditional Witch ("The non-Wiccan Witch community"), http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/, which seems to be quite of an insider group, as they accept very few applicants.
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby SpiritTalker » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:05 pm

Pagans deal with the same ethics & morals as anyone else. I dont see any special reason magical ability should be any different than any other issue of behavior. The "golden" rule is simple enough. The idea dates at least to the early Confucian times (551–479 BC) according to Wikipedia.
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:38 pm

Florenna wrote:Ok, I think you actually did answer my question, though, Lady_Lilith. ;)

Also, I found this blog post by someone who considers herself Wiccan and practices dark magick, which clarified the matter for me a lot - I will post it here as IMO it's very enlightening. (Possibly it's by you, as you're both called Lilith? Though you don't have to answer that. ;)) http://lilithslabyrinth.blogspot.com/20 ... art-2.html

On the subject of practising dark magick:

I have realized that many pagans seem to fear karmic retribution as christians fear hell. I think perhaps it is residual christian conditioning that keeps them in a mindset of needing to have something to fear... but all it does is disempower them. They are so afraid of "upsetting the balance" that they do not realize they themselves have become imbalanced, and are now content to sit and watch villains get away with evil, rather than step in and use the very tools we have been given by the Universe to make it right. Our hearts and spirits are fully capable of showing us right from wrong, and we should be able to tell whether a curse is truly in order, or if the poor ignorant soul just doesnt know what they are doing. Some people are truly evil at heart, and completely deserve to be taken down.
A witch who cannot hex, cannot heal. If you can't curse, you can't cure.
This is said for a reason. It is because we need both the light and the darkness. Witches are powerful because we are to be emissaries of the Goddess and the Universe. She will not be angry at us for doing ourselves what we would ask Her to do. She gave us the tools, and we have the power Within to accomplish anything. As long we know we are not being unjust, then it is Right. We must have discernment and wisdom regarding these things however, and must not simply curse anyone who looks at us the wrong way. We must have a good, strong foundation of reason and even impartiality to know what needs to be done. We must be able to see it not only from our own perspective, but also from that of the Universe.
Just like superheroes, we must protect the innocent. In my opinion, it is better to beat up the bully who is hurting an innocent kid than to just watch the kid get the shit beat out of them. Teach the bully a lesson right? The universe gave us the power to do something about it, so why sit around and wait on the Universe to do it for us?
Other pagans do not see it this way however, and I'm not sure why... So, adhering to the "Be Silent" rule, we must keep this to ourselves, or risk alienation. It isn't fair, but sadly that is the way it must be.


No this is not me. I usually go by "Lilitu Wind" these days. But I do agree. Starhawk even mentions this and source material for Wicca from the originators, such as Doreen, Gardner, etc is about balance which includes justifiable magick against bad people. I have no idea who concocted the idea that we must be magickal pacifists. I assume it's from the untrained and New Age spectrum, which to me, is fine for some people.

There's a pic of Gardner with some sort of "demon" figure that looks like a fiji mermaid floating about. He wasn't afraid of the dark.

Lady_Lilith wrote:Traditional Wicca is Traditional Witchcraft, btw.

No, the two are separate; traditional witchcraft (maybe better with lowercase initials, to avoid confusion) is practiced by witches who don't consider themselves Wiccan, often distancing themselves from it entirely. e.g.
Pagan studies scholar Ethan Doyle White described it as "a broad movement of aligned magico-religious groups who reject any relation to Gardnerianism and the wider Wiccan movement, claiming older, more "traditional" roots.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_witchcraft) There's also a forum called Traditional Witch ("The non-Wiccan Witch community"), http://www.traditionalwitch.net/forums/, which seems to be quite of an insider group, as they accept very few applicants.


I guess this need elaboration. The idea that Wicca is separated from traditional witchcraft comes from Robert Cochrane, who incidentally also coined the term "Gardnerians". (At the time he meant this as an insult but now Gardnerians use it to describe themselves, lol.) From his coven, the Clan of Tubal Cain. (Doreen Valiente joined this coven and many other Gardnerians after Gardner went public with some material, which angered everyone involved.) Now everyone thinks they are separated, when originally they were one and the same. Cochrane's witchcraft is different from Gardner's from the knowledge we have, but it likewise had a similar set up. I hope that makes sense.

Going through 'ye olde' public information on Wicca and the material it was inspired by, it's a religious form of traditional witchcraft. You can see this in books from the 70s published on witchcraft such as Paul Huson's "Mastering Witchcraft" that it is very similar to traditional Wicca. (I believe he was initiated, but the material is set up the same as covens, though it is a variation and diverges from some of it. He definitely knew about Wicca when writing the book, and it shows though the gods are different.) With some Neo-Wicca it has completely diverged from sources very severely, so it seems less like traditional witchcraft and more of a newer religion.
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Florenna » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:55 am

Lady_Lilith wrote:I guess this need elaboration. The idea that Wicca is separated from traditional witchcraft comes from Robert Cochrane, who incidentally also coined the term "Gardnerians". (At the time he meant this as an insult but now Gardnerians use it to describe themselves, lol.) From his coven, the Clan of Tubal Cain. (Doreen Valiente joined this coven and many other Gardnerians after Gardner went public with some material, which angered everyone involved.) Now everyone thinks they are separated, when originally they were one and the same.

Going through 'ye olde' public information on Wicca and the material it was inspired by, it's a religious form of traditional witchcraft. You can see this in books from the 70s published on witchcraft such as Paul Huson's "Mastering Witchcraft" that it is very similar to traditional Wicca. (I believe he was initiated, but the material is set up the same as covens, though it is a variation and diverges from some of it. He definitely knew about Wicca when writing the book, and it shows though the gods are different.) With some Neo-Wicca it has completely diverged from sources very severely, so it seems less like traditional witchcraft and more of a newer religion.

While I agree with you about the other things discussed above, I can't about this; as can be seen e.g. from the "Trad witches" forum I linked to, there are many (traditional) witches who don't consider themselves Wiccan at all, the two are clearly separate, so it's not an idea that someone just came up with in our times (Robert Cochrane, like you said)... Traditional witchcraft existed for centuries (if not millenniums) before Wicca was ever developed (by Gardner), so that would even be impossible. ;) I know Wicca can be seen as a religious form of traditional witchcraft, or that's what it's based upon, but there are so many other things added by those who developed it that it really can't been seen as "the same thing". This is admitted also in the common saying, included in practically beginner books on Wicca - "not all witches are Wiccan, and not all Wiccans call themselves witches" (or something very much along these lines).
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Re: What are some of the issues that Pagans face?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:51 pm

I know this. That's not what I am saying. I know the differences. I am saying Wicca is a form of traditional witchcraft and it overlaps with it. I am *NOT* saying all witches are Wiccans.

Most traditional witchcraft is newer. I don't think there has ever been proof old lineages existed underground in Europe. There was certainly pre-Wiccan solitary people and cunning folk but they aren't exactly the same.
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