A substantial part of my readership (one out of a total of 6 readers...I think thats like, what, fifteen percent?) have taken me up on my offer to dissect the previous post which provided an in-depth critical and scientific analysis of the second fastest growing religion (after Islamo-Fascism) in the United States. While you can expect the entirety of that article to be found contained in next months issue of Scientific Quarterly, with forewords by Rev. Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking, here is the article in question if you just can't wait until then.
The following is my effort to address the several descriptions given of Wiccans in that article. It is intended primarilly for the audience of Cowans (outsiders, or non-Wiccans) who would like a critical, and I think rather objective peek inside the religion. Basically, it is the perspective of one guy willing to call b.s. on his own religion...and I think that is a healthy thing. So, issue by issue, and virtually line by line, here we go:
-"Wicca is the shi**iest subset of the Pagan expression of religion. It is favored by people too f**ktarded to learn the rules of a real religion and too poor to join any other cult."
I'm not so sure about it being the worst subset of the Pagan expression of religion. "Neo-paganism" (let's be honest enough to admit that it certainly isn't paganism proper) casts an insanely wide umbrella these days, and there are plenty of kooks to go around. Wicca does, however, tend to draw a lot of people who want to maximize personal flexibility in their religious system. For many this simply means the ability to whip up whatever religious nonsense they like, and throw it all under the semi-respectable banner of an "official" religion. I mean really...how seriously are we supposed to take the worship of "faeries"? And while it is tempting to portray most Wiccans as "poor trailer-trash" types, it should be noted that Wicca also has a surprising number of professional adherents such as doctors, lawyers, actors, musicians, law enforcement specialist...it runs the full gamut. But as a group...yeah, we kinda present ourselves as trailer trash hippies. *sigh*
-"Most modern Wiccans will claim to be in it for the self-expression and becoming more in touch with the world. Expect these retards to say Oh Goddess! in lieu of proper epithets."
Yup, those are a couple of the more common claims for involvement in Wicca, although I think "the world" in that sentence would be better changed to read "nature". Another common reason for joining Wicca is because it is advertised as an allegedly balanced path (it fights "the Patriarchy"(tm) by worshiping the Goddess) that reverences the Feminine Divine Principle (also tm) in our return to the purity of a peaceful Matriarchal religion. There are a lot of nonsense reasons given for becoming a Wiccan. I do it because I like the idea of dancing around nekkid with a bunch of easy women while getting high off of second hand doobie smoke. But I ingore most who would exclaim "Oh Goddess!" (and there are a ton of them), as I have found it is an indicator of delusional and imbalanced utopianists.
-"Wicca has only one rule: An it harm none, do what ye will, which makes Wicca as pu**y as it is stupid."
I agree, it is a pretty lame "rule". And actually, it is not even a rule. It is known as the "Wiccan Rede", rede translated as "advice." I have long said that it is a woefully inadequate moral or ethical maxim, but the neo-hippie folk who hijacked Wicca back in the 60's and 70's tend to like their spirituality with no real personal cost...so it works for them. "Get your freak on, just don't hurt anybody please. Now pass the reefer, man."
-"Wiccans delude themselves into thinking they can perform "magic" just by dancing around naked with shiny rocks laid on the ground in mystical patterns."
The shiny rocks came more into prominence with the new age movement and its subsequent infusion into mainstream Wicca. I personally don't do rocks and crystals (you won't find a single one on my altar), but many do. More new age hippy nonsense, IMHO. But at least we're not offing ourselves in cheap Wal-Mart sneakers while waiting for the UFO's to come pick us up. Now magic(k) (<- prefers the Crowley spelling) is something else. Yup, we believe in it...but I am loathe to use the term (along with "witch") in public, since there is a massive divide in understand exactly what we are talking about. As I have said before, let's instead refer to it as "prayer-PLUS." And I think the author here fails to understand the very real value of "dancing around naked." No, I am not kidding. But that is for another rant. Or maybe not.
-"If you see a Myspace, Live Journal, Facebook, etc. profile saying something like Proud to be a witch ! ! !, you can be 99.9% confident that you're dealing with a Wiccan."
Yup. No arguing with this one. Remember that neo-pagans tend to be the sort who view homosexuals "coming out of the closet" as "revolutionary" and "courageous," as if most others could really give a rip. If you're going to be an obnoxious ass with all of this "we're here, we're queer, we're in your face!" crap, the respectable folk would prefer you to get your ass back in the closet. But us libtard pagans, we apparently love this obnoxious and victimhood garbage, so some try to piggy back on that attention seeking gravy train by proclaiming ourselves out of the "broom closet." We're so clever. The above sentence is pretty much spot on.
-"Wiccans are divided into little gangs called "covens", usually with contrived and melodramatic names like The Silver Moon Circle, the Black Pentacle or The Raven and the Rose."
Yup. Absolutely true. This also extends to "craft names," which are essentially religious alter-egos. One of the more famous Wiccan authors (which says a lot about us) is a woman who chose the name "Silver Ravenwolf." Seriously. Another equally famous author and feminazi activist in Wiccan and neo-pagan circles is named "Starhawk." And this predilection for silly fantasy-inspired craft names is absolutely common. Give it a try by making up your own "craft name" with Lady Pixie Moondrip's Guide to Craft Names. You can thank me later.
-"Wiccan covens are full of pot smoking alcoholic female fatties, with a few token males who join out of faggotry or in a hopeless attempt to get laid."
There do seem to be a lot of overweight Wiccan High Priestesses. More often than not, I think they tend to flock to Wicca for it's seeming promise of power and it's "cool" factor. This is usually to address some sort of inferiority complex or self-esteem issues, and the likelihood that they have never really fit in. Not all, mind you. But we do tend to attract a lot of "special" people. Males, on the other hand, are a significant minority in the craft. With the massive injection of radical feminism back from the 60's on, few "real men" can hack the Wiccan community nonsense for very long. As a rule, we are kind of expected to adopt some sort of justification for a "Matriarchal" religion, and we take a back seat. Adequately sensitive hippie types or those sufficiently programed through a series of "women's studies" classes in University or Community College will have little problem fitting into the neutered role crafted for men in mainstream Wicca. The reward for appropriate obeisance may very well include getting a little piece of the 300 pound high priestess...who knows?
-"Wiccans can be easily confused with obsessed fans of the fantasy genre, for instance people who dress up as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings characters. Another group easily mistaken for Wiccans are LARP and Dungeons & Dragons roleplayers."
*SIGH* Yup, all too true. Again, not all, mind you...but enough to embarrass the hell out of the rest of us. The more respectable Wiccans are identifiable by the fact that they are unidentifiable. If you were to see me in public you might think something along the lines of "god, that guy is hot," but you would never know I was a Wiccan, except maybe if you spotted the small pentagram ring on my right pinkie finger (no cracks about coming out of the closet, please).
-"...whereas the Wiccans actually believe that their magic wands and elvenlore are real things."
See my above remarks about faeries. Yeah, some of us can get pretty fruity, and the Wiccan Grand Council at Hogwarts doesn't seem to want to change much for the time being.
-"Wicca is really just dumbed-down Satanism for really f**king lazy people. Wiccans will try to convince you that their religion has nothing to do with Satanism by saying that their religion is over 9000 years old. In reality, it was invented by a Britfag in the 1950's."
There are some elements of Wicca that may be similar to others in Satanism, but these are insignificant. Wicca is very, very different from Satanism in it's theological and philosophical content. Truth be known, I think there are some things that we could stand to learn from the Satanists. For the record: Satanists do not actually believe in Satan. They are more of a radical hedonist philosophy that prefers their outright societal rebellion to carry a degree of offensive shock value. Many, if not most Satanists are atheists or agnostic. But Wiccans have nothing to do with Satanism, and I have yet to hear any use the 9000 year old pseudo-pedigree in defense against such a comparison. I have heard of the 9000 year claim to antiquity, but even the less than reputable now know that it is absolute rubbish. Wiccans are not Satanists, and we are not 9000 years old (try about 60 years). But Wicca was invented by a "Britfag" in the 1950's.
-"Since Wicca does not require any special tools, ordained priests, or even a building to worship in, it is the ideal cult for lazy poor people, even though Wiccans are still encouraged to buy loads of worthless plastic crap from occult shops...even though Wicca is as phony as Scientology, at least it won't f**k you out of your money."
Most Wiccans do use special tools, although they are not an absolute requirement, overall. A lot of us do spend a lot of money buying a lot of "worthless crap" from occult shops, such as the latest deck of tarot cards, ritual supplies such as candles and incense, and on occasion, a sparkly pink crystal...Just in case Xenu shows up with the alien fleet. Overwhelmingly, however, I would argue that the greatest expenditure of Wiccans is on the development of personal libraries. Wiccans are characteristically a snotty little bookish bunch. This is a good thing in that many of us tend to have a grasp of what we are talking about, but it is also a bad thing in that a lot of the books we read are saturated with hippy new age crap. All in all, costs for being Wiccan are relatively small, I would think. One thing that bugs the hell out of me is the completely selfish (and socialist) notion that students should never pay for training. It is an unspoken but militantly enforced rule in some circles that training in the craft should always be free. While a lot of half-ass justifications for this "rule" have been bandied about for decades, the truth is that a lot of neo-pagan types are simply lefties who think they are entitled to "something for nothing."
-"Since Wicca has no established doctrines, half of the things they do are pulled out of the Coven Leader's ass."
The number of new "traditions" (denominations) in Wicca over the course of the last half-century are virtually uncountable. The origins of each of these were essentially someone saying "here's how I am going to do it...", so the above statement is kind of true. As a matter of full disclosure, I am no different. I came into it and commenced to weeding out the bull**it. But I like to think that rather than following the trend of tailoring things to my personal whim and fancy, I instead opted to examine the practices and beliefs involved, and asked what made sense. At least this is what I tell myself.
-"The other half is a mish-mash of pseudo-religion stolen from Medieval Catholic documents on witches, Harry Potter, Disney films and Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
A lot of younger folk came to the Craft as a result of depictions in the mainstream entertainment media. The movie "The Craft" and the TV series "Charmed" have certainly had a substantial impact on the growth of Wicca in recent years. This is of no small irritation to older practitioners, as most portrayals have exercised a large degree of creative license. And for those who find the Craft through such means, I would think that a few might stay, even after they realize that it isn't at all what Hollywood has served up to them. But all in all, I think most leave after realizing that they are not Queen Witch of the Universe after a couple books. Don't let the door hit you on the ass....
"...proceed to bitch about how Christians stole everything from them."
Wiccans have a HUGE stick up their butt about Christians (again...not all do). There is some historical truth about "Christians" having appropriated pagan themes into what we recognize now as Christian holidays. But a lot of Wiccans get their panties in a massive bunch about anything Christian. I could go on about this for quite some time, but suffice it to say that we can be pretty immature and intellectually dishonest about our animosity towards Christians.
-"Wicca is the official religion of feminism..."
I'm not sure that Wicca is the "official" religion of feminism, but if there were one, then many forms of Wicca, and mainstream Wicca in general would certainly be it. Where Wicca originated with concepts of gender polarity and balance as a fertility religion, subsequent morphing thoughout the 60's to the 80's saw drastic redefining of Wicca as a "nature" religion and even as a "feminist" religion. Make no mistake, third wave feminism has done incalculable damage to the original virtuous goals of Wicca, and saw many of it's more respectable tenets stripped away in favor of radical politicization. We can thank imbalanced and bitter feminists like Zsuzsanna Budapest and Miriam Simos (Starhawk) for the shift of Wicca from a balanced reverence for both the God and Goddess to a twisted and unnatural Goddess-only quasi-dogma. The irony is that most of these still somehow con others into believing that a Goddess-only matriarchal religion is the proper response to centuries of a Patriarchal God-only religious approach. Although most in the recent generations have no substantial claim to genuine victimhood at the hands of "the Patriarchy", they are still rabidly devoted to the idea that misandry is justified due to historical records of misogyny. Most often, the run of the mill devotee doesnt actually understand the nature of their hostility, much less the implications of it. Therfore, it shouldn't have to be spelled out that these "womyn" are in it for a sense of revenge against and power over men, not for any reasonable notion of balance alongside them. As a result, one of the primary beauties of Wicca has taken a severe hit in mainstream Wicca.
-"The rare Wiccan past thirty is most often a fat woman who believes her cats are 'children', or a dragon-shirted male suffering from fail."
These are actually more common than not. Do yourself a favor and find a pagan friend. Ask them to take you to the local "drum circle" or whatever pagan events are available. Take a good look around at the bulk of folk in attendance. Pissed off neo-feminist chicks, old aging hippies, and different strains of nerdery, including the dragon-shirted males. It's can often be quite a gathering of oddballs and misfits. But that's not to say that there aren't a lot of good folk there. I happen to favor the underdogs. As a committed nerd myself, this means I champion my own. But let's call a duck a duck here, shall we?
-"They wear black almost universally, even though real pagans wore white."
As far as I know, the real pagans didn't wear white, at least not exclusively. And in those days, I would be surprised if their clothes stayed white for very long, even if they did. But a lot of Wiccans do choose to wear black. These are overall in the minority, however. Pagans also choose to wear some pretty gaudy colors too, like bright green or blue. Me, I like the black. Black and red are my colors. But I'm not gonna be throwing on my ritual robe in public either. A Darth Vader costume, however...
-"Wicca is usually matriarchal, while real pagans were usually led by male druids."
Druids were a sub-group of paganism. So little is known about them that it is best to not even comment. But they were far from officially representing the whole of historical paganism. But Wicca does tend to be mind-numbingly matriarchal, although most traditions tend to deny it with a wink and a nudge.
-"Everything about Wicca is designed specifically to scare conservative Christians, which is completely out-of-line with pre-Christian paganism..."
Wicca is in no way "designed" to scare conservative Christians, but it is certainly hostile towards them in the main. Based on decades of horrendous history about the "burning times" (as if it ever affected modern Wiccans) and the traditional opposition to witchcraft by Christians, we Wiccans have kicked our hatred (but we won't call it that) into overdrive. Google the "Witches Voice" every Sunday. After a few weeks you will see what I mean...we "pagans" have some serious axes we love to grind.
-"Wiccans may tell you that they're descended from six or more generations of Wiccans, in spite of the fact that they live with their affluent, vanilla parents and that modern Wicca has only been around since 1954."
This is a hilariously common trend that has existed from the very beginning of Wicca. Gardner, who created Wicca, was notorious for being, well, imaginative with the truth. He didn't exactly start the seeming tradition of fabricating lineages, but he certainly became fairly famous for it. Alex Sanders and Robert Cochrane were no different, and subsequent Wiccan leaders have overwhelmingly flirted with "alternative" historical truths. This is one of our more shameful pedigrees, at least to my mind. But nowadays, it is actually possible to find Wiccans who do in fact come from a lineage of three or even four generations.
-"...a Wiccan may also claim to have been reincarnated several times over (almost always as a well-known historical figure, such as Cleopatra)."
This was once fairly common, but I seem to think (hope) that it is less so these days. Personally, I am not a reincarnationist, although some groups rabidly insist on it as a theological tenet. Nowadays I just tell these folks that in a past life I was their father, so go fetch me a beer, son.
-"Wiccans who are called out on their bulls**t or don't do either of the above may instead call themselves Gypsies..."
I have yet to meet a single Wiccan call themselves a Gypsy. In fact the only one of Roma descent that I know of offhand is the Wiccan author Raymond Buckland, and he tend not to emphasize the gypsy stuff in any of his teaching, as far as I can see. Now there are quite a few Wiccan folk who seem to live like gypsies...and historically they were, if we are going to be honest here, quite a filthy bunch of people on the whole.
So there you have it...my commentary on the previous post. In the course of this rant, however, I fear that I may have come off as overly critical of the group to which I claim to belong. While I would agree that I have been critical, I don't think it has been any more than is deserved. In fact, there is much more criticism that could be fairly leveled, truth be known.
But the reason that I am so critical is for a number of reasons. Firstly, I have no problem in admitting that I remain perpetually heated that such a potentially beautiful religion has been, to my mind, hijacked and transformed by despicably dishonest and immature political ideologues. The green movement, and more importantly, modern feminism have all but destroyed a thing of beauty. Nowadays, rather than bringing the young and the new to a religion that teaches them a balanced respect for gender according to nature, they are now instead more likely indoctrinated into very un-natural, unintuitive, and unhealthy feminist (and other political) dogmas.
Secondly, I certainly despise the fact that Wicca, and modern neo-paganism in general, has become blindly hostile to conservative wisdom, in favor of simplistic and often juvenile utopian idealism. And they are militant about this crap. All the while, many still add insult to injury where conservatives are concerned by still claiming to be a path of "wisdom" and "balance," and of being non-judgmental and inclusive. All of this could not be farther from the truth. To sit there and watch them tell this delusional nonsense to one another is one thing, but the fact that they advertise themselves so dishonestly as such to the world...now that sticks in my craw. And they make the good ones of us look very, very bad...to the point that I am often slow to even identify myself as Wiccan.
Lastly, I complain mostly not because of what we have become, but because of what we could have been, and still can be. I want more than anything to see us as a group get our act together and become respectable. There are certainly respectable groups and individuals out there, but they are not the public face of Wicca. I want to see that change.
These are but a few of the complaints I have against my own. The overall list is massive.
So why bother? Well, as I have said, I don't have a problem with Wicca (mostly), it's the Wiccans I cannot stand. When you go back to the original principles and you strip away some of the Gardnerian (and Alexandrian) nonsense in favor of those things that are in accordance with common sense and the truth of ourselves (as ugly as that may be at times), then you have a helluva start on a fantastic religious system. One that makes sense and very effectively connects you with the divine. One that does not divide the "real" material world from the "metaphysical" spiritual world, but fuses them together. One that not only allows you to see the divine in your other half, but encourages you to do so. One that genuinely empowers you through healthy and natural philosophical understandings rather than thinking yourself empowered as a perpetually bitching "victim."
I could go on and on and on. And that is yet another reason why I am so critical. I see what we are as a people, and we could have been so much more. I hope that we still can be. But we will never be, so long as the reasonable amongst us remain silent while the nut-jobs run the show.
But I digress (for now).