Friday, November 13, 2009

What makes a pagan?

I was listening to episodes of the Wigglian Way that I had missed, and I do have a bit of an obsession with them as they are my favorite pagan podcast.  It was episode 55 I believe, and they were discussing what makes someone 'Wiccan'.  I think this is an interesting topic not just for classifying Wiccans but for Pagans in general.  I refer to myself under the umbrella term 'Pagan' but it's well accepted amonst my friends that when I use this term it is simply in reference to my 'non-Christian' belief system.
The Neo-Pagan movement is a very real thing though, and with the 80s introduction of 'pick and choose' Neo-Wicca for the masses it becomes difficult to describe what people believe. 

Disclaimer: The following is my opinion.

Personally, I agree with the Wigglians in that I believe that Wicca is a term referencing a religion with specific initiatory traditions (Alexandrian, British Traditional, Gardnerian, etc.), NOT Eclectic.  'Eclectic' is NOT a tradition, it's the creation of a personal path but isn't Wicca in the sense that you were initiated into this tradition by people you studied under (unless your tradition was originally a form of eclecticism that developed into a trad).  From my understanding (and feel free to contradict me) 'eclectic wicca' typically deals with self dedication which, in the words of the Wigglians, is "between you and your gods".

I do have eclectic friends, and I love them all so much... I am a witch and I don't characterise my spirituality because it really doesn't fall into categories.  I used to characterise myself as Eclectic, now I just call myself a Witch or a Pagan (in the non-christian sense of course).

I'd love to hear everyone's opinions (if more than a whole 2 people read my blog...).

Happy Travels!

Oh, if anyone was curious: I resolved the issue that inspired my "I Am Afraid" post, it saddened me to an extent because he (the man I was eliminating from my life) has been making really positive changes in his life.  For the first time he sincerely apologized to me and recognized that he overreacted a lot over the course of our time together.  I know it will be for the best though, and the two of us parted on a good note knowing that our doors remain open for one another.


  1. I would have to agree that eclecticism does not fall under the form of a tradition, but all traditions had to start as a form of eclecticism. I use eclectic as a term to describe myself when describing my beliefs to other witches. In many cases, with close friends i just refer to myself as a witch (not warlock, i really dont like that misconception). The term witch refers to one who uses witchcraft, which I am. I think that I feel the need to use eclectic wicca because wicca was a large base of my religion (as i discussed in my last blog).
    I dont claim to be a member of any one trad because, a tradition is something that is older than what I invented. My religion is my own, and it may become a tradition years and years from now, but i dont think about it as a tradition. It is mine and I treat it as such.

    Lord Iolair Stormwing

  2. I was gonna post my opinion, but you already know what they are!

    Thanks for listening to the show and for talking about us in your blog.

    It's all about the Love!

    The Wigglian Way