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Thread: "Atheist Wiccan"?

  1. #1
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Okay, I have noticed a rash of people lately (on Facebook, naturally) calling themselves "atheist Wiccans." Like, how the hell does that even work? God/Goddess is the very heart and soul of Wicca. The entire point of Wicca is to worship them. I haven't even bothered to ask them, because I know their answers will honk me off. But really, what does it mean? Do they just light candles and walk in circles around a table for the hell of it?

    What I really don't understand is why people so desperately cling to labels that don't apply to them. Be an atheist who loves nature if you want to. A lot of Christians love nature, too. Doesn't make them Wiccan. Since when does being a nature-lover alone equate to being Wiccan? It's kind of why I don't call myself a Wiccan. I am, for all intents and purposes, a Wiccan, but since I disagree with a couple of things, like the Rede and Law of Threefold Return, I choose not to twist Wicca to make myself feel special and instead call myself a Pagan.

    I realize that at its core, this is just another part of the whole "anything can be anything you want to be, even if you have to twist, pervert, and bastardize it, and if you disagree, you're a bigot" mentality that has all but reduced Paganism to meaninglessness. I just...ugh...I should stop now before I have to move this to the rants or adult section.

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS., atheistic Paganism in general I understand and mean no offense to anyone. I just cannot fathom why someone would want to take on the label of a specific, theistic religion and call themselves atheist. It makes as much sense as calling oneself a Christian atheist.
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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    I can't fathom it either. I mean atheists usually don't believe in made up belief systems. Go figure.



    pst. Maybe you should ask them. You might be surprised. They could be as narrow minded as you are coming off in this post. Then you can all be best buds in your willful lack to seek out knowledge by just I dunno....asking them a question.
    Satan is my spirit animal

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    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    Don't get me wrong, please. People can believe whatever and however they wish, I truly believe that and would never tell anyone otherwise. I just don't understand the misuse of labels that goes on so frequently, that's all.

    And, the reason I don't ask is because I see enough triteness and lack of basic logic in the particular group I'm talking about to be 98% sure of what they would say, and I wouldn't take kindly to it because I appreciate manners.
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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    I dunno. A lot of 'Wiccans' also misuse the hell out of labels. I guess they too like to sit in a circle and chant stuff.

    But seriously? I'm pretty sure you can be a wiccan of the 'garden earthly nature loving hippy type' and call it a wash. Atheists don't believe in the idea of deities. But we do believe in many other things that are of this world.
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    Sr. Member Louisvillian's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    It's not that peculiar. Wicca, while being implicitly polytheistic, does not have to be. In Wicca, ritual actions are most important, not specific beliefs.
    Point of fact, a non-theistic viewpoint was rather widespread in Neopaganism, including Wicca, for several decades. Jungian psychology and the expanded concepts of "thoughtforms" and "archetypes" were very popular ideas in the 1960s and 1970s, and continued to have degree of traction into the present.

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    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    I dunno. A lot of 'Wiccans' also misuse the hell out of labels. I guess they too like to sit in a circle and chant stuff.

    But seriously? I'm pretty sure you can be a wiccan of the 'garden earthly nature loving hippy type' and call it a wash. Atheists don't believe in the idea of deities. But we do believe in many other things that are of this world.
    Certainly. I don't much care for any misuse of labels, my distaste isn't limited to this particular instance. And, of course. As I said, I understand the idea of atheism within Paganism as a whole. I just don't understand it when applied to a specifically theistic tradition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louisvillian View Post
    It's not that peculiar. Wicca, while being implicitly polytheistic, does not have to be. In Wicca, ritual actions are most important, not specific beliefs.
    Point of fact, a non-theistic viewpoint was rather widespread in Neopaganism, including Wicca, for several decades. Jungian psychology and the expanded concepts of "thoughtforms" and "archetypes" were very popular ideas in the 1960s and 1970s, and continued to have degree of traction into the present.
    Maybe I'm just a purist, then. It has long been my understanding that Wicca, while having the potential to be eclectic, has certain core beliefs, and that removing those core beliefs renders it non-Wiccan. Not invalid, just no longer Wiccan. I would say that removing the deities from a theistic religion would fall along those lines. Like, if someone were in many ways Catholic - kept a home altar, partook of communion, etc. - but denied the existence of Christ, I wouldn't consider them Catholic, just something similar.

    I guess my bottom line is that it's more logical to at least call it by a different name. Do as you will, by why create more confusion than there already is?
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    Well, one can easily view deity as allegorical, archetypal, symbologial, etc. without literally believing in actual diverted literal entities. Atheist is often used to just mean you don't think gods literally exist, and wiccan can mean anything that involves an observation of a male and female, an observation of some sort of "you get what you give" morality, the celebration of a liturgical 8 hold day yearly mythic cycle, with a general sort of liturgical and ritual standard involving establishing a circle, calling quarters, etc. It doesn't depend on precisely HOW one beer ed* in those things.

    Paganism just aren't orthodoxies, they are orthopraxies--even Wicca. TBH a good chunk of the IRL Wiccan I've known have been intellectually agnostic, nontheistic, pantheistic, etc.


    Now, whether or not they have done all that much thinking on the matter to establish a cohesive rationale, I couldn't say.



    *ETA: I got autocorrected....think this was supposed to be 'believed'
    Last edited by thalassa; 29 Apr 2016 at 02:37.
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  8. #8
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    Well, one can easily view deity as allegorical, archetypal, symbologial, etc. without literally believing in actual diverted literal entities. Atheist is often used to just mean you don't think gods literally exist, and wiccan can mean anything that involves an observation of a male and female, an observation of some sort of "you get what you give" morality, the celebration of a liturgical 8 hold day yearly mythic cycle, with a general sort of liturgical and ritual standard involving establishing a circle, calling quarters, etc. It doesn't depend on precisely HOW one beer ed in those things.

    Paganism just aren't orthodoxies, they are orthopraxies--even Wicca. TBH a good chunk of the IRL Wiccan I've known have been intellectually agnostic, nontheistic, pantheistic, etc.


    Now, whether or not they have done all that much thinking on the matter to establish a cohesive rationale, I couldn't say.
    Thank you, that makes sense. I understand that some Wiccans are soft polytheists. I myself am sort of on the fence about it, in a "nobody really knows for sure" sort of way. I never thought of soft polytheism as a form of atheism, but I can see where the idea comes from. Maybe I just have a more narrow idea of what "atheism" means. At any rate, I do have a better understanding now. Thanks again.
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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    I have heard about "auto correct" and I know I would hate that..
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    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"? WTF?

    Well, that's one way to over-complicate atheism.

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