Page 7 of 7 FirstFirst ... 567
Results 61 to 70 of 70

Thread: "Atheist Wiccan"?

  1. #61
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    2,365
    Gender
    female
    Religion
    Northern Tradition Shaminist Demonolator. Or something along those lines...
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsFriend View Post
    Wicca began in the early 1950s and was a goddess based practice. Part of the mystery of the three primary forms of Wicca is the names of deity which they use. I don't know what you are calling "neo-Wicca" but if you read the first two chapters of "Bucky's big blue book" there is a most accurate history of Wicca to be found. (Buckland's complete Book of Witchctaft)
    I've read Buckland's big blue book, along with a dozen other seminal works on Wicca from various authors. I've also read enough works to understand the controversies inherent in some neo-Wiccan authors' opinions and presentations of their ideas. Buckland's work is not quite the infallible authority some like to think of it as being.

    The common theme in early Wiccan works is that working with deity is not EXPLICITLY theistic. Most early authors are soft-poly or pantheistic at best. Many were working with deities as Archetypes and manifestations of the Higher Self. Explicit dogmatic theism is a relatively new addition to what is now called Wicca.

    Anyone can put a label on anything. They can call their practice anything they want but it can be confusing when they use a name that is already associated with a particular practice. I know that you can be a practicing Jew and be atheist from discussions I have had with Rabbis so how different is any other religion. The Jew only has to follow the law of the religion to be a good Jew. What is required to be Wiccan? In the latter part of the last century one had to be Gardnerian, Saxon or Alexandrian to be a Wiccan. You had to be initiated into one of the three to be "Wicca". Today there are as many practices that call themselves Wiccan as there are "stars in the skies" and very few have been initiated or done more than read the published books on the subject. The BTW do not consider any but the first three as Wiccan and the elders that I have met are very vocal about it.
    I assume that by 'Saxon' you mean 'Seax Wicca'?

    I define 'Wicca' as Gardnerian or Alexandrian Wicca, and any other tradition (including Seax) as 'neoWicca'. This is not my personal language invention, but one that I adopted following years of research and discussion with pagans of all walks.

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsFriend View Post
    Can you actually practice Wicca without a deity involved? Most of the religion is based in the belief of goddess and the cycle of regeneration through the image of the gods who die semiannually and are replaced by their son who is the reincarnation of their father. (that is purely my understanding and I have no actual experience with Wicca outside of a few public rituals. Isn't it about the same as calling oneself non-pantheistic Greek or Egyptian practitioner?
    Yes, you can. Corbin answered this one already but I'll second him. Wiccan deity work is not explicitly theistic, and is highly symbolic and heavy on the imagery rather than the reality. Think of the way the ceremonial magicians of the HOGD worked with deity names... most of them were actually Christian but used the names and imagery of pagan deities as focal points for Archetypes and tapping into personal and collective unconsciousness. Gardner was heavily influenced by the work of earlier CMs and that clearly shows in the early works about deity.

    And just so that you know, DF... unlike yourself, I actually do have personal experience with Wicca. I was neoWiccan for several years, about 15 years ago. Several of the other voices in this thread were also Wiccan or neoWiccan at some point in their spiritual evolution.

    And can I ask what you mean by 'non-pantheistic Greek or Egyptian practitioner'? Is that a typo or did you truly mean 'non-pantheistic'?

  2. #62
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11,218
    Religion
    relational theophysis and bioregional witchery
    Location
    coastal Georgia
    Phrase
    *a little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika*

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    «««««used to be Wiccan (in a lineaged BTW coven) AND before/after eclectic Wiccan (because I deeply dislike "neo-ing" anything)...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  3. #63
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,281
    Gender
    male
    Religion
    Radical Pagan
    Location
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Phrase
    Get s'more toilet paper.

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Again, people can think whatever they want, but I cannot accept the idea that Wicca is "whatever you want it to be." Anybody can revere nature, it doesn't necessarily make them a Wiccan. I can accept that there are Wiccans who do not see God/Goddess as literal (although I personally don't see a necessary correlation between soft polytheism and atheism), but there are indeed core beliefs that make Wicca what it is, regardless of tradition. I suppose my bare-bones question in this matter is, how many elements can you strip from a thing before it is no longer that thing? I wouldn't make miso and call it chili con carne. They're both soups and both are delicious, but made of entirely different ingredients.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
    -Erik Erikson

  4. #64
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11,218
    Religion
    relational theophysis and bioregional witchery
    Location
    coastal Georgia
    Phrase
    *a little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika*

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Shrug, I was Wiccan in the 90's and early 2000's, before people on the internet got their panties in a wad about how literally other people did or did not believe in what they practiced. There are really only about 3 or 4 things you need for a religious practice that is Wiccan (using this as an adjective here). Whether or not you (or I or my great-aunt Mary-Rose) considered that Wicca (noun) is largely immaterial. And none of those three or four things have anything to do with the precise nature of how one believes in deity.

    And, TBH, these aren't dichotomies or mutually exclusive ideas. A sufficiently complex thinker can hold multiple seemingly-contradictory ideas with logic and integrity quite easily, and without being hypocritical.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  5. #65
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,281
    Gender
    male
    Religion
    Radical Pagan
    Location
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Phrase
    Get s'more toilet paper.

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Certainly. It's not even a viewpoint regarding Deity that bothers me; we all have varying ideas about that, and even BTWs are not unknown to play around with paradox. I suppose it can be chalked up to me being something of a purist, albeit a very loose one. I'm hardly suggesting laying down any sort of dogma, I just don't think a specific religion, be it Wicca or any other, should be so vague as to be meaningless.

    That said, the whole reason I started this thread was because the idea of "atheistic Wicca" was brand-new to me and seemed blatantly contradictory, though thanks to the many enlightening responses I've gotten here, I understand the idea behind it. As I say, I never really thought of soft polytheism as a form of atheism before, but that's a matter of semantics, I reckon.

    I think, at least for me, the tendency to make sort of snap judgements in cases like these stems from the tendency of some to use Wicca as a system of snideness and hatred, particularly against Christians.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
    -Erik Erikson

  6. #66
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    2,365
    Gender
    female
    Religion
    Northern Tradition Shaminist Demonolator. Or something along those lines...
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    Certainly. It's not even a viewpoint regarding Deity that bothers me; we all have varying ideas about that, and even BTWs are not unknown to play around with paradox. I suppose it can be chalked up to me being something of a purist, albeit a very loose one. I'm hardly suggesting laying down any sort of dogma, I just don't think a specific religion, be it Wicca or any other, should be so vague as to be meaningless.

    That said, the whole reason I started this thread was because the idea of "atheistic Wicca" was brand-new to me and seemed blatantly contradictory, though thanks to the many enlightening responses I've gotten here, I understand the idea behind it. As I say, I never really thought of soft polytheism as a form of atheism before, but that's a matter of semantics, I reckon.

    I think, at least for me, the tendency to make sort of snap judgements in cases like these stems from the tendency of some to use Wicca as a system of snideness and hatred, particularly against Christians.
    I don't consider soft-polytheism to be atheist either... but it's just ONE of the expressions of 'deity' that early (and modern) Wiccan and neo-Wiccan authors discuss. The point is that something which is not explicitly theistic allows for an atheistic interpretation to fit well within it's defining guidelines. Belief in the 'God' and 'Goddess' does not necessarily need to be belief they literally exist as entities... it can be a belief in them as personification of archetypes and concepts. That doesn't necessarily make them deities. And if they aren't necessarily deities, then they can be 'believed' in as non-deity, conceptual tools that can fit into an atheistic worldview in a logical manner. Ergo, Atheistic Wicca is not half as contradictory as it would initially seem.

  7. #67
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,281
    Gender
    male
    Religion
    Radical Pagan
    Location
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Phrase
    Get s'more toilet paper.

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    I don't consider soft-polytheism to be atheist either... but it's just ONE of the expressions of 'deity' that early (and modern) Wiccan and neo-Wiccan authors discuss. The point is that something which is not explicitly theistic allows for an atheistic interpretation to fit well within it's defining guidelines. Belief in the 'God' and 'Goddess' does not necessarily need to be belief they literally exist as entities... it can be a belief in them as personification of archetypes and concepts. That doesn't necessarily make them deities. And if they aren't necessarily deities, then they can be 'believed' in as non-deity, conceptual tools that can fit into an atheistic worldview in a logical manner. Ergo, Atheistic Wicca is not half as contradictory as it would initially seem.
    I can accept that. In the end, I truly do wish everybody could just get along and treat their paths as tools of peace rather than sources of dissension and hatred.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
    -Erik Erikson

  8. #68
    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1,137
    Gender
    female
    Religion
    Optimistic Agnostic
    Location
    Qld, Australia
    Phrase
    Suspend Judgement

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive View Post
    I can accept that. In the end, I truly do wish everybody could just get along and treat their paths as tools of peace rather than sources of dissension and hatred.
    Here, here! I was listening to a podcast the other day and the speaker made so many gold remarks about this exact thing. One example: 'You can be right and still be wrong at the top of your voice.'

  9. #69
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    10,896
    Religion
    stregheria

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    This very idea is why I am so bothered by "Dogma" in any form,in any religion or path. Dogma is very "My way or the highway".

    Spiritual belief should enrich your life and allow you to grow,not tie you to a stone and limit your movement.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

  10. #70
    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,281
    Gender
    male
    Religion
    Radical Pagan
    Location
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Phrase
    Get s'more toilet paper.

    Re: "Atheist Wiccan"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azvanna View Post
    Here, here! I was listening to a podcast the other day and the speaker made so many gold remarks about this exact thing. One example: 'You can be right and still be wrong at the top of your voice.'
    Oh, yes. Fred Phelps and Donald Trump can attest to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    This very idea is why I am so bothered by "Dogma" in any form,in any religion or path. Dogma is very "My way or the highway".

    Spiritual belief should enrich your life and allow you to grow,not tie you to a stone and limit your movement.
    Indeed. It's not so much dogma I have a problem with; I do believe that there's something to be said about tradition, should one choose to follow it. It does become a severe problem when it leads to stagnation, this lame idea that something having been the same for a long time means it should never change, and when it's used as a tool of mind control and abuse. If dogma were given the freedom to grow and change as wisdom develops over time, that would be fantastic. If people weren't so thick-headed as to refuse to grow and learn, that would be even more fantastic.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
    -Erik Erikson

Similar Threads

  1. For our atheist pagan crew...
    By B. de Corbin in forum Atheism & Agnosticism
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 25 Nov 2015, 04:45
  2. Pagan and atheist?
    By Cobalt26 in forum Catacombs
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 18 Oct 2015, 12:06
  3. Ask an Atheïst
    By Sitnamorcen in forum Atheism & Agnosticism
    Replies: 116
    Last Post: 10 Jul 2014, 19:08
  4. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09 Jul 2013, 13:19

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •