All Beliefs are Welcome Here!
I've been reading up on various things, like Wicca and other traditions. Was wondering what people's thoughts are on mixing traditions. Say, like being a Wiccan but incorporating Norse or Hellenic deities. Is that offensive and rude to the reconstructionist traditions? Also, would that be a form of appropriation, even if they are European traditions?
Also, if it is appropriation or offensive, is there anything wrong with being both Wiccan and a Hellenic pagan (from what I've read from other commentators they are highly compatible though different in some ways)? Practicing both but keeping the practices separate. Or should a person only have one tradition.
I'm trying to work these things out for myself to pursue the path that will harm the least amount of people but fit who I am. If nothing else, I'll just really admire the Greek myths and deities and stick to what I'm doing. But if it is okay to have two practices, I might consider it.
Thanks for any advice.
Weird, gods are already inventions of fiction. There's also a Gardnerian Wiccan woman who was talking about new gods coming into existence.
Gardnerian Wicca is not the only lineage to Gardner. Alexanderian and others exist.
Wicca traditionally has it's own Gods that initiates know by certain names, but can call to anyone. Also yes there are different traditions in Traditional Wicca, but lineage to Gardner is still a thing. Alex Sanders was a Gardnerian initiate.
I think cultural appropriation is thrown around a bit too freely these days. It's wrong to oppress or capitalise from an indigenous minority culture, but when we get into spiritual methodologies with people that live outside of the surviving culture that's being reconstructed we've gone too far in my opinion. There are Wiccans in Greece, so that conversation would have to happen amongst fellow Hellenes, and not groups from North America.
Wiccans have their personal practises as well. When we're not working in our covens some of us honour other deities, and many of us do in their cultural contexts as well.
Wicca traditionally has it's own Gods that initiates know by certain names? Such as those imported from other cultures..unless I have missed something.
Is that not cultural appropriation?
When we're not working in our covens some of us honour other deities, and many of us do in their cultural contexts as well.
As you just advised the OP question be addressed to the specific culture stated how do you honour 'other' deities within their cultural context?Assimilation,acculturation or cross-ethnic misrepresentation may be processes holding socio-political value but the blending in a spiritual sense is realistically of little worth.
Alex Sanders composed his form of Wicca by blending elements of Ceremonial Magic he encountered while working in a library in Manchester with the ideas of his wife Maxine.She had claimed Initiation into a magical lodge at the age of 15.Both of their stories concerning connections to witchcraft are inconsistent.
Similarly,the supposed pre-Gardnerian lineage to a supposed coven at Alderley Edge,England that Bob Clay-Egerton claimed could be traced back to the 1800s was more likely a hi-jacking of the mythical Wizard story from the area that was first popularised early in that century.
Like Robert Cochrane,their 'witchcraft' contained all the classic hallmarks of Gardners invention-however well they tried to disguise it.These Traditions have no lineage that can be traced back further than their inventors.
This will be the problem with mix n' match type approaches to any form of spiritual or overtly magical belief system.Simply you inevitably end up in a jumbled mess that itself provides a veritable hurdle to genuine enlightenment.
Wicca, even just the traditional form, is extremely eclectic by itself. It is cobbled together from a plethora of sources. I agree that it's a poor choice for an argument against cultural appropriation.
Since they're known as the Gods of the Wicca, and don't appear in that context in other cultures, I wouldn't consider that cultural appropriation. Wicca has its eclectic origins in the western esoteric, but it has a core that's passed down unchanged which makes eclecticism in that sense limited, and also as a mystery tradition not operating in the masses, I wouldn't believe makes it a good example for cultural appropriation. At least in my opinion, personally think that a term to be thrown around very loosely today. Alex had countless influences, but his original BoS and initiation was Gardnerian, and we have many initiates from both traditions today that could count the similarities and differences. As an Alexandrian initiate with many Gardnerian, and dual initiated friends, those that have guested in our circles have commented that our rituals have more in common with theirs than other Lexies' they've been in, so it's just differences in individual covens as to how much of Alex's personal influences are incorporated, or not.
I'm also a Gaelic Polytheist, and live in Ireland, so I honour those deities as close to their cultural context as I can, often at their historic sites, but again that's just a personal example.
Gardner's gods are Aradia and Cernunnos, both of which are not originally British/Wiccan at all. Nor did he come up with the idea. One is Italian, conflated with the Roman Diana, and the other is a Celtic god that little is known about.
This has been commented numerous times by first gen Wiccans, including Valiente. So, yes, Wicca is eclectic. Always has been. I won't even get into the "Charge of the Goddess" which is super not cultural and considers her to have many forms from many cultures.
This is not even including how Wicca is an evolving religion that encourages change. Gardner himself, changed his BOS several times over the years.
This is also excluding things like the Gardnerian offshoots who took other gods in places of the original. Buckland's Wicca for example, which is Anglo-Saxonish based.
No one is denying Wicca's eclectic origins, but it has an established core that makes it a tradition. It can be experimental in nature (like some practises the Farrars made here in Ireland) but I couldn't just change, include, or exclude what I wanted and still call it Wicca in good faith(Traditionally that is anyway, I'm not trying to define what constitutes Wicca) It's deity names are oathbound, with their own myths, and in past public texts by Gardner and his iniatiates about the/his Witch cult there's isn't an exploitation of, say, Gallo-Roman or Italian cultures being done with the likes of Cernunnos and Aradia.
You must do what feels best for you. However, I have found after many years of working that eclecticism of the kind you describe is not very magickly efficient! It is not a matter of offending anyone but rather as if each tradition is on a different vibrational frequency, and sometimes the frequencies make an inharmonious blend and sometimes they cancel each other out. It is really difficult to find a harmonious combination they are the rare exception and not the rule!
For that reason, since you are just starting out my advice is to find one tradition that resonates with you and stick with it for a few years before exploring other paths!
Sheesh...We actually agree with each other
in this thread and moment . Cluthin !
I am pleasantly amazed...;)
I was just talking with a group of pagans at a metaphysical shop here in Nebraska, and we're very puzzled by all the worry over "appropriation". It seems to be coming mostly from younger adults. We were thinking that perhaps the younger generation is over-thinking things, and they're also influenced by our super sensitive culture right now, where everyone seems to be offended by something. It's almost "trendy".
In my day, it was not considered rude, offensive, or strange to create your own spiritual path, to allow the deities to choose you. I believe this to still be true.
This is why I say it's thrown around very freely, and seems to be a rampant thing in social justice circles. I'm all for the cause, and against the exploitation of minority cultures. We've seen this in neopaganism with outsiders trying to profit from marginalised indigenous cultures, but when it comes to the likes of saying caucasian westerners cannot have dreadlocks, wear hoop earrings, or practise Karate, we've gone too far IMO.
A lot of discussion happens within pagan spiritualities because some traditions and methodologies may not be as defined as others, and mixing cultures outside of historic syncreticisms, especially ones that mat be considered at odds with eachother, can be a thing. There's a lot of grey area with eclecticism.