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Neo-Pagan Witchcraft / Wicca 101 Glossary Part 3

Irreverend Hugh

<--- Previous Page

Shamanism

It is unfortunate that some people have mixed Neo-Pagan Witchcraft and Shamanism, because as much as shamanism can elucidate what Wicca was aiming for, it can deceive.
Shamanism, contrary to the market values of the New Age, is culturally specific and in order for one to receive shamanic training one must become adopted into a cultural group
which has shamanic roles. I know that “shamanism” is also the latest buzzword for those instinctual magical/spiritual practices that are in evidence around the world, but using the word in this way is very deceptive.
The word refers to practices of certain people in mostly hunter-gatherer cultures who went through ritual/psychic dismemberment and rebirth. This experience gave such people the ability to leave their bodies and travel to
other worlds and planes, commune with spirits and ancestors, and heal those who were sick, or find lost souls and bring them home. Some East Asian societies still have surviving forms of this sort of spiritual specialist, but the word shaman should not be used
as the blanket term for all sorts of these specialists.



Wicca is not shamanic. Anyone who thinks otherwise is really deluded. There may be certain ritual practices that may seem like shamanic practices, but apparent similarities are just that.
Wicca is a religion first of all. This makes it very different from Shamanism, which is really nothing but a blanket term for a series of techniques and phenomena exhibited by certain
Siberian and Native American cultures. Shamanism is not a religion, nor is it a “world view” or any of the rest of the things that New Age writers have falsely ascribed to it.
This very simple difference should be enough to convince anyone that Wicca is not shamanic. I am sure that some people who call what they do “Shamanic Wicca” or whatever will argue with me.
But let me spell it out: Wicca may have some things that look like or may even be “shamanic,” but that doesn’t mean squat. Christianity has elements that could be called shamanic, too.
And if Shamanism was, as some anthropologists say, the earliest version of human spiritualities, it should be no surprise that modern religions would have certain elements that seem shamanic.


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Finding Your True Path

(A note from Daven: I have Elf’s permission to repost this here. Please link back to this post if you repost this in whole or in part. I’ll see about putting up her email, website and/or user icon at some later time.)

ELF of Elfwreck; 11-09

I read a lot of posts and comments, on Pagan forums, about not discouraging people from finding their true paths. This is generally an admonishment not to argue too much, or not to use harsh words, or not to tell seekers they’re wrong about something, but instead to be gentle and welcoming to them. Elders and mentors, we are told, should not be causing them to doubt, not be dissuading seekers during their time of confusion and need.

I am baffled by this notion. My husband is baffled by it. My mentors are baffled by it. My friends are baffled by it. We are all horrifically confused at the idea that we have even the smallest capacity to turn someone away from her “true path.”

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Why not 20 years?

Erin

Any modern student of Druidry will eventually hear that the ancients spent 20 years learning to become a full-fledged Druid.

It can be a daunting thought. All that studying and learning, just so one can talk to the Gods. Most of the time this number is simply accepted and then ignored. If one thinks about it at all, one may spend some time blessing a deity of choice that modern Druidism is not like that. With any diligence at all a student can expect to receive the title of Druid in just a couple years.

It occurred to me recently that some may question why no longer takes 20 years of study to achieve the honor, right and responsibility inherent in the title, Druid.

In order to closely examine why current Druidic schools (such as the ODU and OBOD) don’t require that amount of time, it would be helpful to understand what the Druids of old studied, and for how long, to comprehend why it took 20 years to achieve the degree of Druid.

Documents indicate the ancient Druidic candidate spent their time in the study of many different disciplines. They started at a young age, usually about 8, and until they were 28, they studied every aspect of druidism their teacher thought was important.

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Green Witchcraft II

Erin

Balancing Light and Shadow

by Ann Moura (Aoumiel)
Llewellyn Publications 1999
ISBN 1-56718-689-0

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

I received this book at the same time as I received Green Witchcraft and Green Witchcraft III and I was thrilled. It looked to be a good series of books for the beginner.

As I said in my previous review, this set of books is not for the beginner. It is for those who have the basics down as described by Cunningham and Buckland in their seminal works.

What this book does do is show how to harness the energy of the Dark side of nature. While I personally object to anything being listed as “dark” since it is all of nature, the author does have a point in that anything in the universe has a negative side to it. This negative side she lists as the “dark” side. Such as, doing spells for benefit during the New Moon.

That’s not something that many Craft teachers are willing to go into in any depth. So once again, I need to restate that I don’t believe that these particular books are good for the rank novice, but rather for the intermediate student who is looking to further their education.

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Some areas for further study

Erin

Some days ago I was laying in bed having a mental conversation with Blodeuwedd, and my mind started wandering. You know, that “just before sleep takes you” wander that normally just turns into “zzzzzzz”. That one.

But this time, a revelation hit me. I woke my wife with it. I remembered it till the next day. I wrote a friend about it asking his opinion. And he loved it.

So now, it’s percolated through my subconscious for a while, and I’m ready to talk about my UPG with you all. But first, we have to lay some ground work.

One of the biggest cycles we as Wiccans celebrate is the Oak King/Holly King cycle each year. This postulates that there is a king for half the year who dies and whom is replaced by the other for the rest of the year. There are all kinds of myths to show this cycle, one of the largest being the Llew Llaw Gyffes and Gronwy Pebr cycle with Blodeuwedd.

Originally posted 2010-10-07 06:45:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Q&A

Erin

This is a list of questions I got in an email. Apparently the person had sent this several times trying to get them answered. I don’t know if they got it in response, but here are the questions and my answers.

Originally posted 2011-06-18 12:27:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Harm None

Erin

Okay, let’s be honest here. We need to get rid of the Rede completely.

Yeah, I said it. What’s more I’ll defend it.

The Rede is antiquated. It’s been the source of more than a little confusion to those who are new, and a LOT of confusion to those who aren’t Wiccan. It has come to be a “Pan Pagan” assumed ethic when it is not. It has been taken out of context and translated literally and even worse, translated figuratively for generations of people. And you know what? We still harm each other all the time.

I harm my family when I go to work since I am not there for their emotional support. I harm my family when I come home since I am not at work earning money to fill their bellies. No matter what I do I harm my family. It’s a Catch 22 situation.

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To Whom It May Concern:

am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult, in order to accept the responsibilities of a 6-year-old. The tax base is lower.

want to be six again.

want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s the best place in the world to eat.

want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make waves with rocks.

want to think M&Ms are better than money, because you can eat them.

want to play kickball during recess and stay up on Christmas Eve waiting to hear Santa and Rudolph on the roof.

long for the days when life was simple. When all you knew were your colors, the addition tables, and simple nursery rhymes, but it didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know, and you didn’t care.

want to go to school and have snack time, recess, gym and field trips.

want to be happy, because I don’t know what should make me upset.

want to think the world is fair and everyone in it is honest and good.

want to believe that anything is possible.

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THE WICCAN REDE

(Note from Daven:  Okay, everyone else seems to have a version of the Wiccan Rede on their site, so I figure I need to have one too.  Here it is, and a better one I challenge anyone to find.  LOL  Take special care to look at the last line.  That is the true Rede, the one everyone speaks of when talking about the Rede.  Keep it in mind, and you probably won’t go too far wrong.)

THE WICCAN REDE

Lady Gwen Thompson

From the Samhain 1995 Issue of Witch’s Brew

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Everyday Magic

Erin

by Dorothy Morrison
Llewellyn Publications, 2002 $9.95 US
ISBN 1-56718-469-3

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★½ 

This is another of the books I wanted to look at for it’s suitability for my Magick Class. I must say, that I think this text will cut the nut.

What do I mean by that? I think that Dorothy has done an exceptional job of staying on topic and having original information for the reader.

Of note in this book is a section that many practical magickians would be thrilled to see, a section on modern twists to old spells. One example of this is her tale of how she learned to use an automatic drip coffee maker as her tool for making infusions and tinctures of herbs. She has several suggestions that many books of this kind skip. Things like why you do different magicks at different moon phases, how the time of day effects magick, the day of the week and the best explanation as to why one would do their spells in rhyme. I’ll admit that I am somewhat resistant to doing rhyming couplets in my spells and chants, but Dorothy has convinced me that it can be a powerful addition to my spell.

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