So the title got you here but for full disclosure let me say right off the bat there is no trouble with Wicca. In fact, the trouble seems to be with folks who are not Wiccan but make a point of denigrating Wiccans at every turn. The following is a bit of a rant on the reality of people denigrating Wiccans or wiccanate (Generic Neopagans who tend to follow a Wiccan model of ritual and belief) folks.
If you have followed this blog for even a day, you know I am not Wiccan or even wiccanate. I am and have been a dyed-in-the-wool Celtic Reconstructionist for 20+ years. Like most people my age, I got my start in Wicca, Seax Wicca to be exact, but within a few short years I became a polytheist and left Wicca behind. Like my leaving the Catholic Church the break was undramatic, so I didn’t develop any anti-Wiccan sentiment until I became entrenched in the CR community.
Even being in the online company of folks who did not like Wicca did not really make me think ill of that religion. I just never voiced my concern of the sentiment and allowed myself to be dragged into the discussions about how Wicca did everything wrong from a CR perspective. Some foolishly even went the route that somehow CR was better because our faith was based on what we knew of the pre-Christian people, meanwhile Wicca was made up by a ‘dirty-old-man’. Seemed just as odd then as it does now – that a group faiths that are totally fabricated using archeology, history, mythology, ect. could think it was any better than one created using folklore and ceremonial magical systems.
Since then, I have moved way beyond the idea that a reconstrucitonist faith is better or that there is something wrong with Wicca. In fact, Wiccans and those of a wiccanate faith are the hero’s of Neopaganism and should be treated as such. They have broken ground in every aspect of Neopagan civil rights and lead the rest of the community in all organizational actions to support and enforce religious freedom for all Neopagans (and yes, reconstructionists are also Neopagans.) Three groups that stand out are Sacred Well Congregation (Neopagan circles on military bases), Circle Sanctuary (lawsuit to get the Pentacle on VA headstones) and Covenant of the Goddess ….all of them Wiccan and all of them in the for front of fighting for religious rights or bringing Neopaganism out of the closet. Of course there are others but these three come to mind as the oldest or most successful.
So why then do I still see non-wiccanate people making disparaging comments about Wiccans? I am not just talking a random reconstructionist on Facebook but community leaders who should be doing outreach with other Neopagans, Neopagan churches and even interfaith organizations. When suggested they get in touch with a certain well know “Big Named Pagan” the response is, “Oh, I just don’t want to deal with those Wiccans.” Seriously??
Yes…seriously. Seriously get over yourself…and get over whatever it is that has caused you to think you are somehow better than Wiccans. Whether you are a reconstructionist voicing an opinion on social media or the leader of a Neopagan church – without Wiccans paving the way for the rest of us, we would not be able to be so vocal.
Anti ANY other religious group has no place in Fénidecht or Gentlidecht. In fact, it is these wiccante groups and pan-Neopagan festivals where one would most likely function as a féinnid during ritual.
Guarding the boundaries between the worlds for ALL is what being a Féinnid is about. So let go of your biases, accept that you will not agree with every faith, and get over yourself just enough to work with others who may be a little ‘lighter’ than yourself.
*story slightly modified to maintain anonymity of the individuals being referenced.