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Well I consider myself Pagan problem is I don't really feel as if I belong anywhere. For a very long time I thought Wicca would be a good religion for me and I don't mean I just woke up one day and said HEY IM GONNA BE WICCAN lol. I have been reading books about Wicca since I was 11 years old much to anger of my Catholic grandmother....
Well anyways I found out from some people that you can't be a true Wiccan supposedly if you are not in a coven and and if you have no had the fivefold kiss by a High Priest or Priestess. Thing is I read that you can also practice solo but everyone told me that would make me a fluffy new age wannabe. So now I just refer to myself as pagan. I believe in the God and Goddess but i'm afraid that is pretty much it. I celebrate Yule as Christmas and Ostara as Easter, Samhain as Halloween, etc. I still celebrate the Pagan Holidays but as I was raised Catholic my whole life it's hard to get out of the habit of saying merry Christmas instead of happy Yule and so on. And I also feel terrible that I can't afford anything for an altar nor do i have any room in my tiny studio apartment to put one anyways. So I have always been weary of posting in here because even though my beliefs are Pagan everything I do seems so fluffy and i'm afraid To get made fun of. I just don't want to come of as someone ignorant.
Trust me, not being in a coven doesnt make you anywheres NEAR a *fluffy*. There are lots of people who practice solo, for many different reasons. Some being they just dont do the group setting thing, or there is a lack of resources in their area.
The beautiful thing I like about Paganism is that its very broad and often times very accepting. My term of *fluffy* is someone who reads one book and thinks they then know everything there is to know about being a Pagan. Sounds more to me like whoever has told you all this stuff is more along the lines of *fluffy* than you are. lol
Part of finding your own path is being willing to grow and expand and change. Not surprisingly alot of Pagans start out as Wiccan. As it tends to be one of the most popular, it also tends to open the door to other religions, as Wicca often times is a mixture of alot of them.
There is nothing wrong with finding your own *nitch* as it were and going with that so long as you are comfortable and are willing to learn and grow and learn some more.
There is nothing wrong with being new and inexperienced. (we all have to start somewheres) These things do not make you a *fluffy*. Neither dog being in a coven or being solo make you a *fluffy*.
I agree. And please don't feel like you can't post here!
We're all learning on the great continuum of life, no matter how much knowledge we have of any one topic. There are many different opinions on who can and can't practice Wicca but there are those who practice "wildwood witchcraft", "hedge witchcraft" or "kitchen witchcraft" (as they prefer to label it). Myself included...I just call myself an eclectic Pagan.
I don't class myself as remotely *fluffy*. I'm only just beginning to celebrate the Sabbats and have only recently acknowledged that what I do is practice witchcraft and many aspects of my spiritual life come from Celtic religions, Druidism, Shamanism, Wicca. I think *fluffy* is a term that can be used to describe someone who is not sure what they believe, or takes all the "nice" bits of a religion but does not adopt the not so nice or stricter bits, such as people wanting to cast spells but not adhering to the threefold law. You don't strike me as falling into either of those categories.
Paganism, witchcraft, Wicca: none of these paths are about "show". In my (limited, admittedly) experience they are about change within for the highest good of all - spiritual development and taking responsibility to co-create your own reality in alignment with the movement of the seasons and the natural cycle of the earth. It doesn't matter if you don't have expensive tools. You could still create an altar holding natural objects you have come upon, handwritten prayers, and a self-made wand. And if you don't want to create an altar, but you still feel aligned to nature and manifest your spirituality through its rhythms, then in your heart you are no less a Pagan.
I hope you decide to stick around! You're more than welcome!
Back before christianity was even a thought in the mind of humans and before and even more-so after the burning witches at the stake, witches and pagans tended to practice alone, and used what tools they had at hand. Covens were more a type of a monthly or yearly gathering of all the healers and witches who would travel and attend from all over the region and even smaller countries!
Their tools usually were the same tools that they used to eat with, and tools that they found out in nature, sometimes using their tools to make other tools for an alter (using the antham/kitchen knife to carve out a bowl/chalace from a found branch.), their cauldrons were what they used to cook meals in on a daily bases.
So with that, I do not consider you fluffy or even 'new age' traditionally witchcraft and most all pagan traditions were practiced by solitary witches, more often than not.
The sabbats were practiced and celebrated because it was essential in life, the changing of the seasons were a big part of their life so thats why most pagans did rituals and celebrations... to incourage the changes in the seasons. If you only celebrate certain ones that is fine, they are the ones that effect your life, there is no reason to go out of your way to celebrate ones that arn't as important to you.
I believe that all pagans are on their own path and that anyone telling you that your doing it wrong, needs to take another look at their own path instead of putting their nose in your business.
WELCOME to the board, and don't worry, no one is here to tell you that your doing it wrong!
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Thanks everyone I do consider myself to be an eclectic pagan as many of the beliefs i hold dear to me don't really fall into just one religion. I'm glad to hear i'm not the only one though. Sometimes I feel like everyone else knows some big secret and i'm just this lost little person trying to figure things out.
But also the girl that told me in order to be a true wiccan is that you need to follow the Gardenian (sp) Path and that you need to be a coven to be fully accepted in the community as a Wicca wasn't even Wiccan herself. She just claimed to know a lot about many pagan religions and since I was still trying to learn myself I guess I believed her. Funny thing is I have got some of my best information out of the book "Wicca and Witchcraft for dummies". lol I must sound so stupid but really it isn't bad at all. IT tells a lot about differen't "branches" of it and whether to practice solo or with a coven is for you.. beliefs regarding the Deity/Deities you choose to worship and everything.
But again thank you all for replying and being so nice about it xD
One thing I learned long ago... never listen to anyone that portends to be an authority on a subject if they, themselves, have never actually been there.
Yes, you can practice Wicca as a solitary. The only thing that makes you truly Wiccan or not is whether or not you fully adhere to the Wiccan beliefs. Many people call themselves Wiccan when they really just don't know what else to call themselves. The media uses the term "Wiccan" to pretty much describe anyone that practices witchcraft when it's far more than that. 60 years ago, there was only Gardnerian Wicca, as set down by Gerald Gardner. Fundamentalist Wiccans will attest that one cannot be Wiccan unless they follow this tradition. And old Uncle Gerald wanted his little Wiccans in covens. But now, there are different beliefs that have been introduced along the way. It's now perfectly acceptable to practice alone without ever joining a coven. And there are other beliefs systems that are still Wiccan-influenced but just aren't Gardnerian (Alexandrian, Seax, Dianic, etc). One just has to remember that Wicca has a strong set of beliefs that have to be adhered to. It's not flexible like some other forms of paganism. If you only stick to the rules you want and discard the ones you don't then you are not Wiccan. You are a pagan with some Wiccan influence.
Also, it should be noted that usually when someone is referring to "Wicca" they are, in fact, referring to the traditional Gardnerian or Alexandrian Wicca. Fundamentalist Wiccans maintain that the only true Wicca is that which is directly stemmed from Gardner's original belief system (i.e. the Traditional British Wicca). Anything else is a hot debate item and is considered by most to not actually be Wicca.
So, basically it boils down to this... Do you follow Gardner's or Alex Sander's systems? If not then you are probably not actually Wiccan but of a system influenced by traditional Wicca. Coven status doesn't really count into it now (unless you believe the fundies... but if everyone believed all fundies everywhere, then we'd be burning in a literal lake of brimstone.)
Don't listen to the fundamentalists. Paganism is unfortunately not a group of like minded individuals who agree about every philosophy, mythos, dogma, and organizational structure. There are pagans and Wiccans out there who are just as fundamentally rigid as the most evangelical Christian you'll meet. There are some who may claim to have exclusive rights to a pagan religion or even a word ("Wicca" being the most popular). In my personal opinion trying to claim the word Wicca is liking trying to claim the word Protestant. Protestant is a term which initially described only a very specific religious group which broke away from Catholicism (specifically German princes who protested legal attempts to suppress the Lutheran movement). Protestantism has since evolved to include a number of different denominations of Christianity which have all broken from the Catholic Church. In the same vein the term "Wicca" did originate with a specific group of pagan practitioners (the Gardnarian and Alexandrian Wiccans). But the term has since evolved to include a number of different pagan traditions which all hold the basic Wiccan tenets to be sacred. You'll find there are now a number of different Wiccan traditions from the more recognized Dianic to single Coven traditions or solitary Wiccans.
If you do follow the Wiccan dogma and affirm yourself as Wiccan then you are Wiccan, and no one can take that from you. If you feel you are more eclectic and not as beholden to the tenets of Wicca alone, you are probably eclectic pagan. That is for you to decide, and not someone else.
To me a fluffer is someone who is not serious about his or her faith. You don't have to practice every day, belong to a Coven, have all the proscribed ritual tools, and know all the history by heart to be a serious practitioner. I've met many a Covener who attended every ritual who had a closet full of tools and enough knowledge to knock a newbie down with who I felt were super fluffy. A fluffer doesn't have his heart and soul in the faith. A fluffer is a "only on the sabbats" pagan. A non-fluffer doesn't need a Coven or a tool or a fountain of knowledge to know that what's in his or her heart is true and sincere. You don't sound fluffy to me.