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#1 Spacekiddy

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 08:38 AM

Thought we could talk here, exchange ideas, help and the like :)

I think I'm a Wiccan, and i'm interested in Witchcraft too, I'm going to be buying some books from Amazon as soon as I can afford it, and starting a BOS too...

So, hay guys :D
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#2 Godeskian

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 08:40 AM

Not a Wiccan myself, but I know a few people who are. What made you decide on Wicca?

#3 Anna

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 09:31 AM

In addition to what CH asked, I'm also interested in the definition of witchcraft. I admit I'm plagued by the movie definitions of all those horrible things that happen when you're in cahoots with the devil, etc. :D I'd like to know what you think witchcraft is... because I don't know.

BTW, is this the "not porn" thread that you asked about in AQG? Just curious.

Anna
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#4 Norville

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 09:52 AM

Don't you want this to be in the Beach, where it might be more welcoming, or do you really want it here in OT? Of course, someone might flame you in either place, but I'm just interested to know where you'd *prefer* any such flaming. ;)

I've got a pagan streak that made me have an interest in Wicca, but now that I've read a batch of the books that I bought long ago, I realize that I don't wish to be Wiccan. Part of it is the ceremonial rituals for everything (and, therefore, too much to memorize). There's a reason that I'm drawn to Quakerism, and that's silent reflection on whatever one finds sacred, not rituals out the... you-know-what. :wideeyed:

As I read the books I collected and decide I don't want them, I sell them on www.half.com -- which will soon be eaten by eBay (in October, possibly, unless they delay the changeover again). So I might be able to help with your book search, SK... ask by PM if you'd like. :)
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#5 Anna

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:13 AM

I don't expect flaming either here or in the Beach. We've had successful threads on religion and abortion and those remained fairly civil. I know we have at least one Wiccan on the board (I can't remember who it is, though) and probably more. We all have our religious choices and this is just an open discussion on one of those choices. Since I know almost nothing about Wicca, I'm interested to know why one makes this choice over the millions :D out there. Count me as just interested in learning more.

Anna
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Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

#6 Spacekiddy

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 10:38 AM

As for why I put it here I figured 'cause it could be considered a 'religious issue' it would be better here, but if everyone thinks it'd be better at The Beach would a Mod please move it for me  :)  :angel:

Hmmm, flames? Bring 'em on. I could use the heat for my bedroom  :lol:

Quote

I admit I'm plagued by the movie definitions of all those horrible things that happen when you're in cahoots with the devil, etc. :D I'd like to know what you think witchcraft is... because I don't know.

hmmm. based on my week of reading up on witchcraft i can firmly say witchcraft don't equal the devil  :D that's about it though, lol. Oh, and if you're a Wiccan who practises witchcraft you're not supposed to do it for personal gain  :)

Quote

I've got a pagan streak that made me have an interest in Wicca, but now that I've read a batch of the books that I bought long ago, I realize that I don't wish to be Wiccan. Part of it is the ceremonial rituals for everything (and, therefore, too much to memorize). There's a reason that I'm drawn to Quakerism, and that's silent reflection on whatever one finds sacred, not rituals out the... you-know-what.  :wideeyed:

Ooo that sounds quite interesting as well... see my Wicca streak has just got a name this week and i'm still reading up on everything  :wacko:
Ooo help on the book search? When I get some **cough** money I'll gladly take you up on that  :D

Hay Anna, learning is great! That's what I'm doing  :hehe:
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#7 TheDoctorDonna

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:20 AM

Hey you guys, I don't really have time to post right now, I'm just checking in... :D  But Hello! *waves* :hehe:
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#8 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:34 AM

Buddhist, myself, so I'm not terribly knowledgeable on  Wicca and Paganism, though I've had a couple of friends through the years who have been practicing. One friend of mine is a pagan with mostly American Indian roots-she has dreams in which her totem animal (I may not remember the term correctly, I apologize), a bear, helps guide her during difficult times.

Paganism and Wicca are often lumped in with Satanism but that's a huge mistake. Satanism focuses on, well, devil worship to use a shorthand term. Wicca, IIRC, mostly on our spiritual relationship with the natural world. Paganism is rather a blanket term that covers a lot of non-Christian practices.  

Those are vast generalizations, but I look forward to learning more from any ExIsle practitioners we might have.

Ro

#9 GiGi

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 12:24 PM

I have studied a lot of Wicca. I can't go into it right now as I have to run to work, but I will be posting in this thread in the near future!
"Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do all creatures." -- HH The Dalai Lama

#10 Ilphi

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 12:25 PM

I had some Wiccan friends, and did a little research into the religion. I still support individual religion, but I honestly think that Wicca as it is known throughout the internet is a horribly corrupted form of what it was originally supposed to be.

Firstly, the basics. Wicca is not an old religion, an ancient tradition, or anything like that. It was founded by a British Civil Servant in the 1930s and began to be openly practiced in the 1950s. And it was not all good, it had its unashamebly darker side. Of course, a lot of people I've talked to don't seem to understand this (And I have registered accounts on several pagan boards, such as WiccaUK) and if you ask them what sect the belong to (the most well-known branches are Alexandrian, Dianic, and Seax Wicca) they don't have a clue, which to me seems a bit like a Christian not knowing which church they attend. (Farery wicca is the name of a book, same with things like Healing Wicca. I'd have thought a religion is more than liking an author).

My main beef, really, is that I just can't get any answers or even the begginings to answers from Wicca. I've looked at most of the major world's religions and they all offer me answers except Wicca.

Were I to embrace Christianity, then I know Jesus is the way, the Truth and the Light and by repenting my sins I gain eternal life.

Were I to embrace Buddhism, I would know that suffering is greed and I should try to achieve a limit to my ego, and I would know that life is reborn.

etc.

However, here's a game that anyone can play.

RULES: Grab a friend and log into a Wiccan chat room. Each player asks a simple question about anything vaguely Wicca-related.
OBJECT: The player with the most condescending answers at the end of the game, wins. Warning: this game can take hours.

Player1: "How do spells work?"
UnsuspectingWiccan1: "No, we won't do a spell for you if that's what you're asking." (Score = 1)
Player1: "I'm not asking that. I just want to know how they work."
UnsuspectingWiccan2: "What is the spell for? I have to know if it's for a good cause before I can agree to give you information." (Score = 2)
Player1: "I'm not even going to do a spell. I just want to know how they work."
UnsuspectingWiccan2: "Then why you want to know? I think you should do some soul-searching before you start looking into magick!" (Score = 3)
UnsuspectingWiccan1: "If you want spells, go read Harry Potter." (Score = 4)
etc...

Okay, why do I feel I'm slipping into a bit of a rant here.

Good luck with your new faith.
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#11 GiGi

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:14 PM

^ I don't have time for an indepth answer. But asking about spells is the wrong way to approach it.

If anything, what we call Wicca (which is kind of an arbitrary name anyway) has it's roots in Druid spirituality.  Spells are not the issue, think more along the lines of Native American spirituality.

I will go into this more, but most importantly almost everything people believe Wicca is, it is not!

See also "Diary of a Witch" by Sybil Leek or anything written by Dion Fortune.  Those are closer to the roots.

One last thing, Wicca is not a religion, it is a way of living life, much closer to the Tao.

Again I am talking the real essence, not the many twists that even people practicing Wicca believe it to be.

Okay one other last thing before I am out the door...

Here is the code of Wicca/Druid spirituality (not Pagan as that is too broad a term to be of any real use)
"Do as thou will, but harm no one"

Edited by GiGi, 14 July 2004 - 01:14 PM.

"Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do all creatures." -- HH The Dalai Lama

#12 Natasha Bennett

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:35 PM

I am a Wiccan myself (hence the pentagram), and I have time to destroy a few stereo-types  :) And stop me anyone if you disagree with my POV. This is my interpetation of it.

1)First of all, wiccans believe that everything-ourselves, nature around us, the air we breathe, the modern things we do-is comprised of energy. Each and every one of us has the ability to influence that energy (and not by demanding, but by asking). We can feel that energy when we cast rituals, do healing spells, etc. THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE CAN GO INVISIBLE, FLY, ETC. We can favor outcomes with the positive energy we send because in a sense we try to change that energy for the better. We believe very deeply in the respect of nature and the harm of no one, and that doing harm to another is doing much more harm to yourself. Energy is universal. A good word about someone passes from the lips of one person to another, overhead by another, told by another, and finally reachs the source is an example of energy in motion, likewise for a bad word.

2) We are ordinary people. Meaning we feel like you do, we stub our toes, we cry when bad things happen, laugh when unexpected good things can come of situations too. And, in most cases, we have to do things the hard way like anyone else.

3) We are mostly held in secrecy because yeah, the sterotypes plague us to death. (And I happen to like Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer!  :) ) We do not advertise our religion at all (such a thing is frowned upon and usually does damage anyway. In fact I can tell you a not-so happy little story at work where everyone learned I was wicca), unless people are genuinely interested in what it's about, which I see here. Even though the times of burning are long gone, people can still say a lot of hurtful things.

4) We generally worship the goddess, but that means that there is a god too! We believe that he rules alongside the goddess. We believe that they watch over us and takes care of us.

5) Just an interesting lesson-most of us believe in reincarnation, and the fact that our spiritual selves grow older with each lifetime. We remember some of our most important lessons from a past life. We try to learn even more lessons this lifetime.

6) each to their own-there are several types of energies and areas of practice we can learn from. I myself am into divination, and the making of magical crafts. But there are dozens more. Again, each to his own.

8) Witchcraft you can learn on your own, or with others in covens. The goddess encourages not following any sort of rulebook but figuring out what is best for you. (But above all, do no harm! that's not what wicca is about!)

9)Novice,  white cord, red cord, black cord-four general areas of Wicca learning. I myself am white cord, which signifies that I am a registered Wicca, but still on the beginning steps. Red cord is into areas of learning healing, and black cord is achieved when one desires to teach others about Wicca. You'll need a registered teacher Wicca to achieve all cords.

I think that's all I can say off the top of my head, (there's loads of other things, and especially since Wicca is an ever-learning process, but I think this basically covers the basics) and I generally hopes it explains a few things. :)

Natasha.

edit to add that I agree 100% with Gigi. Wicca is, for the most part, a way of life where you try to understand who you are, not a phase you get into it.

Edited by AndromedaAbyss, 14 July 2004 - 01:42 PM.


#13 Anna

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 01:46 PM

AndromedaAbyss, on Jul 14 2004, 12:33 PM, said:

4) We generally worship the goddess, but that means that there is a god too! We believe that he rules alongside the goddess. We believe that they watch over us and takes care of us.
What are the roles of the goddess and god in Wicca? This wasn't self-explanatory to me.

Quote

6) each to their own-there are several types of energies and areas of practice we can learn from. I myself am into divination, and the making of magical crafts. But there are dozens more. Again, each to his own.
And what exactly is divination? And making magical crafts? Yes, I'm full of questions, but these things don't automatically explain themselves.

Quote

8) Witchcraft you can learn on your own, or with others in covens. The goddess encourages not following any sort of rulebook but figuring out what is best for you. (But above all, do no harm! that's not what wicca is about!)
And the purpose of witchcraft is what?

And while I can see that Wicca can be a way of life, I hear Wiccans claim it as their religion, when the subject is brought up. Mainly online, I have to admit, so my sample size is quite limited.

Okay, so this subject is piquing my curiousity today! :lol:

Anna

Edited by Anna, 14 July 2004 - 01:47 PM.

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#14 Natasha Bennett

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:06 PM

LOL! No problem!

Okay, the first question-what is the role of the god and goddess in wicca? Unfortunately this is my weakest subject  since it's an area I'm just exploring :) Basically I believe that the goddess and god represent the guardians watching over us and aid us in our works wihle doing rituals, spells, etc. There are tons in celtic, greek (anyone who's watched hercules or Xena should be familiar with them the most) India-in fact I have a book that's bigger then the dictionary on how many there are. Some people will favor one as their personal guardian, their personal angel if you will in life. I myself don't have one yet, though I think spiritually I will know which one I want later in life. The Gods and Goddesses (or lord and lady), as I said, aid in our energy send-off during our works. They encourage us to learn about ourselves and will not send us into a fiery chasm if we do wrong things, since doing the wrong thing is an important lesson in life. That's what I believe. I know this answers a bit vague so for a more detailed answer, I would strongely encourage someone who's studied the area more to fill in that one.

Divination is using our psychic energies to discover events that will happen in the future. There are many ways to do this, but generally it is through tarot cards, and crystal balls (yes, we do happen to do some steroetypes..sigh) I personally use a small blue glass ball since I can't afford crystal. However, I constantly have to put it away since my cat always knocks it over...sigh. But like I said, dozens of ways. Magical crafts is making things infused with positive energy. Currently I am making bath salts and herbal talismans.

Okay, hard question that. The answer is that some people view it as a religion, I think, and others as a way of life. Each to his own. There are many answers to what the purpose of Wicca is, but my answer to it is that the purpose of Wicca is learning more about yourself, and deciding what in life is the best for you. It is about making obstacles in life easier to overcome with positive energy, and it's about helping others who wish it. :)

I hope this helps.  :) I know the answers are a bit vague but I'm on borrowed time at the moment but I can answer this a bit better in a few hours.

Edited by AndromedaAbyss, 14 July 2004 - 02:08 PM.


#15 Anna

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:18 PM

AndromedaAbyss, on Jul 14 2004, 01:04 PM, said:

I hope this helps.  :) I know the answers are a bit vague but I'm on borrowed time at the moment but I can answer this a bit better in a few hours.
It does, thanks! Yes, the answers are still a little vague, but I'm going to think about what you've said so far and may have more questions later.

Thanks for being patient!

Anna
Seldom do we regret words we do not speak.

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Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

#16 Ilphi

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:37 PM

GiGi said:

Quote

Again I am talking the real essence, not the many twists that even people practicing Wicca believe it to be.

But no one had heard of this supposedly ancient religion until Gerald Gardner came along and started selling books about it, after the repeal of the anti-Witchcraft laws in Britain in 1951. His first (rather vague) books sounded suspiciously similar to Margaret Murray's descriptions of what witch covens are supposed to be like in her Witch Cult in Western Europe, published several years earlier. (Historians find Murray's "facts" not only dubious, but outright dishonest.) Gardner's description of Wicca soon turned away from intellectual, masonic-type rituals (oh, by the way, he had previously been a member of the Golden Dawn) to a simpler version which sounded more suited to ordinary peasants.

Gardner's info on this ultra-secret cult supposedly came from his membership in a mysterious coven run by "Old Dorothy," who has conveniently vanished into the mists of time. So, at most, we can believe on Gardner's word that there was one pre-Gardnerian "Wiccan" coven. There is absolutely no evidence of earlier "Wiccan" traditions (although there's plenty of records of other secret occult groups, such as the Knights Templar).

AndromedaAbyss said:

Quote

We can feel that energy when we cast rituals, do healing spells, etc. THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE CAN GO INVISIBLE, FLY, ETC.

Well, to be frank, what exactly can you do? What can you accomplish through a ritual that anyone else wouldn't accomplish in an ordinary day? Can you say "I do X, and Y happens?"

Also, maybe you should look into levitation or going invisible. In my studies I've come across other faiths that claim to allow it to happen.

Quote

(Emphasis mine) And, in most cases, we have to do things the hard way like anyone else.

Can you give me an example of where your faith/abilities have allowed you to do things slightly easier than anyone else?

Quote

...Even though the times of burning are long gone...

To be honest, I have some serious doubts about the so-called Burning Times. There is an excellet article on it here.
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
The Fool - Padraic Pearse

#17 Mr. Synystyr

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:44 PM

I recommend most of the books written by Raven Grimassi.  I find him intelligent, articulate and tolerant; an unusual combination, sadly, in dedicated practitioners of any faith, I have found.

I don't follow any established faith, myself.  I just have to do things the hard way, and try to find my own path.   :blush:

Love and laughter!

Jason

Feel the velvet darkness caressing you...

#18 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:52 PM

AHA! Wicca.  An interesting subject, to say the least.

I was a Wiccan for about three years when I was in college because I was pissed at the Methodist Church.  I got initiated into a Celtic coven that met not far away and generally enjoyed it.  Fortunately, for me, the campus Methodist minister helped me deal with my problems with the UMC and I returned.  Been there ever since.

As an offshoot of that, I did an extensive research paper on the origins of Wicca for my graduate Brit History class.  I think I still have that paper somewhere...who knows.  That was an interesting time, because I learned so much about the origins of the religion.

Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner, an amateur anthropologist and Customs Inspector.  Gardner claimed in his book Witchcraft Today that he had been initiated into a traditional witchcraft coven at a younger age and his version was slightly changed so he wouldn't be violating any oaths.  There is some evidence that he actually invented the whole thing in collusion with Aleister Crowley.  It's scanty, but Gardner was an initiate of Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis, and Crowley had mentioned something in a letter to a friend back in 1914 about how cool it would be to start a nature religion as a sort of training camp for the OTO.  We do know that Gardner's original Book of Shadows bore a strong resemblence to the first three rituals used by the OTO, so who knows.  There is also strong evidence that Crowley himself had bee initiated into a traditional witchcraft coven as a youth, but had been kicked out because he wouldn't take orders from a woman and he was sort of kinky.

Gardner's BOS, btw, got heavily edited by one of his high priestesses, Doreen Valiente, who died a coupla years ago, in order to purge the Crowley influence on the work.  That came out of her mouth, so there you go.  She was right to do it too, IMHO.

Gardner initiated a gent named Raymond Buckland who brought Wicca to America in the early 60s.  You can still get his groundbreaking work, The Complete Book Of Witchcraft (aka "Uncle Bucky's Big Blue Book O' Wicca") in the bookstores today.  Just look for it...it's huge and blue.  Lots of people hived off from Bucky's coven in New York, and that's pretty much the foundation stone for Wicca here in the US.  You know us Americans...we love to take something and run with it.  That's why there are soooooo many varations on the theme today here.

Were there witches before Gardner?  Yes, there's ample evidence of witchcraft activity in England long before then.  Here's an interesting story that figured prominently in my paper.

Was there an organized witch cult handed down from ancient times?  No.  That's all Margaret Murray, and Murray turned out to be wrong.  Even most educated Wiccans today don't take that line of thought seriously.

Some personal thoughts on Wicca:

1.) As long as you're doing God's work and living in the spirit of Christ, I believe you and I will live together in Heaven, no matter what your religion is.  When I say living in the spirit of Christ, I mean you help the helpless and uphold your fellow humans.  That's what it's all about, BTW...so I don't get my underwear in a twist over someone being a Wiccan, unlike some of my fellow Christians.

2. I do take issue with some tenets of Wicca.  For instance the Wiccan Rede that is often quoted: "Eight words the Wiccan rede fufill, an it harm none do what ye will"  is chock full of problems.  First, it's a rede, not a rule.  A Rede is a piece of advice, kinda like "take an umbrella, it looks like rain."  Probably good advice, but not a rule.  Another aspect of the Rede is the idea of harm.  It's impossible to move through life without harming something, but I'll leave it at that.

3. The Threefold Law.  Why three?  Why not 54?  If it simply said "what you do comes back to you" I could agree with that...that's a tenet in almost every religion.  The whole Karma thing that Wiccans espouse today is based on a misunderstanding.  The Hindu concept of Karma is that what you do in this life affects your next life.  It does not mean that what you do in this life comes back to you in this life.

I could rabbit on for quite some time, but this post is getting long, so I will leave it at that.  If anyone takes issue with what I said, I can always respond. :)
"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been and never will be." ---John Wayne

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#19 Rommie's Ronin

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:54 PM

Ilphi, Old Dorothy Clutterbuck did exist, but there's no evidence she was involved in witchcraft.  Seemed to be a devout churchgoer.
"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been and never will be." ---John Wayne

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#20 Natasha Bennett

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 02:55 PM

No offense, Ilphi, but I'm talking to people who are genuinely curious and interested about what it is. I'm not going to justify my choices or the way of my life to you or anyone else, and that's what I'm feeling like you're asking me to do. Consult books about it if you want those type of answers (because those are from experts!), and your views are more then welcome, but I refuse to answer to people who want to know why they should be convinced. If this was about debunking Wiccan in the first place, then I wouldn't have bothered to well, come out of the broom closet to respond. Again, I mean no offense, but I've just had too many of those types of debates, and they generally end up taking hours and going nowhere.

Natasha

Edit to add: I believe Rommie's Ronin answered a part of that anyway. :)

edit again because of grammer issues.

Edited by AndromedaAbyss, 14 July 2004 - 03:09 PM.




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