Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Can a Wiccan be a Christian?

People frequently ask us whether a person can be simultaneously a Wiccan and a Christian. For many years we have taken the position that the two paths are incompatible. Now maybe it's time to explore in greater depth why we hold that as a basic truth. Let's start with a definition of each path.
Christianity is a dominator cult of the book.
Wicca is a partnership religion of Nature.
The two descriptions may require some explanation.
Dominator
Somewhere around 4,000 BCE partnership paths were swept away throughout the Middle East, to be replaced with a male-dominator paradigm. You can see this in many, many myths, such as Tiamat and Marduk, and Inanna and Dammuzi. In written history we have the highly touted Law Code of Hammurabi--of which 70 percent is devoted to defining suppression of women's rights. We find a similar change in Greece, though somewhat later. A familiar illustration is that Homer's love goddess in the 8th century BCE is Aphrodite. By about 450 BCE Plato's (male) love god is Eros--son of Ares, god of war. Cupid, the Roman equivalent of Eros, was originally shown fully armed; still today he is depicted as wielding a bow and arrow designed to pierce the heart of young women.
Cult
This word may grate on Christian sensibilities; however, by dictionary definition a cult is any pseudo-religious group that worships a named anthropomorphic deity. Therefore Christianity is nothing more than a Jesus-cult. If a "Christian" wished to espouse the Wiccan spiritual path, the first thing they would have to do would be to give up worshipping a named anthropo-morphic figure. That is, they could no longer worship only Jesus the Christ--although Mary and Jesus might remain a part of their personal pantheon. So ipso facto, they would no longer be a Christian.
Book
Another major stumbling block to being simultaneously Christian and Wiccan is the so-called "Holy" Bible, praised in some quarters as a complete guidebook for life. Wicca finds its guide to spirituality in Nature and natural ways. So to be a Wiccan, the seeker must dump the "Holy" Bible. That shouldn't be too difficult, because the book contains so many unholy teachings. As an example, just look up the dozens of reasons for putting someone to death.
No juvenile should ever read this ancient mythical book of horrors without adult supervision. Case in point : In a debate one day Gavin got a fundamentalist minister to admit that he had thought the Song of Solomon was pornographic.
Partnership
In our definition of Wicca you may be surprised to see the word partnerhsip. Because the male-dominator paradigm has been enforced for at least five millennia, many neophyte Wiccans in the past have leaned toward a female-dominator model. We hope they will come to recognize that this paradigm can be as destructive as the male one. We refer you to Riane Eisler's indispensable book "The Power of Partnership" for a discussion of partnership, and what partnership can mean, when contrasted with domination.
So we're still looking for a Christian-Wiccan, though I don't think we will ever find one.
We readily acknowledge that our definition of a Christian tends to focus on the more fundamentalist type; and that currently some who call themselves Christian are not so dogmatic as our definition implies.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle in our search is that some 40 percent of this nation's population have no spiritual path or affiliation and do not regularly attend a house of worship or any celebration of nature-in-the-woods. That's a vast number of people. In our attempts to make the Craft visible to them, we fail to take into account the fact that as they espouse the Craft, they may unconsciously bring with them parts of the Christian paradigm. The part of that paradigm that really frosts our sensitive diaper area is the assumption: "If you don't worship my cult figure my way, we can't be friends"--or worse, "You are an idiotic subhuman devil-worshipper."
This year in Florida the FPG (Florida Pagan Gathering) drew in elders and leaders from at least twelve different traditions of Wicca. We had a good time. No squabbles, no fights, no negativity, just a lot of hugs and good fun and catching up on each other's news. We had all grown beyond the Christian paradigm. It was wonderful.
Try it; you might like it.

22 comments:

The Voice of Reason said...

Gavin and Yvonne,

If you recall at our PPD last year the one person I had to ask to leave the event was a so called, "Catholic Druid". Not only was he verbally abusive to his wife but he also chose to rant and rave through the park that your teachings of Hammurabi were incorrect. I guess he supported the suppression of women, his wife sure acted like she had been beaten to a pulp.

Today I had to withdraw an invitation I had made to an individual who I thought would make a great speaker at our PPD this year. Brother was I wrong.

After some derrogatory comments he made about others of the Pagan faith (and believe it or not, this time is wasn't you he was denagrating.)I withdrew my invitation and advised him to stay at home. He bills himself as a Celtic Christian. Weren't the Celtic Christians actually the early Catholics?

I can honestly say I have encountered several people who are trying to straddle that Christian/Wiccan fence. And like any fence in one's crotch it tends to be uncomfortable.

No, to truly be Wiccan one must be Wiccan and the same applies to Christianity. Any combination thereof only brings discomfort and unhappiness.

Love and light,

Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic
Fayetteville AR

The Pagan Temple said...

There is a way it can be done, at least up to a point, though the long term result still is going to be a kind of hybrid.

Still, in Christianity you have a trinity-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

By seeing God the Holy Spirit as God The Mother, you are fitting the required balance in a way that is probably accurate from a Biblical perspective.

I remember reading once years ago that the Hebrew word Elohim (the actual name of God as given in the Genesis creation account) translates roughly as being somewhat of a hermaphroditic entity.

So it would seem, assuming that is correct, that the divine masculine/feminine partnership is provided in the Bible "in the beginning".

The only real difference would be the seeming view of this hermaphroditic deity as not two deities, but one, though with the features and functions of both sexes.

Of course, Adam and Eve in this account are then commanded to cling to each other and to be "as one flesh", right after the part where it describes how they were made in God's image.

Where the major difference would lie would be in the celebrations of the Esbats and Sabbats as oppossed to the more traditional Christian/Jewish holidays as either given or inspired in the Bible.

The closest, in fact only correlations I know of are Christmas (Yule) and Easter (Oestra).

Then again, both of those holidays were adapted from earlier pagan holidays by the Cathoic Church, so if a "Christo-Pagan" adapted Litha, for example, to a Christian theme, they would just be carrying on an old Christian tradition. Or at least a Catholic one.

Even so, they lost a lot of their original focus. Easter is anything but a fertility ritual, and I have no doubt any other adaptations would lose most of their original meanings as well-if it was done so in accordance with traditional Biblical teachings, at any rate.

Jim Hootsell said...

No. Wiccans live with Nature.

Christians live against Nature.

David Oliver Kling said...

Jim wrote:

No. Wiccans live with Nature.

Really? All Wiccans? Because I know of several who hate camping and who are lost outside, away from their computer.

Christians live against Nature.

Really? All Christians? Even the various monastic orders who live extremely rustic lives WITH more nature than any American can ever comprehend. What about the Coptic and Ethiopian monks who live off what most Americans eat in a month for the whole year and live in caves or huts and live in harmony with nature?

What about the Christian ecology movement? Its growing.

Hate breeds hate.

ajdrew said...

Gavin Frost (fake academic) - “Cult [-] This word may grate on Christian sensibilities; however, by dictionary definition a cult is any pseudo-religious group that worships a named anthropomorphic deity.”

I am not an academic, I am a highschool drop out, former military man, who works as a blacksmith. But I can use dictionary.com to discover your dictionary definition is like most of what you write, made up on the spot to promote your personal opinion.

The word cult just means following, as in Rocky Horror Picture Cult. It doe not contain the word anthropomorphic. Even if it did, Wicca is often practiced as an anthropomorphic tradition. I know I have graven images on my altar an I know many other Wiccans who do the same. So tossing out words that you do not bother to look up just goes further to illustrate your lack of education.

Fake academics are ealily spotted.

Wow - A Pagan Pride Day coordinator who promotes Gavin and Yvonne Frost, attacks Christianity, and demands that it is wrong to speak negativly about what pagan authors have written all the while she does the same of me. Amazing.

Here is the thing Debra, it is rather clear that what you are saying is that folk who agree with you are Wiccan and everyone else, well they are not welcome at your Pagan Pride events. The thing is, this is why so many Pagans are diguested with the Pagan Community. They are tired of it being the Wiccan community with no tollerance for other forms of paganism, much less without tollerance for our Christian brothers and sisters.

Rhiannon said...

First, what is Wicca? Wicca is a sub religion of Paganism that cannot figure out what it is, blundering about like a child in the dark, hearing scary noises and running away from them. Wicca can be all inclusive or all exclusive, depending on which school you follow, and just like the Christian Baptists, everyone has their “One True Way”, some more vocal about it than others. Through this confusion, Wicca has developed a light side and a dark side and there are those who play on both. That is the politics of Wicca, like them or not.

So why is this ritual Wiccan? Because this ritual uses Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, American Plains Indian, Agnostic and Pagan work within itself. Each religion is represented strongly and the ritual blatantly ignores the human bickering, leading to a structure that is much stronger than the parts tossed together. Wicca is supposed to be a religion that embraces all and harms none. That is implicit in this ritual framework. The Wiccan framework is the structure that allows the other religions to work together seamlessly, none being more important than any other.

An aside from the discussion: All religions borrow from each other, hopefully getting the better parts from watching the historic blunders and learning from them. You can easily see these blunders being repeated today by the Catholic Papacy. Watch, learn and avoid.

I now turn to your Jesus question. Tossing the cat in the hen house, are we not? Well, since you asked ...

Jesus was a heretical Jewish Rabbi who was the annointed one, according to the Catholic Church. One does not preclude the other in any way. The separation was concocted later by others to bolster their power base. Jesus made no bones about being Jewish and staying Jewish. He taught within the Jewish law and endorsed the Jewish structure. What he wanted was for the Jews to actually follow the Jewish Laws and structure with more tolerance than the suffocating dominance practiced by the then ruling religious elite, the Sanhedrin. I think I will stop here as this is blurring the argument.

So why does holding Jesus as the Christ preclude being Wiccan or Pagan in any way? It is jut the acknowledgement of his being an anointed one of the Jewish God Yahweh. We have others that have held this beloved position in the Pagan pantheon. What is the big deal, except to those who want to seize power for themselves?

When Jesus said that one could only come to God through him, he was talking about his teachings, not setting himself up as God. One cannot stupidly, blindly follow the Laws without the temperance of Love. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Love one another as I have loved you is the center of his teachings. You do not have to be Christian or Jewish to follow Jesus’ teachings.

Are Jesus’ teachings so different from the Wiccan teachings? You decide and incorporate whatever you wish into your personal belief system. There is no one true way; there is only what is right for you. How do you find that? Search through every source, question every pat answer, listen to your feelings, meditate on the information, find other opinions, search for alternate viewpoints, never ignore anyone or anything that might possibly have a nuance of the truth within.

As for limitations, why? Since when do you know the Mind of the Gods? The only limitations you place on anything are those you place on yourself, artificial and limiting.

The Pagan Temple said...

The main thing about Christians is, they are not only the major, dominant religion in this country, they are going to stay that way. Frankly, I don't care. Better them than Islam is the way I look at it, as Islam would probably be the one more than likely to supplant them, maybe in two to three hundred years.

That's the reality. That's the deck we've been dealt. No matter how often you shuffle the deck, you'll never stack it.

That leaves only two options-

1. We play up to them, try to play nice with them, and hope they eventually accept us.

2. We fight them every step of the way.

Well, I guess I should have said that leaves two extreme options. There is another option, which is, realize that there is only so much if anything we can do to be accepted by them, and move on.

Trying to be all things to all people never is going to work. Nor is banding together for the sake of "unity" and "power", because the unity is always going to be artificial at best.

Christians aren't united. If the overall Christian community was the only religion in this country, it would not be all love and light with all of them. They would turn on and devour each other.

First, it would be the catholics who would be the targets, as they would be the most obvious ones out of the Christian protestant mainstream of America.

Before long it would be the Baptists against the Methodists, etc.

Why? Because it's all about power and control. That's just the way people are. As far as I'm concerned, that is not something that is worthy of emulation.

I have no doubt, if the country was made up of nothing but pagans, you would have the same situation. It would be Wiccans against Reconstructionists, it would be all the various neo-pagan groups against each other, and it would probably be the Asatru fighting every other group in sight.

Me, I just want to learn and grow and hopefully evolve beyond that mess. That is all I can hope for on an individual level. We can strive for that growth in our individual selves, groups, or covens.

But we just aren't going to magically transform all of humanity. By the time mankind in general evolves significantly beyond this level, every damn one of us living today will be just so much dust, or maybe even a few atomic molecules floating around somewhere. Nobody will even know who the hell any of us were.

I'm fine with that myself. Personally, I get a bit of a laugh out of all these people that think Christ is going to come any minute now and make things right, and the universe will be perfect from now on.

People two thousand years ago that believed such rubbish is somewhat understandable. People that believe it today are, frankly, insane.

So how are you supposed to get along with a bunch of insane people that persist in believing the impossible? It's like a mental virus, one of two thousand years duration. It's not going away overnight, I'm afraid.

So therefore I would appreciate it if someone could explain to me why, those of you who claim to hate Christians so much, so many of you aspire to be just like them.

Who cares if all Wiccans believe the same thing about everything? Why should we believe the same thing about everything?

If I ran into a group of people that believed exactly the same thing about everything, it would scare the living shit out of me. I would think I was in the presence of either demented people, or zombies, or robots, or anything but functional human beings. I would run in terror, to be blunt.

Newsflash of the day is-People all are unique to some degree, so to imagine that they are all going to agree on everything just doesn't fit the human nature of experience.

Yes, that includes Wiccans, just as much as it includes Christians. You see how many Christian cults there are. You also see how many Wiccan/Pagan cults there are.

Cult, by the way, is not necessarily a bad thing. It's like anything else in life, it's what you make of it.

The point is, neither is diversity in religion a bad thing. It's only a bad thing to people that want power and control, like Christians or at least their leaders want power and control.

Me, I don't want some self-styled leader telling me when the proper time is to piss, who or what party I must vote for, or that I must be supportive of this or that issue, or against this or that other. No thank you, I'll make my own decision on those matters.

Covens of the past were successful for a reason. They were small, they were intimate (I'm not talking necessarily about sexual intimacy, AJ, so don't have a cow if you're reading this), and they were dedicated to each others well being and happiness.

You will never achieve the same result in a large scale, monolithic, bureacratic entity like the catholic church.

Banding together for common cause over a few specific issues, like headstones for pagan veterans, that's fine. Banding together for environmental causes, that's okay. But at the end of the day, it's never going to amount to any more unity than that, becasue it just wasn't meant to be.

Well, unless deep down you really do think the Catholic Church is a natural and healthy phenomenon.

The Voice of Reason said...

Drew are you sure you and Carol Maltby are not related? Neither of you seem to be able to get your facts straight and both fuel your agrements with half truths and partial facts.

You state: "Wow - A Pagan Pride Day coordinator who promotes Gavin and Yvonne Frost, attacks Christianity, and demands that it is wrong to speak negativly about what pagan authors have written all the while she does the same of me. Amazing."

I'll address each of these comments accordingly and use small words so you don't have to look anything up.

I'm not sure what my friendship with Gavin and Yvonne have to do with any of this. Aside from the fact that I won't sit by the wayside while you spread lies about them for your own gain and glory.

Yes Drew I do not think you should speak out against your elders.

You might not like what the Frost's write but they have truly done a lot of good work for the Wiccan Community. Like going head to head with the Federal Govenment until Wicca was finally recogized in the US as a valid religion. When was the last time YOU did anything to help promote Wicca in the Community? And no, Witch Burnings do not count.

Also I have never attacked you, all I have ever done is state fact. Face it, your name and author should not appear in the same sentence.

Yes, you're published, but so am I. I had the sense to realize I was not a good author and removed my books from publication.

I've persued your books and found them to be nothing more than regurgitations of other authors original works. (Another trait you and Carol Maltby share) Actually I'm suprised that several pagan authors haven't sued the socks off of you for plagarism. I guess they are being good Pagans.

I work in a New Age Bookstore and I'm sorry but that is not just my opinion, but the that of a lot of other readers out here. If you were an author and ever had an original thought, I'd be glad to honor your works, but until then I can't.

Furthermore, I do not even consider you to be a Pagan. A true Pagan wouldn't be wiping out forests printing the crap you write on perfectly good paper. Stop killing the trees Drew.

Actually, I'd class you as a sensationalist and antagonist who would use any publicity stunt to line your pockets.

As a side note, I do want to thank you though for not putting up that tiresome link to your website. I'm sure we all have it memorized by now and do not need to see it anymore.

Finally again Drew you have your facts skewed. Not once did I attack a Christian or the Christian faith. What i said was, you can't be both successfully and comfortably. I know too many people who have tried. The first time something goes against a Christian tenent, they will go running back to their Christian beliefs, Paganism be damned.

Furthermore, I did not 'ban' anyone from our PPD for not agreeing with me. I banned them for stirring up shit in what is supposed to be a tolerant and peaceful environment. You of all people should understand the concept of shit stirring.

The offenders are the ones who couldn't get along with anyone and created strife not only among the Pagans but the Christians alike.

In fact, now that I think about it...they act a lot like you do.
I guess if the Catholic Druid was abusing his wife at your Good Witches Ball, you'd have had her stripped naked and flogged with a cat o' nine tails for not being a good wife.

I'd say if there is any reason people are disgusted with the Pagan Community its because of people like you. (I know I'm pretty disgusted with you.) How can you call yourself a Pagan, Pagan Author and Promoter of a Pagan Event and yet jump at the first opportunity to Burn a Witch!

I believe that would make you a hypocite, would it not?

Drew I wish you only the best and hope that you come to your senses soon. One of these days the backwash of what you have sent out into the Pagan Community is going to come back to you and I'm afraid on that day it will really suck to be you.

Sending you abundant blessings,

Debra Ravenswood

The Voice of Reason said...

I thought it would be fun to keep a tally of what people thought about this...

Unfortunately some of you made commentary but never addressed the question at hand.

Jim Hootsell and I say NO,

Pagan Temple (and correct me if I'm wrong)said yes, but it would be a hybrid. And I get the impression he feels it might not be a successful hybrid?

David Oliver Kling, had no opinion other than Jim Hootsell was wrong in his summation.

Drew had no opinion one way or the other, but took yet another opportunity to take pot shots at the Frosts and myself. At least he's consistant.

Rhiannon although well spoken doesn't appear to think one is much different from the other and neither of them are worth spit. (Please let me know if I'm wrong here) but I read that to be a "no opinion"?

I think Pagan Temple made a good point in his second post: "Me, I just want to learn and grow and hopefully evolve beyond that mess. That is all I can hope for on an individual level. We can strive for that growth in our individual selves, groups, or covens."

Striving toward that is all any of us can do.

So lets see:

2 No's
1 Maybe
3 No Opinions?

Feel free to let us know if I tallied your opinions incorrectly.

Love and light,

Debra Ravenswood

David Oliver Kling said...

Debra:

I'm going to, perhaps sometime today, write a response to the Frost's post on my blog so I didn't spend too much time here doing so. Additionally, while I am no fan of AJ Drew's written works I see no point in attacking his work. That is an ad hominem attack and a fallacy of logic, so what if his books are not good. If I were to write, "I think you're fat," does that add any weight to my theological/philosophical position? It does not, you may like being fat or you may not in fact be fat (I have no clue). The point is, personal attacks in a debate are used to side track the debate and take it off course.

You mention working in a New Age store and mentioned others agreeing with you. This too is a fallacy, it is an "appeal to.." fallacy. You claim, "Well others agree therefore I'm right." Everyone in the world can say, "The world is flat," but that doesn't make it true.

The arguments used to discredit the possibility of there being "Christian Wicca" are filled with logical fallacies. The first fallacy that comes to mind is the "straw man" argument. The Sraw Man fallacy is, "The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position." It is a Straw Man argument because repeatedly someones actual position is ignored and an attempt to discredit them is used. The Frosts post was one big Straw Man because they defined what a Christian was/is and then went to say, "This is not possible."

Out there in the world there are Christo-Pagans and Wiccans who practice Christianity. This is a fact; it's an ontological reality. The Frosts can argue that while they exist they can argue against them theologically or philosophically or both, but they have not done this. I could go on further, but I'll save it for later.

Regards:

David O. Kling

Carol Maltby said...

The Pagan Temple found 3 ways he felt Pagans could interact with Christians:

1. We play up to them, try to play nice with them, and hope they eventually accept us.

2. We fight them every step of the way.

Well, I guess I should have said that leaves two extreme options. There is another option, which is, realize that there is only so much if anything we can do to be accepted by them, and move on.


A fourth way is to have respectful and genuine interfaith dialogue with those in other faith traditions who wish to explore what unites us as much as what divides us. That goes for intrafaith dialogue as well.

I recently attended presentations at Covenant of the Goddess's Merrymeet by some of the witches who were Pagan representatives at the Parliament of the World's Religions. Angie Buchanan and Andras Corban Arthen gave moving accounts of their experiences at the last Parliament in Barcelona.

As Pagans we've all had damaging conflicts with members of other religions. Angie, Don and Andras, as well as many others, have shown that the areas where cultures meet can also bring richness and understanding to our relationships with people of other faith traditions. It can take hard work, and a structure which facilitates open communication, but it's achievable. When you want to learn how to do something, learn from people who are successful at doing it.


EarthSpirit
http://www.earthspirit.com/Parliament/parlinfo.html

Don Frew (COG):
http://www.cog.org/interfaith/0207report.html

Article on the Barcelona Parliament by Jerrie Hildebrand:
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usxx&c=words&id=8601

Circle Sanctuary interfaith links:
http://www.circlesanctuary.org/network/interfaith/

The Pagan Temple said...

Debra-

I don't know how successful or not it would be, I guess that depends on how you measure success. It couldn't fit into mainstream Christianity, nor could it fit into Wicca.

It might be compatible to a limited degree with other neo-pagan religions, but probably not Wicca. It would eventually end up being geared more heavily toward one than the other. Otherwise, it would be a mule, and you know what the limitation there is.

Carol Maltby-There are certainly some Christian denominations you might have interfaith dialogue with, and you can gain some measure of acceptance. There are unfortunately a good many others with whom that is highly unlikely. I don't think I have to tell you which ones they are. Unfortunately, I am afraid they are in the majority.

Even if they express an interest in dialogue, a good many times it is not so much because they want to learn about you for a good reason. They are in most cases waiting with a stock reply in hand, all geared towards the concept of "gently" leading you back to Christ, and to "salvation".

There is one big reason that Wiccans and most Christians (if not all of them) will never be able to see eye to eye when it comes to faith. The reason-

Original Sin-they all believe we were originally created perfect, but fell due to sin, and that sin has passed on through the generations. Only Christ, they believe, can offer redemption from that sin through reason of his blood sacrifice. Otherwise, no matter how good we try to be, that lack of perfection will doom us to an eternal hell.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I believe perfection is the biggest falsehood ever perpetrated. I started to call it the biggest myth, but I caught myself. A myth is something that expresses a a great truth, however fanciful it's outer wrappings. The idea of perfection is nothing but a fanciful delusion. It has never existed anywhere, nor will it ever.

Mankind evolves constantly, and rises, then falls briefly, with peaks and valleys that if recorded would look similar to graph chart. That is the true human experience.

And that, in reality is one of the most pertinent reasons why a fusion of Wicca with Christianity is problematic at best.

That in combination with their insistence in all too many cases that every mythological story in their sacred book, the Bible, is meant to be taken literally. Those are the ones it is particularly impossible to achieve any kind of understanding with.

Think about it-if you sincerely believe that there is literally only "one way", how can you have a reasonable dialogue toward understanding with a proponent of another "way"?

Jim Hootsell said...

Choice to leave the "faith" of the Christian religion after proper outward meditation within a sea salt circle. Overcame fear of a omnipotent, jealous, grandfather figure full of thou shalt not spirit.

Learned that I have to develop my eternal body, and not trust a minister or guardian angel to do it for me! Never invite a spirit to enter your body, this flesh should only be in possession of the one rightfull personality.

Yes I had to learn harsh lessons, and due to being able to detach from fear of loss, my children and myself have enjoyed years living in the house that once I was being evicted from. Only using Intent and correct emotion charge from my tamulet, right choice of legal advice, and never giving in to the "Christian Rules" was my Lifestyle greatly improved.

My rituals produced results that Christians call "the works of the devil" because of my use of the energy of Lucifer, Not The Christian holy books image, Only the Earth Energy source for getting my needs met, and so my children could move out of a dangerous mothers home, and live with their stable and aware father.

My old Christian belief life would have killed me. My Wiccan belief life has rewarded me and others. Most locals accept me. I am the same person in your local stores that I am in my home. No, you are not safe from danger in your home. My outspoken views have attracted those from other Pagan circles that test your faith with fire, and I survived.

My Intent is to focus on living clean and sober each day, until the Elder Ones allow my aka cord to be cut during astral work. Now confident that my enery body will serve me for the next challenge!

ajdrew said...

Pagan Temple – I do not think Christianity is the dominant religion in this country at all. I think money is the dominant religion in this country. Folk will predominantly answer Christian if asked, but most have little or no reason to call them such other than it is in fashion.

Pagan Temple said: “Me, I just want to learn and grow and hopefully evolve beyond that mess. That is all I can hope for on an individual level.”

That, in my opinion, defines you as a religious person. The folk who call themselves Christian (or any religious title) who do not feel the same, well I do not think they are what ever it is that they call their religion because it is not a path which brings re-legion (re-joining), it does not “evolve beyond that mess” or beyond anything.

Pagan Temple said: “Covens of the past were successful for a reason. They were small, they were intimate”

I agree 100%, in fact I consider the family to be the coven. Kith and Kin, not folk one meets at the local bookstore. Not folk brought together to practice the religion. But people brought together by real ties to each other, by interdependence on each other. Specific religions do not much matter, instead what matters to a successful coven is how different approaches to religion blend into the whole that is the coven, household, family or whatever one wants to call it. It seems like a much better approach than a bunch of semi strangers pledging perfect love and perfect trust to each other when all along it is little more than a role playing game to make such claims without real connections of love.

I do, however, believe that for one to use a word that word must be understood to have certain meanings, else its use would be pointless. I do, however, believe that a community which shares no standards is not a community. Wicca specifically and modern paganism in general should at a very minimum have a concept of shared morals and ethics, some concept of a definition for the words. Else, well what is the point of having the words? What is the point of a community without community standards?

In that, I believe the community standard that we do not sexually initiate children should go right along with we do not welcome racism, sexism, or homophobia. We do not kill animals for sport, we try to minimize our destructive impact on the earth. And so on. Community standards I thought we all agreed upon.

Debra, could you please define the words Wiccan and Christian for me?

In particular, could you tell me if you believe the sexual initiation of children is a part of the Wiccan religion?

Are the quotes found here part of Wicca? - http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/defrost-please-read/

Are the quotes found here part of Wicca? - http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/2007/08/22/wiccan-dead-beat-dads-encouraged/

Are they something the Pagan Community should be proud of?

ajdrew said...

Debra Ravenswood - Are you misleading folk about your credentials with Pagan Pride? They do not seem to know anything about your event. I am kind of concerned. Where is the money from your event going, are you a 501c3, do you have the legal right to collect money? Are you a business?

Sometimes I become very confused. Take my stance on Pagan Pride. I wrote to Pagan Pride with concerns about one of their Coordinators, Debra Ravenswood and the fact that she seems to be promoting Gavin and Yvonnne Frost with the Pagan Pride event she coordinates. I feel the Frosts are nothing to be proud about for reasons sated here - http://ajdrew.blogs.pagannation.com/defrost-please-read/

I believed the woman was a legitimate Coordinator of a legitimate Pagan Pride Day event because she lists her credentials in the Frost’s blog as:

Debra Ravenswood
Coordinator of the Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic

So why am I confused? Well, I just received an email from Brian Ewing Vice President, Pagan Pride Project which in part reads: “…the Fayetteville, Ark., event is not one of our events”.

So why am I confused? Well, we have a national and respected organization such as Pagan Pride in our community, and then we have Debra Ravenswood who seems to be attaching herself to their good name for the purpose of promoting Gavin and Yvonne Frost. In fact, we have Gavin and Yvonne Frost referencing their attendance at such events as being involved in Pagan Pride events.

Is it possible that in their efforts to promote Gavin and Yvonne Frost, individuals are creating fake Pagan Pride events? Ok, maybe there is not a trademark on the term “Pagan Pride Day”, but certainly in using the same name, there is an indication that there is an affiliation with the larger organization, especially considering the larger organization’s mission is in part to facilitate local events to taking place.

I am ever so confused as to why Debra Ravenswood would seem to be so misleading. Or should I think the Vice President of the Pagan Pride Project is misleading me.

ajdrew said...

Dagonet Dewr
Executive Director, Pagan Pride Project said in email - "The event in Fayetteville is not an official PPP, Inc-sponsored event."

Ok den, now I know that I do not have a national organization telling the press that the Pagan community is proud of Gavin and Yvonne Frost. Just Debra, one of their supporters, giving the folk the impression that a national organization is proud of the Frosts.

This isn't as funny as Gavin reportedly giving his self credentials, but it is right up there.

A.J. Drew BHG

The Voice of Reason said...

Drew honey,

Once more, you just hit left of the mark and once again it blew up in your face. When will you ever learn? Don’t you think your comment "sometimes I become very confused" should make your followers run like hell every time you open your mouth.

Let’s look at your allegations:
"Well, we have a national and respected organization such as Pagan Pride in our community, and then we have Debra Ravenswood who seems to be attaching herself to their good name for the purpose of promoting Gavin and Yvonne Frost."

In reality my Signature states:
Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic...

There is no mention of Pagan Pride Project, Pagan Pride Project, Inc, PPP, Inc. or any other nationally recognized governing body for Pagan Pride Events. This is just another example of your mouth flapping while your brain is on hold in an attempt to discredit someone.

In reality Drew, we come from a lil coven in Missouri who was holding PPD picnics LONG before PPP, Inc or any other governing body existed. So we have as much right to use the words Pagan Pride Day Picnic as someone who is sanctioned by PPP, Inc. There is no copyright on the words Pagan Pride Day. It's like trying to get a patent on the sound of a Harley....not gonna happen.

"Legitimate Coordinator and Legitimate PPD"?

Where does it state in any bylaws or articles that one must be a member of PPP, Inc or PPP to be legitimate? I feel PPP Inc does a lot of good work, has wonderful guidelines for the coordinators who need a governing body to guide and direct them and they have lots of great events and coordinators.

But as I said, the group of people I work with been doing this far longer than any governing body has ever existed. And belonging to a governing body does not necessarily make one an expert on anything.

As far as claiming alliance to PPP or Pagan Pride Project, Inc. or PPP, Inc. to promote the Frosts, I can state unequivocally I have never used the logo, tag line, body of work or anything else attached to these organizations in connection with the Frosts or the Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic. Therefore you allegations are little more than more misrepresentations on your part. Now who’s the deceiver here?.

I do not know whether any PPP Inc. sanctioned events are hosting the Frosts as I am not nor care to be privy to that information. I suggest you check with the individual groups who are hosting the Frosts to see if those groups meet YOUR qualifications for legitimacy. I’m sure Dagonet Dewr has nothing better to do than to respond to more of your mewling.

Also, this is not the first Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic to be held in Fayetteville, AR. This is not the first time the Frosts have been in attendance, nor Goddess willing will it be the last time they are here.

Where were you last year? Why weren't you making these complaints and allegations prior to this year? Why are you having a small bovine over the Good Witches Bible? It's not like it was just published last year? Drew this is just a classic example of you taking old news and skewing it to suit your needs.

Thank you for attaching a portion of Dagonet Dewr's email:

"Dagonet Dewr
Executive Director,
Pagan Pride Project said in email - "The event in Fayetteville is not an official PPP, Inc-sponsored event."

But, then I never stated I was a member of PPP, Inc. or that our event was sponsored by PPP, Inc., did I? What you forgot to mention was the rest of Dagonet Dewr’s post which states:

Pagan Pride, Inc wishes to clarify the following:

1) The event in Fayetteville is not an official PPP, Inc-sponsored event. PPP, Inc claims no trademark over the term 'Pagan Pride Day'; therefore events may exist that are not part of the Pagan Pride Project. This is one of those independent events. *It has no formal connection with the Pagan Pride Project, Incorporated. *

2) The Pagan Pride Project, Inc, has no official stance on banning individual speakers or presenters on a national or international basis save those documented in our Event Policies (http://www.paganpri de.org/do/ event policies. html) and our Code of Ethical Conduct (http://www.paganpri de.org/do/ ethics.html). As a volunteer-driven
organization, much of our decision-making is made at the local level, and we trust our volunteers to select speakers, presenters, and events that are appropriate for a family-friendly, politically neutral, and all-inclusive public event.

3) Effective immediately, the Pagan Pride Project specifically prohibits the harvesting of volunteer and Local Coordinator emails from our website for the purposes of mass spam emailing. (Yes, we realize there isn't much we can do if people do this, but we can at least state our official prohibition of the practice)."

And before you accuse me of violating #3, I did not “harvest” this off PPD, Inc.’s website. In fact, I got it off my own email.

I truly pity you Drew. You continue to use half truths and skewed information to keep your publicity ratings up and to continue to drive those who are unknowing and unwilling to know to your pitiful blog by claiming it is a source of reliable information.

Not only have you started a Witch War with your misnomers, you have also deceived individuals who only want to be the best Pagans possible. I fear the backwash off your actions is going to closely resemble a tsunami and I pray many people see it coming and get as far from you as possible before they are dragged out with you.

Wishing you only the best,

Debra Ravenswood, Coordinator
Heart of the Ozarks PPD Picnic
Fayetteville, AR

The Pagan Temple said...

Personally, I wish they'd drop the "Pagan Pride" thing, change it to another name. "Pagan Pride" looks too much like "Gay Pride". Nothing against gays, but I'm afraid the general public draws an exaggerated correlation between the two.

What I'd like to see is the day when Wiccans, and all pagans who celebrate the Sabbats, can celebrate eight days out of the year publicly, those eight Sabbats.

What would be wrong with, just to throw one idea out, "Litha Sabbat Celebration".

Okay, sure, most people wouldn't know what the hell it meant at first. Let them find out. I'm sure most people didn't know what "Kwanza" was when they first heard of it either.

Or we can inject the name "Pagan" or "Wiccan" into it somewhere, just so we can't be accused by Christian religious fanatics of being deceptive about the nature of the celebration.

Hell, throw a public "Esbat" celebration into the mix as well every now and then. Do it publicly ever so often, then let people that are interested and open minded see what it is we really believe in and practice ritually, as opposed to just what they're told.

You can still have the booths, the speakers, the picnics, etc., throughout the course of the day, culminating in the actual Sabbat or Esbat celebration. After all, what's the point of showing people we have pride if they're not getting what we have pride in.

Frankly, though, nothing will ever beat a good old fashioned secret Wiccan coven ritual, conducted in private, among friends and colleaques of good cheer.

And look at me, I've never been in or to one, and I still get that. Don't ask me how. But then again, I knew I'd love pizza and tacos before I actually ever tasted one.

Zakuro said...

Hello, My name is Zakuro. Whether you believe me or not, that is your business, but I can rightfully say that I follow both the Christian and Wicca religions. In order to keep balance between both practices you can't follow either 100%, but rather mix the two together (in a way like two cultures can have a child and raise them to follow both cultures). I am a solitarie, therfore I practice being a Wiccan alone. I go to a Catholic church on Sundays and take part in the Christian religion too. My beliefs and lifestyle is my business, so I ask you to please not criticize my methods, I am 100% happy with my life the way it is!(I suppose I'm like a bridge between both religions lol!) =^_^=
~Zakuro~

ranasummoner said...

Okay,but my ancestors were double faithed. They believed that every tree, every flower, every part of the natural world had a lesson contained in it. Yet, they were also Christian,my beloved and I dance in the full moon, we make love to pass the marking of the wheel, and tell the old stories in the midwinter nights. Our lives are ruled by nature, yet both of us believe in Christ. We are neither Christian nor Slavic Pagan. We are something different.Yes, we practice the Craft, yes we call out to the God and the Goddess, and we dance with the Rusulkas, but no God should be blamed for his followers. Yes, most of the Christians I know are closed minded. But, some are wonderful people who believe that God is both Mother and Father. We believe in Lady Wisdom. I believe that the Bible points to something beautiful, but that love which transcends both nature and the Bible. I believe in God the Spirit, God the Father, God the Mother, God the Son, and God the Daughter. Most Christians don't believe that. Yet, I don't do spells, I pray, I sing, I dance in the moonlit field with a red handkerchief, which really is not different from the spell. So tell me, what am I? Am I Christian? It really isn't fair to say that because I belive God is five divine persons in one being, that are really just two forms of one Goddess, two forms of one God and the Spirit that unites them, which is not the same Trinity that most Christians believe in, even though I can back it up scriptually. I celebrate the same turns of the wheel as everyone else, although in a slightly different context. Yet am I Pagan? I believe in Christ. I believe that sin is really just another word for lack of love. I believe that He can save me from my lack of love by teaching me how to love. I believe that love is God, that wherever there is love there is God, no matter what name one chooses to give her or him. I believe that Hell is complete apathy.So am I Pagan? Please tell me where you would have me fit in this too small world of ours, because I would really like to know. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just curious.

OpenInLove said...

I would just like to say that as a true follower of the Way, or as you might like to call me, a "Christian", we have only to meet two requirements to follow. Love the Lord your God (being Jesus the Messiah) with all your heart, mind, and spirit, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Therein lies the biggest problem. That "loving your neighbor bit". I believe that you have reached a certain spiritual maturity when you can truly and unconditionally love your brother/neighbor. We are not called to judge one another, but just to love, for it is not your job/work to change anyone, but the work of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, there are SO many people failing to live out the Christian faith due to a lack of love. That then gives the rest of us a bad name. As in your belief system/religion you have individuals that perpetuate a "wrong" or misleading view of your style of living and worshipping. Every system has them. Let us not forget though, that there are always "real" ones mixed in with the "foolish" and to not judge too quickly or harshly, but to have patience and mercy for those who haven't matured in the "faith", whatever faith that would be. I personally have a wide range of acceptance and "tolerance" for people and their beliefs, until there is harm being done to others due to these belief systems. For example, I would NEVER tolerate the Frost's teaching on Puberty Rites. To take a child's innocense is to destroy the child. A life, a spirit is then left in a state of confusion which allows the child's understanding of "life" to be tossed with the wind. If you are such avid worshippers of "nature" then why not let Nature take its own course with each one. I can only be brought to the conclusion that both Gavin and Yvonne Frost are getting off on this gross miseducating of the mind of both children and those adults who have yielded themselves to such teachings, but also that they are having a sexual experience mirrored only by pediphiles. I would absolutely come against their absurd teachings and their misrepresentation of such faith and would also have my coven/church/faith groups openly stand against them as well. Be bold and strong and stand up for your beliefs, whatever they may be. But in doing so, make sure to count the cost.
OpenInLove

OpenInLove said...
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