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Old 04-24-2008, 12:20 AM   #171
Jenn_Knitter
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post

I think the secrecy of "Coven Secrets" does more harm to Wicca than not going around telling your family that you've decided to dump their religion and pick up the one their religion says to kill.
Once you've outed yourself keeping secrets allows lies like "Wicca Moon Dance" or "Wiccan orgies" to flow unchecked (I've been fending off both on another forum, I still can't figure out what a Wicca Moon Dance is, but as long as their are "Coven Secrets" it's possible and it can be used to say kids should be taken away from Wiccan families).
First of all, I'm sorry about your uncle and I can understand why you are not comfortable "outing" yourself to your family. I oftentimes take for granted the fact that my mother is also Wiccan, so I've always been able to be open with my family about it. My husband, on the other hand, his mother has Alzheimer's Disease and was raised by a Baptist Preacher. To this day she still holds to the belief that her son is a Christian. My husband doesn't have the heart to tell her, because he doesn't want his mother's last days spent worrying that her son will "burn in hell".

And from a personal standpoint, I agree with you on the secrecy issue. I am not a member of a coven. While I prefer some of the less "fluffy" resources on Wicca (even though I've been accused of being fluffy because I love Scott Cunningham's works), I am not comfortable with the notion that one must be initiated into a Trad coven in order to be a "real" Wiccan. That aside, I have other reasons for not particularly caring for Silver Ravenwolf's books, but I don't have a problem with people who use them as a point of reference. I would just always caution anyone in the learning stages to read as many books as they can, from various authors, and glean a little knowledge from each source.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:03 AM   #172
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I want to thank you al for your help with suggeting authors & things I really don't know many people who know alot about this stuff & the few people I have talked to seem to be just acting like they know it all..I am glad you guys are here to suggest books,websites & articles thank you very much it is all much appreciated
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:23 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Jenn_Knitter View Post
I would just always caution anyone in the learning stages to read as many books as they can, from various authors, and glean a little knowledge from each source.
That's my suggestion.
My issues around Ravenwolf are more because of the Teen Witch Kit. The book was one thing, the kit was going over the line.

I only own To Ride a Silver Broomstick by her and I recall her writing style not being for me but thumbing through that one again I really don't see much of the problems I hear about.

I had to laugh at some of the "secrets" I've been told. So far every one has been some form of Ceremonial Majick. Nothing worth blowing out of proportion with the claim it's a secret that only 3rd Degree Extra Exalted Grand Poobah is worthy of knowing.

IMO too many covens freely mix too much Ceremonial Majick in and act like it is the religion. It's the main reason I avoid working with others.
Being a jeweler and a knife maker I don't know if I'd qualify as a Kitchen Witch, I use nothing from the kitchen drawer, but I've gone to great lengths to remove CM from my rituals (on the rare times I actually do anything that could be called a ritual).

Quote:
I oftentimes take for granted the fact that my mother is also Wiccan
I guess thinking back to when you were young doesn't do much good

I've wondered what it would be like growing up in a Pagan family. The closest I have as physical reference is my sister being very open to all religions.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:43 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by Raeknitsnwa View Post
I want to thank you al for your help with suggeting authors & things I really don't know many people who know alot about this stuff & the few people I have talked to seem to be just acting like they know it all..I am glad you guys are here to suggest books,websites & articles thank you very much it is all much appreciated
Like others have suggested, I would go back to the beginning. Somehow, everything written in the past ten and twenty years is more-or-less based on what was written prior by the following authors:

Starhawk's - Spiral Dance
Janet & Stewart Farrar - Anything they wrote
Scott Cunningham - Anything he wrote
Margot Adler - Drawing Down the Moon
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:13 PM   #175
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Hi everyone!
Well I have to say I was happily suprised to come across this thread while searching for a way to not poke myself in the eye with my #2DPNs (first ever pair of socks).

I am just beginning on the Wiccan path and I have to admit I bought most of Ravenwolf's books before I knew better....I find myself going back to Scott Cunningham time and time again though. I do find her books helpful as a reference but not as a practice.

I have a question for everyone - did you just jump right in and start practicing ritual or did you ease into it? I am kind of not sure where to start.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:27 PM   #176
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I started out with Ravenwolf's Silver Broomstick, and it was a good general introduction for me. I have the urge to read everything I can get my hands on when it comes to things I'm interested in, so it was natural to me to then go and find more information from more sources. I've read a lot of books that inspired me, but a lot more that left me with a 'meh' feeling. It depends on what you're looking for, though. I am not a Wiccan - I started out thinking I was one, but I'm not. I'm not and can't ever see myself being in a coven, or any other tiered and ranked system. I feel that anything that brings in ranks or 'I'm more important than you' positions makes for a decrease in learning - people become more inclined to act like they know more, and people lower down the ranks think their experiences are not as valid. It would be nice to think Pagans are beyond such silliness, but they're not - any look at the history of modern coverns, particuarly in the US, will show that.

I like working with people, but in a more organic way - when someone knows something other people don't, knowledge can be shared, and that's great. Everyone being on an equal footing means that everyone has something to offer. I've unfortunately had to distance myself from the local Pagan community, after being quite active and central in it for a few years. It's moved to a slightly more sinister power struggle, and most of the people I met seemed to be using whatever their particular system was as a means of escaping reality. It had become just another way of avoiding responsibility for their lives, which, as far as I can see, is kind of the point of being a Pagan. They used their beliefs in the, 'if it's meant to happen it will, I don't have to do anything, bad stuff happened because someone is attacking me, etc'. There was also a lot of 'I'm the ninth Gatekeeper of whatever and am the only one who can hold back the Apocalpyse, oh the drama' stuff going on. Which essentially meant she couldn't hold down a job *and* be a gatekeeper, because it was too much stress, which is why she kept being fired. Stuff like that got to me, so I extricated myself, and have been much happier since.

There are a lot of people who act like they know a lot, but don't. As far as I can tell from my experiences - the more rigid they are about the 'rules' and 'how it has to be', the less experience they have. They may have read a lot (but probably not widely), but either haven't experienced much, or haven't paid attention to what they have experienced. Time and life seem to even out the fundamentalism, as you see more and understand more, you'll find that your 'rules' don't always apply, and you become more tolerant of other paths, other systems, other ways of thinking. I'd listen more to the people who start off with 'in my experience' or 'so far I've seen... but that's just me and your path may be different', than the people who preach and tell you how it *is*.

The two things I can recommend are these : If you are interested in a structured system of learning that is still very relaxed and understanding, where ranks are strictly a measure of *your* progress and nothing to do with anyone else, then the Fellowship of Isis is worth joining. There are a number of 'Lyceums' which offer a kind of training, and each one focusses on something different. From the number of them, there seems to be something for everyone, but if not then just the community is worth it. The training isn't to prove your worth to others but to help you further understand your beliefs.

The other thing is the book 'Hedge Witch' by Rae Beth. It remains the most beautiful book I've read on the Old Ways, it's very gentle and inspiring and teaches you about the divinity in the ordinary, everyday things. That you don't have to be channeling gods every day to get somewhere, just to be quietly thankful and aware of the beauty of the Earth. It has small, everyday ritual ideas, as well as bigger ones for the Sabbats, and there's a gentle humour in it. Once, I had an experience that I couldn't understand, and took a chance on writing to the author to see if she could shed any light on it, but never expected a reply. I was stunned when she replied a few days later, having meditated on it and asked her guides for advice.

As for the where to start question, it's worth reading a few things and starting off slow, with meditations, small candle rituals, circle casting, stuff like that. You can build up to the bigger stuff as you gain confidence, and you'll get a taste of what ritual can be like for you. It's an incredible feeling, and well worth it. It's worth remembering, too, what I was told in my very first ritual by the Divine - that if I ever felt that this path wasn't right for me, then I could step off it for a while. It's just a path. If it starts making you more unhappy than happy, then walk away - dedications and so on don't commit your soul for all eternity. I stepped off for a while, and am now in a much better place, somewhere else on the path. But it's just a path.

Sorry for the looooong reply - just a lot of things to say about it all ;-) If you ever have any questions, feel free to PM me and I'll do what I can :-)

Fi xxx
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:00 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by kyrolakatz View Post
I am just beginning on the Wiccan path and I have to admit I bought most of Ravenwolf's books before I knew better....I find myself going back to Scott Cunningham time and time again though. I do find her books helpful as a reference but not as a practice.
I'm assuming the "her" you are referring to is Ravenwolf. Scott was a man (who actually made his living writing under a pseudonym and penning cheesy romance novels; those made money where New Age books do not).

Originally Posted by kyrolakatz View Post
I have a question for everyone - did you just jump right in and start practicing ritual or did you ease into it? I am kind of not sure where to start.
I jumped right in; established an altar in my room (I was living with my parents then) and doing daily exercises (banishings and building circles). Like anything else, it takes practice and the more you do it, the more comfortable you are doing it.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:27 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by kyrolakatz View Post
I have a question for everyone - did you just jump right in and start practicing ritual or did you ease into it? I am kind of not sure where to start.
I read for a year, comparing what I was reading from Wiccan authors to other religions. Then I practiced along the lines of out of a book for a year. Then I created what worked for me (very little ritual along the lines of Buckland's Pictish invention).
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:05 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
along the lines of Buckland's Pictish invention).

Inner chuckle; Ray Buckland was part of the San Diego group that included Cunningham, Kraig, et al...


Those really *were* the golden years for me. There were a total of THREE New Age bookstores in San Diego; we would put a sign in each one that we were holding a public Beltane ceremony in Balboa park and 200 people showed up. We could do things like that back then!
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:37 AM   #180
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First, I'm not Wiccan, I don't like much organization in my spirituality, but that's just me, some people crave it and that's ok for them too. I read alot of things. I'm an info junkie and will read anything you give me I based my first rituals on things I liked from various books and such. I'm a very loose and free form person. Nowadays I don't use many tools or write scripts, I just do what feels right. Sometimes that's as simple as sitting in the grass and grounding and having a little chat with diety, and sometimes it's more organized with 'calling the corners' and such.
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