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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eclectic (Pagan Blog Project "E")

I chose to write about the term Eclectic in Witchcraft, as I am a Solitary Eclectic Witch; let me open with a question that Rowan Pendragon asked in her Pagan Blog Project Weekly Inspiration Email Newsletter


Question from Rowan Pendragon of Pagan Blog Project...
"Eclectic Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism – Eclectic practice is something that can be a big debate in different parts of the Pagan community.  Some feel that being eclectic opens you up to a whole world of ideas and tools that with the more narrow view of a specific tradition just isn't available.  Yet others feel that being eclectic equates to a practice that is lacking in structure and commitment to anything.  Are you eclectic?  What are your thoughts on eclectic vs. traditional practice and how do you feel eclectic work benefits you if that’s the path you follow?"


To me the term Eclectic in the Craft means that the Witch (or Pagan/Wiccan) is not tied to one particular Path, but instead implements practices from several different Paths into his/her personal practice of the Craft. In my case I have been pulled towards Native American Path as well as the Celtic Path, but I also have an interest in Greek, Roman and Hindu mythology, I have been taking courses in the Correllian Tradition, and I have a Christian background... I am Spiritually Eclectic.


As for Eclectic practice equating to a lack of structure and commitment, well in my case the lack of structure is essentially correct as I have never been a person of structure. I am not an organized person nor a person that abides by a daily schedule, other than getting my butt out of bed and going to work during my work week. My rituals are simplistic vs. the more elaborate structured rituals, and my Spell Work is also simple and basic, usually Candle Magick. I rarely do a full blown structured ritual, as my schedule is willy nilly. I pull from several different Paths/Traditions and use what feels right to me, when it suits me, so yes I guess you could say that I lack structure... but that falls into one of the benefits of being Eclectic and a Witch.


As for the commitment issue, yes I guess you can also say that I do lack commitment in that I have not committed myself to any one particular Path or Deity; however I am committed to respecting the Earth, acknowledging the Seasons and the blessings each of them brings, giving thanks for the blessings in my life, growing spiritually, helping others however I can, and to continue to learn.


I prefer the term Witch; I do not consider myself a Wiccan per say, and I say that because I do not follow a specific Wiccan Tradition, yes I have interest in Wicca but my Spiritual Path is more open as is my ritual style... instead, I practice Witchcraft. What's the difference? Let's see if I can explain this without making a total mess out of it, shall we...


Wicca is a religion, specifically an initiatory religion where students, or more specifically initiates (or in some cases dedicates) begin in a basic level of the religion, called a Degree, and work their way up to Clergy; they usually work in a Coven, however there are Solitary Wiccans who prefer to work alone. Wiccans worship specific deity... the God and Goddess, or the God or Goddess, either way, they also celebrate Sabbats and Esbats. The Wheel of the Year (the changing Seasons) is an essential component of Wicca.


Witchcraft, otherwise referred to as the Craft, is a skill that is learned over a period of time, and in case you are wondering, it is NOT devil worship, let's get that clear right now. The belief that Witches practice devil worship or human and/or animal sacrifice is a misconception created by the Church and fictionalized by Hollywood for its fear factor. The Craft involves spell work (casting spells) and the practice of Magick but it is not geared to any specific Spiritual Path or any specific deity; it can be practiced in a Coven or as a Solitary and is more of a generalized practice open to a variety of magickal practices. Witchcraft may also include celebrating the Sabbats and Esbats, however it is not limited to these times, as spellwork may be conducted on any day of the year.


You may be asking, what is Paganism? Paganism quite simply, is the belief or worship of other deity other than the Christian God, or more than one deity such as the God and/or Goddess. The God and/or Goddess can be of a certain Pantheon or a variety of Pantheons.


In my case I am Eclectic, a Witch, and a Pagan.  

You will note that I have linked the terminology for additional information that may aid in understanding the definition of these terms. Hopefully this post clears up any confusion, rather than generates confusion LOL 









15 comments:

  1. I'm with you in your definition of Eclecticism in Witchcraft. I grew up doing witchy things, but my elders didn't call it anything. My love for trees resembles that of a Kitchen Witch, I'm very ritualistic when it comes to certain things (but not others), I celebrate the seasons, the sun and the moon, but there are some holidays celebrated by Traditional Witchcraft that don't speak to me... in other words, I've crafted my relationship with Nature and in a way that keeps me balanced in opened to the things I want in my life.

    I believe spirituality is a very personal thing, and eclecticism allows me to keep it as personal and intimate as I choose.

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  2. Magaly couldn't have said it better. I find eclectic spirituality to be freeing. I'm not pinned down. I'm a free spirit that needs to practice my faith MY way. Nothing wrong with that. If you need structure great, but not all of us do and it doesn't make it wrong or any less valid.

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    1. Thank you Salem Witch Child, my feelings exactly!

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  3. Perfectly said dear Magaly! Thank you!

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  4. I know that being eclectic isn't for me - I love having a framework in which I can discover deity, and I love having full-blown big ritual structures that have been used by others before me. That said, I totally understand why being eclectic can be the best path for others, since it gives you all the freedom that we're all too often denied by traditional (monotheistic) religions.
    Being a Recon myself, I do understand other Recons who are angry about their practices being appropriated by others; however, I think we as pagans shouldn't look down on one another, since I believe most of us don't just pick and choose whatever floats their boat but use diverse practices to form a new, coherent whole.

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    1. Thank you Harzgeist! You know I never considered that there may "Recons" out there that are angered by others using their practices being used by others; that saddens me, but I suppose I can understand their feelings. You've given me some food for thought :) BB!

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  5. I think you did a wonderful job in explaining what Wicca, Witchcraft and being Eclectic means! I don't refer to myself as "eclectic" mostly because I really dislike the sound of that word...weird I know...sort of like how my 21 year old daughter hates it when I say the word "billfold".

    Wicca never appealed to me "because of" the structure, the reciting of long, flowery verses that makes it hard to keep a straight face when hearing them or reciting them, and many other things that don't "fit" for me.

    Traditional and Green Witchcraft fits me very well. Witchcraft is the "Craft of the Wise" and does not necessarily include any Deity, nor belief in reincarnation, nor casting a precise-sized circle of protection and having specific tools of specific measurements, etc.

    That is not to say that I don't have interests in other Pagan paths or that I don't study them. I will likely study things and continue learning until my time on Earth is done. My roots are Native American so I have great interest in those paths as well.

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    1. Thank you Polly, nicely said! I now what you mean about "reciting long flowery" verses... so not my thing either!

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    2. I will say that I think some of those long rituals that have been published have beautiful imagery. From time to time I'll take a few bits of the evocations or invocations if I like the language.

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  6. Very well written. I have my own view. I think that Eclectic paths can be structured. I also think that they can be free form. Its going to be different for each person.

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  7. Oh, I totally agree, that's the beauty of being Eclectic! Thank you Loona Wynd!

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  8. That was very interesting! :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  9. I too like the term witch - I call myself a wise witchy woman.... I have gathered bits and pieces from other traditions to help me along my journey to truth and light. I don't believe one tradition is the "truth" only one verson of the recipe of living life fully with love and grace.

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  10. I've nominated you for an award, my darling ;-)

    http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2012/03/craft-envy.html

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  11. I'm honored! Thank you for the amazing compliment, Magaly!

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