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My experience with Paganism suggests there is no attempt to be an organized religion, rather it seems to be a loose knit group sharing a few common beliefs and a primitive spiritual connection to their dead ancestors. There seems to be a dislike, even a hatred expressed toward Christians mostly because of a history of man’s inhumanity to man done in the name of Christianity.

This blogger suggests improving their image by trying a Christian value; “give love and respect to our adversaries. Try it! It really confuses them!” he says.

I have studied Wicca deeply--and find that it is a 19th century expression of a very ancient religion (some of which came from the pre-Greek Minoans and Anatolians who worshipped the Goddess, trees, rites of season, fertility, etc. Some is reminiscent of ancient Irish/Celtic religions as well.

Those in the present day who attempt to recreate Wicca can be found anywhere on the spectrum, from fanciful fool to adept.

You're right, there is no organization per se. Each coven has a maximum of 13 people and a general slant. There are male Goddess worshipers who limit their coven to men; there are female Goddess worshipers who limit their coven to women; and there are mixed covens who worship the male and female principals of power. All of this insures that Wicca will never be sufficiently organized and unified in theory to truly attack any mainstream religion.

I like your description; a 19th century expression of a very ancient religion. Thanks.

"a 19th century expression of a very ancient religion."

Kind of like, say, Mormonism?

Just kidding, folks.

I suppose this is just schadenfreude and probably unworthy of me, but...

It's oddly comforting to see that we aren't the only religion with problems out there.

I have been a learner of the Old Ways all my life. We DO NOT call it Wicca. Thats is a 20th century name. I was taught the all religions deserve respect. But, Christianity has not made such a great show in history. Under that banner, millions have been tortured, burned and abused. Mostly women. And why is that? Because men cant have a women above them. So sad. All religions have problems. They always will.
When we start thinging of our religions as Good Ideas instead of beliefs, maybe less would die trying to prove whos right. Do we really think God/Goddess really care how we believe? Just so we have FAITH. That is the most important.
We need to accept all "Ideas" and stop trying to prove who is right. Who knows? We might all be wrong.

I'm not a wiccan but an eclectic witch (not all witches are wiccan but all wiccans are witches? ;) ) with Druid leanings.

I was raised Christian (Catholic and Southern Baptist...yes, revivals are scary fun). I went to youth groups, Sunday school, I was in choir, I spoke the word, prayer at the flag pole. I never came to hate it, I just found something that spoke to my soul more deeply and completely than Christianity did. I love going to church and study groups still but it's more from an academic point of view now.

I think the issue is that so many wiccans had negative experiences in the church and the problem is that they blame Christianity at large rather than the few bad people who use Christianity as an excuse for their bigotry. It's easy to assume it's systemic but with the exception of radical organizations (such as Fundamentalist Baptists) most Christians differ almost as vastly as Pagans.

So uh...not all of us hate the Christians. :)

Say, all the visiting Wiccan bloggers should go check out this recent post, "Alma 41 and the Wiccan rede."

And don't miss a visit to the weblog of our resident Mormon Wiccan: Mother, Lover, Goddess.

Certainly, fundamentalist Baptists are so very radical and so very full of bigotry.

In fact, I shouldn't have filled up that stranger's gas tank today. I might blow my negative image.

Quote from Shady Mutton/Wiccan/Pagan Blog/Topix

"I have held the idea - and have always tried to express to my children that "WHAT you believe is not as important as the fact THAT you believe."
I think believing in something - whatever philosophy fits you, is the important part. A belief system is key in seeing your own place in this universe... and how to best use our time here. I never quite understood how others haven't embraced the same idea... "

I think she's on to something.

Ity doesn't matter what you believe. Just simply follow the path that is right for you :)

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