Debate and Discussion

Witch
LIZARD_B1TE at 1:23PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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DARKNES
In my opinion any one who hears the word witch instantly thinks of a green old lady bending over her cauldren cackling well believe me i aint like that!!!!!

I don't.

I think of scantily clad female zombies who spend their time crying and killing anybody who has the audacity to use a flashlight. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
PIT_FACE at 2:07PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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Sea_Cow
ozoneocean
I already know my future…

Same here! It looks something like this…



haha!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
PIT_FACE at 3:03PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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you dont seem to be acknowledging much of what people are saying.
it sounds like ya may be new to this. i want to re-iterate somethings said above becuase they are verry important.

if this is something you truley find is a part of you, then i hope you find many wonderful things and that you find a great purpose in it to you and yours.but always remember, religion isnt ment to be an accessory. it's not like pants you can exchange at the store. if you are asking other people what to beleive, then maby you're not quite sure about this yet. just remember, please, dont go into this just to learn a few magic tricks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
imshard at 8:27PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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DARKNES
would anyone have any suggestions on which god and goddesss to pick……. but i do worship the main lord and lady

That's not something you should be asking the internet in general Darknes. Its a very personal decision. Think very hard before you devote yourself.

I was a very stupid kid once and dabbled in the arts. To use an analogy I put my hand in the fire and got burned. A lot of what you'll find is Bovine Scattery and you'll need to track down somebody you can trust that can pull you out if you get in the deep waters and start drowning. Wicca is a very generic term and paganism could apply to a variety of cults and old world western religions. Watch that you've found a legitimate one.

THAT said, picking a deity depends on where you're from, and what you do for a living, and what variety of wicca you're practicing. Many venerable and legitimate religions do not have gods or worship idols but simply commune. If you are not old enough to be working your adult career yet then DO NOT go messing around with this kind of life altering decision yet.

Being a witch is not a phase to go through, its not a set of parlor tricks, and it is not something to play around with and then grow out of if you get bored with it. It is dangerous and it will haunt you the rest of your life if you make a mistake.

Myself? I am not an avctive practitioner of wicca or paganisim anymore, though I evnetually found my spirituality after having gone through a long atheistic and then agnostic period.
Don't be a stick in the mud traditionalist! Support global warming!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
Senshuu at 9:35PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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Hehe. “Pagan” always reminds me of when a woman whose last name was Pagan (pronounced differently) was on the Colbert Report, and Stephen kept making her out to be evil.

Pagan is kind of a generic and really dumb-sounding word, though. Kind of like icebox.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
DAJB at 11:30PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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DARKNES
IM wiccan myself but you should hear the racist comments i get all the time!!!
Then perhaps you're making too big a thing of it? After all, if you don't tell people you're wicca then they can't hold it against you!

I'm not saying you should try to be secretive about it but, when I meet someone who happens to be Christian or Muslim or Hindu or anything else, they're very unlikely to tell me that's what they are, unless (a) the topic of religion happens to come up in conversation (which it very seldom does) or (b) they're the type of person who believes they simply must tell everyone else how wonderful their religion is (in which case, they're far more likely to alienate rather than convert people).

Generally speaking, I find most people are pretty tolerant of all religions (new and old) provided the practitioners just get on with their lives and don't try to “evangelise”!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Senshuu at 11:48PM, Dec. 27, 2008
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I'm a believer that religion should be a part of your existence, not forced into others', yes. People accept what they want to be. It's also not inalienable from aspects of your life but that doesn't mean you scream out your ways through a megaphone every waking moment.

People are very misinformed about religion in general. Even the ones they claim to follow. It'd be very easy not to get up in arms about stuff if people would just take a little time and educate themselves.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
Faliat at 12:00AM, Dec. 28, 2008
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ozoneocean
Product Placement
but it's more commonly classified as pagan.
Yep. “Pagan” really means much the same thing as “Infidel” and “Heathen”. All are Christian words for non-Christians.
Heathan and Pagan are insults my sister received from her RE teacher in high schools just because she hasn't been baptised in any faith and our dad is an atheist.
Interestingly, when she was about four or five she played Mary in her school nativity.

She once had a friend that claimed he was pagan. He may or may not have been joking. But I don't honestly give a damn. He turned out to be not as nice as he made most people believe.


Anyway, witches. Go do what the hell you want. Just don't try treading on any religious people's toes. It wouldn't be fair on 'em. They have as much as right to express their beliefs as you.

Actually, that reminds me. I gotta make that e-mail I wanted to send to Westboro Baptist Church…

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
BffSatan at 1:48AM, Dec. 28, 2008
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I've read all the Harry Potter books, does that make me wicca?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:20AM
Custard Trout at 6:46AM, Dec. 28, 2008
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No, but apparently watching Charmed does.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:01PM
lothar at 11:38AM, Dec. 28, 2008
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skoolmunkee
I didn't think tarot cards were really meant to be used to tell the future. They can be a pretty interesting tool for self-reflection though.

yea , i used to get the same effect from a deck of pokemon cards
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
bravo1102 at 4:39AM, Dec. 29, 2008
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DARKNES
would anyone have any suggestions on which god and goddesss to pick……. but i do worship the main lord and lady

Best insights come from reading the Golden Bough and seeing the thread that runs through so many cultures of the Mother Father, and son or Crone, mother, virgin .

I like pissing off Judeo-Christians by using “She” to refer to the supreme being. I could go on and on about all the religious reading I did to come up with that after all creative inspriation is almost always depicted as female, and the most common creation is giving birth.


Someone
Of the Buddhists I've spoken with, quite a few struck me as arrogant argumentative pseudo-intellectuals.

Funny that “arrogant, argumentative pseudo-intellectual” is the exact anathema of what the Buddha taught. They definitely are too tied up in this world, haven't come to grips with defining life as suffering and seeking relief from that suffering.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
kingofsnake at 7:12AM, Dec. 29, 2008
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I would be very interested in talking to someone who actually worshipped via an old world belief system. Most of those are so black and white that I can't see how you could follow them and still live a fulfilling life. And I'm talking about old world Judeo-Chrisian religions as well, clearly.

Most books about “wicca” now are slapped together by someone looking to make a quick buck and only really appeal to the naive. They use phrases like “everyone knows that…” and “it's common knowledge that…” followed by stuff that is in no way common knowledge.

Its all good stuff for fantasy though… but then so is scientology. The line between fun and crazy is so very very thin.

Of the Buddhists I've spoken with, quite a few struck me as arrogant argumentative pseudo-intellectuals.

I think thats just an impression thats been pushed into popular culture by Lisa Simpson, who is decidedly not Buddhist at all, no matter what she says.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Hyena H_ll at 8:03AM, Dec. 29, 2008
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Have you checked out http://www.witchvox.com? You'll probably find a much more receptive audience on a web community created for witches. Not that I think religion ought to be a taboo discussion subject. But it strikes me that perhaps you're looking for “like-minded” people to gush with; you'd probably do better there. There are a metric buttload of Wiccans on that joint. And then some.

Wicca is emphatically not my cup of tea, so forgive me if this reply seems a bit curt. Also, you might consider that using an image of the “Charmed” box set as your avatar may be detrimental to your being taken seriously as a “witch”. Just sayin'.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
ipokino at 9:25AM, Dec. 29, 2008
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DARKNES
I am a wiccan myself and i dont believe i have amazing powers, but i practise the craft. and believe me it id really hard i had friends who dont even talk to me anymore because im a witch, i used to be catholic!!!! And i find the craft really amazing clensing for the soul…. but plese tell me your views????

I have been a Gaian Wiccan Practitioner for twelve years–after a personal conversion from christianity. Gaia very much is a personal deity for me, and I rely heavily on my belief in Her.
The trouble with Wicca is the fact that:

A: It has no liturgy–no cohesive formula to tie it all together. You have traditional ‘Pagans’ (I like the term because it specifically symbolizes a break from christianity) of which Gaian Wicca is a close off-shoot–rubbing shoulders with Satanists (who actually are Lokian–aesir) and all other manner of in-betweens.

B: It has no solid form of ‘afterlife’ dogma…no solid rendition of ‘heaven’, ‘hell’ or ‘valhalla’ or whatever. Summerland is the best concept to be written about (and since I have ‘visited’ Summerland once to witness the re-in- carnation of my Grandmother) I believe in this concept as truth.

C: It has a lot of supposition concerning ‘magick’, tomes and tomes of it, but little practical study and science. Yes…I know SCIENCE!!!???!!! Hey, magickal thinking by itself–with no grounding in truth of any kind–would be an evolutionary dead-end–of no practical value. But it wasn't and it isn't! The fact is…any sufficiently developed technology will appear to be ‘magic’ to a culture that does not understand that technology. So try this on for size. The concept is called “Observed Reality” Schroedinger's Cat is in the box. It it alive or dead? You cannot know until you ‘observe’ it. The fact is…the knot of warped time called “The Present” is artificial. Scientifically speaking, it should not exist. What it is is a place where our ‘observation of ’reality'' has temporarily locked all the ‘possibilities that are’ into one ‘reality that is’. As time passes, that ‘reality’ is once again unwound into endless possibilities. An example is OzoneOcean's “Pinky.” We know “Pinky” is a fictional character…but who can truly say she NEVER existed! You cannot, and the further we progress from that moment of history–the greater the chance that she becomes real!
So…I know I'm gonna get blasted out of the water, but…that's my take. You take a probability strand of the ‘future to be’ and you weave it by your spelling and by projected observation into something close enough to become observable reality! Can't always work…but it can work!

Anyway. This will certainly start things rolling. So let me say here. My belief is neither right nor wrong. Science shows that fully 50% of people are born without the genetic ability to experience ‘religious ecstasy’ and so they are very nearly incapable of formulating a belief in a deity. Those of us who have the genetics for ‘religious ecstasy’ have to be careful not to try and foist our ‘beliefs’ off on those who cannot. We know we would feel bereft without our connection to our deity–but those who cannot feel that connection don't feel the same and have every right to enjoy their life as they percieve it!

An it harm none–do as thou will!

Ipo
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
skoolmunkee at 2:14PM, Dec. 29, 2008
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ipokino
Science shows that fully 50% of people are born without the genetic ability to experience ‘religious ecstasy’ and so they are very nearly incapable of formulating a belief in a deity.

I think this needs a little more explanation. Whose science, and what exactly is the scientific definition of religious ecstacy? (ie, what is the difference between ecstacy and religious ecstacy? Are there religion receptors in the brain? Wouldn't someone already predisposed to religious ideas be more likely to have a ‘religious ecstacy’ rather than its non-religious counterpart?) Is that tied to a chromosome or what?

I also don't think I'd agree that the brain's capability to envision/feel something necessarily dictates their ability to have faith, either.

Seems like some slippery science to me.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
Custard Trout at 4:17PM, Dec. 29, 2008
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ipokino
Science shows that fully 50% of people are born without the genetic ability to experience ‘religious ecstasy’ and so they are very nearly incapable of formulating a belief in a deity.

From the way you wrote that, it almost seems as if you're treating science like a religion.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:01PM
Senshuu at 8:10PM, Dec. 29, 2008
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A bunch of absolutes are tied into religions where there shouldn't be any. I almost don't know where people got their little cliched beliefs anymore. But people like having this one vision of afterlife, or of God, or whatever. Makes it simpler for them, because heaven knows people don't like trying.

ipokino, state your sources, because that last part sounds like something you just made up. Even if some kind of science could come to that result, there's no way you could justify it without performing the research amongst all the many different peoples on this planet, for one thing - and then in the end you would have to trust in the individuals' words, unless you've got some kind of E-meter on you. :B
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
ipokino at 9:28AM, Dec. 30, 2008
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skoolmunkee
ipokino
Science shows that fully 50% of people are born without the genetic ability to experience ‘religious ecstasy’ and so they are very nearly incapable of formulating a belief in a deity.

I think this needs a little more explanation. Whose science, and what exactly is the scientific definition of religious ecstacy? (ie, what is the difference between ecstacy and religious ecstacy? Are there religion receptors in the brain? Wouldn't someone already predisposed to religious ideas be more likely to have a ‘religious ecstacy’ rather than its non-religious counterpart?) Is that tied to a chromosome or what?

I also don't think I'd agree that the brain's capability to envision/feel something necessarily dictates their ability to have faith, either.

Seems like some slippery science to me.

Gee…
Everyone is waiting for me!;)
Okay. The genetist Dean Hamer: The God Gene. See Wikipedia at this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_gene.

Further studies by UMW Professor Dr. Keonig. Also Peer reviewed articles in Science Daily.

The gene is designated VMAT2.

Guys…I hang out here with some of the best and brightest people I have ever had a chance to interact with…you don't think I'd go around totally making things up??? Also, my comic is highly into the science of sci-fi. I read a lot of science articles.

Under the assumption–and I repeat ‘assumption’ that Dr. Hamer's hypothesis is correct…or ‘religous connections’ can–for the purpose of study–be broken down into an empirical set. Those whose brains release certain brain chemicals when experiencing euphoria or heightened sensual response in religious situations–and those who do not. There are additional complications–aren't there always?–as other studies show that ‘practice in scientific thought patterns’ reduce religious faith experience and practice in religious oriented thought patterns can increase religious faith experience–apparently due to some restructuring of the right parietal area of the brain (see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215121559.htm)
At any rate…it stands to reason…if you FEEL something when invoking a religious connection–you are going to believe it, no? And if you do not…you won't! Pretty simple really.

Anyway…I found it interesting that no one took a shot at my quick and imprecise physics postulations–which I had actually taken time to prepare some good examples of! Another time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Inkmonkey at 10:47AM, Dec. 30, 2008
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I think nobody took much interest in your physics stuff because it falls squarely in the “whatever” section of science. You know, where whether or not it's true doesn't actually change anything about your day to day life. It's a lot harder to stomach the idea that some people are simply incapable of “religious ecstasy” (whatever that may be). I can fully appreciate the idea that some people are genetically more likely to experience something like that, but to say that it's outright impossible? That's a stretch of science, and certainly very harsh on religion.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
ipokino at 11:27AM, Dec. 30, 2008
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In a quick aside to Custard Trout…
Yes science is important–both to myself as an aerospace engineer (trade) and to Humanity–of whom all are a part of Gaia (in my belief) Science is as much a part of God…in any form…as everything else on this planet–so why is that so bad? Do you think perhaps I am so locked into ‘magikal thinking’ that I am a nut case chittering in a tree?!? I'm a techno-pagan if ever there was one.

Inkmonkey
I think nobody took much interest in your physics stuff because it falls squarely in the “whatever” section of science. You know, where whether or not it's true doesn't actually change anything about your day to day life.

Perhaps, but as a practitioner of Wiccan philosophy–these kinds of details are crucial!

Inkmonkey
It's a lot harder to stomach the idea that some people are simply incapable of “religious ecstasy” (whatever that may be). I can fully appreciate the idea that some people are genetically more likely to experience something like that, but to say that it's outright impossible? That's a stretch of science, and certainly very harsh on religion.

In my view, Gaia (or God) very much needs people of both stripe–those who believe faithfully, and those who do not. The end result (I believe) is the same for us ‘volitionals’ but for the Deity…the probability vector paradigms are huge. It is important to appreciate the differences in people…
Also, if I implied IMPOSSIBLE I stand corrected… let us say instead, IMPROBABLE, or exceptionally difficult?!?

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Inkmonkey at 12:47PM, Dec. 30, 2008
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ipokino
if I implied IMPOSSIBLE I stand corrected… let us say instead, IMPROBABLE, or exceptionally difficult?!?



I can get behind that. Still, it sounds difficult to believe. I guess it's because we view religion as such a complex idea that it's hard to simply say that there's this one gene for it. I don't doubt that there are genes that would contribute or hinder one's religious potential (among other things; not everyone's going to get Calculus either), but I would think that there's probably a combination of thigns that all add up. Sort of like how some scientists started looking at Michael Phelps after he won all those gold medals and realized that he was more or less built for swimming; he had quite a number of genetic traits that made swimming more natural to him than to other people. But he still had to work out every day and take swimming lessons to get to 8-gold territory. His genetic makeup made him more able to do what he did, but that didn't make it easy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:00PM
Product Placement at 12:50PM, Dec. 30, 2008
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Few people, including myself
silly stuff about Pagan and Christianity

Well guess what? I just found out that Jesus was pagan.


ipokino
stuff

Yeah I've also briefly heard about that “God” gene. The way it was described to me was that people who had it had this unexplainable urge to believe in a higher power.

Personally, I always found it to be a bit of a hogwash but then again I myself must admit that I believe that there must be something greater then us somewhere out there. I mean honestly, we can't be the best example of intelligence out there.

Do I know what that is or rather do I think that it's even possible for us to conceive what it is? Of course not. Did it create this world? Probably not. Do I believe that any religion (whether it's Christian, Muslim, Hindu or anything else) knows its will and intentions. Yeah….
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
mechanical_lullaby at 1:08PM, Dec. 30, 2008
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I'm pagan.
I'm peaceful, I give respect to the earth, do not practice witchcraft or cast spells because I acknowledge that I am human and do not disrespect while accepting other religions with the only expectation that people of other religions would do the same for me. I hang out with green men and go to drum circles and am certainly looking forward to Four Corners.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:57PM
mlai at 12:38AM, Dec. 31, 2008
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D
Come on tell me what ye think of witchcraft
It loses its mystique if you become part of a commercialized flock.

So make sure you are pursuing something that defines your individuality, rather than just trying to be part of a trend.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
skoolmunkee at 5:42AM, Dec. 31, 2008
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ipokino
Guys…I hang out here with some of the best and brightest people I have ever had a chance to interact with…you don't think I'd go around totally making things up??? Also, my comic is highly into the science of sci-fi. I read a lot of science articles.

That doesn't really change the fact that a lot of people on the internet like to make stuff up. :)

Thanks for that info though, I will have a look at it because I'm pretty curious. I just have trouble grasping that ‘religion’ is a trait that could be controlled biologically. I have always put it more into a sort of conditioned/sociological realm outside the influence of genetic factors. At best I think some of the elements involved in faith might be influenced by biology (like how brain chemistry can affect social interaction), so I could believe that certain things may predispose a person into being religious… but saying that lack of those things means the person will probably be incabable of religion, although a logical opposite, seems pretty strange. At least, that's how I understood your post earlier.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
ozoneocean at 8:17AM, Dec. 31, 2008
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I'd say that from the info presented that it doesn't prove a genetic or biological origin for religion. It just investigates the phenomena of “religious” euphoria.

We have no way of knowing if that phenomena has anything to do with religious belief in the past, it's just supposition and extrapolation in a big way. The correlation doesn't suggest a cause, it's just a correlation. Skool's approach seems the more promising: social/cultural factors are responsible, with biological and chemical influences doing what they always do, or not, in the background.
mechanical_lullaby
I'm pagan.
Ok, but what are you then? It's exactly like saying “I'm not American”. It's funny that some consider the Mormons to be pagans, not to mention the Jews, Muslims etc. And at time the different parts of the Christian world called each other “pagan”, Some protestants still consider Catholics to be pagan.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:33PM
mlai at 5:12PM, Dec. 31, 2008
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ozoneocean
Some protestants still consider Catholics to be pagan.
Protestants are the pagans and heretics, not Catholics.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Product Placement at 5:30AM, Jan. 1, 2009
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Eh. Everyone is a pagan scum to someone. It's love like that that keeps the world turning.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:50PM
MagickLorelai at 1:02PM, Jan. 1, 2009
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Ahh, religion. A nice touchy subject for everyone.

I used to identify as Wiccan, though my religious beliefs have shifted since. I really don't think it's okay to dismiss anyone's religion, if only on the basis that it's rude and insulting to something that is very personal, and often a very important part of someone's life.

It's unfortunate that Wicca has become the religious toy of teenagers, typically girls. I think that genuine study of the religion and its roots is a merit, not a flaw, and very often genuine practitioners don't run around crying about how witchy they are and how “attuned to the universe” they are. Many are extremely quiet about their beliefs, and pursue a personal path of enlightenment. In fact, I myself used the religion as a means of breaking out of the rut I was in with Christianity and finding my way onto my current path.

Being a witch isn't inherently stupid or wrong, but because of the self-victimizing closed-circuit communities (“Never again the Burning times!” …Yyyyyyea, because that was TOTALLY about witches and not money, power, or fearmongering), and often not-so-serious public identity, associating with witches tends to hurt your image. This is the result of how Wicca and Witches in general are portrayed.

Anyway. I say, live and let live, respect others' beliefs and you will be respected in turn, and seek your own path in life, religious or not!

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM

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