I found this article and I had to stop and think , is Wicca dieing ? and will it be just another following up in smoke ? was this and is this nothing more then a hippie movement that has reached its peek ? leave your comments and tell me what you think ? http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswi&c=words&id=14905
Well, i think it depends on what you consider "Wicca" to be. I do think it'll die soon unless something is done, but it will leave a legacy. IMO this would be fine if the legacy is... fine, but as i see it, the legacy might just be a retarded one.
When people who dedicate to the serious study of a religion have a central authority, they expand the meaning and interpretations of said religion towards its inside: they don't add new elements, but they help clarify and expand existing elements. When there is no central authority and this religion goes popular among the elite of serious students, sects will be generated, which will be good, valid and rich religions, and the original one will be kept as a root.
Problem comes when religion goes popular. With a central body, such as the catholic church, the doctrines are kept intact, superficially, but over the time, ignored. Eventually changes such as nuns being able to give a catholic mass are made, the original dogma is only kept superficially (because due to energetic reasons, a nun should never be able to do this, however at this point even the clergy doesn't understand why), it basically extends the life of a religion before it degenerates into superstition. But without a central body it is a matter of decades before the "I believe this and you must accept me" attitude creates too many superstitious derivatives of said religion, until new people that join it don't have access to the original, true religion anymore. In this case the new sects are watered-down, supersticious variants that have little to no value.
This is why i like the idea of a central body in any doctrine. When religion goes popular without one, what happens is protestant Christians, who just threw all the ritual and symbolic meaning of their religion to the trash, leaving it with almost no value at all. And i fear this may happen to wicca.
At least in the northern parts of America, since as you go south unspecified witchcraft is far more prevalent that wicca. I don't think there are many wiccans in Peru compared to, say, Mexico. Not sure how things are in europe, where as i understand it, people take Wicca more seriously.
I agree with Drakill Tannan on some points. If you are a true and serious student of Wicca/Witchcraft then you have followed the religion all the way back to the old ways of the Celts and you honor and follow the old ways then it will live on. I do not believe that it will ever truly die. The old ways are just that old. They have been around since before christianity and they will continue.
"...if you are a true and serious student of Wicca/Witchcraft then you have followed the religion all the way back to the old ways of the Celts..."
Except it's not Celtic.
And that's exactly what i mean :P
Wicca is disappearing because without a central body, nobody is able to tell what Wicca IS. Hence it will disappear. Now, assuming Connie is as serious as he/she sounds, what will replace this wicca will be a valid and useful religion, but it won't be wicca anyway!
You're forgetting (or just never realized) that what draws most people to neoWicca is the lack of central authority. And, as I wrote below, Wicca doesn't have one super big authority everyone can trust to tell them what to do and believe, but they do have lots of checks to make sure people are who they say they are and orthopraxy so that people are practicing in roughly the same fashion. Sure, it differs from coven to coven, but Wicca (initiatory Wicca, not Wicca-lite or neoWicca) is a perfectly fine religion that will continue having adherents because it has continued to grow since it was first 'outed'/founded in the 50's. It might not be growing at as fast a rate, but people still get initiated into trad covens all the time, because Mystery traditions usually have a certain draw.
One can incorporate Celtic elements into their practice, one can acknowledge the Celtic elements that were blended together to form Wicca (along with a hundred other things), and one could even practice a Celtic faith as well as Wicca, or witchcraft as seen through Celtic perspectives, but Wicca (and neoWicca) isn't Celtic, and any serious student should know that. Even adding Celtic deities doesn't make it Celtic, it just means you're adding those deities or elements of another practice.
Anyway, I highly doubt Wicca, actual Wicca, will be replaced. Even after neoWicca was created, trad Wicca kept going strong.
I've even heard people argue that you can't worship alternative Pantheons as a serious practitioner. Their argument is: If you're a Wiccan, you worship the Lord and Lady as basically figures of a bi-gendered dual-Godhead. No Greek gods, no Japanese gods, no whatever - just God and Goddess, nameless. If you incorporate other pantheons or deities it isn't technically Wiccan.
Wicca as driven by publishers such as Llewellyn I believe is dieing.
But the desire to be witches is ever increasing.
Christianity is also continuing to die.
The problem with Wicca's survivability as a popular religion is indeed wrapped up in a non-existant central authority.
Without a "Wiccan High-Council" of sorts, anyone is free to come in and say that being a classic monster is also a part of being Wiccan. Combine that with people who say that Wicca is a private initiatory religion only and that really rots the group to the core.
Finally, if those like you and I stop calling themselves Wiccan for any reasons above or below, I believe the name of Wicca will die.
I just want Paganism to mean honoring the Gods of Western Europe and the Gods of the world before the coming of that Roman religion and the 3 main orthodox religions in the world. I'm opposed to that entire philosophy. There is a good god and there is a devil just doesn't make sense to me. Heaven and Hell don't make sense to me. I don't want any part of that. I want the Gods of old. The Gods of magic that allow their worshipers to do magic. I don't want a god telling me not to do magic and trust him or her. I'm a tinkerer and a thinker. I don't want gods tinkering and thinking for me. I want the Gods of the old ways.
'Wicca' in name hasn't been able to encompass that. I think the name 'Paganism' might.
Only that Wicca is an initiatory religion. You know, drawing on Mystery cults of the ancient world, having to do with being initiated into a coven because Wicca is group-oriented....neoWicca, that's a whole 'nother beast.
"The Gods of magic that allow their worshipers to do magic."
Not all of the ancient gods that are currently worshiped allow their devotees to do magic. Plenty do, but some devotees of Brighid, for example, have been instructed by Her to not do witchcraft. Practitioners of Hellenismos may find magic to be inappropriate to the path as well.
Seeing as how Wicca (ya know, the initiatory kind) does have authorities (ways of making sure people are actually initiates, confirming initiations and affiliations) that isn't a problem with Wicca. It's, if it is a problem at all, of neoWiccans.
I took a World Religions class this past semester and my professor told us that Religions in general are getting smaller.
I don't think a religion can completely die out. If just one person in the world believes in the faith of any religion, it will exist.
All of that is true. I am a descentant from the Celts of Northern Ireland and my family have all been Wiccan, or pagan or whatever you want to call us for as far back as our family history goes. If you want to refer to us a Celtic that is fine with me also. I don't honestly believe that it matters what others call you or whether they believe what you do or not. What matters is what you believe. I am a firm believer in the old ways and the old gods. I was tought the ways and the paths that I follow by my parents and the elders in my family, just as I will teach my children. This is how the religion will live on in our family.
As for society in general and religion, I do agree that there should be some higher counsil for wicca, but there in lies the problem as with any religion there are different sects and unless every sect of wicca or paganism is going to be represented how can there be one higher counsel. Even in the wiccan community there are differences from person to person. We do not all worship the same goddess or god and we do not follow one path. There are multiple paths to get to the same enlightenment. Most wiccans dont want an organized religion and are happy to practice in a small coven or as a solitary witch. We have spent the past few centuries hiding from persecution and are just now in the last few decade willing to start venturing out into the public light and let people know that we are witches and are not afraid of persecution any longer. I do not believe that wicca is dying, it is more that those of us that are true practitioners are just not public about our religion.
WOW! I would love to take a class on World Religions!!!!
Every time I read one of your comments I love you even more. You are extremely knowledgeable and I really appreciate your posts among all the fluff on here.