All One Wicca: A Study in The Universal Eclectic Wiccan Tradition - Book One - Wicca is a religion that is divided into sects. The sects range from vastly differing broad groupings to the individual or small sects of various temples and churches. [NOOK Book]
This has nothing to do with "New Age."
Footnote:The word "faith" is used here as opposed to Religion. A Faith is a non-specific religion or religious Philosophy, like Christianity. Religions within the Christian Faith include Catholicism, Fundamentalism, Protestantism, Vineyard Christianity and more.
...It has everything to do with religion.
The reason people justify the classification of things like this with such a masterpiece of euphemism is simple: This religion, My religion, is uncommon enough to be passed over by most, and common enough to scare the proverbial "Hell" out of those who fear any change (and have such a thing to be scared out of.) We are everywhere, and if the idea of a non-Christian babysitter or doctor frightens you, then be frightened.
The mythical "Agressive New Age" of fundamentalist fret, where militant lesbian vegans rule over men enslaved as breeders or sorcerers plot massive role-playing games to get inside children's minds, does not exist. It was made up to frighten people, but frightening is harming, and we do not harm. We have no hidden agendas, no schemes, no secret societies, no passwords... our "secrets" are open for all. We are normal citizens, your children, parents, neighbors, teachers and friends, no more or less "evil" or "scheming" than anyone...maybe even a little nicer, a little saner, a little more polite. I am sure there are a few misguided Wiccan souls out there with delusions of grandeur or who are in serious need of "attitude adjustments," but personality and insanity transcend religion, "there's one in every bunch." We are not stereotypes. Most of the shared beliefs of Wiccans are here for you to see. That's it. No secrets. Obviously I haven't included in depth detail about every ritual... that's insane, I couldn't create a disk or book large enough to fill with everything about Wicca.
Like Judeo-Christianity and other world faiths, Wicca is a religion that is divided into sects. The sects within Judeo-Christianity range from vastly differing broad groupings (i.e.: Jewish, Catholic, Protestant) to the individual or small sects of various temples and churches (Wesleyan, SeventhDay Adventists, Southern Baptist, American Baptist, etc.) The sects of Wicca are called "traditions" (or "trads") and are equally as diverse. A tradition usually includes family and personal beliefs, passed down through the years, or the beliefs and values of a group of people. Most Wiccan traditions fall into one of three categories, although borrowing between trads is fairly typical. These categories are Gardnerian based, Dianic based and the many Fam-Trads, which are based on the practices of families which may go back hundreds of years. Gardnerian traditions and those traditions which have sprung out of Gardnerian traditions are based on the books of and practices detailed by Gerald Gardner, but the term "Gardnerian Tradition" also applies to many Fam-Trads which pre-date Gardner and seem similar to those practices described by him. Most modern "Gardnerians" actually practice an eclectic amalgam of inflexible early twentieth-century Wiccan beliefs from Europe, incorporating various Fam-Trads in their quest for the "Original" Wicca. The oldest proof of a pre-Gardnerian tradition mentioned in this book, the Marchand Fam- Trad, dates (at least) to 1930, but has only considered itself "Wiccan" since the seventies. This is typical of the older trads, many of which have changed to fit a "Wiccan" mold in the past forty years.
Fam-Trads range from the well known to the obscure. Some are strict, like the Marchand trad which has an epic poem that details both the history of the family and the rules of Ritual in explicit detail. Some, like the Tomas Family Tradition, have no written rules and consist of the teachings of one person's lifetime. The history and size of a trad doesn't matter in Wicca, although it can feel nice to have a huge group of colleagues and a stack of books to refer to. Some trads claim lineages thousands of years old and some are being created right now, but the beauty of Wicca is that neither is more legitimate. For this reason, size, which can mean the difference between "a cult" and "a real church" in Christianity, doesn't matter in Wicca. Some traditions consist of only one or two individuals, and the largest have thousands. In Wicca, it is the shared beliefs, not their age or the number of believers, that make a tradition. Universal Eclectic Wicca, which this book is about, is a broad-based tradition, originally created to bring together the followers of several different groups whose leaders had learned from the same training circle. Although none of our covens were alike, we decided to write a "tradition" encompassing all of our beliefs. This is the result of that work.
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