Considering Wicca? Read this first.
I encounter a lot of neophyte pagans who express an interest in Wicca. As a general rule, they don’t know much about it beyond that it has something to do with honoring nature and/or it’s supposed to be a great religion for feminists.
Wicca: Fertility, Not Nature
First of all, Wicca is a fertility religion, not a nature religion. The fertility of the Earth is celebrated and held sacred, as well as human fertility. The latter can create some dissonance and distress for those who are unable to have children or choose to remain childfree.
Wicca: Is It Really Feminist?
There’s no doubt that Wicca holds women in higher regard than Christianity. However, Wicca’s cosmology is based on gender polarity, a concept which basically says that women are like this and men are like that. The triune goddess is defined as “the maid, the mother, and the crone,” whereas the triune god is defined as “the youth, the warrior, and the sage.” The goddess is defined by what her body does, but the god is defined by what he chooses to do. The goddess is a mother, not a warrior. The god is a warrior, not a father.
This paradigm is anything but feminist. It’s the illusory 1950’s America, when moms were allegedly tending ouchies and baking apple pie, and dads were allegedly teaching the sons to play baseball and bringing home the bacon.
According to an acquaintance of mine who is an initiate of traditional Wicca, the high priestess’s power is supposed to be “borrowed” from that of the high priest. In other words, her power comes from a man. This is anything but feminist!
Wicca: Friendly to Sexual Minorities?
It’s true that Wicca doesn’t condemn people to Hell for not being straight and cis-gendered. However, it’s a fertility religion that defines a woman as a child-bearer and a man as a fighter. The god and goddess are both as cis-gendered and heteronormative as can be. This can create some dissonance and discomfort for non-cis/straight people, and pretty much anyone who wishes gender polarity would just go curl up and die somewhere.
Okay, maybe Wicca isn’t what I want. But what else is there?
Wikipedia has a list of pagan reconstruction faiths. Alternatively, if you’re big on spiritual experiences involving nature but don’t care for the gods so much, Atheist Nexus has a group for those who identify as atheist pagans. Altreligion.About.com and Alternative Religion have some resources to check out as well.
When looking for information and guidance, please remember this: MANY SO-CALLED TEACHERS AND MASTERS JUST WANT TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU. That is, they want to use you to gain money, power, and attention. I recommend reading through Agent Orange’s Cult Test and Propaganda & Debating Techniques to learn how to spot mind control and manipulation. Also, steer clear of white people trying to sell you Native American spirituality or “wisdom.”