More Thoughts about Eclecticism

As I think I mention earlier, I’ve joined the new CFFN. I’ve been speeding through the First Circle lessons at the rate of one a week. (This is in an effort to be placed back in the Second Circle, where I was before CFFN changed.) In the course of doing these lessons, I’ve finally read some books that I’ve always meant to get around to. I’ve read Gardner’s Witchcraft Today (highly questionable), Murray’s Witch-Cult in Western Europe (pure garbage) (read it at The Internet Sacred Texts archive), Lethbridges’s The Witches (not half bad, but still a lot of questionable history), The Kybalion (elitist Hermetic teachings, but still very interesting), and a few selected chapters of Frazer’s Golden Bough (a conceited book, which looks down on “primitive” societies and seems to see Britain as the pinnacle of civilization, but stuff full of lots of interesting stories) (read it at The Internet Sacred Texts archive).

What have I learned? Well, some of the books that early modern Wicca was based on were rubbish, and others where very British culturecentric. I don’t think this makes Wicca a bad thing though. I can see that we have moved beyond this, while still recognizing where we have come from. I think that eclectics, and groups like UEW, have helped in this. But, I also think that some eclectics have hindered the growth of Wicca as a legitimate religion. There needs to be a balance with remembering our history (even if it isn’t all that great), and adding new elements to our faith. Things shouldn’t be added just because they are neat. Rather, they should become part of our spiritual practice if they help us and if they fit within the framework without ruining either our faith or the intent of the practice we are incorporating. Some practices, no matter how much we like them, really only work within a certain religion. For example, it may have made you feel better to confess your sins as a Catholic, but as a Wiccan such a practice (or a similar practice) is no longer necessary. To incorporate it into Wiccan practice doesn’t make sense, since Wiccan does not recognize sin.

1 Comment

One Response

  1. Limiting Eclecticism

    Silverlotus has a good post on eclecticism. In discussions of eclectic beliefs, I’ve never seen much talk about the limits of eclecticism. Many people believe that spiritual systems are wholly arbitrary, and should be tailored to fit the worshipper. Si…