No religion lasts long without controversy and dispute arising. I
think this is a feature, not a bug. Basicly, when a large number of
people -- say, 2 -- are trying to establish common ground on their
most personal experiences and beliefs, there's bound to be overlap and
disjunction. That's an intellectual and spiritual manifestation of the
diversity written into our very genes.
It's how we handle those disagreements that are good or bad.
Here, I'm going to list some of the issues which are
controversial within Wicca. I'm also going to attempt to give a fair
presentation to both -- or all, if there are more than two camps
-- sides of the argument. Finally, I will present my own beliefs on
||Objections to the validity of Self-Initiation tend to take a few
- A belief that Wiccan Priesthood relies on connection to
a specific thought-form that can only be conferred through
an Initiation performed by someone with a connection to the
- Concerns about the education and knowledge about those
who have not had someone sign off on what they know.
|Proponents of the validity of Self-Initiation tend to take
several forms as well.
- The First Witch had none but the Great Ones to Initiate them.
- One does not need to link with a specific, closed-access
thought-form to be a valid Priest/ess. It is certainly not the case
that the closed-access thoughtforms proponents refer to are the Great
- If Doreen Valiente, Victor Anderson, and Starhawk all
recognize the validity of Self-Initiation, who is anyone else to
|I Self-Initiated into Faery Wicca in 1987. In 1988, Francesca
DeGrandis went out of her way to make it clear that she recognized
that as a valid Initiation, and that her source for this was
Victor Anderson, and since it's his Tradition, who's anyone to
dispute it? I've yet to see someone make a convincng argument that
I'm not a Priest and Witch. Later in 1988, I entered more formal
training, but even then the validity of my Initiation was never
questioned by those with whom I practised.
I've heard all of these variously cited as reasons some women (and some
men) were called to a Dianic (Goddess-only or Goddess-dominant) practise.
Hearing the Goddess call to one, and not similarly hearing the God.
A belief that the Wicca is "women's religion," and that
men ought not participate.
A belief in the spiritual superiority of women.
An inability to work magickally with men arising from encounters
with contemporary sexism.
I've heard all of these variously cited as reasons men and women
have adopted an equalitarian Wiccan theology.
- Hearing the God call to them.
- A belief secular in equality of the sexes requiring an equality
in Dieties relative to their sex.
|People interact with the Great Ones in reaction to how the Great
Ones reveal Themselves. The Great Ones also reveal themselves in
reaction to how they are sought out. This is not contradiction, this
is iteration. I've seen this conversation go in many directions,
starting from many places and leading to many places.
The conclusion I have reached is that just as it is not our place
to proselytize for Wicca amongst those not called to it, it is not our
place to proselytize for any particular Divinity. If the God wants a
Dianic to pay more attention to Him, or give Him more weight, He'll
let them know in an unmistakable manner. If anyone's wondering, the
Goddess can be similarly blunt.
|Intersection with Christianity
Some people feel one cannot worship Jesus at all and be a Witch.
Some people see no reason for other people's interpretations of
Christianity to stop them from worshipping Jesus as they hear Him tell
them He wishes to be worshipped.
|I can only understand as hubris the notion that any human being
is qualified to tell the Great Ones which names and faces they may use
when revealing themselves to us.
|Matriarchal Theology and Coven Structure
||Those bothered by the recent upsurge of teenagers coming to
Wicca generally feel that teenagers aren't mature enough to take the
practise seriously or respectfully, or to grasp the ethics involved.
|I think it depends on the individual teenager, like anyone else.
Certainly, it is a bad idea to give religious instruction to a minor
without their parents' written permission.