Patheos Begins Series on Wicca

Patheos, whom Newsweek Magazine just listed as the website to read to be smarter about religion, is running a series on Wicca in the Pagan Portal during the month of January. This is part of a monthly focus on different Pagan traditions in 2011.

Every Monday and Friday in January Star Foster, Pagan Portal Manager, will ask a different question about Wicca. Responses to the first question – What makes someone Wiccan? – are already on the site.  Many well-known practitioners within Wicca are participating and readers are invited to send in their 250-500 word responses as well.  Below is a taste of what the series is like.

Alexandrian Joseph D. Carriker, Jr. says “It is initiation that makes one of the Wica, immersion in the occult current of our Craft and introduction into the spiritual lineage which we continue.”

Ravenwood Tradition Lady Moonshadow Xian says what makes one Wiccan is “Belief and Practice.”
You can read their full essay responses here. The responses to the next question – Should Wicca be classified as a new religion?  – should be posted soon.

In addition to the twice weekly question, readers will also be treated to longer articles such Star Foster’s powerful and evocative piece titled The Invisible Wiccan which explores the difficulty outside academics and researchers may have in studying a religion such as Wicca and the possibility that Witches may have survived through the centuries without leaving any proof of their existence behind.

I am an invisible Wiccan. I am in the “broom closet.” My family doesn’t know of my faith. My co-workers don’t know of my faith. Most of my friends don’t know of my faith. There aren’t any covens in my area. I communicate to other Wiccans through the internet, using a pseudonym, and through small festivals, also using a pseudonym.

When I die unexpectedly, my computer’s hard drive will be wiped and loaded with educational games for my daughter. My large collection of books will be given to Goodwill. My sisters and mother will take the “pretty knick-knacks” from my altar to remember me by. No one will notify the Wiccan friends I’ve made online or at festivals who only know me by my pseudonym. At my funeral I will be hailed as a “sometimes Sunday” Christian with bohemian and “granola” tendencies. A cross will be placed on my grave. No one will remember me as a Wiccan. There will be no surviving evidence of my religion. Though my heart lived for the God and the Goddess, it lives no more. If I, as a Wiccan in the 1990’s, can be forgotten and my life whitewashed as that of a “good Christian,” if I am uncounted and unremarked in the annals of Wiccan history though I lived such a short time ago, how are we to know the hearts of those who lived a few hundred years ago?