Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Is Wicca America's fastest growing religion?

I hope not. I really hope not. Wicca is like D&D come to life. It is totally made up. How can this be true?

According to many figures, Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the United States by percentage. With many people attracted to its communion with nature, the number of adherents is doubling about every 30 months, and the following grew from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001. The online store site, unlike some Wiccan shops that are more insular, will provide useful information about this Pagan religion for people looking to learn more. Willow Grove Magickal Shoppe was founded by Anna Maples and Shannon Hansen, both of whom have extensive knowledge of the products from years of studying and practicing Wicca.

Source: - Willow Grove Magickal Shoppe Announces Opening of Online Store Selling Items for Wiccan Rituals

Not that I have a problem with Wiccans. They are almost like this generations hippie. Plus they apparently like to bake. How can you dislike tattooed earthy women who like to bake?

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Dean Barnett RN BS said...

"How can you dislike tattooed earthy women who like to bake?"

That depends - are they also members of the "patchouli is as good as soap" club?

Mojoey said...

nope - they must like soap.

Anonymous said...

All religion is made up,man.At least the Wiccans I have met were not really into the whole subdue the world and win souls thing. And tattooed women are a plus, if the ink is interesting.

Jersey said...

Never met a Wiccan with tattoos. They either wore their pentacles and knew what their religion was about, or were just going against the norm.

Johnny Crow said...

Yeah I dunno. It is a crazy ass religion just like any other, but at least they aren't out there knocking on your door trying to get you to drink their brand of Kool-Aid. They tend to like the earth, which is cool. But beyond that, they spend their money on made up bullshit. My problem is not really with the people who want to believe it, it is more with the people willing to sell bullshit to those who are vulnerable. All religions are a scam for the weak and those who pray on the weak are my real enemy.

oh and Dean.. that Patchouli joke was hilarious!

Plus I love tattooed women.. SO FUCKING HOT!

idragosani said...

I used to play in a folk rock band that was primarily Wiccan, and we played at a lot of pagan festivals (I am not pagan). I have to say, though, that these people hold as many crackpot pseudoscientific beliefs as any creationist. I had to leave the band because of it... just couldn't deal with the activism and whacky beliefs.

But damn, they are a lot more fun to drink beer with. And the female lead singer had tatoos, a huge leafy penatacle that covered her back.

Anonymous said...

I am a 38-year old married mom of 2 who has been Wiccan for 20 years.

Is it a made up religion? No more or less than any other faith system - it is just "newer".

I practice it because its basic tenants ... to honor the Divine as both God and Goddess, to strive to harm none, to revere nature and to celebrate the cycles of the seasons ... speak to me.

Mama Kelly
PS and it may make me slightly stereotypical but yes I am also tattooed

Johnny Crow said...

You can to strive to harm none and revere nature without the need of religion. I celebrate the seasons too, of course I am from Farm country where it is a natural habit. But no matter if it was older or newer it is still the beliefs and hopes in a higher power(s) and the use of them to explain and/or to manipulate the world as is. I.e. Pray for love, for health, for money.. ALL of it is nothing but speaking to oneself rather than doing something for ones self. If you want the world to change you have to help it change. If you want health, do something that is considered healthy and seek the help of a Doctor and not an invisible being.

Other than that Wiccans, though sometimes on the creepy side (usually the men) are pretty cool people. I wonder if there will every be a fundamentalist wiccan? Now that is scary...

idragosani said...

Johnny Crow --

Yes, I have met "fundamentalist" pagans (not just Wiccans, but other traditions as well). These are usually younger folks who have just found Wicca (after leaving Christianity) and eat, drink and breathe Wicca and get so uptight about 'negative' energy, might believe in a literal 'Goddess', have to make sure everyone knows they are pagan, blatantly wear pentagrams, etc. They basically have exchanged religions but not the mindset. They can be just as anti-science as any fundamentalist Christian and believe in silly stuff like astrology, Tarot cards, scrying crystals, etc., and talk about them as if their life depended on their use.

I was married to someone like this for 11 years (she wasn't Wiccan, but another tradition, but doesn't matter, the mindset of the 'True Believer' is the same no matter where you go).

The good news is most of the 'fundie' pagans tend to mellow out after a couple of years and get a bit less literal minded and more tolerant of rational thought.

Johnny Crow said...

Ah ok, thanks idragosani. I never really thought of it that way. Of course I have met a few Atheists who were once full blooded bible thumper's and they "woke up". They tend to be a little on the scary side as well.

I guess everyone has em eh?

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that Wicca in America is not the same as Wicca in the UK (where it comes from). In the US it seems to be very much a sort of "modern hippie" term that is interchangeable with the word "Pagan".

In the UK it is more clearly defined as a specific initiatory "western mystery tradition" which involves very specific beliefs and practices.

Whether or not it was invented by Gerald Gardner is in the very least debatable, but even if he did he based it on much older and established mystery tradition.

Like others have commented, age really has nothing to do with it. That's like saying Hinduism is more valid than Christianity simply because Hinduism has existed since around 2500BC.

I think the thing more scary than Wicca being the fastest growing religion in the US, is the fact that the watered down US version is the one being most associated as being the definition of Wicca. It seems like the "Wiccans" banging their drums the loudest in protest are generally the crazies who give the rest of us a bad name. 0__o

If you're interested in read - Prof. R Hutton's book "Triumph of the Moon" is a very good and factually sound look at Wicca and the associated groups.

Anonymous said...

Well...I am getting a serious giggle out of this thread. It would tickle me anyway, but especially since the original topic involves me personally since I am the Anna Maples who owns the Willow Grove store. So, not in the spirit of defending myself but instead in the spirit of setting a few things straight, I submit the following bit of rant...
A) Yes, there are a few wacky Pagans, just as in any religion. But find me a news story about a Wiccan bombing an abortion clinic (or anything else for that matter), and then we can debate which religion is wackier.
B) Most Wiccans do not believe there are dieties floating around in the sky watching every move we make. The God and Goddess are archetypes, myths created by humans to tell the story of the cycles of life/death/rebirth and natural earthly and celestial events. Just because we refer to the Sun as God and the Moon as Goddess doesn't make the sun and moon any less real, and ultimately it is the natural cycles of the sun/moon and their effects on the earth that we hold sacred. So unless you can argue that the sun and moon have no bearing on nature and the turning of seasons, it is inaccurate to say that our religion is made up. If anything, it is the most scientifically-based religion there is and the world's modern religions were originally based on it. (Doubt this? Google "Mithras".) We do not believe in actual gods and goddesses in the same way that most modern religions do. We believe in some unknowable source of creation that must have had the perfect balance to create all life, i.e., a balance between male/female polar opposites, hence the personification of this force into the idea of God and Goddess. The names of the dieties vary throughout times and cultures and were man-made, but the ideas were always the same and based on scientific astronomical events such as the solstices and equinox. These yearly events are what we celebrate in our holidays and are really no different than other more secular seasonal observances. Even the modern Groundhog's Day coincides with an ancient Pagan tradition (Imbolc) of watching an animal's behavior to predict the impending spring season.
C)Yes, there are a few who will exploit the stupid to sell them quick-fix spells, but anyone who truly understands Wicca knows that performing a ritual or spell is not about manipulating the natural world to do your bidding, but rather about preparing your own mind to be receptive and open to the things you must do to bring about the things you ask for. In other words, you don't bring about wealth simply by burning a green candle, but if you clear your mind and meditate while watching that green candle, you just might have a moment of clarity that makes you wake up to what you need to do in your life to be more prosperous and then you are more motivated to go do it. We take personal responsibility in the outcome of our lives, as opposed to other religions in which the will of God determines our fate.
D)You do have me nailed on a few things. I have tattoos, as do all the ladies of my coven. I like patchouli, but prefer to also shower, with soap even, before putting it on. And I do make a wicked organic banana bread.

Anonymous said...

Yes, what a big laugh... figures this women pretending to be something she's not LOL. And, opperates a scam taking advantage of people you got that right!!!! WG will has a policy that is for selfish needs and themselves not the community. And, yes takes your money and run... giving the rest of REAL wiccan's a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Live and Let Live!!!!

Angel said...

I'm sorry, but I actually hope the article is right and for your information we're all not hippies DUDE!

I think you need to check yourself about the Wiccan religion, its the Catholic or Christian religion that apparently is made up. You'll find that info in the art history books.By the way I'm a designer with tattoos who happens to be a Wiccan. Seems like you and your know it all earth buddies should pick up a book.

BCI: Android Apps said...

down with Mormonism!!
Book of Shadows

Anonymous said...

i just wanted to say yes wicca is out of the ordenary but we dont start wars in the name of our religion if christans where more at peace with earth and others maybe there would be a little less abuse of those who are different

Anonymous said...

Made up? All religion is man-made. Wicca is based on ancient Pagan traditions and beliefs which pre-date just anything, including Christianity. Many Christian ituals and practices and beliefs are Pagan. Christianity is basically a plagiarization of ancient civilizations such as Egyptian, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Sumerian/Babylonian etc. Take some courses in religious studies and cultural anthropology. It's no more or less BS than anything else. Besides it's not nearly a religion as much as it is a path, or reverence for the elements and nature.