a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Responses to Lesson 1

To: (Sherry Michael)
From: (Lorax)
Subject: Re: (For Sherry) Responses to Lesson 1
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 12:29:45 -0800 (PST)

Kali Yuga 49950121
> > Of this I have no doubt.  My concern has always been with the purity of
> > the Neopagan tradition, which I see is fast eroding away on the heels of
> > popularized generalities.
> So what would you tell them? How can I give them a change to disagree 
> with the generalities if they are unaware of them? 

What would I tell them?  I guess I'd pass on generalizations which seem true,
like 'Wicca is not uniform as regards doctrine or mythos and what I'm telling
you is some commonalities', and then 'Reincarnation is a favored concept among
Wiccans' or 'Wiccans often have a strong distaste for Christian ideas'.  There
could be followups as regards why all these are the way they are and lead to
some very interesting sociological discussion.

How can you give them a chance to disagree with the generalities?  I'm sure
that if they have any exposure to Wicca they've heard them (and thus you may
be reinforcing them slightly).  If they haven't, then they're likely going
to be quiet and accept what you say as true, which is slightly dangerous.
If nobody who has experience speaks up and says 'Um, that ain't my experience
of Wicca', then a student may get a somewhat skewed vision of the subject,

Unfortunately, people have short attention-spans.  That means that if much
instruction is done this way, the bulk of those educated in Wicca will 'take'
the bit about 'what Wiccans believe' most strongly, while the less emphasized
bits regarding breadth of mind and tolerance of practice will be lost in the

I've also noticed that most Americans (could be Euros too) have a distinct
bias toward defining religious traditions on the basis of intellectual
positions.  Reinforcing this may do more harm than good, especially if the
follow-through doesn't totally curb the notion when it comes to the Craft.

I won't say more on it unless you ask.  I'm really trying not to overstep
my bounds and yet I have strong feelings about this.  I wasn't raised with
the value of doctrine and I see it as one of the most prevalent problems
in religious conflict throughout the world.

> > Understood.  I'm one of them.
> But you response to questions I give to the students is, "I don't need to 
> think about this, I all ready know". The questions are for people who 
> have never thought about these concepts to know if they agree/disagree.

Um, I hope that I can be better at expressing myself in the future.  I wish
to give the impression that I favor NOT-knowing, uncertainty, lack of
assumption, and general confusion.  I think that these are beneficial states
from which to operate and may be the core of what most today call 

I think that what you must be referring to is the response to the question
about exploring reincarnation.  1) it presumes we haven't explored; 2) I
took it on the heels of other questions as sort of persuasion to believe
it is true, kinda like when a Christian Fundi asks me 'have you ever tried
believing in God?'  3) I was probably already peeved about the notion that
Wiccans believe in reincarnation, especially without the background that
the concept may originally be foreign to most Western religion (as 
contrasted with metempsychosis, which appears to be the Greek 'transmigra-
tion of souls' and is arguably of different character).
(caution, I'm no scholar in this area and am treading on brittle ground)

> > > As the course progresses the dogma disappears as they develop.
> > 
> > An interesting method.  I'll try to keep up.
> In art classes they teach you how to hold the paintbrush and certain 
> strokes. Later, as far as the teachers care, you can paint with your 
> toes. However, they want you to know the traditional basics first, so you 
> know WHY you may want to paint with your toes.

That explains my reaction. ;>  Whenever instructed in this way I tend to
immediately place the brush between my toes, cheeks and up my nose to see
what neat things I can do.  Could be I'm an incurable rebel.  Could be I
learn best by doing.  Could be that is one reason I like to become a first
timer again, so that you can teach me my limitations again and again.


> I'm sorry if I took your comments the wrong way. 

You certainly took them more seriously than I meant them!  Treat me like a
grouchy old person who has a hard time with new ways of learning and loves
to criticize until he sees that this isn't being appreciated. ;>

> I shall answer you questions that you sent later on. 

Ok, great, thanks!

> I'd quess I'm a tad touchy. :) 

We are just strong personalities with need for coalesce, methinks.

> Please continue with your methods, I shall adjust.

That is very kind of you.  I'll temper slightly so that you can hear
me more easily.  Also, I'm likely to begin focussing more on constructive
inquiry (I am good at that, but sometimes barrage with Qs and so it comes
to the same).  Perhaps a stray Q here and there regarding statements
being made in discussion will do.

Also, when I send you something, do you usually relay it to others and
not to me, or is there some reason that I'm not seeing my posts?  I was
just curious.  Thanks for your patience. ;>


The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races