progressive witchcraft

Discussion in 'Paganism' started by kitty fabulous, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

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    this is the latest from janet farrar and gavin bone. not sure when it came out, but i picked it up at barnes and noble a couple of weeks ago & i just finished reading it.

    it's amazing to see how much the religion has changed over the years. a lot of newbies, especially here in the states, are drawn to wicca for the ecclecticism embraced in its practice, and tend to be put off by older, more traditional sources considering them to be inflexible and narrow-minded. but stepping back and looking at the big picture, one has to acknowledge that that "stodgey" traditionalism is simply the way things were when the religion was formed. people were concerned about dogma and degrees and lineage. you copied your teacher's book of shadows instead of writing your own. groups insisted they were the last remnants of a an unbroken ancient tradition, and you inherited your BOS from your "grandmother". and that's just the way things were.

    when janet & her late husband stewart wrote a witches' bible in the early 1980's, things had changed considerably, but there was still the emphasises on traditions, initiantions & degrees, oaths and secrecy - although this too was beginning to change. janet & stewart never claimed to be the definitive voice of witchcraft, nor do janet & gavin now, but a witches' bible does give a pretty good idea of the way things were, and i think progressive witchraft does a fair job at least covering the changes. anyone familiar with a witches bible will be struck by the amazing evolution our faith has seen within the past 20, or even 10 years! our religion is growing up.

    much of what janet & gavin marvel over as "new" in the book are actually things that have been happening in the states for quite some time. but the important thing is that both british traditionalism and american ecclectic wicca have something to offer the seeking witch, and both expressions of the faith have something to learn from each other, as well. this book acknowledges that, and poses questions that should stir the thoughts of traditionalist and ecclectic alike. the authors examine the changing views on the structure of time, and apply that to the theory of reincarnation, and the initiation process. the traditionalist degree system is brought under scruntiny, and the concepts of self-initiation and initiation by experience are examined and embraced.

    one of the most important gifts this book offers, however, is the illustration presented of the wiccan cosmology, a working map of the worlds, elemental realms and the paths between. solitaries and covens alike will find this diagram useful for pathworking, ritual design, and shamanic journeying. also valuable is the chapter on priest- & priestesshood, drawing down the sun/moon, and service to deity. at the same time i was reading this book i was also reading carolyn myss' invisible acts of power, which is about service to others as an act of power and service to what she calls Grace, and how these acts of power relate to and strengthen the chakras, so that chapter proved especially thought-provoking.

    all-in-all, i'd say that this is an excellent book, and definately worth picking up and reading. the authors wrote it with the intent that it would be useful to the new witch as well as the experienced pratitioner, but i find it's probably best suited for intermediate to advanced practitioners, who have at least some working knowledge of rituals such as drawing down the moon and circle-casting. it would help, i think, to at least have read a witches bible first, so that one can appreciate the changes that have occurred since its publication.

    no longer making the claim to be the last remnants of a preserved, underground, ancient fertility cult, wicca is truly an evolving religion. i would especially recommend this book to older or more experienced witches, to put in perspective just how far we've come. blessed be, indeed!
  2. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

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    how true... :) great article...

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