On November 22, your friendly neighborhood Detroit Paganism Examiner was teaching the first class in a series of a Year and a Day classes on Modern Neo Pagan Witchcraft. This is an experiential course, and will be very rigorous. Surprisingly, the class was visited by a college student who wished to interview this writer regarding Wicca, Paganism, and other things for an assignment at his college. Now, because it is an unusual situation where the person who usually does the interviewing is the interviewee, the writer has decided to share the questions and answers here. It is also hoped that this will very clearly confirm that the interview did take place so that the young student may gain the credit for the assignment. So, Mr. P. this is my response to your questions.
How do you start practicing wicca?
I have been studying this path since I was a child and first was introduced to Scott Cunningham at the Lincoln Branch Library in Detroit by the librarian who saw me admiring the lady with the unicorn on the cover of his book.
Did you practice Wicca public or private?
I was outed as a witch in elementary school since children do not usually hide who they are. It is later when we are taught to lie.
Was practicing Wicca a challenge?
Yes, I had a lot of teasing, both by children and adults. Also, there was a lot of hatred.
Did you receive education higher than high school?
I have a college degree and several certifications.
Were they aware about your wicca religion?
Yes. One of the colleges that I attended was actually a missionary Christian school. It was quite the fun time engaging in debate with the professors over points of Platonic Christianity vs. the modern Neo Pagan spirituality movement that is seeking to identify itself as Christo Pagan.
Are you currently employed? Give details on lifestyle of workforce?
I am currently not regularly employed in the public sector in my field, as stressors related to workplace harassment led to my leaving the workplace. By profession, I work in the Human Services field, specifically with the Family.
What motivates you to practice wicca. Is this situation leading to satisfying lifestyle?
I identify as a WITCH who practice Modern Neo Pagan Witchcraft. But for their convenience, many call me Wiccan. But this is a catch all phrase because there are many Traditions that identify as such. Insofar as a lifestyle, it is satisfying because it is reflective of who I am and what I have found and tested to be true for me.
What are the public misleading (sic) towards Wicca?
The most common one is that those who walk this path practice Satanism or Demonolatry. Of course, this is not to say that there are not witches who practice those. It is usually just an errant sweeping generalization and demonization of a path that many do not take the time to understand. Also, those who do that often do not truly have an understanding of any of the aforementioned to the point that they could define them accurately.
What facts or events lead to misleading data among Wicca?
Usually ignorance and fear. What we see as other, humans have a tendency to view with mistrust.
Can you point the difference and similarities between Wicca and Christianity?
Due to the fact that there are so many groups that identify themselves as practicing Wicca, it would be a grand project indeed for me to attempt to encompass all the views of each tradition and encapsulate them here. But one of the most obvious differences is that those who practice Christianity are practicing an Abrahmic branch of faith, whereas those who are practicing what is accepted as common forms of Wicca do not practice from this base. Also, in general there is no evil vs. good paradigm. There is what is constructive and there is what is destructive, and each has its place.
Can you differentiate Wicca from other similar practice such as Sorcery and other mystical arts?
Sorcery is a specific form of the practice of magic, with various techniques. You do not have to be Wiccan to practice sorcery. Other mystical arts are each their own discipline, which can overlap in the life of a practitioner with their faith or path.
Does Wicca improve the ability to communicate among peers?
Like any philosophical or religious path, the self work involved in living your truth leads to confidence, so that could definitely be something that would happen.
Does Wicca have major events such as holidays, events, etc?
Yes. However, different traditions have different names for these observances. Also, all of them do not agree on the same observances. Some only celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, while others include the cross quarter days as well. In general the calendar observances are based on what is called the Wheel of the Year. It is reflective of the natural cycles that life goes through throughout the agrarian and celestial year and how humanity interacts with this. They are widely recognized as
Are Wicca education sponsored by accredited institutions or privately?
Now that is a really great question. In general, like most religious education, it is up to the school or grove or tradition. However, in Michigan we have something really spectacular. We have a Michigan Pagan Scholarship for high school students who are Pagan. And in Cherry Hill Seminary, in South Carolina, you can receive an advanced degree in such studies.
To be a Wiccan, should you give up your current religion?
That question is very much up to the individual, but in my experience, most religions require exclusivity of belief.
How does Wicca developed individual in a positive manner?
Like any set of practices and beliefs that an individual pursues to align themselves with, the spiritual natural elements of life, it has the potential to bring one in accord with the best of themselves.
This writer thanks Mr. P for the honor of assisting with his education. It is my dearest wish that this has given him some answers that will lead him to a search for more in his pursuit of a greater understanding of Wicca. I wish you great success in your life.
As a special aside to those who may wonder why I do not call myself a Wiccan, this is a personal choice.. This goes back to the way the word is actually used. But a good place for food for thought on this would be to visit Lady Isadora’s page regarding “The Society for the Prevention of Witchcraft Being Called “Wicca”™.