Wiccan Atheists and Agnostics

Wiccan Atheists and Agnostics

There are 284 comments on the BellaOnline story from Aug 12, 2013, titled Wiccan Atheists and Agnostics. In it, BellaOnline reports that:

Can Wiccans also be atheists or agnostics? This may seem a strange question because the worship of the Lord and Lady is so central to many Wiccans' daily spiritual practice.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at BellaOnline.

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#21 Aug 14, 2013
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
Proof that Frank Zappa was right:
Stupidity is replicating itself at an enormous rate. The person who stands up and says, "This is stupid," either is asked to 'behave' or, worse, is greeted with a cheerful, "Yes, we know! Isn't it terrific!"
Apparently. You keep insisting that you know something that you have absolutely no way of knowing and that is indeed stupid.

“Proud to be a Wiccan Priest”

Since: Jul 09

Jonesboro AR

#22 Aug 14, 2013
Pagan and Proud wrote:
<quoted text>Apparently. You keep insisting that you know something that you have absolutely no way of knowing and that is indeed stupid.
The more he insists.. The more stupid he looks...
Jumper of the yard

Morgantown, KY

#23 Aug 14, 2013
Two know it alls

“Priestess of the Mountains”

Since: May 10

United States

#24 Aug 14, 2013
C Shine wrote:
<quoted text>
The form of Wicca I have learned and practice deals with certain specific Deities, Elementals, and other incorporate beings. Myself and others who practice similarly develop relationships with particular Gods, especially those they resonate with. We also practice Drawing Down which allows a very direct form of experiencing Gods/esses in person. Perhaps you do not have the belief or desire to persue a more active path in Wicca, and that is fine, Wicca is there for those who do wish to do so, and not to indoctrinate someone on the fence. But my observance is that your approach seems to stem from a more abstract, Protestant thought-form of Divinity; so perhaps some of this lack of feeling connected may have to do with how you have been conditioned to think about God/s, as many of us are in the West. In Wicca, the Gods are not really these all-knowing omnipotent amorphous presences that they are in Abrahamic faiths, they are the Gods of the Hidden Children, the Moon, the Earth (especially the wilder parts of it), and of Magic.
However, there is nothing or no one stopping you from practicing or believing however you wish under the general auspices of Paganism at large. Some of this abstraction about the Gods of Wicca comes from those who transferred their Abrahamic conditioning over to Wicca and did not persue the more direct and active practices of Wicca. I think it helps if we are all clear about whether or not we are Wiccan, or if we just like parts of Wicca.
I very much understand the process of DDtM and having a personal connection with the Gods (for the last few years I have felt very drawn to Athena for instance.) I've been a practicing Wiccan for 8 years now and I've studied as much as I've been able to. However, I follow no set Wiccan tradition and have always considered myself an eclectic Wiccan. I have my own beliefs when it comes to divinity and have always seen it as some sort of greater power that we, as humans, can not completely understand (perhaps it is even intangible - something like what most people might consider magic or a life force) and so we break that down into something we can understand - male and female - and then further into specific Gods and Goddesses (and even into energies from plants and other living things; I rather like that sort of animistic view of spirit or Gods in every part of nature - sort of like many Shinto beliefs). Though I also see the Gods as each having their own personality and abilities. I see them as people, albeit a bit different than us of course. They can have flaws just as much as we can as well as having divine powers. It's of course my own theory on things, but to me, it makes sense and since I practice no particular tradition, there is no one to say whether I am wrong or right. Then again, when it comes to religion, I don't believe anyone has such a right. All religions are similar in some ways and yet different and it's my personal thought that they are that way because of how diverse we as humans are; we each need that variation, that something slightly different that cements our beliefs for us. I believe all religions are in some way connected and equal yet different.

I suppose in some ways, some could simply consider me as a general Pagan, but I have always felt more drawn to and closer to many aspects of Wicca. It was the first religion I felt truly connected to on a deeper level and so I still consider myself to be Wiccan, personally speaking anyway. I'm very much eclectic in my beliefs however and I am perfectly okay with that. If others just want to call me Pagan and not Wiccan, then so be it. But I still feel very much connected to Wicca specifically.

And as far as my recent, more agnostic, feelings, I don't see as how they can disqualify me any more than the fact that, over the years, I have practiced magick less and less. But I still believe how I believe, I don't think any God would cite me for my questioning either.

“Priestess of the Mountains”

Since: May 10

United States

#25 Aug 14, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
That's not a good answer if you are on the border of a subject you have to steep back from everyone doing absolutely nothing that only a single side does, and go though arguments again and again in till you can pick a side.
As for using the sabbats to mark the seasons is a bit weird, as a self described strident atheist I never do things that only a believer should do. To do other wise feels degenerative, I will happily voice my disrespect of religious events but I wont degenerative them, they are clearly their for believers if I take part I feel out of place between my mental backing down and refuting of what the priest is saying. Its like lying about your interests in-order to be in a group, they may not like you if they found out you where lying and they won't know "you" just the you "you" made.
I still do believe...it's just that a small part of me has begun to question things.

I understand your insistence on not practicing a religion you don't truly believe in as it sort of mocks those who do (like with dabblers and the such.) However, I have believed in and practiced Wicca for almost half my life and a lot of my beliefs still lie in Wicca (after all there is more to a religion than simple belief in deity).

I don't practice much magick or ritual much anymore and my observing the sabbats is mostly me just acknowledging them (I practice alone I should mention), observing the change in the seasons on that day, wishing my fellow Pagans and Wiccans well on that day, and at times, saying a silent prayer to the Gods (as I said, though I may be questioning them, I still try to commune with them; a part of me still believes after all.)

One could say that I've begun to re-assess what I want and need out of life and religion, but it is still something I believe in and want to find out more about myself with. You may think it is half-hearted...but I consider it a bit of a journey; as something I can learn from. I may become completely agnostic in the future or I may re-gain my former beliefs. Perhaps this is just a temporary period for me. A time of questioning and introspection in so that I can learn and realize more about myself and where I feel I fit in the world. And to me, that's a very good thing.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#26 Aug 15, 2013
Jumper of the yard wrote:
Two know it alls
This creationist troll used to call himself "Jumper the Wise". As we can all see, he's dropped the "wise" from his name. Appropriate.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#27 Aug 15, 2013
GilnoKoibito wrote:
<quoted text>
I still do believe...it's just that a small part of me has begun to question things.
I understand your insistence on not practicing a religion you don't truly believe in as it sort of mocks those who do (like with dabblers and the such.) However, I have believed in and practiced Wicca for almost half my life and a lot of my beliefs still lie in Wicca (after all there is more to a religion than simple belief in deity).
I don't practice much magick or ritual much anymore and my observing the sabbats is mostly me just acknowledging them (I practice alone I should mention), observing the change in the seasons on that day, wishing my fellow Pagans and Wiccans well on that day, and at times, saying a silent prayer to the Gods (as I said, though I may be questioning them, I still try to commune with them; a part of me still believes after all.)
One could say that I've begun to re-assess what I want and need out of life and religion, but it is still something I believe in and want to find out more about myself with. You may think it is half-hearted...but I consider it a bit of a journey; as something I can learn from. I may become completely agnostic in the future or I may re-gain my former beliefs. Perhaps this is just a temporary period for me. A time of questioning and introspection in so that I can learn and realize more about myself and where I feel I fit in the world. And to me, that's a very good thing.
Questioning and introspection is great. The mental illness of faith means that these poor people ignore or deny hard fact - eg - no evidence whatsoever.

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#28 Aug 15, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
Questioning and introspection is great. The mental illness of faith means that these poor people ignore or deny hard fact - eg - no evidence whatsoever.
the mental illness is refusing to admit that no evidence means there is no indication one way or the other. The answer can be positive or negative, meaning that their faith could actually be right OR wrong. Insisting that something doesn't exist without any actual evidence is as foolish as you pointing at others being for having faith.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#29 Aug 15, 2013
Pagan and Proud wrote:
<quoted text>the mental illness is refusing to admit that no evidence means there is no indication one way or the other....
No. It is simply nuts to argue that belief in pixies (or whatever mythology) is just as reasonable as disbelief in what cannot be justified with reason and evidence.

I suppose some people who see themselves as atheist are interested in Wicca or other spiritual rhubarb. I suspect most non-believers here on Topix are simply uninterested in paganism or Wicca. We may feel drawn to offer criticism if it's placed on the Atheism Forum.

As long as religionists don’t display collective homophobia, anti-atheism or other prejudices; and as a religious group they don't politicise their religion with clerical privileges, dictats or 'teaching' regarding morality, politics, science, education or the law, then it’s simply someone else’s jibber-jabber.

Wiccans and Pagans seem relatively innocuous to me.
spudgun

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#30 Aug 15, 2013
Pagan and Proud wrote:
<quoted text>Insisting that something doesn't exist without any actual evidence is as foolish as you pointing at others being for having faith.
Hi there, I agree partly with the point that you are making. But we also need to consider the >probability< as to whether beliefs are reasonable or not, and evaluate the degree of reasonableness.

Beliefs in the supernatural can be considered by some as reasonable, but others as unreasonable. It depends how you interpret evidence and on whether you based opinions on feelings or emotion, rather than evidence.

The onus is generally on believers to provide evidence to support their beliefs rather than the other way around. None of us for example can disprove the existence of Zeus or Woden, but we assume they dont exist, as no one has any good evidence to show otherwise.

“Proud to be a Wiccan Priest”

Since: Jul 09

Jonesboro AR

#31 Aug 15, 2013
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>No. It is simply nuts to argue that belief in pixies (or whatever mythology) is just as reasonable as disbelief in what cannot be justified with reason and evidence.
I suppose some people who see themselves as atheist are interested in Wicca or other spiritual rhubarb. I suspect most non-believers here on Topix are simply uninterested in paganism or Wicca. We may feel drawn to offer criticism if it's placed on the Atheism Forum.
As long as religionists don’t display collective homophobia, anti-atheism or other prejudices; and as a religious group they don't politicise their religion with clerical privileges, dictats or 'teaching' regarding morality, politics, science, education or the law, then it’s simply someone else’s jibber-jabber.
Wiccans and Pagans seem relatively innocuous to me.
And that is how most Wiccans and Pagans in general feel about atheists.. in general be tolerant and not judgmental. Most Wiccan do not care what a person believes or not. As long as it is not being forced into our faces. Or being though of as being a privilege of some sort.

The militant atheist in my view and others is really no better than a christian fanatic.

An militant atheist is the same as a fanatic christian displays in his or her attitude. Dismissive of anything that is not of his or her world view. That is not only insulting to a person. It also shows the same underlying hate towards any one that is not of an atheist world view. That is my opinion.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#32 Aug 15, 2013
Kathwynn wrote:
<quoted text>
And that is how most Wiccans and Pagans in general feel about atheists.. in general be tolerant and not judgmental. Most Wiccan do not care what a person believes or not. As long as it is not being forced into our faces. Or being though of as being a privilege of some sort.
The militant atheist in my view and others is really no better than a christian fanatic.
An militant atheist is the same as a fanatic christian displays in his or her attitude. Dismissive of anything that is not of his or her world view. That is not only insulting to a person. It also shows the same underlying hate towards any one that is not of an atheist world view. That is my opinion.
there's no such thing as militant atheist. Only idiots with no proof of god, who want to label the people that highlight this inconsistency when questioned.
LCNlin

United States

#33 Aug 15, 2013

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#34 Aug 15, 2013
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>No. It is simply nuts to argue that belief in pixies (or whatever mythology) is just as reasonable as disbelief in what cannot be justified with reason and evidence.
Reductio ad absurdum Arrogance with no teeth.
EdSed wrote:
I suppose some people who see themselves as atheist are interested in Wicca or other spiritual rhubarb. I suspect most non-believers here on Topix are simply uninterested in paganism or Wicca. We may feel drawn to offer criticism if it's placed on the Atheism Forum.
It was not placed on the Atheism forum, it's cross posted with numerous other locations across TOPIX. If you were actually as bright as you presume, then you would have already known this and could have without attacking because your false dichotomy was disturbed.
EdSed wrote:
As long as religionists don’t display collective homophobia, anti-atheism or other prejudices; and as a religious group they don't politicise their religion with clerical privileges, dictats or 'teaching' regarding morality, politics, science, education or the law, then it’s simply someone else’s jibber-jabber.
Wiccans and Pagans seem relatively innocuous to me.
I'm certain that the arrogance you display makes others quite pleased when you choose to ignore them as well. Your prejudices make you no less bigoted, you're simply more arrogant and defensive about it.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#35 Aug 15, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
there's no such thing as militant atheist. Only idiots with no proof of god, who want to label the people that highlight this inconsistency when questioned.
Exactly.
Nobody likes you Skeptic, but when you're right, you're right
:-)

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#36 Aug 15, 2013
spudgun wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi there, I agree partly with the point that you are making. But we also need to consider the >probability< as to whether beliefs are reasonable or not, and evaluate the degree of reasonableness.
Beliefs in the supernatural can be considered by some as reasonable, but others as unreasonable. It depends how you interpret evidence and on whether you based opinions on feelings or emotion, rather than evidence.
The onus is generally on believers to provide evidence to support their beliefs rather than the other way around. None of us for example can disprove the existence of Zeus or Woden, but we assume they dont exist, as no one has any good evidence to show otherwise.
No actually it isn't a concern of reasonableness at all, with a lack of actual hard evidence either way the call for "reason" is nothing more than an assumption on the part of others that any sort of "supernatural" activity must fall within the realm of how they presume it should be or act. Up until several years ago the Photon was thought to be a particle of light, others expecting it to be a wave and not a particle were able to actually find the wave. Both groups could easily argue, vehemently, as to why their presupposed stance was the correct one, interestingly enough it turned out that they were both right and both wrong. The unknown is just that, unknown. No "reasonable" assumptions can be made on something that we simply do not know, attempting to infer that one thing is more outrageous and therefore more unlikely to exist is indulging in arrogance and actually making an attempt to "lie" simply to be correct.

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#37 Aug 15, 2013
Kathwynn wrote:
<quoted text>
And that is how most Wiccans and Pagans in general feel about atheists.. in general be tolerant and not judgmental. Most Wiccan do not care what a person believes or not. As long as it is not being forced into our faces. Or being though of as being a privilege of some sort.
The militant atheist in my view and others is really no better than a christian fanatic.
An militant atheist is the same as a fanatic christian displays in his or her attitude. Dismissive of anything that is not of his or her world view. That is not only insulting to a person. It also shows the same underlying hate towards any one that is not of an atheist world view. That is my opinion.
precisely.

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#38 Aug 15, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
there's no such thing as militant atheist. Only idiots with no proof of god, who want to label the people that highlight this inconsistency when questioned.
Sure there is, you're exhibiting the primary characteristics right now. The difference is easily observed and most often punctuated by the militant atheist being told to **ck off.

Three guesses what my next two words to you are, and the first two guesses don't count.

“I will not go quietly.”

Since: Feb 07

Indianapolis Indiana

#39 Aug 15, 2013
EdSed wrote:
<quoted text>Exactly.
Nobody likes you Skeptic, but when you're right, you're right
:-)
Nope, he's not even close. This is the part where you make a jackass of yourself ranting again....
C Shine

Barnardsville, NC

#40 Aug 15, 2013
Benjamin Frankly wrote:
<quoted text>
That's not a good answer if you are on the border of a subject you have to steep back from everyone doing absolutely nothing that only a single side does, and go though arguments again and again in till you can pick a side.
As for using the sabbats to mark the seasons is a bit weird, as a self described strident atheist I never do things that only a believer should do. To do other wise feels degenerative, I will happily voice my disrespect of religious events but I wont degenerative them, they are clearly their for believers if I take part I feel out of place between my mental backing down and refuting of what the priest is saying. Its like lying about your interests in-order to be in a group, they may not like you if they found out you where lying and they won't know "you" just the you "you" made.
While I don't think an Atheist should call themselves Wiccan, there are lots of Agnostics and Atheist who do mark at the least the Solstices and the Equinoxes, as they do actually occur no matter what belief system a person may attach to them (or none at all). Some people do like have something to mark and celebrate, even if it is a secular celebration or gathering (like Thanksgiving). A Sabbat is a religious celebration of a Solstice, Equinox or cross-quarter point, it is not the astronomical occurrence of the event itself. See, fun nerdy stuff:(and I am a nerd myself) http://www.secularseasons.org/december/winter...

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