Cult-o-phobia Over Wicca
Wicca, the polytheistic nature religion of modern witchcraft is triggering a culture altogether, or is it still confined to a small clique of people who are intertwined by the central deity, mother goddess? From a legally permissible point of view, Wicca justifies and deserves the same respect as other religions. Indeed, it's a new faith, religious belief, but it has sufficiently copious amount of supporters, who of course don't get duped, jacked off their wealth and freedom, unlike in some other religious groups. The civil society should really be discerning it as a religion rather than a cult, furor or a plain dress-up biz.
From my own perspective though, Wicca isn't my cup of caffeine. Yeah, it surely isn't. It's not just because I am an Atheist, a firm believer of the fact that God doesn't exist. Nor is it because I don't "worship" Gods and Goddesses. It's just that Wicca misses on the noetic, rational base. In other words, Wicca lacks a firm, solid intellectual basis. Just like the Jewish Renewal.
Contrasting to religious groups like Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity, Wiccans don't have the tradition of sacred texts or holy writings to study and debate. It also lacks, written commentaries, and other such works. As a matter of fact, Wiccans, a small percentage maybe but an effectual clique, have got a substantial anti-intellectual bias. These practitioners arrogate that their religion dates back to the Stone Age, which is a mistaken belief. Try 1950, England. Some followers believe that about a million witches were brutally killed and murdered during the "The Burning Times", which is again incorrect, since only about 10,000 witches were disemboweled, as per most Historians. And most people actually flush a stream of scarlet, when they hear such idiosyncratic claims. But, then again, it's all about Faith.
The other thing that intrigues me the most is that despite of the existence of innumerable covens for group rituals and celebrations, Wiccans are evidently "solitaires". As they call themselves. They saw a TV show or picked up a random book by Starhawk, read, followed and almost instantly they start casting spells, or doing rituals on their own. Although, that's not exactly bad, but then, I think most successful religious groups have always been underlining community and mutual responsibility. This strengthens one's faith and belief and makes it potential enough.
Sure, Wicca is a neo-pagan religion. Somehow, its religious tolerance has always been God + Dungeons and Dragons. Dunno, maybe it triggers one's conscience and compels them to think about their own prejudices. Unlike, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Most of these religions recoiled significantly from the overly vicious practices of Paganism. Child Sacrifice is just the icing of the cake. The trend of "Temple Prostitution" hardly captures the utter exploitation that Paganism adopted. These prostitutes leveraged wealth for the Pagan temples. Young, yes, exceedingly young girls lured customers. Sorry to say, but, I'd term it as "institutionalized rape".
Wicca is not faith-based. Nothing someone preaches. Nor there are any sacred writings, Gospel, in any way. There is no litmus test. You can bash, slam, and whack Starhawk, as much as you want. Certainly, it won't have any effect on Wicca. Wicca is based more on what you do, why you do and how you do. Wiccans feel that the Earth is sacred. They celebrate the Sabbath. And of course, pledge to harm none.
"An ye harm none, do as ye will."