A friend of mine has moved to a new area and is tentatively seeking out new friends and new spiritual community. She was telling me that she had met someone who was a Reiki Master and a shamanic practitioner. When my friend mentioned Wicca, the shamanic practitioner had a mild reaction like an indrawn breath. She told my friend that she’d met some Wiccans and they seemed to be of the behavior and mindset, “I hate my religion of birth and so I became Wiccan. Can I tell you how much I hate my religion of birth!”
I drew my breath in too. If I were still a fundamental Christian, I’d be saying, “Bad witness, man, bad witness.” That means as the embodiment of our religion, others witness their understanding of that religion or spiritual path by the things you do or say. Quite a responsibility.
On the other hand, it is a phase that most pagans including Wiccans go through. We have left the religion of our birth and need to process the reasons for it and what that means for us. At some point, though, most of us cross a threshold where we our message for others to witness is “I am Goddess, I am God.” And that speaks volumes about where we are, but not particularly about where we’ve been.
A wise high priestess once told me that in her coven the behavior that we call “Christian bashing,” can go on for a short while, but then if it continues, she goes to the person and says it must stop. All the bashing and complaining serves to do is to demean the new witch, and does not create change. Without change, there is no magic.
Wiccans and pagans can be friends with any religion since tolerance and acceptance are one of the outcomes of our ethics. Sometimes within our own community, our behavior creates misunderstanding. Yes, we can be friends with each other as well as the outer community.
My personal practice for many years has been weaving the threads of seemingly separate practices to create a pattern of wholeness. To me, shamanism and Wicca meld and dance together. We are all walkers between the worlds. We dance, play, grieve, and celebrate our divine aspects in both paths. For me it is the whole cloth. And there’s a great book that demonstrates just how that can be done. I am pleased to announce that my new book The Shamanic Witch is now available from RedWheel/Weiser or from many other booksellers including Amazon.com