And This Is Why Wicca Isn’t Taken Seriously…

Okay everyone, gather round. It’s time for another rousing tale of customer specialness from my place of work! This…”discussion”…happened just 2 days ago, and thus is unfortunately still very fresh in my mind. Luckily it took place in the early morning, so only 1 other customer was subjected to the abject stupidity and strangeness that was “I’m a Wiccan, too!” Guy.

So, man of about 20-25 comes in, buys a candy bar, and leaves. No big deal, right? But then he returns 15 minutes later, comes up to the counter, and says he remembered that he saw my pentacle necklace and wants to know what it represents. I tell him it’s a typical sign of Pagan beliefs, and that I’m specifically a Solitary practitioner. This is the conversation that followed:

Guy: Hey, that’s cool. I’m a Wiccan, too, but a full-blooded one.

Me: Um, full-blooded?

Guy: Well, yeah! My family has always been Wiccan. In fact, we can trace our powers back through the ages…all the way to Avalon!

Me: Okay…well, even if you could trace your lineage back that far, I don’t think you are talking about a real place. The Avalon most people think of is only in Arthurian legends. And besides, Wicca was only invented in the 1940’s…1920’s tops.

Guy: See, that’s where you’re wrong! You’ve been completely brainwashed by history! You have to look *beyond* history if you want to truly call yourself a witch…an embodiment of the Goddess!

Me: …Beyond history?

Guy: Well, duh. History is written by the victors. But Wicca was soooo secret that that even the winners didn’t know about it. *My* family still has one of the original grimoires written by the ancient Egyptians and Atlanteans. On the full moon, it glows and on the Sabbaths you can actually hear the voices of wisdom coming from it! It’s one of the *first* Book of Shadows, and has *true* transformation spells in it, and it’s written on ancient papyrus and was made on the first printing press, and…

Me: I’m sorry, but are you punking me?

Guy: What do you mean?

Me: I mean, are you being real right now or are you just trying to make fun of my religion? Because honestly…nothing of what you’re saying makes a lick of sense. It sounds like something a teen who read too much Harry Potter or Percy Jackson would believe.

Guy: No no no! I’m a legit warlock! I practice my spells everyday, and most of the time they work. Like today, I thought I was going to miss the bus…but I did a time lapse spell and I made it on okay!

Me: Even if spells are real, I don’t think they’d work that way. And no Wiccan man would call himself a warlock…it just isn’t done. It’s been nice, but I think we are done here. Have a good day.

He looked at me like I’d grown 3 heads, but left without a complaint. My other customer stared at the door for a while before turning to me. “Tarnished, what the ever-loving @!&% was that?”

I shrugged. “What happens when your family tree looks like a Celtic knot?”

Seriously though, *this* is the type of person who creates the unfortunate and entirely wrong stereotype of the “crazy Pagan”. People like this young man spout off in public about the absolute strangest crap, and call themselves Wiccans…or Druids, or any other kind of Pagan. Is it any wonder whatsoever that your typical citizen thinks that we are all living in our own little world, casting spells like a D&D larper and wearing funny clothes while getting drunk in the forest? No. When we have “spokespeople” such as this, it’s no wonder at all.

Which is truly sad, because I think my religion has a lot to offer, but will constantly be thought of as a belief system for people who don’t quite agree with reality. *sigh*

Has anyone else had a similar experience, either with a Pagan or some other pseudo-religious screwball?

38 thoughts on “And This Is Why Wicca Isn’t Taken Seriously…

  1. Yeah, sort of but not this bad. There was this girl in my hostel who called me a witch because I used to get up very early light a lamp and pray before my idols and that scenery cast a witch look to her, what with my hair unknotted and all. She went around my back to my other roomies and told them how I did some spells early morning when everyone is asleep πŸ™‚

  2. I’m sorry, TS. I can’t stop laughing at the thought of an idiot declaring to you that he was a “legit warlock” in all seriousness.

    I imagine that every religion has individuals who aren’t exactly exemplary ambassadors. Hope this is some small solace.

  3. I belong to the Hindu Religion (and I am from India) so we pray with all these idols of a few of those 1000 gods we pray πŸ™‚

  4. Hey, that’s pretty awesome. My best friend from preschool to 2nd grade was from India. I always liked going to her house, because they had a corner of each room with a different statue (idol, as you’ve said) and they were so beautiful looking. Her parents would tell us stories over dinner about the various Gods…it was very cool. πŸ™‚

  5. Ha, I thought so!

    I love listening to the Atheist Experience out of Austin, Texas. It’s weird how the couple of times a pagan has called in the hosts never get any trouble…but then certain mainstream religious callers manage to push *all* their buttons!

  6. Tell me about it. This experience was completely surreal…and not the first I’ve had either (though definitely the strangest).

    I get through it by imagining that these people are the Pagan version of Pat Robertson or Ted Haggard. Helps me sleep at night… πŸ˜‰

  7. Atheists and anti-thesists have no truck with those that simply say I want to believe this… and do not foist it upon others.. it is the right of everyone to believe as they wish. The fight is against those that wish to make laws in their favor…. pagans do not seek to do so. If you can be honest and simply say you want to believe as you do with no evidence, no one will argue.

  8. Precisely.

    My religion is just for me, just as someone else’s beliefs (or lack thereof) are just for them. I would never want Paganism to be brought into our laws and regulations…Laws should be secular, logical, and fair, not swayed by religious thought. Same with concepts of morality, which honestly don’t even require religious belief to exist!

  9. And that is exactly why atheists don’t have a problem with pagans… where the public sphere is concerned, you and I have the same concerns and ideals.

  10. Yup. The world already *has* structure, however it got there, same as it has entropy. Nature isn’t something to be unnecessarily used just because it’s there, nor is it “fallen” or “unclean”. Humans weren’t made to rule over non-human animals, and I personally don’t think we’re more evolved…we simply dwell in a different niche than most. Oh, and the scientific community is a-ok by me. After all, it’s the study of the various aspects of our natural world, which is glorious and amazing even if you don’t believe in any deities.

  11. Evolved does not mean advanced… simply more adapted. We naked hairless apes are very adaptable and flexible… we do as we wish because there is none to oppose us but the smallest of adversaries. Despite our brilliance we still suffer the common cold. We are what we are, animals that can contemplate what it means to be an animal…

  12. Well, it is estimated that about 20% do… time will change the numbers and the trend is that they are growing every week. The Zeitgeist is important… keep blogging, keep talking…

  13. Exactly. I always hope that my posts, humble and few though they may be, will give people the chance to see an opinion that’s different than their own. And thus begins the road to questioning, and the further attainment of knowledge…

  14. knowledge is the ultimate goal… what prayers you say when your head hits the pillow is none of my business.. and I support your right to say them… I fight only against those that tell me I must pray…. and to their god

  15. it’s called freedom for a reason.. I’m not here to tell anyone how to think.. I speak because others try to tell me how to think… and I don’t like that

  16. Most people grow out of their more bizarre beliefs sooner of later. It’s older people like Ray Comfort that are a mystery. πŸ™‚

  17. Oh Gods…Ray is yet another special person who does zero research before opening his mouth. Remember his “Banana Argument for Creationism”?

    Too bad nobody told him beforehand that the bananas we buy in the grocery are the product of years and years of human selection and hybridization. But even if they weren’t, what does that prove? Nothing…because there are many other fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are far more difficult to grow or “open” (coconuts, anyone?)and we still manage to eat them.

    The stupid is strong in this one.

  18. I am exactly the person who would be wrongly influenced by someone like “Guy”. My knowledge of Wicca is pretty much nill. I would have given him a weird look with his little ancient papyrus to original printing press leap, but I wouldn’t have known any better to question his take on the length of existence of the religion, or that calling himself a warlock would be a dead give-away to his inauthenticity.
    Thank you for helping me understand a little bit better.

  19. You’re very welcome, Melanie.

    I don’t blame people for not knowing that much about non-majority religions. Sometimes it’s hard to find information about them that is actually real, or to meet people who are practitioners…especially for religions where one can get fired or have children taken away for being such. (Yes, this does still happen!)

    The “warlock” thing was a gigantic tip-off because it comes from the Old English “waerloga”, which translates to pledge-liar or oath-breaker. It’s still used in some covens to describe a person who isn’t serious about the religion, or who joined because they (mistakenly) believed the whole thing was about orgies and recreational drug use. For someone to refer to themselves as a warlock is just stupid…it’s basically calling yourself a liar.

  20. Ages and ages ago, back in high school, one of my close friends and her mom practiced Wicca (is that right? practice Wicca?). I learned a lot from them, but mostly only retained the tolerance to different beliefs.
    I am grateful to have learned more today, and look forward to improving my own understanding.

  21. What I’ve noticed is that every religion has weirdos. I think the biggest problem Wicca has is the branding Christianity gave it as Devil worshiping(even though they had no concept of a devil) as a way to combat the old, egalitarian religion and bring on the new patriarchal one.(Mind you, Jesus was a feminist as far as I can tell, but Paul moved the religion more into patriarchy, no doubt along with cultural pressures to move into patriarchy–the world Christianity was born into was so patriarchal.)

  22. Well, as I told Melanie, the religion of Wicca didn’t start til the 1920s at the absolute earliest. But yes, quite a few cultures did have more egalitarian religious beliefs, and yes, they and their holidays were overcome by Christianity. (Interestingly, the first Christians were called atheists by the Romans…since they didn’t believe in the Gods.)

    If he existed, Jesus was certainly an advocate for civil rights and equality, which is even more noticeable if you read the Gnostic gospels. Paul apparently didn’t care for this, and I think that he, as well as the others who added to his words, are to blame for the way certain sects of Christianity are today.

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