Interesting juxtaposition

15 02 2008

I was discussing with PP today the dissimilarities between organised Wicca (by which I mean Gardnerian, and other coven worship, and Alexandrian, by extension) and what we do – solitary, non-directed worship. We agreed that we don’t want to worship through any intermediaries – had we wanted to, we might have done worse than stick to Christianity in some form or another. Christianity is, at it’s simplest levels, a perfectly reasonable religious path to follow; not inspiring, perhaps, containing nothing new or revolutionary, but full of things that are good, that are laudable.

However, neither of us felt the paths we had been following fulfilled the lack of spirituality we sought to remedy; and neither of us felt or feel that coven worship would solve the problem.

As soon as you have three people gathered together, they’ll gang up and exclude one. Four together, you get factions. Five, and you’ll get a leader. This is the mechanism which stands in the way of gnosis – knowledge. This is how humans make everything, even religion, into politics, into compromise.

Then you’ve got the lineage question – who’s qualified? Without second degree qualification and a clear route back via HPS / HP to Gardner himself, you’re nowhere in the race. Which makes Gardner, well, a god for the purposes of establishing a church. At the best, he’s Peter of Rome. Is there a pattern emerging here?

I can see why those that seek the Goddess and the God join covens. I just know it wouldn’t work for me. I can’t bear to see the evils perpetrated by organised religion start afresh in the worship that I love.

The Church of England is a perfect example of this. Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Hereford, has been fined £47,000 for outright prejudice and demeaning behaviour towards a job applicant who was gay. The Bishop questioned him closely about his preferences and declined to give him the job on the basis of his answers. Prejudice, coupled with ineligible employment practise, and what do you have? The modern-day, enlightened and compassionate C of E in the dock. This could be called the ‘acceptable’ face of organised religion. The ‘unnacceptable’ face, clearly, needs to go as far as genocide, sexual predation and warmongering in order to become really unnacceptable.

What I really don’t understand is why, with all the negative evidence, our brethren are seeking to perpetuate the model within Wicca. We’ve got the perfect model of what not to do right there in front of us. We need a voice. We need to attempt to stand up straight and be counted. But do we need to ape the Church Militant in order to do this?

Can we possibly be guilty of such monumental hubris as to assume it will turn out differently for us?

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