E is for Eclecticism

Recently, there has been a resurgence of an emphasis on Wiccan traditions and a backlash against eclectic practice. People feel that eclectic paganism is not a true religious path and simply made up. . I wholeheartedly disagree. Furthermore, I think it would behoove some Wiccans to research the roots of Wicca, as Wicca was simply an invention of Gerald Gardner. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but the Wiccan we practice are not the same practices that our ancient ancestors practiced.

Spirituality is personal. What works for you, may not work for me and vice versa. With this in mind, I am a devout follower on cafeteria spirituality. I take what works for me and leave behind what doesn’t. I seldom have any difficulty with this because I am a staunch omnist. This is the belief in the validity of all spiritual paths. I believe that God ( for lack of a better term) is encompassed in the entirety of our Universe. God resides in everything. However,  this form of God is unknowable, so we rely on archetypes to build that personal connection. To me, Jesus, Dionysus, Isis, and Kali are all archetypes of a single Source. With this in mind, I am able to blend different religious concepts and practices into a personal practice.  Since my craft name is Aerohstotle and since my spiritual practice is based heavily on Wicca, I termed my personal religion as the Aerohstotlian Tradition of Witchcraft.

For example, one of my personal deities is Ganesh. He adorns my altar and I have many elephant statues around my home. Though I worship him with traditional Hindu offerings and mantra, I will sometime work with Ganesh in a Circle during spellwork. Seated next to Ganesh on my altar is Lilith, my patroness. Since little is known about her outside of Judaic lore, my personal practice with her is derived from Kabbalistic tradition, as well as trial and error. Finally, I embrace the Vodun tradition of ancestral spirits and use cornmeal veve to invite my ancestral spirits come assist.

To a more traditional Witch, reading the paragraph above either would make their head explode or at least have them foaming at the mouth. However, I have worked this way for most of my adult life and have reaped huge benefits. If you are more interested in following a strict tradition, go for it. If not, play around with other cultures and traditions. I promise that you will reap the same benefits I have.

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