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A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
#1
A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.

I don't know that this is a "deconversion" story as such, but more of an admission.

I can be quite obtuse or misinformed about some things, especially due to my lack of education. (It ends firmly at high school; I rejected a fully-funded war orphan scholarship in Michigan for personal reasons, and joined the US Navy as an aviation electronics technician instead.) School was never a problem, I loaded up on every math, science, physics, chemistry, and biology class I could get in my tiny community school. I am not stupid, despite what certain Christian neighbours think of me for a lack of belief in "their" God (like they own him or something).

Though everyone is atheist about every god except their own, trying to get that past true believers is hard. I have never been much of a true believer even in Wicca (but see Discordia below). It is well known through countless studies that religious adherence and practice seems to be inversely proportional to intelligence quotient (though IQ tests are somewhat subjective, kind of like religion).

This is not meant to brag, but meant as anecdotal evidence of something I have observed since I was a teenager.

Being in Mensa, (the 98th %ile society), I have long found that the religious make up a minority of that organisation, unlike the USA in general. For a time I was also the copyeditor for Intertel's (the 99%ile group) national newsletter, and noted a greater percentage of atheists, as evidenced by articles. Those that are Christian in that organisation seem to be more vocal than the most rabid Christians on this forum, like they are fighting a last stand or something.

In ISPE (the 99.91%ile organisation), my biography is to come out in the next edition of Telicom, its quarterly journal. That organisation can probably count the number of religious as less than thirty of its total membership, and I am the only Wiccan (and the only erotic Romance editor, which runs a bit afoul of the morals clause in the charter but they let me slide anyway). The few religious people in that organisation do not write religious articles or letters to the editor, except scholarly works on legend and myth.

My view of God and Goddess as defined by most Wiccans has never been one of actual beings that go through the endless Wheel of the Year in the birth, growth, fertility, aging, and death cycle. It has always been more of a view of archetypes for life here on Earth.

(Discord is real though. Read the Principia Dicordia on that one.)

Rituals, as such, have never been so much about worship or affecting the ebb and flow of life and seasons, but more of a pattern to remind myself of the Wheel of the Year, which does exist, at least conceptually.

And the one command from the Wiccan Rede (much easier to memorise than the whole Bible or Koran or Vedas or such) "If you harm none, do what you want," is hardly at odds with anything an atheist might hold true.

And my pentacle has been around my neck so long that I am just used to it. And who knows? Perhaps there is a bit of magic of sorts in it; it sure repels Christians when they see it. They think it will cause a left foot to grow out of their foreheads, or perhaps turn them into a pillar of salt or something. A warding talisman, though it is based on their fear, not my invoking anything. Kind of like a vouduin doll in that sense; the power is in the belief, not the doll. In that sense, I doubt I will remove it. It works. Plus it is pure silver, which is worth quite a bit these days, as is the chain.

No, mostly the problem is actually owning the word "atheist." As a teen I did, slipping away from overt Wicca but remaining covertly so. Upon enlisting in the US Navy, I reclaimed the Wiccan title, partly as a connection to the Earth (something hard to imagine unless you spend a good deal of your life on 97,000 ton aircraft carriers with one hundred aircraft about), and partly as a reactionary response to the Fundamentalist elect that think they own the military in this country,

I can recognise the truth in the feminine and masculine, or the cycles of the Earth's seasons without actually naming them God and Goddess. The image, however, is an easy reminder. I suppose I could call them Dick and Jane as well, though that image doesn't quite work for me.

As for other odds and ends that Wiccans do, I like incense, and bells, and books. I never associated them with particular religious ritual (though they are used for that of course, in many cultures and faiths), I mostly like the smells, the words, the sounds, and the memories and images that come to mind when I use them. I doubt I would pitch the incense or bells out either.

In divination, such as Tarot, I never put stock or lived my life by such things, though I do find the images of the cards (especially my nude deck), and the ideas they represent, fascinating. (My family finds my nude deck, done in the Art Noveau style to be fascinating, and wondered where I got it - in Italy.)

And on the subject of cartomancy, my family has a long tradition of using playing cards for divination, as Tarot cards were long outlawed or difficult to get in the USA. My family has a particular spread it uses with a playing card pack. For that purpose I have always used a deck imprinted with the American Mensa logo, which seems somewhat of a strange brew. (There is a special interest group in Mensa for Tarot though.)

I will not toss my Tarot or Mensa cards . . . I still find the imagery fascinating. Doesn't take religion to be fascinated.

Joseph Campbell, of course, found much to be fascinated by the myths of many cultures, though I do not know whether he actually believed in any particular mythology. There is nothing wrong with fascination in myth, or a particular myth.

And unlike Christians that get all riled when you tell them their belief is based on legend and myth, I have never had such an objection to owning the "myth" term over Wicca. So perhaps the baby-step back to "atheist, with Wiccan philosophical outlook" really isn't all that hard.

And I have actually found through my fifty-one years that Wicca is actually more acceptable in this "God-fearing nation" than atheism. (Pres. Bush dislikes both, though.) I always found atheism to be refreshingly honest about how its adherents (if you can adhere to a Gospel of Nothing) view the world, other people, and themselves. They own what they do; they do not blame things on a Satan god of Evil, or a Jesus god of Good.

And there are plenty enough Wiccan bigots as well. Dianic Wiccans (those who discount the male in nature to the point it is barely acknowledged, and consist almost exclusively of women). For them I even have a bumper sticker which reads "The Goddess is not a Single Mother" for use at Wiccan/pagan events.

People are good or evil because they are good or evil, much in the way most Wiccans view those archetypes. Wiccans divide ideas into male and female, but not good or evil, which comes from within each person. Morals do not derive from a holy scripture, but from one's own behaviour and deportment. I have nothing to shift in my attitudes there either. I have always believed that and am somewhat ill at ease around those that say morals derive from a god. Is their god the only thing keeping them from becoming evil? That's truly scary.

So there it is. Most of my life has been atheist in everything but name, with fascination for a few unusual religious window dressings without actually putting faith as such in them. So I guess that is the name I should really apply. Now to figure out how to change my profile so that shows below my avatar. - James.
Dilige, et quod vis fac (Love, and do what you will)--St. Augustine of Hippo, "Seventh Treatise of the Epistles of St. John," VII Century. Augustine was a Wiccan at heart.

PS:

Eris however, She who is chaos and the Paratheo-anametamystikhod of Eris Esoteric, Her silly worshipers that spend more time avoiding ritual (don't want to get too much notice) than doing it, and sometimes thought of as a parody religion like the FSM or IPU (there I insulted those groups too), must be real. (Using circular reasoning: There is Chaos. Chaos has a first cause, Eris, Goddess of Chaos, therefore She creates Chaos, rinse repeat.)

"Be ye not lost amongst Precept of Order." - Book of Uterus, 1:5, "Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her."
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#2
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
Interesting.

I too collect Tarot cards for the imagery.
[Image: Untitled2_zpswaosccbr.png]
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#3
Heart 
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
Gee, I was wondering how long it would take you to figure it out. Welcome Especially in light of the fact that something you did/said had the effect of pushing me over the edge and finally admitting that I was an atheist several years ago, and my continuing to attempt belief was just plain ridiculous. You succeeded in "deconverting" me and now you've deconverted yourself. Cheers!

You jokingly called me watching videos made by such people as Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins as having my own (private) "Atheist revival". You started objecting, but only to the "private" part, and would urge me to play them again -- when and where you were around and could see them, and then debate me on them. Lightbulb

As I've said before, I certainly continue to pay homage to Discordia! For one thing, the "Holy Scriptures" Angel Cloud are a sure-cure for despondency, as one cannot help but to ROFLOL while reading the Principia Discordia. It's a sure-fire cure for depression, since it's hard to feel sad and melancholy with tears running down your face from laughter. And, having worked in the computer industry for over a decade in software quality assurance, a discipline which uses Chaos Theory of Mathematics, Discordia is not a matter of belief - I can mathematically show that chaos exists, and empirically demonstrate the forces of Chaos - Eris if you will. In fact, the actions of discord on software can even be reliably reproduced, if it's done properly. Call it the Laws of Chaos. No, Discordianism is not a belief: It's an objectively observable fact, which holds to mathematical principles.

The next thing you can do here is to change your religious views in your profile.
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#4
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
"After long hours consulting my pineal gland" Smile

(Seriously though I had a ton of witch and fairy jabs lined up...I am disappoint)

I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#5
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
When you consulted said pineal gland, was it dangling from a leather thong?
Trying to update my sig ...
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#6
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
Hey Anymouse!! So now you are a wiccca Atheist??
"The Universe is run by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter, and enlightened self-interest." G'Kar-B5
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#7
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
[attachment=705]

I'm not sure who said what, so I'll just answer them.

It now says up there on the left that I am an atheist with a Wiccan/Discordian bent. I still adhere to the Wiccan Rede, "If you harm none, do what you want," as that does not require religious belief. Angry Mob

Rhythm: Poke away with your jabs. I'm sorry I deconverted too early, before you had the chance to poke. Or perhaps you can poke them at my latest story in the "Christianity" forum, the Gospel of a Village.

Epimethean: That would be a "penile gland." I consult that occasionally too. Smile

BethK: I love you too. Love Dawkins, et allia are [almost] as good as porn, or the Romances I edit (which are about the same). As you noted, I updated my profile.

Who'd I miss?

James, on the Left side of Nebraska.

"Be ye not lost amongst Precept of Order." - Book of Uterus, 1:5, "Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her."
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#8
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
No no, I'll wait. We'll net another witch eventually. And then.....


I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply
#9
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.

That was worth a hoot. Saint Monty Python, the Irreverent.
Angry Lynch Mob
I guess you gotta be quicker next time on the jabs. Interestingly, as my wife noted, I deconverted her first (from I'm not sure what, agnostic something-or-other).

"Be ye not lost amongst Precept of Order." - Book of Uterus, 1:5, "Principia Discordia, or How I Found Goddess and What I Did to Her When I Found Her."
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#10
RE: A Wiccan deconversion, but still Discordian at heart.
When I was a younger, more naive person I consumed an astonishing amount of information about wicca. It was extremely interesting to me (and it totally got me laid, so, plus 5 billion on that count). Went from that to the Golden Dawn and The OTO. Pagan reconstructionism. There really is a lot to like about wicca (all of the above really) but in the end I learned too much about the origins of wicca, and the differences between paganism and wicca (from which many wiccans feel that they draw spiritual authority). Not to mention meeting a ton of verifiable nutjobs and cat ladies. I still have my witchvox account, I still have tons of books. I'll never let them go because I like the artwork. I like tarot decks as well, picked up an awesome deck in germany that I gave to my mother as a gift. I can set up the traditional cross reading, some novel ones, I can work out a natal horoscope, I was really into all of this stuff despite taking it with an immense grain of salt. I used to opine on how wonderful a resurgent paganism would be divorced from the supernatural. It seems like a shoe in for a relevant religion for our times. The focus on nature and balance and so forth. These are of course our own modern interpretations of what paganism was and it was disappointing to me to learn so much about it that I became disillusioned with it. You've abandoned the faith, but the principles are worth holding onto yes? The rede works even if the lord and lady are make-believe, in my opinion at least.
(I really do wish that I could recapture that initial sense of wonder and provisional acceptance)
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply



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