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Postmodern Wicca
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Postmodern Wicca[1][2] is a postmodern religion, ideology (WP), philosophy Wikipedia:philosophy and way of living and being inspired by a diverse range of ancient and modern[3] cultural beliefs and practices and societies. Postmodernism is an ideology that has strongly influenced Wikipedia:neo-paganism in the Western world. Postmodern thought is personal, Wikipedia:syncretic and emphasises the importance of the individual over external authorities and this philosophy is clearly reflected in Wicca and the Goddess movement[4]. People who interpret religion from a postmodern perspective may have and eclectic approach and draw from the values and beliefs of many different religions[5], for example, Eclectic Wiccans draw from religious beliefs from many different societies and cultures including Wikipedia:ancient Egypt[6], Wikipedia:ancient Greece[7], Wikipedia:Asian, Wikipedia:Hebrew, Wikipedia:Saxon, Wikipedia:Anglo-Saxon and Wikipedia:Celtic[8] civilisations[9]. Postmodern Wicca interprets Wikipedia:Wicca, which is a positive, peaceful and Wikipedia:earth-centred religion[10], by using postmodern theories to critically analyse and adapt, and develop a personal ideology that is underpinned by an Wikipedia:eclectic array of values and beliefs shared by many Wikipedia:Pagan, Wikipedia:Wicca, Wikipedia:Witchcraft and Wikipedia:polytheistic cultures and traditions.[11], examples of the eclectic influences in Wicca that may be incorporated into a postmodern interpretation include Wikipedia:Shintoism, Buddhism Wikipedia:Buddhism[12]Wikipedia:Shamanism, Wikipedia:Hawaiian Religion[13] Wikipedia:Polynesian religions, Wikipedia:Celtic Wicca, Wikipedia:Dianic Wicca and Eclectic Wicca. Postmodern Wicca reflects and incorporates a postmodern Wikipedia:philosophical and Wikipedia:metaphysical belief system that focuses on Wikipedia:eclecticism, self-empowerment, Wikipedia:self-actualization, Wikipedia:Jungian archetypes[14] and Wikipedia:Karma.

Postmodern Thinking and InfluencesEdit

Postmodern Wicca is an outlook that is underpinned by the philosophy of Wikipedia:postmodernism, which views realties as Wikipedia:plural, diverse and relative. A postmodern approach to Wicca offers many different versions of truth and rejects the notion of a Wikipedia:universal and singular version of reality. Postmodern Wicca avoids sharp classifications and mainstream Wikipedia:metanarratives and instead focuses on Wikipedia:pluralism, Wikipedia:diversity and difference. Followers of this religious and philosophical path develop individual and Wikipedia:eclectic beliefs systems, rituals and philosphies based on a multiplicity of different religious systems. Postmodern Wicca emphasises the key point that religious truth is highly individualistic[15], subjective and resides within the individual[16]. A postmodern religious outlook[17] involves using the theories of postmodern philosophy to critically analyse, question, challenge, Wikipedia:reclaim, transform and adapt a range of different ideas and practices and reinvent and reinterpret their religion and philosophy according to their own personal beliefs. According to postmodern theory, the individual's Wikipedia:worldview is a central influence their approach to Postmodern Wicca.

Historical Bias and Versions of TruthEdit

According to Wikipedia:postmodern philosophy, History may be written by powerful groups in society, who may Wikipedia:marginalise, silence or misrepresent other, less powerful or oppressed groups. Postmodern Wicca is a philosophy that openly acknowledges and accepts that Wikipedia:rituals, beliefs and practices are invented, transformed, created and reworked based on constantly shifting and changing realities, individual preference, Wikipedia:myths, Wikipedia:legends, Wikipedia:archetypes, Wikipedia:rituals and cultural values and beliefs. A postmodern approach to Wicca acknowledges that history is frequently represented in an inherently Wikipedia:biased way, reinforcing the mainstream Wikipedia:ideologies of those in power. Individuals who follow a postmodern approach may draw from the histories of various cultures to inform their religious beliefs - they may questions, challenge and critique representations of history based on the theories of postmodernism, which acknowledge that realities are diverse, subjective and depend on the individuals interests and interpretations.

Eclecticism, self-actualisation, archetypes, visualisationEdit

Many people who interpret Wicca from a postmodern perspective are eclectic in their rituals, practices and beliefs[18]. Eclectic Wicca is currently the most popular and widely adapted form of Wicca in the United States[19]. A postmodern approach to Wikipedia:Wicca, may involve drawing on techniques and beliefs that are common to many different religions[20], including Wikipedia:meditation, Wikipedia:visualisation, Wikipedia:divination, Wikipedia:karmic thought, Wikipedia:reincarnation, communication with Deity and Wikipedia:symbolic rituals and Wikipedia:spells. Symbolic thinking and representation, for example through the use of archetypes, movement, visual Wikipedia:symbols, herbs, candles and incense are used eclectically to achieve specific Wikipedia:goals, to connect with Deity and to live in a positive way. Wiccans and Pagans who create a belief system use the core theories of postmodern philosophy, which assert that there is no one truth, reality is subjective and controlled by the individual and that there are many versions of religious truth that may be valid or challenged depending on the individual's world view[21]. An example of a postmodern approach and eclectic approach to Wicca is reclaiming(neopaganism), this movement was launched by Wikipedia:Starhawk, a Wiccan expert of Jewish descent[22]. Starhawk emphasises her postmodernist approach to Wicca as an alternative to a modernist approach to Wicca "to reclaim ‘Witch’ is to reclaim the image of a powerful woman, the whole constellation of ideas about reality and imagination and energy that have been labeled ‘out of bounds’ by Western modernism"[23]

Appeal of Postmodern Wicca to Marginalised GroupsEdit

Members of groups in society who face discrimination or who are marginalised, may be drawn to postmodern religious thinking. For example, in semitic neopaganism or Wikipedia:Jewitchery a postmodern approach to this tradition of Wicca may provide followers with the ability to challenge mainstream versions of reality and truth[24]. Minority groups, throughout the world and the socially or economically disadvantaged are often drawn to follow a postmodern approach to religion, because of the way that postmodern philosophy empowers the individual to challenge mainstream ideologies or dominant power structures. The Witches' Voice, which is perhaps the most notable, credible and well known Pagan and Wiccan news and community site, includes many article contributions from members of the Wicca and Pagan Community every month from Wiccans and Pagans who express a postmodernist approach to Wicca[25].

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Lewis, James (1996) Magic religion and Modern Witchcraft New York University Press - page 46 "While premodern themes form the foundation for this movement it is the manner that such themes are reworked to be appropriate in the contemporary context that form the greatest relevance to the significance of Witchcraft as a postmodern form of spirituality"
  2. Wicca Magazine (2010) Postmodern Wicca: An Eclectic Ideology
  3. Patrick Dunn, Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age
  4. - Neopaganism in a Postmodern Age - Journal of Western Mystery Tradition
  5. BBC Religions: Postmodernism BBC Religion:Postmodernism for example,
  6. Schiff, Stacy-Pulitzer Prize Winner - (2010) Cleopatra: A Life, Little Brown ISBN 0-3160-0192-9
  7. Apuleius, Lucius; Adlington, William (Trans.) (1996). The Golden Ass. Wordsworth Classics of World Literature, Wordsworth Ed. Ltd.: Ware, GB. ISBN 1-85326-460-1
  8. Hutton, Ronald (1993) The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. ISBN 0-631-18946-7
  9. Smith, Diane (2005) Wicca and Witchcraft for Dummies Wiley Publishing Inc ISBN 978-0-7645-7834-2
  10. Weinstein, Marion Earth Magic: A book of shadows for positive witches
  11. CIRCLE SANCTUARY - Neopagan and Postmodernism
  12. On Deconstructing Life-Worlds: Buddhism, Christianity, Culture (Atlanta: Scholars Press of American Academy of Religion, 1997; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000; ISBN 0-7885-0295-6, cloth
  13. Cunningham, Scott (1995) - Hawaiian Magic and Spirituality (ISBN 1-56718-199-6)
  14. Cunningham, Scott (1988) - Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner (ISBN 0-87542-118-0)
  15. Raphael, Melissa (April 1998) Goddess Religion, Postmodern Jewish Feminism, and the Complexity of Alternative Religious Identities ‌Nova Religio, Vol. 1, No. 2, Pages 198–215 (abstract can be found at: Caliber: University of California Press)
  16. Eve, Raymond,Phd, Wiccans vs. Creationists: An Empirical Study of How Two Systems of Belief Differ
  17. Patton, K and Ray, B (2008) A Magic Still Dwells:Comparative Religion in the Postmodern Age
  18. American Neopaganism Journal
  19. Smith, Diane(2005) Wicca and Witchcraft for Dummies
  20. BBC Religions: Postmodernism
  21. Lash, S. (1990) The sociology of postmodernism London, Routledge
  22. Starhawk (1999) The Spiral Dance Imprint: HarperSanFrancisco; ISBN 0062516329
  24. Raphael, Melissa (April 1998) Goddess Religion, Postmodern Jewish Feminism, and the Complexity of Alternative Religious Identities ‌Nova Religio, Vol. 1, No. 2, Pages 198–215 (abstract can be found at: Caliber: University of California Press)
  25. The Witches Voice - The largest and most notable Pagan and Wiccan news site

External links Edit