In this day and age, we have names for everything. Wicca is no exception to this. What magickal labels do you give yourself? For example, I am an eclectic, Wiccan, Witch. What do your call yourself? A Wiccan? A Witch? Pagan? What makes one a Wiccan and not a Witch? Or in order to truly understand how magick and force of will works...are you automatically a Witch as well, even though you may not cast circles? Where do we draw the lines with the labels? Why have you chosen the labels you claim?
I started on my journey calling myself eclectic but I rarely use that term anymore. Not because I have an aversion to it but I've been trying to focus my practice. I like bullet points so I will use them here. Seems like I've done this before on a previous post but oh well. Labels are fluid; if one day I decide they don't fit me then I will change them. So, the following are terms and my definitions that I use to describe my spiritual practice:
- deist - I believe in a divine entity(?) that I call God/dess. Instead of using someone else's proof found in holy books, I use science and nature.
- agnostic - Literally means "not knowing." I do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God/dess exists.
- Pagan - in its broadest sense, Pagan refers to all religions outside of the big 3 - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. My childhood religion was Christian. I no longer believe in the bible or that Jesus, if a historical person, had divine origins.
- Wicca - a specific path of Paganism. Catholic is to Christian as Wiccan is to Pagan. Just as all Christians aren't Catholics, all Pagans are not Wiccans. I am not Wiccan. From what I understand, you must be initiated into a Wiccan coven but even this is disputed internally.
- Buddhist - Some say Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. I was introduced to SGI, a Nichiren Buddhist sect, by a former co-worker. There are many branches in Nichiren Buddhism; sadly all are professing to be the correct path. I never formally joined SGI but I have their liturgy book as well as the one from Nichiren Shoshu. I've modified the prayers to fit my needs. Although I don't do gongyo like I should, I consider myself an independent Nichiren Buddhist.
- eclectic - Dictionary definition is "deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources." So, yes, my Pagan path is eclectic. I think spirituality should be tailored for the person. If I find something that doesn't work, I can replace it.
- solitary - I practice alone. I do not belong to a coven. I've thought of starting a training coven one day. It would be free from degree systems and all would be welcome.
- witch - I consider myself a witch. I believe that magic is energy, is real, and can be proven with science and quantum mechanics.
- Unitarian Universalist - the resulting merge between 2 liberal Christian religions. Nowadays UU is made up of many beliefs with Christianity being a minority. I feel like UU is more like a fellowship than a religion.
So there you have it. I'm a solitary agnostic deist Buddhist Pagan witch who attends a Unitarian Universalist church.
Oh one more thing - I don't know if this has a word but if it does let me know - I believe that all God/desses are One. The separate God/desses from each culture are just facets or parts of the whole. In contrast, others may believe that each separate deity is indeed separate, that there are thousands of deities.