Hi, It's Ro- you might remember me from my other post on this extended writing piece I'm working on. I'm writing about the adaptability of Wicca to the modern day and wanted to ask you all a few questions.
What's your opinion on so-called 'fluffy-bunny' wicca? In general, how do you think social media and forums such as these have positively or negatively influenced the community? What is your attitude to newcomers - and the influx of female teenage wiccans?
Thank you all so much for your help on my last post, you were actual lifesavers. This academic project is at about five thousand words right now, fully cited and of course I'll credit your handle. I'm sure its rife with inaccuracies right now as I'm not the best researcher but it really is helping me understand the craft better and the mentality of other witches. If you have any other comments please feel free to mail me!
What's your opinion on so-called 'fluffy-bunny' wicca? In general I am not a fan of those who choose to be ignorant about what magic is, how it works and what it can really do. It isn't that hard to learn the truth if one is willing, however it doesn't surprise me how many choose not to do the work.
In general, how do you think social media and forums such as these have positively or negatively influenced the community? forums and site like this have positive and negative effects on all forms of magic within the community. You have those who research, study and practice with years of experience to discuss from and you have those who watched a movie and know everything. As I have been apart of both online and in-person communities, I can tell you that there are both kinds of people in all places. what really matters is how each practitioner does what they do.
What is your attitude to newcomers - and the influx of female teenage wiccans? The phrase of this question makes it difficult to answer. My attitude toward newcomers is 'welcome'. I hope we get more of them and they choose to practice. As for the 'influx of female teenage Wiccans' I would need you to elaborate more on that before I choose to respond.
Also, as a side note, this site does not contain only Wiccans. There are many of us here who do not follow the Wiccan path. It may be more helpful to you in later posts to try to broaden your audience or at least to post solely in the Wiccan section of forum if that is the group you are most interested in.
Thank you so much for your response! I hadn't noticed the wicca-specific section, my mistake. I'm not too used to this site at all.
Not too sure why I included the word female there, that's not really the question I was after. Mainly I wanted to ask about teenagers on sites like tumblr and the like, and if you feel that the youth popularity is in anyway detrimental to the craft or an outsiders perception.
I think a huge deciding factor here would be distinguishing which type of Wicca this context relates to, as you'd get different answers. In Traditional Wicca, there's a process that seekers have to go through, and later training as a Dedicant or Neophypte that would help eliminate some of those 'fluffy bunny' characteristics. Also since one has to be an adult, or at least 18 years of age before they're initiated, there's wiggle room that might make a difference with the early teen or 'baby witch' stereotypes as well.
Solitary, Eclectic, and 'Neo-Wicca'are a lot more subjective, where there can be huge array of differences between individual practitioners. There are quite a lot of Wiccans of that sort(not sure of the exact demographics, because there are a lot of Traditional Wiccans too) that are included in the tumblr posters, and social media presences like our modern "Insta-Witches." This can be down to marketing on behalf of authors, or just individuals sharing their own practices, beliefs, and opinions.
In public forums, and social media sites you'll find Wiccans, and practitioners of other forms of Witchcraft grouped into the same category, so of course I think any amount of discussion and clarification is beneficial.
The issue I'm having right now with this piece is making it accessible to those outside the community. It's quite a task I've set myself as I've only been a practicing solitary witch for a few years, but I honestly couldn't think of a better way to further understand than through a research paper. I'm having trouble striking the right balance between addressing the witch fear/ satanic panic associated with it and accurately representing the diversity of people who call themselves witches and the difference in their beliefs. I don't think there are enough words in the world to get it all down and I end up just writing and losing track of the question which is supposed to be 'Does wicca have a place in the modern day?'
I don't know if you've tried this but have you tried asking your essay questions on reddit? There is a huge witchcraft community there, and it's super easy to reach out to a particular demographic because of the different subreddits there (e.g. if you want to speak to Wiccans go to r/Wicca, but if you want to speak to witches of all different kinds go to r/witchcraft. If you want trad Wicca go to r/TraditionalWicca).
Having been a lurker on reddit for a while it's easy to get a sense of the general consensus towards fluffy bunnies and teenage "baby" witches. Because of reddit's voting system, fluffs are easily dealt with by getting downvoted so their posts and comments are not seen as widely (that is the whole purpose of downvotes after all;to deal with trolls).
Unlike the rest of reddit, I find the witchy communities to be rather pleasant. Even if there are fluffs, generally I see them approached with kindness and people will help them out by directing them to the correct resources. Upon failure to take on advice, further posts and comments just get ignored and downvoted. And if they are particularly bothersome, they're get banned from the subreddit by moderators.
My general opinion towards fluffs' impact on the witch community is that: witches take no cr*p. They'll help where they can, but they're not afraid to banish what's bothering them.
Since fluffs aren't very welcome, they will go to less moderated subreddits and websites but their presence isn't very large and not too bothersome still.
The influx of newcomers on the other hand, often coined as "baby witches" (some people hate the term but I don't mind), are often treated with kindness and receive a lot of help and support. I think in general witches love it when a fellow sister begins her journey of self discovery (and males too of course).
On a personal level, I get annoyed when I see the same posts over and over again ("baby witch here, where do I start?!"). I know I'm not the only one to feel this way since a lot of baby witch posts are downvoted to some degree. But I appreciate their effort to reach out to genuine witches who have genuine experience, as opposed to just Googling their questions and reading questionable resources. We all gotta start somewhere, and I think most witches appreciate that when they see a newbie. (Most subreddits have an AutoModerator, a bot that detects baby witches and guides them to appropriate resources). This post sums up my point pretty nicely: www.reddit.com/r/witchcraft/comments/f1x4tn/to_all_of_the_baby_witches_asking_questions_in/
The witchcraft community is mostly supportive and welcoming. This is especially so in r/WitchesVsPatriarchy. I'm not much of a feminist myself, but I have very rarely received any sort of backlash for my controversial witchcraft posts (as long as you stay away from controversial feminism you'll be fine).
I can't quite say the same for the pagan community on reddit. The moderators of r/pagan are very gatekeepyand very anti-atheist/agnostic people. They are strictly duo or polytheistic there and will often ban people without warning for merely asking about atheistic/agnostic paganism/witchcraft (they are banned for proselytization, but I don't see how just asking about something deserves a ban). To each their own I guess, but I don't see a problem with atheist/agnostic pagans/witches and the moderators of that subredditare particularly protective of their own values.
r/paganism is a lot better but still not as good of an atmosphere as most witchy subreddits.
I'm not sure this directly answered your question but I hope it helped with furthering your research :)