What makes a person Wiccan...?
Is it a plastic covered 500+ peso book from National Bookstore penned by a shady author of ill-refute? Or probably a 1000-peso silver Pentagram from a stall in SM City? Or probably bottles upon bottles of dried herbs for potions and concoctions.... I say all of these might be a slice of the pie, but this doesn't make you a Wiccan.
The last time I was in a place surrounded by a lot of Wiccans was in Manila. Where there was some of the most "devout" brothers and sisters of Faith congregate and held festivals to honor the Gods in their grandeur. I have also experienced in Cebu a gathering to discuss spirituality and a trip in the outskirts of the city just to gaze at the majesty of the Moon while sitting around a bonfire expressing our thanks to the Goddess. I was awed by the response of fellow Wiccans in my hometown once they have heard of a plan to have a Coven in our small but Catholic dominated city.
But this was a time in the past, as the worship of the Wiccan Goddess here in the Philippines is waning. How can I say this, when there are a lot of kids and teenagers alike claiming to be a Brethen to the Old Ways? It's simple, they are drawn to the Craft by the mystical allure of magick. In Davao where I am at right now, I have known some Wiccans in the city and for the past year, we have gathered, shared some insights and celebrated some rituals during Esbats and the Sabbats. However, the pull of power diverted their attention to the more "visual" power that other practices can give, in a span of a month or two, they have changed their religion as easy as they change their clothes.
A lot if not majority of the new Wiccans in the country are in the Path just because of the power that they can get out of it. Instead of asking me about a certain Goddess or God to honor and dedicate themselves, the normal first question that I get is "How can I make my crush fall in love with me?" When you tell them that they need to "Know themselves first." and ask for a sign from the Goddess that calls them- they would randomly pick a name from any mythology book they could find (the more unique, the better) and claim that they are a follower of the Deity. And when you ask them to know more about that Deity, they would often scoff and then vanish probably on the 4th meeting. That's a better reaction that you will get though- try to tell them that they are not allowed to cast spells for a year and a day and they'll be gone faster than a free sandwich in the pantry during break time.
A few years back, I met a lot of practitioners. Each claiming to be a part of the grand design, a mystical tradition and a potent bloodline. Sad to think though that these people would vanish as the years go by. Probably they are still thinking that Wicca is a thaumaturgy-based practice thus "low magick" compared to the more strict and codified theurgy or "high magick" of Kabbalah, Enochian Magick and other Ceremonial Magick path. Wicca in its primary sense is a religion, a our faith to the Gods give us the ability to influence reality via our manipulation and sending of energies. These effects are done with harnessing the ambient and neutral mystical forces of the elements, the moon and other celestial bodies, the elements and the Gods Themselves. The Craft of the Wise can be codified and utilized in a myriad of ways too, it is just as powerful as any Mystical systems, can be as complicated and elaborate as any ceremonial Paths. The key in achieving this primarily rely on your connection with your Gods, that is why I teach my students to embrace the will of the Gods first, connect with the Divine and everything will just follow.
It is sad to see promising Witches move away from the Path of the Wise. It might be possible that their higher selves are calling them elsewhere, that is understandable knowing the nature of seekers. However, the event that makes me feel bad are those potentials who stop and rebuke the Path all together. They will just be there, test the waters and then evaporate altogether after their "Thirst for Knowledge" is placated.
I know there is a grander design in all of these events. Probably the Gods are just waiting for an auspicious time to call Their Children into the Fold once more. If that will happen anytime soon, I will be here waiting as always ready to impart my minuscule knowledge in the Craft to help them start their journey in the Path of the Wise. I hope this will happen soon enough.
by: Felyx Wolfsbane Serpentmoon, AP
Pontifex of Hecate and Ianus
Mystae- Tenebraean Tradition of Wicca
Pic: from Mage: the Ascension, Tradition Book: Verbena'