Hello! I'm a solitary wiccan with a kinda specific question. I read your earlier post about the nastiness amoung our community between pagans and wiccans, and i wanted to know what Silver Ravenwolf does to perpetuate this? Are there any prominant figures you believe are fostering a negative environment among the communities?
I love specific questions. They are often really fun to research.
Okay, I am not a fan of Silver Ravenwolf. She is very problematic for the pagan community in general and Wicca specifically. And while I do not like speaking badly of anyone that has done what they can to further paganism…some of the the things that she has done have been…wrong.
Now, first let me say that I know that sooner or later every pagan (myself included) is going to throw a piece of misinformation out there. It’s usually accidental. I find this forgivable because most of us have not had formal training and are going off of memory…memory is imperfect. You get the picture.
So, no…I don’t dislike every pagan who says something that turns out to be wrong. But S.R.W is the Queen of this. Moreover, she has had enough access to some of the most well learned and practiced Priests and Priestesses that paganism has to offer…and she still spreads misinformation and hatred. This, to me, is unforgivable.
I will explain, I will even have quotes.
- “ There is no difference between Wicca and WitchCraft. Anyone who tells you there is a difference is experimenting in the theory of Occum’s Razor.” -SIlver Raven Wolf, The Teen Witch Handbook.
NO!. Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is, as the name states, a CRAFT. It is nondenominational. While the two can, and often do, overlap; they are NOT the same thing. She needs to stop perpetuating the idea that if you use magic you are automatically a Wiccan.
Moreover…writing a handbook for Teen Witches is a money grab geared towards people who are just beginning their personal spiritual path and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why? Because most teens don’t actually know what is and what isn’t a good
- “Wicca — It is thought that this term was originally coined by Selena Fox of the Circle Sanctuary in an effort to describe the modern religion of WitchCraft ” -Silver Ravenwolf, The Teen Witch Handbook.
NO. Rev. Selena Fox is a High Priestess of the Wiccan tradition, an author, and a religious activist on the behalf of pagans of America. She was one of the first non-abrahamic reverends in the U.S. She is one of our most respected High Priestesses and Minister of the Circle Sanctuary (one of the few recognized pagan sanctuaries in America). She is a wonderful person and has done a lot for the pagan community as a whole. But she did not coin the term “Wiccan”. The first modern use of the term Wiccan, was by Gerald Gardner in 1954. Selena Fox was 6 at the time.
- “Another name for a solitary witch is ‘natural witch’.” Silver Ravenwolf. Book of Shadows: Solitary Witchcraft
NO. Seriously. A solitary witch is a witch who practices her craft without the aid of a coven. “natural” witch has multiple meanings and I am not a fan of the term at all.
- “… the traditional colors for Mayday are red and white representing the blood that flows from the woman when her purity is taken….” Silver Ravenwolf, To Ride a Silver Broomkstick
Oh my fucking god….no. Wiccans do no view the ‘purity’ of a woman as a virginal state. Maiden, Mother, and Crone. It’s not Virgin, Not a Virgin, and Cant Have Kids. This quote actually made me throw out the book. Funny since most people view this work as her least offensive work.
I also have a problem with the phrasing of this. I find the idea that someone could ‘take’ the virginity of the Goddess as something that borders on blasphemous. Can you use blasphemous for Wicca? Fuck it…I just did.
The Great Rite, the act when the God and the Goddess come together sexually to create the new life of the year, is a sacred thing for Wiccans. The God isn’t ‘taking’ anything. It’s a magical moment between Lord and Lady. So fuck of S.R.
- “don’t listen to your parents, do whatever you want to - behind their backs if necessary. If your parents don’t understand you, that’s okay. Mama Silver does.” Silver Ravenwolf’s website.
Okay…stop. I know that a lot of my readers are teens. I know you want to jump right into Wicca and paganism and that parents can be remarkably small minded about what their kids learn and investigate. I know that this can be really frustrating and unfair. It sucks. I’m sorry. But encouraging a teen to lie to their parents is a tacky way to go about this.
How about encourage teens to be honest, to help people (parents are people btw) understand Wicca, and to stop making Wicca into this naughty, dirty, rebellious thing? It’s a spirituality that needs to be represented well.
She represents herself as a ‘patron of teen witches’ because she is the “Only one who writes for them”. -SRW website.
This is very much NOT true. The fact is it is illegal for anyone to talk to children about religion without the parents explicit approval. This includes Christianity by the way. So she is not the only one who cares about teen pagans. What Ravenwolf does is portray paganism as an act of rebellion rather than a spiritual journey that often begins during teen years.
For all my Teen readers with parents who will not accept their practice. I know what you are going through. I was there. I had books thrown out. I got called crazy. I got told it was ‘just a phase’. Best part about being an adult? I get to practice what I want and my family is fully aware.
Okay, only kinda sorry. Moving on.
But you know what? Here are some articles that can state a lot of this for me:
Those are three articles by trusted researchers who come from three very different pagan backgrounds who all explain, in their own way, why Silver Ravenwolf is toxic to the pagan community.
To put it very simply:
- Her misinformation
- Her misleading ‘facts’
- Her wrong history
- and more
As for other pagans that I feel are bad for the pagan community….not really. Plenty have made mistakes over the years…but we are a fairly young religion that is spreading very quickly. We have no single book that tells us what the ‘truth’ is. We are all looking for it by sifting and reading the work of others. We do not have a weekly interpreter telling us what to believe. We do not have a government made up of similar religious believers helping incorporate our belief system into their government.
But…what I am saying is that we are all going to make mistakes….the real mistake is unappolgetically continuing to make them after you have been informed of your inaccuracies.