the road from Wicca to Reconstructionism and back again… and again, and again


Lately it has come to my attention that a lot of people do not know what Celtic Reconstructionism is.  Since CR Paganism is still a big part of my belief system, I thought it might be good to write a bit about it, but then I realized that there has already been so much written about it that it would be better just to imbed a link and just talk about how I came to it. 
I was Wiccan for around 14 years before I decided to become Celtic Reconstructionist.  Until now, I haven’t really elaborated on why I made such a switch, but I think now is as good a time as any to put the story to the keyboard…
I think it was in 2000, maybe 2001, me and a couple of other women decided we were going to make our own little coven.  Two of us had been part of two other Wicca- based women’s groups together, and we thought we could build on what we learned from them and venture out on our own.  Well, the third woman in our group (let’s call her “Heidi”), was new to Wicca and asked “Carla” and I to teach her.  Well, we thought we would start with history.  We knew that Wicca had started in ancient times, but our books didn’t give us much detail in the history area.  So I decided to search the internet.  That’s when I found articles that debunked many of my strongly held beliefs about Wicca’s origins.  Without going into a lot of details over it, I’ll just post what I believe were a couple of the articles I read:
And also on the same site Part II – The Origin of Wicca Part III – Wicca as an OTO Encampment
There were many more, some quite convincing, but I can’t find them now.  Anyway, I was shocked.  I felt like I had been duped.  I printed out the articles and showed Carla and Heidi.  This stuff was a surprise to them as well.  Like me, they didn’t want to believe it either, but the evidence seemed overwhelming.  Carla and I felt like we had been betrayed.  At first none of us knew what to do.  They took this info back to one of our women’s groups.  They wanted no part of it.  The women’s group proclaimed that they didn’t want to read anything against their faith, because they love Wicca and would remain Wiccan even if it was proven that the origins were fabricated.  Heidi also decided that she would stay Wiccan.  Carla went back to Christianity.  For a while I researched groups that called themselves “traditional (non-Wiccan) Witches”, only to come to the conclusion that they were probably making things up too.  I knew I was still Pagan, but I wanted to find a tradition that rang true.  I started reading about Celtic Reconstructionism and liked what I read.  I was also attracted to CR Paganism because of my Irish ancestry.  So I started reading and learning and practicing CR Paganism.  I was also corresponding through e-mail with one of the early authors of the CR movement- Erynn Rowan Laurie. 
After a while, I got involved with creating a local chapter of CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans).  The other two people I started the group with were Roman Reconstructionists.  There were a lot of different Pagan faiths represented in our group.  There were several people attending from a local Asatru group.  I met only one other Celtic Reconstructionist.  Needless to say, we a had a lot of different kinds of rituals.  When I stepped down as leader, however, the people that were coming to rituals before just disappeared from the scene completely, and finally the group fizzled out altogether.  
I practiced CR in solitary for a while (it sucked)- my children were still a bit too young to participate in ritual and my husband was an atheist.  Then it came to be that several big life changes occurred (that I won’t go into here) and I temporarily lost interest in all things religious/spiritual.  When I did become interested again, I explored Greek Reconstructionism- Hellenismos, then Gnostism.  Gnostism led me up and down exploring all sorts of esoteric Christianity.  I went to the Unity church for a while.  Finally I decided that they were not Pagan enough for me.  One again I embraced Wicca- seeing it as a Pagan Gnostism.  I remembered that there are still a lot of things I like about Wicca.  I found out that there was a Pagan group started at the UU I used to attend, so I went for it.  That’s when I realized how much I had missed having a Pagan community.  Little by little though, my CR ideas started coming back.  I no longer consider myself Wiccan, but I can’t say that I’m CR either…


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