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If a solitary practitioner decides to join an existing hearth or coven or (insert organization of whatever Pagan/Heathen faith here) do they get credit for wisdom obtained during that practice, or should it be assumed they come in as someone with no education at all, to ensure nothing is missed? Should a decades veteran solitarian be ranked above a 6 month novice if the novice joined first?

(another one of those same old, no originality questions)

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:01 PM on Jun. 14, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Too original, perhaps?

    Have you ever heard the anecdote that claimed that when Columbus first came to the new world, the natives there couldn't see his ships. That because the ships were so outside the natives' mental framework, they simply couldn't perceive them?
    ; )


    Answer by clarity333 at 10:54 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I think it depends on the attitude of the person and the degree to which they can establish that they have had the kind of background that the group is looking for...

    If I were Wiccan and wanting to be Kemetic Orthodox, I would think I would have to start from scratch, but if I were a self study Druid interested in ADF or AODA, I would think I would get some credit...

    Answer by thalassa at 10:57 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Officially they do not. Or at least not in my experience. They still work their way up the ladder so to speak. BUT their knowledge isn't deleted or discredited simply because they are new to the group. It's generally (or it should be) recognized by others even if their official rank does not reflect it. It's like my husband who started as a cook and worked his way up to manager at his job, when he quit, and went to work for another restaurant he was no less the new guy, even though he had experience. A coven or group is usually the same way, if for no other reason than those who have been there and "run things" need to know that you know THEIR standards, beliefs, practices, traditions and so on as well as you are a good fit for the group before you move up in the ranks.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:07 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • – collapse
    No, they have to give all their spells and wands back and start the game over. And then they have to make tea for everyone at the next tea clash
    Now you could try asking those pesky Christians that you so often mock, a serious question too.

    Answer by adnilm at 2:44 AM on Jun. 15, 2011 (hidden) + expand

  • – collapse
    Too original, perhaps?
    Nope, to irrational and irrelevant to the masses

    Answer by adnilm at 3:04 AM on Jun. 15, 2011 (hidden) + expand

  • I think that the rules are set by the individual covens and no two are the same. To some, experience counts. To others, it doesn't. Don't know. I'm a happy solitary and really don't care. Certainly I would not join a group that bumped me to the back of the class after 13 years of practice. I wouldn't expect to be made high priestess, but I wouldn't allow myself to be made a novice either.

    Answer by witchqueen at 9:13 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • adnilm, if you hate NP and Sabrina so much, why do you bother reading or answering their questions???

    NP ... look at it like starting a new job. No matter your experience, you are still new, even if you are hired as a manager, you still have to learn the ropes and how the company works. Having never joined and never will join one, that is just a guess. 


    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 10:37 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Ha Ha! I just read Sabrina's answer!! Maybe I should have read through them FIRST!!

    GMTA I guess.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 10:38 AM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • She wasn't just offensive and bigoted, she didn't even understand the question.

    I look at it more from a non-Wiccan perspective, but I included it because it's probably the one people would be most familiar with. Some Heathen kindreds have a process for acceptance that can take years. It's as much about making sure you are a good fit for the entire group - a kindred is as much family as congregation, or it's supposed to be. Some have a defined education course, and a separate one for those looking to become Gothi. Others look to whoever is wisest as Gothi.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 2:43 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • case by case basis

    All covens, etc. are different.

    In my Circle we see ourselves as all equal before the Lady and Lord, the only differences is in years of experience. We take our turns being "High Priest/ess" (read "in charge of Ritual) and who's ever HP/S that time, we do things their way. So a yearling newbie, or a 30+ year veteran could each run or co-run a ritual!

    Answer by MamaK88 at 6:51 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

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