First things first. The dancing in the moonlight or by the fire bit rocks! If you haven't done it, put it on your bucket list, because it is pretty awesome.
Having read your comments on this thread i'm left with a few questions. The most obvious being why you got 'sucked in' when it was merely an offhand remark that didn't demand debate, nonetheless that's your right so be it. But then you base your dialogue on statistics generated by the Army, which lead me to wonder how long you've been involved with Wicca. It simply isn't a figure most would look to when speaking of that branch of Paganism. There are better sources that are more in touch with the pulse so to speak that would have been more reputable.
The real problem with finding the information is mainly due to the categorization of what constitutes Neo-Paganism and accounting for those that may have eclectic practices that pull from multiple sources, some of which do not fall under the bandanna, such as Native American spirituality and African Traditional Religions. Nor do the latter two wish to be lumped in with the Neo folks.
I actually know very little about various faiths, so the above was quite interesting to Me. Oddly enough, in clip's career in the military, he has had seven different trainings for his MOS depending on what slot needed to be filled for the unit. One of them, believe it or not, was Minister's Assistant. Just a fun little factoid.
Pagans are just as judgmental and narrow-minded as other religious types. There's always been a divide in Wicca between the supposed traditional lines (Gardnerian/Alexandrian and offshoote) and those that choose to blend. The latter may be more commonplace these days but it was never readily received. Nor was self-initiation considered acceptable in the past. And i found they bickered just as fervently as any Christian group i'd encountered. The ranks are generally filled with those that fled Western religions and they bring all their anti-whatever baggage with them. i'm not speaking as a third party observer, but as a former practitioner of Wicca and Traditional non Wiccan based practices. i simply did not witness the brotherhood you're suggesting.
No surprise there. I suppose it would be the same as any other "group" where a commonality is all that was consistent among the members. We tell folks the same thing about BDSM folks as a whole. Doesn't mean that we aren't all over the spectrum on everything else.
i don't agree with your assessment and you're overgeneralizing quite a deal. There are merits of D/s that are in opposition to some paths that might fall under the label. Rather than sweep the whole lot beneath that statement, i'd specify instead. Even still, you might encounter this issue regarding harm and sadism. They're not exactly bedfellows and there's no religion that i'm aware of -and i'm speaking right hand and middle ground here- that would promote the practice. Ascetics flagellate for a purpose, and it is generally related to G-d or is used as a corrective measure of atonement. Even sex magick has a purpose, though the goal is up to its participants. If you're accustomed to working with light and dark energies you'd have a clear understanding which ones are drawn to practices like that. Hence the comment.
In short, there are individuals who find Wicca appealing who also have an attraction to or practice D/s mainly because they're accustomed to walking by their own drumbeat. i wouldn't say one fosters the other. i've met more than my share of Christians doing the same. And at the end of the day it is a personal choice for most.
I happen to think that any person of faith has to come to terms with the highlighted above. I know that I had to do so when I was coming into sadism. Even without matters of faith, we are taught from a young age that it isn't acceptable to physically hurt people. That was part of the process for Me and I don't think I'm alone in that.
The best that I can offer on that issue is, even in sadism, the conflict is removed because I make the distinction between hurt and harm. It took Me a while to grasp the concept of pain being a form of love to the masochist who receives it. Once I did, it helped Me to get over the hurdle of the contrast that seemed to be present in My beliefs.
To this day, I still admit that I might be wrong on the subject. If I am, God and I will sort that out when I get there.
The crowned Diva of Destruction. ~ ExT
Beach Ball Sized Lady Nuts. ~ TWD
Happily dating a new submissive. It's official. I've named him engie.
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