Some Thoughts on the Evolution of Wiccan Ritual

Paul Hume

Undoubtedly (insofar as anything in this mish-mash of magick can be undoubted (g)) the "convergent evolution" thing has a place in the development of the various trads. i.e. hitting on similar manifestations of one True Thing. An algorithm stays the same, no matter how you code it.

Some of the interesting divergences, f'rinstance...

The Quarters: Always a lively discussion (g). Air's in the East. No, it's in the North, etc. The traditional post-GD attributions stem from a system attributed to Egypt, and Egyptian climate. The traditional Wiccan ones make sense in the context of Northern Europe, esp. Britain. (At least the Brit-Trad ones do).

The ceremonial (solar variety) magician concentrates on the Equinoxes and Solstices as his major milestones in the wheel of the year, whereas Wicca sticks with the Cross-Quarters as their main events. Again, the solar calendar is an Egypto-Sumerian bugaboo, and more important to agricultural peoples (or so it is suggested) whereas the Cross-Quarters fit the rhythm of birth and growth in herd animals, and thus suggest a tradition that evolved in the herding cultures of the early Celts and Britons (who did not succumb to the siren song of agro-economy until much later).

How rigorous these arguments are is open to dispute - they may just be attempts to correlate anthropology and tradition. But they suggest areas of emphasis that separate the two paths, and suggest further the different aspects of Reality that drive them.


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