One of the most frequently asked questions we get at the School, whether from Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims, is whether people of other religions can be Wiccan. The simplistic answer is “no”. Someone who is an active practitioner in the precepts of Christianity and its avatar Jesus, for example, will have difficulty in adjusting to a system of multiple gods and goddesses. Ruthlessly simplified, this might be expressed as either/or. If you are a classic Hindu, you might be able to adjust more easily because in Hinduism revering multiple different deities is not only accepted; it is approved. Unfortunately, in recent years much of Hinduism has become mired in the same monotheistic thinking and petrified mindset that we find in Christianity and in Islam.
Thus within Hinduism, for example, we are now finding groups of Shivites who firmly believe that Shiva is the one and only true god. Conversely, we are finding that out there in the big wide world many people who profess themselves to be Christian are willing to discuss the idea that perhaps there are other god and goddess forces working in the world “outside Christ”.
For many years we have deliberately avoided accepting those people who, it seemed to us, were too rigid in their theology to make good Wiccans. Not only in their theology, we hasten to add, but also in their lifestyle. All too often a rigid philosophy leads to a rigid attitude to life. This means that many people cannot enjoy the many-splendored thing we call life without feeling guilty or without rejecting happiness and pleasure as “sins” of the flesh. Of course you can examine (for example) Wicca without ever practicing it, as you might study high-school cheerleaders without ever leading a cheer.
Let us now imagine someone who gives lip service to a religion other than Wicca but who in fact is more than willing to revere many different gods and goddesses and willing to enjoy the pleasures that life offers them without feeling sinful. We believe now is the time for us to appeal to this huge volume of people who are searching. They are not going to throw off the shackles of the default religion inflicted on them during their early training until they realize that over the horizon there is something vastly better available to them, available just for the taking.
The Church and School of Wicca offers such an alternative path. If you are not rigidly committed to a single god or goddess concept, and can make your own moral/ethical judgments, it is time for you to think about investigating Wicca. Certainly without any danger you can investigate it. It’s not contagious. As a federal judge declared, it is a genuine religion deserving of all the rights and duties of any other religion.
Despite all the wonderful research being done on DNA, no one has yet found a gene for Hinduism, for Christianity, for Islam, or for any other religion. All of the above are (for want of a better word) culturally inflicted.