Is Wicca "New Age"?

Hello, all:

On one of the communities I belong to over on LiveJournal, there's some discussion about the New Age and how it meshes with Neo-Pagan practice.

So: In your opinion, is Wicca part of the New Age cluster of beliefs? Is any other form of Neo-Paganism part of that cluster? If so, why? If not, why?

As always, thank you to everyone who takes the time to respond.

Update:

To Trish JPA... actually, Wicca has only been around since the early part of the 20th century. The "Wicca is ancient" claim has been pretty thoroughly debunked by historians. I highly recommend "The Triumph of the Moon" by Ronald Hutton if you ever want to investigate the roots of the faith.

22 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "New Age" is such a vague term that any sort of technical answer of this question is almost impossible. (One definition at dictionary.com is "of or pertaining to a movement espousing a broad range of philosophies and practices traditionally viewed as occult, metaphysical, or paranormal," which is useless as a definition.)

    Wica does not at all fit with what I think of when I think of New Age. I have to confess, however, that I have a rather negative opinion of New Age things overall: power crystals, ley lines, Atlantis, Indigo Children, feel-good angelology, etc.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Crow, Wicca IS a part of the New Age cluster of Religions, however, Witchcraft is NOT. Witchcraft and Wicca are NOT the same thing and there ARE Religious Witches who have been practicing thier craft while still being a part of the "Mainstream Religions" for hundreds and thousands of years. Wicca, on the other hand was begun in the 1950's by Gerald Gardner and was loosely based on the Gods of older times. The customs of those older forms of worship have been long lost to us and so, had to be re-invented by Gardner and his successors. Hence the origin of the term New Age.

    Brightest Blessings,

    Raji the Green Witch

  • 1 decade ago

    I would have to say no. Obviously they aren't the same thing, but that isn't what you're asking. If I'm understanding your question, you are asking if Wicca falls under the heading of "New Age".

    New Age is practically defined by it's eclecticism. I have yet to meet a New Ager who isn't into just about everything and finds new things to try out every other Thursday. It isn't a belief system or a religion - it's as loose of classification as "rock music". New Age doesn't refer to religions - I've never heard it used that way. It refers to more of a social or spiritual philosophy. One can be any religion and be termed "New Age". People who describe themselves as New Age or are part of the New Age movement are typically looking for ways to access the divine and are open to almost any way to achieve that. Putting a religious label on their beliefs or practices is generally something they would find to be contrary to their goal. I don't normally hear New Agers identify themselves as any religion, though they often mention religious view that resonate for them.

    So no, I don't think Wicca is New Age because religious labels aren't really New Age. Even if they were the eclecticism that defines the philosophy is, I believe, contradictory to Wicca.

  • 1 decade ago

    As far as I know, New Agers can hodge-podge just about anything into their beliefs. Wicca, while potentially exceedingly open in terms of the HOWS of rituals and WHOS of deities, and such, has some basic tenets that must be adhered to in order for it to be identifiable as Wicca. We know that there is no official doctrine or authority on Wicca, but people and organizations have been attempting to define it in a concrete manner for decades.

    The Wiccan Church of Canada has a pretty good list of things that define Wicca as actually being Wicca.

    Anyone who comes into Wicca thinking you can believe and do anything you want, and have it be Wicca, is foolish, and are generally treated as such. However, New Age is a movement that is almost characterized by its extreme eclecticism, and if you DIDN'T cobble things together it would be considered odd.

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  • N
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Merry Meet Prairie Crow,

    No, Wicca and the New Age Movement are not the same and really have very little in common. New Ager’s tend to use miscellaneous concepts to construct a belief system for their own personal use. Usually they are very eclectic in nature and in practice. In fact when I have asked New Ager’s in my area if they consider themselves Wiccan or even Pagan, most leave me without an answer to my question. That’s usually because many New Ager’s really don’t look deeply into it, but skim the surface of what interests them at the time.

    Now Wicca as a Religion came into existence with the help of Gerald Gardner in the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. Which these dates are still being debated to this day, which is irrelevant anyway! Now if we look at the practice and application of Wicca, we can see that Wicca is much, much older. If a Wiccan practiced the Craft but never called it Wicca, those who witnessed ritual or ceremony would have to say that it is very old. That’s because many of the actions in Wicca versus rituals and ceremonies as well as knowledge in herbalism or astrology is very old. Also the polarity of Deity, or that their needs to be Goddesses and Gods in our belief system are also old. The only really new thing is how we incorporate it into one structured system, which we call Wicca. But then, the question on the age of Wicca really is not the question here anyway.

    I most likely rambled way too long, but I hope that some of what I have said helps shed some light on your question.

    Blessed Be

    Nyjh

  • 1 decade ago

    New Age is rather old and simplistic really.

    It's just a hodgepodge of scattered beliefs, from a variety of cultures, with an acceptance of almost any sort of sensible potential concepts. Wicca is part of what people refer to as 'New Age', but really is only a branch of the sort of things New Age take from.

    All in all, once you're dealing with establishing new family traditions, it gets messy when you start arguing about origins.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. Although there is some overlap between the two groups, Pagan and New Age ideologies are different.

    The most lucid case for this that I've seen can be found in Michael York's book called The Emerging Network:

    http://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Network-Michael-Yor...

  • 7 years ago

    Wicca predates New Age, and is contemporary with Neo-Pagan practice.

    It has nothing to do with satanism, since Wicca has nothing in it that suggests Christian or anti-Christian practice. In fact, much of Wicca practices varies from monotheism to polytheism.

    Wicca was first popularised by Margaret Murray, and her claim that Christianity suppressed a witch cult has been debunked by male historians.

    The truth of the matter is, wicca arose inpopularity because of her fanciful tales about a sacred king ritually sacrificed by monarchists. Much of her works from the 1920s would be fodder for New Age also.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm with All Brrg - Wicca is a religion, New Age can be described more as a combining of different practices, beliefs and self-help techniques.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    people consider wicca as new age. and you all who say it's satanism are wrong. completely. because A) satanism is a for real religion [and what i read it's based on arrogance. srry no offence to those of you who are satanists. i dont want to offend anyone] and B) Satan doesn't exist in wicca. things like that really piss me off. Don't talk about things you know nothing about. You just make an *** of yourself. I have nothing against certain people because of religions. that's stupid. The only christians i find annoying are the ones who insist that gays are wrong, and any other religion is wrong, and that they are here to save you from hell and the devil. So much for being accepting of others. anyway. my rant is done. sorry bout that =) haha

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