This blog is meant to provide an exploration of a new pagan theology, a theology of contemplative Wicca. The posts here are intended to contribute to the discussion of Wicca among pagan scholars and serious practitioners who may be seeking to incorporate contemplative ideas and meanings into the construction of their faith.
Contemplative Wicca is the practice of contemplative prayer and ritual using a Wiccan frame of reference. It is a spiritual way of life, based on neopagan religions that venerate nature and life. Wicca has a strong tradition of solitary practitioners, and it is this model of witchcraft that can provide a reference point for pagan contemplative practice. Traditionally, the practice of witchcraft is ecstatic, but it can also be contemplative. Contemplative prayer involves silent, sometimes solitary, attention to God. There is usually little or no ritual, and the purpose is to bring the devotee closer to God and allow them to hear God’s quiet voice. This means that the usual rituals that include chanting, drumming, and dancing would be supplanted by silent prayer and meditation. Groups can practice Wicca in a contemplative manner by conducting rituals that are minimal, and using most of the time for silent prayer or meditation. The more usual activities of feasting and singing can be done afterward during fellowship. Solitaries have the liberty to honor Sabbaths and moons simply by meditating on the meaning of the festival, or by doing visualization work, for example.
Now, with a multitude of environmental and social problems threatening, we need people who can show us how to live more peacefully and share our prosperity. This can be accomplished by leaders heeding the ideas and advice of those who live in a contemplative manner and who can show us a new way to look at the world and each other, a way that involves thoughtfulness and cooperation rather than aggression. If we can learn new values and adopt them in our lives, we can change the world. The religion particularly suited to this task is Contemplative Wicca, with its thoughtful consideration of spiritual issues, veneration of nature, and promotion of a collaborative social structure. Although the contemplative way of life is not possible for everyone, its message can bring healing to our planet if we heed those who follow this quiet path, whatever their tradition.
Here I shall explore what it means to pray and worship in this way, what kind of God inspires such prayer, what it means for daily life, and for the practice of Wicca.
I have master’s degrees in theology and psychology, and have practiced Wicca for over twenty-five years, primarily as a solitary.