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Paganism Wicca/paganism and Sikhi...

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by namritanevaeh, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. namritanevaeh

    namritanevaeh Canada
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    Please excuse me if this has been talked about before (I didn't see it in the first page of posts).

    Who here knows some about Wicca or paganism versus Sikhi?

    I will admit, I feel that while Sikhi addresses some of my needs and beliefs, it doesn't work for me for other things...and where it doesn't mostly I identify with Wicca or something like that, and agnosticism.

    I'm not well versed in Wicca admittedly. I have a few very good friends who are Wiccan and I have done some reading, but I find it is less easy to find good solid information on Wicca, I think partly because there seems to be more freedom and fewer hard set fast "rules" than some religions.

    What I have noticed that is similar:

    Wicca says all are accepted, and all religions are valid. This sounds pretty similar to Sikhi.

    Wiccans believe in reincarnation from what I understand. However the idea is a bit different. Correct me if I am wrong but I think Sikhi seems to suggest that if you lead a good life this time around you will be reincarnated to a better life next time, and if you lead a bad life you might become a lower animal next time? Is this true? And only when you have led the best most pure life possible will you attain heaven? That is my basic understanding...? And Wicca seems to suggest that reincarnation is never ending, you don't ever get to heaven, and that humans will always come back as humans and never any other animal (such as snake or dog or whatever)?

    While Sikhi says there's one god, I know some pagan beliefs believe in multiples, but Wicca I think is mostly concentrated on almost a ying-yang type mesh of male plus female goddess to make a whole...kinda thing, it's how I seem to understand it is portrayed?

    Wicca obviously doesn't insist on any specific dress code (such as turban).

    Alcohol is not only permitted but it seems that a lot of wiccans seem to find something maybe spiritual or important in mead (honey wine) particularly? However, there is no insistence that one *must* drink obviously.

    Sikhs say ardas. Christians talk about prayer. I think Muslims call it doua (?). Some people think wiccans are evil for their spells. The way I've had it described to me is that spells are just another word for prayers...that tend to be more poetic. Wiccans tend to believe in the "rule of 3". Whatever energy you put out into the universe is returned to you 3-fold (3 times stronger). It's a bit like karma I think. If you were to cast an evil spell on someone, like curse them to death...you would expect to find that god or the universe somehow returned the evil to you three times worse. Idea being maybe 3 of your closest people would die or something similar. They also believe you should not ever ever try to cast a spell that would infringe on someone's free will. A simple example of this would be: it's really good and kind and noble to cast a spell for a poor family, asking god for them to have more food on the table. That does nothing for or against their free will, it just is to help them out. But if you cast a spell that suggested that said family should turn from vegetarian to meat eating (or anything else that implicates they change themself to suit something you would wish) that infringes on their free will and should not be done.

    I think really, the biggest difference, though, is the sexuality. Wicca doesn't seem to care if you're gay, straight, polyamourous, divorced, unmarried and in a couple, or anything. It is in that aspect I think most, that it suits me over Sikhi...since I'm much more for that type of freedom versus society telling me I'm evil if I have unmarried sex, honestly...

    Thanks for reading this far and if anyone has any personal understandings to add I'm happy to read them. :)
     
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  3. JourneyOflife

    JourneyOflife
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    Sikhi doesn't say all religions are valid. There can be truth in them to the extent they agree with Gurbani, but there is no way Sikhi says something like Islam in its salafi form is a "valid religion". But it does say people can realize the Divine regardless of their religious label, even if they don't actively identify as Sikhs.

    Sikhi doesn't say people are evil for being "gay, polyamourous, divorced" or anything of the sort. But generally the concept of 'free sex' doesn't gel too well with Sikhi, particularly due to its association with the 5 thieves and because (I feel) it retracts from the life of a householder.

    I think one important point Sikhs should remember is that contemporary western society isn't perfect, nor is it the ideal moral or ethical utopia everybody has to strive to appease and emulate. It is okay if there are things in Sikhi which do not conform to mainstream western society and pop culture. In some ways they are similar, like both western society and Gurbani seem to be against the idea that people are better or worse than others for their sexual orientation. But Sikhi doesn't endorse the clubbing/pubbing/barring/random hook-up culture at all, and even though that may go against what is 'cool' in the west right now, Sikhs should be proud of their different lifestyle and not be afraid to defend it when needed.
     
  4. Ishna

    Ishna
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    It doesn't need to be that extreme - defacto cohabitation is also 'against' the Rehat Maryada. There are plenty of people who do not endorse the clubbing/pubbing/barring/random hook-up culture (as you put it), but who are still engaged in illicit sexual relations according to Sikh religion.

    Namrita Ji, I explored Wicca and Neopaganism for a number of years while in my teens. I eventually transitioned from that into Sikhi and never looked back. I would love to address your message point-by-point, but it is my bedtime, and I'm exhausted.

    Suffice to say, you are right that Wicca and Paganism are much less structured and free-flowing than Sikhi. For some, they can't get comfortable with such lack of structured guidance. Particularly Wicca, which is but 60 years old and has no real written scripture.
     
  5. namritanevaeh

    namritanevaeh Canada
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    Yeah and honestly it's the whole illicit part that I actually disagree with (as per my posts previously about lust/desire). It's far far worse I think to be stuck in a bad marriage and being forced to have sex regularly, than to be in an awesome relationship, with sex being mutually desired, but unmarried. And Sikhi quite simply doesn't really address that as even a possibility.

    I look forward to it Ishna ji, I enjoy reading your thoughts. :)

    Yeah, I do realise that. It's both something I enjoy (makes it more free as to doing what you feel is right for you or not) but also realise makes it harder to find good information on what Wicca really means...
     
  6. namritanevaeh

    namritanevaeh Canada
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    That's kinda what I meant...like the quotes that there is no Muslim no Hindu, all are equal. How it says if you are Muslim be a good Muslim, if you are Christian, be a good Christian...

    And yet I have to say there are areas where I disagree with even that. Probably the biggest one is circumcision. I don't care that Muslims and Jews say it's in their religion and they "must" do it, that it's been done for thousands of years...I believe it is damaging to a boy/man and I fully respect Jewish people I know who are standing up and going against their own religion and choosing not to do that. In my opinion there is absolutely a time and a place to examine one's own beliefs, and upbringing, and sometimes to decide not to follow one aspect of a religion or cultural upbringing, even if it goes against the rest or the society you're living in.

    I quite evidently do not see the idea of "5 thieves". I think it's bad to have too much ego, obviously (being proud of your accomplishments is different, and good, I think...), and I think that actually intermingles well with wealth for example. But I entirely disagree with having to be married to be in a good sexual relationship. I have said it before...I suspect if I had had MORE sexual experience before marrying, I might not have ended up divorced. Sex was a big part of, and contributor towards what was really badly broken between me and my exH. It wasn't everything, but I think it exacerbated the other bad things too quite a bit.
     
  7. Ishna

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    First off, I should correct something I said in my last post. I have looked back. A number of times I've felt that I've come as far as I can along the Sikh path, and go back to exploring old ways. Each and every time, I kid you not, I end up coming back to Sikhi and seeing it with fresh eyes, and the beauty and truth therein is dazzling.

    Solid information about Wicca abounds. Firstly, they only have two pieces that would classify as any kind of scripture - that is the Wiccan Rede (the original version) and the Charge of the Goddess (Valiente). Then, for a glimpse of it as Gerald Gardner had in mind, have a read of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows here http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/gbos/index.htm Then, find a copy of Janet and Steward Farrar's 'A Witches Bible'. Then you have your foundation of "classical" Wicca and have a bit of a baseline to go from there. All the other Wiccan Traditions came from Gardnerian, then Alexandrian Wicca.

    JourneyOflife Ji already answered this one.

    Sikhs differ in their beliefs regarding reincarnation. Some believe that if you do not lead a good enough life, or do not receive Grace, that you will be reincarnated according to your last thought before your death. Others believe that reincarnation is linked to karma, and that karma influences what/how you are reincarnated. Others do not believe in reincarnation at all.

    Sikhs do not believe in 'heaven' per say, but most believe in liberation (from the cycle of reincarnation or from Maya-illusion) and 'merging' of one's "light" with the "uber-light". There is no description of paradise or heaven in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (that I am aware of), but there are poetic references to heaven and hell in a metaphorical fashion.

    In Wicca, The One is also known as Dryghtyn. Here's a prayer from 1974 http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/bos302.htm. It encapsulates Wiccan cosmology pretty well. When I was Wiccan, I always got hung up on the fact that there is The One, then the Goddess and the God, then all the other Gods and Goddesses as 'facets' of the Goddess and God, which are in turn facets of The One. Why not just worship The One, then? I can appreciate how some people find it hard to connect with an impersonal, incomprehensible Creator of All Everything Beyond Imagining, but Sikhi makes that possible, and cuts out the middle-man (or woman!).

    Sehajdhari Sikhs have no dress code either, except to cover their heads with something while in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Wicca, depending on the tradition, will have you either naked or in robes for ritual. Unless you're solitary, then you can wear whatever you want (or don't want)...

    This is your personal preference. It is also the preference of the Singh who runs the Gurbani class at my old Gurdwara. There is nothing in Gurbani that prohibits it, but in Sikh religion is it not allowed. Honestly, the responsible thing is to not drink, given all the trouble it causes. (she says, sipping wine)

    Sikhs say ardaas, yes... the majority of ardaas in Gurbani is begging for the Naam. It even says to ask for material things is a misery. The communal ardaas established by the SGPC is more of a historical litany than a petitionary prayer.

    The difference between Sikhi and Wicca, is that Sikhi encourages acceptance and contentment. It encourages one to do their best in the world, but to be content. To be the pure lotus floating on top of the murky water of the world.

    Wicca has prayers. Wicca is a religion. It also has spellcasting - the primary mode being to raise a 'cone of power' in the circle then send it out towards a specific purpose. It is about influencing the world around you to conform to your own Will. Of course, there are many flavours of magic. Some will put a disclaimer on the end, saying something like 'this will only manifest according to the Goddess's will'. Possibly this is to remove a burden of responsiblity if you cast a spell for rain and then it floods your neighbourhood - not really your fault, the Goddess was the gatekeeper, after all.

    To me, this just seems like a struggle against hukam - the natural flow of events.

    The Wiccan 'rule of 3' (sometimes called 'karma') doesn't correspond to the idea of Karma in Dharmic religions. I don't know all the technicalities of karma, but my understanding is that it is a cosmic soul account that influences your rebirth. The goal is to have 0 karma. Too much good karma, you are reborn as a wealthy king, etc., and too much bad karma and you are reborn as a one-armed leprachaun and obviously deserve what you're getting in your life ( :( ) Other people (like Jains) believe that suffering negates bad karma, so they will purposefully suffer in an attempt to neutralize their karma and gain escape from the cycle of samsara.

    There is not, to my knowledge, a 'what you give out comes back' concept in Dharmic religions. In Sikhi specifically, there is 'you will reap what you plant'. This is the result of hukam.

    I can understand how this is a point for you, given our discussions. :)

    The flip side of this is, are you comfortable with polyamoury? Polyamoury is common in Paganism, and it is not unheard of to be handfasted for a year and day and then you are free to go your separate ways. Additionally, depending on the Wiccan tradition, ritual sex may be required, either in front of the coven, or the coven may retire to an area away from the circle so the High Priest and High Priestess can consumate the Great Rite in private.
    ---

    Now, I should say I'm not out to smear Wicca - I think it's a lovely path, and I'm sorry it wasn't for me. I'm just coming at the questions from the Sikh side of the fence.

    Guru Fateh!
     
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  8. namritanevaeh

    namritanevaeh Canada
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    I can't say I really disagree with this. Something does oddly draw me to Sikhi. But I can't fight what doesn't work for me either, and be fake and try and accept it. I think it's the peacefulness of the kirtan the good feeling about doing sewa and the community, and the awesome food that keeps me coming back for more. ;-)



    Ok thanks ji!


    Yes I realise it's not the same.

    In some sense the idea of "you make your own personal hell or heaven on earth" suits me well... :)



    Thanks again for the link. Yes like I say I don't see Wiccan as entirely polytheistic when you look at it coming back to saying it's like different facets or personalities of a same god kinda thing...



    I did not realise there was a type of Sikhs called sehajdhari. I will use google maharaj now! ;-) and yes I am well aware that there can be sky clad ceremonies as well as robes at least for the initiated "clergy". (A good friend of mine who I visited last summer took me to his coven meeting which he leads...).



    Haha! Ok then... ;-) says she who has not had any alcohol since last December... ;-)


    Yes but like I was saying if you're not supposed to try and affect free will then it's kind of like saying "here's a suggestion but I'll submit to your choice in the end"...with the so mote it be. ;-)

    You know...I've told my guy friend several times that if we are together it's that that is OUR Hukkam. ;-)


    But isn't "what you put out/sow (in a field ;-)) will give you what you deserve to eat" kind of like "what you give out comes back" then? ;-)



    I absolutely am. I would say I identify with being polyamourous. I personally think some of that comes from having had kids. I didn't stop loving number 1 when two was born. And I realised my love for my mom doesn't decrease my love for my dad, and I can have more than one brother or sister and love them equally but differently. I personally have zero problem with the idea of being in a relationship with more than one person. That being said...it is not something I would ever seek to "try and make happen" because I think things like that either are meant to be or aren't. Also, if I am in a relationship with one person, I know there is a damn good chance that that person is not cool with sharing, and my ultimate feeling is that unless the person is as open minded as I am, I have two choices...I either accept that and don't go and try and be intimate with a second person than the first (if they don't accept it, which in today's society is still more than likely the case), OR I leave that relationship for a different one. So I'm not going to go out and have secret relationships on the sly. My honesty and integrity are important to me.

    All that being said...I would not want to be in a religion that insisted I should be intimate with any old person (say because I want to be initiated into it I need to have sex with a high priest or something.). Really, I've had too much bad sex over the years to want to risk that or get myself into a situation where I can't easily back out.

    Have a good day! :)

    (Ishna's note: only edited to fix the broken quotes :) )
     
    #7 namritanevaeh, Sep 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2015

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