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Monday, June 4, 2012

Mailbag Monday: Losing Your Religion

Dear Carolina Dean,

I've always been interested in the occult and metaphysics. Five years ago, I began studying and openly practicing Wicca. However, about 7 months ago I discovered Hoodoo and was intrigued by these practices. I did not do it intentionally, but the more I studied and practiced Hoodoo the less time and energy I gave to the God and Goddess.  In fact, it happened so slowly I didn't realize it had happened at all until I went to clean my alter and realized I hadn't observed an Esbat or a Sabbat in months!

Now when I kneel at my Wiccan Alter I don't feel the same energy as I did before. I feel as though I have betrayed the old Gods by not giving them the same devotion that I had before. I find myself torn between Hoodoo and Wicca and don't know what to do? I'm thinking about leaving Wicca and taking up the practice of Hoodoo in its most traditional form. At the same time, I'm not sure I'm ready to leave Wicca behind just yet. 

What do I do? Help!


Confused in Camelot

Merry Meet, Confused!

When I first read your question I was prepared to point out to you, as many before me have, that you CAN be Wiccan and practice Hoodoo at the same time. Wicca, as we know it, is a religion that you can tailor to suit your needs. There really is no reason why you can't use Hoodoo magickal techniques within the context of Wiccan ritual. However, I would be remiss not to warn you that in doing such you must be aware that you are not practicing "traditional" Hoodoo.

Nonetheless, my spirit-of-divination tells me that "energy flows where attention goes" and that perhaps you're not feeling that old white magic because you haven't been giving that part of your life the time and energy that you once did? My advice to you is to put away your Hoodoo practices for a set period of time in which you will totally devote yourself to your Wiccan practices. I suggest a minimum of three months. 

During that time, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • What do I like about Wicca? What do I dislike?
  • How does Wicca differ from Hoodoo? How are they the same?
  • Does Wicca empower me or am I just going through the motions?
  • Does Wicca really meet my spiritual needs? 
  • What, if anything, does Hoodoo offer me that Wicca does not?

If after this period of time you decide that Wicca is still for you, you are going to have to figure out a way to either 1) meld your two practices into one cohesive system that works for you 2) keep your Wiccan practices and your Hoodoo practices totally separate of 3) completely stop practicing Hoodoo. 

If you do decide that Wicca no longer suits you, then I would suggest that you mark the occasion with a special ritual written by yourself in which you invoke the God and Goddess into the magick circle, give thanks for what they taught you and explain why you are moving on. When you are done, deconstruct your altar with reverence and store your ritual tools, book of shadows, etc... away until such time as you decide what you would like to do with them. 

Lastly, I would like to point out that performing such a ritual does not permanently bar you from becoming Wiccan again at a future date. Many people have left their chosen religion, only to return again.

Blessed be, and Good Luck to you on your journey!

Do you have a question that you would like Carolina Dean to answer? Submit your question here and it may appear in a future edition of Mailbag Monday!

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