Rev. Terry Riley

Rev. Terry Riley
Keeping the Faith in the Biblebelt

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wicca is Liberating!

 After watching the elections and contemplating their terminology on whether one is conservative, moderate or liberal on beliefs, I came to a conclusion about my self. Not about political position; but overall in pertaining to my Faith. I've all ways believed that traditional Wiccan values and tenets are a central point of the religion. Our religion is very much steeped in tradition, Mythology, and pagan lore, and I practice basic traditional structure. However I also believe that a tradition that doesn't evolve and grow will eventually die out. It becomes to exclusive and intolerant.
 For years there have been fractions within the Church trying to get me to set our traditions down into writings for strict adherence guidelines. I have resisted these suggestions; because it seems to me that if Wicca was to have a future in this modern era it needed to be more acceptable to the true Seeker and I have always believed that all traditions are valid. Plus to me it is a spiritual path that is uniquely individualized to each person. This became clear to me at our Mayday Festival 2000, in Memphis, when I was talking to Rev. Pete Pathfinder of the ATC. We had just completed our Main Ritual, in which he attended, and he said to me, "Terry, you completely lost me on the Chant you were doing." "The progression of the elements was completely reversed from the way we do it in Washington." I said, "Really. Well that's the way the chant was taught to me by the Pagans in New York when I visited with them in 1993." Pete smiled at me, leaned forward and with a little bit of a mischievous voice said, "And that's the beauty of this religion, we're both correct."
 Therefore I sat our training system up with a basic outline; but it is more geared towards to each individual, based on their perspective of where they are at, spiritually, and where they perceive themselves going. Our job as Clergy is to help facilitate them upon their journey. Our Ordains from the ATC tell us, when we make decisions concerning the operation s of our Church, there is a 3 part priority of questions to be considered. 1. How is this going to affect the religion of Wicca. 2. Does if interfere with individual rights. 3. Does it follow Tradition.  This means to me, that sometimes what's best for the Faith overrides Tradition. 
 So I guess if I had to classify myself on my viewpoint and my beliefs, as it pertains to Wicca and it's future I am a "Progressive Liberal"


  1. Agreed, we cannot set guidelines for everyone else it makes a box for something that is too organic to be contained thanks for confirming that Terry...:)

  2. You are 100% right, Terry!! No student is a 'typical' student and no seeker is 'just' a seeker. If there isn't some kind of way for the religion to change and evolve, then there won't be much of a religion in a few decades. Thank you for this!