By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide
Eclectic Wicca is an all-purpose term applied to NeoWiccan traditions that don’t fit into any specific definitive category. Many solitary Wiccans follow an eclectic path, but there are also covens that consider themselves eclectic. A coven or individual may use the term “eclectic” for a variety of reasons. For example:
- A group or solitary may use a blend of beliefs and practices from several different pantheons and traditions.
- A group could be an offshoot of an established tradition of Wicca, such as Gardnerian or Alexandrian, but with modifications to their practice that make them no longer that original tradition.
- An individual may be creating his or her own tradition of beliefs and practices, and because this system can’t be defined as something else, it can be defined as eclectic.
- A solitary may be practicing what he or she has learned from publicly available sources on Wicca, but not be using oathbound, initiatory material, and so recognizes that his or her practice is eclectic.
Because there is often disagreement about who is Wiccan and who isn’t, there can be confusion regarding existing lineaged Wiccan traditions, and newer eclectic traditions. Some would say that only those lineaged covens are permitted to call themselves Wiccan, and that anyone who claims to be eclectic is, by definition, not Wiccan but Neowiccan. Bear in mind that the term Neowiccan simply means someone who practices a newer form of Wicca, and is not meant to be derogatory or insulting.