So I began developing my own unique system, liturgy and theological framework which eventually evolved into a formal tradition. All the while I was constantly interrogated, attacked and criticized the Grand Poohbahs of Sacred Twinkies, who insisted that I wasn’t a “Real Wiccan.”
As it turns out, they were right.
Historically, I had always rejected anyone’s ability or authority to define what does or does not constitute Wicca. I have always said that one of the greatest strengths and benefits of Wicca is that it allows practitioners’ the freedom to tailor taxis and praxis to best suit their needs, and, that the greatest weakness and error of Wicca is that it allows practitioners’ the freedom to tailor taxis and praxis to best suit their needs .
While I reserved the right to be completely judgmental about what you say and do, under the banner of Wicca, I was never so entitled as to suppose I could define and legislate what is or isn’t Wicca for anyone else, or tell anyone they were not a real Wiccan, no matter how stupid I thought they were.
*Please note that one of the benefits of founding your own tradition is that it gives you the ability and authority to define what does and does not constitute your specific tradition, and what qualifies a practitioner for membership* But as time went on, I began to see the need to make the distinctions between my Wicca and all others.
“I’m Wiccan… but not like them..”
So the need for a modifier became painfully obvious. We became “Veritas Wiccans,” which came from my motto and theme. Then later “Mill Creek” became another distinctive identifying tag. More and more I felt myself pulling away from the words and identity associated with “Wicca,” until I left Wicca and the Pagan community completely.
I never really gave up my core beliefs and practices, I just stopped trying to frame them within a Wiccan theme.
But I did take a well-deserved sabbatical after I retired from active prison and community ministry, closed the Seminary and Coventry. For the first time in a very, very long time, I had time for me.
So, I decided to make good and productive use of it. In addition to my advanced academic goals, I began exploring and pursuing studies that would contribute to my own personal spiritual edification.
One of the most significant things I did was finally commit the time to take up a serious study of Runes. And, as anyone who studies runes is aware, you cannot lean runes without learning Germanic culture, and off I went.
More than two years later I received an invitation to submit an abstract and again return to the Conference on Current Pagan Studies as a presenter. Having spent my ample and productive time in my cocoon, I decided to submit an abstract and participate in the conference.
My acceptance notification also requested a current promotional biography for the event itinerary and program guide.So I pulled up the last draft of Bio I had used, and upon review came to realize that it only gave an accurate description of who I was, and what I had done, past tense. It no longer reflected who I had become or what I was doing.
The ensuing identity crisis only lasted a day or two. But more importantly, it prompted honest introspective analysis, reflection and contemplation.
I was again exploring new landscape with an inaccurate and outdated map, and that there were no words or phrases presently in use within the current collective vernacular that could articulately frame, sum up and communicate my particular state of being.
“I’m Heathen… but not like them..”
So there I found myself, again, looking to find the proper vocabulary to intelligently articulate and communicate my spiritual identity.
And That’s when I became *Kinnish*