In the past I have identified with the label of Solitary Eclectic Wiccan though recently after a discussion with an intelligent and talented online friend, Annika, the author of OathBoundSecrets I have adjusted my wording to Non-Traditional Wiccan which reflects the fact that I have not been initiated nor do I follow any specific tradition within Wicca such as; British Traditional, Gardnerian, Alexandrian, or Dianic (to name a few of
There are those individuals, both coven initiated and uninitiated, who believe that if an individual is not initiated into one of the traditional covens then that person should not be using the word Wicca to identify themselves with and instead use a different term such as Neo-Wiccan. Now while I appreciate the fact that they are differentiating themselves from someone who is uninitiated into a coven – I don’t understand the need to be hostile about your point. It is my personal belief that coven initiation isn’t the only aspect of being a Wiccan. There are other tenets and practices that are included in being Wiccan and I truly believe that an individual is able to be Wiccan without a formal initiation into a traditional coven but I do believe that if s/he is uninitiated they should be open and honest about that fact and not claim a lineage they do not ‘belong’ to.
My personal spiritual journey has brought me to this point in my practice. I adopted the word Wiccan to express where I am and what I believe and I am sure there are many others who feel the same way. The idea of eclecticism in Wicca isn’t new. I believe it has been used for at least a decade now. And you know, if you do trace Wicca back to Gerald Gardner (known by many as the Father of Wicca), you will find that he was an eclectic himself. Where did he adopt the Sabbat holidays from? Where did his ideas pertaining to magick originate? What about reincarnation? Research it for yourself, you may be surprised at the answers. I strongly urge you to visit Annika’s blog or YouTube Channel to learn more about the foundation of Wicca.
I understand that if an individual isn’t trained by a coven s/he may not be prepared to experience initiation. I also realize that when Gerald Gardner began Wicca his intention was that all were to be taught in a coven from teacher to student. However, I do believe that it is possible to pursue and experience the mysteries alone though, yes, It may take twice as much effort and personal motivation but I do believe it can and does happen. And I do believe that if you resonate with the beliefs and practices of Wicca and live Wicca – then you are free to use the word to identify yourself.