“Eclectic (adj): Selecting what seems best of style or ideas…” Definition of “eclectic” by Dic.die.net.
Get ten Pagans or Wiccans and a room and toss out a concept; you’ll get twenty answers (at least). This is because we all have subtle differences in our perceptions of the world. This is the core of our individuality as human beings (no matter spiritual beliefs you hold). This lack of dogma in labeling helps the Pagan community not only tolerate each other, but it helps to exercise brains and spirits to their utmost.
For example, just what Witches should call themselves is under debate. Should they call themselves Witches or Wiccans? There are many Wiccans that will rebuke anyone who calls themselves a Witch because the word “witch” brings with it negative sterotypes. But there are those who call themselves a Witch because that is the word they prefer. It all a personal choice.
Keep On Questioning
Any organized religion or belief system inherently has problems of interpreting priorities, interpretations from the Gods and what to do with money. Many hope that Pagans and Witches (excuse me, Wiccans) never get organized enough to have an orthodox canon or a church hierarchy. This would definitely mean eclectic witchcraft would be on the outs.
An eclectic Witch chooses his or her beliefs from a wide variety of sources instead of just relying on one official source. They pick and choose the best from each belief system, mythology or philosophy and then test these choices against the fire of life. This means that ecelctic Witches must respect all of the sources of belief systems in the world, because they all contain elements that can be chosen from.
But these choices are never final choices. As everything else in life, our beleifs change through our experiences and interactions with other life forms. Beliefs can be like antibiotics. One day they may help kill an infection, but the next time the invading bacterium become immune and you have to switch antibiotics you use.
How Eclectic Can You Get?
Each eclectic Witch will differ from any other in how they worship, how they respect Nature and what they worship. For example, an eclectic Witch can be an atheist. Various divinities are like symbols in a dream. They represent a vast, complexly layered encyclopedia of meanings in an abbreviated form.
An eclectic Witch may cast spells or not cast spells. An eclectic Witch may collect books on the occult or not read a single one. An eclectic Witch may never wear a pentagram or follow the Sabbats. An eclectic Witch may worship particular Gods and Goddesses and join a coven and then years later decide to become a solitary and an agnostic.
Making these changes can be quite drastic. But all beliefs need to be constantly questioned to see if what works in one situation can also work in another situation. Eclectic Witches can be difficult to write about but they never stop learning so they are never penned in by ideological boundaries or dogma.
“Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner.” Scott Cunningham. Llewellyn; 1988
“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft.” Denise Zimmerman & Katherine Gleason. Alpha Publishing; 2003.
“Wicca For One: The Path of Solitary Witchcraft.” Raymond Buckland. Citadel Press; 2004.
“Instant Magick.” Christopher Penczak. Llewellyn; 2006.