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What is a Fluffy Bunny?

Fluffy Bunnies

Willow: Talk. All talk. 'Blah, blah, Gaia. Blah, blah, moon. Menstrual life-force power thingy.'
Buffy: No actual witches in your witch group?
Willow: No. Bunch of wanna blessed be's. Nowadays every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a sister to the dark ones.

Q: How many New Agers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: (Waaayyy too perky) We don't use light bulbs, we just think happy thoughts at our quartz crystals and they glow.

Fluffy Bunnies, Insta-witches, McWiccans, One-Book Witches, Wicclets, and Whitelighters: these are those people who, most broadly categorized, give the rest of us a bad name, not by doing bad or objectionable things but instead being unserious, sophomoric, or just plain wrong.

Wiccans will say that everyone is allowed to follow their own beliefs, and that any form of belief, whether another person agrees with it or not, counts as religion, and I agree. However, it does not necessarily make the practitioner a member of my religion, and I for one would prefer for them to stop embarrassing the rest of us with their antics.

The primary definition of a Fluffy Bunny is one who refuses to learn, refuses to think, and refuses to consider the possibility that they could possibly ever be wrong. Generall, they find one book, author or website and follow it as if it were the holy word, frequently denouncing anything that disagrees with it as obviously false. Fluffy Bunnies rarely get past the defense of "Because [insert favorite author here] says so." Sometimes they don't even get that far, responding to any and all criticism with something like, "You're just trying to persecute me!"

When I speak of Fluffy Bunnies, I do NOT mean those who disagree with me. Lots of people disagree with me. People I respect sometimes disagree with me. I respect them because they have actual reasons for their beliefs and are willing to consider the opinions of others - but just because they consider my opinion does not mean they are required to agree. Blindly agreeing with me is just as fluffy as blindly agreeing with the author of the week.

Likewise, being a newcomer to Wicca does NOT make one a Fluffy Bunny. All of us were new to this at one point in our lives. Moreover, having bad information does not make one a Bunny. There's still a lot of bad information available in books and websites, and if that is the first information you find, how can you know it's bad? There's only a problem when one stubbornly refuses to question that original information regardless of the mountains of contradictory evidence put before them.

Fluffy Bunnies are frequently attracted to Wicca for the sake of appearance. This includes those who:

  • Are into Wicca to upset their parents and just plain "be different". This generally occurs during the teenage years, but its amazing how many of the Fluffy Bunnies never really grow out of this stage.
  • Think black clothes and huge pentagrams are appropriate Wiccan dress. You're allowed to wear anything you want. If goth's your thing, so be it. But those who dress that way do so out of personal choice, not because of their religion. Author Laurie Cabot is the absolute worst, dressing day to day in a long black robe which she describes as "traditional Wiccan garb." And before you load yourself down with ten pounds of silver pentagrams, imagine a Christian wearing an equivalent amount of religious jewelry. I think we'd all find that truly obnoxious.
  • Believe the God and/or Goddess are an embodiment of love and want nothing but what's best for us. For a religion that has no embodiment of evil, how in the name of balance can our gods be dedicated to good and benevolence? The world that these gods are a part of exists in a state of equilibrium. Things live and things die. It is necessary, but it is not benevolent.
  • Think picking up one book on Wicca ever makes them Wiccan. No one possesses the Divine and Ultimate Truth. Wiccans are seekers, and everything you read helps you further develop and understand your faith. You're not going to agree with everything you read, and that's fine. You should allow yourself the opportunity to choose what you accept and what you do not. One book does not allow you to do that, and if you never put that information to use, then it doesn't matter if you have read a thousand books. Just reading books makes you student of the subject of Wicca. Wiccans actually practice and live by Wicca.
  • Think speaking a few words out of a book over a candle is how one makes magic. An entire library of books will not allow you to practice magic on their own. Magic involves belief, focus, practice, and serious intention. It also involves responsibility and a healthy dose of common sense. One class on magic at the local new-age store does not bestow mad majickkal skilz.
  • Preach that Wicca is all "goodness and light". The corollary to this is the exclamation of "So-and-so couldn't have done that. She's Wiccan!" Like everyone else in the world, we are not saints.
Other things to look out for:
  • Claims that Wicca is a "woman-thing". Both genders are equally welcome, which some women find to be a positive change from previous religious experiences, but Wicca is not about femininity. Some people will even say being a woman is the only reason they are a Wiccan. Wicca is a religion, not a political movement. For more on this, read Goddess Worshippers.
  • Those who took up Wicca to spite their Christian upbringing. We are not against any religion. Moreover, most of the accusations leveled at Christians in the name of Wicca were never committed against Wiccans, if indeed they were committed at all.
  • Overly ostentatious ceremonial tools. I have found that, in general, the more flashy (or even gaudy) the tools, the more interested the Wiccan is in appearances over any actual religion.
  • Liberal advertisement of titles or degrees. Since each coven is autonomous, the titles bestowed by one may mean quite a bit within the coven or even within the Tradition, but they don't mean squat to the rest of us. High Priestess So-and-so could be presiding over an entire coven of fluffy bunnies for all you know, while solitaries, no matter how well-learned, have not had the chance to have any titles bestowed upon them. Likewise, some covens denote their High Priest and High Priestess by the titles of "Lord" and "Lady." This means quite a bit within a Tradition, but is pretentious outside of it. If nothing else, we have no way of knowing who honestly earned that title and who has just tacked "Lord" or 'Lady" to the front of their name. If someone has honestly earned that title, it should be evident in their knowledge, not in their titles
  • Quoting Margaret Murray. This woman's writing is the basis of a lot of our supposed history. The problem is her work was debunked decades ago and the only people who take her seriously are some Wiccans and Pagans, including some very influential writers. For more information, see Murray's Unlikely History.
  • Users of "White Magic". This term makes no sense. It's most often used by those who swear up and down that witchcraft is not evil and was in fact only called evil by the Church as part of a smear campaign. If that's the case, then why the clarification? The existence of white magic implies an existence in black magic. The simple fact is that magic, like any tool, is neither good nor evil, although it can be used toward either purpose.
  • Odd spellings of magic. While some people have specific reasons for speaking of magick, a great many users of this term are simply looking for attention. It doesn't prove you're more knowledgable. It just shows you can't spell. More extreme Fluffies will even speak of "majick" or (good grief) "majik". For more on why strange letters get added to "magic", check out Magic.

© Catherine Noble Beyer, 2002 - 2011   *     Awards