cults, magic, and spellers

Samantha L. Solimeo (S17276@FORTLEWIS.EDU)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 14:12:24 -0600

In response to a conversation with Rosemary Gianno...
I can empathize with your dillemma in choosing terminology. I am sensitive to
the term "cult" because I am doing ehtnography with Dianic Wiccans who object
to the word. Further, I had a similar problem, regarding terminology, during
the initial questionaire phase of my research. Stemming from my reluctance
to label the participants, I had used the two terms, Wiccan, and Women's
Spirituality, interchangeably. This prompted several disturbed reponses.
By using the two interchangably, without reference to my motivations for
doing so, I had sent out a message that implied that I thought the two were
the same thing. Really, to be Wiccan is to also be Pagan, but not all
self- identified Pagans are Wiccan.
This leaves me with the crux of the postmodern dillemma in ethnography
and language. Do I define every term, every utterance- or do I leave it all
up to personal interpretation (or misinterpretation)?
Is this where postmodernism has deserted us?
Samantha Solimeo ""