I started talking about this on someone else's tumblr post, but they weren't Wiccan (and their post wasn't about Wicca) so I didn't want to derail their stuff any more than I already have. I figure non-Wiccan Witches have had to put up with enough Wiccan bullshit over the years where they don't need to listen to me bitching about internal squabbles if they don't want to.
So I've been a Wiccan for over twenty years. I'm a solitary eclectic who found the faith in my teens, and when I was younger I was very involved in what would in common parlance today be called "the discourse."
Back when I was more actively involved, I spent a lot of my time arguing with what I used to call "Wiccan Fundamentalists." They were the people who insisted that any Wiccan path or tradition that wasn't British Traditional Wicca (BTW) was not actually Wicca at all.
Nevermind that established traditions like Dianic Wicca (and arguably even Buckland's Seax-Wica) technically weren't BTW. Nevermind that non-BTWs made up the majority of the faith. Nevermind that Doreen Valiente, arguably a co-architect of much of the Wiccan faith, published a self initiation ritual in 19-freaking-76.
Needless to say it was a fight the fundamentalists couldn’t win.
We had the numbers, so they took a new tack.
Instead now eclectics and solitaries (who, y'know, already had names for themselves within the community) were to be grouped together as "NeoWicca," while "established traditions" were just "Wicca."
While they still got to call eclectics and solitaries less-than-Wiccan, they simultaneously got to pretend to be "more fair." Y'see, now established Seax-Wica and Dianic groups, with having a formal structure can be considered "real" Wicca alongside BTW, which then silenced the argument often used in defense of eclectics.
But it doesn't work as a dividing line. The Wicca of someone who picked up Z Budapest's books and chose to follow the Dianic path may be very much following the same tradition of people who came from established Dianic Covens -- but now the former is "NeoWiccan" and the latter is just "Wiccan."
It's a big old pile of bullshit.
We had a word. We had a name. We didn't need a "new" one. Some of us were eclectics. Some of us were solitaries. The late Scott Cunningham didn't write about "NeoWicca" -- he wrote about Wicca. And while the man may not have been perfect, he knew what the religion he was writing about was called.
"NeoWicca" is a line drawn by fundamentalist voices in the community meant to make others "less than," and I'm really sick and tired of it.
(I want to point out that I am not blaming all BTWs for this – just the exclusionary voices in our community)