We Numenists are obviously bad news for Traditional Witches and Wiccans. I've had several from both groups email me with information on how we qualified as a "bad" coven.
Newsflash: Numenists are neither witches nor Wiccans. The criteria which you claim makes us a "bad coven" doesn't fit us at all, just as the criteria for a good church wouldn't fit us. We cannot be judged by data designed for a group with whom we do not claim membership.
For example: this whole lineage thing. We are not a bad group because we don't keep records on lineages. We are not an initiatory religion, therefore it isn't important to know from whom we derive our information.
And this Cakes and Wine thing - we Numenists subscribe to neither the High Mass nor Wicca, so having cakes and wine is not an essential part of our religious practices. Food is, and sometimes it may look like Cakes and Wine, but the energy flow and purpose are different. To judge us as a "bad" group because our rituals do not raise energy or exist to create magic, and we don't do the cakes and wine is to judge a car by the standards of a tree. It just doesn't make sense. Our rituals and our magic take different form, and that of standard witchcraft and Wicca aren't the forms we use.
We think milk and beer and mead and water are perfectly acceptable libations. In fact, we create "Moonwater" specifically as a libation. But we'll also use RC Cola, root beer, peppermint tea, or any other beverage that comes to hand.
We've also been called to task for calling ourselves "Houses" and "Clans". Don't we know we're supposed to be a "Circle" or "coven"? Since when? We've connected ourselves to one another through a family structure, close and extended. We call our small groups "Houses" because we share a house as a point of gathering and community and contact. Related Houses can be Clans or Septs, and families that breed and create new Houses can call themselves gens, if they want. And if a subgroup in Numenism wants to use "grotto" or "Cave" or "meadow" as their group name, what's the harm?
Perhaps the last thing they complain about most is our exclusivity.
Yes, we are rather exclusive. It takes a lot of effort to understand our magic system. It can take years to begin to work effectively with it. Some people just can't manage. And it takes a certain kind of person to deal with the large degree of autonomy we offer to our adherents. We have a small, flexible framework. Upon that is built the rest of one's beliefs and each person, each House, or Clan, or Gens makes their own unique style of religion from it.
But not everyone wants that degree of responsibility and autonomy. They want a "leader", a "final authority". Except for the very few basic premises, the foundation upon which we build, that which has been written, there is no other authority. And even those can be changed with compelling new information and evidence.
We aren't averse to adaptation. Nothing is rigid and forever.
So, those of you out there who are trying to force Numenism into some sort of Wicca-esque mold - quit it. We don't fit. We aren't Wicca. We aren't witches. We are Numenists (at least until we change the name again.).