------------------Fresh in my head, I just finished up Cunningham's chapter on the idea of reincarnation. Boiling it down a bit, it's goal is perfection, and when that goal is reached (through however many lifetimes your particular soul requires), you become a part of the purest energy, that of the Goddess and the God. Right there, right off the bat, I completely disagree.
In everything I've read so far, most Wicca seem to agree that the Goddess and God are not so much individual conscious deities, but aspects of one all encompassing energy. The perfect, and the imperfect all at once. Their energy, the one energy, is everything and everyone. We are already part of them.
To me, that widely accepted idea of reincarnation is as fanciful and as illogical as the idea of a heaven and a hell. It is just another cushion against the hard truth of our mortality and the inevitability of our deaths.
However, I do, to a degree, believe in reincarnation. But the version I accept is nothing like it's popular format. Mufasa explained it best:
Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
Young Simba: But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope?
Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connnected in the great Circle of Life.
When we die, we are returned to nature. In that way, we are reborn. Bits and pieces of our energies, both biological and metaphysical, simply flow back into the countless different aspects of nature. Whether any consciousness and knowledge of your past life is retained is completely debatable. Energy cannot be destroyed, but it can be changed and manipulated, and perhaps even imprinted on; perhaps that is how ghosts and the paranormal, or glimpses into past lives are explained. It is just too farfected for me to believe that each and every individual consciousness is kept in tact through death, and is given a completely new life to explore afterward as it pursues some undefined standard of cosmic perfection.
When you die, you are dead. There is no after life. It's game over.
But what you are made of returns to the great Circle of Life.
(Que Lion King theme song here.)
For reference, this is the book's information:
Wicca - A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
by Scott Cunningham
Just to remind myself, next time I should go over my atheistic point of view of Wicca. The whole Goddess and God thing.