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|What Wicca is
What Wicca is not Wicca Rede Year
of the Wicca
The terms Wicca and
Witchcraft can be used interchangeably, but there is a subtle distinction. Wicca is a
contemporary Neo-Pagan religion and Witchcraft is the practice of natural magic. Not all
Wiccans are witches, and not all witches are Wiccan. I am both and the information I will
share will come from that perspective. I invite you to explore the world of magic. Through
this portal you will discover unknown worlds. Come with me and explore the world of Wicca.
Wicca is a Neo-Pagan
religion with many traditions that date to pre-Christian (and prehistoric) Earth
religions. It is based on a deep respect for nature and the certain knowledge that we do
not have the right to exploit it for our own gain. Wiccans are deeply concerned with
conservation and ecology, and as in all Neo-Pagan religions, Wiccans believe that both
animate and inanimate objects possess a spirit which forms part of the Whole. Note that we
do not use the term "spirit" in the Judeo-Christian sense of a
"ghost," but rather that essence which every object possesses that links it to
nature and makes it an inalienable part of the universe.
Wicca is a celebration of the
life-forces of nature as personified by the Goddess and her consort, the God.
Wicca may includes the practice of magic
which is defined as the process of causing change through the focusing of our natural
powers. It is important to note that magic is natural. There is nothing
supernatural about it. We use certain tools such as spells, visualization, chants,
candles, amulets and meditation to help us focus our power, but the power comes from
within -- it is not in the tools. Our ancestors knew how to use it effectively, but it is
a largely forgotten art in modern times.
IT IS NOT..
Wicca is not a
"cult." A cult presupposes blind faith in a central figure whose every word is
regarded as ultimate truth, and the utter conviction that no other way or philosophy will
lead to this truth. You would be very hard pressed to find a Wiccan anywhere who would
blindly follow anyone else. Wiccans are historically very independent people who seek
truth from within through rituals, meditation, magic, studying and communing with nature.
Wiccans respect the right of everyone to worship in their own way. We do not feel that
Wicca is the only way -- only that it is our way.
Wicca is not synonymous with Satan
worship. The very concept of a supreme evil spirit is alien to Wicca. In fact, most
Wiccans do not even believe in Satan. The devil is a Judeo-Christian construct and as
such, it has nothing to do with Wicca. The notion that witches worship Satan was
propounded by the Roman Catholic Church as it made its way across Europe, in an effort to
suppress the native earth-based religions prevalent at the time. They succeeded to the
extent that they drove the practitioners of these religions underground where much of
their knowledge and traditions were lost. Through the work of the Golden Dawn, as well as
anthropological and archeological research, many of these traditions have been
rediscovered and incorporated into Neo-Paganism, an umbrella term for most modern
earth-based and shamanistic religions.
Wicca does not include flying on brooms.
Mostly, witches drive cars or ride bikes, although I have often wished for a flying broom
when I'm caught in rush-hour traffic. There are many rituals which include brooms,
however, and these may be the source of the flying-broomstick stories. In parts of Europe,
some people run across their fields astride a broom to coax the grain to grow. They may
also jump over a broom handle asking the grain to grow as high as their highest leap. It
is also common for a ceremonial broom to be used to sweep away negative forces from any
area one wishes to cleanse.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
I hope these brief
explanations will help you begin to understand what Wicca and the Craft really are. There
is such a wealth of information on the subject that it is impossible to cover everthing in
these pages. If you know little or nothing about this and are curious, there are wonderful
books that I can recommend. If you are knowledgeable on the
subject, I am always learning and will appreciate any input or reading suggestions.
THE WICCAN REDE
the Wiccan Laws we must
In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust
Live and let live,
Fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about
To keep the evil spirits out.
To bind the spell every time
Let the spell be spake in rhyme.
Soft of eye and light of touch,
Speak little, listen much.
Deosil go by the waxing moon,
Chanting out the Witches' Rune.
Widdershins go by the waning moon,
Chanting out the banefule rune.
When the Lady's moon is new,
Kiss the hand to her, times two.
When the moon rides at her peak,
Then your heart's desire seek.
Heed the North wind's mighty gale,
Lock the door and drop the sail.
When the wind comes from the South,
Love will kiss thee on the mouth.
When the wind blows from the West,
Departed souls will have no rest.
When the wind blows from the East,
Expect the new and set the feast.
Nine woods in the cauldron go,
Burn them fast and burn them slow.
Elder be the Lady's tree,
Burn it not or cursed you'll be.
When the Wheel begins to turn,
Let the Beltane fires burn.
When the Wheel has turned to Yule,
Light the log and the Horned One rules.
Heed ye Flower, Bush, and Tree,
By the Lady, blessed be.
Where the rippling waters go,
Cast a stone and truth you'll know.
When ye have a true need,
Hearken not to others' greed.
With a fool no season spend,
Lest ye be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part,
Bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law you should,
Three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow,
Wear the blue star on thy brow.
True in Love ever be,
Lest thy lover's false to thee.
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
An ye harm none, do what ye will.