What is Wicca?
Wicca is a nature-based religion. It stresses living in harmony with all creatures and the earth. It honors a Goddess and God that is contained in all nature and in ourselves. The Goddess and God are an aid for Wiccans to focus inner power and the power that is found in all of nature. Wicca is practiced in a group (coven or grove) or solitary.
It is based on pre-Christian European folklore and mythology. Wicca is the alternative name for modern Witchcraft. It is related to the ancient Mother Goddesses (Mother Earth, Mother Nature) in her aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone.It dates from the paleolithic age when a god of hunting and a goddess of fertility were worshiped. The power of nature inspired the belief in higher powers that controlled rain, wind, thunder, fire etc.Women made life, and that was magickal.
The word wicca is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "wise". Also used is the feminine wicce.
The Maiden symbolizes youth and anticipation of life, the continuation of life, spring, and the waxing Moon. Her color is white, light pink and light yellow In this aspect we see the world with child-like wonder, the beauty of a feather, the mystery of a seed.
Mother symbolizes summer, ripening, recreation of life, the high point of the cycle, adult and parenthood, and the full moon. Her color is red, the color of blood and the life force, or green, a fertile color. In this aspect we learn to take responsibility for ourselves.
The Crone symbolizes death and the end of cycles, winter, night, menopause, age, wisdom, counsel , and the waning moon. Her color is black, dark purple or grey. She is the way to death and reincarnation. In the aspect of the Crone we understand that death is a part of life, not to be feared. The Crone has the wisdom of many years behind her.
Todays Wicca is based on the works of Gerald Gardner in the 1950s, and present day Wiccans such as Raymond Buckland, Scott Cunningham, Silver RavenWolf, and many others. It is also known as the Craft.
What are Pagans?
The word pagan is from the Latin word paganus meaning villager or rustic dweller.
It was used by the Roman military as an insult. They used it to describe anyone who was a civilian or incompetent soldier. It was adopted by the Christians to insult anyone who did not follow their religion. It is still used in this way.
Pagans are polytheistic, meaning they have more than one god or goddess. Christians are monotheistic. It does not mean we are any better or any worse than Christians. We are just different.
Do witches worship Satan?
No. Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, also known by many other names, is a Christian Belief. Wiccans are not Christian so do not hold the same beliefs. It is generally accepted that the Christian devil is a corruption of the pagan horned God, the consort of the Goddess.
According to Issac Bonewits, satanism is descended from the gothic witchcraft that was created by the Christians at the time of the Inquisition. Satanists pattern themselves on ideas created by the church. It has nothing to do with Wicca.
What is a Witch?
A Witch follows the cycles of the seasons. Wiccan holidays follow what is called the Wheel of the Year. A witch feels a direct connection to nature and divinity because he/she recognizes we are connected to all of Nature and the divine is all of nature and ourselves. A Witch knows the power in all things and is able to use this power to his/her advantage, but never to do harm.
Do I need to find a coven?
It is not necessary. Some people work well in a group, some are better solitary. It is up to you. Do not feel that in order to be a "real" witch you need to be part of a coven. Some find the political power struggles that go on in most covens to be too much of a distraction from the purpose of a coven, to work together. A person new to the group might be intimitated by the leaders and not follow his/her own feelings as to what is best. Feelings are important, you must do what you feel is the right thing for a particular situation. Trust yourself and your abilities.
What about initiation?
An initiation is used to mark one as a recognized part of a group. It means that the person has the intention of following the path chosen. Each Wiccan tradition has its own ceremony. In these traditions, you are only recognized as Wiccan if you have undergone such a ceremony. These rites are usually secret.
It is not necessary to have been initiated to be Wiccan. The ceremonies performed by the different traditions are important in the traditions themselves, but real initiation comes from inside, it is not just ceremonial. When you see beauty in clouds drifting by, when you feel excitement and wonder in seeing a flock of birds wheeling overhead, when you feel the magic in the air when trees fill out in spring, you are truly Wiccan. Wicca is a way of life, living in harmony with nature, feeling the change of seasons and celebrating nature. The ceremony is just that, unless you feel it inside. An initiation is an experience that is felt deep. It is not necessary for a high priestess or priest to stand over you. Each one of us is our own priest or priestess.
If you feel the need to express yourself in ceremony, you can perform a self-initiation. Even though it is not performed in a coven, it is still important to take this seriously. This is not a game. This is a serious comment on the part of the initiate to learn all he/she can about the chosen path. Wiccans may use magick, but that is not all there is to Wicca. It is learning all you can about this earth we live on. Respect it for what is. Learn the cycles of life, and celebrate the magick all around us.
What is dedication?
The dedication of a witch is when you accept the Craft as the path to follow. You promise to learn all things necessary. You will stick to your vow even if the going gets tough. The traditional time period is a year and a day.
You will then have seen the progression of a complete circle of seasons, called the Wheel of the Year. In a coven they will teach and have a reading list. Solitary is what it is, sometimes it can be very rough and confusing, but stick to it. That is why it is called dedication. There are many good books out there. Some will say that you can't learn everything from books. That may be true in some cases. You learn by doing. Take spells, for instance. Just because a spell is passed down, does not mean it will work for you. If you put your time and energy to building your own spell, it is more likely to work because it is your own. Your energy is running through it, not someone elses.
What is a Book of Shadows?
It is a place to keep information learned. It can be anything from a spiral notebook, to a fancy leather bound book. In it is placed everything the person feels should be there, answers to questions, candle and/or moon magick, Witchcraft history, herbal information, spells, whatever. This web site can be considered a Book of Shadows. I think a better title would be Book of Enlightenment. It is thought to have more power if it is hand written. These days, it is hard to find the time. Some Wiccans now have a "Disc of Shadows". It is easier to read and some type faster than they write.
How long has Wicca been around?
The Wiccan religion, sometimes called the old religion, also known to many as "Witchcraft", has existed since pre-
Christian times. With the advent of the Christian system of beliefs, the followers of the old religion were forced into hiding.
The new Christian followers were attempting to convert the non-Christians, or Wiccans, to their religion. Rumors of the old Gods being devils and therefore no good were quickly spread. The Christians believed that anyone who chose not to follow their religion was a heathen and would be doomed to burn in a place they call "Hell". The non-Christians were called "Witches" and were persecuted and thrown in jail for many years because of the vicious stories created about them.
What is the basis of the Wiccan religion?
Today with the freedom to choose any religion that one may want, some of the misconceptions created about the old religion are finally beginning to be cleared up. The Wiccan religion is a nature-oriented religion. The Wiccan, or "Witch" is concerned with preserving nature's beauty and trying to solve some of the present problems of pollution. The Witch has a deep appreciation for nature and all of her wondrous woodland creatures as well. With this focus, we are in agreement with one of our fellow pagan groups, the Amerindian.
Do Wiccans believe in God?
The belief of most Witches is that "God" is a supreme force which is genderless. This image is hard to picture in the mind's eye. Therefore, in order to create an image that is easy to imagine and relate to, the Wiccan pictures a God and a Goddess as their source of worship. Just as there are male and female in most of nature's creatures, so is there also a male and a female God in the Wiccan religion. The male God of Wicca has been named many different names and according to the different traditions of Witchcraft. Some of the names are: Cernunnos, Pan, Faunus and Osiris.
Different names by which the Goddess is known by are: Aradia, Isis, Diana and Cerridwen. Some Witches prefer to generalize by calling them "Lord and Lady", or simply "God and Goddess". The nighttime and moon are attributes of the Goddess. The sun is associated with the God, hence the terms "Moon Goddess" and "Sun God". The Witch decides upon the image of the supreme being or God and Goddess with whom they feel communication flows most easily.
What holidays do Wiccans celebrate?
Most Witches celebrate full moons and holidays that are called "Sabbats. These are times when natural Earth energies are at peak. Sabbat gatherings are celebrational services acknowledging seasonal changes. In ancient times, the common people used the forces of these periods to aid in the growing of their crops, which were necessary for their survival.
What are some of the holidays?
In order to help facilitate the in bringing of Pagans to Christianity, the Christians adopted many Pagan holidays, such as what is celebrated as Easter, named after Eostre (one of the Wiccan Goddesses) in March, and of course, Christmas. Wiccans celebrate the birth of the sun, not the son. December 21st, the day the sun comes back to life, is called Yule.
All of the non-religious items usually associated with Christmas, such as a tree, yule log, and so on, were Pagan first.
What is Sympathetic magick?
Wiccans use a type of visualization or meditation which is often termed "Magic(k)". One type of magick that some
Witches utilize is called "Sympathetic" magick. Sympathetic magic has been used for centuries. It is the theory that like attracts like. It is believed that prehistoric man also used this type of magick for successful hunting.
As an example, the prehistoric man would make an image of a bison out of mud and sticks. He would then hunt and kill the image with the thought that this is what he would do to the real bison. It was believed that this ritual would bring them good luck. After the bison was killed, the prehistoric man would thank the spirit of the bison for its gift. In the same way, some Witches may use a clay or wax image of the object they wish to obtain, or a person who needs to be healed.
Are there other types of magick?
Another type of magick used by the Wiccan is when he or she will picture in his or her mind the goal that is wished to come true. The person will concentrate and/or meditate on this picture in his or her mind as if it had ALREADY come true. This method of magick is often called "Creative Visualization".
How does the moon relate to Wiccan ceremonies?
Whatever type of magick utilized, the ritual is performed according to the different phases of the moon. During the time that the moon is waxing (growing larger) positive spells for increase, beginning a new job, good luck and fertility are performed. During the time that the moon is waning (growing smaller) negative spells such as for decrease, ending a job or breaking a bad habit are performed. Wiccans celebrate both the new and full moons. So there are 13 of each, approx. every 2 weeks, plus the 8 Sabbats.
What do Wiccans use to do their spells?
Wiccans use "tools" to help them with their magical practices. The tools are articles that help the Wiccan to concentrate on what he or she is trying to accomplish. Tools such as the athame and wand are simply objects through which the Wiccan and direct his or her energy for use during the ritual.
What does it mean to 'cast a circle'?
An invisible circle is often drawn by the Witch with his or her tool of choice. The circle is drawn to mark the sacred space where the ritual will occur. It is also believed that this invisible boundary will keep out all negative vibrations, and condense the persons personal energies. The use of herbs, incense and candles are all means of helping to "set the mood".
Do Wiccans do animal sacrifices?
WITCHES DO NOT SACRIFICE ANIMALS OR PERFORM BLACK MAGIC OR ANY KIND OF HARMFUL RITUALS!!!!!!.
Hollywood movies and television both depict horrid scenes of people worshipping Satan and performing black magic. Many people construe this as being the same thing as Witchcraft. There is a very distinct difference between Witchcraft, black magic and Satanism.
The first law of Witchcraft comes from old English and states:
"AN' IT HARM NONE, DO WHAT THOU WILT" Do Wiccans worship Satan?
Witches do not believe in Satan or perform fiendish acts of black magic. The followers of the old religion believe in the three-fold law of karma. This law states that any type of magick being performed, whether for good or evil, will eventually "boomerang" back to the sender three times as potent as whatever is being sent out.
For example: a spell performed to make a person sprain his wrist may come back to the sender and cause him to break his leg, a fate considered three times worse. Likewise a spell performed to send a person good luck will also come back to the sender. He may receive three times as much good luck as he or she has sent out in the spell. A Witch would obviously not want to perform any evil spells for this reason.
Do Wiccans try to convert people?
The goal of today's Witch is not to convert anyone back to the old religion. The Wiccan respects the fact that everyone has his or her own religious choices and that everybody may or may not hold the same opinions as the next guy. Witchcraft does not claim to be the ONLY way. Each person in every different religious tradition interprets his or her own religion in a slightly different way then everyone else. This writing may not reflect the EXACT feelings of all witches. It is only an explanation of the basics of Wiccan beliefs so that the religion may be viewed for what it really is. The Wiccan religion is a natural, peaceful religion.
What is the difference between Pagan and Wiccan?
All Wiccans are pagans, but not all pagans are Wiccan. You can compare it to saying, all Baptists are Christian, but not all Christians are Baptist. Wiccan is just one branch of Paganism, as are Amerindians, Buddhists, Satanists, voodoo, etc.
Do Wiccans have Church?
Wiccans meet in Covens, usually having 13 members in it, but that is not a rule. Thirteen is a manageable number of people to contain within a 9 foot circle (or 13 foot). Wiccans meet in something called a covenstead, which is usually a members home, different each time. However some covens meet in the Unitarian Universalist churches, which are very friendly towards us.
Do Wiccans have funerals, baptisms and weddings and if so, how do they differ?
Yes, we have all those. A wedding is called a handfasting,and may be legal or not as the people prefer. If not legal, it is usually called for one year, and then performed again this time for 9 years if both parties wish to continue. I have done many, both legal and otherwise.
Baptisms are called Wiccannings, and are done when the baby is new born, and then again, at age 13 or thereabouts, when the child is ready to commit, since we have no right to commit a child to something he/she might not want as they grow older. We do have ceremonies for weddings.
Yes, we have funerals, sometimes an entire ceremony, or sometimes a high priest or priestess will speak a few words at a Christian ceremony providing the minister/priest will let us.
Isn't this witchcraft?
I've seen some spells on your page, and I've read in the bible that Witches were evil and worshiped the Devil. Is this true?
Okay first question. Is this witchcraft? To some degree yes. But not all Wiccans practice witchcraft and not all Witches are Wiccan. Think of it as like this: Wicca is the Job, and Witchcraft is a tool used in that job. Witchcraft is nothing more than prayers that use natural object to increase their force. In answer to the second question... No, No.. no, no, no, and no. Wiccans do not believe in the devil/Satan. We believe that by giving evil a name, it gives it power. Thus our reasons for not even paying a grain of sand's worth attention to this devil/Satan guy. Satan is a Christian concept, and they can keep him.
So you hate Christians right?
No. As a matter of fact, some of my very dear friends are Christians. Though I may not believe what they believe, I
accept and respect that they have those beliefs and they do the same for me. What I do not like is Christians who
proclaim that Christianity is the only right and true path, and who constantly try to shove their beliefs down my throat. All we ask is to be accepted, and we will do the same for you.
If you don't worship Satan, why are you wearing that Satanic symbol?
This symbol is a pentacle. It is a five-pointed star encased in a circle. It represents the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire
and Water) and Akasha (Spirit). Upright (one point up). It is a positive symbol, just like the Christian Cross, and the Jewish Star of David. Inverted (two points up) is much the same as an inverted cross, it is a holy symbol corrupted by Satanists.
Are you Jewish?
No, a Jewish star has six points, my pentacle has five.
Do you wear black everyday (is it required?)
No. We wear black, purple, green, blue and even sometimes white. Black is not an evil color, it is a mixture of all colors known, thus having the energies of all the colors. It is a calming, protective color.
Can you give me a love spell to make someone fall in love with me?
Okay let me create a picture for you. Imagine the most vile person on the planet. You know the kind I'm talking about.
The kind that hasn't met the wonders of a shower in about 3 months, has greasy hair, pimples and is totally rude and obnoxious. Lets call this person.. Frank/Sue. Well Frank/Sue has a HUGE Crush on you. Yes you, my friend..... you. And one day he/she hops on the wonderful internet and finds him/herself a love spell. Then casts it on you (oh the horror! THE HORROR!) and you fall madly head over heals in love with him/her. And you get married and live happily ever after hand-feeding him/her grapes and popping their pimples. THE END. Did I scare you? Good. This is why we do not do love spells. They control the will of others, and that is against the rede. Which will lead to bad Karma.
Can you fly?
Yes. On an air plane just like everyone else.
Can you shoot fire out of your hands?
A No. That is not humanly possible. Besides, if you could, wouldn't you get a massive third degree burn each time you did it.
I want to be a king warlock. Can you help me?
Warlock is a somewhat controversial term, in Wiccan terminology. A warlock is not a male witch. Warlock comes from the Scottish word for oath-breaker, and was bestowed upon people who ratted out members of their Coven during the burning times. This is not a desirable title. In Wicca, men are also called Witches.
However warlock is commonly used to refer to a male witch, and there are several excellent arguments currently at large on the Internet regarding possible alternate origins of the word that trace it back to an Old Norse term for enchanter or sorcerer, "vard-lokkur."
There is another idea that speculates that what we think of as Witchcraft might originally have involved both Male and Female Mysteries, and that much of what we think of as "Wicca" today descends predominantly from the Female Mysteries. The Male Mysteries, on the other hand, would have had more to do with hunting and warfare, and that the "War" in "Warlock" refers to just that - the Way of the Warrior and the arts of "battle-magic," as exemplified by the ulfhednar and berserkers of ancient Norse and Icelandic legends.
What is this "burning times" You speak of?
The burning times happened when the Witch Trials of England, Salem and various other countries took place. Millions were killed by being beheaded, hanged, crushed, and burned alive at the stake. And the sad thing is, a vast majority of these people were Christian. But their "friends" had something against them, so they cried "WITCH!" getting them murdered. This was a very scary time for Pagans and Non-Pagans alike. Much of our teachings, books and other texts had to be burned to keep people alive. Thankfully oral traditions continued.