Author Topic: Some Info on What Wicca Is and Is Not  (Read 1449 times)

Nakhash

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Some Info on What Wicca Is and Is Not
« on: August 06, 2012, 06:08:10 PM »
There are three main ways to define Wicca: 1) It’s a religion/spiritual system first brought to light by Gerald Brousseau Gardiner in the 1950s after the English laws against witchcraft were repealed in 1951. Gardiner claimed that the tradition postulated by Dr Margot Murray in her anthropological studies still existed and that he had been initiated into a coven several years before.  2) The  belief system is pagan, centered on nature and the cycles of life, death, and re-birth as shown by the Wheel of the Year and the changing seasons.  Nature was so overwhelming and unpredictable were ascribed to spirits and their whims. Uncertainty led to a need for lessening the risks by appealing to these spirits by performing rituals to placate them. Sympathetic magick (like attracts like) evolved to strengthen the appeals. The spirits or gods that controlled the most important needs of mankind, a food supply (hunting and agriculture) and fertility (humans and livestock) became the supreme gods of various world pantheons, epitomized by a god of hunting (often depicted with horns) and a goddess of agriculture/fertility (often associated with the changing seasons and moon phases). 3) Wiccan’s main creed, the Wiccan Rede  adheres to a positive morality of individual responsibility while living in harmony with nature and others. This is expressed by all Wiccans, regardless of tradition, as “and ye harm none, do what ye will.”

Three things that Wicca is not: 1) Wicca does not worship the devil. The concept of hell and Satan are Christian concepts. As monotheism evolved, the idea of an all-good god necessitated an adversary that is all evil. The evil was given horns and, as the pagan god of hunting was often depicted in this manner, its followers were associated with devil worship. 2) Wicca is not a cult. Wiccan’s follow many traditions and do not seek to convert others.  Wiccans do not even need to belong to a coven. Many Wiccans practice alone as solitaries. 3) Wiccans do not believe in sin or the need for atonement or a final judgment at death. Wiccans are responsible for their own actions as stated in the Wiccan Rede.

The first person to add a “k” to magick was Aleister Crowley. It was done to distinguish the practice of witchcraft from the illusions performed by stage magicians.

The intentions of the person performing a magickal ritual or spellwork determines whether the magick is considered black (harmful to another) or white (harmful to none) with the outcome left to the powers of the universe.

Wicca is a nature-centered pagan religious belief system encompassing many traditions. Some worship a god and/or goddess, some the power of nature/earth/universe in general. Wiccans may practice together in a group or coven or alone as a solitary. Not all Wiccans consider themselves to be witches. A witch is a person who practices magick/witchraft. Not all witches are Wiccan.  Witchcraft is the practice of magick witchcraft in its various forms: spellwork, divination, candle magick, herbalism, etc.



Nakhash Mekashefah

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Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
John Quincy Adams

writer811

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Re: Some Info on What Wicca Is and Is Not
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 06:47:11 PM »
Thank you for sharing. I know a lot of people need help understanding Wicca. What do you personally believe? I know that all of the Wiccans I know believe in two major gods, a father and a mother, and a wide spectrum of lesser gods and spirits. I also know one Wiccan who doesn't really "worship" anything but still tries to follow the principle of "do what ye will but do no harm" (That's how she phrases it) and she still practices magic and believes in the threefold rule. I don't know if that is enough to make her Wiccan or not.

Nakhash

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Re: Some Info on What Wicca Is and Is Not
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 01:35:17 AM »
Though I have studied with Wiccan covens in the past, I've yet to find one that I resonate with. I currently self-identify as Pagan, Judeo-pagan to be more precise. Before patriarchal monotheism in Judaism, the people worshiped El and his sister/wife Asherah. She even had statues and priestesses in the first Temple. Most references to her were removed from scripture though you can find some mention of her in Kings. Usually when the prophets are admonishing the common people for worshiping more than one god it's because Asherah was still being venerated.

There's a synagogue in Minnesota that recognizes her. Kabbalah has changed her a bit and renamed her Shekhina. Even in regular Friday night services, at least in the Reform synagogue I attended, we greeted the Shabbat Queen by facing the doorway and singing to her.

As for Wicca, I'm not a great fan of the Rede. I prefer to follow my own moral compass in my practice of witchcraft.

Nakhash Mekashefah

******************
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
John Quincy Adams


 

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