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¥WICCA HISTORY¥

Disclaimer: The comparison I make between Christianity and Wicca, is not to give the impression of the one being better than the other. It is for the sole purpose of highlighting the differences between the two religions.

History and basic philosophy :

The Old English term for a witch - Wicca/Wicce - was adopted to identify modern witchcraft when renewed interest in the religion was shown during the early part of the 20th century. Although there is much heated debate as to whether the craft as we know it today is a revival or survival of ancient religious practices, it is generally agreed that Wicca was created by Gerald Gardner in the late 1940´s as a culmination of beliefs drawn from these practices. These include those of the Celts, into which various elements of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Egyptian and Classical mythology have been adapted. The Craft is a religion of love and joy, bereft of the "gloom" of Christianity, with it's ideas of "sin" where salvation can only be reached in the afterlife. The music of Witchcraft is lively and filled with happiness, once again contrasting with mournful hymns of Christianity. You might want to ask why this is so? How come are Wiccans more happy, satisfied and warm? Well, to put it simply, most of it has to do with the way that Wiccans empathize with nature. In the olden days people lived off the land, hand in hand with nature, and through necessity they learned to nurture the land that fed them.

These days, being civilized has caused us to lose much, if not all of that closeness. But not so the Witch.....Even though the modernization of the world with all it's technologies and mechanizations tend to make people forget that they are branches of nature, Wiccans have managed to retain their ties with Mother Earth. A man by the name of Brett Bolton, wrote a book called "The Secret Powers Of Plants", in which he states that plants react positively to acts of kindness, we are made aware of how they feel, the ways in which they react to good and evil, and how they express love, fear and hate. This might give you an idea of why your fern died...........

Witches have always known that plants have personalities, and have therefore always spoken kindly to them. It is in no way unusual to see a Witch stop to hug a tree while walking through the forest. It is also not strange to see a Witch walking barefoot across a ploughed field. And I'll bet that if you took the time to think about this, you will see that it is part of keeping in touch with nature, thereby preserving our heritage. Here is an experiment for you to try, next time you feel really tired and rundown. Find yourself a big, sturdy tree, then sit down on the ground and press your back up against the trunk of your chosen tree. Close your eyes and relax, breathe in the smell of the ground around you. After a while you should start to feel better, your tension and tiredness will flow away from you like a silent stream, and in it's place will come feelings of warmth, love and comfort. These things come from the tree, its being, you could even say its soul. Accept this and be glad, and before you leave, circle your arms around the tree and thank it for the positive and warm feelings that it has shared with you. You might find this really funny, but it really works........Now to get back to the point.

There are many thing s that can be said about Witchcraft, and everyone you ask will tell you something different. It is not always easy to reach a consensus on the facts that are true of the craft for most Wiccans. So I would like to point out that what I have written on this page may not hold true for some of you out there, so if there are bits missing that you would like me to add, then please E-mail me your suggestions.

Paganism: A Definition :

What is a Pagan?
When you look up the word pagan in a dictionary, you will find the following definitions:

A person that is not a Christian, Jew, Moslem or Heathen
A non-Christian
A Hedonist
As a rule a pagan person does not belong to any of the Judeo-Christian religions, and generally most Wiccan practitioners and believers are pagan, but that is not to say that all pagan persons are Wiccan.

Wicca: A Definition :

Wicca, the religion of witches, has for a very long time been cloaked in secrecy. A growing number of people around the world, are growing dissatisfied with traditional religions, and therefore seek a religion that involves one on a personal level. A religion which celebrates the spiritual as well as the physical, where a reverence for the divine is combined with the exercise of magic.Wicca is such a religion, which focuses on honoring nature in the image of both a god and a goddess. The fact that Wicca has some deep roots in the history of religion, and that the practice of magic is accepted makes it very attractive to many people. But until recently, Wicca has given the impression to be an exclusive religion, mainly due to the lack of information, this has in turn resulted in wide reaching frustration among interested parties.

The dictionary describes Wicca as a pagan nature religion, that has its roots in Western Europe, before Christianity came about. Now it is being revived in the United States, Great Britain, and many other countries all over the world. As a member and follower of the Wiccan religion, you will most likely believe in a God as well as a Goddess, like most other Wiccans. The majority of Wiccans also believe in Reincarnation as a natural cycle that is entered into after ones body dies, and as a way of celebrating life. Wiccans follow many cycles e.g.: personal, physical and seasonal cycles. They also get very involved in environmental issues.

Wiccans believe in a God AND a Goddess, and that all nature is to be sanctified and protected. They believe in The Threefold Law, which states that all your actions will return to you in threefold (multiplied by three), and that the visible and invisible worlds are united as one. Okay......and what about rules? Well, there is only really one major rule that all witches follow, and it goes like this: An it harm none, do as ye will. This rule says that you can do as you please, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. This also includes the witch him/herself. You can read more about this and other laws and principles, on the page titled Laws. Now you might ask, "Do witches want to convert the world?" The answer to that is a simple no. Choosing to be Wiccan is very personal, and most believers of Wicca, know that what suits them may not suit everyone else, and thus they do not seek converts. Witchcraft is a way of life, where loyalty and reverence to ancestors, family, land and their kindred is the closest thing to religion that they have. They do not have a bible, bibles are books containing sacred writings of a religion. Witchcraft is a Pagan folk-religion, which hinges on personal experience rather that written revelations. A Witch may keep a book called the "Book Of Shadows", which essentially is a workbook of sorts, where a record of rituals, discoveries, spells and the individuals poetry is kept for personal reference.

Questions and Answers :

How do Wicca and neo-paganism fit together?

Wicca is a sub-tradition of neo-paganism, similar to the way that Christianity has many forms. You can be Christian, but still Baptist, Protestant or Adventist. The same is true for Paganism, one can be pagan, but ascribe to another more specific philosophy, like Wicca.

Do witches worship the Satan?

NO, with a capital N, because Satanists are anti-Christian. They worship/believe in the Christian God's "evil" twin, called Satan, Lucifer or the Devil. Satanism began in the early 60´s, about the same time that Anton Lavey, who proclaimed himself to be the Pope of the Satanic Church, wrote the Satanic Bible. Witches do not believe in the Christian God as "The" supreme being, and therefore they do not believe in Satan.

Is a male Witch a Warlock?

The word Warlock means "Oath Breaker", and knowing this it is pretty plain to see that male Witches would find it offensive to be called such. The word Witch is non-gender specific, and is therefore used by both female and male practitioners of the craft.

Why do Witches where black?

Witches don't only wear black, they wear clothing of every color and every style. Many witches choose to wear black robes at rituals, because black is the culmination off all the colors on the material plane. Black absorbs light energy which helps Witches to be more sensitive to psychic energies, and other impressions.

Do witches cast spells on people to get what they want?

It is known that witches cast spells, but......using magic against another persons free will would be a direct violation of the Wiccan Rede. Spells are a bit like little prayers, they are a way of connecting with the god and goddess, in asking their help and bringing together their powers and your own to reach a desired result.

So what is witchcraft really, and what kinds of people are witches?

Witchcraft is the "Craft of the Wise ones", and is also called "The Old Religion", which can be traced back to the Neolithic age. Wicca is perceived as a nature religion, much like that of Native Americans (Indians) which they refer to as Shamanism. In the olden days the Witch was considered to be the doctor, the psychiatrist and the lawyer of a community, so it was pretty normal to go to him/her if you had a problem. Modern medicine has its origins from herbal remedies that the witch would make, way back when. Today Wiccans are ordinary people, who have a different set of beliefs to the Christian. They are people from all walks of life, doctors, lawyers, supermarket cashiers, Goths...you name them.

Why a god and a goddess?

The concept of the male and the female are present in all living things, and Witches thus refer to the God and Goddess as representatives of the Unity in nature, and as the Creator/s thereof. The Goddess is perceived as Mother Nature/Mother Earth, and is represented by the moon. She is indicated/shown in the fertility of the living creatures in the plant, animal and human kingdoms. She appears at her strongest in the fertile half of the year, from May till October. The God is perceived in forests, fields and hunting, and is represented by the sun. He is sometimes referred to as the "Horned One", because most of the animals that were hunted by prehistoric man, had horns. His power peaks in the dark half of the year, from October till May.

What do Wiccans believe, and do they have special symbols?

Witches believe in The Wiccan Rede, and follow it explicitly. They also believe in the Threefold Law, and therefore see no point in harming others. Wiccans do not believe in the Devil, and they do not worship him. They also do not perform any sort of sacrifice for the sake of their religion. Witches believe that only they are responsible for their actions, so if something goes wrong they only have themselves to blame. Having said that, one could deduce that Wicca teaches people to be ...


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