What is Wicca? What is Paganism?
Many people have questions. They’ve heard the “cult” explanation and a lot of other commentary. Fundamental Christians blame a lot of the ills of the world on Wicca, Paganism and other things.. It’s simply not mainstream religion and as such, is frightening in many ways.
Is it a branch, as some Christians will tell you, of Satanism?
Is it something that has all of it’s roots in ancient times? In reality, Wicca is neither. Wicca is a spiritual path that focuses on our connection with the Earth, the moon and encourages us to live in harmony with one another and the environment. Wiccans believe in a divine force that is the source of all creation. This power is transcendent because of this life and nature are sacred.
Just as with Christianity, there are different branches of Wicca.
When learning what Wicca is it is important that you know the subtle differences in the groups. Some Wiccans celebrate the duality of the deity, where both the God and the Goddess are honored and worshipped. There are others that do not personify a deity, they instead celebrate the life force of the universe. There are then other groups that chose to down play the role of the God. In Wicca the duality of the divinity is celebrated. The Goddess and the God are both honored. While there are some Wiccans that do not choose to personify a deity, what they speak of instead is the energy or force of the universe.
Wicca can be practiced in a group, which is known as a coven, or it can be practiced alone. Practicing alone is what is known as being a solitary practitioner. Unlike in Christianity where the Pope says what is right and wrong, in Wicca there is no central authority, each group decides on their own way to practice and adhere to a simple saying, “and it harm none, do what ye will.” This is the closing long line of what is known as the Wiccan Rede, which is a “doctrine” that explains what that statement truly means.
Wiccans also adhere to the “Three Fold Law,” this law has a lot to do with karma and if you wanted to look for a modern day connection, the Law of Attraction.
What they “Three Fold Law,” says is this : That you may do what you will, whether it is for good or evil, but what ever you put out into the world will come back to you to the power of three. That is why witches, true witches, accept responsibility for their actions and they are very careful on how they use the craft. It is never the intent to harm or hurt another person. Many witches also pay close attention to the fact that one should never do a spell for personal gain.
Wiccan Holidays or Sabbats
Wicca celebrates eight special times of the year, these are known as the Sabbats. They are broken into two categories, major and minor and there are four of each. The Sabbats are solar rituals, meaning that they focus on where the sun is at during its yearly cycle, these celebrations make up half of our Wiccan Ritual Year. The other half is a celebration of the moon, and these celebrations are called the Esbats. The 13 full moons that take place through the year is the focus of each Esbats. The full moon symbolizes the Goddess, wisdom and inner self.
Wiccans come from all walks of life, and while Hollywood would like to make you think that Wiccans are easy to spot, they are not. They blend in with the rest of the world on a daily basis. For this is what Wicca is, harmonious living, protecting the sacredness of life– human, plant and animal.