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What is Wicca?

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Forums -> Wicca -> What is Wicca?

What is Wicca?
By:
Post # 1

Wicca

Please note that most of this information only applies for orthodox Wiccans. Thanks. :)

This is a short post on the basics of the Wiccan religion. I, personally, am not Wiccan; just thought this would be a interesting post to type.

Wicca is a Neo-Pagan, duotheistic religion. Its ruling deities are the Triple Goddess, also known as the Crone or the Mother, among other things. Its male deity is the Horned God; who represents nature, sexuality and hunting as well as a few others. Very nature-orientated religion.

It first became popular in the 1950's, although existed before then, and was made popular by the likes of Gerald Gardner, Aleister Crowley, Doreen Valiente, and many more influential figures.

Most wiccans, if not all, abide by the Wiccan Rede, a poem containing their moral system. It's most famous quote is probably: 'And harm none, do what ye' will.' which is said at the end. This means that you can do whatever you wish, as long as it doesnt harm anything or anyone. Short extract:

''Bide ye Wiccan laws ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust. Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give. Form the circle thrice about, to keep all evil spirits out. To bind ye spell every time, let ye spell be spake in rhyme. Soft of eye, light of touch, speak ye little, listen much.''

They are the first six lines. A version I found is at this link:http://www.controverscial.com/The%20Wiccan%20Rede.htm.

Witchcraft and Wicca are different. Wicca is a religion that practices Witchcraft, whereas Witchcraft is the actual practice, hence the name Witch craft.

Rites and Celebrations

The eight major festivals of Wicca are called sabbats. These mark the changes and climaxes of the four seasons. Here they are in order:

  • Yule ~ Winter
  • Imbolc
  • Ostara ~ Spring
  • Beltane
  • Midsummer ~ Summer
  • Lughnasadh
  • Mabon ~ Autumn
  • Sahmain
  • Witches also honour their deities at monthly rites known as esbats.

    Witches also honour their deities at monthly rites known as esbats, which are held on the Full Moon.

    Sabbats begin at sunset and end at sunset the next day and most rites are held at night, lit by candles if indoors or by the moon, bonfires and lanterns if outside. For indoor rituals, some Witches have rooms set aside as temples containing in their houses, which they use for rites. Others use their ordinary living space.

    Rites take place in a consecrated space, the circle, and even if there is a temple, the circle space is created anew for each rite. The space is first swept with a broomstick or besom to purify it (or often a other method of purification) and then blessed with the four elements air, fire, water and earth. The circle is then symbolically sealed by drawing a circle around it in the air with a wooden wand or a black-handled knife known as an athame. The four directions east, south, west and north are then honoured. Within the sacred space, the Goddess and God are invoked and magic performed. Rituals usually end with blessing a chalice of wine and cakes that are shared among the participants; or if solitary, ate by yourself. :3

    'Christian' Wiccans

    Saying you are a 'Christian Wiccan' is very contradictory in a lot of ways, although the religions do have similarities. Yes, it is possible to be one and many people are, but it is very contradictory to a few beliefs on both sides. That is my opinion on that, anyway.

    Death and After

    Wiccans believe in reincarnation, where your soul comes back in another form. They also believe that when back in that form, you meet up with people from your past lives. If the soul does not reincarnate, it goes to the 'Summerland', their version of paradise.

    ---------------------------

    Hope you enjoyed reading this, anyways!

    ~Fallen.

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    Re: What is Wicca?
    By: / Novice
    Post # 2

    thanks fallen hun!

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    Re: What is Wicca?
    By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
    Post # 3
    Here is perhaps a more accurate statement about just what Wicca is.

    "Wicca is an earth-based mystery religion, which was formed from various sources (Thelema, Golden Dawn, The Goetia and Clavicula Salomonis, as well as native British and European religions, such as Celtic practice) in the (estimated) 1930's - 1940's and brought into the public eye by Gerald Gardner with the publication of his "fiction" work, High Magic's Aid in 1949, published under the pseudonym of Scire. In 1954, following the repeal of the Witchcraft Act in England, he published a further work, namely Witchcraft Today. Thus the religion was brought firmly into the public eye.

    Wicca in it's original form is an initiatory, Mystery religion, which is oathbound, practiced in a coven and is a priesthood. With the rise in popularity of Wicca through popular culture and the increase in publications on the subject, it is now fair to say that there is Wicca and a number of paths based on Wicca. Wicca itself remains the initiatory form and the latter comprises those paths inspired by the first form, which are not necessarily initiatory but are often solitary or eclectic and often involves a self-dedication ritual by the practitioner to their chosen deities.

    Wicca is a coven based practice. Dedicants or seekers to this path will undergo a basic training period, which works in two ways. Firstly it determines whether Wicca is for them and whether the coven they are training with is the right group for them, and secondly it determines whether the coven themselves are comfortable with the trainee. Once this has been determined, the dedicant or seeker may ask the group for initiation. The coven will generally never push this issue and it is up to the individual to ask for this. When initiation has been asked for there is usually a slightly more indepth training period, designed to provide more knowledge and also for the individual to change their mind if they so wish. This period is usually set at a year and a day by default but is more often tailored to the needs of the individual. Some may take longer to be initiated, others just a few months.

    The initiation itself is a rebirth and is effectively opening the doors to the Mysteries beyond. It is up to the individual to follow the path through those doors. Initiation requires that the individual take an oath of secrecy, that is to say that they must not reveal certain information gained beyond initiation save to a verified brother or sister of the Craft. The person is also given the title of Priest/ Priestess and Witch and thus begins their training as a full coven member with access to the information within, though obviously only as far as their degree allows.

    There are three degrees within Wicca and it is following your second degree initiation, when you become a High Priest or Priestess that you are able to teach, to lead rituals and in some traditions, to hive off and form a separate coven. At this level of training you are considered competent enough to work with the material under your own steam, though it goes without saying that it is a constant learning process and your spiritual development always be ongoing.


    The religion of Wicca itself is split into two halves; that of the religion and that of the practice of witchcraft. Individuals within Wicca practice both to a greater or lesser extent.

    In it's basic form, Wicca is an earth-based fertility religion, encompassing the concepts of divine masculine and divine feminine and the balance inherent in this (i.e. dark/ light, male/ female, life/death etc). The deities are approached in the forms of a tri-une Goddess (being three in one, Maiden, Mother Crone) and a di-une God (being two in one, Lord of Light and Life and Lord of Death and Resurrection). The God and Goddess follow the seasonal cycles, from birth to death to rebirth and so on, as well as following our own life cycles. Wiccans see life as cyclical and the seasonal festivals reflect this.

    Wiccans celebrate eight seasonal rites per year relating to the cycle of the God and Goddess and these are known as sabbats. Where possible they will also celebrate moon rites (usually held at either full moon or dark of the moon but not exclusively) known as esbats. Although Wiccans can do magical workings (spells/ spellcraft) at seasonal rituals, this type of work is often saved for the esbats unless the working has a purpose relating to a seasonal ritual.

    Within traditional covens, rituals are usually held with the members being skyclad (naked) and this is for a number of reasons. Many people believe that being unclothed allows the person to feel nuances in energies, something that Wiccans work with a lot. It is also an expression of "Perfect Love and Perfect Trust" amongst the members of the group and with other Wiccans who may be visiting that group.

    Although Wicca does have specific beliefs, tenets and practices, it does not have any rules, besides those which are common sense. Two aspects of Wicca are often mistakenly referred to as rules or laws, and these are the Wiccan Rede, and Threefold Return. Both of these are guidelines and are there to give the individual cause to ponder their actions and to take responsibility for any repercussions. There is a famous saying in witchcraft: "a witch who can't curse, can't cure". This again ties in with the concept of balance within Wicca. It is not to say that unless you curse someone or take an unpleasant course of action, you won't be able to do good, it is simply saying that the willingness to take a course of action, good or bad, must be there in order for you to balance yourself.

    Wicca is also a fertility religion. It places a large amount of importance on the concepts of fertility and life within the natural world and of the relationship between God and Goddess, and thus there is a large amount of importance on intimacy between men and women. This is not to say that Wiccans hold orgies or are promiscuous people, but that sex is a sacred act and is a celebration of the joining of God and Goddess as well as being a powerful magical act in it's own right. This is of course one of the reasons that Wiccan covens do not initiate under 18's."

    Copied from Wicca Explained at http://www.wiccaexplained.350.com/whatiswicca.htm
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    Re: What is Wicca?
    By: / Novice
    Post # 4

    lark thats just one source, fallen here put sources together

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    Re: What is Wicca?
    By:
    Post # 5

    Thank you for your post using another source Lark, adding another opinion. :)

    However I do agree with Kara on the point that is just one source and one opinion, whereas this is a mix on many, but it was informative on another's opinions nonetheless. ^_^

    And as I said, that was a short post going into the basics of the Wiccan religion, it wasnt at all in depth, just meant to provide information for others.

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    Re: What is Wicca?
    By:
    Post # 6

    In the end, Wicca is either traditional or electic. Whichever one you end up as is fine, but each one will have different ideas. There is also the Dianic tradition mixed in there if I remember right.

    Wicca, like all religions, is fluid. One definition is as good as another in this regard.

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    Re: What is Wicca?
    By:
    Post # 7

    Good point, Divinus. ''Like all religions, Wicca is fluid'' as you said yourself. :)

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