Having watched the posts of many on this site in which they claim to either be Wiccan or want to be Wiccan and then go on to ask questions about casting spells, I can only assume that many here don't understand what Wicca is all about. So let's try to clarify what Wicca is...and what Wicca isn't to help clear up the confusion.
Let's start with what Wicca is:
- Wicca is a polytheistic religion focusing upon dedication to the Divine manifested as both God and Goddess. These two Deities are viewed as a Moon Goddess and a Horned God.
- Wiccans believe that the world was created and is maintained by the joining together of the God and the Goddess in the Sacred Marriage (also called The Great Rite).
- Wicca is a modern religion influenced by a variety of pre-Christian beliefs. Some of the sources drawn upon to create Wicca were British folk magic, ceremonial lodges like The Golden Dawn, and Masonic rituals. The religion was created by Gerald Gardner in Britain in the 1940's and made public in 1951. The Wicca devised by Gardner was coven-based, oath-bound, and initiatory. Newer versions of Wicca accomodate those who practice as solitaries.
Wicca views the spiritual and material worlds as overlapping: the Gods are not distant beings but entities whose presence we can experience. Wiccans believe that Divinity is immanent within the world, and therefore all that is is in some part Divine.
- Wicca stresses personal experience with divinity and developing greater harmony with the larger world.
- Wiccans believe that each person is able to experience direct contact with the Divine without a need for an intermediary.
- Wicca teaches that we all are ultimately responsible for our own actions. The ethics and behavior of Wiccans are guided by the Wiccan Rede. Wiccans believe that the world will return to them the same sorts of energies they send out into the world.
- Wiccans tend to believe in reincarnation, the soul is reborn into this world many times.
- All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccan. Because Wiccans perform magic as part of their rituals they are considered Witches. A person who claims to be Wiccan but who does not do any magic is in error. While spellcasting is not necessary in Wicca, the use of magic to cast a circle, etc. is a vital part of Wicca. If you do no magic you aren't Wiccan.
Now let's consider what Wicca isn't:
- Wicca is not Satanic. The concept of an evil entity called Satan is a Christian concept and has nothing whatsoever to do with Wicca.
- Wicca is not all about spells and magic. While it is certainly true that Wiccans believe in magic and that they perform magic whenever they cast a circle, consecrate a tool, Draw Down the Moon and other rituals these are not the same as spellcasting. In fact many Wiccans seldom, if ever, cast a spell. So if you're thinking you have to be Wiccan in order to cast a spell you are mistaken. Don't try to be Wiccan unless it's the religion that draws you, not spells.
- Wicca is not a nature religion. Wiccans have a deep respect for nature since we believe that all of nature partakes of the Divine, Wiccans do not worship nature or go around hugging trees.
- Wicca is not " whatever you want it to be ". Some people, generally teenagers and the religiously immature, describe Wicca as whatever you want it to be. Sometimes it comes from a misunderstanding of Wiccas religiously tolerant teachings, confusing tolerance with belief. Other times it comes from laziness or wishful thinking: the person has latched onto some notion of Wicca, often because it has become popular among his peers, but he has no interest in actually learning about it, preferring to just make up something appealing and call it Wicca.
I hope that this helps clear up some of the mistaken understandings of Wicca that I have seen here on SOM. I'd suggest reading through the articles at http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=580909 to better understand what Wicca is and what it is not.