Information report – Wicca
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By Laurel (Relu) All rights and copyrights reserved If I find you copied my information report I will report it as a copyright violation.
Hello, my name is Laurel and I am telling you all that I know about the Neo-Pagan religion of Wicca. Wicca is a modern Pagan religion. If you study Wicca, you can classify yourself as a Wiccan. It is generally believed that Gerald Gardner is the forefather of Wicca. The modern English term ?Wicca? is derived from the Old English ?wicca? and ?wicce?; (ˈwittʃɑ; ˈwittʃe) the masculine and feminine term for ?witch?, respectively, the term which was used in Anglo-Saxon England. Wiccans have a Horned God which represents the male part of the religion?s theological system; I personally believe that the Horned God is not merely the consort of the female Triple Goddess of the Moon or other Mother goddess. In common Wiccan belief, he?s associated with nature; wilderness; sexuality; hunting and the life cycle. The Wiccan sabbats are as follows: Imbolc (AKA Candlemas) on February 1; Ostara (AKA March Equinox) on March 19 through 22 typically; Beltane (AKA May Eve) on May 1 (in some countries, May Day); Litha (AKA Midsummer/Summer Solstice) on June 19 through 23; Lughnasadh (AKA Lammas) on August 1; Mabon (AKA Autumn Equinox) on September 21 through 24; and Yule (AKA Winter Solstice) on December 20 through 23, celebration-wise. Wicca isn?t Satanic. The concept of an evil entity called Satan is a Christian concept and has nothing whatsoever to do with Wicca. Wicca isn?t all about spells and magic. While it?s 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 aren?t the same as spell casting. 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 isn?t a nature religion. Wiccans do, however, have a deep respect for nature since we believe that all of nature partakes of the Divine, Wiccans don?t worship nature or go around hugging trees. Wicca isn?t 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 Wicca's 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?s 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. 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 spell casting 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. Wicca teaches that we all are ultimately responsible for our own actions. The ethics and behaviour 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 believe that each person is able to experience direct contact with the Divine without a need for an intermediary. Wicca stresses personal experience with divinity and developing greater harmony with the larger world. 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 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 1940s and made public in 1951. The Wicca devised by Gardner was coven-based, oath-bound, and initiatory. Newer versions of Wicca accommodate those who practise as solitary practitioners. 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 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. Wicca, like Magick (Real Magic), DOESN?T defy the the rules of nature, like making you able to a) change your appearance, b) make you be able to transfigure yourself like in the Harry Potter books and movies and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, c) control natural forces such as a) time, b) gravity, c) shadows, and all the other natural forces, d) make you able to fly, e) move stuff such as fire with your mind, f) give you clairvoyance through a spell, clairvoyance is a skill you gain by opening your third eye chakra and practising it regularly, and much more. Wicca, the largest of the modern Pagan, or Neo-Pagan, religions. Its followers, who are called Wiccans, typically identify as witches and draw inspiration largely from the pre-Christian religions of Europe, except me. Having publicly emerged in England during the 1950s, Wicca is now found primarily in Western countries, and the number of Wiccans is probably in the low hundreds of thousands. Followers often use the pentagram, or five-pointed star, as the main symbol of their religion. Although there were precursors to the movement, the origins of modern Wicca can be traced to a retired British civil servant, Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884?1964). Gardner spent most of his career in Asia, where he became familiar with various indigenous religious traditions. He also read widely in Western esoteric literature, including the writings of the British occultist Aleister Crowley. Upon returning to Britain in the 1930s, Gardner became involved in the British occult community and claimed to have discovered a group of witches operating near England?s New Forest in 1939. He later alleged that it was their teachings that provided the basis of Wicca, although historians disagree on whether the New Forest group ever existed. If it did, it likely formed earlier in the 1930s. Following the 1951 repeal of Britain?s archaic witchcraft laws, Gardner published Witchcraft Today (1954), founded his first coven of followers, and, with the assistance of high priestess Doreen Valiente (1922?99), developed what became known as Gardnerian Wicca. Books related to Wicca are: Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham (1956 ? 93), Wicca by Scott Cunningham (see above), Living Wicca: A Further Guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham (see above again), Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham (ref: above), Wicca Book of Spells: A New Book of Shadows for Modern Witchcraft by Luna Lovegood, Luna Lovegood?s Book of Shadows by Luna Lovegood, Wicca for Beginners: A Complete Guide to Witchcraft Religion. Discover the Secrets of Magic, Spells and Rituals to Become a Wiccan and How to Use Crystals, Candles, Runes, Oils and Herbal Magic by Luna Lovegood, et cetera. Wicca will never be whatever you want it to be. Did you ever stop and wonder about your Wiccan religion, and just where it did come from? Oh, we all know our mythology well. We know the tales that once upon a time there was a peaceful, Goddess-worshipping society which extended over all lands. A society without conflict in a Golden Age of existence. Then out of the deserts came these patriarchal, God-worshipping, violent tribes, and everything changed. And finally, there were the Burning Times, the last attempt of those that denied the pagan ways to gain control over the last vestiges of the Old Religion. But of course, we all know that the Old Religion did not die. It merely went underground, meeting secretly until Gerald Gardner was initiated by old Dorothy Clutterbuck and brought it back into the light of day. Well, it is certainly a nice story to tell around the fires at night, and every religion has its own myths and stories. But ask yourself two questions, is it true, and does it matter if it isn't. In answering the first question, let me point out that there is absolutely no scholarly evidence that the myth has any basis in fact. The old sources, such as Margaret Murray's God of the Witches have been found to be poorly researched and largely invented. Murray was a friend of Gerald Gardner's and a fellow member of the English Folklore Society (abbr. EFS, as I assume), and it appears from more recent investigation that she was prone to finding facts that could be made to support the outcomes she wanted. If you would like to read some well researched works on the subject, I would recommend Scott Cunningham's books, Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner and Living Wicca: A Further Guide For The Solitary Practitioner (both of which I have read). Be ready to lose a lot of treasured beliefs if you do though. From the best that anyone can prove, Gerald Gardner created modern Wicca using bits and pieces of folklore, ceremonial magic(k), spiritualism, and odds and ends. So our Old Religion appears to be no older than about 50 years old. But just to keep a bit of mystery in the subject. As a result, most Wiccans today acknowledge that Wicca is a modern religion which draws upon some ancient beliefs. So where does that leave us? Well, you can always go on taking the myth at face value. Or you can ask yourself again whether it really matters if we can trace our line back to Oog and Ug, drawing pictures on a cave wall. Be honest with yourself. We aren't practising the same religion our ancestors practised. I follow a Wiccan path, but I certainly don't practice human sacrifice or read the future in the entrails of a sheep. In many cases, such as the Celts, no one knows how they practised their religion since none of it was ever written down. What we do share with our ancestors is our belief in the male and female aspects of Divinity, our belief that the Divine is imminent in this world, and the belief that all of creation is sacred. We try to regain the connectedness with the natural world which they had, and which we have lost over the millennia. We try to restore the tribal values where each person is a valued member of the community and where we care for and about each other. We still meet the God and Goddess face to face in our meditations, in our dreams, and sometimes in a crowded room. In the rush of the modern world towards its destruction of the environment and of humanity itself in the distant future, this return to a connectedness with the land and each other may be the salvation of us all. So what does it matter if this isn't that Old Time Religion the early Wiccan mythologists say it is? I mean, every religion was new once upon a time, deep in the past, like at least 70,000 BC deep in the past! I say that if it meets your spiritual needs, if it connects you with the Divine, if it benefits the community, it doesn't matter whether a religion is a million years old or invented on a previous Tuesday. One question that I receive over and over again from young seekers on this path is how to tell their parents that they have chosen to become Wiccans. Most often they are afraid that their parents will not understand, will forbid them to practise their faith, or will punish them for their beliefs. Some might tell these new Wiccans to simply lie to their parents, or just not let them know what they are doing. I think this is wrong. At the heart of our magic and our spiritual beliefs is that teaching that we must be honest in all that we do. A Witch's word must never be given lightly, for to do so takes you further from the Divine, and lessens your magick. Here then are my suggestions on how to handle this delicate situation honestly, fairly, and with the understanding that sometimes the loving answer is not what we want to hear. First of all, make sure that you are familiar with what Wiccans believe and what they practise. After all, if you don't really know what Wicca is all about, you are going to have a very hard time explaining it to someone else. And don't just base your knowledge on what you see on television or in the movies. Read and study about the Craft until you are very sure that you know what you are talking about. Think about and clarify in your mind why your former spiritual path did not work for you, and why you think Wicca will. Maybe you could find some good material that will answer the most common questions about Wicca, something you could hand to a non-Wiccan that will help them to see that this is a real spiritual pathway and not just some strange cult. There is a great handout on the web at http://www.cog.org that explains a lot of what we do in pretty simple terms. Once you have yourself well prepared with your knowledge of Wicca, then you will be ready to discuss it with your parents. Choose a good time for all of you. You might even give them some time to find a space of time when they would be willing to sit down and hold a serious discussion with you. Don't pick a time when you or they are in a rush or stressed out. And for goodness? sake don't just spring it on them with "Boo, I'm a Witch.". Remember, we want them to take you as an adult and listen to what you are saying. Ask them to let you talk first without interruption, then ask questions later. Make your case to them as best you can. If they say yes? well good on you. If they say no, don't get emotional, cry, or throw tantrums. That won't get you anywhere and will just reinforce their idea that you?re a child to be protected. Remember that Wicca is very misunderstood, and their saying no is probably done out of love and concern that you are getting into something that might harm you. Also, in the USA, parents have the legal right to determine the spiritual upbringing of their children until you?re legally an adult. No ethical Witch would interfere with the rights of your parents, just as they would not want someone interfering with their children. Accept their decision and wait until you?re of age and see if you are still interested then. In the meantime you could study things which aren't directly Wicca, like Magic, but which most Witches study over their lifetime. Wiccans may sometimes use runes (ref: image below) in spells. Wiccans do rituals as well to invite/invoke the Horned God and Triple (Moon) Goddess to their room/home. I am a Wiccan, but before now I practised Magick, which refers to real magic, which does not: contradict nature, change our physical appearance, make you a: merperson, werewolf, member of the fair folk (or faeries[other names are: fey/fay/fae, fairy, et cetera]), dragon, vampire, unicorn, sphinx, chimaera (American English: Chimera), loch ness monster, yeti, centaur, leprechaun, gnome, pegasus, ghoul, imp, basilisk (like Salazar Slytherin?s one that Harry slayed in his second year at Hogwarts), troll (like the one Quirinus Quirrell let into the dungeon on Hallowe?en, 1991), manticore, giant, half-giant (like Professor Rubeus Hagrid or Madame Olympe Maxime) pixie, hippogriff (like Buckbeak in Harry Potter), kappa, gryphon (American English: Griffin), sea serpent, kelpie (not the dog), hippocampus, red cap, typhon, niffler, oni, golem, cyclops, minotaur, ogre (like Shrek), faun, goblin, phoenix (like Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore?s phoenix, Fawkes), gorgon, bigfoot, banshee, zombie, aqrabuamelu, hydra, gnome, pontianak, dybbuk or erlking, make you move the Elements of planet Earth with your energy, because they are older than humankind itself. Some Wiccans call Wicca ?The Craft?, I occasionally call it ?The Craft?, but often call it Wicca. I am a Wiccan with two months? experience in Wicca, so I should know. (I copied my information report from Google Docs ? the mobile app)
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