WHAT IS WICCA?
WHAT IS WITCHCRAFT AND WICCA?
What it isn’t:
Witches and Wiccans do not worship the Devil; we don’t even believe in him. We don’t sacrifice or harm animals or children and we don’t ill-wish people. We don’t have green faces or wear pointy hats (except for fun). Our rituals are actually quite similar to a church service with prayers, singing, celebrating and communion.
What is Witchcraft, and what is Wicca?
You may have heard the terms Wicca and Wiccan used, and not really been sure what they mean or how they differ from witchcraft and witch.
Witchcraft is the practice of magic, healing, divination and psychic work; these may be practised by anyone with the knowledge – even a Christian.
Wicca is a religion involving not only these practices but also its own beliefs, gods and mysteries, those of initiation and the secret rituals of the coven.
What do Wiccan Witches do?
We serve the Goddess and her consort the Horned God (nothing like the Devil!), two loving deities who represent Nature in all Her magic and beauty. We worship Them by celebrating Their life cycle legends through the Wheel of the Year and its eight festivals, and at Moon cycles. Wiccans generally work in covens, groups of witches who gather to celebrate and perform magic.
Because of our beliefs we try to do good and help others with our magic and healing powers.
This form of Eclectic Wicca is a combination of two threads of Wicca.
It is a matriarchal and a matrilineal tradition, based on the polarity of a male and a female. The tradition is focused on worshiping the Great Goddess and the Horned God, which are represented in covens by the High Priestess and High Priest. The basic assertions of Wicca are: the value of life, the inevitability of death, and the reincarnation after this life ends. It is an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
As in any other neo-pagan traditions, Wicca honours nature because man and all living creatures are part of it. As in most Wiccan traditions, eclectic Wiccans celebrate eight Sabbats as the seasonal holidays.
“Do what you will, so long as it harms none” is an ethical mantra of the wiccan religion.
Wiccans worship the Goddess in her incarnation as a Great Mother (and sometimes as Maiden and as Crone). The Horned God is the God of hunting, death and magic. Each community calls them by their own special names.
Eclectic Wicca is based solely on conciliar activities and initiations. Coven life confers upon the attendees the benefits of working with others, with the consequent validation, support and added power. (We all work alone sometimes.)
The Initiation is conducted by reading from the covens “Book of Shadows”. There are three degrees of initiation into this tradition. The minimum period between one initiation and the other is a year and a day. But because many covens require studies of special techniques, this period between one initiation and next rank initiation can be much longer. In Wicca tradition the initiation is a turning point in the life of the initiated, which forever changes his/her life.
The covens are completely autonomous. Each coven is managed by its High Priestess with help and advice from the Elders of the coven. The final decision on any case rests upon the High Priestess, even if on some issues she has to share powers with the High Priest or the Elders. In some cases, the High Priestess may be the only leader in the coven without her High Priest; however, the partnership of both sexes is always preferable.
Work is embraced by all members of the coven. Each member is dedicated in his own way and therefore the are no “observers” or “special meetings”. Wiccan rituals are conducted exclusively within a magic circle, which is created deliberately and carefully by all classical rules. Whatever happens inside a magic circle is kept in secret by all those who were present in the circle. Traditionally, a coven practices positive healing magic, and other magic of a good nature if needed. No “evil” spells are created by Wiccans. It is against their beliefs.
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