There is indeed a deluge of information on paganism and its various facets, including Wicca. The recent past has been more tolerant of an alternative belief system than most of history. From books, internet forums, local (secret?) communities, you are likely to find all sorts of Wicca-related information. Much of it is misleading, of course, and it might be quite tricky to separate the wheat from the chaff. Before you become a practicing follower of the Wicca cult, you must be accurately aware of the particular belief system’s primary facets. This article will help to bring clarity about some while removing misconceptions of other aspects of Wicca-related crafts. These issues that make the spiritual journey of Wicca more meaningful are as follows:
Wicca Is Originally Duo-theistic
While it is a common perception that Wicca is a polytheistic school of belief, it is interesting to note that that wasn’t initially so. Moreover, the Moon Goddess and the Horned God are the two original Wiccan divinities. They stand for the male and female principles and the specific sexes’ attributes with special emphasis on particular qualities.
Wicca Harnesses Cosmic Energies
A wide variety of religious views, belief-systems, and ceremonial practices are collectively referred to as witchcraft. The rituals that a practitioner of the Wicca art performs are intended to tap into the psychic energies spread all over the cosmos to bring about wanted changes or transformations. As it is practiced in the modern era, witchcraft constitutes the most popular group within the more significant section of people who subscribe to neo-pagan views. The latter refers to various religious movements that owe much of their opinions to historical or classical pagan religious beliefs.
Wicca Is The Most Popular Witchcraft Form
Without a doubt, witchcraft is witnessing a great revival which in academic circles is referred to as the witchcraft revival movement. And the most significant sub-group within this movement is Wicca. The numbers are more significant than you are tempted to think. The American Religious Identification Survey conducted in 2008 put the estimated number of neo-pagans in the country to 600,000. Wicca practitioners constitute half of this group. More recent estimates of 2017 suggest that the number of Wicca practitioners has surged to stand at several million today. It’s a significant number and needs serious consideration.
Men Can Be Witches Too
As the word “witch” stands in modern usage, it is gender-neutral and can refer to both men and women witches. Another relevant term that should be mentioned in this context is “warlock.” Be cautious, however, while using this word as it is considered to be derogatory through initially the word meant oath-breaker. Another term you will naturally encounter while discussing witches is “covens,” which refer to a group of witches who frequently interact with each other and practice witchcraft. A section of witches holds that covens must consist of no greater than thirteen members. The lower limit for a coven is set to three according to popular belief.
The Origins of Wicca
Wicca can be dated back to the previous century’s forties formulated by the gentleman Gerald Brosseau Gardner (1884-1964). Gardner served in the British civil services and was an ordained minister of the Ancient British Church, a Christian sect. Gardner is viewed as the father of modern witchcraft. However, you should note that his neo-pagan views had little similarity to traditional witchcraft forms. Gardner and the Wicca school influenced by him owed their influence to more modern underground and borderline belief systems like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Freemasons, and the occult views of Aleister Crowley. Gardner, himself used terms like witch-cult and witchcraft to refer to his belief and practices. It was not until 1962 that the coining of the word Wicca took place.
The Spread and Forms of Wicca
Wicca found many followers in English-speaking countries other than the UK throughout the sixties and seventies of the previous century. Wicca became associated with several movements that also began to gain popularity during the period, including environmentalism and feminism. This development also led to Wicca practices and beliefs branching into several “traditions.” They deviated from traditional Gardnerian Wicca. Some examples of such relatively new Wicca schools are as follows:
- Algard Wicca
- Alexandrian Wicca
- Druidic Wicca
- Georgian Wicca
- Eclectic Wicca
- And Seax-Wicca
Wicca Has Official Recognition as a Religion in the US
As a result of a 1985 court ruling, Wicca gained official recognition as a religion in 1985. The case involved a prisoner. The federal government stated that the illogical and inconsistent beliefs and practices were not enough to prevent it from being a religion. Practitioners hold it to be as central to their everyday lives as other more conventional religions.
Wicca Believes In Magic
Wicca, along with almost all forms of modern witchcraft, accepts practicing magic. As one of the leading proponents of contemporary witchcraft explained, magic is the art and science that transforms various aspects of life as per the will of the witch or spell caster. Experts further explain that Wiccan beliefs might be another facet of natural laws, only less understood and thereby dismissed and irrational. Some modern Wiccans also suggest an association of Wicca with unconventional energy forms and a reality that plays on quantum levels. Both of these fields are yet to be adequately explored and explained by modern science and rationality.
There Are Several Shared Beliefs Among All Wicca Forms
You perhaps didn’t know that magic is not the sole common belief and practice shared amongst all the various traditions of Wicca out there. The most common Wiccan religion is a form of Wiccan Rede. Now, rede is a word regularly used during the middle period of the English tongue, meaning counsel or advice. Wiccan experts hold that the term was probably formulated in the early sixties by Doreen Valiente, a Wiccan priestess. The most popular form of the red is “An’ it harm none, do what ye will.” Other popular variations of the same include “Do what you will, so long as it harms none” and “That it harms none, do as thou wilt.”
The last thing to mention in this list of exciting Wicca facts is that Wicca is governed by concrete, often strict rules and guidelines. It is a popular misconception that in the absence of any governing body, in Wicca, anything goes and that they practice all kinds of magical mayhem. But the fact is that on the contrary, Wicca practitioners need to follow guidelines that have become standard over time across the variety of pagan Wicca traditions. Indeed, these guidelines and rules often vary from one tradition to another. Acquaint yourself with many associated concepts to learn the practices and the general belief set of Wicca. So, let the magic happen!