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Wicca - What It Is
by Fire_Opal


The word "Witchcraft" dates back many hundreds of years and means literaly "The craft of the wise". This is because the Witches of old were the wise ones of their village, knowledgable in the art of healing, legal matters, and spiritual fulfillment. A Witch had to not only be a religious leader, but also the doctor, lawyer and psychologist of the villiage. Today, people have reclaimed this word in their pursuit of Wiccan religion. A Witch is an initiate of Wicca, one who has earned the right to call themselves Priest, or Priestess, through study, self evaluation, and spiritual living. Wicca itself, is an attempt to re-create European (mostly) Shamanistic Nature Religion, adapting it to fit our modern lives.

Witches are worshippers of the Earth and it's many cycles. We believe that deity is found not only outside of our realm, or plane of existance, but that it is found within every living thing and all that supports it. Therefore, we attempt to live in harmony with the Earth, and each of it's creatures. Wiccan tend to involve themselves with ecological pursuits. Wiccans observe the holidays of Pagan Europe: Eight festivals spaced evenly about the wheel of the year, at the quarters (equinox's and solstices) and the cross-quarters (midpoints between the equinox's and solstices). They are called: Yule, Imbolc, Lady Day, Beltaine, Midsummer, Lughnassad, Mabon, and Samhain. Actual dates vary slightly from year to year, as they are based upon actual celestial events. Many Wiccans also celebrate the Full Moon, of which we have 13 per year.

The basis for Wiccan moral conduct is found in the statement; "An Ye Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt." This is a mock archaic phrase, suggesting that any behavior that harms none, is morally acceptable. Harm is here defined by anything that takes away, or works against an individual's free will. It is, of course, impossible to exist, or even cease to exist, without causing harm, so Wiccans look to fullfil this as closely as possible. A Wiccan attempts to make choices based on what will cause the least harm, and promote the greatest overrall positive effect. Wicca teaches self discipline, personal responsibility, kinship with our planet and its creatures, open-mindedness and the virtues of diversity. Wiccans do not proselytize, as we believe that each must find the path that is right for them, and that all religions are different paths to the same truths. We draw our beliefs and practices from our own experiences, and that of others, understanding that age does not make a religion any more valid, nor does political support, numbers of followers, or material holdings of it's temple. Religion is a very personal thing, one which can only be validated by the experiences of the individual. Wicca provides a link for those who follow similiar paths to share their experiences.

The terms Wicca and Witchcraft can be used interchangeably, but there is a subtle distinction. Wicca is a contemporary Neo-Pagan religion and Witchcraft is the practice of natural magic. Not all Wiccans are witches, and not all witches are Wiccan. I am both and the information I will share will come from that perspective. I invite you to explore the world of magic. Through this portal you will discover unknown worlds. Come with me and explore the world of Wicca.

What Wicca Is:
Wicca is a Neo-Pagan religion with many traditions that date to pre-Christian (and prehistoric) Earth religions. It is based on a deep respect for nature and the certain knowledge that we do not have the right to exploit it for our own gain. Wiccans are deeply concerned with conservation and ecology, and as in all Neo-Pagan religions, Wiccans believe that both animate and inanimate objects possess a spirit which forms part of the Whole. Note that we do not use the term spirit in the Judeo-Christian sense of a ghost, but rather that essence which every object possesses that links it to nature and makes it an inalienable part of the universe.

Wicca is a celebration of the life-forces of nature as personified by the Goddess and her consort, the God. Wicca may includes the practice of which is defined as the process of causing change through the focusing of our natural powers. It is important to note that magic is There is nothing supernatural about it. We use certain tools such as spells, visualization, chants, candles, amulets and meditation to help us focus our power, but the power comes from within -- it is not in the tools. Our ancestors knew how to use it effectively, but it is a largely forgotten art in modern times.