Wicca

The Wiccan Way

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The Wiccan Way

by Lady Beckett of Circle Atheneum in San Diego, CA in 1988.

Recognizing that there is more than one path to spiritual enlightenment and that Wicca is but one of many, and that Wicca holds within itself the belief that there is more than one type of step set to the spiral dance, find here listed common denominators of the Craft.

That there is above all the Goddess in her three-fold aspect and many are her names. With all her names we call her Maiden, Mother and Crone.

That there is the God, consort and son, giver of strength and most willing of sacrifice.

That and it harm none, do what ye will shall be the law.

That each of her children are bound by the three-fold law and that whatever we create, be it joy or sorrow, laughter or pain, is brought back to us three-fold.

That as she is the mother of all living things and we are all her children, we seek to live in harmony not only with each other, but with the planet earth that is our womb and home.

That life upon the earth is not a burden to be born, but a joy to be learned and shared with others.

That death is not an ending of existence, but a step in the on-going process of life.

That there is no sacrifice of blood, for She is the mother of all living things, and from her all things proceed and unto her all things must return.

That each and everyone of the children who follow this path has no need of another between themselves and the Goddess, but may find Her within themselves.

That there shall not by intent be a desecration of another’s symbols of beliefs, for we are all seeking harmony within the One.

That each person’s faith is private unto themselves and that another’s belief is not to be set out and made public.

That the Wiccan way is not to seek converts, but that the way be made open to those who for reasons of their own seek and find the Craft.

And as it is willed, so mote it be.

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Offerings to the Gods: What’s an Acceptable Gift?

Offerings to the Gods

What’s an Acceptable Gift?

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In many Pagan and Wiccan traditions, it’s not uncommon to make some sort of offering or sacrifice to the gods. Bear in mind that despite the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the divine, it’s not a matter of “I’m offering you this stuff so you’ll grant my wish.” It’s more along the lines of “I honor you and respect you, so I’m giving you this stuff to show you how much I appreciate your intervention on my behalf.”

So the question arises, then, of what to offer them? Different types of deities seem to respond best to different kinds of offerings. For example, you wouldn’t offer flowers to a war god, would you? When making an offering, it’s important to think about what the god represents. The Roman Cato described an offering for agricultural prosperity: Make offerings to keep your oxen in good health. Make the following sacrifices to Mars… three pounds of wheat, four-and-a-half of lard, four-and-a-half of meat and three pints of wine. While it’s probably not necessary to go that far and offer up enough food to feed a small army to your god, the passage does illustrate the fact that our ancestors thought enough of their gods to take their offerings very seriously.

In general, bread, milk and wine are nearly always appropriate for any deity. Here are some ideas for specific offerings you can make to deities, based upon the types of gods they are:

Hearth and Home Gods:

  • Food: Bread and grains, cooking oil, salt
  • Drink: Milk, wine, cider
  • Herbs: Rosemary, thyme

Gods of Love and Passion:

  • Food: Eggs, honey, apples
  • Drink: Wine, fruit juice
  • Herbs: Lavender, sandalwood

Garden/Nature Deities:

  • Food: Bread, cornmeal, fruit
  • Drink: Milk, water
  • Herbs: Bay

Gods of Prosperity and Abundance:

  • Food: Grains, dairy products like cheese or eggs
  • Drink: Milk, beer
  • Herbs: Mint, pennyroyal, catnip

Ancestor Spirits:

  • Food: Any meal from your family’s table
  • Drink: Drinks from the family table
  • Herbs: Sage, sweetgrass

Childbirth or Fertility Godesss:

  • Food: Eggs, baked sweets like cookies
  • Drink: Milk (including breast milk)
  • Herbs: Rose, sandalwood, apple blossoms

 

Source:
About.com

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Appropriate Worship – Honoring the Gods the Right Way

Appropriate Worship – Honoring the Gods the Right Way

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One issue that comes up often for people learning about modern Pagan spirituality is the concept of appropriate worship. There tends to be some question about what, exactly, is the right offering to make to the gods or goddesses of one’s tradition — and how we should honor them when making those offerings.

Let’s imagine that you have two friends. First, we have Jill. She likes French cuisine, Meg Ryan movies, soft music and expensive wine. She’s someone who lets you cry on her shoulder when you’re feeling blue, and she offers some wise and thoughtful insight when you can’t solve a problem on your own. One of her best qualities is her ability to listen.

You also have a friend named Steve. He’s a lot of fun, and sometimes shows up at your house at midnight toting a six-pack. Steve likes watching movies with lots of explosions, took you to your first Metallica concert, and can rebuild a Harley with his eyes closed. He eats mostly bratwurst and Funyuns, enjoys picking up strippers at bars, and is the guy you call when you want to have a good time.

When Jill comes over, are you going to have a nice quiet dinner with a glass of wine and Josh Groban playing in the background, or are you going to hand her a cheeseburger and a beer, pull out the Wii for a round of God of War, and stay up until 3 am seeing who can burp and fart the loudest?

Likewise, if Steve shows up, are you going to do things that he enjoys, or are you going to say, “Hey, Steve, let’s watch Steel Magnolias and talk about our feelings?

Much like our friends Jill and Steve, the gods have certain things they like and value, and certain things they don’t. To offer one of them something better suited to another is not only disrespectful, it shows that you really don’t know them at all and worse yet, haven’t even taken the time to learn about them. What do you think Steve is going to say when you offer him a vegetarian soup and turn on some chick flick? He’s going to bail, that’s what he’s going to do. Because not only did you present him with something he dislikes, but you’re showing a fundamental lack of knowledge of someone you claim is your friend.

Sure, you love Jill and Steve equally, but they’re not the same person, and they don’t have the same likes and dislikes. The gods are the same way — you may honor both Aphrodite and Mars, but that doesn’t mean Mars wants to you to leave him a bouquet of flowers and a glass of milk while you sing him Kumbaya. You can also be sure that Aphrodite probably isn’t interested in offerings of blood and raw meat, or warrior chants.

The idea of right or appropriate worship is not about someone telling you what’s “right or wrong.” It is simply the concept that one should take the time to do things – including worship and offerings – in a way that is conducive to the demands and needs of the god or goddess in question.

When you honor the gods, take the time to put some thought into it. Ask yourself what it is you hope to obtain by making the offering — are you trying to gain something, or merely show your appreciation and gratitude to the Divine? Learn about the types of deities you’re about to honor, and study the specific gods and goddesses of your tradition, so that when you do make an offering or present a ritual in their name, you can do so in a way that truly does them honor.

 

Source:

About.com

 

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Do Wiccans and Pagans Believe in God?

Do Wiccans and Pagans Believe in God?

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Question: Do Wiccans and Pagans Believe in God?

I’m interested in Wicca, but my mom says Wiccans and Pagans don’t believe in God. I feel weird not believing in a universal force of some sort. What’s the deal here?

Answer: The deal is that most Wiccans and Pagans see “god” as more of a job title than a proper name. They don’t worship the Christian god, but that doesn’t mean they don’t accept the existence of deity. Various Wiccan and Pagan traditions honor different gods. Some see all deities as one, and may refer to The God or The Goddess. Others may worship specific gods or goddesses – Cernunnos, Brighid, Isis, Apollo, etc. – from their own tradition. Because there are so many different forms of Pagan belief, there are nearly as many gods and goddesses to believe in.

Many Pagans, including but not limited to Wiccans, are willing to accept the presence of the Divine in all things. Because Wicca and Paganism place a good deal of emphasis on the idea that experiencing the divine is something for everyone, not just select members of the clergy, it’s possible for a Wiccan or Pagan to find something sacred within the mundane. For example, the whisper of wind through the trees or the roar of the ocean can both be considered divine. Not only that, many Pagans feel that the divine lives within each of us. It’s rare to find a Pagan or Wiccan who sees the gods as judgmental or punishing. Instead, most view the gods as beings that are meant to be walked beside, hand in hand, and honored.

Another aspect of this that’s important to keep in mind is that not everyone who is a Pagan happens to be Wiccan. There are many other paths of Paganism, many of which are polytheistic. Some Pagan paths are based on a concept that all gods are one. There are also some Pagans who follow an earth- or nature-based belief system outside of the concept of deity completely.

 

Source:

About.com

 

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Spell Caster’s Affirmation

Witchy Comments
Spell Caster’s Affirmation

There is one Presence and Power in the Universe
That manifests to me as Goddess and as God
It guides the stars and the planets
It guides me and moves through my life
For I am a perfect incarnation of God /dess
And a perfect priest/ess of God/dess
I am a complete manifestation of this power
I release all imbalanced energy and it’s effects
I harness harmonious energy
And shape it for the good of all
In accordance with free will
With ease and with joy
With love and kindness
So mote it be

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You’ve Studied Witchcraft & Wicca, Now Choose A Magickal Name

You’ve Studied Witchcraft & Wicca, Now Choose A Magickal Name

Personality Labels

We all can attest to the fact that our given name has, through the years, labelled us in some manner. First names tend to stereotype people and last names can often present the same type of response, and there are times when we wish our parents had chosen to name us something else other than what we are, but saying that at times we may be proud of our names we go by.

When you enter the craft you are building a new extension of yourself, a new personality so to speak. This new self lives in a no limit world, save for the restrictions that you set yourself. So to speak you are opening yourself to a brand new world. Achievements that you yourself never dreamed of are now all of a sudden possible and the personality characteristics that locked you in a specific pattern are now being lifted and changed to mould the way you want to be and not how others perceive you. Most initiates wish to choose a new name to reinforce that special part of themselves that now exists.

However, in a coven environment an individual may take on two different names. The first being known as the “circle” name, thus being used within the coven and the second being the “magical name” to be used in ceremonial rituals, where it is only known by the god/goddess and the individual or the individuals teacher. The number, type and knowledge of names does not differ from tradition to tradition. As a solitary witch would use the same name till such time as she saw fit to change it, some never change there names at all, others use separate ones for correspondence and such alike.

Care should be taken in choosing your magical name, it should represent the beauty of yourself and your higher personal values and ideals.

Finding your magickal Name

Since your new name does not, well not very often, reach out and pinch you, you might have to look a bit for it. Some witches choose to take a name that is traditionally connected with magick, perhaps from a legends story or a name from the tarot and the runes etc. Some witches scry to find their name, they tend to be kind of mystical names, quite often naming animals such as black panther and silver hawk, these are merely examples.

When looking for your name try the following… Take out a piece of paper and write at the top “my magical name should stand for the following strengths…” Leave blank spaces and go down to about the middle of the page and write “This name should have the characteristics of the following deities, plants, elements etc. Then start to answer these questions, do it over a period of time don’t rush into it as said before care should be taken to ensure that you are truly comfortable with your name and that you shouldn’t have to change it on a regular basis, it tends to confuse others and yourself if you do it to much.

Once you have selected your name, get used to it. Sign all letters with it, practice using it and become as one with your name as it does with you. Set up a dedication ceremony, even dedicating your magical name and the bonding you have with it at the same time.

Source;

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

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THE STORY OF WICCA

THE STORY OF WICCA

Wicca, an alternative name for modern witchcraft is a positive, shamanistic nature religion with two main deities honored and worshipped in Wiccan rites. The Goddess (the female aspect and a deity related to the ancient Mother Goddess in her triple aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone) and her consort, the Horned God (the male aspect). Their names vary from one Wiccan tradition to the next and some traditions use different deity names in both their higher and lower degrees.

Wicca often includes the practice of various forms of white magick (usually for healing purposes or as a counter to negativity), as well as rites to attune oneself with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the moon and the four seasons.

Wicca (which is also known as the “Craft of the Wise” or often just “The Craft”) is considered by many to be both a monistic and pantheistic religion and is part of the modern Pagan resurgence or neo-Pagan movement, as many prefer to call it.

Today, most people who define themselves as Pagans use the word as a general term for native and natural religions, usually polytheistic and their members. In simple terms, it is a positive, nature-based religion, preaching brotherly love and harmony with and respect for all life forms. It is very similar to Native American spirituality. Its origins are found in the early human development of religion. Animistic deities gradually becoming redefined to become a main God or Goddess of all Nature. This God or Goddess (bearing different names at different times and in different places) can be found in nearly all of the world’s historic religious systems. Paganism does not oppose nor deny other religions. It is simply a pre-Christian faith.

The Wiccan religion is made up of various sects or “Traditions” such as Gardenerian, Alexandrian, Dianic, Tanic, Georgian, Ethnic Traditionalist and so on. Many of the traditions were formed and introduced in the 1960s and although their rituals, customs, myth cycles and symbolism’s may be different from one another, they all hold common principles of Craft law.

The main tenet of Wicca Craft is the Wiccan Rede, a simple and benevolent moral code that is as follows…

AN IT HARM NONE, DO WHAT THOU WILT.

In other words, be free to do your own thing. Provided that you in no way bring harm upon anyone, including yourself. (The Wiccan Rede is extremely important to bear in mind before performing any magickal spells or rituals, especially those which may be considered unethical or of a manipulative nature.) The Threefold Law (or Law of Three) is a karmic law of triple retribution which applies whenever you do something good or bad. For instance, if you use white magick (or positive energy) to do something good for somebody else, three times the good will come back to you in your lifetime. By the same token, if you use black magick (or negative energy) to bring harm unto others, the bad or “evil” will also return to you threefold in the same lifetime.

The followers of the Wiccan religion are called Wiccan or Witches. The word “Witch” applies to both male and female practitioners of the Craft. Male Witches or Wiccans are seldom, if ever, called warlocks. The word “Warlock” which is considered an insult in most Wiccan circles stems from the old english word “Waerloga,” meaning an “Oath-breaker” and was used derogatorily by the Christian Church as a name for a male witch.

Although Witches are proud to be a part of the Craft, there are some who object strongly to the use of the term “Witch,” feeling that the word stirs up too many bizarre images and misconceptions in the minds of those who are unfamiliar with the Craft and perhaps a bit reluctant to accept that which they do not clearly understand.

As Wicca Craft is a Nature-oriented religion, most of it’s members are involved in one way or another with the ecology movement and current environmental issues.

Wiccans do not accept the arbitrary concept of innate sin or absolute evil and they do not believe in a Heaven or Hell, other than those which are one’s own creations.

Wiccans do not practice any form of black magic or “evil,” nor worship devils, demons, or any evil entities and do not make attempts to convert members of other faiths to the Pagan way. Wiccans respect all other positive religions and feel that a person must hear the “Call of the Goddess” and truly desire within her or his own heart, without any outside proselytisation to follow the Wiccan path.

Many Wiccans take on one or more secret names (also know as “Eke-names”) to signify their spiritual rebirth and new life within the Wicca Craft. Eke-names are most sacred and are used only among sisters and brothers of the same path. When a Witch takes on a new name, she or he must be extremely careful to choose one that harmonizes in one way or another with numerical name-numbers, birth-numbers, or runic numbers. A well-chosen name vibrates with that individual and directly links her or him to the Craft.

Many Wiccans work together in small groups which are called covens. The coven (which can consist of up to 13 people) is led by a High Priestess and/or High Priest and gathers together to worship the Goddess, work magick and perform ceremonies at Sabbats and Esbats. The members of a coven are known as “Coveners” and the place where a coven meets is called the “Covenstead.”

Wiccans who work on their own, either by personal choice or by circumstance are called “Solitary” Witches.

Wiccans celebrate 8 Sabbats each year, making transitions in the seasons. There are 4 major (or grand) Sabbats and 4 minor (or lesser) ones. The major Sabbats are Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain. The minor Sabbats are Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice.

The Esbat is a monthly coven meeting held at least 13 times a year during each Full Moon. At the Esbat, Wiccans exchange ideas, discuss problems, perform special rites, work magick and healing and give thanks to the Goddess and the Horned God. A traditional “Cakes and Wine” or “Cakes and Ale” ceremony also takes place at the Esbat. During this ceremony, consecrated food and refreshments are served and coveners take time to relax and discuss important magickal subjects. The “Cakes and Wine” or “Cakes and Ale” ceremony is a traditional custom whenever a Wiccan ritual takes place and the circle is cast.

In a coven, the Goddess is represented by the High Priestess and the Horned God by the High Priest.

The Goddess is known by many different names. She is often called Diana, Cerridwen, Freya, Isis, Ishtar, The Lady or any other name that a coven chooses to use or that a Wiccan feels responds to his or her own mythical vision.

The Goddess is the female principle. She represents fertility, creation, the regenerative powers of nature and wisdom. The moon is her symbol and in works of art, she is often depicted as having three faces, each representing a different lunar phase. In her New Moon phase she is the Maiden; in her Full Moon phase she is the Mother; and in her Waning Moon phase she is the Crone.

The Horned God is a phallic deity of fertility and intellectual creativity who symbolizes the powers of the waxing and waning crescent moons. He is usually represented by a hirsute and bearded man having the hooves and horns of a goat. He is a God of Nature and the male counterpart to the image of the Goddess. In primitive times, He was worshipped as the Horned God of Hunting.

Like the Goddess, the Horned God is also known by many different names. In some Wiccan traditions, He is called Cernunnos, which is Latin for “the Horned One.” In others, He is known as Pan, Woden and other names.

The worship of the Goddess and the Horned God symbolize the Wiccan belief that everything that exists in the universe is divided into opposites: female and male, negative and positive, light and darkness, life and death, yin and yang, the balance of Nature.

Source:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

 

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Wicca & Witchcraft – The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide

WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT
————————————
The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide
Steven S. Sadleir

Wicca, or Witchcraft is the old religion of Europe, which apparently evolved from Druidism.  Wiccan is generally a term applied to a “Wise One” or “Magician”, and Wicca is the practice of “magic”, which is the application and utilization of natural laws.  As Witchcraft competed as a religion with Christianity (the ‘new’ religion) in the Christianized Western World, witchcraft became repressed as a form of paganism (i.e., a Primative Teaching) and was given an evil stigma, and therefore was not practiced openly.  However, with the repeal of the English Witchcraft Act in 1951, many covens, or congregations, have opened up to the public and many new groups have formed. There are now dozens of Wiccan orgnaizations in the United States and Europe, with perhaps, thousands of active Wiccans and Witches.  Most witches practicing the craft publicly are considered ‘white’ witches, that is, they yse their knowledge for good ends and practice the Wiccan Creed: “Ye hurt none, do as ye will.”  Black Witches (which has recieved most of the notoriety, but are considered a minority) are generally not visible to the public and use thier knowledge for selfish or evil means.  Satanism is NOT considered a form of witchcraft, but was created by people who believe there is a Satan, or Devil.

Wicca/Witchcraft generally involves some form of God or Goddess worship, and many involve the workings of spiritual guides as well.  Wicca/Witchcraft is a very individualized religion, and each person chooses his or her own deities to worship.  Generally, the supreme being is considered ‘genderless’ and is comprised of many aspects that may be identified as masculine or feminine in
nature, and thus a God or Goddess.  Originally, the horned God of hunting represented the maculine facet of the deity, whereas the female qualities were represented in the fertility Goddess.  The Gods and Goddesses from the personalities of the supreme being, and are a reflection of the attributes that worshippers seek to emulate.  Wiccans may draw upon the ancient civilizations of the Druids, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, or other polytheistic cultures to commune with the particular aspect of the deity that they identify with.  Some favorite gods include Osiris, Pan, Cennunnos, and Bacchus.  Facotie Goddesses include Isis, Caridwen, Rhea, Selene, and Diana.

Wiccans generally observe the four greater Sabbaths of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Laghnasadh; and the lesser Sabbaths – the Spring and autumn equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices.  There celebrations are typically free-spirited, and are sometimes held ‘skyclad’ (naked) or in various styles of robes.  Other services include handfasting (marriage), handparting (divorce) and wiccaning (birth rite).  Regular meetings, called Esbats are also held, at which magic and healing are performed.  Wiccans/witches meet in small groups (up to twelve) called a coven, whcih typically join with other covens to form a ‘Grove’.

Rituals are typically held outside and consist of forma a circle and erecting the temple (consecrating the circle); invoking, praising, and soliciting assistance from gods, goddesses, and elementals; observing the change of season and energies represented by the various seasons; singing; dancing; ‘cakes and ale’ (sharing of bread and wine); and clearing the temple. Personal practive includes meditation and prayer, divination, development of personal will and psychic abilities through spells and various forms of healing.  Most Wiccans/witches have altars where they burn candles and incense and practice their rites.  To perform thier rites, other tools of the craft are used, such as an athame, yag-disk or, seaux (a handmade and consecrated knife), a sword, a wand, and sometimes special jewelry, amulets or talismans (magically empowered objects).  Sometimes these objects are inscribed with magical writings. Joining a coven or grove typically involves an initiation, which is stylized by each individual group, but generally involves the confirmation that the initiate understands the principals and an oath of secrecy.

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