This is Wicca
Author: Pulchra Lupus
Before you begin, I would like to make my intended audience clear. This essay, while perhaps appreciated by my fellow believers, is more directed toward doubters, or new practitioners of the craft. This is meant to educate those ill informed or else those who are curious.
Wicca. What is your first impression, when you hear this word? Tainted witchcraft? Satanism? Evil? If these are among your thoughts, then you have been sadly misinformed.
Wicca is Pagan. This is very true. But Pagan no more means evil than being a bird means you can fly. Pagan came from the Latin word Paganus, literally meaning country-dweller or rustic. It is a religion predating Christianity by roughly twenty-eight thousand years, making it ancient and different. It is not Satanic Worship; the Devil had not yet even come into the picture. It is simply different, and the Old Church set out to destroy or convert that which scared it, that which it could not understand.
Pagans deal with more attacks, verbal and violent, for being what they are than nearly any other religion. But, the uneducated and the crude initiate those attacks. For, if you truly knew what Wicca was, you would know that we are no threat to you.
Those who practice this religion are benign, peaceful. They are comfortable with who they are, knowing that they have nothing to prove to anybody but themselves. They do not try to recruit others to their belief system; they do not try to convert others away from their religion. If a person comes to Wicca, they do it of their own free will. They do not attempt to harm others in any way, and they do not try to right any wrong done to them, especially with use of magick. This, in part, is due to their belief in the three-fold law, known by most simply as Karma.
We celebrate two deities, the God and the Goddess. These deities are known by many names. The Goddess is commonly associated with all maiden goddesses such as Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon and the Hunt, and Diana, Artemis’ Roman aspect, but she has three aspects, not just the Maiden. She is the Crone, the wise old woman stirring the cauldron, the Mother, who calls us all her children, and the Maiden, who is young and pure and kind. The God is depicted often with the antlers of a stag, and so many assume that he represents the Devil. This is not so. He is closely associated with the Greco-Roman gods of Pan, god of nature, and Apollo, got of the sun, of music and archery, of healing. Kernunos, Cernunnos, his names are also many. They both rule over nature, but they also have specific spheres of power. The Goddess rules the night sky and is the Mother of the Earth. The God is represented as the midday sun and is in charge of the hunt.
Wiccans do not worship trees, or rocks, or rivers. These are symbols that they attune themselves with in order to link with nature and, through it, to their deities. The elder tree is the Lady’s sacred tree, and oak is linked with the Horned God. The Wiccans believe that they are born of nature and that, when they die, their bodies return to the earth, and their souls travel to the afterlife. The afterlife itself is unique for each person. By definition, most do not believe in Hell, or Heaven, in the strictest sense. We believe that, when you die, whatever you imagined your death to be is what it will be. If you pictured yourself in Avalon, walking beside the Goddess among the apple trees, this is where you would go. We also believe in reincarnation; the God and Goddess give us the option of being reborn, with the knowledge that we will not remember our past lives and only the very bare essence of the soul will remain, bearing unconsciously the lessons learned in previous lives.
Wiccans do practice magick, but never should it be used in a way intended to harm or negatively affect our selves or another. They have two classifications of magick: white magick, and black magick. Black magick is practiced solely by those who divert from the true Wiccan path in a foolish quest for power, but all religions have their fools. The entire Wiccan existence is based on the belief that all life is sacred, and to intentionally take one’s life, as suicide or homicide, is gravely looked upon, but they try to see it as just another mistake.
Wiccans have the Wiccan Rede, which speaks of the Sabbats, the guidelines of the use of magick, and the respect of the higher powers. The final eight words are not negotiable, and are the firmest, set-in-stone rule of all Wicca, no matter the specific tradition. These words are: An ye harm none, do as ye will. Harm none. This is the one and only hard rule of Wicca. Hurt nobody. So why are our kind constantly attacked? Verbally abused with cruel insults, physically assaulted by those who know nothing of the true religion?
Why? Because everyone is afraid of what they cannot understand, and so they lash out in order to rid themselves of the fear by ridding themselves of the cause. But this is cruelty and an abuse of their rights as human beings, and we should not have to tolerate this as we do. We are not the neighborhood pot-smokers, nor are we the tattoo-riddled, pierced from head to toe hippies. Some fall into these categories, but so do some Christians, and Catholics, and Muslims. We are all human beings, regardless of our beliefs, and we should be treated as such. And yet, wars are started over things simple as this. This mass prejudice on not just Wiccans but all different religions is making us forget that we are all part of the same race. This is wrong, alienating our own kind over something as trivial as what god someone prays to. It isn’t our business what others believe in, and we should learn to leave well enough alone.
I hope this really made you think about your actions and others. I hope you can find it in yourself to rise above the most primal part of human nature and learn to love everybody, regardless of religion, or skin color, or language.
This is Wicca.