What is Witchcraft/Wicca?

What is Witchcraft/Wicca?

Wicca was the first (or at least one of the first) of the neopagan religions.
As a result, it is the best known, and tends to overshadow its younger, smaller
siblings. This bias appears in the postings in alt.pagan and in this FAQ.
This does not mean that Wicca is more valid than other neopagan religions —
just larger and louder.

Wicca, however, is only one of the things called W/witchcraft (or sometimes,
the Craft, a term also applied to Masonry). There are a whole range of styles
of folk-magic around the world which are called witchcraft in English. If the
word Witch is capitalized, it indicates that it is being used to refer to a
member of a pagan religion, not just to a practitioner of folk-magic. There
are also Witches who practice religions called Witchcraft which are not Wicca.
These religions tend to be more folk-pagan than Wicca, drawing on the heritage
of a specific culture or region.

Wicca itself is a new religion, drawing strongly on the practices of Ceremonial
Magic. While there are claims that Wicca goes back into the mists of
pre-history, honest examination of the practices and history of the Wicca will
make it clear that Wicca is new. (Actually, the word “Wicca” itself is
recently coined, at least in its present usage. The OE “wicca” was pronounced
“witch-ah” and meant male magician. The new word “Wicca” is pronounced
“wick-uh”, capitalized as a religion, and means a religion, not a person.)
However, Wicca has developed in many directions and should not be seen as a
unified whole, even though it is fairly new. Rituals and beliefs vary widely
among Witches.

Unlike most of the neopagan religions, Wicca is an initiatory religion, that
is, people who choose to practice Wicca believe that the commitment to this
path set changes in motion in their lives. Many Traditions (sects) of Wicca
formalize this with a ritual (or series of rituals) of initiation. Others,
especially Solitary Witches, trust that the Gods will do the initiating of the
Witch.

2 thoughts on “What is Witchcraft/Wicca?

  1. Greetings, to the Writer of, “What Is Witchcraft/Wicca !

    After all these many years, you are the very first person, besides myself, who pronounces the word(s), Wica/Wicca/Wice/Wicce, as I have been taught. Has been so very a long time. Beginning to think I was the only one, any more.

    Shining Wolf

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  2. Only thing I’d add is that some of us Solitary Witches were initiated into groups but later, by chance or choice, ended up practicing alone. I ended up solitary because I live in a small, isolated place with very few neopagans around. It’s not so bad being the town’s Witch! As long as the people around me know I am a “friendly neighborhood witch!” LOL

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