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 teh 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

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; dancaing;
‘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
thier 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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