What is Wicca?

What is Wicca?

by AmberSkyfire

 

Contrary to popular belief, Wicca is not evil. Wiccans do not follow the devil. Wiccans do not even believe in the devil. Wicca is a nature oriented religion which centers around a single deity (known as the All) which encompasses all things in the universe and without. This All is divided into two equal halves much the same way as the universe is divided into two halves. There is light and dark, male and female, good and evil, etc. These are often evident in the two deities called the Lord and the Lady. Each represents a perfect and equal half and complement each other much like the yin and the yang. The Lord is a father figure. He represents animals, the soul, fathering, passion and the wild. He is symbolized by the color gold, air, fire, and by the Sun. The Lady or Goddess represents the earth mother, motherhood, nurturing, femininity, and that which we can touch. She is symbolized by water, earth and the moon. Wiccans believe in honoring their deities and in living in harmony with nature and the universe. Witches sometimes practice in groups of up to thirteen called covens. Covens are used to bring different people of a faith together so that they may learn from each other’s experiences. Witches can also work alone. They are called solitaries. Wiccans are generally considered witches because they practice the art of magick. Not al witches, however, are Wiccans. Wicca is a religion and witchcraft is simply the practice of the magickal arts. Because Wiccans worship nature, their holidays coincide with significant days of the year. All of the four seasons are celebrated as well as four other holidays which fall between each. All of the eight holidays are spaced at exactly the same number of days apart and do not always fall on the same day each year. Most of these holidays coincide with Christian holidays such as Christmas (Yule) and Easter (Ostara). These holidays are called the Sabbats or Sabbaths. Witches also may or may not celebrate what are called Esbats. Esbats are specific lunar dates that are of major importance. These are the new moons and the full moons. There are 13 full moons during the year, each representing one month. Thus, the pagan calendar has thirteen months and not twelve. Most today represent these lost days in the thirteenth month to leap year. These holidays are meant to celebrate the earth and her cycles of nature. Wiccans follow one basic fundamental rule: “harm none.” The Wiccan Rede or “Law” states: “Abide the Wiccan law ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust. Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: ‘An’ it harm none, do what ye will.’ And ever mind the rule of three: what ye send out comes back to thee. Follow this with mind and heart, and merry meet and merry part.” The main goal of Wicca is to harm none. Wiccans base their lives on self discipline and helping others. Most spells are done for healing, love, friendship and to help others. You will not find Wiccan spells for harming others or spells which are destructive in any way.

Wicca is a recognized religion worldwide and is protected by the United States Constitution. Contrary to popular belief, Wicca is not an ancient religion. Some of the ideas and rituals follow what is believed to have been practiced by the early Nordic tribes, but the religion was founded in the early 1960’s and was at the time considered a “New Age Religion.” Many unseasoned Wiccans will often refer to their following as “The Olde Ways.” This is often the result of misinformation from other witches either on the internet or in books who claim that they follow ancient traditions. Some will even claim that their beliefs were handed down from century to century and guarded against Christians and others who might seek to waylay witches and traditional witchcraft. Unfortunately, virtually no information has survived to this day and we must rely on skepticism to learn how ancient peoples worshiped.

LUNAR PHASES AND MAGICKAL WORK

LUNAR PHASES AND MAGICKAL WORK  

  
Moon Myths
When people lived with Nature, the changing seasons had a great impact on religious    ceremonies. The Moon was seen as a symbol of the Goddess. Because of this, the light of the Moon was considered magical, and a source of energy. Wiccans    often practice magic at a Full Moon to tap into this energy thought to exist at this time. Plutarch once said “Egyptian priests called the Moon the    “Mother of the Universe,” because the moon, “having the light which makes moist and pregnant, is promotive of the generation of living    beings..” The Gnostic sect of Naassians believed in a primordial being known a “the heavenly horn of the moon.” The Moon was the Great Mother. Menos meant “Moon” and “power” to the Greeks. To the Romans, the morality of the Moon Goddess was above that of the Sun God. In many cultures the Moon Goddess and the Creatress were the same. Polynesians called the Creatress Hina, “Moon.” She was the first woman, and every    woman is a wahine, made in the image of Hina. Scandinavians sometimes called the Creatress Mardoll, “Moon Shining Over the Sea. Ashanti people had a    generic term used for all their deities, Boshun, meaning Moon. Sioux Native Americans call the moon The Old Woman Who Never Dies. Iroquois call her    “Eternal One.” Rulers in the Eritrean zone of South Africa held the Goddesses name “Moon.” The Gaelic name of the Moon, gealach, came    form Gala or Galata, the original Moon-Mother of Gaelic and Gaulish tribes. Britain used to be called Albion, the milk-white Moon-Goddess. The Moon was    called Metra, which means Mother , “whose love penetrated everywhere.” In the Basque language, the words for deity and moon are the same. The    root word for both “moon” and “mind” was the Indo-European manas, mana, or men, representing the Great Mother’s “wise    blood” in women, governed by the Moon. The derivative mania used to mean ecstatic revelation, like lunacy used to mean possession by spirit of Luna, the Moon.
To be Moon-Touched or Moon-Struck meant to be chosen by the Goddess. When patriarchal thinkers belittled the Goddess, these words came to mean    craziness. Orphic and Pythagorean sect viewed the Moon as the home of the dead, a female gate known as Yoni. Souls passed through on the way to the    paradise fields of the stars. Greeks often located the Elysian Fields, home of the blessed dead, in the moon. The shoes of Toman senators were decorated    with ivory crescents to show that after death they would inhabit the Moon. Roman religion taught that “the souls of the just are purified in the Moon.” Wearing the crescent was “visual worship” of the Goddess. That was why the prophet Isaiah denounced the women of Zion for wearing    lunar amulets. Because the moon was the holder of souls between reincarnations, it sheltered both the dead and unborn, who were one in the same. If a man    dreams of his own image in the Moon, he would become the father of a son. If a woman dreamed of her own image in the Moon, she would have a daughter. The    Moon Goddess created time, with all its cycles of creation, growth, decline, and destruction. This is why ancient calendars were based on phases of the    moon and menstrual cycles. The Moon still determines agricultural work in some parts of India. Indonesian moon priestesses were responsible for finding the    right phase of the moon for every undertaking. The Moon was to have been the receptacle of menstrual blood by which each mother forme the life of her    child. This sacer, taboo moon-fluid kept even the Gods alive. The moon was “the cup of the fluid of life immortal, quickening the vegetable realm and    whatsoever grows in the sub-lunar sphere, quickening also the immortals on high.” The Moon was supposed to rule life and death as well as the tides. People living on the shores were convinced that a baby could only be born on an incoming tide and a person could not die until the tide went out. It was often said birth at a full tide or a full moon means a lucky life. Girls in Scotland refused to wed on anything but a Full Moon. Witches invoked their    Goddess by “drawing down the Moon.” It is said to be a rite dating back to moon worship in Thessaly, centuries before the Christian era.
Esbats   
Lunar holidays are also known as Esbats, but any Wiccan ritual held at any time other than a Sabbat is an Esbat. Due to the rotation of the earth, the Wiccan calendar contains 13 Full Moons and 8 Sabbats, also known as Days of Power. A full moon happens every 28 1/4 days. Full Moon energy is used for banishing unwanted influences, protection and divination. A Full Moon is also a good time for planning, releasing and working backwards in time. Full Moon Magic can be done for seven days, three days before the full moon and three days after the full moon.
There are thirteen Full Moons. Each has a traditional name.
Wolf Moon January
Storm Moon February
Chaste Moon March
Seed Moon April
Hare Moon May
Dyad Moon June
Mead Moon July
Wyrt Moon August
Barley Moon   
September Blood Moon
October Snow Moon
November Oak Moon
December Blue Moon variable
The New Moon is used for personal growth, healing, the blessing of a new project etc. Between the New Moon and Full Moon is the phase called Waxing Moon. Magic for this phase includes attraction magic, increasing, growth, and gain. Between the Full Moon and New Moon is the phase called the Waning Moon. Magic for this phase includes banishing magic, such a loosing negative emotions, bad habits etc. Three days before the New Moon is known as the Dark Moon, as it is not visible in the sky. Traditionally, no magic is performed    at this time. It is a time for rest.

Oh, It Is A Glorious Tuesday! Wishing You A Very Blessed Day, My Friends!

 

The Law of the Power

The Power shall not be used to bring harm, to injure or
control others. But if the need rises, the Power shall be
used to protect your life or the lives of others.

The Power is used only as need dictates.

The Power can be used for your own gain, as long as by
doing so you harm none.

It is unwise to accept money for use of the Power, for it
quickly controls its taker. Be not as those of other
religions.

Use not the Power for prideful gain, for such cheapens
the mysteries of Wicca and magick.

Ever remember that the Power is the sacred gift of the
Goddess and God, and should never be misused or abused.

And this is the law of the Power.

The Law

We are of the Old Ways, among those who walk with the
Goddess and God and receive Their love.

Keep the Sabbats and Esbats to the best of your
abilities, for to do otherwise is to lessen your connection
with the Goddess and God.

Harm none. This, the oldest law, is not open to
interpretation or change.

Shed not blood in ritual; the Goddess and God need not
blood to be duly worshipped.

Those of our ways are kind to all creatures, for hurtful
thoughts are quiet draining and aren’t worth the loss of
energy.

Misery is self-created; so, too, is joy, so create joy and
disdain misery and unhappiness. And this is within your
power. So harm not.

Teach only what you know, to the best of your ability, to
those students who you choose, but teach not to those
who would use your instructions for destruction or
control. Also, teach not to boost pride, forever
remember: She who teaches out of love shall be enfolded
in the arms of the Goddess and God.

Ever remember that if you would be of our way, keep the
law close to your heart, for it is the nature of the Wicca
to keep the Law.

If ever the need arises, any law may be changed or
discarded, and new laws written to replace them, so long
as the new laws don’t break the oldest law of all: Harm
None.

Blessings of the Goddess and God on us all.

Reference:

The Law & The Law Of Power, Author Scott Cunningham

More Tuesday Comments

How To Celebrate an Autumn Full Moon – Group Ceremony

How To Celebrate an Autumn Full Moon – Group Ceremony

Celebrate the autumn full moon outdoors!

In addition to — or instead of — holding a monthly Esbat rite, some Wiccan and Pagan groups prefer to have a season-specific full moon ceremony. During the autumn months, the harvest season begins with the Corn Moon in late August, and continues through September’s Harvest Moon  and the Blood Moon of October. If you’d like to celebrate one or more of these moon phases with a ritual specific to the harvest, it’s not hard. This rite is written for a group of four people or more, but if you needed to, you could easily adapt it for a solitary practitioner.

Here’s How:

  1. Try to hold this ritual outside. Fall nights are usually crisp and cool, and a perfect time for outdoor rituals. Ask each member of the group to bring an item to place on the altar — something that represents the bounty of the harvest. Decorate the altar with these seasonal goodies. Some ideas would be:
    • A basket of apples
    • Gourds, squashes, or small pumpkins
    • Indian corn
    • Colorful leaves
    • Stalks of grain or wheat

     

    You’ll want to include quarter candles, as well as a cup of wine or cider. If you’re including Cakes and Ale as part of your celebration, place your cakes on the altar as well.

  2. Assign a member of the group to call each quarter. Each person should stand at their assigned quarter holding their unlit candle (and a lighter or matches), and facing the altar. If there are more than four of you present, form a circle.

    Some traditions choose to begin rites facing east, while others prefer the north. This ritual begins with the calling of the north quarter, but you can adjust or adapt it based on the needs of your own tradition.

  3. The person in the north quarter lights their green candle, holds it to the sky, and says:

    We call upon the powers of Earth, and welcome you to this circle. May the fertile soil of the land bring us prosperity, abundance, and the bounty of the land, in this time of harvest.

    Place the candle on the altar.

  4. The person to the east should light her yellow candle, hold it to the sky, and say:

    We call upon the powers of Air, and welcome you to this circle. May the winds of change bring us wisdom and knowledge in this season of abundance and bounty.

    Place the candle on the altar.

  5. Moving to the south, light the red candle and hold it to the sky, saying:

    We call upon the powers of Fire, and welcome you to this circle. May the shining light of this season’s moon illuminate our way through the coming winter.

    Place the candle on the altar.

  6. Finally, the person to the west lights the blue candle, holds it to the sky, and says:

    We call upon the powers of Water, and welcome you to this circle. May the cool autumn rains wash away the last comforts of summer, and prepare us for the chill that is to come.

    Place the candle on the altar.

  7. Have everyone in the circle join hands and say:

    We gather tonight by the light of the moon, to celebrate the season, and rejoice. May the next turn of the Wheel bring us love and compassion, abundance and prosperity, fertility and life. As the moon above, so the earth below.

    Go around the circle, passing the wine or cider. As each person takes a sip, they should share one thing they are looking forward to in the coming month. Do you hope to manifest financial independence? Develop your intuitive powers? Or are you perhaps hoping to grow your relationships? Now is the time to state your intent.

  8. Take a moment to reflect on the bounty of the season. When everyone is ready, either move on to your next ceremony — Cakes and Ale, Drawing Down the Moon, healing rites, etc. — or end the ritual.

Tips:

  1.  Quarter candles are colored candles based on the colors of the four cardinal directions: green for north, yellow for east, red to the south and blue in the west.

What You Need

  • Candles for each of the four quarters
  • A cup of wine or cider
  • Symbols of the harvest to decorate the altar

Wiccan Tool List Master

Wiccan Tool List Master

Equipment:

  • a pentacle
  • 6 candles; 1 for each direction, 2 for altar
  • chalice of wine (hard apple cider on Samhain)
  • wand
  • scrounge of silken cords
  • small bowl of water
  • small bowl of salt
  • 3 cords, one red, one white, one blue, 9′ long each
  • white-handled knife
  • individual athames
  • incense burner and incense
  • small hand bell
  • dish of cakes
  • sword
  • chalk
  • altar cloth of any color
  • cauldron
  • tape recorder and tapes of appropriate music
  • veil for Great Rite of a Goddess color: Blue, green, silver or white

For New or Dark Moon Esbat:

  • extra incense
  • an apple and a pomegranate
  • cauldron with a fire in it and/or a bonfire
  • crystal ball or other scrying tools
  • white tabard with hood for Priestess

For Winter Solstice (Yule):

  • cauldron with candle or oak bonfire
  • wreaths, 1 of holly and 1 of mistletoe
  • crowns, 1 of oak and 1 of holly
  • blindfold
  • sistrum
  • animal skull filled with salt

For Spring Equinox:

  • cords as described in preparations
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • a bonfire ready to ignite or a taper
  • flowers in the cauldron

For Beltane Sabbat:

  • bonfire

For Initiations:

  • anointing oil
  • tub to bathe the candidate in
  • towels
  • salts, herbs and oils to add to the bath
  • a blindfold
  • a shirt or other clothing that can be cut
  • a length of string to measure the person
  • two lengths of cord to bind the hands and feet
  • bonfire for warmth if needed

For Blessings:

  • anointing oil
  • wine

The Wicca Book of Days for July 15 – The Moon’s Moon

The Wicca Book of Days for July 15

The Moon’s Moon

 

If July’s full moon rises on a Cancerian date, both the event and the Esbat that celebrates it are truly special, for the zodiacal Crab, and the days that it encompasses, are governed by the moon itself. This lunar coincidence may inspire you when it comes to naming your Esbat, but it may be that you prefer to emphasize a different aspect of this time of year. Some Wiccans refer to the “mead moon,” highlighting the home brewed, honey-based drink that was enjoyed in earlier eras, while others talk of the “hay moon,” referring to the harvesting that traditionally takes place around now.

 

Saint Swithin’s

According to English lore, how the weather is on July 15 is how it will remain for forty days. Swithin, Bishop of Winchester had his requested church-yard burial in 862, but when it was decided to move his remains inside on July 15, 891, forty days of rain followed.

 

The Wicca Book of Days for June 15 – The June Moon

The Wicca Book of Days for June 15th

The June Moon

 

Wiccans honor the Full Moon under a variety of names during their June Esbats, depending on which of its powers they wish to highlight. Some term it the “Mead Moon,” in which case “mead” may refer to either England’s fermented-honey drink, or “meadow,” this name speaks of natural sweetness and fertility. Others call it the “Dryad Moon,” denoting the nymph that the ancient Greeks believed lived within every tree. Another name is the “Lover’s Moon,” signifying the nature of the relationship between the Goddess and Horned God at this time of year.

 

Magna Carta Day

 

June 15 marks the anniversary of the signing in England, in 1215, of the Magna Carta, the “great charter” guaranteeing certain human rights that is regarded as one of the first democratic documents. Give thanks that you live in a democratic society today, and resolve to use your vote in November.

The Law

We are of the Old Ways, among those who walk with the
Goddess and God and receive Their love.

Keep the Sabbats and Esbats to the best of your
abilities, for to do otherwise is to lessen your connection
with the Goddess and God.

Harm none. This, the oldest law, is not open to
interpretation or change.

Shed not blood in ritual; the Goddess and God need not
blood to be duly worshipped.

Those of our ways are kind to all creatures, for hurtful
thoughts are quiet draining and aren’t worth the loss of
energy.

Misery is self-created; so, too, is joy, so create joy and
disdain misery and unhappiness. And this is within your
power. So harm not.

Teach only what you know, to the best of your ability, to
those students who you choose, but teach not to those
who would use your instructions for destruction or
control. Also, teach not to boost pride, forever
remember: She who teaches out of love shall be enfolded
in the arms of the Goddess and God.

Ever remember that if you would be of our way, keep the
law close to your heart, for it is the nature of the Wicca
to keep the Law.

If ever the need arises, any law may be changed or
discarded, and new laws written to replace them, so long
as the new laws don’t break the oldest law of all: Harm
None.

Blessings of the Goddess and God on us all.

Reference:
Scott Cunningham

Wiccan Tool List Master

Wiccan Tool List Master

Equipment:

  • a pentacle
  • 6 candles; 1 for each direction, 2 for altar
  • chalice of wine (hard apple cider on Samhain)
  • wand
  • scrounge of silken cords
  • small bowl of water
  • small bowl of salt
  • 3 cords, one red, one white, one blue, 9′ long each
  • white-handled knife
  • individual athames
  • incense burner and incense
  • small hand bell
  • dish of cakes
  • sword
  • chalk
  • altar cloth of any color
  • cauldron
  • tape recorder and tapes of appropriate music
  • veil for Great Rite of a Goddess color: Blue, green, silver or white

For New or Dark Moon Esbat:

  • extra incense
  • an apple and a pomegranate
  • cauldron with a fire in it and/or a bonfire
  • crystal ball or other scrying tools
  • white tabard with hood for Priestess

For Winter Solstice (Yule):

  • cauldron with candle or oak bonfire
  • wreaths, 1 of holly and 1 of mistletoe
  • crowns, 1 of oak and 1 of holly
  • blindfold
  • sistrum
  • animal skull filled with salt

For Spring Equinox:

  • cords as described in preparations
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • a bonfire ready to ignite or a taper
  • flowers in the cauldron

For Beltane Sabbat:

  • bonfire

For Initiations:

  • anointing oil
  • tub to bathe the candidate in
  • towels
  • salts, herbs and oils to add to the bath
  • a blindfold
  • a shirt or other clothing that can be cut
  • a length of string to measure the person
  • two lengths of cord to bind the hands and feet
  • bonfire for warmth if needed

For Blessings:

  • anointing oil
  • wine

WICCA AND 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 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
‘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; 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.

WICCA AND WITCHCRAFT

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 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
‘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; 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.

Ritual the Wiccan Way

Ritual the Wiccan Way

Most, if not all religions have some form of ritual. Ritual helps to remove you from the mundane and more you closer to your deity. Under Wiccan ritual we create a sacred space in which to work. Within this space we feel comfortable, just as those going to Church feel a comfort within the walls of the Church.

When to Do and Not Do Ritual

Wiccan do ritual for the Eight Sabbats and all Esbats. There are certain times when you would want to avoid doing ritual. When you are sick, sharing is nice, but not that nice. When you are hungry. a growling stomach can really distract from ritual. When you are tired, proper ritual takes time and energy. When you are Angry, bad energies will be developed; definitely wrong.

Ritual can be done either as a solitary or a coven. The format can be changed to fit the situation.

Ritual

When doing ritual there is a loose structure to follow:

Cast the circle

Call the quarters

Call the Lord and Lady

State the purpose of the ritual.

Do your workings

Share wine and cakes

Enjoy the company of each other within the circle.

Release deity and the quarters

Take down the circle

 

REMEMBER

Once the circle is cast you can not leave. Take care of necessities before the circle is closed. Animals can, and will enter an leave the circle, this shows no disrespect nor will cause any harm.

If a Ritual is to start at 7:30 P.M.; be there at least ten minutes early. Once the circle is cast you will not be permitted to enter.

If you have been asked to bring the candle, wine cake, etc.; for the ritual – do not forget them. It can really rune a ritual.

You are working with a group, remember to show courtesy at all time.

If you have been invited to join a coven for ritual make sure you know what is required of you.

Your BOS

When the ritual is over you will want to record it in your BOS. There are exceptions to this rule. If you were a guest at a ritual check with the High Priest/ess to see if you can record their ritual. Many covens hold their ritual to be sacred and will not permit you to record them. What you can then do is record what the ritual was about and how you felt. As a solitary, record your ritual for future reference.

Remember to keep you BOS is a safe place when not in use. Like a diary, you have recorded many intimate items in it that your really do not want made public on CNN.

Big Wrap-up

Ritual is one way to commune with the Lord and Lady.

Prepare yourself before you do ritual

Record your rituals

Use a BOS to record your magickal doings and the results of them.

A BOS is “eyes only” material – don’t leave it where others can see it.

Beliefs and practice Of Wicca

Beliefs and practice Of Wicca

Its is commonly understood that Wiccans worship two deities, the Goddess and the God sometimes known as the Horned God. Some traditions such as the Dianic Wiccans mainly worship the Goddess; the God plays either no role, or a diminished role, in Dianism. Many Gardnerian Wiccans do not claim to be duotheistic, but rather, may practice some form of polytheism, often with particular reference to the Celtic pantheons; they may also be animists, pantheists, agnostics or indeed any of the other spectacular range of possibilities.

Wiccans celebrate eight main holidays (or Sabbats): four cross-quarter days called Samhain, Beltane (or Beltaine), Imbolc (also called Imbolg, Oimelc, or Candlemas) and Lammas (or Lughnasadh), as well as the solstices, Litha and Yule, and equinoxes, Ostara (or Eostar or Eostre) and Mabon (see Wheel of the Year). They also hold Esbats, which are rituals held at the full and new moon.

Generally, the names are of ancient Germanic or Celtic holidays held around the same time, although two do not have any historical precedent. Ritual observations may include mixtures of those holidays as well as others celebrated at the same time in other cultures; there are several ways to celebrate the holidays.

Some Wiccans join groups called covens, though others work alone and are called “solitaries”. Some solitaries do, however, attend “gatherings” and other community events, but reserve their spiritual practices (Sabbats, Esbats, spell-casting, worship, magical work, etc.) for when they are alone. Some Wiccans work with a community without being part of a coven.Many beliefs hold that the ideal number of members for a coven is thirteen. When a coven grows beyond their ideal number of members, they often split into multiple covens, yet remain together as a group. A grouping of multiple covens is known as a grove.Wiccans weddings can be called “bondings”, “joinings”, or “eclipses” but are most commonly called “handfastings”.

Some Wiccans observe an ancient Celtic practice of a trial marriage for a year and a day, which some Traditions hold should be contracted on Lammas (Lughnasadh), although this is far from universal. When someone is being initiated into a coven, it is also traditional to study with the coven for a year and a day before their actual initiation into to the religion, and some Solitary Wicca choose to study for a year and a day before dedicating themselves to the religion.

A much sensationalized aspect of Wicca, particularly in Gardnerian Wicca, is that some Wiccans practice skyclad (naked). Though many Wiccans do this, many others do not. Some Wiccans wear a pure cotton robe, to symbolise bodily purity, and a cord, to symbolise interdependence and which is often used during rituals.

Others wear normal clothes or whatever they think is appropriate. Robes and even Renaissance-Faire-type clothing are not uncommon.In usual rites the Wiccans assemble inside a magic circle, which is drawn out in a ritual manner followed by a cleansing and then blessing of the space. Prayers to the God and Goddess are said, and spells are sometimes worked. Traditionally, the circle is followed by a meal. Before entering the circle, some Traditions fast for the day, and have a thorough wash.

Many Wiccans use a special set of altar tools in their rituals; these can include a broom (besom), cauldron, Chalice (goblet), wand, Book of Shadows, altar cloth, athame (personal knife), altar knife, boline, candles, and/or incense. Representations of the God/Goddess are often also used, which may be direct, representative, or abstract. The tools themselves are just that–tools, and have no innate powers of their own, though they are usually dedicated or charged with a particular purpose, and used only in that context. It is considered rude to touch another’s tools without permission.

There are different thoughts in Wicca regarding the Elements. Some hold to the earlier Greek conception of the classical elements (air, fire, water, earth), while others recognize five elements: earth, air, water, fire, and spirit (akasha). It has been claimed that the points of the frequently worn pentagram symbol, the five pointed star, symbolise five elements.

The pentacle (a pentagram (five-pointed star) inside of a circle) is most often shown with its point facing upward. Alexandrian Wicca believe that the upper point represents spirit, and the four remaining points symbolise earth, air, fire, and water. This symbolism has slowly worked itself into other traditions such as Solitary Wicca and Seax-Wica, but most Gardnarian Wicca will deny that the points of the pentagram or pentacle actually represent anything at all.

Some people believe that the top point of the pentacle was chosen to represent the spirit as it is often recognized as being more important than the four elements. When, in Satanism for example, the pentacle is usually inverted, the point representing spirit faces downward, and it is often taken that this symbolises that it is less important than physical things.

Another much less common view on the symbolism of the pentacle is that the upright pentacle is a protective charm which protects its wearer through passive energies, such as good will or pleasing emotions, and that the inverted pentacle protects its wearer using aggressive energies, such as curses or angry emotions.

In either case, these are the elements of nature that symbolize different places, emotions, objects, and natural energies and forces. For instance, crystals and stones are objects of the element earth, and seashells are objects of the water element. Each of the four cardinal elements, air, fire, water and earth, are commonly assigned a direction and a color. The following list is not true for all traditions, or branches of Wicca:

  • Air: east, yellow
  • Fire: south, red
  • Water: west, blue
  • Earth: north, green

Elemental, directional correspondences, and colors may vary between traditions. It is common in the southern hemisphere, for instance, to associate the element fire with north (the direction of the equator) and earth with south (the direction of the nearest polar area.) Some Wiccan groups also modify the religious calendar to reflect local seasonal changes; for instance, in Australia Samhain might be celebrated on April 30th, and Beltane on October 31st to reflect the southern hemisphere’s autumn and spring seasons.

Basic Philosophy of Wicca

Wicca, or Witchcraft, is an earth religion — a re-linking (re-ligion) with the life-force of nature, both on this planet and in the stars and space beyond. In city apartments, in suburban backyards, in country glades, groups of women and men meet on the new and full moons (Esbats) and at festival times (Sabbats) to raise energy and put themselves in tune with these natural forces. They honor the old Goddesses and Gods, including the Triple Goddess of the waxing, full, and waning moon, and the Horned God of the sun and animal life, as visualizations of immanent nature.

Our religion is not a series of precepts or beliefs, rather we believe that we each have within ourselves the capacity to reach out and experience the mystery — that feeling of ineffable oneness with all Life. Those who wish to experience this transcendence must work, and create, and participate in their individual religious lives. For this reason, our congregations, called covens, are small groups which give room for each individual to contribute to the efforts of the group by self-knowledge and creative experimentation within the agreed-upon group structure or tradition.

Not all practisioners are in Covens, Some prefer to follow a Solitary path, sometimes refered to as Solitry Wicca. Most who practice solitary Wicca follow more of an Eclectic path, There are some who still follow the same traits as covens.

There are many traditions or sects within the Craft. Different groups take their inspiration from the pre-Christian religions of certain ethnic groups (e.g. Celtic, Greek, Norse, Finno-Ugric); in the liturgical works of some modern Witch poet or scholar (e.g. Gerald Gardner, Z Budapest, Alex Saunders, Starhawk); or by seeking within themselves for inspiration and direction. Many feminists have turned to Wicca and the role of priestess for healing and strength after the patriarchal oppression and lack of voice for women in the major world religions.

There are many paths to spiritual growth. Wicca is a participatory revelation, a celebratory action leading to greater understand of oneself and the universe. We believe there is much to learn by studying our past, through myth, through ritual drama, through poetry and music, through love and through living in harmony with the Earth.

Wicca

Wicca

 
Wicca is a Neopagan religion that can be found in many English-speaking countries. Originally founded by the British civil servant Gerald Gardner, probably in the 1940s, although it was first openly revealed in 1954. Since its founding, various related Wiccan traditions have evolved, the original being Gardnerian Wicca, which is the name of the tradition that follows the specific beliefs and practices established by Gerald Gardner.repeatedly in his published work of 1954. The spelling “Wicca” is now used almost exclusively, (Seax-Wica being the only major use of the four-letter spelling).

In Old English, wicca meant necromancer or male witch. Some contend that the term wicca is related to Old English witan, meaning wise man or counselor, but this is widely rejected by language scholars as false etymology. Nonetheless, Wicca is often called the “Craft of the wise” as a result of this misconception.It appears that the word may be untraceable beyond the Old English period. Derivation from the Indo-European roots ‘wic’ or ‘weik’ is seemingly incorrect by phonological understanding.Though sometimes used interchangeably, “Wicca” and “Witchcraft” are not the same thing. The confusion comes, understandably, because both practitioners of Wicca and practitioners of witchcraft are often called witches. In addition, not all practitioners of Wicca are witches, and not all witches are practitioners of Wicca.

Wicca refers to the religion. This can be a reference to both the initiatory tradition, where initiates are assigned a degree and generally work in covens, and to Solitary Wicca, where practitioners self-dedicate themselves to the tradition and generally practice on their own. Both Initiates and Solitary Wiccans worship the Goddess, with most also choosing to worship the God, and both celebrate the Sabbats and Esbats.

Witchcraft, or as it is sometimes called “The Craft?, on the other hand, requires no belief in specific gods or goddesses and is not a specific spiritual path. Thus, there are Witches who practise a variety of religions besides Pagan ones, such as Judaism and Christianity. It is considered to be a learned skill, referring to the casting of spells and the practice of magic or magick (the use of the “k” is to ‘in order to distinguish the Science of the Magi from all its counterfeits’ (or perhaps just to make it sound better), and was coined as a spelling by Aleister Crowley). To add to the confusion the term witchcraft in popular older usage, or in a modern historical or anthropological context, means the use of black or evil magic, not something Wicca encourages at all.