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What Is Wicca
Contrary to what those who choose to persecute or lie about us wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.
Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence. When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls. To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things.
What Witchcraft is:
Witchcraft is a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and will of the individual, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature thereby affirming the divinity in all living things. Most importantly however, it teaches responsibility. We accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we make. We do not blame an exterior entity or being for our shortcomings, weaknesses or mistakes. If we mess up or do something that brings harm to another, we have no one but ourselves to blame and we must face the consequences resulting from those actions. No ifs, ands or buts and no whining...
We acknowledge the cycles of nature, the lunar phases and the seasons to celebrate our spirituality and to worship the divine. It is a belief system that allows the Witch to work with, not in supplication to deities with the intent of living in harmony and achieving balance with all things.
The spells that we do involve healing, love, harmony, wisdom and creativity. The potions that we stir might be a headache remedy, a cold tonic, or an herbal flea bath for our pets. We strive to gain knowledge of and use the natural remedies placed on this earth by the divine for our benefit instead of using synthetic drugs unless absolutely necessary.
Wiccan believe that the spirit of the One, Goddess and God exist in all things. In the trees, rain, flowers, the sea, in each other and all of natures creatures. This means that we must treat "all things" of the Earth as aspects of the divine. We attempt to honor and respect life in all its many manifestations both seen and unseen.
Wiccan learn from and revere the gift of nature from divine creation by celebrating the cycles of the sun, moon and seasons. We search within ourselves for the cycles that correspond to those of the natural world and try to live in harmony with the movement of this universal energy. Our teachers are the trees, rivers, lakes, meadows, mountains and animals as well as others who have walked this path before us. This belief creates a reverence and respect for the environment, and all life upon the Earth.
We also revere the spirits of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water which combine to manifest all creation. From these four elements we obtain insight to the rhythms of nature and understand they are also the rhythms of our own lives.
Because Witches have been persecuted for so many centuries, we believe in religious freedom first! We do not look at our path as the only way to achieve spirituality, but as one path among many to the same end. We are not a missionary religion out to convert new members to think the same as we do. We are willing to share our experience and knowledge with those who seek our wisdom and perspective however. We believe that anyone who is meant for this path will find it through their own search as Wicca speaks to each of us in her time and way. Wiccan practice tolerance and acceptance toward all other religions as long as those faiths do not persecute others or violate the tenant of "Harm None."
The belief in and use of magic and spellwork is nearly universal within Wicca. This is because for most Wiccans, there's nothing supernatural about magic at all -- it's the harnessing and redirection of natural energy to effect change in the world around us. In Wicca, magic is simply another skill set or tool. Most Wiccans do use specific tools in spellcrafting, such as an athame, wand, herbs, crystals, and candles. Magical workings are often performed within a sacred circle. The use of magic is not limited only to the priesthood -- anyone can craft and perform a spell with a little bit of practice.
Basic Beliefs of Wicca:
While not exclusive to every single tradition, the following are some of the core tenets found in most Wiccan systems:
The Divine is present in nature, and so nature should be honored and respected. Everything from animals and plants to trees and rocks are elements of the sacred. You'll find that many practicing Wiccans are passionate about the environment.
The idea of karma and an afterlife is a valid one. What we do in this lifetime will be revisited upon us in the next. Part of this idea of a cosmic payback system is echoed in the Law of Threefold Return.
Our ancestors should be spoken of with honor. Because it's not considered out of the ordinary to commune with the spirit world, many Wiccans feel that their ancestors are watching over them at all times.
The Divine has polarity -- both male and female. In most paths of Wicca, both a god and goddess are honored.
The Divine is present in all of us. We are all sacred beings, and interaction with the gods is not limited just to the priesthood or a select group of individuals.
Holidays are based on the turning of the earth and the cycle of the seasons. In Wicca, eight major Sabbats are celebrated, as well as monthly Esbats.
Everyone is responsible for their own actions. Personal responsiblity is the key. Whether magical or mundane, one must be willing to accept the consquences -- either good or bad -- of their behaviour.
Harm none, or something like it. While there are a few different interpretation of what actually constitutes harm, most Wiccans follow the concept that no harm should intentionally be done to another individual.
Respect the beliefs of others. There's no Recruiting Club in Wicca, and the Wiccans are not out to preach at you, convert you, or prosetylize. Wiccan groups recognize that each individual must find their spiritual path on their own, without coercion. While a Wiccan may honor different gods than you do, they will always respect your right to believe differently.
What Wicca Isn't:
Wicca does not embrace the concepts of sin, heaven or hell, the evils of sex or nudity, confession, Satanism, animal sacrifice, or the inferiority of women. Wicca is not a fashion statement, and you do not have to dress a certain way to be a "real Wiccan."
Witchcraft or Wicca is not a cult. We do not proclaim ourselves to be spokespersons for the divine or try to get others to follow us as their leaders.
We do not worship Satan or consort with Demons. Satan is a Christian creation and they can keep him. We do not need a paranoid creation of supreme evil and eternal damnation to scare us into doing the right thing and helping others. We choose to do the right thing and love our brothers and sisters because it IS the right thing and it feels good to do it. I suppose it is a maturity thing.
We do not sacrifice animals or humans because that would violate our basic tenant of "Harm None." Anyone who does and claims to be a Wiccan or a Witch is lying.
We have no need to steal or control the life force of another to achieve mystical or supernatural powers. We draw our energy from within, our personal relationship with the divine and nature.
We do not use the forces of nature or the universe to hex or cast spells on others. Again, "Harm None" is the whole of the law.
Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Three which states that whatever we send out into our world shall return to us three fold either good or bad. With this in mind, a "True Witch" would hesitate in doing magick to harm or manipulate another because that boomerang we throw will eventually come back to us much larger and harder then when we threw it.
SundanceApproved The B.W.T.P.O.