You may have heard about it before but you never really
knew what it actually was. Wicca, sometimes referred to as the "ancient
ways" or "the craft" is quite an old religion. It is a
nature-based religion that focuses on duality.
When you hear the word Wicca it may sound like new term. You may see it as a new
religion that is creeping up on the world. Wicca was here long before
Christianity was conceived. In the past the Wiccan traditions were passed down
from generation to generation by word of mouth. When Christianity arrived in the
world, the practitioners of Wicca went into secret. This was done to preserve
their very lives. The Christians did not understand them and therefore feared
that which was unknown.
The word "Witch" translates from the old European word, "Wytche,"
(pronounced, Weyech). The word "Wytche" means "Wise One."
The word "witchcraft" literally means, "The craft of the wise
ones." These people were the healers, teachers and the leaders of the
ancient tribes. They knew the art of herb craft and could heal their own of
things that normally killed the uninformed foreigners. They were well educated
in areas of mathematics and science. The Witch’s way was loving and reverent
to our Mother Earth. As a result, it was normal practice to be very intimate
with our Earth’s workings.
It is quite well known that human nature is often to fear what one does not
understand. The Christians did not know or understand the way of the Wytche.
They associated the wonderful things the wise ones practiced commonly as evil,
as it was seen that these things had to be the works of their evil incarnate
spirit, the Devil. For this, the witches were hunted down and many slaughtered.
In the madness, there were many accused of the Craft falsely and also executed.
The Witches scattered the Globe. Many of them chose death in the seas over
public torture, mutilation and murder. Those who practice their Craft today
refer to this time as the "burning times." Adolf Hitler is often seen
as an "anti-Christ" for being responsible for the deaths of over 6
million people during World War II. Many of the Christians we canonized as
saints for the responsibility of the deaths of an estimated nine-million
You may also ask what I mean by duality? Look all around you. Look at your
house, your yard, the stars, everything. Wiccans believe that just as their is
God, there is also the Goddess. Just as there are males, there are females. Just
as their is the sky, there is the earth. everything is balanced to the Wiccan.
Without one, there could not be the other. This is what we mean by duality.
Wiccans observe the holidays of Pagan Europe: Eight festivals spaced evenly
about the wheel of the year at the quarters (equinox's and solstices) and the
cross-quarters (midpoints between the equinox's and solstices). They are called:
Yule (Dec 21), Imbolc (Feb 2), Ostara (March 21), Beltane (May 1), Midsummer
(June 21), Lughnasadh (Aug 1), Mabon (Sept 21), and Samhain (Oct 31). Actual
dates vary slightly from year to year, as they are based upon actual celestial
events. Wiccans also celebrate the Full Moon, of which we have 13 per year.
Wiccans follow what is known as the "Wiccan Rede."; "An Ye Harm
None, Do What Thou Wilt." Harm is here defined by anything that takes away,
or works against an individual's free will, or harms an individual mentally,
physically, or spiritually. It is of course, impossible to exist or even cease
to exist without causing harm, so Wiccans look to fulfill this as closely as
possible. A Wiccan attempts to make choices based on what will cause the least
harm and promote the greatest overall positive effect for themselves, the world,
everyone and everything.
Wiccans exercise a very ethical life style that is based on the "Law of
Three." The Law of Three has been worded and taught in thousands of ways.
Wiccans word it basically this way: The actions and even the thoughts of an
individual are visited back to them at least three fold the intensity of the
original. Others have said, "What goes around, comes around." This is
a universal law that has been known as "Karma," or by many other
Wicca teaches self discipline, personal responsibility, kinship with our planet
and its creatures, open-mindedness and the virtues of diversity. Wiccans do not
proselytize, as we believe that each must find the path that is right for them,
and that all religions are different paths to the same truths. We draw our
beliefs and practices from our own experiences and that of others. We understand
that age does not make a religion any more valid nor does political support,
numbers of followers, or material holdings of it's temple. Religion is a very
personal thing, one which can only be validated by the experiences of the
individual. Wicca provides a link for those who follow similar paths to share
their knowledge and experiences.