Kinds of Witchcraft
The Witches Creed
What Witches Believe
Christianity & Wicca
Wicca & Jung
Liberals Like Christ
Wicca is centered around the use of positive thought, positive action and love of nature to create an atmosphere of positive energies which are then used for our own benefits. Wicca teaches that there is certainly a higher power, namely the Goddess and God, often referred to solely as the Goddess, but that the Goddess is always attainable, for She is everywhere: in the tree, in the leaf, in the ant, within ourselves. In this sense, Wicca is a pantheistic religion. Wicca teaches that there is much more in our universe than we can see or understand.
This rule is reinforced by a second major aspect of Wicca: Everything you put out comes back to you Three fold. This means that every good deed you do, every terrible thing you do, every good spell you cast, every harmful spell you cast will come back to you thrice what you put out. Therefore, the punishment for breaking the law of Harm None is a threefold return of whatever you did. I have already mentioned that we use magick. Yes, we do. I'm not going to go into what is is here, because I have included the section about Magick at my web site, so if you want to know more about the nature of magick, go see that entry.
The difference between Witchcraft and Wicca is, for many, a fine line. I think the two are best differentiated by the idea of religion vs. practice. Wicca is a religion which involves communion with the Earth, communion with a God/Goddess (or several of them if you're a polytheist), living in peace with yourself and others, and giving to those that gave to you. Witchcraft, however, is what we practice. Witchcraft is the art of magick, the art of energy manipulation, the art of altered states of consciousness. This is not a religion in and of itself.
In fact, not all people who practice witchcraft are Wiccans. Witchcraft may be practiced in many different forms, and admittedly, not all of them are positive. Satanist practices come to mind as an example of negative magick. A Witch in the Wiccan religion is someone who has studied very hard, committed the Pagan ways to memory, and has given his/her life over to the Goddess for protection and guidance. The term Witch for us is a high title--just because you are Wiccan does not make you a Witch. (Sort of in the same sense that being a Christian does not make you a Priest) A Witch in other religions is anyone who practices magick. I use the term, however, to mean the former....Alaine VioletMoon
Wicca is not devil worship, does not involve hurting or cursing people, is not Satanism, and does not involve the desecration of any traditional church's objects of veneration. The following questions and answers will provide you with some insights to Wicca and their beliefs:
Gerald Gardner (1884 - 1964), a British civil servant, who wrote The Meaning of Witchcraft is believed by many to be the founder of modern day Wicca.
According to Gardner, Wicca:
Gardner has claimed that after he wrote his books, he received many letters from members of isolated covens who had believed that their groups had been in continuous existence for generations or centuries.
Other individuals discount this belief system and maintain that there was no continuous Wiccan presence from Celtic times to the 20th century. They maintain that present-day Wicca was created by merging a few ancient Celtic beliefs, deity structure, and seasonal days of celebration with modern material from ceremonial magick, the Masonic Order, etc.
Still others trace Wicca back to a little known faith group in New England in the early 20th century.
We believe that Deity/Source/God/dess is imminent in the world around us. Divinity permeates every living thing. . .and most of us define rocks, soil, water, air, fire, and the planet Herself as living things. Just look with an open heart at a dew-filled spider web or a lacework of bare winter branches covered with ice crystals, and you'll see what we mean. God/dess is IN there. S/He's in each one of us, too.
This idea has many ramifications.
First, it means every living thing is sacred. We don't believe in a hierarchy of God above man above animals above plants. We believe Divinity permeates everything, and so everything has an equal right to our love, reverence, respect, and protection. Witches tend to be dedicated environmentalists. But more than that, we let ourselves be guided by a very simple and powerful ethical principle:
Instead of listing a number of "Thou shalt nots," we say that as long as one's actions don't harm any living thing, including ourselves, in ANY way, we can do whatever brings joy and love into our lives. So, fun between consenting adults --with suitable precautions-- is okay. Using any sort of physical, mental, emotional, or magical coercion if someone is reluctant, is NOT.
Second, because we believe that Divinity is in everything we see, we don't create a hierarchy of values based on things of the spirit being of more worth than things of the body. Our bodies are rather miraculous gifts God/dess provides to allow us to live in and learn from on the physical plane. We see it as a spiritual imperative to take care of them. Every act that helps us maintain our physical existence thus takes on a spiritual dimension. When doing dishes or cleaning out the basement become sacred acts, life is a whole lot richer.
We also believe that our thoughts, actions, emotions, and prayers create energy. This energy goes out into the world and, in the process of being reflected by the other beings there, is multiplied before it returns to us. Some say threefold, others say tenfold; it may vary. But what we put out returns to us multiplied, whether that be love or fear, anger or compassion. So most of us work actively to try to diffuse our fears, express our anger cleanly and let it go, and to develop a greater understanding of the world around us.
Our lives are gifts, and if we need to protect ourselves, we do; generally through the most peaceful means possible. Often this takes the form of surrounding ourselves with light to reflect or deflect anything that means us harm. We do kill to eat; most creatures do. Some of us are vegetarian. Personally, because I see plants as people, too, and know that something must die so I can survive, I eat a variety of foods, expressing my gratitude for this food to the creatures who supply it.
Another belief that many of us share is that our souls cycle through many lifetimes. We will be back to enjoy the progression of the seasons again. Among witches, there are many different visions of the time and space between lives; most are joyful places where we meld more closely with our Gods. But because we know we'll be back again, we know that any mess we leave behind will be here when we return (possibly even multiplied in the interim). Another strong motivator to live in harmony and respect with all others in our world.
One of the things we learn, in deeper and deeper ways as we progress on this path, is that on the levels of spirit and energy, we are not only connected to, but literally ONE with all living things. Any harm we do another is, in the long run, harm to ourselves. We don't need a disciplinary God to judge us; we see the results of our actions. Harm harms us; love strengthens us. This is extremely empowering, because we know that if we make our own messes, we can also, with the support and loving guidance of the Goddess and God, clean them up.
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