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Wicca

There are three common definitions for Wicca:

1) A pre-Christian, pagan, nature/fertility religion, matrifocal, oriented to the seasons and the land, with roots in prehistory, evolving as humans evolve.

2) A living (still exists), inititated (stages/lineage/passing on of teaching), traditional, mystery/wisdom religion

3) The indigenous, shamanic religion of Early Europe

 

 

Basic Beliefs (part of most Wiccan Traditions)

Reincarnation- a central belief

Wicca is sometimes called the Path of Return. Reincarnation is a choice that is made, and is not about pain, but about learning, and personal evolution. It is a method to become whole, perfect, complete, or wise. Much like Buddhism, you don't return just for yourself, you come back to help others. You also choose this life.

You become male and female so that you can experience both genders.

Wiccan's don't tend to talk about the mechanics of how to ensure a better incarnation.

Belief in a Goddess and a God

There is a fair amount of variation between different Wiccan traditions. While some traditions have little, or no mention of a God, most traditional Wiccans have both a Goddess and a God.

Magic

It is possible to cause changes on almost anything, on your environment.

Relationship With Other Beings

Wiccans believe in oneness or union. They believe that we are connected to all beings.

Ethics

"An ye harm none, do what you will" Part of the Wiccan Rede. It's about responsability/freedom.

Intetionally Experiential

There is no central text for Wiccans (like the Christian Bible). The ideas behind Wicca and it's beliefs are taught/learned through direct experience in Sabbats (Sun related)_and Esbats (Moon related).
Sabbats

Oct. 30 - Samhain
Dec. 21 - Yule*
Feb. 2 - Candlemas
Mar. 20 - Spring Equinox*
Apr. 30 - Beltane
Jun. 21 - Summer Solstice*
Aug. 2 - Lammas
Sep. 22 - Fall Equinox*

* called "Gates of the Sun"

Esbats

Esbats occur on the day of the full moon. There are 13 full moons or 13 new moons every year. Full moons occur approximately every 29.25 days. When there are two full moons in one month, the second one is called a Blue Moon (interesting to note, there will be two Blue Moons in 1999, one in January, and one in March)

The word Esbats comes from the Old French meaning "to dance and have a good time"

Esbats are considered "working festivals" because they are primarily used for healing, magical work, etc. They are oriented primarily to the Goddess, and usually involve "Calling Down the Moon" which is an invocation of the Goddess in her lunar aspect.

Perception of Dieties

The Wiccan deities are "living" deities. They are not ideals, they are living fact. They are omnipresent (present everywhere), immanent (present in everything), and transcendant (not caught within creation). They are seen as parents. Also, all gods are one God, and all goddesses are one Goddess. [example: Aphrodite, Artemis, Diana, Amaterasu, Kali, and Dourga are all the same Goddess, just different aspects of her, or different ways she presents herself to us.]

There is no set iconography, that is, there is not statue of the wiccan deities, no paintings. There is no set description of them.

In most religions, you would say "The Goddess is about agriculture, and the God is about hunting" but in wicca it is different. It is more accurate to say "Agriculture is about the Goddess, and hunting is about the God."

Also, change is about the Goddess, and death is about the God (although, in most wiccan traditions, you can't say "death" without saying "rebirth" in the same breath) Death is not seen as punishment in Wicca, it is part of a cycle. Nature has no punishments or rewards, just consequence. The Wiccan God is the Giver of Life, and Bringer of Death (as opposed to "taker of life")

The Wiccan Deities have many different names. Some of them are only used in certain rituals. The different names represent the different faces of the deities.

There isn't much emphasis on belief in the Goddess (and the God), it is more like a knowledge due to the experience aspect of Wicca. You experience the Goddess in everything, and experience the God in deep meditation, when on a quest, and in anything involving death.

 

 

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this page was created and maintained by Becky Simmons
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