What religion does Wicca follow
Wicca [edit | Edit source]
Wicca is a neo-pagan witch religion of love for life and nature. A pagan natural religion whose partly shamanic, partly Scottish-Celtic roots go back to the time when people began to work the soil in order to be able to live from the harvest. The belief in the divine power of nature was the first that existed and it arose from what most affected ordinary people at the time: nature, which ensured their survival. From this very simple, near-natural religion, increasingly complex religious, philosophical systems developed. Wicca tries to rediscover the roots of these systems and to reintegrate them more into today's modern life. The aim is to bring nature back to the center of everyday life. The aim of this is to live in harmony with oneself and one's environment and thus to achieve perfection.
Meaning of the name "Wicca" Edit source]
The name Wicca probably goes back to the old Anglo-Saxon word "wicce", which means something like "wise" or "wise man / wise woman". Roughly translated, the term Wicca means "religion of wise women and men.
Many equate terms such as "witchcraft", "the, craft" and the like with the term Wicca. However, a distinction must be made here. Witchcraft consists of many different traditions and religions. Wicca is just one of them. The term witchcraft should be seen more as a generic term and cannot be used to denote a single tradition. The same applies to the term "the craft". This term, which is rather general and translated as "the craft" (meaning the witchcraft) means (incorrectly, "the craft" was and is still translated in some places as "the power"), can no longer be used as a synonym for Wicca can be used, although this was still the case when Wicca was created. All of these words are connected in a certain way in terms of meaning, but they all have their own different meanings.
History of origin Edit source]
The emergence of the Wicca cult can probably be dated to the 1950s, albeit with some inaccuracy, because it is not clear how long the cult existed before the ban on witchcraft was lifted in England. In any case, it is clear that this cult did not exist before the 20th century. Rumors and myths that Wicca already existed in the Middle Ages and that it has been able to maintain strict secrecy to this day are very improbable, or in some cases have already been refuted. While it is clear that Wicca has roots that go back to the earliest history of mankind, it is definitely a very young cult itself today. A British official named Gerald Brousseau Gardner is generally known as the founder, who at the time was active in several occult lodges (such as the "Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn") and had many extensive contacts in the occult-esoteric scene. However, it is highly unlikely that he was alone in devising the concept of Wicca. It can be assumed that he had help from some friends. What is certain, however, is that he was the one who laid the foundations for Wicca to be a cult that is well known in pagan circles and is constantly expanding. The decisive factor for this was, among other things, his book "witchcraft today", a revolutionary text about a new witch cult, with which he dared to take a big step towards the public. This new witch cult was a combination of various elements of Central European pagan religions and cults (primarily the British pagan cults) and various ritual systems and magical teachings from various countries and cultures. The book was published shortly after the Witchcraft Act in England was dissolved. It can therefore be assumed that the cult existed some time before. In some cases it is even possible that Gardner himself was not the founder of the cult, but only the one who brought it to the public and that Wicca existed before him. But you can't say that exactly. According to Gardner, it was mainly people like Doreen Valiante (a close friend of Gardner's) or Alex Sanders (one of Gardner's most talented students) who ensured that the cult continued to grow in popularity and size. They are more or less known as the pioneers of Wiccan. After Wicca was initially only known in Great Britain, today the USA is the country with the most followers of the cult, where it has already been recognized as a religion. In Germany and in other North, West and Central European countries there are now significant numbers of followers. In southern European areas there is less wiccan prevalence. In Italy there is a related tradition, "Strega", which has nothing else to do with Wicca.
A mixture of pagan roots Edit source]
Most Wiccan groups, including K.A.M, have their roots primarily in British spiritual beliefs. This includes customs of the Scots who lived before the Awakening of Celtic Consciousness, the early Celts, and some select aspects of Celtic Druidism. American Wicca comes directly from British Wicca, brought to America in the late 1950s by English and American Gardnerian, Alexandrian, and Celtic Wiccans. These groups have little in common with denominations in Christendom, but they are much more harmonious. While British customs have a very strong influence on Wicca, or the "craft" as Wicca is sometimes called, there were other Western spiritual religions that worshiped multiple gods. Such as the ancient Greek spiritual beliefs of Eleusis, the Italian spiritual beliefs of Rome, Etruria and the general rural population, Asyrians and other Middle Eastern spiritual beliefs that flourished before the political success of the advocates of "one God".
Organization and structure Edit source]
Unlike, for example, the Roman Catholic Church, which has a clearly structured hierarchy system, Wicca is not directed by a supreme authority. It is not centralized and therefore cannot be precisely defined. However, there are some criteria and indications that can be described as generally applicable. Although Wiccas are not organized by an institution, there are still small groups called Covens (in German: Konvent), witch circles, whose membership traditionally does not exceed 13. There are certainly exceptions to this. In these groups people meet to live Wicca. They hold rituals together, learn, exchange ideas and help each other. A coven is ideally comparable to a second family and is built on the absolute, unconditional trust between the individual members. Despite the anti-hierarchical principle of Wicca, the coven is directed by a high priestess, a high priest or a couple of high priests. However, these high priests are to be understood less as leaders who have to be obeyed, but rather as spiritual guides, teachers and instructors. In most of the coven, the high priests are elected regularly. Usually the individual groups keep in touch with each other. It is also common for larger organizations, so-called umbrella associations, to come together for larger meetings, lectures and the like. The latter, however, does not apply to all Wicca covens. A coven is the traditional structure that wiccas use to organize. Other options are free ritual groups or simple meetings. The training in Wicca also traditionally takes place via such a coven. With the increasing development of the cult, however, it is now also possible to take responsibility for training yourself. However, there are still traditional Wiccas who believe that a coven can be the only form of Wicca training.
Wiccan ethics Edit source]
Even if Wicca is not a religion that is governed and determined by an institution or another supreme, governing body, there are still a few rules and principles of life for the members of Wicca that have to be followed.
The most important motto, which is also known to many non-Wiccas, is: "If it doesn't harm anyone, then do what you want!". This sentence is taken from a lyric text, the "Wiccan rede". The Wiccan speech is a kind of guide in lyrical, partly also encrypted form, which is known to all Wiccas. Of course, it is not possible to follow this Wicca's ultimate principle literally. However, it is not intended as a literal law to be followed. Rather, it should exhort never to cause unnecessary damage. Wiccas are perfectly entitled to defend themselves in the event of an attack, to kill animals or to end plant life in order to ensure their survival. According to the Wiccas, everything is in balance. The aim is to avoid shaking this balance unnecessarily. This is what this guiding principle is intended to express.
Also to be considered are the 13 principles of the Wicca witches, which were adopted in 1974 at the Conference of American Witches. These are as follows:
1 .: We practice rituals to tune in to the natural rhythm of life - the phases of the moon, the seasons and the cardinal points.
2 .: We recognize the special responsibility that we have towards the environment due to our human intelligence. We strive to live in harmony and in ecological balance with nature and thereby find fulfillment in life as part of evolution.
3rd: We recognize a power that is much greater than most people realize. Some refer to this power as "supernatural," but we believe it is part of our natural potential.
4th: We believe that the creative power of the universe is expressed through polarity - through the masculine and the feminine - resides in all people and works through interactions between the masculine and the feminine. We do not put either of these forces above the other because we know that both complement each other. For us, sexuality is joy, a symbol and the embodiment of life.
5th: We recognize an outer and an inner world. The inner one is sometimes called the spiritual world, collective unconscious, inner plane, and so on. In the interaction of these two dimensions we see the basis for supernatural phenomena and magical exercises. We do not neglect either world because we need both to find fulfillment.
6 .: We do not recognize an authoritarian hierarchy, but we respect people who share their knowledge and wisdom with others and who courageously take on leadership positions.
7 .: We see religion, magic and wisdom as a unit. We call this worldview and philosophy of life "Wicca" or "witchcraft".
8 .: To be a witch, it is not enough to call yourself that. Origins, titles and initiations are not enough. A witch tries to control the forces within her in order to live well and wisely and in harmony with nature and not to harm others.
9 .: We believe that the universe as we know it has a meaning and that our task in this cosmos also makes sense if we live fulfilled, continue our evolution and further develop our consciousness.
10 .: Our only criticism of other religions and philosophies of life is: Most claim that they are the only ones who know the truth and the way; they do not allow others their freedom and they suppress other belief systems.
11 .: As witches, we do not feel threatened by debates about the history of witchcraft, the origin of certain terms, and the legitimacy of various traditions. But we ourselves deal with our present and our future.
12 .: We do not believe in “absolute evil” and we do not worship “Satan” or “devil” as Christianity defines him. We do not seek power through the suffering of others and we do not want to withhold anything from others in order to benefit from it.
13 .: We work within the laws of nature for that which promotes our health and well-being. We do not feel bound by traditions from other times and cultures and we do not feel obliged to any person or power that is greater than the divine that expresses itself through us. As witches, we respect all doctrines and traditions that affirm life. We want to learn from them and share our knowledge with them. We do not allow Wicca to be destroyed by people who violate our principles and only seek personal power. On the other hand, we welcome all people who have a sincere interest in our knowledge and beliefs, regardless of race, skin color, gender, age, nationality, culture or sexual orientation.
Also of note are the 13 goals of Wicca. They are:
Get to know yourself.
Learn the art (craft).
Apply your knowledge with wisdom.
Achieve complete equilibrium
Keep your words in order
Keep your thoughts in order.
Connect with the cycles of nature.
Breathe and eat right.
Take care of your body.
Honor the lady and the lord.
general Wiccan beliefs Edit source]
The religious and philosophical doctrine of Wicca can only be described very unspecifically and superficially, if at all, as there are sometimes serious differences and deviations in the various beliefs and traditions. In any case, very little is given in terms of personal beliefs.
Gods and goddesses are understood in the Wicca cult as an image for a higher, transcendent being that remains closed to the human mind, but not to his body. In order to be able to come into contact with this being, one needs an idea of him. Images of God were created for this purpose. They give the incomprehensible a form to work with. Wicca therefore recognizes every other religion as being of equal value. Wiccas assume that all gods, no matter what culture they come from, are images for the same, omnipresent god being and thus in principle serve the same one to whom they have dedicated themselves. The claim to absoluteness that many monotheistic religions have today is not represented in Wicca. In the Wicca cult, the divine being is divided into two god forms, a male and a female. Since one assumes that the divine being manifests in nature and since one has recognized that nature is built on the principle of polarity, one has created a polarizing god image, which is also based on the old pagan accumulation cultures . The goddess in Wicca is ascribed to the moon, which is a symbol for femininity, while the god is ascribed to the sun, a symbol for masculinity. Like the moon, the goddess also goes through three stages, which are marked with age levels. When the moon is waxing, she is worshiped as a virgin, when the moon is full as a mother, when the moon is waning as an old woman. God also has different stages, but they are based on the course of the sun in a year. Depending on the season, he is worshiped as a youth, man or god of the dead. The entire cult is based on the fact that the creative power of life arises from the union of these two gods. The festivals of the Wicca cult, which tell the life story of the two gods in a mythological legend, are also celebrated under this aspect.
In the Wiccakult eight festivals are celebrated each year, two of which are in a season. They are evenly distributed throughout the year and symbolize different stages of the annual cycle of spring, summer, autumn and winter. These eight festivals are also based on the old, pagan natural festivals of Central Europe. They are linked to a mythology of the two deities who go through an entire life cycle in one year, which is repeated over and over again. At these festivals, too, the sun and moon have specific meanings. In some cases, the festivals are also calculated according to the position of these two heavenly bodies. However, there are also some representatives of the cult who keep to fixed dates of the Julian calendar. The 12-13 full moons of the year are also of great importance. They too are usually celebrated with a ritual celebration.
Death and rebirth:
Most Wiccas assume that their soul, their life energy, is preserved after death and is reintegrated into the cycle of nature, i.e. is reborn.This belief also results from the close connection to nature, which in Wicca leads to the realization that everything runs in an eternal cycle of death and rebirth. The mythology of the gods is based on this principle in relation to the annual festivals. The belief in reincarnation is not shared by all Wiccas, however. There are also (even if only isolated) traditions that believe in a summer country, which, however, has little to do with the Christian idea of heaven. Rather, it would be comparable to the Elysian fields of the ancient Greek belief. Sometimes there are also combinations of ideas of summerland and reincarnation.
the wiccan speech - the wiccan instruction [edit | Edit source]
The Wiccan speech is a kind of guide, a recommendation for Wiccas in lyrical form. It contains (partly hidden) references to the cult, its customs and rites, as well as the laws of magic and nature. It was written by Lady Gwen Tompson and Adriana Porter. It was first published in 1975. Originally the text reads as follows:
Bide within the law you must, in perfect love and perfect trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.
For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.
Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again.
Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane, and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.
When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek.
Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth. When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's insight.
Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magic to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of the Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.
As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.
When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.
Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.
In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight.
Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be.
Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need, do not rake to others greed.
With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the three-fold laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.
Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfillment: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
The German translation is:
You must build on witchcraft law with true love and firm trust.
Live and let others live. Be moderate in taking and moderate in giving.
Pull out the circle three times, keep unwelcome ghosts out of it.
If you want your saying to be effective, say it in rhyme every time.
Your eyes are gentle, your touch is gentle, and you hear before speaking.
Honor the ancients in deeds and words, send out light and love, in all places.
If the moon grows, go soleno. Dance and sing the pentacle alive.
But the wolf howls at the blue verbena, go towards the sun, because the moon is being dismantled
When the Goddess Moon is in the new state, then kiss her hand twice.
Pay attention to the full moon. Be ready. The time is right for longing in the heart.
If the mighty north wind lets itself be felt, brush the sails and close the doors.
The wind from the south makes hearts bloom, you too can glow with him in love.
The east wind will unveil news, await and prepare you for the celebration.
If the wind from the west has to command, the wandering souls are restless.
Nine woods are good for the kettle. Burn them quickly in soft embers.
Birch burns hot in the kettle, it shows you what the goddess knows.
Rowan is a plant of power because it arouses life and magic.
Willows stand by the water's edge, they accompany us into the summer land.
You have to burn hawthorn if you want to recognize the fairy folk.
Hazelnut, the tree of wise men, will do your learning.
The apple tree bears white flowers that guard the power of fertility.
Grapes grow fine on the vine, give us great joy and wine.
The fir stands for eternal life, because you will experience it green even in winter.
The tree of the goddess is wise and old. Shame on him and their curse is your salary.
There are four main festivals, don't forget. Pay attention to the shadow and the light.
The old year dies by candlelight. It is clear: it is Samhain.
The lake freezes at Imbolc, but the first flowers are already in the snow.
When the year comes to Walpurgis Night, the fires burn in full splendor.
When the harvest is ready, the time for magic is right.
You should know four secondary festivals, watch the sun to name it.
If the wheel arrives at Jul, then light the torches and Pan rules.
At Ostara it is the same day and night. The time of the blossoms has awakened.
The sun is hot on Litha, but soon not anymore, as everyone knows.
Autumnal days come to Mabon, light and shadow are in balance.
You should take care of all plants, because the goddess blesses them.
The murmuring waters are your conscience, throw a stone and you will know.
In your need you will prove yourself and not covet the possessions of your neighbors.
Don't get involved with the gates, they put you in the wrong place.
Receiving and parting made with warmth, your heart will be made to glow happily.
The threefold law is your guiding thread, three times it brings luck and three times the damage. When adversity reigns dark days, then wear a blue star on your forehead. Those who love you will never deceive you, otherwise they will also lie to you in the face.
Finally, eight words. And the rule is: If it doesn't harm anyone, then do what you want!
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.
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