Being Wiccan

wiccan ritual

Understanding the Craft of Wicca

Wicca is commonly referred to witchcraft or also the craft, it is mainly a neopagan religion and a modern form of witchcraft. People indulging in this form of witchcraft are known as Wiccans, Crafters or Witches.

Wiccan History

Wicca first took off in England during the early 20th century; it was later popularized in the early fifties and sixties by Gerald Gardner a well known Wiccan High Priest. Gardner used to call Wicca the “witch cult” but it was after the 1960s that the name normalized to what we know today as “Wicca.”
There are also those that believe that Wicca is nothing but something that grew out of the latest New Age movement. This is a claim that many Wiccans deny and historians such as Ronald Hutton back by remarking that Wicca easily predates any type of New Age movement and also differs in philosophy.
The version of Wiccan history as told by Gerald Gardner is based on his belief that it’s a survival of the witch cult of Europe which was ruthlessly persecuted during the famous witch trials. However modern investigations by scholars into the history of Wicca show that there were fewer trials than Gardner claims and very few were carried out by religious authorities. This is why theories of large witch trials and an organized pan-European hunt for witches has been discredited. But Wiccans still feel solidarity with victims of witch trials carried out hundreds of years ago.

Fundamentals of the Wicca religion

The Wicca religion is based on the worship of a god and a goddess. They are both traditionally referred to as the Horned God and Triple Goddess they are viewed as facets of pantheistic godhead and they can manifest themselves in a number of polytheistic deities. However there are also other theologies existing within the craft of Wicca which range from atheism to monotheism.
Gerald Gardner believed that the Goddess is one of the most important deities along with the Horned God. Early Wiccan publications describe the goddess as a tribal goddess of witchcraft, she is neither universal nor omnipotent. He (Gardner) also recognized that a much bigger “prime mover” existed but it was something that witches didn’t concern themselves with.

Ritual Magic

One of the most publicized aspects of Wicca is its ritualistic magic which is influenced by ceremonial magic dating back hundreds of years with the Wiccan Rede a libel code of morality. But it is interesting to note that all witches do not subscribe to this. Another aspect of this craft is the celebration of seasonal festivals which in Wicca tradition are known as Sabbats. There are usually eight Sabbats each year.

Wiccan Traditions

Now there are quite a few different denominations within what is classified as witchcraft often called traditions. These include Alexandrian Wicca and Gardnerian Wicca which follow Gardner, this is why they are often collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca, while many other witches consider the term Wicca to just apply to a few traditions. Other traditions like Feri, Dianic tradition, and Cochrane’s Craft are influenced by many other figures and may not follow any particular lineage. Many of these traditions may also not subscribe to the term ‘Wicca’ and may instead call themselves practitioners of ‘Witchcraft’ while some practitioners may believe that all witchcraft is Wiccan.

More about being Wiccan

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