What is Wicca? ..You may or may not know what Wicca is, you may THINK you know.. but this piece of writing is to clear up any misconcptions about Wicca that you may hold. Firsly..Wicca is a religion..Thats right, a religion. Secondly, it is not all about spells, spells and more spells. To be a Wiccan you must believe that all life is sacred. You must hold an appreciation for nature: the trees, the clouds, the birds and animals and other people. Wicca is a religion about understanding yourself and the world around you. It IS NOT an easy way to get what you want, it is not a tool to harm other people and it is not something that should be undertaken lightly.
..another thing you should be aware of.. Wicca and Witchcraft are two different things. To be a Wiccan is to believe in the Goddess, to live in harmony with the earth, to care for nature and to find your inner self. Yes. ..most Wiccans DO practice magick, we see magick in the trees, in the lakes, and all around us and within us..magick is a natural energy that can be used to create NEEDED change.
. ..Heres the tricky bit.. Some Wiccans prefer to just be called 'Wiccan', others prefer the term 'Witch', most will call themself both. ..it is a matter of personal choice. "So what is a Witch?" ..In my view, a Witch is someone who uses the natural energy of magick to create change in their lives, they understand the unique responsbility they have towards their magick, and they understand the uses of magick and how it works. However, not all Witches are Wiccan. ..remember what I said before about believing in the Goddess and God? Wiccans also follow a document called 'The Wiccan Rede', the Rede is a lot like a long poem, the ending is the important bit, it states 'An it Harm None, Do what ye will', .This should make it clear that harming people is NOT acceptable, nor is it acceptable to harm yourself. Please think carefully about what it means to 'harm' someone, I'm not just talking about curses and 'black magic' ..i'm talking about physical, mental, spiritual, phychic harm. ANYTHING that hurts anyone in any way. Whether it be through bullying, teasing, ignoring other people, or through magick. Although anger, sadness and jealousy are all accepted by Wiccans as being part of human nature, we, as witches, will try our best to harm no one through these feelings.
.I now ask you a question.. What is it you wish to achieve by becoming a Wiccan? Think deeply. You may think you don't know. Here are a few possible answers.. maybe you are interested in the way that magick works and the way that it can affect your life. Remember..You don't have to be Wiccan to do spells. If your interest lies in spells, and spells alone, then I'm afraid you've come searching down the wrong path.
Maybe you've seen movies like 'The Craft' and have become interested that way. Thats fine, but I must warn you that 'The Craft' was a highly exaggerated, and unrealistic version of Wiccan practice. No, you won't be able to change the colour of your eyes and hair just like *that*. You will not be capable of levitating pencils or other people. You will not see miracles happening before your eyes. and lastly you won't be looking as darn cool as the Craft girlies either!
Doing it to be different? Want everyone to think you're a freak and be scared of you? Sure, its tempting. Everyone likes to have power. But this is NOT what Wicca is about. I repeat..DO NOT get involved with this just to make people think you're cool and ~*freaky*~. This is a serious religion, it requires time, concentration, effort and even money. You go around threatening to cast spells on everyone that shoves past you in the corridor and you may find yourself being faced with some rather angry adult Wiccans breathing down your neck. I'm warning you now! ;)
Another question.. What do you think of what someone says the word 'Witchcraft' or 'Witch'?..gothic? black candles? nighttime? dark eyeliner? ..change it to ..white light, morning mists, moonlit forests, harmony, peace and love. We embrace nature in all its glory, we live and honour the Goddess and God, we give thanks for the earth and its creations, we live our lives to the best of our ability..taking each problem or success and learning from them in order to improve ourselves. "So what about death? Do Wiccans believe in Hell or what?"..no..we believe that each death leads to another birth (reincarnation)...in other words.. 'we live, we die, then we come back again!' "So what's the point in that?" ..no one can really be sure but the theory is that in each of our lives we learn very valuable lessons which are stored in the soul.. "Life is like a classroom, we keep coming back to learn new lessons".
Another common Wiccan belief is that of 'Karma'..Karma means that whatever we do, we will recieve back (What goes arounds comes around)..a bit like a boomerang. Take this example.. You help an elderly person get their shopping into the back of their car..a small act of kindness..the result is that you feel good about yourself for maybe half an hour, or an hour afterwards.(again..i'll be going more indepth into this kind of thing later in the course if you wish to pursue it after reading this article). "Hmm, so where does magick come into all this?"..Well..as I said before, Magick is a natural energy which exists in all things. "yeah, cool..so when do we get to cast REAL spells?"..Whoaa, hold on a minute..Magick takes a lot of work, theres concentration, visualization, circle casting, and you must make sure you understand what it is and how it should be used before you go any further, this can take a matter of months.
"Can you not just give me a little simple spell to try?" There is no such thing as 'simple magick'..I have had magick go wrong many times. A 'simple' spell for happiness can make someone ill, ...this is a story from my own experience.. I had just embarked on work experience (where you go to a workplace of a job to see how things work)..and I was having a really bad time, this guy just shouted at me and almost sent me home for linking a bunch of paperclips together! ..So at the beginning of the second week I went home and did a spell to create 'self-confidence, harmony and happiness for the rest of the week'..an innocently non-harmful spell, or so you might think. I go in the next day and find out that the guy that had been shouting at me is now rather ill at home, and guess what?..it doesn't look like he'll be in for the rest of the week. The spell worked. But it didn't quite worked the way I hoped. ..I'd broken the Rede ..'An it harms none, do what ye will', this poor guy (whether i liked him or not) was laying at home suffering whilst I was having a cool time at work. Hmmph! Magick requires a lot of thought. Just like Wicca.. its not something that should be undertaken lightly.
"So how will Wicca affect my life? What sorts of things will I have to do?" ..As Wicca is a celebration of life we should try and live our lives in tribute to ourselves, other people, nature and the Goddess and God. Daily prayers and offerings may be a way of building up a strong relationship with the Goddess and God. Kindess, helpfulness and consideration are all parts of Wiccan practice. Meditation and relaxation..another common Wiccan practice.
Meditation helps you to learn the art of relaxation, it has proven long term benefits on the health, and immediate evident benefits on the mood. It should clear your mind of clutter, allowing you to function with confidence and understanding. As Wiccans we are aware of the changing seasons, we make observe the trees, whether the leaves are greener this week than they were last week, whether this month has been colder than last month. Listen and Observe. Believe me, you will learn something you never ever knew.
"What about rituals?"..Rituals are done to attune ourselves with the earth. "Huh??" Okay, well..Wiccans celebrate 21 times a year (VERY averagely)..thats 13 Full Moons, and 8 'Sabbats'. The Sabbats are the Wiccan festivals, they are very much like Christmas or Easter, but they are more about tracking the movement of the Sun across the sky than about the life of some bearded guy!.. I really really enjoy the Sabbats, the planning and preperation as well as the actual celebrating!!
You might also have noticed that a lot of Witches have weird names like 'ShadowLion' or 'SilverSkye'. This is called a 'magickal name' or 'Craft name'.. Some Witches may have two or three Craft names. One name may be used within the Pagan community to distinguish themselves, on the internet for example. Another name may be used in a Coven (often the Coven will choose an appropriate name for the new witch) .. and yet another name may be used only between the witch, and the Goddess and God. A secret name, kept sacred for use in magick, within prayer and ritual. I have tons of name.. 'WiLdFyRe', 'Autumns child', 'Fyre' and 'Athena', to name a few. "So how do you choose a magickal name?" ...Well..it may just be something that pops into your head, it may have come up in a dream or in a deep meditation, or it can be found by doing a spell. ..
More about spells..
Where do they come from? Who writes them? ..apart from the spells found in books..most witches will make their own spells, it's part of being a witch. The great thing about making your own spells is that the spell becomes special, and personal to you. Another thing is that you don't have to go searching around for the ingredients you need, and thirdly ..the spell is going to be much stronger because more of your energy has gone into it. Remember, spells are only a tiny part of Wiccan belief, and a lot more has to be mastered first before they should be attempted. Also try to remember that it is NOT the spells that are the key to success, the main ingredient in the spell is always always always going to be you!
More about nature... You might have frowned at the part when I mentioned nature, but it is the quintessence of Wiccan belief. ...Just think for a moment about how it feels to wake up on a dull rainy morning, how does it affect your mood? What about a fresh, sunny morning?
Wiccans believe that the earth, trees, rocks, plants and animals all contain a unique energy. It's even possible to feel this energy. We believe that the Goddess and God exist within everything, and we exist within them.