Wicca is an Earth-based religion that honors both male and female deity known as the God and the Goddess and gives reference to the Earth.
Wicca also embraces the doctrine of reincarnation, Wicca doesn't teach that upon physical death our souls will reincarnate in anything other than a human body. And it answers many questions: what happens after death? Why do we seem to remember things we've never done in this life? Why are we sometimes strangely attracted to places or people who we've never before seen?
Wicca is a religion that utilizes magick. This is one of its most appealing and unique features. But becoming a witch is not about power. It is about finding and developing your spirituality. It's about learning to connect with deity and with the forces of nature. Through Wicca, you will discover what you are capable of and come to know who you really are. Some people see magick as greater than ordinary and call it 'supernatural', but there's nothing supernatural about a witch's abilities. The forces that witches use are available to all of us and are, thus, ordinary. Witches use natural energies to enhance their lives, sanctify ritual areas, and to heal and protect themselves, their loved ones, and the earth. Magick can be defined as the practice of moving natural energies to effect needed change.
Most Wiccans don't believe in predestination. We know that we are free souls with full control and responsibility of our lives. No one and nothing else is responsible for them. We can't point at an image of an evil God, such as Satan and blame it for all our faults and weaknesses. Think of the glass as half full. Count your blessings. And remember that anyone of any faith who uses other people for their own gain is acting out of negativity. Wiccans act for the good of all. So, be a good witch. Itís for your own good. Once a Wiccan takes full responsibilty for their own actions and are willing to pay the penalty for them without placing blame on others, magick will blossom and life will be a joy.
We believe that we are put on Earth to live in harmony with nature, never to abuse it. While Wiccans donít believe there is a hell to punish sinners, Wiccans do believe there is a universal law, called karma, that puts our behavior on display so that we can learn from it. Think of it this way: When a small child first learns to walk, you let the child stumble and sometimes fall so that he or she can learn balance. Thatís what the Wiccan concept of karma does. Karma doesnít punish us; it operates like a feedback system and makes us think about our past actions. Wiccans believe that people are basically good. A person's behavior might be unacceptable, but that person is not necessarily bad.
The Wiccan ideal of morality is simple: do what you want, as long as you harm none. This rule contains another unwritten condition: do nothing that will harm yourself. Thus, if you as a Wiccan abuse your body, deny it the necessities of life or otherwise harm yourself, you're in violation of this principle.
The Goddess and God are equal; neither is higher or more deserving of respect. Though some Wiccans focus their rituals toward the Goddess and seem to forget the God entirely, this is a reaction to centuries of stifling patriarchal religion, and the loss of acknowledgement of the feminine aspect of divinity. Religion based entirely on feminine energy, however, is as unbalanced and unnatural as one totally masculine in focus. The idea is a perfect balance of the two. The Goddess and God are equal, complementary.
The Goddess is the universal mother. She is the source of fertility, endless wisdom and loving caresses. As the Wicca know her, she is often of three aspects: the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone, symbolized in the waxing, full and waning of the Moon. She is at once the unplowed field, the full harvest and the dormant, frost-covered Earth. She gives birth to abundance. But as life is her gift, she lends it with the promise of death. This is not darkness and oblivion, but rest from the toils of physical existence. It is human existence between incarnations.
Since the Goddess is nature, all nature, she is both the temptress and the crone; the tornado and the fresh spring rain; the cradle and the grave.
But though she is possessed of both natures, the Wicca revere her as the giver of fertility, love and abundance, though they acknowledge her darker side as well. We see her in the moon, the soundless, ever-moving sea, and in the green growth of the first spring. She is the embodiment of fertility and love.
The Goddess has been known as the Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Gods that made the Gods, the Divine Source, the Universal Matrix, the Great Mother, and by countless other titles. Many symbols are used in Wicca to honor her, such as the cauldron, cup, labrys, five-petalled flowers, the mirror, necklace, seashell, pearl, silver, emeraldÖ to name a few.
As she has dominion over the Earth, sea and Moon, her creatures are varied and numerous. A few include the rabbit, the bear, the owl, the cat, dog, bat, goose, cow, dolphin, lion, horse, wren, scorpion, spider and bee. All are sacred to the Goddess.
The Goddess has been depicted as a huntress running with her hounds; a celestial deity striding across the sky with stardust falling from her heels; the eternal mother heavy with child; the weaver of our lives and deaths; a crone walking by waning moonlight seeking out the weak and forlorn, and as many other beings. But no matter how we envision her, she is omnipresent, changeless, eternal.
The God has been revered for eons. He is neither the stern, all-powerful deity of Christianity and Judaism, nor is he simply the consort of the Goddess. God or Goddess, they are equal, one.
We see the God in the Sun, brilliantly shining overhead during the day, rising and setting in the endless cycle which governs our lives. Without the sun we could not exist; therefore it has been revered as the source of all life, the warmth that bursts the dormant seeds into life and hastens the greening of the Earth after the cold snows of winter.
The God is also tender of the wild animals. As the Horned God he is sometimes seen wearing horns on his head, symbolizing his connection with these beasts. In earlier times, hunting was one of the activities thought to be ruled by the God, while the domestication of animals was seen to be Goddess-oriented.
The Godís domains include forests untouched by human hands, burning deserts and towering mountains. The stars, since they are but distant suns, are sometimes thought to be under his domain.
The yearly cycle of greening, maturation and harvest has long been associated with the Sun, hence the solar festivals of Europe (The Days of Power) which are still observed in Wicca.
The God is the fully ripened harvest, intoxicating wine pressed from grapes, golden grain waving in a lone field, shimmering apples hanging from verdant boughs on October afternoons.
With the Goddess he also celebrates and rules sex. The Wicca donít avoid sex or speak of it in hushed words. Itís a part of nature and is accepted as such. Since it brings pleasure, shifts our awareness away from the everyday world and perpetuates our species, it is thought to be sacred. The God lustily imbues us with the urge that ensures our speciesí biological future.
Symbols often used to depict or to worship the God include the sword, horns, spear, candle, gold, brass, diamond, the sickle, arrow, magical wand, trident, knife and others. Creatures sacred to him include the bull, dog, snake, fish, stag, dragon, wolf, boar, eagle, falcon, shark, lizard and many others.
Of old, the God was the Sky Father, and the Goddess, the Earth Mother. The God of the sky, of rain and lightning, descended upon then united with the Goddess, spreading seed upon the land, celebrating her fertility.
Today the deities of Wicca are still firmly associated with fertility, but every aspect of human existence can be linked with the Goddess and God. They can be called upon to help us sort through the vicissitudes of our existences and bring joy into our often spirituality bereft lives.
This doesnít mean that when problems occur we should leave them in the hands of the Goddess. This is a stalling maneuver, an avoidance of dealing with the bumps on the road of life. However, as Wiccans we can call on the Goddess and God to clear our minds and to help us help ourselves. Magic is an excellent means of accomplishing this. After attuning with the Goddess and God, Wiccans ask their assistance during the magical rite that usually follows.
Beyond this, the Goddess and God can help us change our lives. Because the deities are the creative forces of the universe, we can call upon them to empower our rites and to bless our magic. Again, this is in direct opposition to most religions. The power is in the hands of every practitioner, nor specialized priests or priestesses who perform these feats for the masses. This is what makes Wicca a truly satisfying way of life. We have direct links with the deities. No intermediaries are needed; no priests or confessors or shamans. We are the shamans.
To develop a rapport with the Goddess and God, a necessity for those who desire to practice Wicca, you might wish to follow these simple rituals.
At night, stand or sit facing the Moon, if it is visible. If not, imagine the fullest Moon youíve ever seen glowing silver-white in the inky blackness, directly above and before you.
Feel the soft lunar light streaming onto your skin. Sense it touching and mixing with your own energies, commingling and forming new patterns.
See the Goddess in any form that you will. Call to her, chanting old names if you wish: Diana, Lucina, Selena (pronouncing them as: Dee-AH-nah, Loo-CHEE-nah, Say-LEE-nah). Open your heart and mind to the aspect of Goddess-energy manifested in the Moonís light.
Repeat this daily for one week, preferably at the same time each night.
Concurrently with this exercise, attune with the God. Upon rising in the morning, no matter how late it is, stand before the Sun (through a window if necessary; outside if possible) and soak in the energies. Think about the God. Visualize him as you wish. It might be as a mighty warrior rippling with muscles, a spear upraised in one hand, the other cradling a child or a bunch of dew-dripping grapes.
You may want to chant God names, such as Kernunnos, Osiris, Apollo (Care-NOON-nos, Oh-SIGH-rus, Ah-PALL-low) as with the Goddess.
If you donít wish to visualize the God, simply attune to the energies pouring down from the Sun. Even if clouds fill the sky, the Godís energies will still reach you. Feel them with all your magical imagination.
Let no thoughts but those of the God disturb your revery. Reach out with your feelings; open your awareness to higher things. Call upon the God in any words. Express your desire to attune with him.
A question that seems to come up frequently: "What is the meaning of life?"
It may be asked with a laugh, but this is the one question that, if answered, satisfies any others we may have. It is the problem every religion and philosophical system has struggled to solve.
Anyone can find the answer through the simple technique of living and observing life. Though two people wonít find the same answers, they can find them together.
The Goddess and God are of nature, both the delightful and the dark. We donít worship nature as such; some Wiccans probably wouldnít even say that they worship the Goddess and God. We donít bow down to the deities; we work with them to create a better world.
This is what makes Wicca a truly participatory religion.
I will love and Harm no one.....
I will live, love, die, and love again
center>I will meet, remember, know, and embrace once more.......
For the free will of All, and with Harm to none....