This article is a good starting point for those who are unfamiliar with Wicca, or have very basic knowledge about it. The main principals and ideas of Wicca are presented here in the form of frequently asked questions and answers.
What does the word “Wicca” mean?
Wicca is an Old English word which comes and has a connection to the word “witch”. The term “witchcraft” was more widely used before the 1950s.
What do Wiccans celebrate (Wicca followers)?
Wiccans have a personal connection with nature and its yearly rhythms, which are celebrated as holidays. There are a total of eight annual festivals, which are also known as Sabbats. Rituals are also conducted on other occasions, usually on full moon. The festivals are known as Esbats and can be held for as a simple reason as the appearance of a full moon. Esbats and Sabbats can also be considered as a time to practice magic.
What do Wiccans believe in?
Wiccans believe in an energy that flows through all life, and connects all. They honor this energy in the form of the Goddess and God, which are the female and male aspects of creation. The Goddess and god play an important role in the life of the witches. They are revered in many ways and under different names, each representing the feminine and masculine aspect of divinity. They can be found everywhere in the world of nature – trees, plants, rivers, springs, rocks, stars, sun, moon and within ourselves.
Unlike most of the orthodox religions of today, the Goddess is on par with her male opposite. Wicca gives the utmost respect to females. The Goddess and God are considered to be two equal halves of one whole, each having its own qualities and powers that complement each other, together symbolizing life and nature. This belief has similarities with Taoist belief in Yin and Yang.
What is the difference between Wiccans and witches?
The only difference between being a Wiccan and a witch is that you do not have to be an actual Wiccan in order to be a witch. Initiated Wiccans are already considered witches because of the knowledge and practice in witchcraft. However, witchcraft is not solely exclusive to Wicca, it can be practiced in many other forms that are not related to Wicca.
Do Wiccans cast spells?
Wiccans practice magic and use spells for good purposes such as healing, and never use them to harm others.
Wiccans also practice many arts of divination such as tarot, runes and scrying. Such methods of divination are mostly used to help others. The majority of witches develop a sense of secular psychology. The valuable knowledge of the human mind and how it works opens many doors to strong forms of healing magic.
Is there a distinction between white and black witches?
Wiccans respect the principles of Wicca and nature, the black side of magic (to harm or to do malicious things) has nothing to do with Wicca. The terms of black witch or white witch are absolutely meaningless, since all Wiccan magic is aimed at achieving positive goals.
What is the Wiccan Rede?
The Wiccan rede is writings of fundamental laws of ethics in the Wiccan religion. The most famous passage from the rede is:
“Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An ye harm none, do what ye will.”
This means that you can do anything you want in your life, but make sure that your actions don’t harm others.
Do Wiccans worship Satan?
No. Satan comes from Christianity, so in order to worship him, Wicca would have to believe in Christianity – which they do not. Christians often describe Satan as a horned God, which made people confuse him with the Wiccan horned God Pan because of the physical resemblance of horns.
Do Wiccans have familiars?
Familiars are the animals of witches, and help witches with their magic. Most Wiccans have pet animals in their homes, and some of them can be considered as familiars in the traditional sense. Some animals like to be part of rituals, while others prefer to find a quiet corner to curl and sleep instead.
Why do Wiccans perform most of their rituals at night?
It is a matter of tradition. When witchcraft was illegal in the past, it was safer to work at night because there were fewer people around. This tradition has been preserved to this day. Night is the time of the Goddess and an ideal time to work with her rites. Although many rituals are performed during the night, there are some that are performed in daylight such as the Wiccan initiation ritual.
Is nudity related to Wiccan rituals?
There are a few witches and covens who prefer to perform rituals and practice Wicca while being nude. Despite this, many wear special clothing or ritual robes. There is no right or wrong with both ways, so long as the person feels comfortable with himself and is relaxed. Some Wiccans prefer being nude during rituals as a sign of unity and equality. Some argue that the magic is more powerful when not wearing clothes, while the other side argues that a piece of fabric isn’t a barrier for the powers of magic. Both sides have their drawbacks, as performing rituals while nude might be very cold in certain regions, while being with clothes increases the risk of catching fire during rituals.
Do the Wiccans perform sexual rituals?
Wicca’s concepts are based around nature, and this concept includes a shameless approach to sex. This doesn’t mean that Wiccans perform malicious or illegal sexual practices during rituals – they do not. Rituals with sexual context are unacceptable.
What is a coven?
A coven is a group of witches who meet regularly for rituals and other related activities. The traditional number of the coven is 13, containing almost equal numbers of men and women. A lot of covens have less members than that, and many don’t have equal ratio of men and women. The High Priestess and High Priest control the coven, while the Maiden assists and helps the High Priestess in coven activities and management (typically a young single woman with at least two years of ritual experience). Some traditions don’t include a specific hierarchy in their covens. In order to become part of a coven, it is necessary to go through the Wiccan Initiation Ritual.
Who are the solitary practitioners?
Solitary practitioners are Wiccans who choose to practice Wicca alone and or are unable to join a coven. There are many solitary practitioners and each has their own way of practicing Wicca. Some claim that taking part in a coven is better because it lets the person get more experience and it is much harder to master the arts of witchcraft alone. It isn’t mandatory to join a coven in order to master the arts of witchcraft.
Is Wicca a way of life?
Absolutely. Wicca is about who you are and what you are doing on this planet. By its own nature, Wicca is a religion based on natural cycles and phases. This is the reason why witches have such deep connection and respect for the natural world. Wicca is a way of life, a religion and a philosophy. We live on a beautiful and diverse land, a land that provides us with everything we need for life and prosperity. The more Wiccans learn about the world that surrounds them, the more they understand how everything is interconnected, like a complex puzzle that every part has a crucial function and meaning. Wicca provides a lot to think about on the environmental subject. A lot of Wiccans recycle anything they can, take part in projects and volunteer. Some covens arrange cleaning campaigns in public places.
About High Priestess Altera
Having 20 years of dedicated experience with Wicca, Altera has been invited to participate as a writer and a Wiccan educator to help share her vast knowledge and guide others in the correct path.