Can you answer my questions about Wicca?

I don't really need to know the history or who started the different sects... Just other stuff...

What is a magic circle, and what is it used for?

Not all Wiccans cast spells, but the ones that do... How is it done? I've heard that it is similar to the Christian or Muslim prayers, but does it require components to cast?

I've heard that Wiccans are "sworn to secrecy"... As in, they can tell nobody the "truth" (whatever that means...) about what goes on in their coven... True?

What are the different sects of neo-paganism/Wicca? Gardneria, etc.., and how do their beliefs differ?

What is the purpose of performing a ritual and what are the tools and their uses?

What are the Holidays and what do they represent?

I tried wikipedia and googling it, but wikipedia didn't give enough info, and google... Well, I'm not sure exactly how accurate they are...

If you are willing to answer questions that may arise later, could you please supply an e-mail address? Thanks so much

Update:

I've also heard that it is possible for a spell to "miss the target" for whatever reasons... Is this true? If so, why would it miss?

Update 2:

My thoughts on Chelsea T's response

Assuming that by your answer, you were saying that I should write out a question topic for each individual question, I disagree. It's much more logical to myself and to the answerers to comine them all into one question. They have the answers, but I would have taken up a whole page of other peoples questions, which are equally important, with all of mine. That would require a lot more clicking and typing and work in general on the side of the answerers. So, thanks for not being not at all helpful. I've had many nice people help me find what I'm looking for.

Update 3:

Oops, double negative! =P I meant "not at all helpful."

17 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Can you answer my questions about Wicca?

    I don't really need to know the history or who started the different sects... Just other stuff..."

    Thank The Goddess. Its a mouthfull.

    "What is a magic circle, and what is it used for?"

    Casting a circle has many different meanings and purposes, all according to how you view the circle. Its most commonly used as a way to mark the difference from the mundane world to the magickal, as in to say, the way to seperate briefly the rest of the world to your magickal/spiritual workings. That helps you concentrate or focus on what you're working on. Think of it as walking into a building with a specific purpose. Like the doctors office. When you go into the doctors office, you know what you are going to be doing there, you know whats appropriate and whats not appropriate, you know how to behave, and you probably would not behave the same way you do at the doctors any where else. Its the same for a Circle. When you cast your circle, its similar to setting up your own building. You know how to act when you go in, and you know what you are going to be doing there. Its a focusing tool, in a way.

    Another use for it is for protection from unseen elements outside. You can set your circle so that only helpful energies enter, and harmful energies exit. Even if you don't believe in harmful or helpful energies, its a good idea to cast that protection into your circle, because at the very least, you feel a bit more comfortable.

    Casting a circle can become very real for some people. To some, its just an imaginary step, but to others, the circle is very real, and walking through it can be very upsetting. So try to remember to "cut yourself in/out" of the circle once it is cast. That means making a doorway for you to walk through by designating it with your circle casting tool, then closing it afterwards once you are in or out. Its just plain rude to walk through any circle, and if its someone elses circle, ask them to cut you in or out before you do anything.

    "Not all Wiccans cast spells, but the ones that do... How is it done? I've heard that it is similar to the Christian or Muslim prayers, but does it require components to cast?"

    I don't know of any Wiccans who don't cast spells, but I'm sure that there are some out there. The Ritual aspect of Wicca is very very strong, because there is no common literary aspect whatsoever. We are all learning differently, and being an armchair-Wiccan can only get you so far. As a good friend said to me once, 'You can read up about the mysteries all you want, but you will never know them unless you experience them yourself.' Spells are a big part of Ritual.

    The basic way to do a spell is to:

    1)State your intention

    2)Concentrate, and raise up energy for that intention

    3)Release the energy for your intention

    4)Relax and ground (eat something).

    Its like an orgasm... it doesn't Feel like an orgasm, but the idea of an orgasm helps illustrate the proccess of spell casting. The theory behind spells is that everything, including your intentions, can effect the world around you. So when you concentrate, and build up excitement about an intention/wish/thought, and then send it out, you send it out like bright shooting star, and you give it the tools that it needs to get its job done. All the tools and herbs and rocks and whatnot are just focusing tools. Lets say you wanted to do a spell for money. You can either think really and concentrate on getting money untill you can't think of it anymore, then let it go (and then eat something) or you can use things that symbolize money for you (get some green candles, annoint them, draw pictures of you with lots of money and burn them, chant about money, do an interpretive dance about money, ect. (and then eat something)), and either way would help you with your spell. The four basic things up above are the only really nessicary parts to doing a spell. Use that as a foundation, and build up around it.

    "I've heard that Wiccans are "sworn to secrecy"... As in, they can tell nobody the "truth" (whatever that means...) about what goes on in their coven... True?"

    Some Covens are secretive, yes. But not all Wiccans are sworn to secrecy. If they were, it would be MUCH harder to find books on Wicca than it is now. There is an argument about keeping parts of Wicca secretive, like the more advanced parts, but only to people new to the craft, and only for their own saftey. The above answers that I gave would make Wicca seem like a fluffy, wishy-washy religion, but thats not all of it. As you master casting circles and doings spells, you may want to move on to more advanced practices, and sometimes they can get scary or dangerous. I've known people who have been posessed when trying to get ghosts out of a house, (another good reason to Cast your circle well), and they would have been in big trouble if someone more advanced didn't help them out. But beyond that, all the information in the world is out there somewhere, all you need to do is know how to find it, and know how to find help if you need it.

    "What are the different sects of neo-paganism/Wicca? Gardneria, etc.., and how do their beliefs differ?"

    http://www.witchvox.com/_x.html?c=trads

    http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=bas...

    "What is the purpose of performing a ritual and what are the tools and their uses?"

    The purpose of doing a rit is up to you. Many people do them for many reasons, and you don't have to do anything if you don't want to. Tools are similar. There are some basic tools that people generally use, like an altar table, an athame (said "ath-a-may", its a dagger), candles, incense, Cups,... and other things. The tools are used how you want to use them. In fact, you don't really need any of them, because the tools only symbolize what you want to use them for. You can do all the envisioning you want in your own head if you wanted. Tools just help you focus.

    "What are the Holidays and what do they represent?"

    There is a wonderful book called The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways. I love it. Its not the only book on Sabbats, but its really good. Basically, the Wiccan holidays are based on 8 points in the wheel of the year, a holiday for every Solstace, Equanox, and whatnot. The wheel illustrates a story, and the cycles of the earth, but you should look that up yourself. Its really a wonderful, and individualistic journey. Witchvox.com is a huge help. Search for Sabbats on the internet.

    "I tried wikipedia and googling it, but wikipedia didn't give enough info, and google... Well, I'm not sure exactly how accurate they are..."

    Good assumption.

    "If you are willing to answer questions that may arise later, could you please supply an e-mail address? Thanks so much"

    gendlec@hotmail.com

    Source(s): The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways http://www.witchvox.com/_x.html?c=trads http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=bas...
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What is a magic circle, and what is it used for?

    Protection, basically. It's just creating a perimeter using the elements, but it's not really necessary when the same thing can be done more effectively with gestures and the "sacred space" moves with you.

    Not all Wiccans cast spells, but the ones that do... How is it done? I've heard that it is similar to the Christian or Muslim prayers, but does it require components to cast?

    All a spell is, is a prayer. Wiccans just make a bigger drama out of it.

    I've heard that Wiccans are "sworn to secrecy"... As in, they can tell nobody the "truth" (whatever that means...) about what goes on in their coven... True?

    That's a bunch of hype they create. A "coven" is just like a church, only the ego battles and politics are far worse. What they do is no big secret. They just try to make themselves appear more mystical and magickal than they really are.

    What are the different sects of neo-paganism/Wicca? Gardneria, etc.., and how do their beliefs differ?

    Oh, there's got to be at least 100 or so, all depends who you talk to. beliefs are basically the same, but again a lot of these ego-inflated self-proclaimed "high priest/esses" (they're all about degrees that mean absolutely nothing) impose rules to suit themselves.

    What is the purpose of performing a ritual and what are the tools and their uses?

    Rituals are performed - as far as Wicca is concerned - to celebrate the sabbats and moon rituals. Rites of passage. Some of them make a cabaret when they cast their spells. As for tools, a wand, an athame, a chalice, a pentacle are the basic tools. Some may have staffs.

    What are the Holidays and what do they represent?

    Samhain - honouring the ancestors

    Yule - Winter Solstice

    Imbolc - Brigid's sabbat.

    Ostara - Spring Equinoxe

    Beltane - Fertility rite

    Juhannus - Summer solstice

    Lammas - bread sabbat, first harvest

    Mabon - Aurumn Equinoxe

    I've also heard that it is possible for a spell to "miss the target" for whatever reasons... Is this true? If so, why would it miss?

    For one thing, knowledge incompetence, which is unfortunately a very common trait among spell-casters.

    If you have a genuine interest in true Paganism, Wicca is not what you want. It is stagnant IMO. I have suffered through many Wiccan rituals out of politeness to those around me and have never been impressed. I felt like they were taking the piss out of the esoteric arts.

    Source(s): 35 years
  • Goodness, it would take a book to answer all these quesitons enough for you to honestly understand them!

    I'll answer a few, but may I actually suggest my book, Shadows of a Witch, or my web site as well for you to do more research.

    "What is a magic circle, and what is it used for?"

    Within the religion of Wicca, the Circle is something very special and something very sacred. For those that practice Wicca a Circle is in essence their church, their holy place.

    Within the religion of Wicca there are many ways to cast a circle whether you are solitary or part of a coven. In the religion of Wicca the Circle is your sacred space, your

    church you might say. A place that is past present and future, a place that is of this world, yet of the other worlds also. It is a place out of time, before time, yet of no time, past present and future. It truly is a magical circle, a sacred place.

    It is used in much the same way a Christian might use a church or a Jew might use a synagogue... for spiritual reasons, for prayer, for ritual and for magical workings as well.

    "How is a spell done?" The following is from an article a wrote for a Pagan online magazine...

    How to Write Your Own Spell

    So how do you write a spell? Well there are going to be some folks that tell you that you have to create long and rhyming spells for them to work best. And there are going to be others that will tell you that short and simple work best. Some will say put as little detail in the spell so it can have freedom to work in the manner it sees best to work, and yet again others will tell you to be specific and very precise so the spell will do exactly what you want it to do. So who is right and who is wrong? Actually, no one is wrong, and no one is wholly right.

    No situation is the same as the next, so no spell will be just like the next or require all the same things as the last or possibly next. There are a few things that every spell really does need to work, eventually.

    Four Main Elements of a Spell

    State the problem

    State what you want to happen

    State why you want this to happen

    Give a reasonable outcome

    Now those are the four main ingredients or elements for a successful spell. Anything after that is like spice when you are cooking you have to have specific ingredients to create a certain dish, and any thing you add after those specific ingredients is only seasoning or spice.

    Rain, Rain go away

    Come again another day

    Little Bonnie wants to play

    Come again another day

    Years and years ago I seen this little rhyme in one of Yvonne and Gavin Frost’s books as an example of a spell, and I agreed 100% that is was an example of a good spell. I read this book nineteen years ago it was actually the first time I ever heard of Wicca.(I wrote this article several years ago so the nineteen is no longer accurate) I had already by that time known that I was born to a family that had Witches in my lineage. But I was not happy with the side of Witchcraft I was being exposed to and I knew deep in my soul that there was something different to Witchcraft then what I was witnessing, and thank all in nature that I finally discovered the that something different. Yes Wicca is what helped me discover that there was more to Paganism, but I discovered on my own that there was more to Witchcraft then what I was being exposed to via family. So I am very thankful to and for Wicca.

    If you want to read the rest of the article and the second article that went with it... go here:

    http://thepathofshewolf.homestead.com/07write_spel...

    "I've heard that Wiccans are "sworn to secrecy"... As in, they can tell nobody the "truth" (whatever that means...) about what goes on in their coven... True?"

    To be honest this is actually from more Traditoinal Witchcraft... where there is a time to speak and a time to be silent... meaning that one must remember our history and the "Witch-Craze" more modnerly called the "Burning Times". Silence is not meant as a secretive thing... but more a form of self preservation to be honest! And yes, there are some things that from coven to coven and tradtion to tradition the elders or High Priest or High Priestesses do not want to be shared. So there is truth to that, but most often misconstrue!

    "What are the different sects of neo-paganism/Wicca? Gardneria, etc.., and how do their beliefs differ?"

    The sects as you call them are actually different traditions and are eqevolent to the different denominations one might find in Christiainty. Eeach tradtion has its on set of beliefs, gods, practices and lessons to be learned. Neo Paganism is Modern paganism... Gardnerian is the first Tadition of Wicca since Gerald Gardner is the father of Wicca. How do their beliefs differ? Whew... to little space to post!

    "What is the purpose of performing a ritual and what are the tools and their uses?"

    Well first what is a Ritual? What is the meaning of it how do we define what is and is not Ritual? The 1984 New Concise Webster’s Dictionary states that a Ritual is “the manner of performing a religious service; a book of forms for a religious service; any set form or ceremony”.

    So if we look at a Ritual in the fashion that it is a manner of

    performing a religious service or as a set ceremony then we can see that the Ritual can be either for magical intent or religious intent or for many other intents. It seems that a Ritual could actually be better described as an action or ceremony that is carried out with religious or magical intent.

    What are the uses of rituals, well there are many...

    Types of Ritual

    􀂙 Personal Daily Ritual

    􀂙 Unforeseen or Contingent Ritual -personal transition/crisis

    􀂙 Seasonal or Sabbat Ritual- honoring a specific moment of the seasonal cycle

    􀂙 Ancestral Ritual- honoring the deceased

    􀂙 Moon/Esbats or to Draw Down the Moon

    􀂙 Sun Ritual

    􀂙 Divinatory Ritual- revelation/divination

    􀂙 Protective Ritual- ensures health/safety

    􀂙 Magical Ritual

    􀂙 Healing Ritual.

    The holidays are spiritual sabbats:

    In the religion of Wicca there are Eight holidays, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lugnassadh, and Mabon.

    Some of these are actually from older traditions of Witchcraft, which Witchcraft and Wicca are not one and the same, in more ancient and traditional Witchcraft there were more often only Four main, and four lessor, the lessor not always practiced.

    I do hope this helps some? Please feel free to visit my site.

    Source(s): Shewolf Silver Shadows http://thepathofshewolf.homestead.com/
  • 1 decade ago

    I dont know all the details, but Spells do not need to be fancy, or in other words, you don't need Goblets and Candles and special herbs. Chants and incantations do not need to be precise, but they do need to be sincere.

    Tools can be anything representative in nature. A small twig can easily be a wand, and I hear a small hole in the ground with some fresh leaves will do find for a bowl of herbs, if the spell calls for it.

    Are you an aspiring Wiccan? It's something I considered. If you want to read about spells and witchcraft, most good bookstores have great information on the belief and practice.

    My local Barnes & Noble has 4 shelves of Wiccan studies. You could definitely look there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I have been a practicing Witch for more than 35 years. If you wish to become a witch let me inform you now. It's NOT "cool" to be a witch, it's HARD work. it involves a lot of serious dedication on your part and there are a LOT of folks who will hate you and torment you endlessly about it. However, to answer some of your questions:

    1. The magick circle is our "Church". Wiccans don't tend to hold rituals in a specific place of worship. the UNIVERS is our church AND our Bible. We cast the circle as a place that contains BOTH the Mundane world AND the Spirit world. It is where we invite Goddess and God and other spirits to attend, lend their energies and witness our rites.

    2. To cast spells ALL a Witch truly needs is him/herself. the REST is just essentially props. A Spell is just a very ritualized prayer to the Spirit world beings.

    3. SOME witches in SOME covens are sworn to secrecy. That doesn't mean that they have something to hide. It mostly means that they don't wish that their members become known in the mainstream community or That they have their OWN ritual formats and wordings that they wish to protect from prying eyes.

    4. The different sects or traditions are too many to list here, but I can name some of them. Gardenarian (Founded by Gerald Gardener, Alexandrian (founded by Alexander Saunders), Dianic (A feminist form of Wicca), Seax (founded by Raymond Buckland), Green (focused on nature and hearth witchcraft), And there are a whole lot more. Their beliefs don't differ by all that much, the differences is in HOW they conduct their rituals, how they teach newcomers to the craft, the numbers and kinds of degrees (or levels of witches).

    5. For MOST witches the purpose of doing ritual is simply to WORSHIP, meditate, evaluate their lives and some spell work as well. But that is Usualy not the main focus of ritual. Again the ONLY tool that a witch simply can not do without is his/her self. The rest is just fancy trappings or props.

    6. There are 8 MAIN holidays, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostarra, Beltane, Litha, Lugnassadh, and Mabon. Thse names are not universal among Witches but most know which holiday or Sabbat that is being referred to when we use these names.

    Lastly, I will NOT give out my e-mail addy in a public Forum. There are too many trolls out there who would LOVE to have it so that they can spam me with their attacks and attempts at "saving my soul" I have a listing on Witch Vox, for Minnesota. Do the WORK needed to find me and I MAY respond. Otherwise, just ask your questions and add me to your freinds list and I'll make it a point to look upi your questions and answer them as best as I am able to.

    Brightest Blessings,

    Raji the Green Witch

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    When preforming rituals or doing spell work, the circle is always cast first. Drawing the circle has two has two main reasons. First, is for protection, to keep all unwanted and/or negative energies out. The second is to keep all the energy generated in, so that it can be directed properly.

    Ok...prayer/spell work- when the preacher tells the congregation that old Ethel is sick, and they are all gonna pray for her, everyone concentrates on good/positive/healing energy...and sends that energy(prayer) to Ethel. This is the same process that takes place in a witches healing circle. The major difference here, is the vocabulary used to describe the process.

    Sworn to secrecy- I wouldn't know. I've always been a lone practitioner. But I've heard of a lot of really weird things (we won't talk about here) going on in covens, and this is the reason many of the Elders in the wisdom are lone practitioners!

    Sects are relatively new. Many of us don't approve of all the Dogma that has crept up in the last decade or so that has caused all the "label separation" in the revival of the ancient wisdom's.

    Ritual is for celebration and Holidays. Spell work is to attract or repel certain energies. Tools are the basic alter setting and may require extra things (like certain colored candles).

    Holidays are based on the circle of life (seasons).

    Please if you want to learn...do it right. There are alot of wanna-bes on the Internet, fluffy bunny, spell casters who don't have a clue because they are only in it for the glamor of saying "Yeah, I'm wiccan."

    Before ANYONE can do any kind of spell work, They must first understand & harness the Universal energy that exists in all. For that, my dear, is our most important tool.

    Blessed Be our Earth Mother...and ALL her children!

    My page is open.

    Source(s): 20 years in study, and practicing- ancient holistic healing.
  • 4 years ago

    I am a eclectic wiccan and I use animal totems as courses. My totem occurs to be the CAT. If you're dreaming approximately cats there's a want for independence or the ought to be on my own to collect your ideas and make selections. If you discover cats aways look to be round or you will have regularly had a love for cats your entire existence your existence totem is extra then most likely the cat You vigor will likely be at night time. My idea is that any magick that you simply do adding divination be performed at night time. You might desire to learn up on totem animals in particular the domesticated cat and wild cats. As a long way as witchcraft is worried it was once believed in medieval occasions that cat was once an attendant spirit that looked as if it would support a witch within the train of magick. As a long way as powerful instinct an premonition comply with it by no means push it apart for the sake of others. It is there for a purpose to advisor and safeguard you. If your capability is that powerful you have to exceptional song it and make it more potent. It is just a passing when you begin ignoring your instinct.

  • 1 decade ago

    Merry Meet

    You ask alot of specific questions about some very interesting subjects. These would all be answered in any of the Wicca 101 books. There are many authors to chose from.

    You will not find a quick answer to the questions you are asking, but a path to follow. Good luck. Corax

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I also have questions about secrecy. A good book is "Casting The Circle" by Diane Stein. Another good one is "The Grandmother Of Time" by Z Budapest. You can find these at Barnes & Noble or Border's. If they are out of stock, you can have them ordered and recieved within days.

    Good luck on your search for answers.

    Blessed Be, Shannon

    Sorry , dont give out my e-mail due to religious fanatics.

  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of what goes on is hooey. The people are genuine, but they take it too far when they start "seeing" dragons flying around. It is pretty funny because they will shout dragon! and people will look in two different directions and claim they see it.

    True paganism however is more of a way of life. The ones I described above are just trying to showoff as if they have some kind of power. The truth is that a real pagan or Wiccan believes mainly in the God & Goddess and the power of the mind.

    The spells Are more like remedies and meditations to cleanse the soul. A lot of Wiccans have eclectic views meaning they have pagan beliefs, but they may also have indian, hindu, or native American beliefs too.

    The "sworn to secrecy" thing is just BS they just don't want to tell you.

    Source(s): Personal experience
  • 1 decade ago

    try witchvox.com or glasstemple.com

    They're good websites. Also read anything by Scott Cunningham. You have alot of questions and I'm pretty sure you can find all the answers at those sites but as for there being "sworn to secrecy" about the "truth", not true. We're not sworn to secrecy we just don't go around trying to convert like christians.

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