What exactly is the Wiccan Religion?

I hear about it all the time on here. What exactly is the whole belief system?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief

    By: Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

    1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

    2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

    3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called ‘supernatural’, but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

    4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity – as masculine and feminine – and that this same Creative Power lies in all people and functions through the interaction of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither above the other knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energy used in magical practice and religious worship.

    5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconsciousness, the Inner Planes etc – and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

    6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

    7. We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it – a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft – the Wiccan Way.

    8. Calling oneself ‘Witch’ does not make a Witch – but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seek to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and without harm to others and in harmony with nature.

    9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

    10.Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be ‘the only way’ and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

    11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

    12.We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as ‘Satan’ or ‘the Devil’ as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

    13.We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can read more about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca

    Wicca is a religion found in various countries throughout the world. It was first popularised in 1954 by a retired British civil servant named Gerald Gardner.[1] He claimed that the religion, of which he was an initiate, was a modern survival of an old witchcraft religion, which had existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian Paganism of Europe. Wicca is thus sometimes referred to as the Old Religion. The veracity of Gardner's claims cannot be independently proven, and it is thought that Wiccan theology began to be compiled no earlier than the 1920s.[2]

    Various related Wiccan traditions have since evolved or been adapted from the form established by Gardner, which came to be called Gardnerian Wicca. These other traditions of Wicca each have distinctive beliefs, rituals, and practices. Many traditions of Wicca remain secretive and require that members be initiated. There is also a movement of Eclectic Wiccans who do not believe that any doctrine or traditional initiation is necessary in order to practice Wicca.[3] The 2001 American Religious Identification Survey estimated that at least 134,000 adults identified themselves as Wiccans in the United States.[4]

    Source(s): My sister-in-law is Wiccan.
  • 1 decade ago

    Individual Wiccan traditions (sects) differ widely in belief, and are as different from each other as Islam and Christianity, or Snake handler Christians and mainline Protestant Christians.

    The exact belief system is going to depend on the tradition...

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

    The link above had over 65 profiles of Pagan religions, including at least 20 Wiccan traditions.

    I suggest you will get a less biased and more reasonable answer looking at the beliefs of any one tradition.

  • tedda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Wicca is not approximately doing magic; it is a faith (and prefer so much different religions, there are a few magical ideals integrated however now not the recognition). I've on no account met a child raised Wiccan who boasts being Wiccan makes him/her magical... typically this comes from the children who're misinformed approximately Wicca and watched an excessive amount of Charmed. Wicca is... as you stated... a faith. It's approximately honoring a Higher Power as we see it-- mostly within the style of God(s) and Goddess(es). It's approximately the way you reside your existence by way of our tenets and values-- like taking individual accountability for ourselves or discovering a healthful steadiness in existence. We have holy days we have fun, rites of passage like beginning and marriage, we have fun the ones matters we keep sacred like some other faith. I have no idea in which Ahmad will get his information from however you (and he) would desire to behavior a few extra study-- it's highly distinctive for Wiccans to be atheists, it is not a "consider anything you desire" faith -- this is a faith that's incredibly individual and experiential, however now not a unfastened-for-all and the recognition isn't magic or Witchcraft; Gardenarian and Alexandrian are traditions-- or "trads"-- now not "faculties" and the Margaret Murray theories approximately the "Old Religion of Witches" has been debunked for the reason that the 1970's; Wicca is a state-of-the-art faith, now not an historic train... and a Book of Shadows used to be on no account mostly used for recording "spells"-- that is extra of a state-of-the-art suggestion of a few shoddy authors for the reason that the Nineties who confuse Wicca and Witchcraft.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wicca is a religion and a way of life that is full of love and celebration and reverence for our deities. Wicca itself may be a fairly new term possibly the 60's by Gerald Gardner, but it stems from an even older way of life called Witchcraft. Witchcraft actually came about before Christianity was developed and so widespread. (Some may disagree with that statement.) Witchcraft is thought to have its roots in the ancient shamanic culture of the paleolithic times and heavily influenced by their sympathetic magickal ways. The tribe hunters would act out the actual hunt beforehand with symbolic representations in hopes that they would be successful in their true hunt for meat to feed their clan or tribe. This is sympathetic magick. Generally the women stayed behind to tend to the children and the elders of the group and prepare the meals. The women were generally the healers and midwives and weaved their own magick as well.They also used herbs for both its medicinal and magickal properties. In the olden days this was called wortcunning and still is by some people.

    Thoughout the ages these wise men and women learned to work with the natural elements of the earth.They had to survive off of the land and what tools or resources they had at the time.

    Blessed be.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wiccans themselves will give you darn near a hundred answers if you ask them. Essentially, it's a "natural" religion in that it's an amalgamation of old-style (predominantly) matriarchal religions that worship a Goddess primarily in tandem with a God who is her consort. However, from there you break of from two into many, where you can have unknown numbers of God(esse)s you follow. The basic ideas are that as long as you harm no one else, do as you will (the golden rule essentially), remember that whatever you do will come back to you three times over (karma), and so on.

    The basic beliefs are written in the Wiccan Rede.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wicca is a pagan religion (paganism is nature based) that usually worships a Goddess and God while using a limited power of Elements. There are other branches of paganism (paganism is similar to Christianity with all its many branches and domination's) Although it's way to advanced to explain further, you can find good articles on the web and good books that will go into detail.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Exactly eh? Wiccan is a pagan religious philosophy that has a focus on the respect of our earth, and the practice of imploring and honoring the energy of natural occurrences we are all subject to.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you cuut it down to its basics it is the belief of both a God and a Goddess - the God representing the Sun/masculine energies/lord of the hunt - the Goddess representing the Moon/feminine energies/goddess of birth and rebirth.

    We celebrate the Esbats (phases of the moon) as well as the 8 solar holidays through out the year known as Sabbats

    YULE - christmas to others

    IMBOLC

    OSTARA

    BELTANE

    LITHA

    LUGHNASSADH

    MABON

    SAMHAIN - Halloween to others

    The lore with each holiday tells the story of the Goddess and God and shows the cycle of life that the earth goes through every year.

    Thats a very abbreviated answer though.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wicca is a conglomeration of various mythological, folklore, and cultural practices and beliefs that stem from different times over the European continent. Such things include the use of Ceremonial or High Magic's ritual of erecting the temple, the doctrine of the four elements by Empedocles, the Charge of the Goddess has borrowed parts of Italian folklore, the Myth of the Descent of the Goddess is also a part of Italian folklore.

    The earliest known date for Wicca is in the 1930's and thats speculation, but the commonly known "start date" is the 1950's. Wicca is not a revival or reconstruction of any form of pre-Christian religions at all. Wicca is its own religion that uses pieces of pre-existing religious traditions from various time periods and locations and mesh them all into a single, working cohesive unit. Wicca is not the "Old Religion" because that connotates that it has existed prior to the "New Religion" (being Christianity) and Wicca has not existed prior to the 1900's.

    There are numerous claims, and all being highly speculative and extremely scrutinized, that there are existing traditions of Wicca and/or Witchcraft that have survived through generation after generation in so-and-so's family. About 80% of the time, this is all hogwash. However, if your family is anything like us Italians, you undoubtedly have various superstitions and little rituals or 'novenas' that are clearly out of context in Catholicism or whatever Christianity you are/were. But those little practices are not enough to say "I have an existing tradition from ancient times". Yes, you have something, but its pretty hard to base an entire Wiccan religion and practice just around your Nonna being able to cure the malocchio (evil eye).

    Wicca is a polytheistic religion, where Gardner stated that "the Lady" and "the Horned Lord" are two fairly pre-eminent deities of the pantheon of Gods that Wicca worships. So, yes there are more than just 2 deities, a common misconception. Wicca, in origin, was not duotheistic with a single Goddess and a single God. Also there was none of this "all gods are one God" stuff that I hear so much about, that is a New Age concept that has weedled its way into the minds of modern Wiccans.

    Wicca is based in the idea of living in balance, traditional covens had an equal male to female ratio of membership. The head of the coven is the High Priestess whose authority is given by the High Priest, a sort of check-and-balance if you will. The High Priestess and High Priest are commonly referred to as a "leader amongst equals" to denote that there is no formal hierarchy and that each member is on equal footing with all the rest.

    Wiccans will sometimes also take the title of Witch. The words Wiccan and Witch are sometimes used interchangeably, usually by those who participated in Wicca during its initial formation and growth as Wicca was termed as the Religion of Witchcraft. The titles 'Wiccan' and 'Witch' do not denote a gender and are thus used by both men and women.

    Do Wiccans practice Withcraft? In origin, yes, a Wiccan and a Witch were the same thing for Gardner and his colleagues. However in these modern times, people have separated the two and not all Wiccans will practice Witchcraft, but many do. And one final note is that not all Witches follow the Wiccan religion.

    Wiccan liturgy consists of casting a ritual circle and invoking the four Guardians of the Watchtowers. Doing this opens the gates to the realms of the Gods, what has become popularly known as being "between the worlds". Upon doing so a sacred space, or temple, is thus formed so that the ritual worship may be performed. The deities are invoked to take witness and be present for the rites and prayers to be done. There is a communal meal known as "Cakes and Ale" which honors the Gods for bringing up the wheat and vine so that mankind does not go hungry and starve.

    The holidays are separated into two, or three, cycles. The lunar cycle's holidays are known as Esbats and occur on the full moon, however an Esbat can also be held during the new moon. The other cycle is the solar cycle which consists of 8 holidays. (The solar cycle is sometimes divided into 2 cycles, the Solar and Agricultural). The solar holidays include the Solstices and the Equinoxes. The agricultural holidays include October 31, February 2, April 30, and August 2. To get into the meaning of these at this point would be to exhaustive, perhaps food for thought and future questions you can ask us here on Yahoo! :o)

    Wicca does make use of sacred ritual tools. Commonly found ones are the Athame, the Wand, the Cauldron, and the Pentacle. The athame is a tool that is charged to invoke and banish energy as well as beings from beyond our earthly realm. The wand is similar to the athame, but it more so calls and gathers energy and places it rather than deals with spiritual entities. The cauldron is a tool of regeneration and healing as well as a tool to gain access and view to other realms. The Pentacle is commonly used as a tool to summon energies and entities into a particular place, and is also used a tool to make such things manifest in the physical world. The tools are somewhat complicated to be picked apart and discussed individually as they are truly all used in a singular whole, thus the tint of overlap of what they 'do'.

    Contrary to popular belief, Wicca does have a system of laws, sometimes referred to as "The Ardanes", they consist of about 166 laws. However that numbering is off being that one single law must be taken into context with the lines above and below it to truly gain its understanding. The laws are more so long paragraphs than single one-liners as the 166 presents itself.

    The Wiccan Rede has come to be held in high regard, though Wicca in origin with Gardner and Valiente never had such a thing. The Rede consists of rhyming couplets that in poetic verse describe some of the practices and beliefs of Wiccans and sum it all up with these popular words "An ye harm none, do what ye will." There is so much interpretation behind those eight words that it too would require a section of questions all its own.

    Another popular Hymn or Prayer is the "Charge of the Goddess". Doreen Valiente is the initial author of it and over time variations have been written by various authors and traditions. Valiente's version does borrow somewhat heavily from Charles Leland's "Gospel of Aradia". And that itself, can open a whoel can of worms as well that would needs its own question.

    The afterlife is usually referred to as the "Summerland" a place of paradise where souls rest after their death and prepare for their next life. It is a commonly held view that souls reincarnate until they gain all the spiritual lessons that they need and upon finishing the cycle the last incarnation essentially becomes enlightened and aids others in their paths to reach that stage and after that death the soul rejoins the Gods and becomes apart of Them once more.

    One thing that is important to know about Wicca, is that it is an experience to be had. The Mysteries must be felt and experienced by the Wiccan, and the only way it will happen is by participating in the rituals and celebrations. You cannot read about Wicca and be Wiccan, you must practice and live it to be truly Wiccan.

    If all life required was to read about something to be it, I know several millions of children would go *poof* with a sparkle and shining light and be turned into a Harry Potter or any other student of Hogwarts.

    So you MUST live and practice the religion, not read and preach about it.

    I may have missed some things, but this is a pretty good start for you.

    :o)

    May you be blessed.

    Source(s): My source would be my experiences with fellow Wiccans, debates and discussions with other Wiccans as well as reading various books. Check out Beliefnet's Wiccan discussion and debate forum to get others opinions. Also look into the books of Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente. The Farrar's "Eight Sabbats for Witches" and "The Witches Way" are two very helpful books that a must for any Wiccan.
  • 1 decade ago

    Fortunately they're not as dogmatic as the big three. It's a nature based belief system.

    Yet again; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca

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