I’ve talked quite a bit about the basics of the Pagan umbrella as a whole but now it’s time to delve into one of the major paths: Wicca. To first note, Wiccans are a subgroup of witches and is why some Wiccans may use “Wiccan” and “witch” interchangeably. This does not mean, however, that all witches are Wiccan. Wicca as a religion is constantly changing and evolving to the time period, making it a “living” religion. Wiccans, like I mentioned in the main Pagan post, do not believe in Satan as Satan is a Christian concept and Wiccans are not Christian. Wiccans worship the God and Goddess, where the God is seen as the masculine form of divinity and the Goddess is seen as the feminine form of divinity. The God is typically seen as the Horned God that has links to Celtic, Roman, Indian, Greek, and English folklore deities. The Goddess is seen as the Triple Goddess, which symbolizes her being the maiden, mother and crone. Wiccans do have some basic principles and ethics that are important to note when first delving into the Wiccan faith.
Something that I feel the need to note is that there are right and wrong reasons for being interested in Wicca. Wicca somehow became popular with edgy, angsty teens. Wicca is compared to wearing all black, getting a ton of piercings, etc. That is not what Wicca is and if you are interested in Wicca for the sheer fact of being edgy, you can stop reading right here. Wicca is a religion, not a fashion statement. Wicca is also notorious for being sexually freeing, unlike Christianity which teaching that sex before marriage is a huge sin. If you are interested in Wicca for the sheer fact of wanting to abuse that freeing sexuality, you can also stop reading and live. This is a religion, not someone to blame for someone being toxic.
Wicca vs Christianity
One of the biggest differences between Wicca and Christian practices is that Wiccans do not try to convert others to their religion. There is no history of Wiccans forcing people to abandon their faith for Wicca. Wiccans don’t go knocking on strangers’ doors asking if they believe in their lord and savior the God and Goddess. Wiccans have a very strong understanding that there is no one right practice to praising the higher power and that everyone must worship in their own individual way without chastising them.
Like you may have noticed with the God and Goddess aspect of Wicca, there are a lot of polarizing symbols within the religion. Unlike Christianity where they have God and Satan as antagonistic figures, Wicca has dual figures seen as two parts of a one whole. Wiccans do not have an absolute right and wrong. There is no black and white in Wicca. They still have ethics but see many things in a shade of gray.
Like Catholicism, which I was apart of for many years, you are taught that there is one God and worshiping any other god is a sin and that you have to stick to that one singular religion and worship that singular god only. In Wicca, that rule doesn’t exist. You are free to practice multiple religions if you so choose. You are free to worship one god or a hundred gods. It’s more freeing in that sense than Christianity.
1. Deity Becomes a Polarity
Like most religions, Wiccans believe that there is a single highest power that exists, which is called “the divine” or “the all”. This almighty highest power is too great for mortal comprehension, as is the Christian God, so Wiccans separate that deity into aspects that mortals can then relate to easier. This is where the male God and female Goddess come into play. These male and female spiritual entities embody the Wiccan yin and yang and are connected through their polarity. The God and Goddess are the center of the Wiccan faith.
2. Deity is Immanent
This relates back to the previous principle, where the deity is inherent in all people and things (kind of like the Holy Spirit in Christianity). It is the force that infuses everything from the tallest building to the smallest grain of sand. Because the deity is immanent, that means that Wiccans believe that every single person is part of the divine.
3. The Earth Is Divine
Like mentioned in the last principle, the deity is in everyone and everything. Therefore, the earth is part of that deity and should be treated like the divine entity it is. Wiccans believe that everywhere on the earth is sacred and should be treated as such. This is where the importance of the seasons and the practice of healing crystals comes into play. Christians have heaven and hell for their afterlife while Wiccans have an “otherworld” or “underworld”. However, unlike Christians who practice their faith for their afterlife, Wiccans practice for the present and for the earth. It can even be said that taking care of the earth is a very important part of the practice, but that of course depends on the individual.
4. Psychic Power
This image may or may not be familiar to you. It is called the Golden Proportion or the Golden Ratio. The Golden Proportion is used for geometry and even used in the creation of Greek temples. The Golden Proportion is said to be found in nature and, if you haven’t realized by now, Wiccans are all about nature. Now, what does the Golden Ratio have to do with psychic powers? Wiccans believe that these abilities truly exist and that every single person was born with their own version of this gift. Wiccans believe that these symbols found in nature, like the Golden Ratio, provide a way to understanding patterns found within nature. These psychic abilities are a sensitivity to these patterns. These abilities allow Wiccans to hone their intuition, divination and working with spirits. These abilities can be sharpened, just like other talents, and the Wiccan faith is believed to help harness the psychic gift.
You may have assumed this by now but Wiccans believe that magic is real. Not the kind of magic where you see in movies where you can turn that girl you hated in high school into a toad or making random objects disappear. Magic depends on patterns, like psychic abilities. Unlike psychic abilities, however, magic depends on the patterns found within the cosmos. Magic is to work with the cosmos to bring about change that is desired. Magic is believed to be a tool for individual empowerment and growth. For the simplest way to understand magic, think of it like the Wiccan version of prayer.
Reincarnation for Wiccans doesn’t really have a set meaning. Some believe that our souls will return to the earth in a new body or form, some believe that our souls recycle and become energy for the cosmos, some believe everyone shares one soul. It all depends on the individual. There is no one right answer, of course. However, since Wicca is primarily revolved around the earth, most Wiccans believe that death is not the end but rather a beginning for something new.
7. Sex Is Sacred
Like I mentioned, sex isn’t chastised before a certain point like it is in the Christian faith. Wiccans believe that sex is a treasure, that it should be revered, that it is a gift and a responsibility from the God and Goddess. Most Wiccan practitioners have what is called an altar to worship the God and Goddess, where there are typical objects found on these altars. Some of these objects include a chalice and athame, or ritual knife, that symbolizes the reproductive organs of a male and female. It might also fascinate you to know that sex is considered polarity when it is two consenting adults, including two gay adults. You read that right, Wiccans do not chastise sex outside of the hetero norm. This, of course, does not equal ceremonial sex escapades but rather the idea that you need to treat your body as a temple and to not put anything that is not sacred or revered into it. That goes for outside of sex, too.
1. The Wiccan Rede
While there are no 10 commandments in Wicca, there are ethics that are called the Wiccan Rede. The Wiccan Rede states “An it harm none, do as you will.” This is the Golden Rule of Wicca. This rule can be interpreted in a number of ways and can result in philosophical thinking. What it pretty much states is that you need to live your life while not harming anyone. This means that if you harm anyone, including yourself, or are not living your life, then you are not following the rede.
2. The “Want” and the “Will”
In short, the Rede pretty much emphasizes your will: you can live your life and do whatever you want except if it hurts someone. It challenges you to act in accordance with your highest purpose and to infuse your soup into everything throughout life. When you act on your will, you are in harmony with the deity. The Rede emphasizes this empowerment and individuality.
3. The Threefold Law
I’ve talked about the Threefold Law in the crash course but I’m gonna get a little deeper into it here. This law states that whatever you put into the world, you will receive it three times. For example, if you constantly put out negative energy, the law states that you will get negative energy three times as bad.