Avery's 20pt Assignment on Wicca

What is Wicca?
Wicca is a religion focused on nature and believed to be based on ancient pagan practices. There are different forms of Wicca. Traditional Wicca was developed in the 1940’s by Gerald Gardener, a British civil servant. He wrote a series of books about the religion which contained references to Celtic deities and symbols as well as practices of the Masonic Order. Eclectic Wicca is more recent and combines Wicca practices with pagan and non-pagan elements.

How do they practice their religion?
Wiccans practice rituals related to natural phenomena such as the seasons, solstices and equinoxes. The rituals often include meditating and asking for a blessing from the north, south, east and west. Often the purpose of the rituals is to self-awaken by connecting to nature and nature gods.

Do they worship the devil?

Wicca is not a form of Satanism. The two religions have entirely different beliefs about deities, different ideas about ethical behavior, different expectations from their members, different views of the universe and the list goes on. Also, Wiccans do not believe in an all-evil deity.

What are some of their symbols?
triplegoddess2.png
Triple Moon Goddess.

The three moons in this symbol represents three women: the Maiden, Mother and the Crone.
www.crystalinks.com/triplegoddess.html
pentacle.jpg
Pentacle

The pentacle is often worn by members of the Wiccan religion as a sign of recognition. It represents the assimilation of body and spirit.
hornedgod.jpg
Horned God

In Wicca, the Horned God represents the masculine side of the Universe.

Do they actually use brooms?

Yes, the broom often is used in ceremonies to represent purification and cleansing of a certain area. Unlike the Halloween version of witches, Wiccans do not use brooms to fly around on.

http://altreligion.about.com/library/glossary/symbols/bldefswiccasymbols.htm


What is the Wiccan Marriage Ceremony like?

The Wiccan marriage ceremony is called a "handfasting." Handfasting was practiced in Scotland up until the 19th century. Today it is common for the wrists of the two people to be bound by a ribbon, although traditionally the wrists or palms are slightly pricked so that the blood is mixed. Also traditionally, the handfasting lasts for one year and one day. Couples can either treat this as a period of engagement and at the end be married, or as a marriage ceremony and sort of a "trial run" ending with the decision of the couple as to whether they will stay together.
http://heavenzgate2.tripod.com/forbiddenfruit/id9.html

Do they have any rules or structure?

Wicca is not very structured, however they do have a creed. One of the most important lines is "An ye harm none, do what ye will." For the entire creed see http://www.crystalinks.com/wicca2.html.