Wicca the Religion (Collaboration)


What is Wicca? Wicca is a pagan witchcraft tradition. In Britain, when people describe themselves as Wiccan, they mean that they are practicing a form of religious witchcraft
Origins of Wicca: Wicca began as a pagan mystery religion worshiping Goddess and God and venerating the Divine in Nature. Its origins lie in pre-Christian religious traditions, folklore, folk witchcraft and ritual magic. Most witches draw their inspiration from the 'Book of Shadows,' a ritual book by Gerald Brosseau Gardner
Gods: Wiccans honor the Divine—the forms of the Triple Goddess, whose aspects of Virgin, Mother and Wise Woman (or Crone) are associated with the waxing, full and waning phases of the Moon, and as the Horned God. God is also called:
  • Cernunnos
  • Herne (Horned God)

Most Wiccans believe the image of the Divine must be both male and female (God/Goddess)
Structure: Wicca has no central authorities; however, many witches assemble in groups called covens. Some covens are part of initiatory traditions. Sometimes groups of friends who wish to learn about Wicca get together to form a coven. Classic covens are formed of 13 people, but most are less. Some witches even go solo. Mixed-sex covens exist, but single-sex groups are more common.
Rites and celebrations: Major festivals are known as Sabbats. These are held eight times per year and mark changes in the seasons. Sabbats begin at sunset and end at sunset the next day. Also, witches honor their deities in monthly rites known as Esbats. Most rites are held at night, and take place on consecrated ground. 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.
Magic and ethics: Wiccan magic is practiced according to an ethical code, which teaches that magic may only be performed to help people, and when it does not harm others. Many spells are for healing.
As far as ethics are concerned, Wiccans believe that if you think negative thoughts, bad things will happen. This is known as the Threefold Law. Another important tenet is that people should strive to live in harmony with others, themselves and the planet. Environmental issues are important to Wiccans as a whole.
Life after death: Wicca teaches reincarnation. According to Wiccan tradition, the spirit is reborn after death to meet with those with whom it had close ties in previous lives. The aim of reincarnation is to experience life again and again until everything that can be learned is learned. When the spirit ceases to reincarnate, it stays in ‘The Land of Youth’ or ‘Summerland’.
Satanism: 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.
Marriage: 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.
Miscellaneous:
  • The religion appeals to women who have rejected male-dominated religions and who prefer to venerate the Divine female form as a Goddess (empowering for women)
  • Wicca is similar to Neodruidism, as they both emphasize:
  • Importance of developing close links with nature
  • Importance of guardianship of the Earth and environmentalism
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/subdivisions/wicca.shtml
http://skepdic.com/wicca.html

Video:


Individual 20pt Assignments

Avery's
Megan's
A 19th century illustration of Baphomet by the occultist Eliphas Levi, often used to represent the Wiccan Horned God.
A 19th century illustration of Baphomet by the occultist Eliphas Levi, often used to represent the Wiccan Horned God.
The Satanic pentagram, as used by the Church of Satan, makes use of both the imagery of the pentagram and a horned deity, which are also used by Wiccans. This has led some to mistakenly believe that Satanism and Wicca are the same.
The Satanic pentagram, as used by the Church of Satan, makes use of both the imagery of the pentagram and a horned deity, which are also used by Wiccans. This has led some to mistakenly believe that Satanism and Wicca are the same.