Customs and Beliefs of Wicca
Not all who are Wiccan will observe all these beliefs or customs but most will follow them in some form. Wicca is believed to be a modern version of a pagan religion that draws upon the past of religious pagan rituals and its structure. The “newer” version of witchcraft became popular in the late 1950’s and early 60’s and thus became known as Wicca.
Wicca is primarily based on the concept that there is a God and Goddess, that they complement each other and are the divine creators of the cosmos. Often in covens the Goddess is given precedence over the God and is celebrated more widely, individuality chooses the preference. The most often used Goddess is the Triple Goddess of the Moon, (Maiden, Mother, Crone) and the most often used God is the Horned God of Death and Rebirth.
All Wiccans are believers that the Divine Spirit is present in all things, creatures, people, plants, trees even stones. That we all should live in harmony with the Nature around us and the Earth we live on. The Wiccan number one “rule” as it were is “ And ye harm none, do as ye will.” It is also wise to be kind and generous to others as another “rule” in Wiccan is that what you send out comes back threefold, another version of be careful what you wish for.
There is no equivalent of the Bible or other holy book in Wicca. It is believed that we all have access to the Divine ones and no intermediary is needed. The concept of original sin, Satanism, sacrifices, redemption, confession, judgment, Hell and Heaven, sex as sin and desecration of the dead are not a part of Wicca and have no relevance. Many Wiccan’s may have what is called a Book of Shadows where they will keep their own spells or rituals so as not to forget and to possibly pass on to future generations. Wiccans do not “recruit” others to follow their path, it is believed the soul knows and will follow what is meant to be.
There is also no central church-like organization within Wicca, most often the term used is a coven which can consist of 3 to 13 people that share similar beliefs and wish to practice in the same way. There are also many of us who are individuals who do not belong to a coven as we like to practice alone.
Karma and reincarnation are valid concepts in Wicca, hence the Threefold Rule. Magick is practiced for positivity in healing and helping, for spiritual guidance and safety. Whenever possible rituals will be performed out of doors at the New and Full Moons and for the 8 Sabbat festivals that mark the passing of the year. Commonly referred to as the Wheel of the Year, it means the Earth’s annual season cycle. The 8 Sabbats are Yule, December 20-23, Imbolc, February 2nd, Ostara, March 19-22, Beltane, May 1, Midsummer, June 19-23, Lughnasadh, August 1, Mabor, September 21-24 and the Samhain, November 1st.
I do not know where I found this, but this is the first thing in my own personal Book of Shadows:
Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth. Blessed Be!
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