All of Wicca
As a Wiccan myself, I am fully aware of the fact that there are several different “sub-divisions” or groups of Wicca (some that have been made up according to what a group believes in, or some that have existed since before Latin went out of style). I am making this more for those who are interested in “converting” or perhaps are just curious on some of the ways of a “real Witch”. I write this article in hopes of inspiring newcomers to the craft to do what is truly right and to guide them away from the evils that lurk right around the corner (the evils that so much of the world have turned a blind eye toward despite the happenings that go on sometimes right before their eyes).
As Marian Singer once included in her Neo-Pagan Ten Commandments, "All Life is sacred, and All Acts of Love and Pleasure are Sacred", we should remember these words and interpret them as we would interpret them; we are all creatures of the same Earth, and do we not cherish the Earth and all it has given us? If you do, then you should also cherish your own life and the lives around you.
We have all heard of the practice of conjuring darkness to spite our enemies. We have a sacred and very ancient right to fulfill our hearts desires, including those of hate and rage, but so too do we have just as much right to life as any other. Do we invoke our right to do harm to our fellow man simply because we can? If your foe seeks to do harm to you then by all means, defend yourself and those you care about, but under no circumstances should you ever invoke dark power for vengeful reasons. It is not up to me or any other to judge you, but you should know that you disgrace yourself and your brothers and sisters by performing an evil act of selfishness.
In some books, it is said that you should do things that society deems bad. I am not talking about sacrificing humans or animals, as no book written with good intent would ever require such things of you. I am talking about drinking wine or alcoholic beverages, and smoking weed or other drugs. I do not do these things. I do not need to inhale a reality altering smoke in order to see and hear spirits. I have had my own personal encounters that have led me into this religion to begin with and I have never once had to smoke to do it, and no god or goddess has ever told me to drink alcohol nor do anything else that could harm my body or that I may be uncomfortable doing. If it is what you choose to believe, and it works for you, then I would not begrudge you that right (if you are doing it legally of course), but never sacrifice your comfort for what you believe; the gods will understand if you don’t want to partake.
As I stated above, sacrificing a life would never be asked of you. I have already stated that we should have a respect for life, and therefore, it should go without saying you shouldn't do that. Sacrificial offerings are a practice of a Satanist, which a true Wiccan would never associate themselves with.
Respect faith; not just yours, but everyone’s. Just because you are Wiccan does not mean you need to find a lighter and a bible and dance around with the burning bible just to spite Christians. If you feel as though you are uncomfortable with your faith, maybe it is time to see what feels right for you, but that doesn't mean the rest are bad. Do not try to force your religion on other people. It wouldn't be any more right for you to try making someone else become a Wiccan than it is for them to make you convert to their religion. There are people out there who will try, however, you simply need to remain strong-willed and you will overcome anything (even those annoying Jehovah’s witnesses that no one likes).
Follow your intuition; your conscience may not be a little grasshopper on your shoulder, but it is there to give you a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Disobeying that would demoralize you and take away from your own self-respect.
Ethics at the Altar
There are a few highly recommended pieces of literature like the Alexandrian Book of Shadows that would give you instructions as to what to do for certain rituals. You should know, however, that these rituals were potentially revealed by a different spirit, god, or goddess than you choose to put your faith in. I would also suggest reading any piece of literature you find and reading whatever you wish from it (unless the cover is made out of human flesh and it’s written in blood). But take what you will from it’s pages and move on, because remember that you are not forced to see things in the same light as those who have written these books and those who believe in them. All books have something to offer in some way; you just need to read it to find out what that is and then go from there.
It is often encouraged to share your findings with your coven mates, but what you learn is important most of all to you, so do not be offended if someone else has a contradictory finding or disagrees with you, and if you disagree, then do it respectfully, because the practice has always worked differently for everyone. Try out different things, because even if you hear something you don’t think is true, it doesn't mean it isn't. So if a friend or coven mate offers up knowledge, then accept their gift. If it doesn't work out for you, then assume that the gods simply did not mean for it to work the same for you as it had for the other person.
In the event that you find yourself in a creative mood and you wish to try making something new, try it out, but always remember to share your findings with those you reasonably deem worthy of the knowledge. If it is something you would rather keep to yourself or that you feel is only meant for you, then cherish your new found knowledge and keep it sacred.
There are multiple ways things are done for rituals practiced by Wiccan sects all across the globe. Just remember that if it feels right to you, then go for it, however, if it doesn't feel right, that’s because there’s a reason that you need to consider and you may want to find another way of performing the ritual so that it suits you (like I said before, the gods will not hate you for following your heart).
When in Another's Home
When I say “Another’s Home,” I mean more than their literal house; I mean their place of worship. I grew up Catholic in a Catholic home with a Catholic family where most of them disagreed with my choice to convert, and of course I was sent to a Catholic School, so attending Catholic Church services is not unfamiliar to me. When I had realized I would eventually have to go to Church again after I had converted, I asked the goddess I follow the most, “What am I supposed to do?”. That night, she came to me with an answer saying, “I see that you wish to respect me, but respect your family as well. What I would ask is that you remember me, keep your head low, do not partake in their rituals, and above all else, do what you know is right. I trust you.” So, as instructed, the next time I had to attend a mass, I just kept my head low. I listened to what people would say so as to gain wisdom and knowledge from it, and I would respectfully decline their offers of “sacraments” performed during a church service. I would suggest that if you are faced with the same or similar problem, that you do the same. In some cases, your family may be harsh and force you to do more than that. They may force you to partake in their personal rituals and sacraments. When this is the case, I would suggest that you do what you must (the gods will understand your position, and once you are free of the control of others, you can worship as you see fit).
Thank you for reading this article. I worked very hard on it and would love to know what you think. So please, give me your feedback on my work and on the topic. Send me whatever questions, comments, testimonials, arguments, etc... that you may have. I will love reading and responding to each one of them!