The revival of Old traditions What is Wicca ?
Wicca is simply a modern form of paganism and witchcraft, seeking to revive ancient rites and practices, which developed in England (Ireland, Scotland, Wales) in the early 20th century, with origins tracing all the way back to the Paleolithic era. The term “Wicca” is an Old Anglo-Saxon word which means “Witch”. So, a Wiccan follower is typically called a witch.
Wicca is a duotheistic belief system which centers on the appreciation and reverence of Mother Earth. The practice of duotheism is to achieve equilibrium, so that none is above nor below another. It’s also referred to as the “Craft of the Wise”. Wicca can extend to everything natural around us- from the soft breeze of the sea, the harmonious chirping of birds, the sunrise, sunset and the light and the dark.
Before the birth of any prophet in ancient world history, humanity worshiped deities of the Earth-its God of Hunt and Goddess of Fertility as discovered by archaeologists in ancient cave murals. Along with these is the discovery of the earliest witchcraft practices. Presently, Wiccans refer to two Gods: the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine. The modern branch of Wicca is also called “Gardnerian”, in honor of its founder Gerald Gardner who revived the system in the 1950s. He, along with English Wiccan Doreen Valiente, wrote books on Wiccan liturgy.
Wicca vs. Traditional Witchcraft vs. Paganism
The term” witchcraft” is synonymous to Wicca, although traditional witchcraft is seen more as the magical practice itself. It is safe to say that the religion of Wicca draws much of its belief from the Old traditions of Witchcraft. Wicca is a religion, a way of life. Traditional witchcraft, as shown in ancient texts, do not depend on any religion, may be done by people from various walks of life and embraces activities from astrology, divination, incantations down to demonology. They are not in any way related to vampires, as some would imagine.
It is important to note that modern Wiccans still practice Magick or witchcraft as part of their beliefs. Wicca “the Craft of the Wise” is from the tradition of witchcraft. Yet Wicca is NOT about Black Magic. They DON’T have anything to do with Satanism or demonology, these being a Christian construct.
On the other hand, the term Paganism is a broader term encompassing several aspects. It is defined as a belief system aside from Christianity, Judaism and Mohammedanism. Think of it this way: Wicca and Witchcraft all fall under Paganism. Not all pagans are Wiccans or Witches. Wicca practices Witchcraft, but not all Witches are Wiccans.
The Wiccan Way of Life
Here are some Wiccan ways to understand them better.
• Most Wiccan uphold the 8-word Wiccan Rede- the key moral system of the religion, which states “An it harm none do what ye will” (Do what you will, so long as it harms none). Harming others to further one’s own power is against their beliefs.
• They believe in the polarity in the Deity and honors both God and Goddess.
• Members are expected to honor all living things, as representations of the divine
• They believe that the amount of power you spread is the amount of power that you will also attract
• The Wiccan Power is used only when need arises
• They practice rites to stay in rhythm with the forces of the Earth
• Wicca treats everyone as equal- male, female and from all walks of life.