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Hi, so I just recently discovered Wicca and almost fell in love with it from what I have read from various websites and memoirs. However, before I get to jumping into things, I want to be sure Wicca is for me.

Are there any suggestions for learning the way of Wicca? I know the Rede as well as how whatever one does will be done back to them threefold. Aside from these things, how can I practice in my own solitude? The different traditions, how do I find one that suits me? I would like as must detail if possible.

Any guides maybe? I've been directed to a bunch of other readings as well. Thanks a bunch!

When it comes down to it, I just need some Wiccan friends D':

Blessed be :)

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Replies to This Discussion


Don't forget, Wicca (as in BTW) is initiatory and orthopraxis, not dogmatic so it's more about "right action" has has very little "universal beliefs".  :-)

---Vinnie


Lark said:

Let me start out, since you are new, with discussing what Wicca is and is not as that is often misunderstood.  Hopefully this will help you at least a bit.

Let's start with what Wicca is:

  • Wicca is a polytheistic religion focusing upon dedication to the Divine manifested as both God and Goddess. These two Deities are viewed as a Moon Goddess and a Horned God.
  • Wiccans believe that the world was created and is maintained by the joining together of the God and the Goddess in the Sacred Marriage (also called The Great Rite).
  • Wicca is a modern religion influenced by a variety of pre-Christian beliefs. Some of the sources drawn upon to create Wicca were British folk magic, ceremonial lodges like The Golden Dawn, and Masonic rituals. The religion was created by Gerald Gardner in Britain in the 1940's and made public in 1951. The Wicca devised by Gardner was coven-based, oath-bound, and initiatory. Newer versions of Wicca (generally referred to as Neo-Wicca) accommodate those who practice as solitaries.
  • Wicca views the spiritual and material worlds as overlapping: the Gods are not distant beings but entities whose presence we can experience. Wiccans believe that Divinity is immanent within the world, and therefore all that is is in some part Divine.
  • Wicca stresses personal experience with divinity and developing greater harmony with the larger world.
  • Wiccans believe that each person is able to experience direct contact with the Divine without a need for an intermediary.
  • Wicca teaches that we all are ultimately responsible for our own actions. The ethics and behavior of Wiccans are guided by the Wiccan Rede. Wiccans believe that the world will return to them the same sorts of energies they send out into the world.
  • Wiccans tend to believe in reincarnation, the soul is reborn into this world many times.
  • All Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccan. Because Wiccans perform magic as part of their rituals they are considered Witches. A person who claims to be Wiccan but who does not do any magic is in error. While spellcasting is not necessary in Wicca, the use of magic to cast a circle, etc. is a vital part of Wicca. If you do no magic you aren't Wiccan.

Now let's consider what Wicca isn't:

  • Wicca is not Satanic. The concept of an evil entity called Satan is a Christian concept and has nothing whatsoever to do with Wicca.
  • Wicca is not all about spells and magic. While it is certainly true that Wiccans believe in magic and that they perform magic whenever they cast a circle, consecrate a tool, Draw Down the Moon and other rituals these are not the same as spellcasting. In fact many Wiccans seldom, if ever, cast a spell. So if you're thinking you have to be Wiccan in order to cast a spell you are mistaken. Don't try to be Wiccan unless it's the religion that draws you, not spells.
  • Wicca is not a nature religion. Wiccans have a deep respect for nature since we believe that all of nature partakes of the Divine, Wiccans do not worship nature or go around hugging trees.
  • Wicca is not " whatever you want it to be ". Some people, generally teenagers and the religiously immature, describe Wicca as whatever you want it to be. Sometimes it comes from a misunderstanding of Wiccas religiously tolerant teachings, confusing tolerance with belief. Other times it comes from laziness or wishful thinking: the person has latched onto some notion of Wicca, often because it has become popular among his peers, but he has no interest in actually learning about it, preferring to just make up something appealing and call it Wicca.

I will be loading some other information about Wicca and becoming Wiccan in the next few days.  Check out my Profile if you'd like to see if I have answered some of your other questions.  And feel free to message me if I can help with specific questions.

Hi Vinnie,

I am aware that British Traditional Wicca is both initiatory and orthopraxic.  That being said, the "beliefs" that I shared in the "What Wicca Is" section of my post came about during several lengthy discussions that included both BTW and TIW people that I know and trust.  We were all in agreement that these statements made here were largely accepted by both communities as representing our understanding of Wicca whether we were BTW or of the Neo-Wicca.

Arsenic & Old Lace-Vinnie Russo said:


Don't forget, Wicca (as in BTW) is initiatory and orthopraxis, not dogmatic so it's more about "right action" has has very little "universal beliefs".  :-)

---Vinnie

.

Wow, some great discussion here!

Here's my take. I was initially trained by a family tradition teacher, but wasn't exactly initiated into her tradition because I didn't marry into her family, lol. I am a 3rd degree British Traditional Wiccan, but also practice in the Feri Tradition, which is a non-Wiccan form of Witchcraft. (One difference between Pagan paths and Judaeo-Christian ones is that in the latter you're only supposed to have one church; Pagans often practice in more than one tradition or path. I've been practicing since about 1970 or so.)

My original teacher never talked about a 3-fold law; she talked about cause and effect: action and consequences, and it being necessary to accept responsibility for one's actions. My Feri teacher thought that the 3-fold law was mainly a poetic expression of the need to be careful in one's actions and to take responsibility--"After all," he said, "New Witches sometimes let the power go to their head. The idea of a 3-fold law helps them think more deeply about what is the best course of action."

As to whether Wicca worships Nature--that's a little more complicated than a yes or no. Wicca originated in Britain, coming out of the occult revival and the Western Mystery Tradition as practiced there; the Goddess was widely understood as being basically the Divine Feminine personified, with all the powers of Goddesses throughout history. There is, however, at least an element of Nature reverence (if not necessarily actual worship) in the lines from the Charge of the Star Goddess: 

"I, who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the heart’s desire, call unto thy soul. Arise and come unto me. For I am the Soul of Nature..."

The Pagan movement in the USA, however, arose independently of the British occult movement. The American movement grew, not out of any kind of occultism, but out of the Counterculture and the environmental movement. (Two of my covenmates are Lakota pipe-carriers, and they believe that the American movement was originally influenced by Native American spirituality.)

Wicca was brought to the USA in the early/mid 1960s, but didn't come into contact with the American Neopagan movement until a few years later. When the two movements did come into contact, some cross-fertilization occurred. To quote my own initiating High Priest:  "Wicca didn't become an Earth religion until it met the American Counterculture."

Even today, traditional Wicca in the USA tends to remain closer to its British roots than to the Counterculture. But there are some covens that, though still British Traditional in teaching and practice, have picked up a lot of ideas and attitudes from the American movement, even to the extent that some would call themselves Nature-worshippers (and, in plenty of cases, tree-huggers, whether actually worshipping trees or not, lol). 

Since British Traditional Wicca is orthopractic (that is, follows a shared ritual practice) rather than orthodox (requiring shared beliefs), it is possible to find different theological stances even within the same coven. So I would say that Wicca is a nature religion for some people and not for others. As for whether it is a nature-WORSHIPPING religion... well, I would say that varies from person to person too. How does one define "worship"?  "Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices..."

So that's my 2 cents. Keep collecting enough 2-centses and we'll have a dollar and can share a soda. ;-)

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