Dark witches and evil spells, satan worshippers and evil doers. This is what we associate the nature religion of Wicca with.
Contrary to popular belief, Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon or a meadow enchanted by the first sight of light of day.
Wicca is a peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of thinking and living that promotes oneness with the divine and all that exist.
It is the belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions from Ireland, Scotland and Wales and that man should be one with nature, not above nature.
Wiccans seek to work with the natural energies around them to heal, help and improve the lives of others as well as themselves.
Wicca was established in 1040 by Gerald Gardner as an initiatory group of mystery paths.
Every person can follow a different path to his or her “enlightenment” according to the religion. Wicca is practiced in many ways and all may be valid as long as they subscribe to the Wiccan Rede, “if it harm none, do what you will,” and follow the worship of pagan gods and goddesses known as deities.
This requires Wiccans to always look ahead at the possible consequences of their actions so that no act or word, whether with magical intent or not, casuses harm to another.
Wicca has three major components: Magick, Spirituality and Enlightenment.
Magick, spelled with a “k” to differentiate it from stage magic, includes spell-casing, healing and psychic development. Incense, candles, crystals, tarot cards and statues of gods are often used.
Spirituality in Wicca is balanced and nature-based. Energy from the gods is believed to be found in the world around us. The Wiccans do not necessarily worship their gods but look to them as friends and teachers.
Enlightenment, the smallest component of Wicca, is the search for understanding of one’s place in the universe. Questions such as “what is the meaning of life,” and “why am I here?” are often asked.
Most Wiccans believe in some form of reincarnation with a rest between lifetimes in a place called “The Summerlands.” However, no Wiccan is told what to believe in regards to life after death.
Different people are attracted to Wicca for different reasons.
A lot of people, especially the younger ones who have been turned on to the idea of magick through recent movies and television shows such as “The Craft”, “Practical Magic” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” may begin their study of Wicca unaware of the components of Spirituality and Enlightenment.
The true Wiccans pursue the religion because they sense that there is something missing in their lives. These people did not get into Wicca to cast spells on people, but to become one with the world around them. These people only use Magick as a healing and helping power.