What is Wicca?
Wicca is a neo-pagan religion that stresses spirituality and the importance of nature. Unlike other major religions, Wicca does not have a central guiding text, like the Bible or Qu'ran. Instead, practitioners keep their own private book, called their Book of Shadows. Information contained in the Book of shadows are equivalent to Christian prayers.
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While the Wicca religion is rooted in ancient pagan beliefs, it was actually established in the 1940's and 50's and is the fastest growing religion in the country according to a 2001 study done by the City University of New York.
The religion draws heavily from a variety of religious traditions, eastern mysticism, medieval pagan beliefs, and Freemason rituals. Even though Wicca is a relatively modern religion, many offshoots, changes, and variations have taken place since it's origination.
There are three main themes that govern most all variations of the Wiccan religion; The Wiccan Rede, The Law of Three Fold Return, and the belief that the Divine is embodied in everyone and everything.
The Wiccan Rede
Morality is a large part of the Wiccan religion, and at the center of this doctrine is the Wiccan Rede. The Wiccan Rede states:
"An it harm none do what ye will."
Simply stated, the Wiccan Rede means that you can do what ever you like, as long as it does no harm to others. Like the Golden Rule of Christianity, it essentially means do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Wicca religion encourages respect for nature, others, and yourself.
The Law of Three Fold Return
Also known as the Wiccan Rule of Three, the second Wiccan rule is the Law of Three fold Return. It is a religious tenet that means whatever you do (particularly regarding magick and spells), regardless of whether it is for good or bad, this force will return to you three fold.
The History of Wicca
The Wicca doctrine was founded by Gerald Gardner, from Geat Britain. He spent much of his time in India learning about eastern mysticism. In 1939, he returned to England and joined a Wiccan coven.
A few years later, he wrote a novel entitled "High Magick's Aid" that detailed a number of Wiccan beliefs, rituals, and practices. In 1954, Gardner published another book entitled, "Witchcraft Today." Through this book, he became an instant celebrity and gained notoriety as the founder of the modern-day Wiccan religion. Although Many Wiccan covens were in existence at the time of Gardner's writings, the publicity surrounding his work led to the mass acceptance of Gardnerian Wicca as the standard. For that reason, Gerald Gardner is considered the father of modern-day Wicca.
In the decades since the original Wiccan publications, other practitioners have developed slightly different forms of the religion. Alexandrian Wicca was founded by Alex Sanders in the 1960's, and George Patterson founded Georgian Wicca in California, in 1970.
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Among Wiccans, there are no absolutes regarding exact beliefs and methods of worship. Some individuals believe that divine powers reside within us all while others worship nature and still others embrace the Christian doctrine. Within the Wiccan system, there is a personal belief system for most everyone.
One thing that most Wiccans agree on is the fact that Satan plays absolutely no part in their beliefs and they do not practice any type of satan worship.
Wiccan Spells and Magick
What are Wicca spells? The casting of spells is one of the cornerstone beliefs of the Wiccan religion. Common Wiccan spells include those used for healing, protection, financial gain, fertility, or to banish negative influences.
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But not all Wiccans practice spells, witchcraft, or magick. To many Wiccans, magick is similar to prayer in Christianity. Most Wiccans believe that the practice of magick is simply using the Divine power within them to heal or control matter. (While Christians believe that only God has the power to heal and control matter.)
Wicca spells and magick are not used to conjure, as many people mistakenly believe. Instead, a Wicca spell is a set of actions and incantations that are performed by a practitioner with the goal of seeking help with or the resolution of some aspect of their lives. In this regard, Wicca spells are similar to Christian prayers.
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Negative Wicca spells, like those to do harm to others, get revenge, manipulate people, or attempt to make others do things against their will are strictly prohibited by Wiccan rules. No spell may be cast that attempts to dominate, manipulate, or control another person without their expressed consent.
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