An Examination of the Weird World of Wicca
The first religion we will examine is one that is misunderstood by basically everyone who does not actively practice or study it. I am talking of course, about Wicca.
Please watch this video on Religious Tolerance in Society before proceeding!
Wiccan magic is often misunderstood because of the negative stereotypes and myths that surround the religion, especially in very Christian areas. It is a modern religion that was developed in the early 20th century. It is a pagan/witchcraft religion, and has no central authority or head, instead revolving around the ritual practice of magic.
Individuals all over the world practice it and many individuals utilize its practices and combine them with other religions. There are various groups or traditions with varying specifications, but each rely heavily on the use of magic and a strong belief in the power of nature.
Many stereotypes portray the use of spells, magic, or sorcery, as evil uses against humanity. Others think of it as an overarching conspiracy with negative impacts. In fact, neither of these are accurate representations of magic, which is actually used for much more practical means. For example, many of the spells cast are for love, health, protection, and fertility. There are other rituals that are designed to be cleansing or to eliminate negative influences. Many of those who engage with Wiccan practices find them to be helpful for personal use or on a small scale.
There are many Wiccans who do not exclusively follow any single set of traditions, but pull from a variety of influences and other pagan religions. While many individuals do not convert to Wicca or are professed pagans, they to believe in the power of magic and spell casting. For example, many individuals engage practicing Wiccans to cast spells or perform rituals in their honor. Additionally, individuals who practice magic will prepare kits, ingredients, and items required for an average individual to perform a spell or ritual. Many people are extremely happy with the outcomes and find that working with the moon cycles brings them the desired results.
Wiccans: A Way to Honor Nature
Most Wiccan Holidays follow the seasons or the cycle of the moon as both affect the level of energy available. While there are no set rules or rituals, various covens and authors have tried to standardize or publish rituals for their own use or examples to new Wiccans. You are always free (and usually encouraged!) to alter these published rituals or create your own. An authority in this type of ritualistic editing (as it were), can be found at FineRareBooks.com, which is a site dedicated to personalized Wiccan practices. Rituals you create yourself will always have more power behind them as they come from the heart. Connecting with God means doing so in a way that you feel is best to you – for some that means robes, altars and a full set of tools, Latin or other obscure languages. For others, it just means standing barefoot in the grass and gazing at the full moon.
Those who are interested in Wiccan traditions should not hesitate to learn more by contacting a practicing Wiccan. Because there is so much diversity between each group, it would be helpful to communicate to the believers directly. Believers do not want to cause undo harm or negative consequences to innocent people. Wiccan magic has been a viable resource and belief system for many individuals. Because of its personal nature, there is no way to communicate its effectiveness or intricacies, so each person will have to draw his or her own conclusions.