Monday, February 28, 2005

Wicca 101

  • Our daughter graduates from obedience school!

  • For some reason this early Monday morning, my mind is bursting with ideas about what to write about.

    First, an introduction to Wicca. I finally wandered over to Omni's site and saw that she had blogged about my discussion of magick. She ended her post by commenting that she might need to learn more about Wicca. It is very flattering that someone would think my words interesting enough to then go on to research my faith!

    Wicca is a very simple, straightforward faith but there are two general directions available to practicioners of this faith. The first direction is the one that is initially more exciting one and certainly the one that promises the greatist immediate gratification. This is the path of step-by-step spellbooks which read as if they were kitchen recipies; the path where little faith but a great deal of gullibility is required. Be prepared to spend much money on books, robes, herbs, candles, chalices, pentacles, athames and various sundry items "necessary" to the practice of magick. On this path you will learn spells to find your true love, seduce your true love and dump your true love when it turns out they are rather boring. You learn the threefold law, that whatever energy you send into the world comes back to you magnified by three - but many of the same folk who will tell you this will gladly sell you a hex or curse for your enemies.

    To me the above describes the anti-Wicca if you will. No spirituality at all, merely mechanical spells and melodrama. It diverts from the real Wicca and the path offered therein.

    Real Wicca, to me, is a simple faith. The essesence of Wicca is that the Divine is not separate from the world; rather the world is itself a manifestation of the Divine and all things are Her creation. This being the case we use nature as our guide and teacher, seeing the wheel of the year as symbolic of our lives and the lives of all living things. Most Wiccans believe in reincarnation; but there is no dogma there to follow. The biggest difference between Wicca and Christianity to me is that in Wicca you do not need any intermediary between yourself and the Divine. No priest, no minister, no mullah, no rabbi - in fact you don't even need a High Priestess! This is all about a personal, individual relationship between the worshipper and the Divine.

    Wicca is a largely dogma free faith. There is no One True Word of God as with the Bible, Torah or Koran. There is not a wrong way to worship, or a right way, save that which works for you and that which does not. All the tools are mere props, aids to the rule: invoke often; the help to creating a psychological state conducive to worship. Anything that can be done with athame, pentacle, candles and cauldron can also be done without those things. Because all of nature is a manifestation of the Divine our churches, cathedrals and temples may be found in the woods, fields and streams. On rainy days, a bedroom or living room will suffice.

    Wicca is about the relationship between the individual and the Divine.

    My favorite paths to date (and I am not a practicioner of either) are the Reclaiming Tradition. I learned about this tradition from Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance. The other favorite is the Temple of Ara which I learned about from author Phyllis Currott in her book WitchCrafting. Niether of these books contains much dogma, the emphasis is on the spiritual aspects of this faith.

    A few more notes on Wicca: I am not implying that all spellwork is bullshit or that stores that sell pents are frauds. I am simply asserting that those are not the essential components of Wicca.

    Omni, in her post states that I'm not willing to believe in a Goddess any more than I am to believe in God. My response to this is: the Goddess is a metaphor. What Wicca is doing with the concept of the Goddess is acknowledging that there is a Force/Energy/Being/Divinity/Creator that is beyond description and this is the metaphor we have chosen that we my have a relationship that we can comprehend. Omni does ask for proof and here is where I will fall sadly short of the mark. I have no proof at all that the Goddess (or What is truly behind that concept) exists. That is where the mystery of faith comes into into play and where I must acknowledge that I have no advantage over Christians, Buddhists, Jews or Muslims spiritually - it comes down to faith.

    Aislinn, what am I forgetting? I know there are important things I have left out.

    Hmmm. Must go to work so I will leave it for now.

    Omni: if you are willing, please send your email address to fishmac at

    Blessed Be.