Frequently Asked Questions
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'Wicca' (pronounced Wick-ah) is one name given to the Nature religions practiced in Northern Europe and the Middle East from the times of the ice ages. It is one spiritual path out of many in a group of spiritual practices known as NeoPaganism. NeoPaganism is currently in a world-wide revival, led by persons and groups in the United States and Britain.
Some Wiccans pray to their God or Goddess. More Wiccans probably feel that they have more of a partnership with the God and Goddess than the God/worshiper relationship found in Christianity and other world religions. They need the Goddess and God; the God and Goddess need them. They welcome communion with the God and Goddess; they don't really worship them in the same way as followers of other religions do.
"Pagan" is one of those religious terms which has so many conflicting definitions that the word is meaningless. "Neopaganism" is a better term. It refers to a group of many religious belief systems that are reconstructions of (or patterned after) ancient Pagan religions. Wicca is one Neopagan religion, as are Asatru (Norse Neopaganism), Druidism, Shamanism, and ancient Egyptian, Roman, Greek and other religions.
When you ask if someone is a "good" Witch or a "bad" Witch, it is the same as asking someone if they are a "good" Presbyterian or a "bad" Presbyterian. Wiccans adhere to the Rede, "An it harm none, do as ye will." Witches, Druids and other pagan belief systems and religions have their own ethical standards. There are good and bad people in every society and in every religion. When a person breaks the laws of society or the tenets of their religion, they are called to account for their actions. To judge a person as either "good" or "bad" based upon nothing more than their religious preference alone has a label, too. It is called bigotry.
NO! The nature of sacrifice is to give up something of one's own in order to gain something more important. Wiccans believe in the sanctity of all life. Most pagans believe that animals are part of the same natural cycle of life as humans are. Witches have long been associated with animal companions known as "familiars." Check out the TWV "Cats of Witchcraft" page. Do these animals look abused to you?
Yes. Well, some do anyway. However, the term "spell" is widely misunderstood.
Spells, are somewhat like prayers and are used to create needed change in one's own life or the life of a loved one. But while prayers are a petition to an external Deity to create the change, most Witches and Wiccans believe that Deity is present in everything, including ourselves. Spells, then, are the channeling of our own divine selves, our own energies, to create the change.
Spells such as those which use love magic to gain the attention of a specific individual, or curses, are considered "manipulative". Most Wiccans believe that anything manipulative-that goes against the free will of another-is considered wrong. Many other pagan paths have similar codes of conduct based upon the tenets of their tradition or belief and almost all believe that the responsibility for their actions will lie with them.
A cult by definition is a group of people who blindly follow one leader. As Witches, Wiccans and pagans tend to be free-thinkers, there is no one person that we consider to be THE leader. Thus we cannot be called a cult.
These rumors come from our lack of taboos regarding sex. We have no rules which prohibit homosexuality, nudity or pre-marital sex. Sex as the generative force in nature is seen by most pagans as something utterly sacred. We feel that the physical act of love is to be approached with great respect and responsibility.
We all don't. Many Witches/Wiccans actually seem to favor green and/or purple. Black, however, is in many cultures a symbol of clergy. Priests, Ministers and Rabbis all favor black as the main color of their ritual garb.
Scientifically speaking, color is energy. The colors you see are the ones which are reflected and not the ones absorbed. Therefore, what appears to be white, which is the culmination of all colors in the light spectrum, is actually reflecting all colors and absorbing none. What appears to be black, is absorbing all colors and reflecting none. This is evident in the fact that when one is wearing white, one feels cooler - as the fabric is sending the heat energy outward, and when one wears black - the heat energy is absorbed in the cloth that one is wearing, making one feel warmer. Many Witches feel that wearing black attracts and holds more natural energy.
No. Neither are Wiccans or those in other pagan paths. Witches can be either men or women. The term "Warlock" is never used to describe a male Witch as it is considered to be a religious slur. "Warlock" is an old Scottish word meaning "traitor" or "oath-breaker". Men and Women alike can be Witches, Wiccans or pagans.
People are generally drawn to Wicca and other pagan paths for several reasons. Many women feel left out of more mainstream religions because of the lack of feminine divinity. For them, the Wiccan concept of the Goddess as Mother of all Living fills an empty space in their spiritual search. As a nature based religion, Witchcraft also appeals to those who feel a strong need to "get back to the Earth" and places a major importance on protecting the environment, which we are a part of, not apart from. People drawn to the mystical find pagan belief systems much more accommodating as we do not see anything unnatural about psychic ability or the use of magic to create needed changes in one's life. It gives us the freedom to make our own decisions about what is best for us.
We don't. We feel that the attempted conversion of others is a form of religious bigotry. i.e. If one tries to convert another to his/her religion, s/he assumes that the other person's beliefs are not as valid as his/her own. We feel that all paths are equally valid as long as they do not infringe upon the basic civil rights or free will of another. According to our beliefs, it is up to the individual to choose his or her own path. We do not try to manipulate others into our way of thinking, we only try to educate others about our religion so that they may better understand us. We do, however try to help guide those who have already expressed an interest in the pagan belief systems or religions.
Some witches work skyclad (naked). It gives the Witch a sense of freedom and greater ability to project energy without the restriction of clothes. It is also a way of moving from the mundane world where clothes are the norm to the spiritual world of the circle (robes or other ritual attire are just as effective for this).This encourages contentment with ones own body, while affirming union with the mother earth and the Goddess and God. There is also a practical reason, as the Lord of the Summer Isles says in the film the Wicca Man "It is much too dangerous to jump over a fire with your clothes on!".
No you don't if you prefer to work on your own. You will have just as much right to call yourself a Witch. Many chose this path, either from choice , or because of their isolated location. They may call themselves a Solitary or Hedge Witch.
A Priest/Priestess is someone who is the "head" of the coven. Usually the Priest will represent a God and the Priestess will represent the Goddess in the covens ceremony.
Both the Priest and Priestess have extensive knowledge on the Craft and are here to guild the students through, however, the Priest and Priestess can also learning from their students.
A Solitary Wiccan is one who does magical and spiritual work by him or herself. In that regard all Wiccans are Solitary at least some of the time, but the term usually refers to someone who does not belong to a coven or other magical group. The Solitary may decide not to join a group for many reasons. Some Solitaries choose to work that way simply because they want to. Others may be unable to find a compatible group, or have tried working with one or more groups and did not like it.
We believe that developing the knowledge and confidence to work by yourself is essential even to those Wiccans who do belong to a coven. The coven is not always available when you need to do magical work, at it is the confident solitary who is most valuable to a coven.
A coven or covan is a name used to describe a gathering of witches or in some cases vampires. Due to the word's association with witches, a gathering of Wiccans, followers of the witchcraft-based neopagan religion of Wicca, is also described as a coven.
The word was originally a late medieval Scots word (circa 1500) meaning a gathering of any kind, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It derives from the Latin root word convenire meaning to come together or to gather, which also gave rise to the English word convene. The first recorded use of it being applied to witches comes much later, from 1662 in the witch-trial of Isobel Gowdie, which describes a coven of 13 members.