Wiccan Beliefs and Practices
Wicca is a nature oriented religion ~ Wiccans consider the natural processes of the Earth and the greater universe to be divine. All life and all lives are sacred.
Members of the Wiccan priesthood, both men and women, are called Witches ~ A Wiccan is not the "witch" depicted by Hollywood images or defamed by the ugly stereotype seen at Halloween. The terms Wicca and Witchcraft refer to the whole of the religion and its practices complete with deity, salvation, ethics, holy days and trained clergy who minister to Wiccan congregations. A warlock is any witch, male or female, who is shunned by the coven for unethical behavior.
Wiccans believe in God ~ To a Wiccan, God (The All) is the all-encompassing, all-powerful force of life - the Creator. Wiccans view The All manifested in a duality of male (God) and female (Goddess), each of equal importance. Though the different religions of the world worship gods and goddesses of many names, Wiccans consider all gods to be one God and all goddesses to be one Goddess. The Wiccan God and Goddess are the same deities as those worshipped by everyone else. There are many pathways, but they are all traveling up the same mountain along the way to spiritual fulfillment and a personal relationship with God.
The Wiccan clergy consists of Priests and Priestesses ~ The clergy functions just like that of any other religion, performing religious services, legal marriages, funerals, baby blessings and personal counseling.
Wiccans usually celebrate 21 holy days each year ~ Though Wicca is a religion for the individual, Wiccans often come together to worship the God and Goddess. Wiccans mark the progress of the seasons and nature's cycles at thirteen lunar (full moon Esbats) and eight Sabbat festivals each year; four solar and four agrarian. The Sabbats make up what we call The Wheel of the Year.
Wiccan ethics are summed up in the following creed: "An ye harm none, do what ye will." ~ This rule, also known as the Wiccan Rede, seems simple, but a great deal of personal responsibility is necessary to live up to its requirements. In striving to fulfill this creed, Wiccans must take responsibility for their actions on a mental, physical, and emotional level. They must give deep consideration to all the possible repercussions of any thought or deed. Wiccans try to live a virtuous and balanced life in harmony with other people and with nature.
The Wiccan concept of Salvation is incorporated into the Witches Three-Fold Law, which states that any action or thought of an individual will return in like kind thrice over. Spiritual fulfillment is achieved through positive works and harmonious living.
Wiccans are NOT Satanists! ~ Satanism is a deliberate perversion and reversal of Christian practices. Wicca predates Christianity and has nothing to do with Satan, who is the Christian personification of evil. In fact, Wiccans do not believe at all in an ultimate evil force. Wiccans do believe that ignorance can lead misguided individuals to commit harmful acts. It is unfortunate that Satanists have stolen and then perverted the sacred symbols of both Christianity and Wicca. This is disrespectful to both religions. Such harmful ignorance of the Wiccan religion by the larger public leads to a belief that Witches are Satanists because of confusion over similar religious symbols.
Wiccans do NOT commit blood sacrifice ~ As practitioners of a life-affirming nature religion, Wiccans find human and animal life sacrifice sacrilegious. The very concept of blood sacrifice is repulsive, and the practice is an abomination to Wiccans.
Wiccans do NOT practice black magic ~ Wiccans do not spend time casting spells or indulging in ego-feeding hocus-pocus. Rather, Wiccans know that when life is responsible and harmonious, things fall into place as they should as if by magic. Well, to Wiccans, this is, magic ~ the only magic. Magic happens when an individual is able to discipline the mind enough to control thoughts, no matter what else happens. According to Wiccan teaching, our minds can be our undoing or our doing. As we think, so shall it be. Thus, magic is a by-product of right-living and disciplined thought.