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Understanding Wicca

Wicca

Wicca also known as the old religion is the fastest growing religion in America today.  Disappointment and discontent with many of the Christian religions; most notably with the Catholic Church; has caused many people to re-think their devotion to traditional religions. 

The word Wicca comes from the ancient Celtic word for the wise woman.  The witches of old were known as the healers and mid-wives of their village.  The teachings were handed down from mothers to daughters and the wisdom of the elders or crones were considered scared. Most of these lessons were handed down by word of mouth, not written.  As education became more assessable to the common folk the witches began the process of writing down their recipes for potions used to heal the sick and to repel insect and rodents, also rituals or spells to invoke the Mother Goddess to intercede in times of trouble. These books became known as a Book of Shadows.  The Book of Shadows was passed down from High Priestess to High Priestess and always kept in the family.  Wicca is the one religion where the older women were honored because of their age and knowledge.  To be known as a Crone was an honor as family members and villagers recognized the wisdom of the woman so honored. 

Sabbats or holy days are celebrated several times each year and those Sabbatts coincide with the Christian holidays.  The traditions of those Sabbatts were incorporated into the Christian traditions.  The colors of red and green, the bringing in and decorating the evergreen tree, the bells and stars we see as part of the Christmas tradition all started as the Yule or Winter Solstice celebration.  The Ostara celebration in early Spring coincides with the Easter celebration and the symbols used were rabbits, colored eggs and lilies.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the traditions and teachings of the witches were considered sinful; Wicca became an underground religion those who practiced Wicca openly were imprisoned or burned at the stake often without a trial.  Although, it is difficult to say; an estimated over six million witches and pagans were put to death by the Christians.          

Although Wicca is an open and accepting religion, the “Wiccan Rede” states “Do as Ye Will, Lest you do no Harm.”  Free will is the cornerstone of Wicca.  Witches are not allowed to interfere with the free will of others.  While modern Witches continue to honor our Earth Mother and all her inhabitants, and consider many everyday objects to possess magickal powers, we do use computers and the internet to connect with other Witches, to teach and learn from one another.                

                                                        

 

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