Spirituality · Wicca · Witchcraft

Let’s Talk Wicca: FAQ

About every other Wiccan that posts on social media has made one of these, but somehow the same rumors about the craft are still swirling. So let’s talk.

What is Wicca?

Wicca is a big umbrella of a religion that encompasses pagan practices celebrating nature and the cycles of life with the unifying document called The Wiccan Rede. There’s a few things in this piece, and I’d encourage you to look it up, but the gist is at the very end: Harm ye none, do what you will.

Do you worship Satan?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Satan is a Christian invention. Pagan witches do not recognize the existence of heaven or hell, and therefore do not believe Satan exists. A common representation of the divine masculine is the Horned God. He represents nature, wilderness, sexuality, and the cycle of life. Deity in Wicca is an interesting subject, and I’d like to expand on it at a later time. For the history buffs, here’s a great explanation of how the Christian Devil ended up with horns. The practice of Satanism is an entirely different subject and has nothing to do with Wicca.

Isn’t the pentagram a sign of the devil?

No. The pentagram–a five-pointed star–is a symbol combining the four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire with the fifth element Spirit directed upwards. An inverted pentagram in Wicca means the same thing, with the emphasis on being grounded here on the earth. Originally harmless symbols can be co-opted and twisted into something they are not. The pentagram is one of these.

Are you a witch?

Yes, but not all witches are Wiccan. The simplest way I can put this is that Wicca is a belief system, and witchcraft is a practice. There are Christian witches, Jewish witches, atheist witches, pagan witches, and many, many more. All of us practice the craft, where we differ is worldview and the ethics of the craft.

Do you really think magic exists?

Yes, but probably not the magic you’re thinking of. I don’t walk around my house waving a wand asking all of my lights to turn on (that’s what the Google home is for). Believe it or not, I didn’t lose all capacity for rational thought when I began practicing witchcraft. Magic is, simply, aligning your thoughts and actions with the purest, most divine version of yourself, so that you can reshape your reality. We do this by tuning into what nature and the cycles of the universe are telling us through not only what is understood by modern science, but often what is not understood. For those that think magic is an insane concept, I’ll remind you that there was a time when the basic laws of physics weren’t understood either. Just because science cannot explain it yet does not mean it isn’t real.

Do you belong to a coven?

Yes. However, you do not need to belong to a coven to practice witchcraft or to be Wiccan. Our coven comes together on Sabbats (holidays), Esbats (full moons), and other random occasions to spend time with each other as friends and support each other’s spiritual growth. That being said, all covens are different. This is a topic I’d like to expand on at a future date.

Do you cast spells on people?

No. I’ll direct you back up to question 4 and say that this does not apply to all witches. As a Wiccan, I observe the Rule of Three, practice the law of “harm ye none”, and believe firmly that I should not interfere with another person’s will. Wicca is a peaceful religion that encourages you to focus inward. In fact, I almost never do spells, even for myself. It’s just not my approach to the craft. Ask the next Wiccan over, and the answer could be completely different.

Is Wicca a cult?

No. Wicca is a highly personal religion, where many of the practitioners are solitary, meaning they don’t belong to a group at all. Even those who do belong to covens are encouraged to question and challenge values and beliefs continually. It’s not typically a structure that lends itself to being a cult.

Is Wicca just goddess worship?

No. There is a subset of Wicca called Dianic Wicca that is, in fact, goddess worship. On the whole, however, Wicca celebrates the feminine forces of the universe along with the masculine forces in the universe. It is all about the duality of nature: light and dark, sun and moon, male and female.

Can men be Wiccan too?

Absolutely. Wicca seems to be female-dominated simply because it tips the patriarchy on its head. Many women find this point of view refreshing in a world of religions dominated by a judgmental male god. Plenty of men follow this path and all are welcome.

Is there a Wiccan bible?

No. While we all follow the Wiccan Rede, most of us keep something we call a Book of Shadows or a Grimoire. It’s really just a cool name for a notebook with notes on everything that we learn about our craft and a place to journal our experiences. We absorb a lot of information, and this is where we file it away for later–to examine how we’ve changed, or to pick up on patterns we might have missed otherwise.

Have more questions about Wicca you want answered? Leave them in the comments below this post and I’ll do my best to reply to them!

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