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Transcript of Wicca
mystic and spiritual functions
Popularized Wicca in the 1960's.
Claimed he had ties to a witch-cult that had survived through the middle ages. He also was missing more than a few marbles.
God and Goddess
Marriage, handfasting, family, and sex.
Religion in a Modern World
The wheel of the year
Parties eight months out of the year
Rebirth of the sun-days grow longer after the winter solstice
Bonfires at night
Evergreens are symbolic of hope that life will come again (They never die).
Reinforces life as a cycle, reveres life and coming of new life
***You have to change celebration rituals based on climate.
September 21st during the Autumn Equinox
Lughnasadh or Lammas
Symbolizes the second harvest, mysteries, equality and balance
Their version of Thanksgiving, where thanks are given for the blessings they received and a prayer is made to their deities to help keep them safe during the winter months.
Comes from Gaelic word "oimelc", meaning "ewes" milk, celebrating lactation and new birth.
Taboo to cut or pick plants at this time depending on the condition.
Point/Value: Celebrates new life and motherhood of the earth.
***origins of Groundhog's Day (but with a snake)
Celebrates the Spring Equinox
God and Goddess conceive.
Time of great fertility --especially on full moon.
Point of balance: Light and dark are in harmony
Associated with Easter.
Point/Value: Celebrates new life/fertility.
Means "Summer's End"
Marks the Day of the Dead- honoring/showing respect for departed spirits-- NOT morbid
Began as Pagan Celtic tradition
Spirits can interact with the living because the separation between their world and the living is at its thinnest
Point/Value- Death is a part of life and is not to be feared. Also celebrates ends (of relationships, childhood, etc.)
Tolerance equals culture over time
Salem witch trials
Over 200 years of bad press
What is pagan?
every religion other than these three.
Saying that Wiccans worship the devil is like saying an Atheist worships a god.
Not all Wiccans have a black cat. Unfortunately, there are still enough superstitious people that black cats are less likely to be adopted.
Concerning that thing that happens after marriage... or before.
Sex is something to be celebrated
Wiccans consider sex to be another form of showing respect for the earth and the deities. Not something to be ashamed of, because it represents the union of two souls on the mortal plane as well as the union of the God and Goddess
This holiday incorporates traditions from the Gaelic Bealtaine, such as the bonfire, but it bears more relation to the Germanic May Day festival, both in its significance (focusing on fertility) and its rituals (such as May pole dancing).
Some traditions celebrate this holiday on May 1 or May day, whiles others begin their celebration the eve before or April 30th.
On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant.
Midsummer Night's Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. The alternative fixed calendar date of June 25 (Old Litha) is sometimes employed by Covens. The name Beltane is sometimes incorrectly assigned to this holiday by some modern traditions of Wicca, even though Beltane is the Gaelic word for May.
At Lammas, sometimes called Lughnasadh, it's time to celebrate the first harvest of the year, and recognize that the hot summer days will soon come to an end.
Lughnasadh means the funeral games of Lugh (pronounced Loo), referring to Lugh, the sun god. However, the funeral is not his own, but the funeral games he hosts in honor of his foster-mother Tailte.
The Celtic origin marriage tradition that Wiccans favor today is called handfasting because the couple's hands are bound fast together.
The wiccan church accepts homosexuals and supports their right to be married. Many of the clergy choose to become officiants, to perform handfasting ceremonies.
Because the position of the church is accepting of same-sex marriage- but some states are not, many clergy will perform religious ceremonies for same-sex couples. These aren't legally binding.
Many Wiccans are adults, because the Wiccan families don't force their children to follow the same religion as the parents. They teach right from wrong, how to share, and most importantly how to find the truth for themselves. This is in keeping with the idea that each life teaches our soul something that needs to be learned, and any religion can do that.
The actual number of Wiccans is unknown, it is very difficult to get numbers on members of Neopagan faiths. Many surveys allow people to identify as Pagan as well as Wiccan. However, Adherents.com, cites over thirty sources with estimates of numbers of Wiccans (mostly from the USA and UK, witchcraft is actually still illegal in some countries). From this, they developed an estimate of 800,000 members. In the United States, the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey said at least 134,000 adults identified themselves as Wiccans, compared to 8,000 in 1990.
In the United Kingdom, census figures on religion were first collected in 2001. These were not at all accurate. Before the census The Pagan Federation encouraged Wiccans, Heathens, Druids and others all to use the same write-in term 'Pagan' in order to maximise the numbers reported. The census however made it possible to describe oneself as Pagan-Wiccan and 11,766 people in England and Wales did so. A further 1,276 described their religion as Witchcraft.
Wicca is the largest non-Christian faith practiced in the United States Air Force, with 1,434 airmen identifying themselves as such.
The wiccan rede
The short version is accepted by almost all traditions,The long poem is unique to each tradition and sometimes even to each coven. Much like a game of telephone, but that's ok because it is not holy writ. refers to Wiccan concepts that, though ostensibly very old, have not been proven to pre-date the 1940s. Its precise origin has yet to be determined, and will probably never be known.
Bide the Wiccan law ye must,
in perfect love and perfect trust.
In these eight words, the Wiccan Rede fulfill
"An' harm ye none, do what ye will."
Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give..
Soft of eye, light of touch, speak ye little, listen much.
and ever mind the law of three,
for what ye send forth comes back to thee
follow this with mind and heart, merry ye meet and merry ye part
Arguably the most influential Wiccan author, his guide for solitary practitioners is the most comprehensive and best selling book about this religion.
Wait! The Bible says-
No it doesn't. Not really. The translators really messed this one up. There is no exact English word for M'khashespah, its root means to whisper. A closer word than witch is poisoner. This may also mean someone who whispers true or untrue things to "poison" reputations and such. So burn all the gossipers.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live
Exodus 20:18 KJV
Wiccans believe that in each new life our soul must learn something or experience something new to become whole.
You don't have to be a Wiccan in every life, because other religions can also teach you things.
Winter Solstice, Dec. 20-23
Feb. 1 & 2
Summer Solstice, June 21
Orders, traditions, and clergy
Traditions are like denominations, like Gardnerian (after Gardener) or Universal Eclectic Wicca.
There are three orders
First order- everyone
Second order- Wiccan
Third order- Clergy
The clergy are called priests and priestesses
Nature is very important to witches, because they believe we are all a part of nature and a spark of the divine, and we will become a part of it when we die for the last time.
Magic, Prayer, and new age stuff
The views on magic or "magic" vary greatly within the community. Some view it as prayer with props, some believe that magic is a natural force that is as of yet undiscovered by science which can be channeled by prayer or meditation.
New age stuff
Some Wiccans believe in gemology, pyramid power, and aliens from outer space. They don't represent the majority, but they often receive more attention from the internet and other media.
The Wiccan god also has many names, is often depicted with antlers, and is associated with forests, fauna, and the sun.
Wiccans believe the goddess goes by many names, and you should use the one that is most comfortable for you. She is depicted as mother earth, nature itself, and a moon goddess. she also thought of by some as the threefold goddess.
Something that the rede does not address is Intent. If intentions are good, blame should not be placed.
Cunningham, Scott. "The Truth about Witchcraft Today". Woodbury: Llewellyn, 1987
Cunningham, Scott. "Wicca: a guide for the solitary practitioner". Woodbury: Llewellyn, 1988
Sylvan, Dianne. "The Circle Within". Woodbury: Llewellyn, 2003
www.cuew.org Church of Universal Eclectic Wicca. accessed Nov.-Dec. 2012