There are a wide variety of beliefs
and practices in modern day Wicca. However, despite the
pluralism and diversity, distinct principles derived from
Gardnerian Wicca are common to most modern witches. Some
of these beliefs are as follows:
- Everyone has the divine (or
- One should develop natural gifts
for divination or occult magic (often spelled 'magick'
- Divine forces or nature spirits
are invoked in rituals.
- The Goddess, as either a symbol or
a real entity, is the focus of worship.
- Nature and the earth are sacred
manifestations of the Goddess.
- Everyone has his or her own
spiritual path to follow.
- Rituals and celebrations are
linked to the seasons and moon phases.
- Meditation, visualization,
invocation (calling on forces or gods/goddesses),
chanting, burning candles and special rituals trigger a
sense of the mystical, thus reinforcing the core belief
These beliefs will often be mixed
with a combination of mystical traditions, Celtic or
Norse paganism, Greek and Roman goddess worship, ancient
Egyptian spirituality, Eastern Shamanism, or even Native
American spiritual practices depending on the group. All
of these groups revere nature, support peace, and believe
society cannot be at peace if we are out of harmony with
nature or are mistreating Mother Earth (also known as
Gaia, the name of a pagan goddess given to Earth). This
aspect of Wicca is very similar to the New Age Religion
supported by the United Nations and many of it's members,
NGO's and leaders. Divination techniques such as tarot
cards, astrology, runes, the I Ching (from Chinese
Taoism), clairvoyant or psychic readings, candle magick
and other occult practices are not only common but
encouraged by most groups.
Similar to Hinduism, the serpent is
believed by Wiccans to be a symbol of eternal life and
female spiritual awakening or power. In Hinduism, yoga
and meditation results in enlightenment from awakening the
kundalini, or power known as the serpent power believed to
be coiled at the base of the spine. Other symbols used in
- Pentagram and pentacle - A
5-pointed star used for protection, spells, conjuring,
Ankh - Egyptian cross-like symbol with a loop at the top
associated with the worship of Isis.
- The Crescent Moon - A symbol of
the Goddess also used in Islam.
- Crystals - believed to contain
healing and spiritual properties. Crystals are also
used by many other new age cults.
One hurdle that will have to be
crossed in witnessing to a person involved in Wicca is
their lack of belief in a need for forgiveness or
salvation. To the witch, there is no sin therefore no
need for forgiveness. There is no need for salvation, as
there is nothing to be saved from. The main tenet of
Wicca is the "Wiccan Rede" which states "And it harm none,
do as ye will". Basically, as long as you don't hurt
anyone, anything goes. Of course, views of what actually
causes harm vary from person to person. Most also believe
that whatever you do will come back to you three-fold, so
it pays to be careful. Some, however, believe that it is
sometimes acceptable to cause harm as long as you are
willing to accept the karmic consequence.
Views of an afterlife vary widely
among groups. Witches do not believe in a heaven or hell
and will usually espouse the concept of karma and endless
reincarnation. Backed up by "memories" of "past lives"
they insist the idea of living only once is ridiculous.
Others believe in reincarnation until enlightenment, or
endless rebirth until such time as the person is
enlightened enough to pass on to some other existence.
Again, what makes a person enlightened varies from person
to person. Still others will openly admit they have no
idea what will happen after death and say the will find
out when they get there.
As you can see, the beliefs of
Wiccans fit very well into the humanist religion that has
become so widespread in modern society. As with other
humanist religions everything goes as long as it doesn't
oppose their claim to being god/godess or hold them
accountable to a higher power. It is this point that
makes Christianity the only faith they will bend the
"anything goes" rule for. To them it is intolerant to
believe in an absolute truth and they will often take it
as an insult to be told there is evil in the world and we
all sin. This is one of the biggest obstacles to sharing
your faith with Wiccans and other humanist groups.
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