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Monday, 19 July 2010

Meaning Of Wicca

Meaning Of Wicca Cover 'An it Harm None, Do what Thou Will' shall be the whole of the law. It's the rede that most Wiccan witches around the world bind themselves to. What exactly is Wicca? It's a religion based on Nature. The most important aspect of Wicca is that the only dogma that it contains is what each practitioner makes of it. This is why there are quite a few traditions in Wicca, much like the Christian religion and its several sects. Wicca is the revitalization of the Old Religion, which pre-dates Christianity by at least 10 thousand years, if not more. Its name, Wicca, means "Wise One", and was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'Wicce', which means 'to bend'. Although some will argue this definition, this term was used long ago, by the wisest of the whole kingdom in England. The Anglo-Saxon kings would first consult the 'Witan', The Counsel of the Wise, or the tribal witches, before acting on anything. In those early times, it was well known that the Witan were very wise, for not only did they have to lead the religious rites, but they also had to have knowledge in the fields of law, herbal lore, alchemy, divination as well as magick.

What should have been mentioned in my preface is that Wicca, and the Old Religion, are NOT the same thing (when someone says they come from a line of wiccans that dates back thousands of years, they're just pulling your chain, because Wicca dates back no earlier than circa 1951.) They're quite possibly nearly the same, but due to the fact that the Old Religion in itself was not a written religion, there can be no way for sure to know exactly how worship was conducted.

Who exactly created Wicca? We all know that religions are a creation of humankind, in an effort to seek spiritual reasoning and explanations for life. Credit for the creation of Wicca can, in a way, be credited to Gerald Gardner. He did not create Wicca from his mind however, but rather by borrowing from several traditions and religions. History tells us of Gerald Garnders initiation into an English witch coven called The New Forest Coven headed by "Old Dorothy" Clutterbuck, who was a hereditary witch. The coven had been in existence for decades, however it wasn't until 1951 that Britain repealed the last laws mandating that all witches be put to death. Once the law was repealed, Gardner created "Wicca", which combined elements from the New Forest Coven with those of the Golden Dawn and Masonic-like ceremonies (this was due to the fact that Gardner was a Freemason) as well as borrowing from the works of Authors (like Dr. Margaret Alice Murray who wrote "The witchcraft Cult in Western Europe" in 1921). The resulting religion was dubbed "Gardnerian Wicca", and from this creation many other traditions have spawned. But even though Gardnerian Wicca was the first "Official" tradition of Wicca, this does not mean that all other traditions are false, or "wannabe's" as some Gardnerians refer to them as. They just need to remember how Wicca was created.

Those who practice Wicca are known as witches, including the male practitioner. Although the term 'Warlock' has been used by television, as well as movie producers, the term is not generally used by Wiccans. In ancient times, Warlock was a label given unto a person of a village who broke an oath, and is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'Waerlog.' Male witches may still refer to themselves as a "warlock", and then explain to those who object to its use that "Waerlog" and "Warlock" are two different words. I myself, as a male witch, prefer to call myself a "Witch". Some ask what the difference is between a Witch, and a Wiccan. Basically, all Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccans, and not all Wiccans practice witchcraft. This definition is also debated, because of the dogma or bias that each practitioner creates.

Books You Might Enjoy:

Melita Denning - The Foundations Of High Magick
Melita Denning - Mysteria Magica Book V
Paul Huson - Mastering Witchcraft
Marian Green - A Witch Alone
Mike Nichols - Eight Sabbats Of Witchcraft