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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Popular Misconceptions About Wicca

  **This was originally written and published on My One Witch's Wonderland Blog, which has since closed!

Below are some of the most popular misconceptions about Wicca, and the truth about them. I do hope this helps to clear up some things for some people!

    * Wiccans engage in ritual orgies - Myth. While SOME Wiccans do perform rituals in the nude (referred to as "skyclad") the majority do not. There is nothing sexual about this type of worship. It's simply one way that they CHOOSE to become a little closer to nature. It is not required, all forms of dress are accepted.

    * Wicca is lawless - It is true that there are no specific commandments to restrict behavior. However most Wiccans do follow the Wiccan Rede from which all ethical behavior evolves: "And ye harm none, do what ye will."  While Wicca may seem to be lacking due to it's lack of written rules, all other rules or laws are able to be summed up in those eight words... Do no harm to others and do no harm to yourself. This law encompasses all others!

    * Wiccans worship Satan the Devil - Satan is part of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths.
Wiccans and Pagans as a whole do not acknowledge or worship Satan or any other "Devil".

    * Wiccans use spells to harm or control others - Partly True. Some pagans & witches may practice "black" or harmful magick but Wiccans as a rule do not! They are bound by the Rede to 'Harm None". Additionally many Wiccans believe in a form of Karma called the Three-Fold Law or the Law of Return which basically states that whatever one does for Good or Evil will return to them. What goes around, comes around, both physically and spiritually.

    * Wicca is Goddess Worship. And only for women - Many women are attracted to Wicca due to it's focus on the Goddess but the religion is also open to men. Wicca is not just about Goddess worship in reality it's about finding a balance. In fact, Gardner's Wicca was more male-oriented and focuses more on the God and the male aspects. Doreen Valiente brought more of the Goddess aspects into practice. Wicca emphasizes the balance of Masculine and Feminine energies, and the God is as much a vital part of the religion as the Goddess.

    * Wicca is a cult - Wiccans believe that each individual's path of spirituality is valid, and no one path is better than any other. Wiccans do not convert or recruit anyone. Proselytizing is not a wiccan practice.

    * The Burning Times - This was NOT a mass persecution and repression of women and/or witches by the church. In fact, current studies are showing that secular, NOT church, courts did the vast majority of executions. You can find out some valuable statistics gleaned from recent historical records here. Some figures put the number killed as high as 9 million women killed; however, the current figures suggest more like 40,000 to 100,000, mostly Christians who pissed someone off. There are emerging theories that some were magickal practitioners turned in by fellow practitioners to get rid of the competition however in most cases this isn't true.

    * Wicca is Celtic - No, it's not. While Wicca seems to have sprouted out of Northern Europe there is no real tie between Wicca and any one culture. In fact the Druids were a professional class of religious leaders among the Celts. So, if you are interested in Celtic myth or religious history you should explore Druidic Beliefs. And you should refer to the "What is Druid" page of this website.

    * Wicca is a revival of the old religion of paganism - No, Wicca is not a reconstruction of any one religion. Although Wicca is Pagan it's only one of may paths and within Wicca itself there are many paths... Paganism is a very broad term that refers to any non-Christian, Islamic or Jewish religion, although in most cases you will hear it used to discribe Pre-Christian, nature based or re-constructionist religions.

    * The "Rede of the Wiccae" is the Wiccan Rede - Actually it's not. It is a separate, copyrighted document that simply happens to have the 8 words of the Rede included. It was originally published in Green Egg Magazine, Vol. III. No. 69 (Ostara 1975), attributed to Adriana Porter & Lady Gwen Thompson.

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