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What is Wicca?

Wiccans see the divine in nature and within themselves with some rules, rituals, and ethics to follow. Frequently, Wiccans take a grounded approach and come back to basic questions like, "How do my actions affect my daily life?" 

The History 

What is Wicca? To sum it up - it's a neo-pagan religion founded by Gerald Gardner somewhere around the 1940s that is nature-based. Around the time the witchcraft laws were revoked in England (remember: it used to be illegal!), Wicca was formed and based heavily on the idea of reclaiming witchcraft and paganism. Gardner published Book of Shadows in 1949, which remains a staple of Wicca tradition. Wicca was ruled as an official law in the United States in 1986. 

Practices & Ritual Tools 

It's not uncommon for Wiccans to create their own practices and beliefs. But, there are still specific rules they must follow. First, check out the moral system below. In summary, Wiccans strive to treat others the way they'd want to be treated. 

In everyday rituals, Wiccans gather within a marked magick circle, followed by a cleaning and inside space. They will then bless the area and say prayers to the God and Goddess, and sometimes, even spells are performed. Wiccans love to follow these rituals with a meal afterward - who doesn't? Some Wiccans might even fast before the gathering circle as a means of purification. 

For ritual tools, Wiccans can include a broom 'besom', Book of Shadows, cauldron, goblet, hand-held drum, wand, dagger, altar cloth, herbal mixes for spellcasting, candles, incense, and so much more from here. Though the ritual tools hold no powers of their own, they can still be purified and charged for a specific purpose. 

The Wiccan Rede: An ye harm none, do what you will.

Research and explore the rede online for the extended version, of course. 

The threefold law, or the Rule of Three, is a principle followed by Wiccans to live a life free from negativity. It's believed that whatever energy you project into the world, it'll come back to you times three - like karma. 

The God & Goddess 

Wiccans recognize two deities - the God and the Goddess, or Mother Earth and Father Sky. These two are viewed as equals, and together, represent all aspects of the universe. The Wiccan Goddess and God's alliance is usually deemed robust and parallel, with neither ahead of another. But, in some traditions, like Dianic Wicca, only the Goddess is worshipped. 

Spellcasting 

When spellcasting, you must first acknowledge and understand fully what you are doing. Irresponsible spellcasting can cause a boomerang effect on the caster, leaving them long-lasting harm. 

Never try to harm someone.

No devious work - no manipulation.

Be responsible.

Be respectful.

Visualization, intent, concentration, and willpower are the principal factors that will make a spell work. Willpower is the confidence that it will work. You want to see your intention and purpose visually. Speak out the purpose aloud while having a clear visualization of images or symbols needing to achieve this. This will make a spell effective. Be clear on your intentions, with no loopholes or manipulations. Spell work is most powerful when aligned with natural energies. Consider joining your spell work with the phases of the moon, perhaps, although it's not an absolute necessity. It can help enhance the strength of a spell. 

Sabbats & Esbats 

Wiccans observe the Wheel of the Year, their calendar. As they pass each of the eight Sabbats, it is said the wheel turns and is considered one Gregorian year. Sabbats are holidays that Wiccans celebrate. It's a time to rejoice and celebrate Earth and its journey around the sun and all that it provides for us. Magick rituals are held as covens come together at Esbats to honor the moon and its unique powers while keeping the Goddess in the center. 

The eight annual Sabbats: 

Yule | The Winter Solstice

Typically around December 20-23, Wiccans observe it as either the beginning or the end - or even both. Light is approaching soon, and solar is turning the tides. The sun offers a fresh start, new beginnings, and hope. 

Brigid/Imbolc

Think of it as spring cleaning. On February 1st of 2nd, Wiccans begin to organize and clean their homes. Not just that, but mentally and spiritually, too. It's a time to wake up from your winter blues and find motivation and creativity. 

Eostar | The Spring Equinox

Around mid-March, spring has approached, and winter is of the past. Daytime is becoming longer, and now, both day and night are equal. It's the time of fertility, growth, rebirth. It's also a time to cut off dead ends and negativity that are holding you back from your greatest potential. 

Beltane

May Day (around April 30th or May 1st) is the time of the unity and marriage between the Goddess and the God - or Mother Earth and the God of the Greenwood. It's a time of fertility, and a time to start planting seeds, whether that means quite literally or simply spiritually. It's a joyful season to ensure that the next harvest is plentiful. 

Litha | The Summer Solstice

During June 20-23, Litha is known as the longest day and shortest night of the year. Light dominates but will begin to fade out. Nature is at its full peak, plants are growing, and it's a time of abundance for everyone. 

Lughnasadh/Lammas

On August 1st, Wiccans tend to focus on their strength and abilities. It is a time of facing your fears and taking steps to guard yourself. In ancient times, Wiccans feared their harvest wouldn't be abundant. Nowadays, Wiccans ready themselves for sacrifices needed in their lives, whether for work, home life, financials, or other things.

 

Mabon | The Fall Equinox

Mabon is usually observed around September 20-23. Once again, day and night are both equal. The balance is harmonic, and it is now time for the final harvest of vegetables, fruits, and grains. It's a time for thanks and gratitude. Soon enough, darkness will overtake the light and welcome in winter. 

Samhain | All Hallow's Eve

Around Halloween, Wiccans mark this pivotal time as the New Year. It's an important Sabbat for them to remember their ancestors and all that they themselves have accomplished throughout the year. 

Becoming Wicca 

It's all about being in tune with yourself, the universe, and nature. Start learning about the moon's cycles, more in-depth about Sabbats, ritual tools, and the power of magick and witchcraft. Start simple and always be responsible. Read books, delve into its rich history, and explore. 

Let's open our minds and hearts!


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