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 Wicca 101 Series - Intro and First Installment: Defining Wicca

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Hexeengel

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PostSubject: Wicca 101 Series - Intro and First Installment: Defining Wicca   Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:09 am

Our lovely mod will be familiar with this series, as it is featured on my blog, Wicca 101 and Beyond. But I figured it wouldn't hurt to post it here too, so this forum can have more content!

Introduction and Statement of Purpose

I've written a series of lessons on Wicca. It's more Traditional-leaning, but since I'm not an initiate of anything, it of course isn't strictly Traditional (and even if I was, of course it wouldn't be in that case either, oaths and all that). Mostly, it's for the hypothetical students I hope to have someday, but also for my husband, should he ever get around to reading any of it. I've decided to post these lessons mostly to get feedback, since just about anyone can find this information elsewhere. Really, I just want to make sure that nothing's overly confusing. I'm not expecting complete agreement on all things, but I suspect there's very little that would be objectionable to most.

Once I get through those, however, I have more personal, and some would say more "advanced" essays and articles I've written that I plan to include here as well.

Lastly, this is an experiment on myself. I feel Called to teach, but heretofore have not encountered anyone wanting to learn anything more from me than the barest of basics before they take off in their own direction. And there's nothing wrong with that, but it's not my Calling. This blog will serve as a litmus tests of sorts, so that I can try my hand at teaching before I reach the hypothetical "real deal."

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope it is enlightening for all involved.

Wicca - A Personal Definition

For those of you who are familiar with Wicca, YMMV and I don't expect total agreement here (and in the case that someone were learning from me, I'd just expect for them to be familiar with and use my definitions so long as they were under my guidance, so that they could understand my perspective and reasonings). Again, my main purpose in posting these lessons is to make sure that my thought processes translated well into words, that things are clear and coherent, etc.. Comments and questions GREATLY encouraged and appreciated!

Wicca

This is a basic outline of my personal guidelines for what constitutes a Wiccan path/system. Others’ definitions certainly vary. Most of the concepts addressed here will be investigated more in depth as the series of lessons progresses.

A. Application

A-1. Celebrating the Sabbats with an understanding of their symbolism and story. There are eight Sabbats, or holidays, in the Wiccan calendar, also sometimes referred to as the Wheel of the Year. The dates given below are those traditionally observed:

a. Samhain - Oct. 31
b. Yule - on or about Dec. 21
c. Imbolc - Feb. 2
d. Eostar - on or about Mar. 21
e. Beltane - May 1
f. Midsummer - on or about Jun. 21
g. Lammas - Aug. 1
h. Fall Equinox - on or about Sep. 21

A-2. Casting a Circle wherein the ritual will be held. The Circle denotes sacred space for sacred acts, and is consecrated to the Gods.

A-3. General ritual format includes calling the Quarters, invoking and contacting the Gods, a section for the ritual purpose (celebrate the Sabbat or Esbat, work Magick, etc.), Cakes and Wine (including a libation to the Gods), and then banishing the Quarters at closing.

A-4. The Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law are given some measure of importance. These ethical codes should not only advise on Magickal acts, but on the mundane actions of a Wiccan as well.


B. Belief

B-1. Reverence of Goddess AND God, together and equally. Wiccan worship and practice focuses on the archetypes of the God and Goddess, seeing them as the ultimate manifestation of masculine and feminine divinity (among other equal, opposite, and complimentary pairs of forces and concepts).

B-2. God forms/names must be European in origin (this can include Egypt, since there is evidence they had contact with Britain; some samples of ancient Egyptian bronze were made from native copper and British tin). This is because I see Wicca as the continuation/revival of Pre-Christian Native European Shamanism. The Deities and spirits of Native North/Central/South American paths, the rest of Africa, Asia, India, and Australia are NOT Wiccan. Sumer, Babylon, Mesopotamia, etc., however, would be acceptable sources.

B-3. Belief that the Gods can be directly contacted, whether through channeling, meditation, or other means. Also, It’s important to realize that one doesn’t need an intermediary, but will sometimes need a teacher or guide for the contact to be safe and successful.

B-4. Having a reciprocal relationship with the Gods. One does not need to grovel before the Gods, but instead willingly serve Them (if one finds one’s self serving Gods that never give back, it may be time to find “new” Gods to work with. Conversely, one cannot expect the Gods’ assistance or intervention in anything if one does not honor Them in some reciprocally meaningful way).

B-5. Belief in the effectiveness of Magick. Having confidence that your rituals and spells will work as they should is just as important as performing those works.


C. Characteristics

C-1. Wicca is a fertility religion. Wiccans rejoice in and celebrate fertility in all its forms, sexual and otherwise (new ideas, ventures, etc.).

C-2. Wicca is a nature religion. All of nature is seen as sacred and integral and interrelated. Humans are a part of nature, as are the Gods and the processes of Magick.

C-3. Wicca is an agricultural system. The Sabbats are aligned to the planting and harvest seasons, symbolically if not literally.

C-4. Wicca is a cyclical system. All the cycles of nature and the world are revered, including those of the Sun, Moon, Earth, planets/stars, seasons, and the life of all creatures, human and otherwise.

C-5. Wicca is a religion of balance. Just as life is a fact of existence, so is death. Just as Summer comes each year, so does Winter. Day and night, light and dark, male and female, each coin has a flip side, and all sides are important to Wiccan belief and practice.

C-6. Wicca is non-dualistic. Since each pairing listed above comes together to make something greater than the sum of its parts, the true nature of the reverence is for the whole, not simply the pieces. Wicca doesn’t view things as “either/or,” but “this/and.”

C-7. Wicca is a shamanic religion. A shaman is one who forms a personal relationship with the Gods for the betterment of their tribe/family/people/etc., and has the ability to then travel the astral and communicate with the Gods through various means, and also to provide healing. These goals are shared by Wicca, the skills to communicate, travel, and heal greatly encouraged and fostered by its teachings. Also integral to a shamanic system is the death-and-rebirth cycle, as shamanic initiations in tribal societies (which usually occur on the astral and are performed by Gods or Spirits) are said to involve being killed (often violently) and then reborn into a new knowledge and understanding. This symbolism is used in some Traditional initiation ceremonies, but can be seen in all of Wicca in the God’s story as He traverses the Wheel of the Year.

C-8. Wicca is a priesthood. There are no lay people; even in ritual, it is important that everyone participate by lending their energy and intent to the rite at hand, even if the Priest/ess is the only one performing a physical action. Every Wiccan has the capacity to be a Priest/ess, and needs no intermediary between them and the Gods.

C-9. Wicca is an experiential religion. A lot of the theory and how-to and basic knowledge can be learned from books/websites, but to truly understand the fullness of the religion, one must actually practice it. There are also some aspects that simply cannot be learned or understood without actually going through them.

C-10. Wicca is a mystery religion. Those aspects that must be experienced are what I call the Greater Mysteries. The ways to achieve those Divine experiences are then the Lesser Mysteries. The Greater Mysteries are for all willing to seek them, the Lesser Mysteries are only Mysteries until one learns to properly perform and make use of them. In the case of initiatory oathbound Traditions, they are Mysteries to the uninitiated.

For the story of how this definition came to be, see this page of my personal website. Stay tuned for more!


Last edited by Hexeengel on Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Wicca 101 Series - Intro and First Installment: Defining Wicca   Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:26 pm

yeah! I love this series. It's, like, perfect. Explains so much. I'll be using it when I write my Technopagan series, with credit of course
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