The Wiccan Religion
The word "Witchcraft" dates back many hundred of years and means literally
"The craft of the wise". This is because the Witches of the old were the
wise ones of their village, knowledgeable in the art of healing, legal
matters and spiritual fulfillment. A Witch had to not only be a religious
leader, but also the doctor, lawyer, and psychologist of the village.
Today, people have reclaimed this word in their pursuit of Wiccan religion.
A With is an initiate of Wicca, one who has earned the right to call
themselves Priest, or Priestess, through study, self evaluation, and
spiritual living. Wicca itself, is an attempt to re-create European
(mostly) Shamansistic Nature Religion, adapting it to fit our modern lives.
Witches are worshippers of the Earth and it^Òs many cycles. We believe that
deity is found not only outside to our realm, or plane of existence, but
that is found within every living thing and all that support it. Therefore,
we attempt to live in harmony with the Earth and each of it^Òs creatures.
Wiccan tend to involve themselves with ecological pursuits.
Wicca observe the holidays of Pagan Europe; Eight festivals spaced evenly
about the wheel of the year, at the quarters (equinox^Òs and solstices) and
the cross-quarters (midpoints between the equinox^Òs and solstices). They
are called: Yule (Dec 21) Tmbolc (Feb2), Lady Day (March 21), Beltaine (May
1), Midsummer (June 21), Lugnassed (Aug 1), Mabon (Sept 21), and Samhain
(Oct 31). Actual dates vary slightly from year to year, as they are based
upon actual celestial events. Many Wiccans also celebrate the Full Moon, of
which we have 13 per year.
The basis for Wiccans moral conduct is found in the statement "An Ye Harm
None, Do What Thou Wilt." This is a mock archaic phrase, suggesting that
any behavior that harms none, is morally acceptable. Harm is defined by
anything that takes away, or works against an individual^Òs free will. It
is, of course, impossible to exist, or even cease to exist, without causing
harm, so Wiccans look to fulfill this as closely as possible. A Wiccan
attempts to make choices based on what will cause the least harm, and
promote the greatest overall positive effect.
Wicca teaches self discipline, personal responsibility kinship with our
plant and its creatures, open-mindedness and the virtues of diversity.
Wiccans do not proselytize, as we believe that each must find the path that
is right for them, and that all religions are different paths to the same
truths. We draw our beliefs and practices from our own experiences, and
that of others, understanding that age does not makes a religion any more
valid, not does political support, numbers of followers or material
holdings of it^Òs temple. Religion is a very personal thing, one which can
only be validated by the experience of the individual. Wicca provides a
link for those who follow similar paths to share their experiences.