Wicca – Lesson 1: “What is Wicca” Part 2

While we believe in working with the supernatural energies around us, we do not believe magic works as it does in fiction such as Harry Potter and the Wizard of Oz.  Many of us love Harry Potter, but no, he is not a practicing Wiccan.  Working with these energies does not replace mundane activity.  If you work magick to lose weight, this doesn’t mean you avoid diet and exercise.  Do not stop taking meds if you work healing magick without consulting a doctor first.  Being that we generally believe that the divine energy exists in all things we are not opposed to using medicine and other mundane methods to work Magick.  Remember that the use of these powers are sacred and shouldn’t be used for entertainment.

Wiccans consider it to be important to treat our earth with love and respect as it is sacred.  It is in our best interests to keep the earth healthy.  We do not have a sacred book as in other religions, but view nature itself as our holy “book.”  Many of us strive to make a difference by:

  • Recycling
  • Cut down on driving
  • Avoid littering
  • Conserve water
  • Reuse plastic bags and other items
  • Volunteer at a food or animal shelter
  • Clean up local areas such as lakes, rivers, parks, and areas cluttered with trash
  • Take in animals that have been neglected or abused
  • Working to live in harmony with others.

Not all of us do all these things, but every little bit helps.  Wicca is often about connecting with nature by doing things as simple as taking a walk in the woods or sitting by a lake.  You may want to focus on the sounds of nature such as birds, or the smells like plants and flowers, and the beauty that surrounds you.  If you are in a city see if there are any parks you can visit.  Perhaps you could enjoy the stars and moon at night.

 

Many Wiccans believe in reincarnation in that we go through many life cycles to learn various lessons.  Summerland is a place in the afterlife, which some believe we go after death to rest and reflect before continuing our next journey.  Some Wiccans believe that we may spend our time there reflecting what we have learned in our last life and plan out our future life.  Perhaps it is here that we are able to clearly see all the past lives that we have lived.  We do not believe in a hell where sinners are punished for eternity.

The Wiccan Rede “An ye harm none do as ye will” is generally universally followed among Wiccans.  This can refer to physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental harm.  For example, it may be harmful to attempt to de convert a Christian because perhaps that person needs to follow that path in order to grow (There also may be cases where it is beneficial if the religion is causing the person harm but I won’t go there with that right now).  It is unrealistic to expect a person to never harm anything.  There are times we may hurt someone’s feelings, step on a bug, etc.  It is more realistic to seek to cause as little harm as possible.  The Wiccan Rede is another item that is a whole discussion of its own which I hope to write more about.

Spells should end with “With harm toward none, and the greatest good of all.”  It’s also necessary to overcome behaviors that are harmful to self such as cutting, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc.  Doing our own will refers to doing the will of our “higher self,” in other words, do what wisest and most loving.  The Rede is difficult to follow at times because it requires deep thought and weighing the situation.  Sometimes there are situations where harm cannot be avoided.

We celebrate the phases of the moon referred to as Esbats and also celebrate 8 Sabbats throughout the year.  Coven witches often come together for these celebrations.

The Law of Three, or Law of Return means whatever we send out in the universe will return to us threefold. If we do negative it will return to us stronger and the same with positive.  Some believe that the Law of Three doesn’t have to be exact but can vary due to such things as intention.  If one unintentionally harms someone and regrets it later this may help to cancel out the Law of Return.

We do not believe in letting life get the best of us, but rather that if life isn’t satisfying that change may be necessary.  We are responsible for our actions, not some deity, negative entity, or other people.

Many witches are interested in healing and may take on professions that deal with medical and psychological healing. Many of us are also interested alternative methods of healing.  We also have no qualm with most technology as many of us own PCs

Below is a Link to the “Thirteen Principles of Wiccan belief.”

http://paganpath.com/study/library/trads/57-13-principles

Wicca generally doesn’t recognize the concept of “original sin.” Instead we believe people are basically good because we all come from the Goddess and God. While people become evil and do bad things, people were not born to be bad.  We focus more on the now than in the after life.  We do not deny ourselves pleasure nor suffer unnecessary pain. There is a lesson to be learned while we are here on earth.

Some Wiccans partake in various magickal training, which may include herbology, divination (Tarot, palmistry, Ruins, scrying, tea leafs, etc), crystal healing, Shamanistic practices, reiki, astrology, etc.

Creativity, freedom of expression, intelligent thinking are all important in Wicca. We tend to avoid dogma and hard rules beyond the basics.  We do not generally have a system of hierarchy such as a pope and bishops, however some traditions have become large enough where outside leadership does exist.

One of the important aspects of Wicca is coming to know yourself, why you think the way your think, why you do what you do, why you feel what you feel.  Here are some questions to ponder over.

One of the main ideas in Wicca and many traditions of Witchcraft and Paganism is to know yourself, however, this is something that is best done on your own so here are some questions to think about on your own.

  1. What makes you feel happy?  Depressed?  Angry?  Excited?
  2. What qualities do you have that you consider positive?
  3. What qualities do you have that make you feel negative?
  4. Take a look at your life and ask yourself how satisfied you are with your life?  What do you want improved in your life?  What changes do you want to make to live a more satisfying life?
  5. Have there been events in your childhood that played a strong part in who you are now?
  6. Do you love or hate yourself or somewhere in between?
  7. Take a look at behaviors you do that you don’t like?  Can you understand what influences these behaviors.
  8. How do you feel when you do something good such as helping a person who needs a ride as compared when you do something such as get revenge on someone?
  9. Do you act before you think or think before you act?  Would this be something you want to change?
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