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Bide the Wiccan Law ye must
In perfect love and perfect trust
Eight words the Wiccan Red fulfil:
An’ ye harm none, do what ye will.
What ye send forth comes back to thee
So ever mind the Law of three
Follow this with mind and heart,
Merry ye meet, and merry ye part.
In the lead up to Halloween (Samhain, 31 October), my spiritual path in life has been occupying all the blank space possible in my mind, understandably so. I am almost bed ridden at the moment and so I have a lot of time to think and ponder life’s mysteries (and / or questions) ranging from periods of ‘Why me?’ to watching little girls dressed up as witches prancing around on TV with glowing eyes, for the first time taking a little bit of insult at the folly in the lead up to the chocolate laden holiday.
I have written about religion and my spiritual beliefs many times on various blogs and posts across social media and one thing is always certain, there are always more questions instead of answers as to what I actually believe. The reality is that I am one of only three Wiccan’s that I know personally and though our numbers are particularly low in my social circle, the numbers are irrelevant anyway. Ask any Pagan or Wiccan what they believe and I can almost guarantee you that 20 different people have 20 differing views, beliefs and ways of explaining is as well.
I spent most of my morning trolling the internet to see what is said online about being Wiccan and explaining it to non Pagans but let’s face it, anyone can have a blog or write a post, own a website or have a shop these days. No matter what website you use or book you read, it is important to understand that everyone has a personal opinion and these opinions will vary. I can only share with you what I know and believe to be my path; I mainly want to address a few questions that I have come across since I have been out of the broom closet so to speak.
I do NOT believe in Satan.
Many times, after revealing that I am a Pagan (A Wiccan to be specific), the first question I get asked is ‘Are you a Satanist?’ Now I can see why you would get confused, after all the Pentagram / Pentacle is easily mistaken for a Downward-pointing star, however it is important to note that I do not believe in Christian theology. I cannot worship something / someone whose existence I do not recognise.
“… Wicca is not the same thing as Satanic Witchcraft. Wiccans do not believe in Satan. Satan is part of the Christian religion, and Satanism is Christian heresy. Contrary to Hollywood notions, Wiccans do not perform animal or human sacrifice or pervert the Catholic mass.” WICCA for BEGINNERS by Thea Sabin.
I do not participate in animal and human sacrifice.
At the very beginning of this post, I included the Wiccan Rede. Wiccans / Pagans do not have a bible to read or commandments to follow but there are two rules which are held in high regard when it comes to practicing Wicca. One of them says:
An’ ye harm none, do what ye will.
This basically means, you can do what you like (within moral reason) as long as you do not hurt others or yourself. This includes animals and living creatures as well. I do not find, capture and sacrifice small woodland creatures to the Gods, nor do I bath in the blood of my enemies. The second rule says :
What ye send forth comes back to thee
So ever mind the Law of three
This would mean that if I did, for some unknown and non-Wicca reason, participate in the sacrifice of any living being, I should be prepared for the repercussions three fold.
So what do I actually believe in?
When people used to ask me this question, I would jokingly answer ‘myself’. While completely egotistical sounding, this answer was not far fetched from my definition of my beliefs today. I do believe in myself and how my existence in the world has an effect on the energies around but more than myself; I do believe in a higher power. I have been accused of not believing in God, however I find this to be untrue. In fact, I do believe in a Goddess and a God only not the God that you may believe in or recognise. I have read many books on Paganism and Wicca and am constantly learning and evolving on this journey, the best and simplest explanation I have found comes from a book ironically called ‘The Wicca Bible’ by Ann-Marie Gallagher and says the following:
“What then, is Wicca? It is both a spiritual tradition (which is why it is a religion) and a set of practices (which is why it is sometimes called ‘the Craft’). Some Wiccan’s honour a God and Goddess, while others honour a Goddess in whom the two roles are united. We work with the season and tides of the Earth, and the rhythms of the Moon, planets and stars. Wiccan’s see the divine in nature, both within and around us, as we are considered part of nature rather than standing outside of it.”
Put simply, I believe in the energy of all things and the power we are gifted with to effect harmony on the situation around us. I believe in cycles and tides and the power within each of us to draw on nature to better the world.
But magic isn’t real?
As a practicing solitary Wiccan, I do partake in some spell work and rituals in my daily life. This can range from meditation and visualisation right through to spells and rituals, some of which I have written and others I have taken from books and other witches and tweaked slightly for my own use. It is impossible for me to prove to you that magic is real because without belief, all you will hear as you read this is the drone of a self help book on self realisation and faith. Not everyone chooses to live a magical life and believe in magic and with anything, if you do not believe it to be real, the chances are it will never be revealed to you. I believe magick to be the ability to manipulate the energy around me and within me and direct this energy into a manifestation of my own desire and direction. This is not me sitting at my altar chanting ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ but instead, me using the tools I have at hand (Including candles, incense, crystals etc.) to work with the energy at my disposal.
Black pointy hats and broomsticks?
Unlikely. I mean, I do have a broom but it stays parked in my garage.
Kidding. I don’t have a garage xx
Seriously though, I do have a broom, or a besom as it is preferably known. It is a tool used in Wicca to direct energies and for various other rituals including household protection etc.
As for the black pointy hat? Unfortunately this is mostly untrue and there are many theories on this historical association of witches and conical hats. That aside, it is not unlikely that modern day witches will adopt this unusual attire for the purposes of Halloween and identifying with the stereotype.
I must add, I do own a black cat.
What about Christmas?
Christmas is a holiday with Christian roots and therefore, traditionally I do not celebrate Christmas. That said, Wiccan’s do have 8 Sabbats that are celebrated throughout the year (around Christmas time in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate Yule). Each holiday represents a spoke on the wheel of the year, these Sabbats are all timed to the Earth’s seasons and as we turn the wheel, we celebrate our Earth’s journey around the sun.
Do I have a problem with other religions?
The beauty of being Pagan (and by denomination, Wiccan) is that this spiritual path is an extremely open and accepting one. You will never find a Pagan handing out pamphlets to you in the street, knocking on your door to preach their words or at any point making you feel like your religion is any less important than ours. Pagans will not go out of their way to ‘recruit’ other Pagans and in the same breath, will not chastise you for your own religion and beliefs. I love that I am Wiccan and as previously mentioned, only know 2 others in my social circles. This means that I am successfully surrounded by people of differing religions all the time, my friends don’t have a problem with me and I don’t have a problem with them – Each to their own I say. It is unfortunate that some older generations do still have a problem with my religion and in turn have taken me up on it or taken it upon themselves to try to convert me, I would really just like to change opinions or educate on what it is to be Wiccan, I am not evil and definitely do not want to be seen as such.
And your kids?
I get asked this a LOT and it is definitely a work in progress in our home. My daughters have both been raised in an open household. I have not and do not press Wicca onto them; they understand (As best as a 6 and 11 year old can) what Wicca is and what I believe but they are currently and have always been of a Christian faith. I am not sure why that is, though I would say that there is a lot of external influence that pushes them in that direction, it is a religion that is widely covered in school and referred to in class and in books as well as widely practiced in their peer groups. I do not have a problem with this at all, rather something to believe in than nothing at all. They both have access to bibles and theological literature and I am open to answering any and all questions they have, after all I was raised Christian as well. When they are older, more educated and knowledgeable on the subject, they are welcome to be whomever they choose to be with my support.
Who I am to argue with them that what they believe is incorrect? My youngest, now aged 6, is extremely vocal about her belief in God and Jesus and leading up to Christmas, enjoys telling me the Christmas story with absolute certainty and belief. I could not be any more proud that she has faith in something so strongly despite not having had that upbringing. I would be doing her a disservice if I did not support this belief despite the contradictions to my own. My eldest, almost 12, is not certain what she believes and is at the age where she asks many questions. She is surrounded by peers of many different faiths and raises Paganism in class to her teacher, last year being told not to say the word Pagan and this year a different teacher telling her that it is an interesting religion. Only she can make her choice when she is ready.
Brought up Christian? So when did you convert?
It’s funny, I don’t ever see myself as having converted. Despite being raised as a Christian, we didn’t go to church every Sunday and were not very involved in the religion. It was more like a background belief, we just kind of did. When I reached my late teens, early twenties, I was definitely a little lost when it came to religion. I did not know much about Paganism but knew that my line of thinking, my views and my intentions didn’t lie within the Christian faith. I started doing some reading and research and the more I read on Wicca, the more I felt myself identifying with the theologies and realising that this was the path I was most interested in. Despite my interest, it took me a few more years before I threw myself into being Pagan and disregarding the beliefs of my youth, I was about 23 or 24 when I started actually calling myself a Pagan and started practicing the craft in small, personal situations. As I got older, I came out of the witch closet (I don’t actually quite remember when or how that was) and have been openly Wiccan ever since.
I believe I have always been Wiccan, I just didn’t know it.
If you would like to know more about Wicca, here is my recommended reading list :
Please contact me if you have any further questions, alternatively comment below xx
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