Wicca is the art, science and neo-pagan religion of Witchcraft. Some people ask "What is the difference between a Wiccan
and a Witch?" Many Witches prefer to call themselves Wiccans because the words "Wicca" and "Wiccan" do not carry the negative
stereotypes that are associated with the words "Witch" and "Witchcraft". Those of us (myself included) who prefer to be called
a "Witch" do so as an act of reclaiming that word, of restoring it to it's proper place, and dispelling the inaccurate "evil"
connotations placed upon it by the Church in the Middle Ages. "Wicca" is a relatively new term coined for use by those who
wish to avoid the word "Witch" and said connotations. Be aware that most people who prefer the term "Witch" do not consider
themselves "Wiccan". As I said, I prefer the term "Witch", however I use both words interchangeably. So... there IS a difference,
even if subtle.
Most Wiccans believe in the existence of both female and male energies in the Divine --- usually referred to as the Goddess
and the God, or the Lord and the Lady (though in some Traditions, exclusively the Goddess is revered, but never exclusively
the God). Some of the other major beliefs include reincarnation, karma, a reverence for Nature, and the Threefold Law of Return.
Lastly - but most highly regarded is our only "law" or "commandment" that we all follow as closely as possible, to the best
of our ability. That one belief is commonly referred to as the Wiccan Rede: the Wiccan Rede:"An it harm none, do as thou wilt." Basically what this means is that Wiccans believe that all people have the right to choose
their own spiritual path and live their life as they see fit, as long as their choices do not bring harm or injury of any
kind to another or to themselves. We do not believe in the concept of "sin" as many other faiths do. We do not consider any
act, committed between consenting adults where no harm is being done, to be "sinful" or wrong. We believe in complete honor
for our Mother Earth and loving and respecting all people.
In addition, to clear up one major misconception, Witches are not Satanists. Satan is part of the Judeo/Christian mythos
and has no role in our faith. Witches do not believe in the existence of Satan, therefore we can not worship something we
do not acknowledge as existent. As far as what happens after death, we do not believe in heaven, nor in hell. Most Witches
believe in reincarnation, as well as a place we call Summerland, which is similar to Catholicism's purgatory.
More often than not, when Wiccans/Witches get together to celebrate (or plan to celebrate alone), a protective Magick Circle
is cast - utilizing the Powers That Be - those of Nature, including Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. One of the symbols
of our beliefs is the five pointed star within a circle, known as the Pentagram. The five points on the Witches' Pentagram
or Pentacle are each associated with one of these Elements. The left middle point is associated with the element of Air, the
bottom left represents Earth, bottom right is associated with Fire, middle right is for Water, and the uppermost top point
is represented by Spirit which encompasses all five when the circle is drawn around the five-pointed star. There are even
special sigils/symbols assigned to represent the four major forces of Nature, and Spirit, as I have shown below. There are
also colors, attributes, and one of the cardinal directions for the four main elements, as well as for Spirit (see below for
all) associated with each.
Earth is represented by this sigil and most Wiccans assign to it the color Green, although I have heard of it being associated
with the colors Brown and Black. It corresponds to the North in most Traditions, and is attributed to the physical body, healing,
grounding, foundations, money, prosperity, and growth.
Air is represented by this sigil and most Wiccans assign to it the color Yellow, although I have heard of it being associated
with the colors Sky Blue, White, and even Red. It corresponds to the East in most Traditions, and is attributed to the intellect,
communication, knowledge, wisdom, and imagination.
Fire is represented by this sigil and most Wiccans assign to it the color Red, although I have heard of it being associated
with the colors Orange and White. It corresponds to the South in most Traditions, and is attributed to the Will, vitality,
energy, courage, creativity, sexuality and sensuality.
Water is represented by this sigil and most Wiccans assign to it the color Blue, although I have heard of it being associated
with the colors Purple, Aqua, and Grey. It corresponds to the West in most Traditions, and is attributed to the emotions,
intuition, love, pleasure, sleep, dreams, and healing.
The last one I will talk about here - Spirit - is represented by this sigil and most Wiccans associate it with the colors
Purple, White, Silver, and Black. Spirit corresponds to the direction of Center (or Above and Below), and is attributed to
Spirituality, Magick, Peace and Serenity.
There are many, many "Traditions" within Wicca/Witchcraft (sorta like the "denominations" in Christianity), and each of
these has its own teachings - its own ways of doing things. Some examples are Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Faery Wicca, Dianic
Wicca, Frosts' Wicca, Circle Wicca, Celtic Wicca, Seax-Wica, Pecti-Wita, the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), and The Church
of All Worlds (CAW). However, if you are a Solitary - in particular an "Eclectic" Solitary - you may decide to draw from many
different sources for your own ideas of "what to do". This is often a personal choice, and depends on WHAT WORKS FOR *YOU*...
and the best way to make these decisions is this:
***READ, READ, READ!!!***
***STUDY, STUDY, STUDY!!!***
***PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!***
Listen to that