Feb 21, 2007

Wicca Beginner's Guide

Here's is an article I wrote in response to a request for a Wicca Beginner's Guide:

Wicca is one form of witchcraft.


And many Wiccans are not actually practicing witches.


So you can be wiccan and not practice the craft. And you can be a witch and not be wiccan. And of course you can be both.


Wicca is a relatively new pagan religion that traces back to Gerard Gardner. Who due to his frustration with both Christianity and Ceremonial Magic (which uses psychic skills through rituals, traditions and the laws of nature) that was at that time the only 'alternative' offering, prompted him to create something different.


Some suggest that it came about in 1951 and other texts claim it was in 1954 - suffice to say it was in the 50's that Wicca came into being.


Wiccans are taught to think for themselves, take responsibility for their lives and live by the Wiccan Rede which has the 'golden rule' of "An ye harm none, do what ye will"


A lot of Wiccans are attracted to The Craft because it drawns on and strengthens their personal power.


They learn to create consciously outcomes that bring themselves and others that given them permission to cast on there behalf, joy.


Wicca very much has a "live and let live" philosophy. There is room for everyone and for everyone's personal belief system.


Most Wiccans believe it is unethical to impose their beliefs on others, let alone tell them how to worship.


Wiccans also know the power of belief - and that what you believe will happen in life will in fact be the outcome you experience.


That 9 times out of 10 we are creating unconsciously - and that may then mean we are creating what we don't want. As we are busy caught up in our emotions about something - and that emotion/feeling is sending out an energy wave that then brings back in like your experience.


Wiccans recognize that life is a mirror - and that it is possible to focus on what you do want - and so it becomes.


As stated the Wiccan Rede is very much the Wiccan Golden Rule. It reads as:


Wiccan Rede


Bide the Wiccan laws ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust.


Live and let live - fairly take and fairly give.


Cast the Circle thrice about to keep the evil spirits out.


To bind the spell every time, let the spell be spake in rhyme.


Soft of eye and light of touch - speak ye little, listen much.


Deosil go by the waxing moon - sing and dance the Wiccan Rune.


Widdershins go when the Moon doth wane, and the werewolf howls by thr dread wolfsbane.


When the Lady's Moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.


When the Moon rides at Her peak, then your heart's desire seek.


Head the North wind's mighty gale - lock the door and drop the sail.


When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss thee on the mouth.


When the West wind blows o'er, the departed spirits restless be.


Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them quick and burn them slow.


Elder be ye Lady's tree - burn it not or cursed ye'll be.


When the Wheel begins to turn, let the Beltane fires burn.


When the Wheel has turned to Yule, light the log and let Pan rule.


Heed ye flower, bush and tree - by the Lady blessed be.


When the ripping waters go, cast a stone and truth ye'll know.


When ye are in dire need, hearkin not to other's greed.


With the fool no season spend, or be counted as his friend.


Mind the threefold law ye should - three times bad and tree times good.


When misfortune is enow, wear the blue star on thy brow.


True in love ever be, unless thy lover's false to thee.


Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, an ye harm none, do what ye will.


The main thing to take out of this as a Wicca Beginner's Guide is that Wiccan's very much have a live and let live philosophy and come from a true, loving, open, hearted space where they believe anything is possible and it is about working WITH the energies of the universe.

Blessings

Arabella


Feb 20, 2007

What is Paganism and being a Pagan Mean?

I often get asked about what is Paganism and what constitutes being a pagan.

I find Wikipedia a great source of information. Here are some snippets I took to help you understand what the word Pagan and Paganism really means.

Incidently (or maybe not so) the growth of Pagans and Pagan religions is at an all time high at this point in time.

Remember too that whilst it is accepted by many that witches and pagans are synonomous. That Witchcraft exists in ALL religions - not just Pagan ones


Paganism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Both 'pagan' and 'heathen' have historically been used as a pejorative by adherents of monotheistic religions (such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam) to indicate a disbeliever in their religion. 'Paganism' is also sometimes used to mean the lack of (an accepted monotheistic) religion, and therefore sometimes means essentially the same as atheism. 'Paganism' frequently refers to the religions of classical antiquity, most notably Greek mythology or Roman religion, and can be used neutrally or admiringly by those who refer to those complexes of belief. However, until the rise of Romanticism and the general acceptance of freedom of religion in Western civilization, 'paganism' was almost always used disparagingly of heterodox beliefs falling outside the established political framework of the Christian Church. It has more recently (from the 19th century) been used admiringly by those who believe monotheistic religions to be confining or colourless.

Christianity itself has been perceived at times as a form of paganism by followers of the other Abrahamic religions[3][4]because of, for example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the celebration of pagan feast days[5], and other practices [6] - through a process described as "baptising" [7]or "christianization". Even between Christians there have been similar charges of paganism levelled, especially by Protestants[8],[9], towards the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches for their veneration of the saints and images.

Pagan religions

The pagan religions are divided into two great groups: the American Paganism and the European (or classic) Paganism.



* Ancient Greek religion
* Ancient Near East Paganism
* Celtic polytheism
* Baltic paganism
* Finnish paganism
* Germanic paganism
* Paganism in the Eastern Alps
* Slavic paganism
* Egyptian Paganism


Neopaganism

In another sense, as used by modern practitioners, Paganism is a polytheistic, panentheistic, or pantheistic religious practice, often nature-based. Most Pagans consider themselves to be religious, however some others use the term for a form of Atheism, Agnosticism, or philosophy. Neopaganism includes reconstructed religions such as Hellenic polytheism, Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, and the many Germanic revivals such as Ásatrú, Heathenry, Norse paganism and Theodism. Due to the fact that Reconstructionist religions are polytheistic revivals and elaborations based on surviving cultural practices, many Reconstructionists prefer to be called Pagans, not Neopagans. It might best be assessed that they inhabit a grey area between Pagan and Neopagan.

Also categorised as Neopagan are religions such as Forn Sed, Neo-druidism, Longobardic Odinism, Lithuanian Romuva, and Slavic Rodoverie that also claim to revive an ancient religion rather than reconstruct it, though in general the difference is not absolutely fixed.

Modern eclectic traditions such as Discordianism, and Wicca and its many offshoots are Neopagan, although Wiccans and Wiccan-influenced Neopagans may also refer to themselves simply as "Pagan".

Modern nature religion

Many current Pagans in industrial societies base their beliefs and practices on a connection to Nature, and a divinity within all living things, but this may not hold true for all forms of Paganism, past or present. Some believe that there are many deities, while some believe that the combined subconscious spirit of all living things forms the universal deity. Paganism pre-dates modern monotheism, although its origins are lost in prehistory.

Feb 19, 2007

Do You Think You Were Born A Witch?

I often get emails from people claiming that they are a second, third, fourth generation witch.

As if they were born as a witch

And conversely I have other people emailing me saying they don't think they have the 'special powers' of a witch as they weren't born a witch.

I want to dispell that myth now.

NO-ONE is "born" a witch.

ANYONE can successfully practice Witchcraft.

Now I do not wish to give offence to those who do have generations of witches in their families.

I'd suggest that the more applicable way to describe it is that you were born open to strengthening your gifts of conscious creation because members of your family have been doing it from generation to generation.

You see we ALL have natural gifts for conscious creation.

EVERY single one of us.

What differs between person to person is:

a) the degree of receptivity to the concept that we can consciously create for ourselves (aka practice magick)

b) the amount of practice and experience we have doing that.

So if you are reading this and you are someone who is wondering "Do I have 'the gift' for witchcraft?"

Yes you do!

You ALL do.

And whilst you might not have come from a family or community environment that is open to such concepts or practices - there is nothing to stop you from opening yourself up to it and seeing how magick can work for you in your life.

Well in fact there might be ONE thing that could stop you...yourself ;-)

BB

Arabella