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Is Wicca legal in the United States?
Yes. Wicca is a religion recognized by the Supreme Court as being one of the religions protected under the Constitution of the United States. In 1985 Wicca was granted all the legal rights and protection given to any recognized religious belief in the United States. - more information -

Symbolism of the Pentagram
The five pointed star, one point up, is a Craft symbol that represents the five elements (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit). Enclosed within a single or double circle, it represents the unity of the cosmos. The five pointed star, two points up, was an ancient symbol of the God of the Forest who protected nature and animals. It was only after the 14th century that it gained it's now infamous connection with Satan.

Is witchcraft the same as Satanism?
No. Wiccans do not accept the arbitrary concept of innate sin or absolute evil, and they do not believe in a Heaven or Hell. Satan is not part of our world, we consider it part of the Christian belief system and have no place for it.

OK, so why do some people seem to think they are the same thing? It's a long story, but basically the power of the political side of the early Christian church mixed with the death and fear of the middle ages shifted the view of all most all pagan religious symbols in Europe. For instance, the Greek god of sexuality, the goat-footed Pan and the Green God of the Forest were perverted into the now traditional image of Satan. To pagans there is no entity called Satan - it is part of the Christian world. There is a Church of Satan. You will need to ask them about their practices and beliefs.

Just so you know...
The name "Satan" is attributed to the Hebrew word "Satan" meaning adversary in the sense of one who tests the faith of another. This adversary is seen in the book of Job though never referred to as "Satan" or the Devil. Satan in Hebrew means light bearer.

The Christian word "Hell" probably comes from the Germanic Goddess of the underworld Hel or Hella. In a more ancient view, the afterlife was usually a place of regeneration. It was the mysterious womb of rebirth and power. The fire and brimstone part of hell seems to have arisen from the ascetic religions like that of Zoroastrian Persia, reflecting the severity of the ascetic life or from Dante's Inferno.

Do Wiccans use blood sacrifice?
Witches do not ever use blood sacrifice. Without exception, the neo-Pagan community rejects animal sacrifice and no neo-pagan groups or individuals use blood sacrifice of any kind.

Attempts to terrorize the general public into submission by spreading nasty rumors such as these were started by the Romans against the early Christians; in fact, the rumors haven't changed at all. Early Christians were also accused of killing babies and engaging in various forms of socially unacceptable behavior. It wasn't true then, and it isn't true now.

More about sacrifice
The only recognized religions which practice sacrifice of any type are 'Pagan', such as Santeria (a hybrid of Catholicism, native South American, and Native African beliefs) and Voudon (a hybrid of Catholicism and African beliefs). These religions confine the bloodshed to animals that are killed (and usually eaten) only at certain very sacred religious events under rigidly controlled circumstances, in fact the killing of these animals is frequently more humain than our slaughter houses. These religions are protected under the Constitution, and know a great deal about healing, just in case you happen to need a cure for something.

Only 50 years ago, most people killed and plucked or skinned their dinners. It is only recently that American society looks with distaste or horror about killing the food they eat, while their grandparents laugh at them. Making the food sacred before eating it is not unusual in the history of religion, and Christians who say 'grace' before a meal are doing exactly the same thing.

People who call themselves witches who ritually torture and murder animals and children are NOT, repeat NOT witches, they are sick, psychotic maniacs who richly deserve the karma they have earned, whether in this life in their next incarnation. Murder is never right, no matter in whose name it is done. No honest religion condones murder.

What is a cult?
The Cult Danger Evaluation Frame developed by Issac Bonewits is available gives a good indication of the difference between a cult and a viable group. Each item is scored from 1-10. The higher the scores, the greater the danger. This chart can be used to evaluate ANY organization, church, or group with which one is thinking about associating. A very high score is an indication that you should run away very fast.

Neo-pagan structures and beliefs generally oppose cult thinking, but not always. Traditionally, members of the Craft sometimes charge a small fee to defray the cost of materials for training, but if the fee is outrageous, be suspicious. (Some secret societies charge for initiations, and one should carefully assess the members and beliefs of the organization before joining). The decision to join a group should ultimately be up to the individual, who should also have the complete freedom to leave whenever s/he chooses. If this is not the case, do not associate with that group.

Do witches recruit new members? Do they recruit children or adolescents?
No. To become a part of the Craft, a person must ask to join. There is no witch of any tradition that can be found praying on street corners or knocking on doors. We are, on the whole, very quiet. All of the traditions require that the interested person be a legal adult before Initiation.

An interested person will never be asked to join a group, and will never be pursued if s/he later decides to leave. (This is true even after initiation, as part of the service usually states "Stay in peace or go in peace, as you so choose")

Since public classes are now offered, in addition to the more traditional one-on-one training, an individual has more choices than ever before concerning how much or how little s/he wants to be involved in a group.

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