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What Wicca Is

By Amber Laine Fisher

I bet you thought you were going to get a nice, pithy definition of what Wicca is, didn't you? Well, no such luck. It's hard to define what Wicca is, since Wiccans are so vastly different in their beliefs. I can only tell you what I believe Wicca to be, and what I feel it encompasses and expresses.

Most Wiccans seem to agree that the important elements of Wicca are as follows:

Deity is duotheistically divided into a Goddess and a God. Many Wiccans believe in a supreme All, of which God and Goddess are merely aspects. Other Wiccans are more traditional polytheistis. Interpretations of Deity are highly personal, and there is no one way within Wicca to see God.

The universe consists of a balance of complements, yin and yang, masculine and feminine.

The Holy days are the solstices and equinoxes (though not all groups honor these four days), along with their crossquarters (which comprise the Major Sabbats), encmopassing eight days in all. Many Wiccans also consider the full and new moons days of power as well.

Our lives and our spiritual journeys are marked by a series of initiations, through which we grow and develop as people. We recognize the cycles of life in ourselves and the universe at large, and mark these transitions through celebration and often ceremony.

The Divine is immanent; it is above and below, within and throughout. All that Deity has created contains an element of the Divine within. Many of us also see the Divine as transcendent.

A certain ritual structure unites Wiccans together. Wiccan ritual generally consists of casting a circle, calling the elements and the Divine, feasting and closing the circle. Traditional circles may also perform the rite of Drawing Down the Moon (invocation), and the Great Rite (unification and blessing) at every major ritual. There is little liturgy that permeates all Wiccan groups, though many will recite the Charge of the Goddess.

Adhere to positive code of ethics including the Wiccan rede, although this may be interpreted in various ways.

Magic is real, though how one sees magic and whether or not one practices any kind of magic varies greatly from person to person.

Each man and woman his or her own priest/ess.

Religious and spiritual truths are revealed to the individual solely through that individual's contact and relationship with the Divine. There are no sacred texts or writings, save those which the individual decides for himself or herself are sacred. Ours is a mystery tradtion; if you want to know this, do this. (Thank you, Ken Wilbur.)

Keeping all this in mind, I usually refer to Wicca as a personal, celebratory religion. The best way to understand Wicca is to try to understand the individuals that practice it. To that end, I invite you to talk a walk through my various writings and decide for yourself what you see Wicca as.

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