What do Wiccan rituals involve?
Wiccan rituals take many forms. But they all generally include:
||The casting of a circle -- the consecration of a sacred space. The circle is often about nine feet (274 cm) in diameter. It often has candles in the four cardinal directions.
||The invocation of a deity/deities.
||The body of the ritual, which may involve magick, spell casting, a
community meal, dance, readings, singing, etc.
||Closing or banishing of the circle -- restoration of the space to
its ordinary state.
Some Wiccans wear ordinary street clothes during their rituals. Other wear only a robe. Still others perform their rituals "skyclad" -- clad only by the sky, or without clothing.
Should I become a Wiccan?
This is an intensely personal decision. We cannot recommend whether a person
should or should not adopt a specific religion. Such a decision has to come from
the heart. If you are searching for a faith group that matches your
beliefs, you might find the Religion Selector by SelectSmart.com to be helpful.
If you find the following portion of the Charge of the Goddess to be particularly moving and
meaningful, then you might have the makings of a Wiccan. If it simply sounds
like gibberish, then Wicca may not be for you:
"Hear ye the words of the Star Goddess; she in the dust of whose feet are the
hosts of heaven, and whose body encircles the universe:
"I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the
stars, and the mystery of the waters, call unto thy soul: Arise, and come
unto me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed, and unto Me all things must return; and before My
face, beloved of gods and of men, let thine innermost divine self be enfolded in
the rapture of the infinite. Let My worship be within the heart that
rejoices; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. And
therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and
humility, mirth and reverence within you. And thou who thinkest to seek
Me, know that thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not unless thou knowest
the Mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou
wilt never find it without. For behold, I have been with thee from the
beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire." 1
Becoming a Wiccan is not a simple task. Parents and friends might be very
distressed when they learn that you are not accepting their religion. If you
live in some areas of world, you have to be quite secretive about being a Wiccan
because of danger of physical assault or worse. In some countries, a simple Wiccan statement of faith is considered blasphemy and a criminal act that may be punishable by execution. Even some otherwise democratic countries like Canada have a blasphemy law on the books.
reaction towards Wicca depends a lot on how tolerant they feel towards other religions, and
on what they believe about Wicca. There is still a lot of misinformation being circulated about Wicca and other Neopagan religions.
Fortunately, an increasing number of Neopagans are coming out of the closet and
openly discussing their religions. Increasing numbers of non-Pagan web sites
which accurately discuss Neopagan religions are online. Over time,
the hatred and misinformation should largely disappear, particularly if the trend towards increased secularism in the world continues.
Why do many Christian information sources react so negatively towards Wicca?
Many of their negative attitudes towards Wicca are derived from the association between Wicca/Witchcraft and Satanism which became so prominent in the Middle Ages.
There is another main cause. Most conservative Christians believe that everyone will spend eternity in either with God in Heaven or in the torture chambers of Hell. To be saved and attain Heaven, they believe that a person must first have trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior while on Earth. Thus they conclude that all Wiccans, along with all persons who follow religions other than conservative Christianity will end up in Hell. Further, any Christians who have not trusted Jesus will join the non-Christians there. Many Christians are profoundly motivated by a desire to save as many people destined for Hell as they can. This motivates them to oppose Wicca.
How to I make contact with other Wiccans?
There are generally no Wiccan listings in the religion page of your local
newspaper. Individual Wiccans and covens tend to keep a low profile for
reason of security. It is safer that way. Many Wiccans start by attending a
local Neopagan gathering or festival. The Witches' Voice web site maintains an index of
Wiccans and covens worldwide, listed by state or province. We urge caution when contacting an unknown Wiccan individual or group for the first
time. There are a lot of nut-cases and sexual predators in North America and Wicca has its share. We recommend
arranging the first meeting in a public place. More
details on contacting a solitary practitioner or Wiccan coven in your area.
Related essay on this web site:
More books that you can safely buy on this topic, online:
Wiccan FAQs at other web sites:
"Witch, Wiccan Pagan F.A.Q.s," Witches' Voice, at: http://www.witchvox.com/
"Alt.Religion.Wicca Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)," at: http://www.faqs.org/
"Witchcraft: Commonly-Asked Questions, Straightforward Answers,"
Covenant of the Goddess, at: http://www.cog.org/
"Wicca ~ Witchcraft: Frequently Asked Questions - Straightforward
Answers!," American Wicca, at: http://www.americanwicca.com/faq/
"Frequently Asked Questions," Silver Wolf's Lair, at: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- Doreen Valiente "Charge of the Goddess." Available in Starhawk, "The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess," Harper & Row, 2nd edition, (1989). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-APR-29
Author: B.A. Robinson
Copyright © 2002 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2002-APR-30
Latest update: 2017-APR-28
Author: B.A. Robinson