Moral behavior as determined largely by the individual,
Positive attitudes towards human sexuality as a gift of the Goddess, and
The passage of the seasons.
A follower of Wicca is
called a Wiccan. Wicca and other Neopagan religions are currently
experiencing a rapid growth in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Growth is particularly
obvious among some teenagers, who are rejecting what they feel is the autocracy,
paternalism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and insensitivity to the environment that are found in the conservative wings of some of the larger religions. Many North Americans
of European descent, who are keen to discover their ancestral heritage, are
to this religion.
Origin of Wicca:
Depending upon how you look at Wicca, it is either one of the
newest or one of the oldest religions in the world:
Wicca is a recently created, Earth centered, Neopagan
religion. The various branches of Wicca can be traced
back to Gardnerian Witchcraft which was founded in the UK during the
Wicca is based on the symbols, seasonal days of
celebration, beliefs and deities of ancient Celtic society. Added to this
material were Masonic and ceremonial magickal components
from recent centuries. In this respect, it is a religion whose roots go back
almost three millennia to the formation of Celtic society circa 800 BCE.
Depending upon one's point of view, Wicca can be considered a monotheistic,
duotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, or atheistic religion, Hang onto your
hat; this gets a bit complex:
Wicca is monotheistic (belief in a single deity): Some Wiccans recognize a single supreme
being, sometimes called "The All" or "The One." The Goddess and
God are viewed as the female and male aspects of this single deity.
Wicca is duotheistic (belief in two deities; a.k.a. bitheistic): 1 Wiccans often
worship a female Goddess and a male deity -- often called the Lady and Lord.
Wicca is polytheistic (belief in many deities): Many Wiccans recognize the existence of many
ancient Gods and Goddesses, including but certainly not limited to: Aphrodite,
Artemis, Briget, Diana, Dionysius, Fergus, Hecate, Isis, Pan, Thor, etc.
Wicca is henotheistic (belief in a single main deity among many):Many Wiccans view the many ancient deities as being aspects of the Lady
and Lord, and view the latter as the male and female aspects of "The One."
Wicca is atheistic (no belief in a deity or deities): Some Wiccans view the God and Goddess as symbols, not
as living entities.
Depending upon which definition of the term "Atheist" that you adopt,
these Wiccans may be considered Atheists.
Terms relating to Wicca are confusing, as they are with so many other
Wiccans often refer to themselves as Neopagans.
The term "Neopagan" includes all faith groups which are based on the attempted
reconstruction of ancient, extinct Pagan religions. However, not all Neopagans
are Wiccans. The umbrella term
"Neopagan" includes followers of many other earth-centered faith traditions,
including Druidism, and sometimes Asatru.
Wiccans often refer to themselves as Pagans.
Unfortunately, this term has at least six different meanings, some of which
are rather negative. "Pagan" is often used as a general-purpose snarl word to
attack others. In its positive sense, Paganism includes Neopaganism as well as
many other religions.
Some Wiccans consider Wicca and Witchcraft to be synonyms.
Others differentiate between Wicca, which they view to be a religion, and
Witchcraft, which they perceive to be the practice of magick. Under this
definition, Witchcraft is not a religion and thus can be performed by members
of any religion.
Most Wiccans practice magick. However, some do not and rather concentrate on the
spirituality of the Wiccan religion.
A useful information sheet to hand out to cowans (non-Pagans):
You can buy the following books on Wicca safely from Amazon.com's online bookstore
Google listed 288 hits for the search term "duotheistic"
and 29 for "bitheistic" on 2003-JUL-15