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World religions


Wicca: a Neo pagan, Earth-centered religion

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The Wiccan pentacle symbol 1

Click for Salem, Massachusetts Forecast

Moon & sun rise & set
times for Salem MA, ET 3


Wiccan saying

A Wiccan's plea for religious
and religious freedom


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bullet "It seems to be necessary to preface every discussion of Witchcraft with an explanation that, no, Neo-Pagan Witches aren't Satanists. "Otter and Morning Glory Zell 6

bullet "We are not evil. We don't harm or seduce people. We are not dangerous. We are ordinary people like you. We have families, jobs, hopes, and dreams. We are not a cult. This religion is not a joke. We are not what you think we are from looking on TV. We are real. We laugh, we cry. We are serious. We have a sense of humor. You don't have to be afraid of us. We don't want to convert you. And please don't try to convert us. Just give us the same right we give you--to live in peace. We are much more similar to you than you think." Margot Adler 4

bullet "If you take [a copy of] the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain." Herbalist Carol McGrath as told to her by an unidentified Native-American woman. 5

bullet "I don't think witchcraft is a religion. I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made." G.W. Bush (R), as Governor of Texas. Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America, 1999-JUN-24. He disapproved of Wiccan servicemembers being given the same religious rights as members of other religions in the military.

bullet"We should educate people that 'Witch' is not evil but ancient and positive. The first time I called myself a 'Witch' was the most magical moment of my life." Margot Adler. 4

bullet"When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation." Edain McCoy

About this section:

Wicca is the largest of the Neo pagan religions in the U.S. and other Western countries. Wiccans have great reverence for the Earth and for their Goddess and her consort, the horned God. Their main rule of behavior is the Wiccan Rede which forbids them from harming people, including themselves, except in some cases of self-defense.

Many, perhaps most, are solitary practitioners. Others form small groups of believers, called covens, groves, etc. Because of centuries of religious propaganda and misinformation, many conservative Christians, and others, associate Wiccans with Satanists even though the two belief systems are as different as Christianity and Atheism.

Wicca is a very different religion from Christianity.

bullet Wicca is a very decentralized religion. Many Wiccans develop their own personal beliefs, rituals, and other practices, which are often not known to people other than the solitary practitioner or to the Wiccan coven to which she or he may belong. We describe in this section the beliefs and practices that many or most Wiccans hold in common.

bullet Most Christians belong to one of about 30,000 individual denominations, sects, or faith groups. Although essentially all faith groups who consider themselves Christian base their beliefs and practices on the Bible, each interprets its passages differently. We try to describe the diversity and range of Christian beliefs in our section on Christianity

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet star symbol Introduction << Please read this essay first
bulletSome Wiccan introductory videos
bulletReligious words with multiple, quite different meanings:


bulletQuestions about Wicca:


star symbol Wiccan FAQs: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

bullet Specific questions site visitors ask us about Wicca

bulletIs Wicca a form of Satanism?
  • Part 1: Overview. Various views of Satanism & Wicca

  • Part 2: Contributing factors. Similarities. Conclusions. Recommendations

bulletBackground material:

bulletHistory of Wicca

bulletThe relationship among Christianity, ancient Celtic beliefs and Witchcraft

bulletThe extermination of heretics during the "Burning Times" 

bulletWicca and the Bible


How to become a Wiccan


2008: Conflict over a Wiccan beauty queen, Reiki, and tarot cards in Toronto, ON: Part 1  Part 2

bulletModern-day Wicca:

bulletStatements about Wicca:

bullet"Principles of Wiccan Belief" (1974)

bulletA Pledge to Pagan Spirituality (1960)


bulletOverview of practices, rituals, etc.


The Wiccan Rede, used to evaluate the morality of an action:

bullet Wiccan Sabbats (eight seasonal days of celebration per year: solstices, equinoxes, four major Sabbats, etc.)

bullet Wiccan charms, spells, and a prayer: Part 1  Part 2

bullet Some often confused symbols: pentacle, pentagram, & the Sigil of Baphomet

bullet The meaning of pentacle & pentagram symbols to their users. Dress code conflicts in schools.

bulletHandfasting (marriage)

bulletThe 'Lady's Prayer'

bulletComing-of-age ritual

bulletHow many Wiccans are there?

bulletTeens and Wicca

bullet An essay for non-Wiccan school teachers and parents

bulletIs Wicca a religion?

bulletU.S. district court recognition of Wicca as a religion

bulletAn excerpt on Wicca from the U.S. Army chaplain's handbook

bullet star symbol Wiccan & Neo pagan news items in the media
bullet Hatred of, misunderstanding of, and discrimination against Wiccans:

bullet Historical hatred and oppression of Wiccans and other Neo pagans

bulletValid and invalid information about Wicca on the Internet

bulletReview of an article on Wicca by the Watchman Fellowship

bulletVia radio

bullet"Dr Laura Schlessinger" & Wicca

bulletChristian-Wiccan relationships:

bulletCan a person be a both a Wiccan and a Christian?

bulletReligious hate propaganda: one story; many versions; all false

bulletThreats and conflicts between Christians and Wiccans

bullet A joint Christian-Neo pagan environmental project

bullet Neo pagan request for inclusion in Pope John Paul II's apology

bulletChristian opposition to Wiccans in the U.S. Army:

bulletChristian boycott against Wiccans in the military

bullet Family Research Council's essay about Wicca and the Army Part 1  Part 2

bulletU.S. Government and political leaders' views toward Wicca:

bulletBigotry in the Veterans' Administration concerning grave markers

bulletBigotry in the Chaplain's service concerning Wiccan priests

bullet Our 1st "Burning Times" award given to Governor Johanns (NE)

bullet Our 2nd "Burning Times" award given to Rep. Barr (GA)

bulletYear 2000 presidential candidates' opinions of Wicca

bulletDiscrimination by municipal councils:

bulletChesterfield County, VA

bulletGreat Falls, SC

bulletWiccan terms

bulletReferences to Wicca in the media, books, from the '80s and '90s etc

bulletDefinitions of "witch" in dictionaries, etc.
bulletWiccan resources:

bulletWiccan educational and anti-defamation Groups

bulletA national or international education/anti-defamation group



star symbol How to contact a local Wiccan or a Wiccan coven


Books on Wicca

bulletMisc. items:
bullet Witchcraft in Saudi Arabia

bulletWitchcraft in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

bullet"Witchcraft" in the Canadian criminal code

bulletAbout Halloween -- facts and fables


  1. Thanks to WiseGorilla at: for their elegant pentagram image. They are no longer online.

  2. Thanks also to Isaac Bonewits ( for permitting us to copy his "family values" graphic.  His web site is at  He died on 2012-AUG-12 but his web site remains online and is occasionally updated by his widow: Phaedra Bonewits.

  3. Courtesy the Weather Underground. See: Click image to obtain weather report for Salem, MA.

  4. Margot Adler, "Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today," Penguin Books, (1997), Page. 461. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store

  5. Some interpret this saying as stating that the Native American Bible is stronger than the Christian Bible, and would destroy the latter. i.e. it is a type of "my God is bigger than your God" saying that has caused so much loss of life and destruction, and that threatens the existence of the human race. It isn't. It is merely saying that Earth-centered religions obtain their spiritual guidance from the forces of nature, whereas Christians obtain their guidance from the Bible as written by humans. 

  6. Otter and Morning Glory Zell Editors, GREEN EGG magazine, "Satanism vs. Neo-Pagan Witchcraft: Confusions and Distinctions." (1995) Online at:

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