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World religions; Neopagan religions

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Wicca: a Neopagan, Earth-centered religion

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The Wiccan
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A Wiccan's plea for religious
tolerance
and religious freedom

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Quotations:

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 at T.V. 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 Neopagan 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 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 belongs. We describe in this section the beliefs and practices that many or most Wiccans hold in common.

bullet Much of Christianity is highly centralized within 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:

bulletstar symbolIntroduction << Please read this essay first
 
bullet Some Wiccan introductory videos
 
bullet Religious words with multiple, quite different meanings:

bullet Witchcraft

bullet Paganism
 
bullet Questions about Wicca: