??? A modern tradition of witchcraft based on the old earth religions of Europe. There are a variety of sects, in which the practitioners believe in the same deities, who are merely referred to by different names... and they are the Goddess (in her triple aspect which is Kore (the maiden), Diana (the mother), and Hecate (the crone, or, elder), which represent the basic stages of life, and her consort, the Horned God, a.k.a. Pan. These two are generally referred to as the Goddess of love and the God of the hunt. Equally, she is symbolized by the moon (usually three phases of the moon recognizing her triple aspect), and he, either by the sun, or a stag.
Some wiccans do not like to be referred to the term 'witch' because they feel it stirs up too many negative images in the minds of others, but all in all, the true nature of a witch is one who seeks to control the forces within him/herself that make life possible, in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others and in harmony with nature. Ethically, wiccans value freedom and harmlessness as expressed in the Wiccan Rede.
"Bide within the Law ye must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust,
Live ye must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.
For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.
Light of eye and soft of touch, speak ye little, listen much.
Honor the old ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again"
????????????????????????????????????????????????? (First verse of the Wiccan Rede)
In the shortened version of the Rede, everything is addressed:
??? And it harm none, do what ye will
Which basically says that one is free to do what they may, as long as they refrain from harming anyone or anything, that is of course, unless one has been put in a situation where they are in danger, then harming is only justified in self-defense.
The stages of life are symbolized through the Sabbaths, or holidays of celebration in which we honor the different stages of the year, which, in turn are associated with the Goddess's progression and association with the god. Such holidays are:
??? Yule... birth of the god (beginning of winter solstice)
??? Imbolc... first signs of spring (Goddess's recovery from giving birth to her son)
??? Ostara... (vernal equinox) generally marked as a day to mate
??? Beltane... (Goddess becomes pregnant)
??? Midsummer... (summer solstice... earth is awash in the fertility of goddess and god - a classic day for magick)
??? Lughnasadh... (first harvest... God is dying, since he is the sun, and as the wheel progresses it leads earth towards the darkness (winter). God lives as the child inside the Goddess)
??? Mabon... (autumn equinox - completion of the harvest) God prepares to leave and be reborn through the Goddess.
??? Samhain... (a time to look at the past) the God has left and is ready to be reborn at Yule.
Something I found interesting is that there was a massive gathering of people of all religions during this past Vernal Equinox. I unfortunately was unable to do anything for the vernal, but hopefully I will be able to do something for the next one.
If anyone seeks further information on Wicca, there are books that can be found everywhere, and I recommend using a particular search engine:
In doing a search on there, use only the word "wicca", and you are sure to find good information, and lots of it!
Love and Light,