Wicca and Witchcraft are not the same thing
Wicca is an earth-based religion incorporating worship of dual deities, male and female, along with celebrations based around the Sabbats of the calendar year. It embraces the masculine and feminine, good and bad in all life forms. Wiccans have a reverence for the Earth and Nature. The stress of Wicca is placed on the bond between the practitioner and Spirit itself. There is no intermediary between them. They tend to be conservationists and most abide by the Wiccan Rede- a golden rule of sorts that instructs followers to live their lives in such a way that others are not harmed by their actions.
Witchcraft is not a religion at all. It is the working of a persons wishes through spell work incorporating elements, herbs, tools and ritual words. Many liken spell work to prayer as both are simply a working of will with the request of assistance of a higher power.
Some Wiccans practice Witchcraft. Some are just Wiccans. Others are just Witches. The two do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Witches do not worship the Devil/Satan
The Devil is definitively a Christian concept, along with heaven and hellfire. In an attempt to vilify Pagan practice at the dawn of Christianity, the horned god- a symbol of masculinity and virility- was contorted to meet the picture of a horned devil complete with pitchfork. Originally the horned god was a protector of the woods and the creatures therein. He is also known as Pan, to some.
Although blood sacrifice was used for rituals in history, it has been shunned and disavowed for decades by modern witches as cruel. I feel compelled to remind everyone that the Bible is rife with reference to blood sacrifice from the landing of the Ark to the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and communion wine is still referred to as the blood of Christ.
Witches do not brainwash or recruit.
I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, so I know the definitions of recruitment and brainwashing. Witches prefer secrecy for the safety of themselves and their covens. History has taught us to be wary of newcomers and those showing a cursory interest of the Craft. For the most part, witches want to be left alone. They want the same freedom to practice their choice of religion that is afforded to everyone from Muslims to Scientologists. For reasons of safety and fear of reprisal, many witches are solitary practitioners which means they do no practice their religion with anyone else.
Wicca is a fad religion with sex, drugs and alcohol
As in any religion, there are those who investigate to determine whether Wicca is for them, but most Wiccans came to the religion through research. More so than any other religion, I have found that Wiccans thirst for knowledge. We pour over books on topics from reincarnation to eco-friendly living. Meditation and deep thought are highly advised aspects of Wicca. Both of these take practice, dedication and time to learn and ardent effort to maintain.
The myth about sex, drugs and alcohol with regard to Wicca is due to the confusion regarding the separation of Wicca and Witchcraft. This myth would refer more to Witchcraft, yet that does not make it any more accurate. Most covens, meeting groups and solitary practitioners partake of alcohol no more than followers of other religions that do not forbid it. Wiccans hold a high regard for their bodies, so drug abuse is rarely an issue. Sex is viewed to be sacred between couples and casual sex without meaning is disrespectful to the sacred nature of our bodies. Those looking for a funky religion to shock their parents soon find that Wicca is not for them.
Wiccans do believe in God
And Goddess as halves of the aspects of Spirit. Their belief does not coincide with the precepts of the Christian version of God, but Wiccans do believe in a higher power. Despite the interpretation that Wiccans worship many gods, it is more true that they worship the individual facets of Spirit as they are personified through various gods and goddesses. The idea of duality in a higher power is confusing to many Christians, but just as the aspects of the Holy Trinity each have their function, so do the various aspects of Spirit.
For those who will claim I have no knowledge of Christianity or its intentions, I grew up in a rigidly-Christian household. I became disillusioned as a mid-teen when my parents divorced and were ex-communicated. The same people who embraced me, now shunned me as unfit for association. My spiritual shock sent me searching for answers. I found that any church is, at its core, primarily a business. In my early twenties after years researching religions of many kinds, I turned to the Earth religions and now practice as solitary witch.
Do not let it be misunderstood that Christianity and Wicca are practically cousins in the grand scheme of things. They are not. Wiccans eschew the guilt and oppressive tone of Christian religions for a more direct bond with Spirit. Women and men both have a place in Wicca and neither is more or less crucial than the other.
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