Wicca is one of the United States’ fastest-growing religions today. Yet for many of us, this relatively new community is still shrouded in mystery.
Whether you are looking to join the Wiccan faith or simply have a burning curiosity that needs to be quenched, it’s time to lay out the facts and clear up a few misconceptions about this wonderfully complex and fascinating belief system.
The basics: What is Wicca?
What is Wicca? What do Wiccans believe? Let’s take a look at some essential facts; Wicca is:
In the modern era, many groups have adopted and adapted the practices of the ancient Pagans to create a new movement known as Neo-Paganism. Wicca is perhaps the best-known branch of Neo-Paganism.
Like many other Neo-Pagan religions, Wicca is polytheistic, meaning its adherents worship more than one deity. Specifically, Wiccans worship a pair of deities which represent two halves of one whole, known as the All. The All manifests itself as a god and a goddess, maintaining perfect balance between the masculine and the feminine.
The male deity is generally referred to as the Horned God, a man-beast hybrid with a set of antlers. However, this deity can take many alternative forms and names. Some Wiccans view him as the Sun God or the Oak King.
Others may choose to visualize a god traditionally associated with a separate religion when praying, such as Zeus, worshipped by the Ancient Greeks, or Krishna, worshipped by Hindus. In Wicca, the deity’s manifestation does not matter, as long as you recognize that it is only one side of the All.
The female deity is commonly known as the Moon Goddess, who is represented by, you guessed it, the moon. Sometimes the goddess is regarded as a trinity comprised of three women at different stages of life: a Maiden Goddess, Mother Goddess, and Crone Goddess.
As with the male deity, the female deity can take the form of Luna, Isis, Freya, or just about any other goddess you can think of.
Another aspect of Wicca which makes it stand out among major religions is that it is Earth-based, meaning that worshipping nature is integral to its doctrine. A good Wiccan shows the utmost respect for the planet in everything they do.
In particular, this means treating animals with care and reverence. Many Wiccans practice vegetarianism or veganism for this reason, while those who eat meat are encouraged to avoid the frivolous use of animal products like wearing fur or leather. A Wiccan never, ever causes an animal deliberate and unnecessary harm.
Like Hindus and Buddhists, Wiccans have a strong faith in the concept of karma. They believe in the Rule of Three: any deeds you commit, good or bad, will come back to you threefold. If you return a lost wallet to its owner, you may earn yourself a generous reward. On the other hand, if you cut someone off in traffic, you could end up with a hefty fine for careless driving.
The consequences of your actions don’t always present themselves immediately – you might find yourself waiting years for the universe to pay you back for your kindness or unkindness. But according to the law of karma, eventually you will always get what you deserve.
This belief in karma supplants the need for ideas of heaven or hell. Many Wiccans assert that any compensation or retribution coming your way will find you in this life, not the next. Others believe in reincarnation, and that any lessons left to be learned by the end of an individual’s life will follow them after they die.
Karma is a motivator to do only good, as is the famous expression known as the Wiccan Rede: “An’ ye harm none, do what ye will.” In other words: “Do what you like as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or anything.”
Spirits are integral to Wicca, whether they are the spirits of the natural world around us represented by elementals and fairies, or the souls of the departed. Rituals are used to summon and contact these supernatural beings by those seeking guidance or hoping to communicate a message.
Many followers of Wicca recognize a certain animal species as their entry point to the spirit world. The species to which you feel most akin is called your spirit animal.
Cats, ravens, and wolves are the most typical choices among Wiccans, but believe it or not, any species may inspire feelings of spiritual connection for you, as any species is capable of carrying thoughts and messages to the other side. Different animals are associated with different traits. Here are some examples:
- Fox (cunning)
- Dog (loyalty)
- Otter (playfulness)
- Rabbit (gentleness)
- Badger (tenacity)
- Bear (strength)
- Lion (bravery)
One of the most recognizable characteristics of Wicca is its association with witchcraft. Many followers of the religion are deeply interested in the potential of spell-casting and the power of positive and negative energy, and frequently use witchcraft as a means of shaping their destiny.
Magic (often spelled “magick” by Wiccans) is the use of psychic forces to produce a desired outcome. It is distinct from prayer, which is simply a form of communication with a god or goddess. In Wicca, the performance of magic is ceremonial, often involving spells, chants, and props like candles or amulets.
The history of Wicca
The story of how Wicca came into being is a long and fascinating one. Let’s discover the intricacies of this unique religion’s roots and the events that have allowed it to flourish in the modern era.
Paganism is the oldest example we have of a structured religion. Prehistoric societies all over the world appear to have viewed the natural world as a channel for spiritual energy. Cave drawings depict early humans engaging in rituals with animals in order to promote prosperity and fertility – take, for example, the paintings in the Magura Cave in Bulgaria, dated as far back as 8,000 BCE, or those found in the Bhimbetka Rock Shelters in India, which may have been created as early as 28,000 years before the common era.
In particular, the belief systems of the ancient Celts have a lot in common with Wicca: they were polytheistic, nature-oriented, and largely egalitarian when it came to women’s rights.
The Celts originated near the Black Sea, but had migrated across Europe and settled in the western part of the continent by the 6th century CE. Remnants of their culture and languages can be found today in regions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and France.
Some of their practices are preserved by Wiccans on an international scale – most notably, many of the holidays celebrated by Wiccans have been directly inherited from the Celts (more on that later on!).
Following the rise of Christianity and other Abrahamic religions, popular notions of Paganism became negative, often associating it with heathenism and savagery. Indeed, the word “Pagan” began as a Latin term frequently used by the Ancient Romans to mean “unlearned” or “backward”. It is only relatively recently that the word has been reclaimed as an objective, non-derogatory descriptor.
The early modern period: Witchcraft and the burning times
Witchcraft is a cornerstone of Wicca, which is why the Early Modern period, during which mass hysteria led to the execution of countless purported witches across Europe, is viewed by many Wiccans as a very dark time in human history. This era, popularly referred to as “The Burning Times”, lasted from 1580 to 1630 and saw the deaths of an estimated 50,000 men and women, mostly by burning at the stake.
This wave of panic subsequently spread to North America, which is what caused the famous Salem Witch Trials. Between 1692 and 1693, the small New England Village of Salem saw 20 people put to death for allegedly practicing witchcraft. Similar trends took over elsewhere in Massachusetts, such as in the town of Andover, where a dog was accused of using sorcery to afflict young women with illnesses. The dog was tried, convicted, and hanged.
20th century: The birth of modern Wicca
Laws banning witchcraft were repealed in the United Kingdom in 1951. Shortly afterwards, the English author Gerald Gardner published his book Witchcraft Today, which provided the foundation for a new, Neo-Pagan religion.
He called it “Wica”, deriving the term from the Old English word for “witch”. (The second “c” was introduced in the 1960s, in the interest of preserving the original Old English spelling.)
Gardner was instrumental in bringing contemporary practices of witchcraft and Paganism into the public consciousness and clearing up a large number of the negative misconceptions surrounding these communities. In his book, he wrote:
“[…] I am permitted to tell much that has never before been made public concerning their beliefs, their rituals and their reasons for what they do; also to emphasise that neither their present beliefs, rituals nor practices are harmful.”
Witchcraft Today provoked an upsurge of interest in modern witchery and led to the publication of similar books by occultists and scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. The number of Wiccans worldwide has grown exponentially since the ’50s, supported by a variety of civil rights organizations and legislation recognizing Wicca as a fully-fledged religion.
Researchers estimate that there are now close to a million followers of Wicca worldwide, located mainly in North America, Europe, Australasia, and South Africa.
Wicca is one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States. In 1986, Wicca was recognized as an official religion by a federal appeals court, protecting the constitutional rights of all its adherents and awarding it tax-exempt status.
There are numerous organizations which fight for the acceptance and rights of Wiccans and witches, including but not limited to:
- Wiccan Rights and Pagan Pride
- The Witches’ League for Public Awareness
- The Covenant of the Goddess
- The Pagan Federation
- The Witches’ Anti-Discrimination Lobby
Though anti-Pagan discrimination still very much exists, the 21st century has seen some fantastic developments in promoting awareness and acceptance of those with alternative beliefs. In particular, the Internet has enabled Wiccans from all four corners of the Earth to connect and share their experiences.
Many Wiccans who are still in the “broom closet” turn to the Web for support and information about this amazing community.
Common misconceptions about Wicca
We know how easy it is to spread false information these days, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Historically and in recent memory, people have had political and ideological motivations to mislead the public about what Wicca is truly about. In other cases, pop culture has given off the wrong impression about this complex belief system. Let’s get to the bottom of all this confusion and find out what being a Wicca really means.
Here are some common misconceptions, debunked.
Wiccans are not Satanists
We’ve all heard this one before! Wiccans generally reject Judaeo-Christian teachings; this fact has been unfortunately misconstrued to mean that Wiccans are worshippers of Satan.
In 1998, a public school in Detroit issued a dress code forbidding students to wear any item of clothing featuring Wiccan symbols, notably the pentagram, due to its perceived connection with Satanism.
Thankfully, the American Civil Liberties Union intervened by filing a lawsuit against the school’s board, and as a consequence, the dress code was deemed a form of religious intolerance in a court of law.
The court also underlined the distinction between Wicca and Satanism and acknowledged that the two should never be equated.
Indeed, Wiccans, as well as all other Pagans, do not even believe in Satan, let alone worship him. Their faith promotes kindness, respect and peace – worshipping the Devil would not align with Wicca’s core values in the slightest.
Not all Wiccans are women
There are two reasons why this misconception may have arisen.
First of all, in pop culture, the word “witch” is frequently used synonymously with “female sorcerer”. Think of TV shows like Bewitched and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or book series like Harry Potter, in which the female witches are made distinct from the male wizards.
In reality, men, women and non-binary folks can all be witches – there is no reason why any gender should be excluded from the wondrous world of witchcraft.
Secondly, many people conceive of Wicca as having been heavily influenced by feminism. While some femininist ideas certainly emerge in its doctrine, Wicca should not be taken as a movement of feminism, nor an in-group which seeks to keep men out.
Wiccans worship a goddess and venerate femininity, fertility and motherhood, but on the flipside, they also worship a god and appreciate masculinity and virile strength. Wicca is founded on principles of equality – it is definitely not a women’s-only organization.
Wicca welcomes everyone, and in practice it is embraced by individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their gender. There is no reason to feel ineligible to join just because you are not a woman. In fact, the person regarded by many to be the founder of modern Wicca – Gerald Gardner – was himself a man!
Wiccans do not sacrifice animals
Many of the original Pagan religions, such as those of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, gave slaughtered animals as offerings to please their gods. This is a practice from which most Neo-Pagan denominations, including Wicca, have departed.
Profound respect and compassion towards all living things is written into the Wiccan doctrine. Blood sacrifice, therefore, is not an appropriate method of giving thanks to the deities.
The Wiccan incantation “The Charge of the Goddess” underlines the goddess’s opposition to the practice: “[…] Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth”.
Instead, Wiccans are encouraged to make offerings of items like bread, wine and flowers. Basically anything that doesn’t harm another creature!
Wiccans are not evil
Fun fact: did you know that in 1940 during world war 2 the Wiccans in Gerald Gardner’s coven worked with the government in an operation called Cone Of Power in which they used witchcraft to bring down Hitler and prevent him from landing in England?!
You can read the full fascinating account of the event here but the point is: Witches and Wiccans use witchcraft and magic for the betterment of themselves and others and are firmly on the side of good.
Different cloaks for different folks: The many factions of Wicca
Christianity is made up of various denominations, like Catholicism, Lutheranism, Unitarianism, etc. Similarly, Wicca is divided into a plethora of factions and traditions. Though each one is grounded in the same basic beliefs and shares many of the same practices, these groups may differ when it comes to the fine details.
There are a large number of Wiccan traditions practiced across the world, but let’s take a look at the most well-known and distinct of them.
Generally regarded as the earliest form of Wicca, the Gardnerian tradition stems from the writings of Gerald Gardner, the English anthropologist who first brought modern witchcraft to the fore with the publication of his text Witchcraft Today (1954).
Gardnerian Wiccans usually choose to congregate in groups called covens, which are often (but not always) comprised of 13 members. These Wiccans need to be initiated into the religion by a High Priest or Priestess. Gardnerian covens’ members operate “skyclad”, or, in layman’s terms, naked.
This branch of Wicca was founded by Alex Sanders and his wife Maxine in the 1960s, closely resembling Gardner’s variety with a few notable differences. One such difference is that Alexandrian Wiccans are less particular when it comes to choosing tools for use in rituals and spells – as Maxine Sanders once wrote, “If it works use it”.
In general, Alexandrian Wiccans tend to place more emphasis on the performance of ceremonial spell-work than their Gardnerian counterparts.
Some Wiccans focus on incorporating practices inherited from the Celts into their worship. These individuals use the names of Celtic gods and goddesses when praying to the deities, and prioritize drawing power from the natural world as the ancient Celts once did. Celtic Wiccans may adapt Druidic and herbalist customs to their practices.
Strega Wicca developed from the ancient Italian tradition of witchcraft, Stregheria, sometimes referred to as “La Vecchia Religione” (“The Old Religion”). In the 1980s, the Italian-American scholar Raven Grimassi sought to revive Stregheria through Wicca, drawing on many of the ideas of Gerald Gardner while borrowing on concepts from old Italian Paganism.
Grimassi viewed the fourteenth-century Italian woman Aradia di Toscano as a Messianic figure, sometimes referring to the sect as the “Aridian Tradition”. Strega Wicca is becoming increasingly popular in the United States today.
Getting started as a Wiccan: The essentials
First you were wondering, what is Wicca all about? Now you may be wondering, how do I get involved? With all of this new information, you may be at a loss about where to start. Fortunately, there are some straightforward steps you can take towards making yourself a part of this incredible religion and embracing the Wiccan way of life.
Set up your altar
It is common for people to have altars, shrines or tributes in their homes, regardless of their religious affiliation, as a means of commemorating the spirits of the dead or giving thanks to their gods and goddesses.
Wiccans are no different. Consider establishing a physical space at which to worship and perform rituals and adorning it with objects that are meaningful to you or can be used to celebrate a deity, an ancestor or nature.
Your altar does not have to be imposing – it can be a small corner of your bedroom, a tabletop, your mantelpiece, or just about anywhere else, as long as you keep the space sacred and uncontaminated by outside forces.
Some Wiccans need to work with semi-permanent altars due to space constraints or privacy issues. This is perfectly all right! Just remember to keep your altar protected and secure while it is erected.
There are many items with which you may choose to adorn your altar. For most Wiccans, the basics are:
- Candles (including a silver candle representing the Goddess and a gold candle representing the God).
- A pentagram.
- An Athame.
- A chalice.
- A bowl of salt.
Of course, these items are not mandatory nor is the list exhaustative. Additionally, you may like to decorate your altar with jewelry, keepsakes and photos that stand for some aspect of Wicca that is important for you.
Certain objects can also be substituted as you see fit. For example, an athame can be switched out for any kind of blade you prefer, just so long as use of the blade is reserved exclusively for rituals. Do not use a kitchen knife in a ritual if you are then going to use it to butter a sandwich for your afternoon snack!
Craft your Book of Shadows
Wiccans find it useful to record information about their rituals, spells, reflections, dreams, and plans in a book called a Book of Shadows. Every Wiccan’s Book of Shadows is different because it documents their personal journey through self-discovery and understanding the natural and supernatural worlds.
Just like your altar, your Book of Shadows should be kept sacred and given pride of place. It should be treated like an intimate diary – only show yours to fellow Wiccans you trust, even restricting its viewing to the members of your coven. Alternatively, you may prefer to keep it entirely private – that’s perfectly acceptable, too.
Perform your first ritual
This may seem like a daunting task, but rituals are integral to the Wiccan religion and every beginner should become familiar with the procedures involved. Performing rituals will help improve your spiritual awareness in a big way.
A good introductory ritual you may consider is the Rite of Union. The Rite of Union resembles communion in Catholicism – it involves the blessing then consumption of ceremonial wine to honor the God and Goddess. It is often performed in a coven setting, though it can easily be carried out alone. Here is a brief overview explaining how to perform a Solitary Rite of Union:
- Fill a chalice with red and white wine.
- Face your altar, bow, and pick up the chalice.
- Give thanks to the God and Goddess, either in your own words or by way of a prewritten chant.
- Plunge your athame or blade into the chalice, then drink.
Which is Witch? Wicca VS Witchcraft
You may hear the words “Wiccan” and “witch” used interchangeably. Actually, while these two terms are closely connected, they do not mean the exact same thing. A Wiccan is a follower of Wicca, while a witch is someone who explicitly practices witchcraft.
Many Wiccans find it useful to cast spells and may additionally identify as witches, but not all. In turn, not every witch believes in the principles of Wicca. For this reason, it is important to avoid using one of these words when you mean the other.
Coven or solo?
Many Wiccans choose to form or join covens so as to share their faith and journey with a like-minded community. However, it is not a requirement. You may find you are better suited to working alone. This decision is not to be taken lightly, so let’s consider the benefits and drawbacks of each approach in depth.
Reasons to join a coven:
- Some denominations, like Gardnerian Wicca, require you to be initiated by a coven in order to be accepted into the faith.
- Your fellow members will be an important source of support, especially if you have difficulties being forthcoming about your faith with your family or friends.
- You will encounter longtime Wiccans who will be equipped to share their wisdom and guide you through rituals, spell-work and other practices in the early stages of your journey.
- Taking part in rituals with a group can in some ways be even more rewarding than doing it solo and help you to attain a higher level of spiritual awareness than you would be able to reach on your own.
- You have the opportunity to work up through the ranks and possibly achieve the status of High Priest or Priestess.
Reasons to go solo:
- You can work and study at your own pace, and will not feel compelled to compare your own progress to the progress of another Wiccan, sparing you unnecessary stress.
- No one can dictate what you wear while performing rites – you can wear robes, go naked, or don your finest pair of sweatpants. It’s up to you!
- You will not have to worry about making time to meet up with your coven. If you have a hectic work week, you can time your rituals and spell-work to suit it, without worrying about anyone else’s schedule.
- You can make friends with other Wiccans or witches without being bound by the formality of a coven and with no fear of being ousted from your group if you do something to infringe on your coven’s rules.
What’s in a year? The Wiccan calendar
As in any other faith, Wicca observes a number of holidays throughout the year. These holidays are known as Sabbats and mark natural phenomena like solstices and equinoxes. Collectively these Sabbats make up a cycle termed the Wheel of the Year and have a lot in common with the festivals celebrated by the ancient Celts.
Let’s take a look at the eight most important holy days that Wiccans observe.
Samhain – October 31st
Samhain is the Irish Gaelic name for November. This feast day is also known as the Witches’ New Year and places a heavy emphasis on the commemoration of the dead, especially those who have passed on over the course of the preceding year.
On this day, many Wiccans attempt to summon the spirits of the departed, as the barrier separating the living from the dead is said to be at its weakest at this time of year.
Yule – December 21st
This date is instantly recognizable as the day of the Winter Solstice. Wiccans and indeed most Pagans view this day as extremely sacred as it marks the end of the winter, when the Earth begins to warm up again and the days grow longer. At Yule it is particularly important to honor the God, who is closely associated with the sun.
Imbolc – February 2nd
The word Imbolc comes from a Gaelic phrase meaning “in the belly”. This holiday is to celebrate the start of the spring. Many Wiccans partake in this festival by sowing seeds, and some covens take this opportunity to initiate new members as a symbol of a new beginning.
Ostara – March 21st
Ostara is the Spring Equinox, one of two days of the year on which the day and night are equal in length. Like Imbolc, Ostara is a time to celebrate the fertility and growth associated with springtime. Many Wiccans like to celebrate Ostara as Christians celebrate Easter, by coloring eggs, or by blessing the seeds of flowers that are now ready to bloom.
Beltane – May 1st
Beltane is derived from the Irish word for May. It honors the first day of the summer and marks a time of new life and exponential growth. Traditionally, Pagans danced around a tall mast known as a Maypole on this holiday. Modern Wiccans may take the opportunity at Beltane to do some cleaning or dress up nicely with flowers in their hair.
Litha – June 21st
Litha is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. On this date, the sun is at its peak and growth abounds. It is a time to celebrate and give thanks to the deities for the natural beauty of the world around us. Some Wiccans observe Litha by lighting and dancing around a bonfire.
Lughnasadh – August 2nd
Lúnasa is the Irish for August. This holiday celebrates the beginning of the autumn, the season of harvest, during which time we reap what we have sown in the spring. Wiccans often express their gratitude for the abundance of food and resources with a grand feast and by decorating their houses with wreaths.
Mabon – September 21st
This is the second harvest festival, marking the Autumn Equinox. At Mabon, Wiccans look ahead to the coming winter while enjoying the last of the autumn crops. They may celebrate the holiday with late-season fruits and vegetables such as squash and corn.
Wicca and Magic
As mentioned previously, it is not a requirement for Wiccans to practice witchcraft. Nonetheless, there are a variety of reasons why you may be interested in doing so. Here are some of the benefits:
- Control: Casting spells can help you take control of your destiny and shape your path in a subtle but noticeable way.
- Self-expression: Magic can help to build your sense of independence and individuality.
- Positive energy: Practicing magic always leaves you with a good feeling and promotes a can-do attitude towards life.
- Group activity: Ritualistic witchcraft can serve as a meaningful group bonding session, allowing you to feel closer to other Wiccans.
- Fun: All in all, spell-work is an enjoyable activity, irrespective of whether you do it with coven members or on your own.
By crafting a spell, you can shape your destiny however you desire – whether it’s to protect a loved one, increase your likelihood of securing a new job, or bring a new romantic interest into your life. The power of magic is not to be underestimated, which is why you should always consider all of the potential repercussions of your spells before you cast them.
Let’s take a look at some of the tools commonly used by witches and the kinds of spells for which they should be employed.
Candles are extremely important to all types of ritualistic magic – they represent the ability of a thought to spread, grow, and transform into an action. It is a good idea to match the color of your candle to the type of spell you want to cast.
For example, pink candles are frequently used to inspire love and romance, while gold candles are incorporated into spells for the purpose of financial gain.
Practitioners of witchcraft often find that mirrors are especially helpful when performing spells pertaining to self-image and self-perception. If you are looking to conquer a certain insecurity or help someone you know to overcome a problem with their appearance, a mirror is an excellent tool to integrate into your spell-work.
Though it may sound like a cliché, a lot of witches really do make potions to help inspire change in their lives. The ingredients of a typical potion are rarely as exotic as a hare’s foot or eye-of-newt, as you may have seen on the TV. Instead, it is common to mix water or wine with a selection of herbs from the grocery store or your garden.
These potions can allow for strength, fertility, prosperity, and much more. They do not have to be consumed – you can just as well benefit from a potion by rubbing it into your skin or adding it to your bath.
Symbols and images in the form of amulets, charms and talismans also have a role to play in spell-work. There are a wide variety of items you can use, but many Wiccans find crystals, pentagrams and animal charms particularly beneficial. You can use them to channel spiritual energy and incite healing and transformation in your life.
Related practices to Wicca
Wiccans are not one-trick ponies. Many of them involve themselves in similar occult practices that enable them to understand themselves, strengthen their spiritual connection, and predict the future. If you find the ideas of Wicca appealing, you may also be interested in:
Palmistry is an age-old practice native to many parts of Europe and Asia. It is the art of reading a person’s hands to determine their future and better understand their character. It not only involves looking at the lines on a palm but the shape of the hand and the length of the fingers. Many Wiccans regard palmistry as a highly useful form of divination.
Do certain numbers feel more lucky for you than others? This line of thinking is known as numerology and is used by some Wiccans in decision making and prophesying. According to practitioners of numerology, your Destiny Number (calculated using the letters in your name) and your Life Path Number (calculated using the date you were born) have the power to lead you to success and achievement if engaged with correctly.
Lots of Wiccans regard astrological practices as immensely important. They may keep Zodiac signs in mind when selecting a romantic partner, or choose to hold off on making decisions while the stars are aligned a certain way.
A huge number of people across the world find the writings of astrologers to be incredibly accurate and helpful in understanding oneself and the ways of the universe.
Tarot cards are not just for fortune tellers at the fair – they are used by countless people across the world. For some it is to forecast the future and comprehend the past but for most modern readers tarot is a form of introspection and self-exploration very similar to mindfulness and journaling.
Some Wiccans engage in the practice of asking a question, selecting one or more tarot cards at random, and interpreting an answer from the images shown. Tarot cards are also used as a way to communicate with the deities the reader believes in.
Modern science has shown that our dreams can provide a great deal of insight into our subconscious and the depths of our memory. Additionally, many Wiccans view dreams as visions of the future, showing us in oblique ways the events that may come to pass. Interpreting dreams is a highly complex art form and many people take great care to record and study all of their reveries in painstaking detail in the hopes of gleaning some information about the future.
Frequently asked questions about Wicca
We have covered a lot of topics in our attempt to answer the question, “What is Wicca?” All the same, there may be a few more points plaguing your mind. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions about Wicca whose answers have not yet been given in this article.
Can I still celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or other non-Wiccan holidays?
The answer is yes. These holidays bring families and communities together and bear messages of peace, which align perfectly with Wicca’s doctrine. Do not let your Pagan affiliation prevent you from enjoying a happy occasion with your loved ones!
I’m worried my family will judge me for being a Wiccan/Witch. How do I come out of the “Broom Closet”?
This is a pressing question with no one-size-fits-all answer. Unfortunately, there still exists a lot of anti-Pagan and anti-witch prejudice around the world today. If you are afraid your relatives won’t be accepting of your faith, there are ways to continue practicing it while keeping it private.
Your altar, for example, can be disassembled and put away while you’re not in the house or when you have guests over. You can keep your coven meetings a secret by telling your family you are simply attending a gathering of friends (which is not a lie!).
If you do wish to tell them, make sure to clear up all negative misconceptions they may have about Wicca, many of which are addressed above. Stress that it is a religion like any other, promoting peace, community and an appreciation for the natural world around us. It may be different, but it is not scary. Your family might be slow on the uptake, but in all likelihood they will come to understand your faith over time.
How often should I perform magic?
Your coven may encourage you to perform magic with them on a regular basis. If you are a solo witch, you can craft spells whenever you feel compelled to do so. Many Wiccans and witches reserve spell-work for points in their lives at which they feel they really need it, for example before an important interview or during times of financial hardship.
Others feel inspired to perform magic multiple times a week – even every day! It is completely up to you how often you want to perform magic, or indeed, whether or not you want to dabble in it at all.