View Guestbook Bravenet Web Services

Hosted at Vox Populli


This Guide attempts to explain, in layman's terms, what Wicca is all about, and to dispel some of the most widespread myths. We hope you will take time to read this, and reach your own conclusions. It is written in the form of the most frequently asked questions that I, as someone who was raised Pagan, have been approached about.

Blessed be.
SilverRain, October 1997. Updated 2000.

Isn't Wicca devil worship?
In a word, no. Satan and hell are Christian concepts, and Wiccans - as non-Christians - do not believe in them. You can't worship something you don't believe exists. The original major religions were forms of Paganism. It was only when organised religion became widespread that some of the leaders decided to portray us as devil worshippers, in order to discredit our religion. There are two major "mottos" of Wicca. The first is a line from our famous poem 'The Wiccan Rede' - "An' it harm none, do as ye will" - we are taught we must harm nothing, physically or emotionally. The second is the Law (or Rule) Of Three, which states that everything bad we do will come back to us threefold. To avoid this is simple - try to do only good things. Not so different from Christian ideals.

So what DO you believe in?
We believe that the Earth and nature is sacred, and that our Mother and Father, the God and Goddess are manifest in it. Nearly every life form needs male and female elements to produce new life, and we believe it only makes sense that our world is created in the same way. Therefore we honour the Goddess as much as the God. Essentially though, Wicca is about respecting the natural environment, and giving thanks for the gifts it yields... can that be evil?!

Do you celebrate Halloween?
Yes, for us it symbolises saying goodbye to the Sun for the winter, and recognises that we were - and still are in many ways - an agricultural society. We call it Samhain (pronounced Sa-Ween or Sa-Win). We don't conjure evil spirits - see Law Of Three above. It is also the time when we remember those no longer with us, loved ones and ancestors, but the modern idea of ghouls and evil is a by-product of modern commercialism, and has nothing to do with us! Among others, we also celebrate Yule at the time of the winter solstice.

This celebrates the re-birth of the Sun and the shortening of the nights. Christmas was deliberately moved to coincide with this, when in 314 AD Emperor Constantine moved Christmas from 15th September to 25th December in an effort to unite the two religions - not alienate one against the other.

The Pentacle is the sign of the Devil
Upside down or distorted, the Pentacle has been used by Satanists, yes. But so has the Crucifix. Like the Cross, the right way up is the symbol of our faith, and our intention to Harm None. The five points represent the five elements - earth, air, fire, water and spirit.

But you use spells don't you?
Yes, but forget Sabrina and Charmed. We do use magick (spelt with a "k" to distinguish us from the David Copperfields!), but this is similar to a Christian praying. We just use a few extras, like candles and jewels in ours, as well as specific rhymes. We NEVER sacrifice anything. We may use a few seasonal flowers, but we always return them to the Earth.

The Bible says witchcraft is evil
The original line in the Bible that most people use in this argument actually said "suffer not a POISONER to live", this was changed by King James to WITCH, and has been adopted by most versions since then. Many of the things the church condemns as witchcraft are things we use in everyday life nowadays, like reading your horoscope in the paper - which was recently denounced by the current papal administration as evil. Even without this, the Bible condemns a lot of things. Eating pork and second marriages are sins. It is no use saying that this is irrelevant nowadays, you either use the bible to condemn us and therefore abide by EVERY rule in it, or you accept us for what we are - a peace loving people.

Do you use a broomstick? Cauldron?
Yes... the broomstick is not used for flying, it's for ritual cleansing of the work area. The cauldron is used for containing candles, mixing herbs and scrying (which is like looking into a crystal ball) There is nothing sinister about any of the tools that we use... Harm None, remember.

FINAL NOTE: Satanists and devil worshippers do exist. There is no point in denying it. But we, as Pagans, are as repulsed by this as you are. Wicca is based on love, concern for others, and respect for our environment. Is that really so far removed from what you believe? Wiccans do not seek to convert anyone. We believe everyone who comes to Wicca must do so of their own accord. We have no leader, no central organisation, no dogma, collect no fees and we will not come knocking at your door or try to pray for your conversion. We are happy that everyone chooses their own way, and seek to remove nothing from Christianity, or indeed any other religion. We hope that by reading this leaflet you will have had some of your questions answered about this ancient religion, and realise that all we ask of you is acceptance.