Wicca Essay, Research Paper
The Buzz on Witchcraft
These are terms that may help you understand my essay better.
? Wicca- the natural religion of the world; not a Christian religion.
? Pagans- followers of a non-Christian religion, that focuses around nature.
? Spells- magical workings that change the present; mostly considered negative workings by the Church of Wicca.
When I was a little girl I wanted to control storms. I loved the rolling, dark clouds, swollen with rain and the wind that made little dust tunnels on our gravel driveway. I prayed for tornadoes to come so I could watch their natural ferocity through the basement window. When the skies became dark, I would run into the middle of the yard and command the wind to come. What I really wanted was to be a witch, to be able to control things with my own special powers. My mom taught us that witches were evil creatures created by Satan. But I didn’t listen; I wanted to be a good witch. It never happened. I’m not a witch, but that doesn’t stop me from believing in many aspects of the Wicca religion. I believe that everything on Earth should be respected. I believe in negative and positive energy and the concept that what you do in this life will directly affect the outcome of your afterlife. The subject of witches, their beliefs and superstitions, is not clearly defined. There is no absolute correct handbook that gives guidelines that a witch must follow, but rather, Wicca is a personal journey that varies from person to person.
Wicca is considered a natural, Neo-Pagan religion that finds its roots in ancient beliefs. It is said to be the oldest religion on Earth and has seen a major revival during the second half of the 20th century. This big revival occurred around 1960, when love, peace, and sexuality was most important. The word Wicca is derived form an early Anglo-Saxon word meaning witchcraft (Encarta 6).
Wicca is a way of life that investigates every potential that you have. Wicca draws its strength from the diversity of Nature itself and rejoices in diversity. Witches are positive thinkers and believe in happiness prevailing over evil. Overall Wicca is a philosophy as much as it is a nature-based religion (Encarta 7).
Witches do not worship Satan, or even believe in Satan. They also do not believe in Jesus, or the Lord. What they do believe in is an unknowable Ultimate Deity. Their God does not have a beard, is not necessarily a man, and does not persecute women. Followers of Wicca seek guidance from an endless number of deities. Pagans also do not subscribe to the black and white notions of good and evil. Rather, there are only appropriate and inappropriate actions (Donovan 2).
Unlike my Catholic upbringing, Wicca finds a spirit in every object, and that spirit is connected to every other living creature. Both animate and inanimate objects possess a spirit, which forms part of the Whole, or in layman’s terms THE BIG PICTURE. Let’s not confuse the idea of Wicca’s word “spirit” with the Judeo-Christian sense of ghost (Pagan Web 1).
The basis of Wicca rests on a deep respect for sexuality, feminity, nature and the knowledge that a person does not have the right to exploit another for personal gain.
Spirituality is the foremost goals of the church and school of Wicca. That is what a witch will strive to reach in his/her lifetime. Many witches choose to change the present through magical workings, or spells. That is frowned upon and considered derogatory to spiritual success. The appropriate workings are learning to accept your spiritual path and obstacles throughout meditation (Ethics of Wicca 2).
Popular culture has greatly affected the spread of Wicca. Television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch dramatize witches into being cutie girls, but these shows also depict these young girls as being open and proud that they are witches. This popular culture, on one hand, trivializes witchcraft, but on the other hand it’s commercializing Wicca to the world and saying that it’s OK to stand up for your personal beliefs (Cabot, 87).
As we settle into the new millennium, feminist spirituality as both a way of life and a political force is coming into its own. Wicca is a religion that draws a predominately female congregation due to the mostly feministic outlook. This religion is a spiritual tradition that speaks of honoring a deepened connection with the cycles of birth, growth, and death honoring women. Wicca is the first and only religion that really honors women. Most Judeo-Christian religions do not recognize women as an imperative part of the life cycle. Religion centers around creation, and for that reason, religion should focus on the Earth. Pagans believe that biological processes are spiritual and that there is a divine meaning in every natural occurrence. The great mysteries of life are the mysteries of transformation. How things grow, die and are reborn. The ability to conceive a new human life, give birth, produce milk, and bleed with the phases of the moon are considered a miracle.
Although many facts about witches vary, there is one that is always consistent. Witches follow the rule of, “And it harm none, do what you will.” Generally speaking, if a witch directs harm to a person, it will come back times three. The pentagram in its correct state (one point up, standing on two points) represents the perfected human. The upside-down pentagram means the opposite. In Wicca, the five points represent our basic beliefs. The five points of Wicca include the Wiccan creed, listed above and then four other major points, which are (2) The Law of Attraction, (3) Harmony and Serenity, (4) Power through Knowledge, and (5) Progressive Reincarnation. (Cabot 11).
Most people are too strictly conservative to even claim Wicca as a religion. If you let others drive you to the store and you have never looked at a map, the spirituality behind Wicca may not be meaningful to you. However, if you believe in understanding your destiny and making your own decisions about magic, Wicca, and your life, then studying Wicca is appropriate for you. They look at Wicca and see a group of people who honor each other, respect animals, and care for all human beings. Those feelings are not felt by most people and are not respected because they are different views. Change scares most people and Wicca is not your normal Christian religion. A witch in the Upper Peninsula is mostly unheard of. I know two ladies who are followers of Wicca; they would never broadcast that publicly because they would most likely be persecuted for their ideals. People need to learn about Wicca and realize that is a religion just like being catholic is. Acceptance is the key focal point.
Wicca is a popular religion that focuses on the important factors of life: women, birth, respect for animals and death. If only people would know the facts about Wicca, not just myths that witches fly on brooms and cast spells, then people would be more accepting of the religion. I believe that this is a model religion and that if everyone would follow just a few aspects of Wicca the world be a more loving universe. Maybe if President George Bush valued the lives of animals and respected the Earth we wouldn’t be facing the mass oil drillings in a beautiful wildlife reserve in Alaska, and maybe, just maybe, if the workers of local Paper Mills where followers of Wicca they would realize that the chemicals they are putting into the water are killing the fish and possibly giving there own families cancer. We can only hope, for the benefit of our earth, that people will respect the religion of Wicca and maybe the world would become a little better place.