Candle magic is one of the simplest forms of spell casting. Consideredsympathetic magic, it’s a method which doesn’t require a lot of fancy ritual or expensive ceremonial artifacts. In other words, anyone with a candle can cast a spell. After all, remember when you were a child and you made a wish before you blew out the candles on yourbirthday cake?
In this article, Patti Wiginton, explains, as birthday candles, here is the same theory, only now instead of justhoping, you’re declaring your intent (and by now you’ve probably stopped hoping for a pony). If you think about it, the birthday-candle ritual is based on three key magical principles:
Decide on a goal
Visualize the end result
Focus your intent, or will, to manifest that result
What Sort of Candle Should I Use?
Most practitioners of magical systems will tell you that, much like a few other aspects of life, size really isn’t important. In fact, really big candles may be counterproductive. Look at it this way–a candle that takes three days to burn down can be highly distracting to someoneworking a spellthat instructs you to wait until the candle burns out on its own. Typically, a short taper candle or a votive candle will work the best. In some cases, a spell might call for a specific type of candle, such as a seven-day candle or a figure candle, which may represent a particular person.
One of the most popular candles, believe it or not, is in fact the little menorah candles which are sold by the box in the kosher section of the grocery store. They’re about 4″ long, white, unscented, and thin. Because of this, they’re perfect for spell work.
You should always use a brand new candle for spell work–in other words, use virgin materials. Don’t use the candles that you burned at the dinner table or in the bathroom yesterday for spell work. In some magical traditions, once a candle is burned it picks up vibrations from things around it. If a used candle is already tainted by vibrations, some people believe it will lead to a negative or ineffective magical outcome.
When it comes to colors, you may wish to have a variety on hand for different magical purposes. Typically,Color correspondencesfor candle magic are as follows:
Red: Courage and health, sexual love, and lust.
Pink: Friendship and sweet love.
Orange: Attraction and encouragement.
Gold: Financial gain, business endeavors, andsolar connections.
Yellow: Persuasion and protection.
Green: Financial gain, abundance, and fertility.
Light Blue: Health, patience, and understanding.
Dark Blue: Depression and vulnerability.
Purple: Ambition and power.
Brown: Earth-related oranimal-related workings.
Black: Negativity andbanishment.
White: Purity and truth*.
Silver: Reflection, intuition, and lunar connections.
* Note that in manyPagan traditions, it is acceptable to use a white candle in place of any other color.
Using Your Candle in Ritual
After you’ve selected a candle, you’ll want to oil it or dress it before burning. This is a method by which you’ll establish a psychic link between you and the candle itself. In other words, you’re charging the candle with your own energy and personal vibrations, and projecting your intent into the wax before you burn it. To dress a candle, you’ll need a natural oil; many practitioners like to use grapeseed because it has no smell. Another option is to use special candle magic oils from one of the metaphysical supply stores.
Begin at the top of the candle, and rub the oil downward to the middle. Then, begin at the base of the candle and rub the oil up towards the middle, ending where the first coating of oil left off. In some traditions, the anointing is done just the opposite way; start in the middle and work your way towards the two ends.
If your working calls for herbs to be used as well, roll the oiled candle in the powdered herbs until it is coated all the way around.
Brujo Negro of BrujoNegroBrujeria says,
“Is a candle magical in and of itself? No, it is the flame of the candle which is what we are making the magic; the candle and its wax are the fuel for the fire. In essence the candle is a vehicle for the creation of the magic contained in the flame, it is a tool if you will and yes it is a magical tool so you should treat your candles as magical tools. You should give your chosen candle a basic cleansing, before dedicating it to the use of a magical spell.”
The most basic form of candle magic uses a piece of colored paper that matches the intent of your candle. Decide what your goal is, and write it on the piece of paper. Just for an example, let’s say we’re going to do a money working. Write down your intent, something likeI will become financially prosperous. In some traditions, you would write your intent ina magical alphabet, such as Theban or Enochian. Because this is amoney-oriented working, we would select either a gold or green piece of paper, and a candle of the same color.
As you write down your goal, visualize yourself achieving that goal. Think about the different ways in which your goal might manifest. Could you be getting a raise at work? Perhaps someone who owed you money will arrive out of the blue to repay their debt. Maybe you’ll find out you overpaid that cable bill from last year, and you will get a surprise refund check!
Once you’ve written down your goal, fold the paper, concentrating on your intent the whole time. Some people like to say a small incantation as they do this. If you’re one of those people, this is a good place to do it. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can use something as simple as:
Extra money come my way, I could use a little cash today. Extra money come to me, As I will, so it shall be.
Place one corned of the folded paper into the candle’s flame and allow it to catch fire. Hold the paper as long as possible (without burning your fingers) and then place it in a fire-safe bowl or cauldron to burn the rest of the way on its own. Allow the candle to burn out completely. When the candle has burned out completely, dispose of it, rather than saving it to use again for another working. Usually there’s not much left of a candle except a stub of wax, and you can either bury it outdoors ordispose of itin whatever manner you choose.
Candle Magic for Divination
In some magical traditions, candles are used for divinatory purposes. The two most commonly used methods of candle divination are by reading the wax, and reading the manner in which the candle actually burns. To read the wax, the typical practice is to drop the liquefied wax into a bowl of cold water. The wax will harden almost immediately, and form shapes. Use these shapes to get the answers to your questions, much as you wouldif you were reading tea leaves.
To divine by the way the candle burns is a bit more complex, andCat Yronwoode of LuckyMojo has a great essay on ceromancy in Hoodoo candle magic.
And yes, there are some things that all witches do. Probably in different levels, but I think all we do.
When I read this article from The Alchemist published in The Witchcraft, I realized, many of my “things” are witch related and not just me as a maniatic. For example I like to sleep 8 hours as least. Many of my friends make jokes about this, and sometimes is difficult to do it while traveling for business, but for me is sacred and is part of “have time for me and quality time”.
Please read all this 7 “things” and let me know if you do more or less. Let’s see what we have in common between us!
1. Feel and Move like Witches
Some may call this Vanity but it’s actually self-confidence. Knowing that you are Witch gives you power. And this power is noticed by others. As we’ve already seen above, witches usually lead normal lives. They work – and work hard – they make families (this is why all these hereditary Witches are born) and in general live like all the others. In fact, many of the current or ancient leaders, politicians and famous people used to be witches!
It is not easy to tell who is a Witch because of the former (and unfortunately even present-day) Witch-huntings. However, a Witch always knows who s/he is. They realise their power even if they are occupied by mundane activities. Deep inside they still feel connected with the Spirits and always keep an eye on synchronicities andomens.
2. They Never Ignore anOmen
Witches don’t actually believe in ‘random events’. They know that the World is built on patterns of cosmic Wisdom. Anything can be traced back to numbers and energy. Hence, they never ignore an Omen.
However, they usually don’t get crazy trying to find out the meaning of it. They know how to keep calm and they try to decipher it.Omensis the Language of Spirits. This is how they try to communicate with us.
3. Witches Always Write Down their Progress and Experiences
This is how the ‘Book of Shadows‘ started. Although many believe its an anthology of spells and incantations, the real ‘Books of Shadows’ are actually journals of solitary Witches of Covens.
Some witches may have been born with some knowledge or awareness of Magic due to their past incarnations, yet all Witches are here to learn more. This is why ‘Books of Shadows’ exist. To keep track of what they’ve learned and what they did. It’s actually a way to check their progress.
This World has a weird way of holding us down, making us forget our true nature. This is why Books of Shadows help us remember who we truly are and what we’ve succeeded so far.
4. Witches Keep in touch with their Roots & Nature
Witches know that this is not their only life. They have awareness that Soul is immortal transcending planes of existence. Although many witches may not be able to recall their past lives in this or other worlds, they most certainly know that duringSabbatsand powerful days, they can actually get a glimpse or magical feedback of their past incarnations and probably their powers.
Another very important thing for Witches is Mother Nature. They usually take some time to enjoy the Sunlight or the Moon beams and the stars. Playing with animals or keeping some close to them. Witches do love to be accompanied by animals while nurturing and protecting them like their children. AsJudika Illessaid inThe Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works, “The bottom line is that magic is communication: communication between yourself, Earth and all the other life forms with whom we share our Earth Mother.“
5. Dreams and Premonitions are taken seriously
Witches know that Dreams have powers. Energy doesn’t lie. This is why they keep track of their dream via a Dream Journal. Know that magic is sometimes presented via dreams. Spirits can also communicate via dreams and premonitions. This is why Witches know the power of their dreams and take them seriously. Witches listen to their guts.
6. Quality time is frequently needed
Witches may indeed lead normal lives but there is a time they know they have to withdraw from the madness and noise of the Material World. Although they are not irresponsible, they just need some time for themselves. Witches are wise and know that money is the way this World works. However, there should be some quality time for themselves and their Craft.
Even if this is just a day off or some hours prior sleep, they need this isolation in order to attune with the Spirit World and their magic. Although, there are some witches who live like hermits, completely withdrawn from the Material World, most Witches just ask for a couple of Hours or in some cases a day (especially in Sabbats) in order to recharge their magic and cast their spells.
7. Witches Know when to let go
They previous points were things about witches do regularly. This final one is about what witches don’t do. Witches know when it’s time to let go. They try not be attached with material belongings. Although they sometimes may even lose themselves, they attune back to the Source of Magic and become brave enough to let things go.
Witches know that loss is part of the Material World. However, they also know that what is lost may again be found, in this or another life. Witches know that there is no such thing as a real end. Sometimes this relieving wisdom, brings them back on track. In other words, they know when it’s time to Let Go.
In this blog post found in www.explorewicca.com is explaining how to become a Wiccan. Remember, you already are, here we are just going to help you to remember it.
The path of Wicca is one filled with excitement, mystery, and wonder. If you’re seeking to become a Wiccan or learn more about what a Wiccan does and believes, you’ve come to the right place!
This article is meant to be a complete, in-depth guide for introducing you to the world of Wicca.
How to Get Started in Wicca
Getting started in the world of Wicca doesn’t have to be a complicated affair.
It simply begins with a desire to learn more about the craft.
Memorizing spells, buying supplies, performing initiations rites—all that comes later.The first steps on the path of Wicca involve keeping an open mind and having a thirst for knowledge.
Becoming a witch is more about cultivating a spiritual mindset and embracing the magick of the world, as opposed to doing and saying specific things.
CREATING YOUR BOOK OF SHADOWS
However, one formal thing I would suggest you do to get started in Wicca is begin a book of shadows. This is one of the most important supplies a Wiccan has in her possession.
Put simply, it’s a place where a witch keeps everything she learns—spells, correspondences, spiritual insights, nagging questions, and anything else deemed important.
The book of shadows is a deeply personal, living document that charts your journey through the craft.
Your book of shadows can be a traditional journal or notebook, or you can create one digitally—what’s important is that you have a place where you can jot dot down everything you learn in your study of Wicca.
To begin your book of shadows, I recommend a dedication page. Write down today’s date and a short statement about your intention. For example, you might write:
“This book of shadows is dedicated to my spiritual journey.”
USING YOUR BOOK OF SHADOWS
How you structure and organize your book of shadows is up to you.
Some witches prefer to write everything down in chronological order as they learn.
Others break theirs up into different sections—one area for spells, one area for gods and goddesses, etc. Everything about your book of shadows should be a unique representation of yourself.
Ultimately, getting started in Wicca is all about marching to the beat of your own drum and searching for truth, wherever the path may lead you.
Wiccan vs. Witch vs. Pagan
When you’re just beginning the study of Wicca, it can be easy to get tripped up by the terminology. There’s no need to be embarrassed by it—we all go through the “what in the world are they talking about?” phase.
By far, one of the biggest sources of confusion is the distinction between a Wiccan, a witch, and a Pagan.
These three terms are very closely related, and it can be very challenging to keep them straight.
First, the good news—if you use the terms “Wiccan”, “witch”, and “pagan” interchangeably, 99% of the time people will know what you’re talking about. Outside of the magickal world, these three words frequently all refer to someone who practices some type of witchcraft.
However, in Wicca, words matter.
We say certain things at certain times and in certain contexts because we understand the power that language has to shape our world.
Words are powerful, and words are magickal.
For this reason, I think it’s worth learning the distinction between these three terms.
This is the easiest one: a Wiccan is simply a person who practices the religion of Wicca.
This religion was developed by British occultist Gerald Gardner and is considered a distinct branch of witchcraft. But while it might be the most well-known branch of witchcraft, it is not synonymous with witchcraft in general.
While Wiccans may incorporate other belief systems into their personal practices, there are in fact some teachings within witchcraft that are considered exclusively Wiccan.
This refers to anyone who practices any branch of witchcraft. This means that all Wiccans can also be considered witches. (For our purposes, a witch is anyone who believes in and works with the power of magick.)
But the reverse is not true—all witches are not Wiccans.
Here’s where things get a little tricky.
Paganism is a broad umbrella term for religious practices that developed in the folk religions of rural areas (particularly in Europe).
Originally, the word “pagan” was used as an insult by Christians of the ancient Roman Empire towards people who continued to worship their traditional Gods and Goddesses instead of the Christian God.
Over time, people began to self-identify with the term Pagan, and it’s rarely used as an insult anymore, though.
KEEPING THE TERMS STRAIGHT
If you’ve been keeping track so far, you should have been able to deduce the following:
All Wiccans are witches.
Some witches and Wiccans.
All Wiccans are Pagans.
Some witches are Pagans.
Some Pagans are Wiccans or witches.
For example, a witch who only works with the traditional deities of ancient Egypt would not be considered a Pagan because that pantheon does not come from a folk religion—it comes from the highly developed religion of a highly developed society.
On the other hand, if someone worshipped the traditional Gods of the British Isles, they would be considered a Pagan but not necessarily a witch, if they didn’t utilize magick in their religious practices.
These are very minute and challenging distinctions to make. And like I mentioned before, it’s okay to mix them up or use them interchangeably.
You’ll rarely encounter a Wiccan, witch, or Pagan who will berate you for innocently using the wrong word.
Core Beliefs of Wicca
It can be hard to pin down any beliefs that all Wiccans share. This is mostly because diversity of thought and practice are a hallmark of the religion.
THE WICCAN REDE
However, if there’s one unifying belief that unites all of Wicca, it’s the Wiccan Rede.
This statement, though it looks deceptively short and simple, actually contains deep philosophical and moral insight. And it goes like this:
“An [if] it harm none, do what ye will.”
For those of us who aren’t well-versed in old English, this can be rephrased as something like, “Do what you will, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone.”
In some ways, this statement is similar to the ever-popular Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This is because it takes into account how our actions can impact others. However, the Rede adds a truly Wiccan twist to things—do what ye will.
Witches and Wiccans love their independence. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that, historically, folks have not had a lot of tolerance for us.
From the Christian church dictating (quite often, violently) which God was acceptable to worship to the struggle for governmental recognition of our religion, we’ve rarely been given the opportunity to be left to our own devices.
Finding your own path, doing your own thing, discovering your own truth—these are all important aspects of the Wiccan experience.
However, compassion for all forms of life on this planet informs our experience as witches, too. And with the Wiccan Rede both of these conflicting ideas are brought into harmony with one another.
THE RULE OF THREE
Another common (but not universal) belief in Wicca has to do with the Rule of Three.
This is simply a belief that the energy we put into the world will come back to us threefold. This idea is slightly different from the Wiccan Rede, but it is absolutely consistent with it.
So, if you’re promoting peace and prosperity in your witchcraft, you should expect that good energy to return to you in some form.
And if you’re promoting negativity and evil, that will find its way back to you as well.
It’s important not to get too hung up on the “three” portion of the Rule of Three, though. Just because you do one good deed doesn’t mean you should expect three to come your way!
This is rarely an exact science—rather it’s more of a general reminder that karma exists and you can’t escape the consequences of your actions.
Wicca has two primary deities of its own that hold a special position within witchcraft.
They are the archetypal (classic or traditional) representations of divine feminine and masculine energy. These deities are known as the Triple Goddess and the Horned God—or you might also hear them referred to as the Lord and Lady.
THE TRIPLE GODDESS
Take a look at the image above—that’s the symbol of the Triple Goddess.
She is depicted as the three phases of the moon, and each of those phases corresponds to a different representation of the Goddess.
Over the course of a month, the moon enters different phases, and we can observe this by watching its light gradually get larger and then smaller night after night.
When the moon is moving towards being full, this is known as the waxing moon. And within the triple goddess, it represents the Maiden.
The Maiden is a young woman and is a symbol of purity and beauty. We as Wiccans turn to the Maiden for things like:
A fresh start
The blessing of people or objects
Basically, she represents all that is good and wholesome within the world.
Within the cycle of the seasons, the Maiden is celebrated on the spring equinox—with a Wiccan holiday known as Ostara.
When the moon is full, it represents the Mother—the second face of the Triple Goddess. As our spiritual Mother, she represents fertility and maternal protection.
In traditional times, witches and pagans would turn to the Mother to ensure a good harvest and a healthy family.
We might not have crops to worry about now, but we still turn to this manifestation of the Triple Goddess for the guidance and comfort that only a Mother can provide.
We celebrate the Mother at the time of the fall equinox—as this was traditionally part of the harvesting season.
Finally, as the moon nears the end of its cycle, it moves towards darkness.
This is known as the waxing moon, and it represents the third part of the Triple Goddess—the Crone.
“Crone” is a term sometimes used to refer to a witch of advanced age. Some people may use it as an insult, but within Wicca, the elderly hold a position of importance.The Crone represents all the spiritual and magickal wisdom that experience brings.
A witch is at the height of her power as she nears old age, and the Crone is a celebration of that power.
She is celebrated at the winter solstice—a time when we remember that life is a cycle of death and rebirth.
The Horned God is the classic male nature deity within Wicca.
He is commonly depicted as having the antlers of a stag and represents harmony with nature and the power of the natural world. Sometimes, you will hear witches refer to him as “Cernunnos”, which is the name he is given within Celtic witchcraft.
There are some people who like to claim that the Horned God is the Christian Devil. However, this is not the case.
The Wiccan God has no ties to Christianity whatsoever—in fact, he predates the religion by centuries. Cernunnos is not some malevolent entity who is going to poke you with a pitchfork and send you to Hell!
He is our protective Father who helps us attune ourselves to the natural world.
The Horned God is classically associated with the Underworld, so as with the Crone, we celebrate him at the winter solstice. You might also see Wiccans invoke Cernunnos and his protective power during memorial services for the deceased.
If you’re interested in giving Wicca try but aren’t sure how to get started, I’ve created a simple seeker ritual just for you!
There’s nothing formal or binding about this ritual—you won’t have to sell your soul or swear allegiance to witchcraft or anything like that.
It’s simply a way to symbolize your intention to grow spiritually. You’ll be asking for Divine guidance in your quest to find truth, and that’s something beneficial whether or not you decide to become a Wiccan.
This seeker ritual is also a good introduction to what Wiccan magick looks like.
While magick can range from incredibly fast and simple to incredibly detailed and complex, Wiccan spells and rituals have some components in common.
Symbolism that affects one or more senses (sight, smell, etc.)
Invoking of a deity (like the Triple Goddess)
Particular words and actions that must be performed
This seeker ritual illustrates all three of these things, and I’ll be sure to point them out as we get to them. But for now, let’s get started!
COLLECTING YOUR ITEMS
To begin with, you’ll need to collect a few items to use during the ritual. These will provide a visual representation to help strengthen the symbolism and spiritual energy of the process.
In this particular instance, you need to find four items that represent the four primal elements of magick—fire, water, earth, and air.
These four elements have traditionally been seen as the four building blocks of all life on earth.
Within Wicca, they each represent different attributes. For example, fire is a symbol of passion and desire, while earth is a symbol of wisdom and stability.
They show up pretty frequently in rituals, and you’ll be invoking these elemental spirits to assist you with different aspects of the seeker’s journey.
As far as the items you choose, feel free to get creative with this process.
Traditionally, a witch might choose a candle to represent fire, a flower to represent earth, incense to represent air, and a bowl of water to represent water.
But as long as the objects represent the elements in your mind, it’s fine to use them!
In addition to these four items, you’ll also need a candle—a white one, if possible. It represents Divine energy and will be used near the end of the ritual.
Don’t forget the matches or a lighter! (And always use precaution when dealing with fire!)
So to recap, your item list should look like this:
Object representing fire
Object representing water
Object representing earth
Object representing air
1 white candle
Matches or a lighter
PERFORMING THE RITUAL
Clear a space and place your four elemental objects on the ground, as if they were the four points of an invisible square.
Stand in the middle of that square (with the candle near your feet). Clearly say the following:
All spirits of goodwill are welcome here to join me on my spiritual journey. May I learn the truths you have to teach me.
Now, move to your object representing fire. Stand in front of it, and with your palms up in the air, say:
Element of fire, giver of passion. Light the flame within my soul that I may always desire to seek the truth. So mote it be.
(FYI—“So mote it be,” is a phrase you’ll see a lot in Wicca. Without getting into all the details, it’s basically the witchy equivalent of a Christian saying, “Amen.” It’s a phrase we use at the end of some invocations to reemphasize our desire for the words to become reality.)
Next, move to the air object. Once again in the same position, say:
Element of air, giver of flight. Move me closer to the truth with your gentle winds. So mote it be.
This time, stand in front of the object representing earth and say:
Element of earth, giver of wisdom. Plant the seeds of knowledge within my soul. So mote it be.
Finally, move to the object representing water. Repeat the following:
Element of water, giver of purification. Cleanse my soul that I may be worthy to embrace the truth. So mote it be.
If you were paying attention, you probably noticed that all four of the previous invocations followed the same basic structure—they began by addressing an elemental spirit and followed with a request to that spirit.
This ties into the idea that I mentioned earlier of particular words and actions being an important component of spells.
By creating repetition and rhythm in our words, we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of magickal energy all around us.
Finally, return to the candle in the middle and light it. As you do, say this:
Divine spirit, accompany me on my journey. Show me the road towards truth that I may come to love all the wisdom of the Universe. My intention is set, my will is sealed. This is the path I have chosen. So mote it be.
And now we’ve reached the end of the ritual!
It may not seem like much, but these words and actions you’ve just performed have serious spiritual significance.
Even when we don’t notice it, the energies and spirits of this universe are always in action—so you can rest assured that your intention has been telegraphed loud and clear.
Learn More About Wicca
So that about does it for our crash course in the world of Wicca!
You’ve discovered the basics, but there is so much more to learn about this exciting art! Deities to discover, incantations to memorize, spells to write—your options at this point are wide open!
If you’re looking for resources that delve into the advanced specifics of Wicca, you’ve come to the right place!
The article below describes how Wicca draws from the Old Traditions of Witchcraft. While this is true, we would simply like to clarify that Witchcraft and Wicca, while similar in many respects, are not the same. One can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist. Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not considered a religion. Thus, Wicca might best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions.
Contrary to what those who choose to persecute or lie about us wish to believe, Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.
Wicca is a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence. When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls. To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. If this path is yours, may you walk it with honor, light and integrity.
Wicca is a belief system and way of life based upon the reconstruction of pre-Christian traditions originating in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. While much of the information of how our ancestors lived, worshiped and believed has been lost due to the efforts of the medieval church to wipe our existence from history, we try to reconstruct those beliefs to the best of our ability with the information that is available.
Thanks to archaeological discoveries, we now have basis to believe that the origins of our belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshiped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess. With the discovery of these cave paintings, estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world toady. These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wiccan as our view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it.
Witchcraft in ancient history was known as “The Craft of the Wise” because most who followed the path were in tune with the forces of nature, had a knowledge of Herbs and medicines, gave council and were valuable parts of the village and community as Shamanic healers and leaders. They understood that mankind is not superior to nature, the earth and its creatures but instead we are simply one of the many parts, both seen and unseen that combine to make the whole. As Chief Seattle said; “We do not own the earth, we are part of it.” These wise people understood that what we take or use, we must return in kind to maintain balance and equilibrium. Clearly, modern man with all his applied learning and technology has forgotten this. Subsequently, we currently face ecological disaster and eventual extinction because of our hunger for power and a few pieces of gold.
For the past several hundred years, the image of the Witch has been mistakenly associated with evil, heathenism, and unrighteousness. In my humble opinion, these misconceptions have their origin in a couple of different places.
To begin, the medieval church of the 15th through 18th centuries created these myths to convert the followers of the old nature based religions to the churches way of thinking. By making the Witch into a diabolical character and turning the old religious deities into devils and demons, the missionaries were able to attach fear to these beliefs which aided in the conversion process. Secondly, as medical science began to surface, the men who were engaged in these initial studies had a very poor understanding of female physiology, especially in the area of a women’s monthly cycles. The unknowns in this area played very well with the early churches agenda lending credence to the Witch Hunters claims and authority. The fledgling medical professions also stood to benefit greatly from this because it took the power of the women healers away giving it to the male physicians transferring the respect and power to them.
Unfortunately these misinformed fears and superstitions have carried forward through the centuries and remain to this day. This is why many who follow these nature oriented beliefs have adopted the name of Wicca over its true name of Witchcraft to escape the persecution, harassment and misinformation associated with the name of Witchcraft and Witch not to mention the bad publicity the press and Hollywood has given us simply to generate a profit.
What Witchcraft is:
Witchcraft is a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and will of the individual, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature thereby affirming the divinity in all living things. Most importantly however, it teaches responsibility. We accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we make. We do not blame an exterior entity or being for our shortcomings, weaknesses or mistakes. If we mess up or do something that brings harm to another, we have no one but ourselves to blame and we must face the consequences resulting from those actions. No ifs, ands or buts and no whining…
We acknowledge the cycles of nature, the lunar phases and the seasons to celebrate our spirituality and to worship the divine. It is a belief system that allows the Witch to work with, not in supplication to deities with the intent of living in harmony and achieving balance with all things.
The spells that we do involve healing, love, harmony, wisdom and creativity. The potions that we stir might be a headache remedy, a cold tonic, or an herbal flea bath for our pets. We strive to gain knowledge of and use the natural remedies placed on this earth by the divine for our benefit instead of using synthetic drugs unless absolutely necessary.
Wiccan believe that the spirit of the One, Goddess and God exist in all things. In the trees, rain, flowers, the sea, in each other and all of natures creatures. This means that we must treat “all things” of the Earth as aspects of the divine. We attempt to honor and respect life in all its many manifestations both seen and unseen.
Wiccan learn from and revere the gift of nature from divine creation by celebrating the cycles of the sun, moon and seasons. We search within ourselves for the cycles that correspond to those of the natural world and try to live in harmony with the movement of this universal energy. Our teachers are the trees, rivers, lakes, meadows, mountains and animals as well as others who have walked this path before us. This belief creates a reverence and respect for the environment, and all life upon the Earth.
We also revere the spirits of the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water which combine to manifest all creation. From these four elements we obtain insight to the rhythms of nature and understand they are also the rhythms of our own lives.
Because Witches have been persecuted for so many centuries, we believe in religious freedom first! We do not look at our path as the only way to achieve spirituality, but as one path among many to the same end. We are not a missionary religion out to convert new members to think the same as we do. We are willing to share our experience and knowledge with those who seek our wisdom and perspective however. We believe that anyone who is meant for this path will find it through their own search as the Goddess speaks to each of us in her time and way. Wiccan practice tolerance and acceptance toward all other religions as long as those faiths do not persecute others or violate the tenant of “Harm None.”
What Witchcraft is not:
More information about Witchcraft is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section, but in the interim, here are the main points.
Witchcraft or Wicca is not a cult. We do not proclaim ourselves to be spokespersons for the divine or try to get others to follow us as their leaders.
We do not worship Satan or consort with Demons. Satan is a Christian creation and they can keep him. We do not need a paranoid creation of supreme evil and eternal damnation to scare us into doing the right thing and helping others. We choose to do the right thing and love our brothers and sisters because it IS the right thing and it feels good to do it. I suppose it is a maturity thing.
We do not sacrifice animals or humans because that would violate our basic tenant of “Harm None.” Anyone who does and claims to be a Wiccan or a Witch is lying.
We have no need to steal or control the life force of another to achieve mystical or supernatural powers. We draw our energy from within, our personal relationship with the divine and nature.
We do not use the forces of nature or the universe to hex or cast spells on others. Again, “Harm None” is the whole of the law.
Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Three which states that whatever we send out into our world shall return to us three fold either good or bane. With this in mind, a “True Witch” would hesitate in doing magick to harm or manipulate another because that boomerang we throw will eventually come back to us much larger and harder then when we threw it.
This is not to say that Witches are perfect, we are human too just like everyone else and make mistakes and errors in judgment. Just as there are parents who love and nurture their children, there are parents who abuse their children. As there are many who devote their lives to giving and helping mankind, likewise there are those who devote their lives to taking advantage of and using people for their own gain. Unfortunately the same flaws in human nature applies to witches too.
Most of us continually strive to consider all potential outcomes of our thoughts and actions pausing to seriously consider the consequences before undertaking a ritual, spell or rite that could go astray. It is when we follow the path with the love of the Goddess in our hearts and adhere to the basic tenant of the Reed that our works are beneficial and we achieve harmony and balance with all things.
The heart of Wicca is not something summed up into a few short words and can often take on different meaning to each since the Lord and Lady touch us in different ways. To gain a fuller understanding of the Craft, I urge you visit the other pages on this site as well as following the links to a select group of exceptional Wiccan and Witchcraft sites. Through the wisdom and words set down through the ages, you will find that you are able to understand the basis of our beliefs and how they may apply to you. Your inner voice will also quickly let you know if the intent of what you are reading is for superficial purposes to benefit self instead of working to benefit the whole. Remember to read with your heart, for it is when you see life and the world with your heart and spirit that you truly gain an understanding of what Wicca is.