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FAQ's

Finally, let's get some answers!

Some of these questions are from books, and others are from various webpages that I visited. I chose the questions that I thought coincide with my beliefs best. Therefore, they don't reflect the views of all Wiccans, but they do give a good idea of what it's all about.
 
 



-What is a Wiccan?
One who follows the earth based religion known as Wicca; worships at least one aspect of the triple Goddess, and (sometimes) Her Consort, the Horned God. Wiccans often call themselves "witches". A wiccan would never dream of harming anything, be it beast, earth or mankind. In short, Wicca is a benign religion. Although there is a lot of variation between different Wiccans' and their beliefs, most believe in the Threefold Law, what you send forth comes back threefold, and the Wiccan Rede, which states, as long as it causes no harm, (even to yourself), do as you may.

-What is a Witch?
One who practices a way of life consistent with the natural rhythms of the earth. Witches have a reverence and respect for their ancestors (lineal, collateral or adopted) and contrary to popular conceptions of witches, and witchcraft; there is no blood sacrifice, worshiping of Satan, or trafficking in abortion. In fact, most "witches" go to great lengths to not stand out in their dress or mannerisms.
Pagans, Witches or Wiccans usually do not recognize an "evil" being such as "Satan" or the like. Most believe that good and evil live together and dwell together in all of us and it is up to the individual to decide how they are to live. Even our Goddesses and Gods are not totally "good" or "evil" as in nature everything is balanced.

-Is Wicca a cult?
Wicca is not a "cult." A cult presupposes blind faith in a central figure whose every word is regarded as ultimate truth, and the utter conviction that no other way or philosophy will lead to this truth. You would be very hard pressed to find a Wiccan anywhere who would blindly follow anyone else. Wiccans are historically very independent people who seek truth from within through rituals, meditation, magic, studying and communing with nature. Wiccans respect the right of everyone to worship in their own way. We do not feel that Wicca is the only way -- only that it is our way.

-Are Wiccans Satan Worshippers?
Wicca is not synonymous with Satan worship. The very concept of a supreme evil spirit is alien to Wicca. In fact, most Wiccans do not even believe in Satan. The devil is a Judeo-Christian construct and as such, it has nothing to do with Wicca. The notion that witches worship Satan was propounded by the Roman Catholic Church as it made its way across Europe, in an effort to suppress the native earth-based religions prevalent at the time. They succeeded to the extent that they drove the practitioners of these religions underground where much of their knowledge and traditions were lost. Through the work of the Golden Dawn, as well as anthropological and archeological research, many of these traditions have been rediscovered and incorporated into Neo-Paganism, an umbrella term for most modern earth-based and shamanistic religions.

-Can Wiccans/Witches really fly on broomsticks?
Wicca does not include flying on brooms. Mostly, witches drive cars or ride bikes, although I have often wished for a flying broom when I'm caught in rush-hour traffic. One little 15-year-old witch gets around on skates quite well, and although she sometimes seems to fly, she seldom gets more than an inch or two off the ground. There are many rituals which include brooms, however, and these may be the source of the flying-broomstick stories. In parts of Europe, some people run across their fields astride a broom to coax the grain to grow. They may also jump over a broom handle asking the grain to grow as high as their highest leap. It is also common for a ceremonial broom to be used to sweep away negative forces from any area one wishes to cleanse.

-Can Witches cast spells?
Yes, of course we can but then, so can non-Witches. A spell is a form of prayer. I think the problem here is semantics. The edge Witches have is that we are taught how to cast spells (or prayers) in ways that are more likely to be effective. We learn how to invest ENERGY into our spells. We have learned over the centuries how best to use that ENERGY to carry out our wishes. We learn how to plan spells during astrologically beneficial times and to use herbs, oils, resins, candles and colors that are sympathetic to our aims...harmony you see. We learn how to concentrate our own ENERGY and that of the universe, and focus it to do our bidding. We also have learned responsibility so that we do not do spells frivolously or manipulatively, but with harm to none.

If we can manipulate events why aren¹t we all rich?
I¹ve often asked myself this question! As a matter fact, Magick doesn¹t work that way. I have found in my life experience that if you truly do the best that you can, work your butt off, and allow the ENERGY to flow, something will happen to enable you to have what you need. You will probably not win the lottery, but if you really did your best, you might be offered overtime, or a part-time job, or someone might pay back a debt. Somehow, you will be given the opportunity to EARN the money that you NEE D. Notice I said NEED, not necessarily WANT, and I said EARN, not be given.

-Ok, well what about that Satanic symbol you use?
The pentagram is not Satanic. The origins of the pentagram include Pythagoras and his followers. To them, it was symbolic of health and worn to recognize one another. In Witchcraft, the five points of the pentagram correspond to the elements Air, Earth, Fire and Water, with the top point corresponding to the "Akasha" or "Spirit."
Satanists turn the Christian cross upside-down. Would this make the cross a Satanic symbol? Of course not! They also do the same with the Pentagram. Likewise, inverting the pentagram does not make it a Satanic symbol.

-Do witches Believe in Jesus?
Some Witches believe that Jesus existed, in the historical sense. Still, others believe in Jesus much the same way they view the Yule child who is reborn each year; others don't believe in Jesus at all, and for them the issue of Jesus is irrelevant. Many of my brothers and sisters feel Jesus was a genuine Divine Being who taught a path of love. And in his role as the Sacred King, gave his life so that the lives of the people would be renewed. Many Witches honor him in this way.

-Do you practice "white" or "black" Witchcraft?
Witches tend to believe these terms promote racist thinking when used to describe the morality of one's Magick. Witches are just Witches. Asking someone if they are a good Witch or bad Witch is like asking if someone is a "good" Catholic or "bad" Catholic.

-What about reports of blood sacrifices and ritual murder?
We have nothing to do with such practices. The taking of life is something we believe isn't our choice to make, and we wouldn't sacrifice another creature for our own gain. For this reason a large percentage of Witches are vegetarian. Witches maintain a deep reverence for all life. Involvement in any sort of these practices would run opposite to everything we hold sacred. It would be, quite literally, "against our religion."

-Do Witches have orgies and wild sex?
This is another misguided rumor largely perpetrated by anti-pagan propagandizers, or those who simply don't know Witches are generally quite open-minded regarding sex, and have no rules prohibiting homosexuality, nudity, or pre-marital sex. Sex is a perfectly natural act and is viewed by Witches as something sacred.

-Is it necessary to do your rituals in the nude (Skyclad in Witch speak)?
Certainly not in my opinon. There are those who think one must come before the Gods the way they were created. I think the Gods and Goddesses are with me always. They recognize me dressed or undressed. Others feel that clothing interferes with their power.  Whether or not to go Skyclad should be a decision between you, your coven (if you have one) and the weather, and the rules of good taste and public sensibilities. Keep Canada Beautiful...stay dressed!

-Do you have Initiation Rituals?
Sure, usually written for the event by the High Priest(ess) as a way of a ceremonial marking this rite of passage.

-Can you be a Witch without it?
Certainly. By the time you are to be accepted into membership in a Coven the hard lessons have been learned and the process of Initiation should be a time of joy and fellowship, not physical fear and apprehension. Solitary can self-initiate or dedicate.

-So what do Witches DO?
Pretty much the same thing as everyone else. We live our lives, and eventually pass on. We have families both directly and extended, and pay taxes as most people do. We don't preach our religion or try and force it upon others. Above all, we value personal responsibility. We hold that each of us is responsible for choosing our own words, deeds, opinions, thoughts, feelings and responses. More and more Witches are open about their beliefs, but still many others must keep their religion private for fear of persecution and intolerance. As we are a nature religion, we prefer to worship out-of-doors. We believe that no building can give us the sense of contact we feel when our bare feet rest upon the Mother Earth, or the sense of blessing we feel when a breeze caresses our skin. Being with nature brings us closer to the divinity who creates it. Unlike many other groups, we have no hidden agendas. What we seek from the rest of existence is really quite simple - that we be allowed to practice our religion without intolerance or prejudice as is our right .

-How does one get to be a Witch?
Well there are two basic ways. You can be born one or become one. Many pathways have different rules of membership, some bizarre in my opinion, and others quite lovely. Generally, one must study until one meets the regulations of the coven (s)he would like to join. Others choose to self-dedicate. Know that a few classes will not make you a Witch, and there is no easy way to become one. A responsible Witch must know a great deal, and you will spend your lifetime learning and studying. To know when to do a spell, you must have a working knowledge of astrology. You must learn color correspondences to know what color candles to burn. You must know which ENERGIES are compatible with which herbs, oils and incenses. You must understand history and mythology. You need a basic knowledge of at least one of the following, (this does not mean you have to know how to do them, just know the principles of them) palmistry, psychology, reflexology, phrenology, divination, tarot, numerology, pendulum reading, channeling, hypnosis and any other ology you can think of. Study the ancient peoples and their beliefs. Read the myths of creation. Study ancient Gods and Goddesses, prophecies, astral travel, near death experiences. Read the Christian Bible, Mormon Bible, the Jewish Kabbalah, read about Zoroaster, Muhammed, Kali, Lao Tse, Confucius, Buddha. Study the cultures which resonate with your particular path (Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, Family Tradition...whatever). In other words, study, study, study. Witchcraft is called the Craft of the WISE. Wisdom is hard-won and takes many years to gain. Those of us in the Craft have enormous respect for the CRONES amongst us. A woman becomes a Crone after age 50 or menopause (provided that she has done her homework and has studied and practiced long enough to become a truly wise person). True wisdom takes self-control as well as learning, and it takes a good knowledge of psychology and ethics to apply what you have learned with harm to none.
 



If you have any questions or comments, please email them to:
ishtar@rocketmail.com
 
 

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