The Truth About Witchcraft
You can't always believe what you hear; case in point when it comes to Wicca/Witchcraft. Some say that it is the work of the devil while others say it is a nature-based religion of peace. So what is the truth behind this "alternative" faith? I will answer some of the most asked questions about the religion of Wicca, in order to bring the truth to the forefront.
Do Wiccans/Witches cast spells? Yes, most do but some do not. The "casting" of spells is the Wiccan form of prayer to the higher being, which is referred to as the Goddess and her consort the God. Spell casting has nothing to do with the Devil or anything evil, since Wiccans do not believe in the Devil and they also follow the rule of three.
The Rule of Three; what exactly does that mean? Witches/Wiccans follow a basic law and it has many different names. Some of the different names are: The three-fold law, the Wiccan Rede, or the Rule of three. This is basically the same thing as karma. Wiccans believe that anything you do will return to you times three, no matter if it is good or bad. The Wiccan Rede states "An it harm none, do as ye will". This basically states that you can do what you want as long as you don't harm anyone or try to bring harm to anyone. Then comes the rule of three, because if you do harm it will end up biting you in the butt three-fold.
Why do some Wiccans refer to themselves as "Witches"? There are several reasons for this. First, not all Witches are actually Wiccan. This means they don't follow the Wiccan Rede, but most of the rituals and beliefs are similar to Wicca. And yes, there are people that label themselves "Witch" and try to practice bad magick or do bad things. Second, not all Wiccans like to be labeled a "Witch" because they tend to feel in that case there is too much emphasis placed on the magick aspect instead of the actual faith. Third, this can be a personal preference. Just like there are different sectors in other religions, the same can be said for Wicca, especially Paganism. Some see the word "witch" as a different segment of the Pagan religion just as there are many kinds of Christians.
If Wiccans/Witches don't worship or believe in the Devil, why is the God of the religion the Horned God? The Devil is a Christianized concept that was actually derived from a word found in the old testament "s'tn". This word was derived from the Hebrew verb "satan" which actually means "to oppose". The early Christian church ended up translating the word to "diabolic" and from there it was transformed into the English term of "diabolic" or "devil". The Horned God is the consort of the Goddess and he is actually the Lord of the animals and the forest, as well as being associated with hunting. He actually represents the masculine side of everything in the universe. He has several names in each sector or Paganism such as Pan, Cerrunnos, and Ammon. Basically, it all boils down to the fact that since Wiccans don't believe in the Christian Devil, there is no way they can worship it or him. The Pagan Horned God has been turned into something he is not, and in no way does he represent the Devil.
Why do some Wiccans/Witches wear a pentagram? Doesn't that represent evil? The pentagram is actually an encircled pentacle. Each of the five points stands for something. The top point is for the spirit, while the other four points represent earth, air, fire, and water. Most Wiccans that perform rituals will tend to have some form of the pentacle or pentagram in their ritual as well as possibly on a necklace or other jewelry. The pentagram is seen as a form of protection from evil and negativity. Even though it is mostly seen as being used by Wiccans, it is actually used by various cultures around the world. The Pentagram can also be found in Christian history. In early history, Christians used to wear the pentagram (before the cross came into being) and associated the five points to the five wounds of Christ. Other cultures that have used the pentacle or pentagram include: the Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks, and various cultures in India and China. The Pentagram has also been found in Neolithic cave drawings and Babylonian drawings. For some reason today, the use of the pentagram by Wiccans is seen as evil while on the other hand the use of the symbol by the Freemasons is seen as good.
Do Witches really use a broom? Yes, some Wiccans/Witches do use a broom to cleanse their ritual circle or to sweep away negativity. They do not in any way possess the power of flight and so the cartoon version of a witch riding a broomstick is just that, a cartoon.
If Wiccans/Witches are supposed to be earth loving, why aren't all of them vegetarian? Being a vegetarian is a decision, not a requirement of Wicca. Some Wiccans are true vegetarians, while others are semi-vegetarian. On the other hand, some Wiccans that do eat meat only consume the "organic" meats that do not use antibiotics or hormones. This however, is not a requirement of the religion and anyone is free to choose to eat what they want. Being earth loving does not necessarily mean that you have to be a vegetarian.
Why do you see some Wiccans/Witches dressed very oddly? This is a personal preference yet again. It is kind of the same concept as the Catholic priests that wear a "uniform" but the Pentecostal minister that does not. Some High Priestesses do wear different clothing, depending on their outlook of the religion. Solitary Wiccans/Witches also follow their own thoughts on what to wear or what not to wear. Some tend to wear all black while others tend to wear jeans and a t-shirt. Yes, it is the one that dresses differently that stands out but this is the case in any situation, not just in Wicca. Most present day Wiccans/Witches dress just like the average person and tend to blend into the rest of society. For all any of us know, the person in the cubicle beside you at work could be a Wiccan/Witch and you may never realize that they are.
Why do Wiccans/Witches tend to spell magic with a "K" at the end? There is a very simple answer to this; Wiccans spell the word with a "k" to distinguish it from the common word "magic". The use of the common word "magic" refers to an illusion or a slight of hand.
Why do Wiccans/Witches celebrate so many "holidays"? Wiccans follow what is called the Wheel of the Year. There are eight seasonal celebrations called Sabbats. They show the cycle of the earth and sun during the agricultural cycle. The eight Sabbats represent the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth through nature. The new year for the religion of Wicca is called Samhain, which is also during the time of Halloween. Since Wiccans celebrate and nurture the earth and nature, they celebrate with each change of the season throughout the year with the various Sabbats. The Sabbats mark certain times to do things, as well as certain times to than the great Goddess and God or to ask for help and guidance in the times ahead. It is no different than celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, or any other religious holiday.
So there are the basic myths about Wicca and Witchcraft, busted. For some, any information such as what was given above will not change their outlook of the hidden "evils" of the Craft. However, through education and religious tolerance we can continue to de-bunk the misconceptions of all alternative religions; not just Wicca or Paganism. As the Wiccans say, "Blessed be and live free".