For those who are under 18 and/or living with someone that forbids the practice of Wicca or other Pagan paths in their home, please respect their wishes. You can privately study other religions or paths until you turn 18, or until you move into your own place. At this point you will be free to openly follow the path you feel is best for you without causing so much stress to those around you.
You may also want to read the following post:
Sharing Pagan Beliefs with Christian Friends and Family
Like so many others, I grew up surrounded by Christian friends and family. Thus, when I was introduced to Wicca and Witchcraft in 1997. I had a lot of misinformation to deal with before I could truly embrace these paths.
As I connected with Wiccans and Witches around the world, I discovered a warm, open-minded and very tolerant group of people. Some shared their love of aromatherapy, herbs or gardening with me, while others enjoyed talking about their connection with animals. Virtually everyone enjoyed the outdoors and had a deep respect for our Mother Earth. Contrary to what I had been taught in church, I found no “evil” in their beliefs or practices.
Continue reading A 20 Year Journey Into Wicca
What is a “Spiritual Tourist”? I recently stumbled upon this interesting topic in our forums. The concern was whether or not a person should be taking parts of different paths and religions that they liked to weave together into their own religious path. I wanted to share my thoughts on this topic.
Continue reading Are You a Spiritual Tourist?
A tourist is described as someone who travels. Most of us do this for pleasure. We want to explore new places, learn new things and expand our horizons. If a person wants to explore different religious beliefs, they can be described as a religious or spiritual tourist. I use the term SPIRITUAL tourist because RELIGIOUS tourist usually refers to those who travel to PLACES. In this article, we are focused on visiting the BELIEFS or traditions and practices of other religions, not their locations.
One of the first things you discover when you begin to explore a Wiccan or Pagan path is that there are many different deities honored in these traditions. How do you know who to connect with? Are some gods or goddesses better than others? Many of us grew up being told there was only one true divine power. How can we be sure all these old deities are even real?
Continue reading Will the Real God and Goddess Please Stand Up
Choosing a Craft Name
In Wicca, choosing a Craft name for use in ritual or magic is a common practice. Some Witches take names associated with their branch of the Craft (Welsh names in Welsh traditions, Saxon names in Saxon traditions, etc.). Others try to choose a name that reflects their personality or describes their interests or feelings. Selecting a name associated with a goal you are striving for is also a good option.
In some traditions, if you are in a Coven, your Craft name may be given to you by a Coven member. However, if you follow an eclectic path, you can choose whether or not you want a Craft name and what you want it to be. The choice is yours. You get to choose what you want to be known as before your God and Goddess. This is your chance to redefine who you are or who you want to become.
I chose the name Kardia Zoe because I was studying the Greek language at the time, and it reminded me to write from my heart (Kardia) when I write about life (Zoe). Today it’s easy to go online and find the meaning of words in other languages, so the possibilities are endless!
Just remember that energy follows thought, and a name that makes you think and feel about something positive, will be more likely to draw positive energy to you, than a name like Dark Cloud or Stormy. You might want to identify yourself with the name of something that you have a strong association with. A type of animal, tree, plant, or crystal are a few more examples.
The choice is yours. You can decide the name you want to adopt as your own. You may want to change it again when circumstances in your life change, or you may want to stick with it forever. Just remember, you are describing who you really are (or want to become) so choose your Craft name wisely!
Most every Wiccan is familiar with the Wiccan Rede and Law of Three. Through them we learn the basic principles of Wicca.
The Full Wiccan Rede begins with “Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust. Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.” And it is summed up with the well known “An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”
Growing up around Christians, I often heard this interpreted as “They have no morals … they just do whatever they want!” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Harming none means treating ALL things with respect, from the smallest of creatures to the Earth herself. It’s a responsibility we do our best to honor. Harm None includes yourself too. If you deny your body proper nutrition or rest, your health wanes and the energies that would normally flow through your life can get blocked. You are actually cutting yourself off from the Divine! Do your best to uphold this law at all times. IAs long as your thoughts and actions harm none, the Divine is fine with what you choose to do.
Wiccans and Witches also know that whatever energy or actions they send out, whether it be negative or positive, will come back to them threefold. This is known as the Law of Threefold Return or Law of Three. This Universal Law is also sometimes referred to as the Law of Return, the Law of Attraction, or Karma. No matter what path you choose to follow, you should understand that the thoughts and actions you send out into the Universe will come back to you in kind and often three times more intensely.
We’ll touch on the Wiccan Rede and Law of Three throughout this blog. Always keep them in your heart as you explore your path in depth.
Wicca and Witchcraft
When someone begins to learn about Wicca it’s easy to confuse Wicca and Witchcraft. We would like to clarify that while these two paths are similar in many respects, they are not the same. A person can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist. Wicca is recognized as a religion, while Witchcraft itself is not. Thus, Wicca might best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions.
Wicca’s temples are the forests, meadows, beaches and deserts. It is a peaceful and positive religion based on a kinship with nature. We celebrate life, and honor the universal energies of the Goddess and God in all things. One of he best summaries of the path can be found in an article written by the late webmaster of The Celtic Connection. He writes “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.” Excerpt from What is Wicca by Herne
Today, Wicca is a religion with many variations. In this blog, we will offer generalities about Wicca and Witchcraft in an effort to create an understanding of the nature of the path. Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magic; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magical circles for ritual purposes.
If you would like to learn a little more about Wicca and Witchcraft, we have provided a FAQ page (too lengthy to include here) with answers to many of the more common questions about these nature-based paths.
Helpful Tips on Finding a Teacher
When someone develops an interest in Wicca or the Old Ways, they almost always look for someone to guide them. Our parents began teaching us at birth, and as we grew, there were many teachers to guide us in our education. This process has become so ingrained in us that most believe the only way to learn is to seek out another person to teach us.
If you want to simply focus on learning traditions and rituals, a teacher can be helpful. However if you truly want to connect with the Divine and work with the energies of your Mother Earth, you will find your perfect teacher is WITHIN you. As you journey down this path, listen to that quiet voice when it whispers to your heart. Trust it. It is the Goddess herself sharing her ancient wisdom, trying to point you in the right direction. If you allow her to guide your steps, you’ll never be lead astray.
We will always encourage you to open yourself up to that inner voice, because we firmly believe that the Divine did not record the Universal Laws in books, but in our hearts, in our spirits and in the living things around us. Never forget that the Divine is already within you and allow the power of the Goddess and God to flow through you and transform your life as you walk your Wiccan or Pagan path.
The late webmaster of wicca.com published a wonderful article on finding a teacher or coven. He wrote “When your comfort level with the concepts of the Pagan path has grown to the point where you are certain that this is the lifestyle you wish to follow, you will undoubtedly wish to share that fellowship with others of like mind and spirit. To avoid being drawn into a group where the intent is less than honorable, there are a couple of things that may assist you in avoiding contact with the nuts out there.” Read the complete article on Finding a Teacher.