30 Facts About Wicca


Some traditions, collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca, strictly follow the initiatory lineage of Gardner and consider the term Wicca to apply only to similar traditions, but not to newer, eclectic traditions.

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Wicca often involves the ritual practice of magic, though it is not always necessary.

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Wicca is a form of Western esotericism, and more specifically a part of the esoteric current known as occultism.

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In early sources "Wicca" referred to the entirety of the religion rather than specific traditions.

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Conversely, in various forms of popular culture, such as television programs Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, the word "Wicca" has been used as a synonym for witchcraft more generally, including in non-religious and non-pagan forms.

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Common to these divergent perspectives is that Wicca's deities are viewed as forms of ancient, pre-Christian divinities by its practitioners.

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Wicca's duotheism has been compared to the Taoist system of yin and yang.

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Wicca has been seen in the roles of the Leader of the Wild Hunt and the Lord of Death.

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Scholars of religion Rodney Stark and William Bainbridge claimed in 1985 that Wicca had "reacted to secularisation by a headlong plunge back into magic" and that it was a reactionary religion which would soon die out.

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Wicca noted that Gardner, like some previous writers, viewed the witch as a "positive antitype which derives much of its symbolic force from its implicit criticism of dominant Judaeo-Christian and Enlightenment values".

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Pearson noted that Wicca "provides a framework in which the image of oneself as a witch can be explored and brought into a modern context".

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In British Traditional Wicca, "sex complementarity is a basic and fundamental working principle", with men and women being seen as a necessary presence to balance each other out.

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Many rituals within Wicca are used when celebrating the Sabbats, worshipping the deities, and working magic.

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One of Wicca's best known liturgical texts is "The Charge of the Goddess".

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Subsequently, when Wicca was first developing in the 1930s through to the 1960s, many of the early groups, such as Robert Cochrane's Clan of Tubal Cain and Gerald Gardner's Bricket Wood coven adopted the commemoration of these four Sabbats as described by Murray.

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In Wicca, there is no set sacred text such as the Christian Bible, Jewish Tanakh, or Islamic Quran, although there are certain scriptures and texts that various traditions hold to be important and influence their beliefs and practices.

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Pearson noted that "Wicca has evolved and, at times, mutated quite dramatically into completely different forms".

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Wicca has been "customized" to the various national contexts into which it has been introduced; for instance, in Ireland, the veneration of ancient Irish deities has been incorporated into Wicca.

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Lineaged Wicca is organised into covens of initiated priests and priestesses.

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Eclectic Wicca is not necessarily the complete abandonment of tradition.

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Eclectic approaches to Wicca often draw on Earth religion and ancient Egyptian, Greek, Saxon, Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Asian, Jewish, and Polynesian traditions.

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Wicca termed this "New Age Witchcraft", and compared individuals involved in this to the participants in the New Age.

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Wicca was founded in England between 1921 and 1950, representing what the historian Ronald Hutton called "the only full-formed religion which England can be said to have given the world".

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Wicca concluded that the idea that medieval revels were pagan in origin is a legacy of the Protestant Reformation.

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Wicca claimed to have been initiated into a witches' coven in New Forest, Hampshire, in the late 1930s.

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Many notable figures of early Wicca were direct initiates of this coven, including Dafo, Doreen Valiente, Jack Bracelin, Frederic Lamond, Dayonis, Eleanor Bone, and Lois Bourne.

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Around this time, the term "Wicca" began to be commonly adopted over "Witchcraft" and the faith was exported to countries like Australia and the United States.

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Wicca's suggested that this might be because Wicca's emphasis on a female divinity was more novel to people raised in Protestant-dominant backgrounds.

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Wicca emerged in predominantly Christian England, and from its inception the religion encountered opposition from certain Christian groups as well as from the popular tabloids like the News of the World.

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Some Christians still believe that Wicca is a form of Satanism, despite important differences between these two religions.

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