What is Wicca?
Wicca is a neo-pagan religion based on the pre-Christian traditions of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Its origins can be traced even further back to Paleolithic peoples who worshiped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess. Cave paintings found in France (and dated at 30,000 years old) depict a man with the head of a stag, and a woman with a swollen pregnant belly. They stand in a circle with eleven mortals. These archetypes of the divine are worshiped by Wiccans to this very day. By these standards, the religion that is now called Wicca is perhaps the oldest religion in the world.
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 that whole.
Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious, and balanced way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists. Wicca celebrates The Divine presence in all of nature, we honor and respect all life. Everything from animals and plants to trees and rocks is elements of the sacred. The Divine is also present in all of us. We are all sacred beings, and interaction with The Divine is not limited just to priest or a select group of individuals.
Witchcraft is a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and free will of the individual; as well as, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature. Most importantly it teaches responsibility. We learn to accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as clearly a result of the choices we have made.
To work with, not in supplication to deities with the intent of living in harmony and achieving balance with all things. Wiccans 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 connection with the divine.
What Wicca is not
There are many misconceptions floating around the world about Wiccan beliefs and ethics. Here are just a few misconceptions. We would like to offer to you a better understanding of our beliefs.
Witchcraft or Wicca is not a cult. We do not proclaim ourselves to be spokesmen for the divine nor attempt to get others to follow us as their leader.
Do Wiccans worship the Devil? No. Wiccans do not believe in the Devil, and therefore they do not worship an entity know as Satan.
Do Wiccans make animal sacrifices? No. All life and nature are sacred to Wiccan/Pagans. They live by the law "and it harms none, do what ye will". This means no harm to anyone or thing.
We do not 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.
Wiccans believe in the same All-Spirit or God as the other major Faiths of the World. They simply call it Spirit.