Beginning: No one founder, Wicca has it’s roots in 19th century Britain. It was partly inspired by Margaret Murray (1862-1963) and founded (as a church) by Gerald Gardner (1884-1964) in 1939.
Witchcraft: Thanks to archaeological discoveries, we now have basis to believe that the origins of our belief system can be traced even further back to the Paleolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess. With the discovery of these cave paintings, estimated to be around 30,000 years old, depicting a man with the head of a stag, and a pregnant woman standing in a circle with eleven other people, it can reasonably be assumed that Witchcraft is one of the oldest belief systems known in the world today. These archetypes are clearly recognized by Wiccan as our view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years making it a mere toddler in the spectrum of time as we know it. The Celtic Connection, wicca.com
Ge. 10: 8. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
10. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
The God of the Witches, chapter 1, “The Horned God”, Margaret Murray
“The horned man is drawn on the upper part of the wall of the cave, below and around him are representations of animals painted in the masterly manner characteristic of the Palaeolithic artist. It seems evident from the relative position of all the figures that the man is dominant and that he is in the act of performing some ceremony in which the animals are concerned. The ceremony appears to consist of a dance with movements of the hands as well as the feet. It is worth noting that though the pictures of the animals are placed where they can easily be seen by the spectator the horned man can only be viewed from that part of the cavern which is most difficult of access. This fact suggests that a great degree of sanctity was attached to this representation, and that it was purposely placed where it was screened from the gaze of the vulgar.”
“A godling, who is found in all parts of Babylonia and at all periods of her history, is a two−horned male
figure, known as Enkidu. He is represented as fighting with animals, or holding a staff, but his special duty is to guard the door. He has a man's head with two horns, his body is human, and from the waist down he is a bull. Sometimes the legs appear to be human, but the hoofs are always clearly indicated, and the tail also is a marked feature. In short, he answers to the usual description of the Christian devil in having horns, hoofs and a tail. But in the eyes of the early Babylonians he was far from being a devil, and his image−sometimes the whole figure, sometimes the head only−was worn as a charm against all evil and ill−luck. He was credited with great prophylactic powers; so much so that such charms were in use throughout Babylonia.”
She wrote the introduction to Gerald Gardner’s book Witchcraft Today in which she says;
“The cult worships a Horned God, representing death, and a moon goddess hitherto unknown in books on witchcraft, representing fertility and rebirth. The male priest in the role of the Horned God presides at Hallowe’en and February Eve Sabbats, while the priestess acting as the Moon Goddess conducts the May and August Eve Sabbats.”
Wicca: Founded by Gerald Gardner. From his book Witchcraft Today:
This god of death and hunting, or his representative, seems at one time to have taken the lead in the cult, and man became the master. But it is emphasized that because of her beauty, sweetness and goodness, man places woman, as the god placed the goddess, in the chief place, so that woman is dominant in the cult practice. (Semiramis dominated as Queen of Heaven above that of Nimrod)
What probably happened was this: there was an organised tribal religion, with a male tribal god, and
an order of priestesses and their husbands who looked after the magic. The chief priest of the tribal
cult was dominant when he attended their meetings, but in his absence the priestess ruled. My witches
speak of him as god of 'Death and what lies beyond': by this they not only mean the life in the next
world but resurrection (or reincarnation). ed: Egyptian equivalent of Ra.
Pg.24 from Witchcraft Today re: proof this is about Semiramis
Before an initiation a charge is read beginning: Listen to the words of the Great Mother, who of old
was also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite and many other names. At
mine altars the youth of Lacedaemon made due sacrifice. Once in the month, and better it be when the
moon is full, meet in some secret place and adore me, who am queen of all the magics ....
From the Church and School of Wicca website: http://www.wicca.org/Church/WiccaOutline.html
A. The Deity is immanent and transcendent.
B. Every living entity has a spirit which is connected to and part of every other spirit. Humans are part of Nature.
C. Divinity manifests itself through all living beings. Nature itself is divine, as is the Cosmos.
D. God and goddess images are recognized as aspects of a greater divinity.
Romans 1: 22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
View on Jesus: http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/wicca-beliefs-jesus.html
Most Wiccans have a lot of respect for Jesus... despite our understandable wariness of the religion supposedly created in his name.
Jesus himself was a highly advanced spiritual person, a great sage and saint. He taught not only in the Middle East, it seems, but throughout India where he is revered as an incarnation of the Buddha.
In the same way, most Wiccans admire his teachings, and admit them to be similar to Wiccan ideals and practices.
In fact, there are Christian Witches who revere Jesus (and even more who revere Mary, by the way).
Where Wicca disagrees with orthodox Christianity are the notions that:
- Jesus was "THE one and only" enlightened being, rather than one among many sages
- He is the only son of God, rather than a son of humanity like all of us
- He came to redeem us from innate sinfulness, rather than to point the way to the Divine
- He died and rose physically in a body
- Worshipping him is the one and only way to attain the Divine.
Beliefs on Heaven:
“Witches generally believe that Heaven and Hell are all around us, all the time, depending on how we live. We create Heaven in the world, and we create Hell in the world, by our actions and choices.”
Beliefs on Hell:
“But Witches don't believe in Heaven and Hell as physical places. If God lives in Heaven, and God is (as Jesus said and Witches believe) right here with us on Earth, this must be Heaven.
As for Hell, it's supposed to be a place where God doesn't live or rule. How could that even be! God is everywhere. The Divine is the fabric from which everything is formed.”
Dance-All the movements are rhythmic, and the accompaniment is a chant or performed by percussion instruments by which the rhythm is strongly marked. The rhythmic movements, the rhythmic sounds, and the sympathy of numbers all engaged in the same actions, induce a feeling of exhilaration, which can increase to a form of intoxication. This stage is often regarded by the worshippers as a special divine favour, denoting the actual advent of the Deity into the body of the worshipper (demonic possession). The Bacchantes of ancient Greece induced intoxication by drinking wine, and so making themselves one with their God.
Dancing the Cauldron: From Witchcraft Today
Then a cauldron (or something to represent one) is placed in the middle of the circle, spirit is put in and ignited. Various leaves, etc., are cast in. Then the Priestess stands by it in the pentacle (goddess) position. The High Priest stands on the opposite side of the cauldron, leading the chant The others stand round in a circle with torches. They are lighted at the burning cauldron and they dance round in the 'sunwise' direction, i.e. clockwise. The chant I heard was as follows, but others are sometimes used:
'Queen of the Moon, Queen of the Sun, Queen of the Heavens, Queen of the Stars,
Queen of the Waters, Queen of the Earth Bring to us the Child of Promise! (The sun, thought of as being reborn.)
It is the great mother who giveth birth to him, It is the Lord of Life who is born again.
Darkness and tears are set aside, When the Sun shall come up early.
Golden Sun of the Mountains, Illumine the Land, Light up the World,
Illumine the Seas and the Rivers, Sorrows be laid, Joy to the World.
Blessed be the Great Goddess, Without beginning, without end, Everlasting to eternity.
A. The ethical set is summarized in the Wiccan Rede: Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
If it harm none, do what you will. (Thelemite faith of Aleister Crowley)
B. Guidance is given by many earth-plane teachers and by spiritual (discarnate) guides.
C. As above so below. (Also from Aleister Crowley’s teaching) We believe spirituality to be our utmost goal. There are many who wish to change the here and now through magical workings, which is a mundane change and using your much greater abilities to affect instead of accepting today's spiritual lessons. We believe that this is derogatory to spiritual growth. We can learn much better how to accept our spiritual path and today's obstacles through meditation and working with our Guides to understand this path. We view spiritual growth as far better than mundane growth. Spiritual growth comes through knowledge and understanding--learn all you can, through books, Guides, courses, healing, etc.
To better understand the origins of "As Above, so below" and "Do What Thou Wilt" please go here: http://fredanderson.blogspot.com/2011/01/its-called-do-what-thou-wilt-alester.html
Religious Rule or Universal Law?
The Three-Fold Law is one of the basics of Wiccan belief.
Despite the name, the Three-Fold Law isn't a Wiccan law, exactly, but rather a universal spiritual principle.
We call it a law, I think, because in our respect-deficient culture we associate laws with punishment, and when what we put out comes back to us Three-fold, it often feels like we're being punished!
The Three-Fold Law is a principle understood in many spiritual traditions in various forms . . .
What you give out comes back to you 10 times.
The sins of the fathers are carried forward for 7 generations (for those who don't believe in reincarnating and reaping it in future lives).
What you do to others will be done to you. Etc.
In essence, the Three-Fold Law is this: What you give out returns to you, multiplied.
"Obey The Three-Fold Law You Should, Three Times Bad And Three Times Good"
In computer lingo, they call this: GIGO. Garbage in… garbage out.
This Wiccan law works equally well with positive choices . . .
BIBO - Beauty in… beauty out. Or JIJO - Joy. You can use Kindness, Peace, Love, Smiles, Trust . . . play around with it.