Credit: The Wicca Cookbook by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt
- Wicca, also known as the Craft, or simply the Old Religion, is a nature-based religion; close in ideology to Native American and shamanistic traditions.
- As an earth-centered religion, its origins predate Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The knowledge of Wicca is derived from the movement of the sun, moon, stars, and the cycles of the seasons.
- No hard or fast rules exist in Wicca. It is not based on a degree or a set of beliefs, but rather on a practice of aligning oneself with the natural forces of life. Wiccans recognize the innate presence of divinity in the natural world, each individual, and the cycle of the seasons.
- Within Wicca are eight holidays, each holding a sacred place on the Great Solar Wheel of the Year, also known as the Mandala of Nature. The sabbats give way to each other like the changing of the seasons. Each sabbat is celebrated with corresponding symbols, traditional foods, herbs, and ritual invocation of the Divine power through the creation of sacred space.
- Great value is placed on personal creativity, poetry, and artful integration of different myths and ritual elements. Therefore, you are encouraged to add to or create a ceremony or meditation that reflects your feelings and understanding.
- Wiccans take part in ceremonies and rituals as a means of performing white magic for healing purposes. White magic is positive, and used only to promote good and healing. The innate good within Wiccan magic transforms negativity, allowing the old to die and make room for the new. The cycle change of the seasons in nature and in human life is seen as the essential erotic dance of life, death, and rebirth. The new growth comes from death and destruction of old ideas, past pain, and bad habits, just as the greenest plants grow best from a pile of compost.
- Each ceremony is as unique as the Wiccan performing it, but it will be your own personality that adds a unique dimension to each magical incantation, providing the meaning and resonance. The tools just enhance the process and help you focus.
- When you perform rituals, you will be invoking sacredness into being. Whether you are holding ritual ceremonies, casting spells, or working with symbols, always keep a positive goal in mind. One commonly held Wiccan belief is the three-fold law; whatever you do comes back to you three times. The first rule of all Wiccan traditions “harm to none”. Wicca is truly a joyous religion with reverence for the benevolent Divine Source who gives lovingly in abundance.
- Rituals remind us of the deep spirituality found in everyday life, as well as in sacred ceremony. Rituals recognize and honor the moon, the sun, the Goddess, the God, the sabbats, and more. The offer guidelines for honoring the changing seasons, planetary cycles, and the Mother. All Wiccan rituals welcome a personal touch as each practitioner contemplates the higher power within and surrounding them. Through rituals, Wiccans work magic that takes them beyond the human limitations of mind and substance, creating a sacred connection with Spirit.