Monday, October 18, 2010

Something Wicca This Way Comes

Something Wicca This Way Comes

The religion known as Wicca does not embrace the Christian concepts of God and Satan, or sin and Hell.  With its reverence for nature and the earth, and its incorporation of goddess worship, Wicca is both a pantheistic and polytheistic religion.  Its name is the Old English term for “witch” (Although some Wiccans will vehemently argue that it derives from an old Anglo-Saxon word that means “wise one”) and its main tenet is the Wiccan Rede, which states, “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”  It is a code of ethics that most Wiccan strictly adhere to.

The beliefs in karma and reincarnation are strongly shared by Wiccans throughout the world, and whatever energies one sends out to others—whether negative or positive—are believed to be returned threefold or more to the sender.  The belief among those who follow Wicca is that if you deliberately attempt to bring harm upon others, your efforts will have self-destructive results.  In the end, the harm you bring to others will be to yourself as well. 

Wicca is not a religion that actively seeks converts.  Witches and/or Wiccans who make the rounds on talk shows during Halloween usually do so in the pursuit of bringing education and enlightenment to the masses, not for the purpose of proselytism.

Wiccans, modern witches, and others who follow neo-pagan paths seek to live in harmony with nature and Mother Earth.  Most respect the religious beliefs of others and realize that all positive spiritual paths are but different roads leading to the same light of love.  No one religion is right for everyone, and no religion—whether it be Wicca, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism—is more valid or right than the other.  Religious diversity is something that needs not only to be tolerated, but also celebrated.  The good that religion was designed to teach and maintain inevitably turns to harm when one religious group claims superiority over another or tries to deny others of their constitutional right to believe in and worship the god or goddess of their choice.

The Horned God, who represents the male polarity of nature and is honored in many Wiccan traditions is an extension of the old pagan gods of fertility and the hunt.  Worshipped throughout Great Britain and Europe for many centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ or the penning of the Bible, horned deities such as the Celtic Cernunnos and the Greek Pan were benevolent by nature and in no way linked to evil in any way, shape or form.  But with the advent of Christianity, the gods of the old religion were diabolized into the devils and demons of the new religion in the Church’s early effort to convert the pagan population to the ways and beliefs of Christianity.  As a result, the horns, hooves, and goatish beards of the old horned gods became the attributes of the Christians’ diabolical Prince of Darkness, also called The Devil and Satan.

In some traditions of Wicca, the Horned God is believed to pass into the Land of the Dead at Halloween and remain there until He is once again reborn at the Winter Solstice, when the hours of night are the longest.

to be cont'd

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