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By Witchipedia, Magical Religions and Spiritual Paths

What is a Wicca Religion & its Traditions

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Wicca is a modern Pagan mystery religion that was introduced to the public in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner. It combines traditional British folk magic beliefs with early 20th-century hermetic ritual practices into a dynamic whole.

Much of its folkloric history is based on the work of Archaeologist Margaret Murray. Wicca is a Witchcraft tradition, meaning Wiccans are taught and encouraged to practice Witchcraft as part of their spiritual experience and religious expression.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Wicca is a modern pagan religion that emerged in the mid-20th century, drawing inspiration from various witchcraft and nature-based traditions.

Wiccans worship a Goddess and a God, symbolizing the divine feminine and masculine aspects of nature, and often revere the cycles of the moon and the seasons in their rituals.

One key aspect of Wicca is the ethical principle known as the Wiccan Rede, which promotes harm none and do as you will, emphasizing the importance of responsible and positive actions.

Wiccan traditions can vary widely, with some adherents following specific paths like Gardnerian, Alexandrian, or Dianic Wicca, each with its own unique rituals, symbols, and beliefs.

Who is a Wiccan?

The word Wiccan used as a noun refers to an individual that belongs to the religion Wicca. As an adjective, the word Wiccan is used to describe anything relating to Wicca.

For example, a Wiccan ritual, a Wiccan altar, a Wiccan esbat, a Wiccan Sabbat, the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. Wicca itself is occasionally described as “the Wiccan religion”.

For an exceptionally redundant example: “Stacy is a Wiccan, she discovered Wicca 10 years ago and joined our Wiccan coven last month.”

Wiccan Traditions

Many Wiccan traditions and offshoots of the original came into being as new covens were formed. Each Wiccan coven is an autonomous unit led by a High Priest and/or High Priestess and specific beliefs and practices differ between covens.

Generally, Wiccans are dualists and honor a God and a Goddess who exist cooperatively. In some cases, these are two parts of the same being.

All other Gods and Goddesses are different aspects of this God and Goddess. There are some variations on this. The Goddess is usually identified as the three-part “Maiden, Mother, Crone” Goddess who advances through these three life stages as the year progresses.

She is associated with the moon and magick. The God, often identified as the Horned God, is associated with wild places, animals and death. He is at various points throughout the year her child, then her lover and then he dies and the cycle begins again.

Wiccan moral and value system is summed up by The Wiccan Rede, though many people disagree on the interpretation of certain parts of it. Some covens still abide by The Old Laws, but some do not.

Wiccans gather at defined times during the year. An Esbat is a gathering that takes place on a monthly basis, usually during the full moon.

A Sabbat is a special feast day, a holiday. Wiccans celebrate 8 of these. The Wiccan liturgical calendar is often referred to as The Wheel of the Year.

More Information

Websites

Books

These selections offer a look at a few of the different flavors of Wicca.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
  • Cunningham’s classic introduction to Wicca is about how to live life magically, spiritually, and wholly attuned with nature.
  • Scott Cunningham (Author)
SaleBestseller No. 3
SaleBestseller No. 4
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick)
  • Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick) [Paperback] Raymond Buckland (Author) Complete Book of Witchcraft (Llewellyn’s Practical Magick) – BRAND NEW from Hibiscus Express
  • Buckland, Raymond (Author)
SaleBestseller No. 5
Bestseller No. 6
SaleBestseller No. 7
SaleBestseller No. 8
SaleBestseller No. 9
SaleBestseller No. 10
Wicca Sticker Book: More than 400 Magickal & Mystical Stickers (The Modern-Day Witch)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages – 10/03/2023 (Publication Date) – Sterling Ethos (Publisher)

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About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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