An Introduction to Wicca
Wicca is a religion based on the Celtic beliefs in a goddess (Mother Nature) and a god (Pan). Despite the fact the religion started in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, its roots date back to the days before Christianity. There have been many theories about the origins of Wicca, according to Gerald Gardner, an important figure in the in the Wiccan movement. Wicca dates back to the early days of man. Gardner believed it started as a religious ceremony associated with flames, hunting, fauna virility, bountiful crops, tribal virility and medicinal treatment. Gardner also postulated that Wicca evolved into a religion in which the practitioners worshiped a monotheistic being who was both masculine and feminine. It is also a lunar-dominated religion. According to scholars, Wicca originated in the British Isles and later spread throughout Northern Europe. Prominent figures in the Wiccan movement include Doreen Valiente (1922-1999), who revived Wicca in the United Kingdom, and Charles Leland (1824-1903) who wrote The Old Religion which documented witchcraft in Italy. The book played a major role in the modern Wiccan movement. Margaret Murray (1863-1963) also wrote an influential book suggesting that some of the witches burned by Christians during the Middle Ages were the remaining practitioners of an earlier pre-Christian religion that was both organized and dominant in Europe. However, anthropologists disagree with her ideas. In recent accounts, Wicca may be the fifth largest organized religion in the United States. This information is not recognized by the public because a majority of neopagans in the 1990’s concealed their identity to avoid discrimination in North America. But now people are more accepting of Neopaganism. Wiccans are now coming out of the closet because they feel more secure about being open about their beliefs.
Wicca includes many...