A History and description of Wicca
Wicca is the largest of the Neopagan religions. Wiccans have great reverence for the Earth and for their Goddess and her consort, the horned God. Their main rule of behavior is the Wiccan Rede which forbids them from harming people, including themselves, except in some cases of self-defense. History
Depending upon how you look at Wicca, it is either one of the newest or one of the oldest religions in the world: Wicca is a recently created, Earth centered, neopagan religion. The various branches of Wicca can be traced back to Gardnerian Witchcraft which was founded in the United Kingdom during the late 1940’s. Wicca is based on the symbols, seasonal days of celebration, beliefs and deities of ancient Celtic society. Added to this material were Masonic and ceremonial magical components from recent centuries. In this respect, it is a religion whose roots go back almost three millennia to the formation of Celtic society circa 800 BCE. Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists. Thanks to archaeological discoveries, there is now a basis to believe that the origins of the Wicca 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 their view of the Goddess and God aspect of the supreme creative force and predate Christianity by roughly 28,000 years. Witchcraft in ancient history was known as "The Craft of the Wise" because most that followed the path were in tune with the forces of nature, had knowledge of Herbs and medicines, gave council and were valuable parts of the village and community as Shamanic healers and leaders. They believed that mankind is not superior to nature, the earth and its creatures but instead are simply one of the many parts, both seen and unseen that combine to make the whole. These people believed that what was taken or used must be returned in kind to maintain balance and equilibrium. Wiccans believe that modern man with all his applied learning and technology has forgotten this. It’s subsequently believed that humans currently face ecological disaster and eventual extinction because of our hunger for power and a few pieces of gold. Deities; Gods and Goddesses
Depending upon one's point of view, Wicca can be considered a monotheistic, duotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, or atheistic religion. Monotheistic Wiccans recognize a single supreme being, sometimes called “The All” or “The One”. The God and Goddess are viewed as the male and female aspects of the single deity respectively. Duotheistic Wiccans worship the Lady and the Lord. Wiccans that are polytheistic recognize the existence of many ancient Gods and Goddesses. The Gods and Goddesses they recognize include Artemis, Hecate, Isis, Pan, Thor, Aphrodite, and many more. The henotheistic Wiccans believe that the many ancient deities as being aspects of the Lady and the Lord, and view the latter as the male and female aspects of “The One.” Finally some Wiccans see the God and Goddess of Wicca simply as symbols. These Wiccans can be considered Atheists, as technically they don’t have a God in their religious beliefs. Reincarnation
Similar to the variations in theological views, there are various perceptions about afterlife among various Wiccan groups. All of them believe that the human soul reincarnates a number of times to learn new lessons, and raise itself on moral strengths and spiritual knowledge through every birth. However, for some of them, a soul is born as a human being every time,...
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