Instructor: Dr. Goldfinger
English 105, First Year Writing Seminar I
6 April, 2013
Patti Wigington wrote, “There's an old saying that if you ask any ten Wiccans about their religion, you'll get at least fifteen different answers” (Wigington, Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca). I have always been curious about Wicca and like so many others, I had no real idea of who they are or anything about their beliefs and practices. To answer my own questions I chose to research and write about Wicca. I must admit this exploration was very interesting and informative as it answered my questions, and provided a unique understanding of this relatively new religion. There are nearly half a million Americans practicing Wicca today. There is no one governing body over Wicca, nor is there a "Bible" that lays down a universal set of guidelines. While specifics vary from one tradition to the next, Wiccan groups share fundamentally similar ideals and beliefs (Wigington, Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca).
Wicca is a religion introduced by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Gardner's tradition was oath bound, initiatory, and secret. After a few years splinter groups began forming, and new traditions were formed. Surprisingly, Wicca is not an ancient religion, but Gardner did incorporate some old mysterious knowledge into his original tradition, including Eastern mysticism, Kabballah, and British legend (Wigington, Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca).
Wicca does not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but respect those who teach and provide leadership (Knowles). Wicca acknowledges the polarity of the Divine, which means that both the male and female deities are often honored. A Wiccan may honor a non-specific god and goddess, or they may choose to worship specific deities of their tradition such as Isis and Osiris or Apollo and Athena. Wicca view the Divine as present in nature, and so nature should be honored and respected. Everything from...