Wicca is considered a polytheistic religion because it embraces two gods, namely
the Goddess and the God. In Wicca, the Goddess and God represent the balance
and harmony of nature, with the two generally being viewed as equals. The
Goddess is symbolized by the moon, the God by the sun.
Even so, Wicca is not as polytheistic as the old religions of Europe, which had
large pantheons of gods and goddesses. To fill in the gaps, the other goddesses
and gods are often included as aspects of (names of, or sides of) the Goddess or
the God. In essence, this is saying that all gods are the God, and all goddesses
are the Goddess. In this way, Wiccans may choose the gods of old that they are
drawn to and it is still perceived as worshiping the same primary deities.
The above refers to Orthodox Traditional Wicca (Wicca in its 1953 form). Some
of today’s traditions have a different theology. Some downplay or completely
eliminate “the God” deity from practice while others welcome the old gods from
Celtic, Greco-Roman, and Egyptian pantheons on their own behalf, without
treating them as aspects of the unnamed goddess and god.
Some descriptions of Wiccan theology may sound sexist compared to what is acceptable today. Wicca is a religion with close ties to both nature and fertility, and the sexes are a vital function of nature. Wicca is not demeaning to either sex. In nature, both sexes are essential to survival.
Because Christianity is a patriarchal religion (male god), people sometimes have
trouble relating to the Wiccan female god, the Goddess. With a little bit of adjusted thought about the role of gods, the Goddess being female can make a lot of sense.
The role of the Goddess is to bring and nurture life, which is very similar to a
woman’s typical role of bearing children and caring for them. All things of life are the children of the Goddess; hence, she is our mother, which relates well with a feminine deity image.
The role of the God is hunter, protector, and provider, which is similar to a man’s
typical role in nature. Another significant role of the God is to fertilize the
Goddess so she can bring life. In their joining, the circle of life is completed and
that which is born lives and dies to be reborn again.
Wicca treats the forces of nature with respect and mysticism. The role of the
Elements Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in Wiccan practice varies by tradition. Some
see them as terrestrial deities, others as aspects of the Goddess and God. The
alignment of the Elements with the directions North, East, South and West plays
a significant role in formal ritual.
Many traditions also regard a 5th element, Spirit. The element Spirit is often seen
as representing the Goddess and God although this too varies by tradition.
Wicca regards nature as sacred and magickal and is very much tied to the earth,
nature and magick. The holidays of Wicca, known as Sabbats, relate to nature
and its seasons, fertility and harvests.
Wicca is unique in that there are no long lists of rules laid down as to how we are
to live our lives. There are only two dogmas in Wicca that are common to all
Wiccan traditions. These two are the Wiccan Rede, and the Law of Threefold
Return. Beyond these two, the individual traditions have their own doctrines
and accepted beliefs.
The Wiccan Rede is “Do as thee will, an harm thee none”. The Law of Threefold
Return is “That which one sends into the world returns to the sender threefold”.
These are detailed in a later chapter.
Book of Shadows
The individual traditions keep their own doctrine of accepted beliefs and
practices known as a Book of Shadows. In Orthodox Wiccan traditions the Book
of Shadows is commonly kept secret and gradually revealed during the process
of the year and a day training. Reformed traditions generally publish their Book
of Shadows for anyone to read. In eclectic practice it is common to keep a scrapbook of personal practice and refer to it as a Book of Shadows. Some traditions also have practitioners keep a spell book which is referred to as a ‘Personal Book of Shadows’. Modern authors often confuse this with the tradition’s Book of Shadows. Most traditions have very specific rules as to what may be added to, or removed from their Book of Shadows.
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Altar Supplies & Wiccan Supplies-Moon's Light Magic