Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Solo Pres: Report (Full) Section 13
Wicca as a Philosophy
By Cheyenne Reed
Wicca, like most religions, is based on ideals and morals centered on understanding. This understanding stems from the need for a reason behind the mysterious phenomenon in the world around us. Giving power to the Earth and all of the living creatures that inhabit it, including humans; elements that give and take life, causing a continuous circle revolving in perfect balance. Earth and sky. Day and night. Dark and light. One of each is not enough to keep everything constant. As the Wiccan rede states, “As ye harm none, do what ye will”. Wicca, in my opinion, is its own philosophy, as with all other religions.
Let us travel back in our lovely Tardis. Let’s say, before scientific answers that is, that a volcano erupted in your village and you wanted an explanation. Thus was born the Gods and Goddesses in the realms of mythology. This being said, mythology laid the building blocks for most every religion in the world. Every continent and every culture with its own legends, this includes the building blocks for Wicca. It was during the 1930’s that the first evidence appears for the practice of a pagan Witchcraft religion (what would be recognizable now as Wicca) in England. It seems that several groups around the country, in such places as Norfolk, Cheshire and the New Forest had set themselves up as continuing in the tradition of Murray's Witch-Cult, albeit with influences coming from disparate sources such as ceremonial magic, folk magic, Freemasonry, Theosophy, Romanticism, Druidry, classical mythology and Asian religions. However, before this point many Wiccan covens kept their rituals very secret for fear of severe persecution, such as the Salem witch trials and other such torturous events in history for people who were different so to speak. The history of modern Wicca starts with Gerald Gardner (the "Father of Wicca") in the mid-20th century. Gardner was a retired British civil servant and amateur anthropologist, with a broad familiarity in paganism and occultism. He claimed to have been initiated into a witches' coven of New Forest, Hampshire, in the late 1930’s. Intent on perpetuating this craft, Gardner founded the Bricket Wood coven with his wife Donna in the 1940’s, after buying the Naturist Fiveacres Country Club. The Witchcraft religion became more prominent beginning in 1951, with the repeal of the Witchcraft Act of 1735, after which Gerald Gardner and then others such as Charles Cardell and Cecil Williamson began publicizing their own versions of the Craft. Gardner and others never used the term "Wicca" as a religious identifier, simply referring to the "witch cult", "witchcraft", and the "Old Religion". During the 1960’s, the name of the religion normalized to "Wicca". Gardner's tradition, later termed Gardnerianism, soon became the dominant form in England and spread to other parts of the British Isles.
I heard of Wicca when a friend of mine let me borrow a book called “The Solitary Witch” by Raven Silverwolf. It contained everything anyone could ever possibly need to know to become enveloped in the love that is living without fear. Not worrying about the repercussions of ones actions, because there are no harsh actions which you can commit. Symbols, rituals, and holidays are part of every religion, not only Wicca. Special recipes and other unique aspects of the practice itself make you believe you have power, the more you believe the more power you have. All magic really is, is wanting something and letting yourself have it. It has power because you believe it does, not because a book says it does.
I believe that Wicca, and all religion, is in itself philosophy. Whether it is a good philosophy or not is based on its outcome I suppose; however, Wicca is quite an amazing philosophy, you can be happy without searching for that one thing you are allowed to do and pretend you are happy. There is no repentance only karma. The law of three states that whatever you send out comes back on you three fold. So, if you do something good, something good will come back to you. If you do something bad, something bad comes back. A continuous circle that keeps everything in balance, yin and yang, karma, divine intervention; whatever you want to call it, it is what makes a religion a philosophy. Wicca, believes that mother nature, mother earth, is what we receive our powers from, and we are guided by animals and our elements. I take pride in being who I am, no matter how strange I seem to you.
I believe in Wicca, I keep a book of shadows, I preform protection spells and healing spells, I manufacture healing ointments and things like that. I do not worship the devil. I do not devour the blood of virgins. I do not harm others. My life is spent helping people and that is my philosophy.
In short, I believe in what I feel is right and you believe in whatever you like, it makes no difference to me. I will be on my merry way whether you like me or not. Blessed be.