There are as many definitions of Wicca as there are practitioners of Wicca (also known as “the Craft”, Witchcraft, or the Old Religion). One of the joys of this path is that there is no “one, true way” to be a Wiccan; all Wiccans are encouraged to follow their hearts. Since there are so many misconceptions about Wicca, I’d like to begin by dispelling some of the more common Wiccan myths:
1. What’s the difference between Wiccans & Witches?
Not all witches are Wiccans, but all Wiccans are witches. Simply put, witchcraft is the art of practicing magic and Wiccans routinely practice magic.
2. Is Wicca a religion?
Yes. Wicca is a relatively new religion that is officially recognized by most state governments, the federal government, and the United States Armed Forces. After England repealed the 1951 Witchcraft Laws, Gerald-Brousseau-Gardner published the book Witchcraft Today (1954) and founded his first coven. With input from author Doreen Valiente and his coven members, he developed a modern form of witchcraft that today is known as Wicca. Although the Wiccan religion is new, it’s roots go back long before the birth of Christianity.
3. What is the difference between a pentagram and a pentacle?
A pentagram is a five-pointed star that is drawn in a specific way using series of connected lines and is created without lifting your hand. It’s points symbolize the four elements: earth, air, fire, water and Spirit or Self. The pentacle is the star with a circle around it. Some believe the circle was added to symbolize a spiritual connection to all of the elements as a whole.
4. Isn’t the pentacle a sign of Satan Worshiping?
No, this is one of the more common Wiccan myths. Pentacles are actually a sign of protection. Each of it’s points symbolize the four elements: earth, air, fire, water and Spirit or Self. In fact, there are many connections between the pentagram and early Christianity. It was seen to represent the five wounds of Christ. Before the cross, it was the preferred emblem to adorn the jewelry and amulets of early Christians. This, along with many other ancient pagan traditions, was adopted by early Christians.
5. What is the Wiccan Law?
Wiccans have only one law, commonly known as the Wiccan Rede. It states in part, “An it harm none do what ye will.” What it means in layman’s terms is this: Do whatever you want to do, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone.
6. What is the Rule of Three?
Also part of the Wiccan Rede, many Wiccans believe that there is a spiritual law in effect that holds that everything you do comes back to you three-fold. It is known as The Rule of Three. Others simply call it “karma”.
7. Do Wiccans worship Satan?
One of the most popular Wiccan myths is that Wiccans practice Satanism or devil-worshiping. Satanism is a purely Christian construct. In an effort to convert pagans to Christianity, early Christian leaders taught that worshiping any other God but theirs, was a sin. Since the male Deity that is most commonly associated with witchcraft is a horned god, worshiping him became synonymous with sinning. The fact is that the Horned God, was seen as the personification of the life force energy in animals and the wild and was associated with the wilderness, virility and the hunt. In traditional and mainstream Wicca, the Horned God is viewed as the masculine side of divinity, being both equal to and opposite from the Goddess.
8. Do Wiccans worship Goddesses & Gods?
Wicca is a religion of nature. It’s Goddesses and Gods represent all aspects of the natural world. When Wiccans honor their deities, they are honoring the moon, sun, stars, the elements and our beautiful planet and all that resides on it. Most Wiccans honor a Goddess as their primary deity, but see a God as an equal and opposite counterpart to the Goddess.
9. Do Wiccans try to convert people to their religion?
Wiccans do not believe in “recruiting” new members. They believe a person must feel led to follow Wiccan ways and therefore seek out the religion. Wiccans call these people “Seekers”. Seekers are people who choose to follow a Wiccan path and are just beginning the journey to learn more about the Wiccan religion.
10. Isn’t a Book of Shadows really a dark magic bible?
No. Wiccans do not have a bible. Many Wiccans make a “Book of Shadows” which is more like a journal for recording their rituals, dreams, spells, etc. Often these books are passed on to seekers who want to learn more about the religion.
11. Is being Wiccan the same as being Pagan?
Not exactly. The word “Pagan (pay’-gin)” comes from the Latin word “pagani (pa-gah’-nee)” which means “One who dwells in the country”. Cities and towns were converted to Christianity before country folk, so country folk (pagans), were eventually seen as crude and backward. As pressures from the Christian church turned violent, pagans were forced into Christianity or risk death. Modern Wiccans follow the methods and traditions of ancient pagan people as part of the Wiccan religion.
12. Do Wiccans perform sacrifices?
Wiccans do not perform blood sacrifice. This is one of the Wiccan Myths that directly goes against the only Wiccan law, (refer to topic #4 shown above). Because Wicca is a nature-based religion, followers are encouraged to respect all life. The only things Wiccans sacrifice are bread, fruit, wine, flowers, etc. These are better known as ‘offerings’.
13. Is Wicca a cult?
Wicca is not a cult. It is a religion (refer to topic #2, shown above).
14. Are Wiccan Rituals all about sex?
No. Some Wiccans perform their rituals in the nude, or skyclad, but some of the Wiccan myths will say that they end up in one big orgy. That happens no more than the people at a nude beach end up in one big orgy. However, as a rule, Wiccans do have a more healthy and natural view on sexuality. They also do not discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or even polyamorous people. As long as you are not violating the Wiccan Law, its your business.
Final Thoughts on Wicca & Wiccan Myths
Bottom line is that Wiccans believe in using common sense, listening to their conscience. They believe in obeying the law and respecting the rights of all living things. The Wiccan religion holds that all Wiccans are responsible for everything they do. They believe that natural consequences are built into the universe (refer to topic #5, shown above).
I hope this helps to clear some things up about Wiccan myths and the Wiccan religion. If not, please feel free to send me a message and I will be happy to answer your questions.