Celtic Culture

 

 

Witchcraft

and Paganism

There has been a lot of talk about the witchcraft and paganism practiced by the Celtics. Actually that is partially true and mostly untrue at the same time.

Pentagon

Lets start with one of the main symbols - the Pentagon. It is used in the Wicca religion and certain other ancient Celtic ceremonies. It represents the four classical elements. These are earth, fire, air and water. The fifth "point" represents the fifth element of "Spirit or Self".

What’s the difference between Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft?

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Wicca is a tradition of Witchcraft that was brought to the public by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. There is a great deal of debate among the Pagan community about whether or not Wicca is truly the same form of Witchcraft that the ancients practiced.
 
Regardless, many people use the terms Wicca and Witchcraft interchangeably. Paganism is an umbrella term used to apply to a number of different earth-based faiths. Wicca falls under that heading, although not all Pagans are Wiccan.

The term “pagan” (derived from the Latin paganus, which translates roughly to “hick from the sticks”) was originally used to describe people who lived in the remotest rural areas. As time progressed and Christianity spread, those same country folk were often the last hold outs clinging to their "old" religions. Thus, “pagan” came to mean people who didn’t worship the god of Abraham.

So, in a nutshell, here's what's going on. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccans. All Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. Finally, some witches are Pagans, but some are not.

I hope that clears up any confusion you may have had!

The FACTS About Wicca And Paganism

There's a lot of misinformation and real information on Wicca and Paganism, in books, on the Internet, and even through local groups. Just how much of that information is really accurate? How does the average person know how to separate fact from rumor?

The fact is, there are several basics you need to understand about Wicca and Paganism before you make the decision to join a new spiritual path. In the next few paragraphs I will try to eliminate some of those misconceptions and talk about hard facts. That should make your spiritual journey all the more valuable if you understand these issues from the very beginning.

Even Wicca Has Rules

It seems a lot of people think that just because there's no "Grand High Wiccan or Pagan Council" that there must be lots of magical hooligans going on. On the contrary, there are some fairly standard guidelines followed by a large number of different Pagan traditions. While these guidelines will vary from one group to the next, I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with some of their concepts. You should definitely learn more about the rules of magic before you continue your studies.

Not All Witches are Pagans nor Wiccans

There are dozens of Pagan traditions, and as many different versions of Wicca. Not all are the same, and just because someone is a witch, or Pagan, doesn't necessarily mean they practice Wicca. Learn about the differences in paths found among the umbrella term "Paganism."

Wicca is a Religion - Not A Fashion Statement

Contrary to what many popular movies might have you believe, you don't have to be a teenage goth princess to be Wiccan. In fact, you don't "have to be" anything at all. Wiccans come from all walks of life -- they are parents and teens, lawyers, nurses, firefighters, waitresses, teachers and writers. Pagans come from all different walks of life, all socio-economic groups, and all sorts of racial backgrounds.
 
There’s no Wiccan Membership Book are pagan dress code that says you have to throw away your polo shirt or khaki's in favor of capes and an all-black wardrobe. On the other hand, if you prefer the gothic look - go for it... just remember that goth and Wiccan are not synonymous.
 
However, thinking that it's time to drop your jeans/khakis and polo or dress shirts and then exchange them for flowing black robes and lots of black eye liner is NOT something you have to do! Just like in any other religion, Wiccans and Pagans are people first.

Some people like jeans and t-shirts, others like pink tutus, and some like to dress like they’re always at the Renaissance Fair. It’s entirely up to you what you wear. What's more important is to be who you are and be happy about it.

A word of advice: just because you’ve got a newly discovered spiritual path doesn’t mean everyone you come in contact with wants to hear about it. You don’t have to wear a pentacle the size of a dinner plate just because you’ve decided Wicca is the right path for you.

Religious Freedom Applies to Wiccans & Pagans Alike

Believe it or not, as a Wiccan or Pagan you have the same rights as people of any other religion. Despite the fact that some members of other faiths might disapprove of the existence of Wicca and Paganism, the fact is that if you live in the United States, you're entitled to protection just like anyone else. It's against the law for anyone to discriminate against you because you practice an earth-based faith.

Your rights as a Pagan or Wiccan parent, as an employee, and even as a member of the United States military.

Can you lose your kids, your job, or your home just because you practice an earth-based faith? Believe it or not, you have the same rights as everyone else in this country. Learn what you can do to reduce the chance that you'll be a victim of religious discrimination.

According to a study done in 2004, there were over 4,000 people in the United States Military, at that time, who declared themselves as Pagan. Over half of those folks declared themselves as Wiccans. If you or someone you love is an active duty member of the military, you need to be aware of your rights as a Pagan or Wiccan soldier.

To Come Out of the Broom Closet... or Not

Countless numbers of Pagans and Wiccans have made the choice to "come out of the broom closet"... in other words, they've stopped hiding their spiritual path from others. For many people, this is a huge decision. You may feel that it's not in your best interest to make your religious beliefs known, and that's okay too.
 
If you feel you could be in danger if you reveal that you are Wiccan, or that it might put a strain on family relations, going public might be something you should postpone. Get all the pros and cons on coming out of the broom closet.

Wiccans and Pagans Are Not Satanists

Ask any Pagan or Wiccan about the cornerstone of their faith and they'll probably tell you:
  • It's a reverence for their ancestors,
  • A belief in the sacredness of nature,
  • A willingness to embrace the Divine within ourselves,
  • Or an acceptance of polarity between the male and female.

It is more likely than not a combination of the above principles. It has nothing to do with the Devil, Satan, or any of the other names attributed to the Christian devil. Pagans and Wiccans are definitely not devil worshippers, Satanists, or Diabolists - even though modern literature, movies and TV shows try to "sell" us that they are!

Join a Coven, or Practice Solitary?

Most Wiccans/Pagans have chosen to join a coven, or study group, as it allows them the chance to learn from other like minded people. It is an opportunity to share their ideas and new perspectives on any numbers of things. On the other hand, for some folks it's seems more practical, or desirable, to remain as a solitary practitioner of Wicca and Paganism.
 
Parents and Teens 
 
Nothing sets a teenager at odds quicker with their parents than to come home wearing a giant pentacle, toting a candle, and yelling - "I'm a witch now, so leave me alone!" Fortunately, it does not have to be that way.
 
Parents, you may have some concerns about Wicca and Paganism...
but that's understandable. Teens, you probably are not sure how to broach the subject with mom and dad about your newfound interests.
 
Rest easy with a little bit of good communication, both parents and teenagers should be able to find a happy medium and communicate their fears, interests and desires with a little background knowledge and understanding of the crafts.
 

 Finally, an experienced Witch reveals secret methods for casting simple 3-minute spells that actually work, without any hard-to-find ingredients or tools...

Witch Rose

Dying Witch Reveals
Simple Spell Casting
Secrets Discovered
In Ancient Druid's
Magick *Grimoire!

*Grimoire (noun): a textbook of magick. Such books typically include instructions on how to perform magickal spells, how to create magickal objects (like talismans, amulets, and charms), and how to summon supernatural entities such as angels and spirits.

"Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best...
now anyone can use this knowledge to cast simple love, money, protection, and luck spells that can
bring results
in just a few days...

even if you've
never
cast a successful spell." - Rose Ariadne

You Don't Need a Lot of Fancy Tools

Unfortunately many people thought they needed to stock up on hundreds of dollars worth of incense, herbs, wands and candles before they could begin to practice Wicca or Paganism. Nothing could be further form the truth. Obviously a few basic magical tools would be nice to have, the key element of most traditions are the beliefs, not the tangible physical items. If you would like to gather a basic "starter kit" package, there are several which are common to nearly every tradition.
 
You Can Write Your Own Spells and Rituals 
 
Despite a commonly held (and generally Internet-based) belief, anyone can actually write their own spells. The only trick is recognizing the key elements to successful spell crafting. The intent (or goal), the components, and then putting it into practice are all key.
 
Don't let anyone tell you that beginners cannot write a spell! Just like any other skill set it simply takes some practice. However, with a little practice you can become a perfectly effective spell worker.