The word ‘witch’ immediately conjures negative images: evil, violence, deception, manipulation. This perception (fed largely by fairy tales and the Medieval Church’s fear campaign, which associated pre-Christian dieties into demons, and pagan practices into black magic) is far removed from the true roots of Wicca. Read more about this interesting belief system which dates back 30,000 years.
Wicca is one of the oldest belief systems in the world. Cave paintings show 11 people standing in a circle with a stag-headed man and a pregnant woman, or the two creative forces of God and Goddess.
One of the core principles of Wicca is that human beings are deeply connected to Nature. Followers try to understand the ways of the Earth, and see every small thing—sunsets, flowers, the wind—as a reflection and expression of divinity. They draw upon the power of these things, through natural remedies and meditations, not to hurt but heal. There is a great responsibility to live in harmony, not just with Nature but with others. Because all things are a manifestation of the divine, then Wicca is fundamentally grounded in an honor and respect for life.
Thus, it is not true that Wiccans do sacrifices. One of the most important Wiccan principles is ‘Harm none.’ While Wiccan spells and incantations can be misused, the principle of the Law Of Three (or the Law of Threefold Return) states that anything that is sent out rebounds on the user threefold. So, if a person were to curse another, and wish to inflict harm, then harm would fall on him too, and with much greater intensity, scope, and duration. Obviously, there are cults or misguided individuals who have used and twisted Wiccan beliefs for their own deviant purposes—but this kind of misinformation or malpractice can be found in other religion or belief systems.
Wicca does not have a centralized authority or governing body which regulates the practices of its followers. Instead, all Wiccans are bound by a personal code of ethics, with consequences set by virtue of the way the world works: hurt others, and you will hurt yourself. There is a great emphasis on personal responsibility and awareness of consequences. However, for support, Wiccans often form groups called covens, where members offer each other support. There are also online Wiccan support groups. They may teach each other, or provide emotional support—especially because of the discrimination they may encounter.
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