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Wicca is a pagan religion that originated in the contemporary era.
Scholars of Wicca religion classify it as both a new religious movement and a branch of Western esotericism known as occultism. Gerald Gardner, a retired British government official, created it in England during the first part of the twentieth century and presented it to the public in 1954.
Wicca's theological framework, rituals, and ancient practices are based on a variety of old pagans and twentieth-century occult elements.
There is no central regulatory authority in the Wiccan religion. An early High Priestess, Doreen Valiente, and Gardner established the traditional fundamental Wiccan rituals, Wiccan practices, beliefs, concepts, and rituals in the 1940s and 1950s. Traditions are separated into a variety of different lineages, sects, and denominations, each with its own organizational structure and amount of centralization.
Wicca is usually duotheistic, meaning that it worships and works with both a Goddess (female deity) and a God. The holy Horned God, as well as the Triple Goddess, are the traditional names for these two deities. In a henotheistic sense, these deities might have many distinct divine qualities and magic, each of which can be linked to a variety of pagan deities from various historical pantheons.
According to historian Ronald Hutton, between 1921 and 1950, Wicca arose in England, becoming 'the only fully-fledged religion that England can be considered to have given the world', according to historian Ronald Hutton.
Wicca was established through the patchwork acceptance of different previous aspects, many of which came from pre-existing religious and esoteric organizations, and has been dubbed an 'invented practice' by researchers. According to Pearson, it sprang 'from the cultural forces of the fin de siècle,' according to Pearson.
Wicca was founded on the witch-cult theory. This was the idea that those persecuted as witches in early modern Europe were not followers of Satanism, as the persecutors claimed, nor were they innocent citizens who actually admitted to witchcraft under threat of punishment, as had long been the historical accord, but rather supporters of a surviving pre-Christianity pagan religion.
Karl Ernest Jarcke, a German professor, was the first to propose this hypothesis in 1828. Margaret Murray, an English Egyptologist, was the theory's most notable proponent, promoting it in a series of works, including 1933's The God of the Witches and 1921's The Witch-Cult in Western Europe. According to Simpson, Gerald Gardner, who utilized Murray's idea as the foundation for Wicca, was the only contemporaneous member of the Folklore Society who took Murray's thesis seriously. Many well-known elements that have been adopted into Wicca can be found in Murray's writings. Murray established the concept that covens should have 13 members based on single witness testimony from one of the witch trials and her claim that covens gathered four times a year on the cross-quarter days.
The earliest evidence for practicing a pagan Witchcraft religion (what would now be known as modern Wicca) in England occurred in the '30s. Several groups in places like Norfolk, Cheshire, and the New Forest appeared to have set themselves up as continuing Murray's Witchcraft practice, albeit with influences from a variety of sources, including classical mythology, ceremonial magic, Druidry, folk magic, theosophy, Freemasonry, romanticism, and Asian religions.
Within Wicca, there are many different theological perspectives. The religion is practiced by theists, atheists, and agnostics, with some seeing the religion's Goddess and God as actual beings, while others see them as Jungian archetypes or symbols of nature.
There are differences of opinion even within theistic Wiccans, and Wiccans include monotheists, pantheists, polytheists, and duotheists. Wiccans' deities of Goddess and God, on the other hand, are considered as versions of old, pre-Christian divinities by its practitioners, regardless of their differing beliefs.
When celebrating the Sabbats, practicing magic, or while doing worship, Wiccans employ a variety of rituals. These usually occur on a full moon or, in some cases, a new moon (known as an Esbat).
The coven or solitary gathers within a ritually formed and cleansed magic circle in traditional belief. Invoking the 'Guardians' of the cardinal points and their classical elements of air, fire, water, and nature earth is part of the circle-casting process. After casting the circle, a seasonal ritual is conducted, prayers to the God and Goddess are uttered, and Wiccans cast spells; these may involve different types of 'raising energy,' such as raising a cone of power to transmit healing or other magic to those beyond the holy zone.
Some misconceptions about Wiccan people and Wicca are:
Wiccan people worship Satan:
Satan is not worshipped by the Wiccan people. Satan is a Christian concept that has no place in Wicca or modern witchcraft. Wiccan worship the God, the Goddess, and a number of other deities associated with nature and the divine. They believe in a harmonious union of energies, in which the masculine energy is represented by the sun, while the full moon represents the feminine energy. Both are equally important, and none is held in greater regard than the other.
Pentagrams are malevolent symbols:
The pentagram represents the five elements: earth, spirit, water, fire, and air. 'The Law of Three' is something Wiccan believes in. This means that anything you do will return back to you three times over. Because of this, and the belief in 'Harm None,' Wiccan people avoid doing anything that might well harm someone.
People are cursed by witches using witchcraft:
In reality, most witches are quite helpful and consider curses to be disgusting. While Wiccans do not cast curses, they do produce potions using modern witchcraft involving love, healing, clarity, wisdom, and creativity. Some people also utilize runes and candle magic to summon these spirits.
The majority of Wiccans celebrate Yule on the Winter Solstice. However, there are outliers.
It is called a coven.
Because Wiccan coven believes that the soul will enjoy a short period of rest and bliss before rebirth after death, many Wiccan covens attempt to embrace death rather than dread it.
Most modern Wiccans do not believe there is a god or heaven in order to avoid Christian beliefs and church. Universal human rebirth into a physical body is a classic Wiccan idea. On the other hand, some Wiccans believe in divine intervention, which is where the concept of heaven comes into play.
The 'Wiccan Gods' are usually referred to as one of two deities: the Triple Goddess and the Horned God.
The study of witchcraft is called Occult Studies.
Yes, it is a recognized religion in Canada.
Yes, it is a recognized religion in the UK.
It is still unclear.
Hestia is believed to be the oldest God.
Although the precise date when humans first became religious is uncertain, evolutionary archaeology has found solid proof of religious-cum-ritualistic conduct dating back to the Middle Paleolithic epoch.
Wicca originated in England.
It was recognized as a religion in 1986.
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