Livejournal's Wicca community is open to all paths, traditions and faiths of the Wicca and Pagan community where ever they may be in the world, as well as welcoming curious members of other religions outside of our own. This community is for the discussion and general chit chat about Wiccan, pagan and religious topics, we welcome both the experienced and the beginner to come and discuss, exchange ideas, share opinions and educate each other. This community has many experienced members willing to point new members in the right direction, with detailed discussion and reliable information we are one of the best communities online for information relating to Wicca.
We can't force you to sit through reading our guidelines thoroughly, however do be aware that you will be held responsible for any breaches in community conduct.
• No off-topic posts. • Misinformation is not welcomed. • Abuse of any person or group will not be tolerated. • Please do not remove, screen or delete comments. • Please do not post survey or quiz results. • Please use tags whenever possible. • No spell requests - help with construction and discussion of spell work is welcome. • No sales or promotions unless you have prior permission from the moderator. • Please use cross-posting sparingly and ensure that the content of your posting is specific to our community context. • Use the LJ cut feature when needed. Information on the LJ cut feature check out the LJ FAQ.
Within this community we recognize specific true definitions for the terms Wicca, neo-Wicca and witch, these standard definitions are used here to minimize confusion when posting. You may personally disagree with these definitions, which is fine, however you're expected to use them when posting here. We highly recommend you scroll down and familiarize yourself with the definitions of these terms for use inside this community.
Our community is open-minded, however members will correct ignorance, share opinions that may differ from your own, and take objection if you offend them, this does not constitute abuse or intolerance on their part. We expect you to be mature enough to accept responsibility for what you say and how others react. If you are willing to learn about Wicca and be open-minded enough to accept information given to you as well as share your own views, then you will be happy in this community.
Criticize. Question theories, beliefs and experiences posted here. Grill us about our personal religious philosophies, or that strange ghostly encounter we had. Valid criticism does you a favor. We like smart trolls here, if not for entertainment then for good discussion, however if you believe someone is particularly stupid or offensive, please report to the moderator who will deal with said pest accordingly.
Knowledge without practice is but half a person - English Proverb
What is Wicca?
The Wicca follow a henotheistic religion, which recognizes its own specific gods, while not denying the existence of gods and goddesses from other pantheons. Many Wiccans are "hard polytheists", which means that they view the gods as individual, distinct entities. The gods of Wicca are sometimes called the Lord and Lady, or the Horned God and Great Mother. These are outer court references meant to be used as place holders for the real names of their gods until the Seeker is initiated and taught those names.
"The divinities of the Craft of the Wica are the Ancient Ones of Britain, part of the land of the itself. (For a country exists not merely upon the physical plane, and man does not live by bread alone.)" - Meaning of Witchcraft, Gerald B. Gardner.
The Wicca were brought to public attention in the Gerald Gardner mid 1940's, although the exact date is open for discussion, also open for discussion is whether Gardner founded the Wicca entirely or whether it was an already existing group which he merely re-introduced and re-invented, either way he is considered the founding father of the Wicca. Gardner himself was Initiated in 1939. Gardner brought together paganism with influences from many sources including the rituals and teachings of Freemasonry and Golden Dawn resulting in a unique orthopraxic religion. The Wicca embrace their early pagan roots in history, the history of pagan faiths and the gods who they followed and worshiped, as well as these other influences from Western ceremonial traditions and Eastern philosophy.
Due to popular interest in Wicca, a number of publications about Wicca (or claiming to be about Wicca) exist, and over time, those publications have contributed to changing ideas in the general public about what Wicca is and is not. We in this community use the following definitions here, for the purposes of discussion in this forum, as opposed to others which may be found in various publications. In summary: Wicca is an organized, orthopraxic, oathbound, initiatory, mystery priesthood with direct lineage to the New Forest Coven/Gerald B. Gardner.
Wicca is an initiate only mystery tradition, or more precisely a priesthood, where one can trace their lineage back to the New Forest lines. Initiation is the only way into the Wica, and is carried out by the Elders within a Wicca coven, initiation into a coven requires formal training after which initiation and a system of degrees is followed. Wicca is an orthopraxic religion: it is defined by the practices of its members. Not all Wiccans necessarily believe all the same things, but they all share certain core practices.
Seekers are those who wish to become members of the Wicca, but have yet to find a coven. Until a coven is found, many seekers will engage themselves in the study of various subjects related to Paganism, witchcraft, other types of magic, related history, mythology, philosophy, meditation, and other areas of study. They may worship and practice magic as a solitary practitioner, or with a group of other seekers or Pagans who are not seeking traditional Craft.
Neo-Wicca is usually wholly eclectic, however as with Wicca there are also existing traditions. Neo-wicca often learn on their own terms, from books and other sources, but may have no formal training or initiation into Wicca. The practices and ideas of Neo-wicca are generally similar to that of outer court teachings of the Wicca; however, the details can often vary greatly as it follows the new age idea of personal belief/spirituality over formal religious doctrine. The 'neo' in neo-Wicca refers to a new take on Wicca, it is a path that builds on what is publicly known of Wicca and adding to or subtracting from that as its practitioners see fit to do. Often neo-Wiccans describe themselves as 'Eclectic Wiccans', 'Solitary Wiccans', or 'Wiccan' despite the difference in faiths.
Witchcraft, a form of "low magic" (as opposed to "high magic" or "ceremonial magic") is an integral part of the practices of Wicca, but the two terms are not interchangeable. Witchcraft is not exclusive to Wicca, and may be practiced by members of any religious path or no religious path. All Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are of the Wica.
Wicca is not dogmatic, much of the morality and ethics of Wicca are in fact determined by the individuals take on a given situation. Often followers of Wicca will incorporate utilitarianism, which means that an act is carried out for the greater good or elements of their own morality rather then seek to find suitable behavior based on Wicca doctrine.
The rede plays a large part in the morality and ethics of Wicca, there are many takes and much documentation on the rede that can be found in many places, the rede however in itself can be clearly understood by the quote below given by Gardner himself.
"[Witches] are inclined to the morality of the legendary Good King Pausol, "Do what you like so long as you harm no one". But they believe a certain law to be important, "You must not use magic for anything which will cause harm to anyone, and if, to prevent a greater wrong being done, you must discommode someone, you must do it only in a way which will abate the harm." Gerald Gardner, The Meaning of Witchcraft, p 127 in the 1982 and 1999 printings
Another aspect of the Wiccan ethical philosophy is that of the 'law of return' often known as the 'three fold law' which is similar to that of Western karmic philosophy, that anything you do either good or bad will come back to you. This is also often referred to as the 'rule of three' or 'law of three'.
If you are new to Wicca or have never heard of this religion before search online for sites about Wicca, but take into consideration not everyone knows the whole story and not everyone will agree, take everything with a pinch of salt and know that not everything you read is totally true. Take a look at the recommended links here, and at the books that are recommended in various entries within the community.