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How do you quickly describe Wicca?

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How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby GumbyGirl » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:49 pm

I've been Wiccan for more than a decade but I still suck at trying to quickly describe this beautiful and complex religion. If someone asks you what you believe and you say you are Christian or Jewish, that's pretty much the end of it. When you say you are Wiccan you get asked what that means. I don't know how to quickly answer that. Any suggestions on a response that doesn't take a 2 hour in depth explanation?
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby Silas Nightfall » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:04 pm

I would say “spiritually centered witchcraft”. Religion implies compulsory dogma and doctrine.
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:08 pm

Nature based religion of witchcraft. We seek balance and harmony with nature. We worship the universe, the Goddess and the God.
"Often I will spin a tale, never will I charge a fee. I'll amuse you an entire eve, but, alas, you won't remember me. What am I?" -Sloth
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby firebirdflys » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:50 pm

Often I just say I'm pagan, sometimes I have to explain it sometimes I don't.
...say, next time you're here could you mosey over to the intro section and let us know a bit about you? thanks
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby RoccoR » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:29 pm

Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?
⁜→ GumbyGirl, et al,

Sometimes, before understanding what something is, it is important to understand what it is not.

    Wicca is NOT, in concept, a New Religious Movement (NRM). Wicca is NOT Neo-Paganism. Wicca (White) is NOT directly renouncing a Classical or Mainstream Religion (CMR). Wicca is NOT a jealous belief, to the exclusion of all other religions. Wicca is NOT a craft of anger or hostility (as often glamourized in Hollywood). Wicca is NOT a satanic tool.

    Wicca is NOT the religious criminal act of proposing an unorthodox change to CMR. Wicca does NOT encourage the abandonment of any CMR, and it does NOT renounce any CMR beliefs.

    True Wiccan Grimoire (sometimes referred to as a Book of Shadows) is NOT demonic. Even the ancient "Book of the Dead" is NOT menacing; it does NOT summon evil.

    Wicca Covens are NOT → by their very nature → harmful. A Coven is to practitioners → as → Congregations are to churches followers.

GumbyGirl wrote:I've been Wiccan for more than a decade but I still suck at trying to quickly describe this beautiful and complex religion. If someone asks you what you believe and you say you are Christian or Jewish, that's pretty much the end of it. When you say you are Wiccan you get asked what that means. I don't know how to quickly answer that. Any suggestions on a response that doesn't take a 2 hour in depth explanation?

(COMMENT)

Wicca is an alternative avenue to the advantages offered by the universe and its guardians. The believers and practitioners of Wicca adhere to the “Wiccan Rede” (as codified and popularized by Doreen Valiente, but not as elaborate) or an Ethical Code that follow the premise: “Bring NO harm, see to Freedom (do what thou wilt).” This is heavily influenced by a philosophy now called Epicureanism (300 years before Christ).


    Witchcraft has come to take on quite a different meaning in recent decades as it has been adopted as a label of self-identification (also called Wicca, from the Old English root of the term) among a segment of the so-called Neo-Pagan movement.

    There has been a tendency toward increased institutionalization among Wiccan groups. Legally recognized religious organizations, churches, and seminaries have arisen and anti-defamation leagues have been formed. Representatives from Wiccan groups have joined in ecumenical initiatives and are especially active in environmental issues.

    Gerold B Gardner is credited (1930s) with the invention of the term Wicca


    SOURCE: 2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD RELIGIONS


Wicca is an alternative pathway to the forces of the universe and nature. There is no one Supreme Being in Wicca, but several deities.


    Functioning as messengers or servants of the deity or as guardians of individuals or nations, angels have been classified into ranks or into hierarchies by theologians or philosophical thinkers, by sects that have become religions in their own right (for example, the DRUZE religion), and by syncretistic movements (for example, the dualistic sect GNOSTICISM).

    SOURCE: 2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD RELIGIONS


(MUCH TO DO ABOUT "GUARDIANS")

    In Judaism, the hierarchy of angels—often called in the OLD TESTAMENT the “hosts of heaven” or the “company of divine beings”→ is not strictly defined. In post-biblical Judaism → especially in apocalyptic literature, which describes God’s dramatic intervention in history—seven angels, sometimes called ARCHANGELS, lead the heavenly hosts that in the TALMUD are viewed as countless. These seven, noted in the noncanonical First Book of Enoch (chapter 20), are: Uriel (leader of the heavenly hosts and guardian of sheol, the Underworld); Raphael (guardian of human spirits); Raguel (avenger of God against the world of lights); Michael (guardian of ISRAEL); Sariel (avenger of the spirits, “who SIN in the spirit”); GABRIEL (ruler of paradise, the seraphim, and the cherubim); and Remiel, also called Jeremiel (guardian of the souls in sheol). Of these, two (Michael and Gabriel) are mentioned in the Old Testament and two others (Raphael and Uriel) in the APOCRYPHA, a collection of noncanonical works. In rabbinic literature, angels are classified into two basic groupings, higher and lower. Included among the higher group are the cherubim and seraphim, winged guardians of God’s throne or chariot, and the annum (Hebrew: “wheels”), all of which are noted in the Old Testament. Among the sects associated with the DEAD SEA SCROLLS, the higher angels include the angels of light, darkness, destruction, and holiness.

    SOURCE: 2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD RELIGIONS
The "guardians" used in Wicca are not so different from that of the ancient Hebrews.

    The "domovoy" is the guardian of the family and its wealth, but he is partial to conscientious and hard-working people. Any displeasure the domovoy feels with the actions of its family is displayed in troubles with the farm animals or in strange knocks and grating noises in the house.

    The "dziady", however, are not considered family guardians and are never asked for favors or protection.

Most Respectfully,
R
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby GumbyGirl » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:35 am

All of your responses have been wonderfully helpful. Thank you for taking the time to give me such great answers. My coworker is actually the most recent one to ask me about my beliefs and now I have a much better idea of what to say. I sometimes have a hard time putting my beliefs into words.
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby RoccoR » Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:01 am

Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?
⁜→ GumbyGirl, et al,

Oddly enough, the New Catholic Encyclopedia has an entry for "Wicca." They translate "Wicca" in two forms:

    ◈ ‘‘Craft of the Wise’’
    ◈ ‘‘Old Religion.’’

What is interesting is → not so much how they translate it, but the fact that they recognize it without (very much) prejudice.

    Page 710 • The New Catholic Encyclopedia • Second Edition wrote:Adherents claim that ecstatic dancing and other shamanistic techniques raise power from their bodies which can then be directed to magical effect. Other strands of contemporary Wicca include those that trace their origins to pre-Christian or medieval customs and myths (e.g. Celtic and Teutonic) and others that originated in the 1960s and 1970s as variations of Gardnerian Wicca or as eclectic combinations of elements from various traditions of witchcraft, Christianity, New Age, animism, and mythology.

Another interesting point is that they seem to separate → Wicca into the pre-Gardnerian period and post-Gardnerian period.

GumbyGirl wrote:All of your responses have been wonderfully helpful. Thank you for taking the time to give me such great answers. My coworker is actually the most recent one to ask me about my beliefs and now I have a much better idea of what to say. I sometimes have a hard time putting my beliefs into words.

(COMMENT)

I think I mentioned before → how similar the Old Wicca (pre-Gardnerian period) is to the concepts behind the Ars Notoria (King Solomon's Grimoire). The belief in the Supernatural (ie turning water into wine, converting bread into the body of a deity, miracles, downloading knowledge from the heaven, angels, etc) is little in substance different from believing in the powers of the universe, believing in the force that brings life and sentients into humans and other living things.

(PITFALL)

Don't fall into the trap of the charlatans. There are those that appear to be practitioners but are only into it for material gain. For instance, the idea of using candles around the Wiccan of Casting Circle stems from a time when the torch lamp was the standard. Fancy dress, while it does no harm, serves no purpose and does not impress the powers. Candles, ornate dress, mirrors and casting circle are only important if they enhance the attention and focus of the practitioner.

I recommend sticking more to the basics.

BTW: Do not be afraid to modify or personalize any oration, spell or prayer. The powers, where ever they may originate, whatever the source, cannot look at your variation any worse than a canned prayer which you have no feeling in.

Most Respectfully,
R
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby barker » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:56 am

Magic without anger or harm.
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby RoccoR » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:16 am

Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?
⁜→ barker, et al,

I apologize, but this is only half right.

barker wrote:Magic without anger or harm.

(COMMENT)

Do NO harm is correct.

Without anger is NOT correct, strictly speaking. One can be angry, but still, (with wisdom) take the ethically correct action.

excerpt • Ars Notoria (1656 Translation) wrote:I humbly implore and beseech, that thou wilt mercifully with the Father, illustrate my Mind with thy Spirit, that I may be able to come and attain to the perfection of this most holy Art; and that I may be able to gain the knowledge of every Science, Art, and Wisdom;



Anger (not an element of ethical practice relative to the "supernatural") can interfere with the exercise of "freedoms." Do no Harm is the first aspect, and do not interfere with "freedoms" (respect the will of others or see to Freedom) is the second aspect.

Both of these are derivatives of the Central (First) Oration asking the greater powers (Supreme Being or a Deity) for divine wisdom. This was the source of King Solomons wisdom (in part A group of moral precepts) that becomes essential and preeminent in decisions.

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R
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:41 am

barker wrote:Magic without anger or harm.

Wicca doesn't do that. The Rede is advice. Anger thing is more subjective.
"Often I will spin a tale, never will I charge a fee. I'll amuse you an entire eve, but, alas, you won't remember me. What am I?" -Sloth
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby firebirdflys » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:31 am

Everyone gets angry don't you think? It is what you do with the anger that matters.
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby RoccoR » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:30 pm

Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?
⁜→ GumbyGirl, et al,

I agree!

firebirdflys wrote:Everyone gets angry don't you think? It is what you do with the anger that matters.
bb, FF

(COMMENT)

You are spot-on...

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R
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby barker » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:39 am

You are right. Anger was a key element earlier on for myself in Wicca. Let me explain.

Anger is a trial by fire, cosmic sense, that establishes the boundaries of self. Ultimately a witch has chosen to be more or less alone. When I say "without anger" I mean that the anger is NOT intended to harm NOR to be kept as a gripe which can lead to further difficulties, of a magical even social sort. In other words, anger a thing to survive, not to uphold however.
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby barker » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:16 am

firebirdflys wrote:Everyone gets angry don't you think? It is what you do with the anger that matters.
bb, FF

Yes, although, having been an angry one early on, having been taught a "saying no spell"... :roll: I can say that pretty much all of my anger is diffused, transmuted into self. It is, I would suppose, a "word" that I have already conquered. And NOT part of my magic any longer.
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Re: How do you quickly describe Wicca?

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:39 am

Ideally as a spiritual path that sees deity in nature & practices methods of prompting positive change, harming none by intent.
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