What is Wicca?

A primer for answering questions from members of other religions;

The target audience for the entire article was Conservative Evangelical Christians and I was asked to take an oppositional view. Therefore you will find references to Christianity that may not fit your particular beliefs or properly represent all Christians. If I offend anyone, please accept my apologies in advance.


What Is Wicca?

Wicca is a group of religions based on the re-creation, more or less, of the religions and practices of North and Western European pre-Christian civilizations. In reality Wicca is very diverse, possibly more so even than Christianity. One of the differences between Christians and Wiccans is that we don’t spend a lot of time arguing over which Wiccan beliefs are right and which are wrong. Wiccans will often refer to themselves as “Witches”.

Most Wiccans believe that the Divine is present in an all-encompassing form which manifests itself in the male God and Female Goddess archetypes. This is very similar to the Three-in-One concept of Christianity but from a different origin. Many Wiccans believe in the further manifestation of the Archetypes into what may be called the “named” Gods. These are the various Pantheons of the ancients such as the Celtic, Norse, Saxon, Roman, Greek, etc Gods and Goddesses.

Most Wiccan beliefs correspond to what is termed the “Three Pillars of Paganism” which is the connection between all the Pagan and Neo-Pagan faiths. The word Pagan derives from the Latin word paganus which means literally, country dweller. In the early history of the Christian Church during the time of Constantine, the legislated conversion of people to the new religion took place first in the cities where it was easier to enforce. The country folk retained their chosen faith much longer, thus the word for country folk became synonymous with non-Christian. Today’s Pagan religions encompass a wide variety of religions generally regarded as earth based (more on that later). Some of these religions have unbroken traditions (Hindu, North American Aboriginal, Siberian Shamanism), some are recreations or reconstructions of religions that were stamped out by religious colonialism (Celtic, Asatru, Stregha).

The Three Pillars of Paganism are philosophies which tend to define Pagan religious thought. Most Pagan faiths contain some measure of these three ideas, although some may emphasize one over the others.

1) Pantheism




\Pan”the*ism\, n. [Pan- + theism.] The doctrine that the universe, taken or conceived of as a whole, is God; the doctrine that there is no God but the combined force and laws which are manifested in the existing universe; cosmotheism.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc


Pantheism is the idea that the Divine within all things, that each object, creature, and person together contains a portion of that which altogether makes up the divine. This is one of the factors which contributes to the idea of earth-based religions. Since the Divine is in every object and creature, since the Earth herself is divine, it behooves us to take special care of the Earth.

2) Polytheism




\Pol”y*the*ism\, n. [Poly- + Gr. ? cf. F. polyth[‘e]isme.] The doctrine of, or belief in, a plurality of gods

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc


Polytheism is the idea that more than one god exists. Most Pagan faiths believe in at least two distinct deities, God and Goddess. Some, like Celtic and Hindu, believe in hundreds. Almost all believe that Gods and Goddesses outside their own pantheon also exist, either like the Romans, who believe most Gods and Goddesses of other religions were just renamed Roman Gods and Goddesses, or like ancient Europeans who believed different Gods and Goddesses held sway over different parts of the earth. Polytheism is one of the factors which allow modern Pagans of different faiths to worship together in joy and harmony. Our Gods and Goddesses are not jealous.

3) Animism




\An”i*mism\, n. [Cf. F. animisme, fr. L. anima soul. See Animate.]

  1. The belief that inanimate objects and the phenomena of nature are endowed with personal life or a living soul; also, in an extended sense, the belief in the existence of soul or spirit apart from matter.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc


Animism is closely related to Pantheism. Animism teaches that each object, creature, and person is endowed with a living spirit. This combined with Pantheism results in a universe in which each object is both a part of the divine and an entity in its own right.

These three principles are commonly called the Three Pillars of Paganism. They are not universal but the vast majority of Pagan Religions contain all three to a greater or lesser degree.

Another very common principle is the idea that all paths lead to the Divine. This is not so much a nod to relativism as it is an acknowledgement that the nature of the Divine is not completely knowable by humans, that all religions are simply human interpretation of a concept to large for the human mind to grasp directly. Therefore no religion is the absolute truth, but rather each is a way of understanding the nature of the Divine in ways our minds can grasp. Since each religion is an interpretation, no one religion is the truth, nor is any religion false. This leads to a cooperative nature among some very radically different belief systems that would be impossible among the Abrahamic religions, even among the practically identical Christian sects. Modern Pagans of vastly different belief systems commonly gather to worship and fellowship, emphasizing their common principles rather than their differences.

Universal Duality is a concept common to almost every religious belief system. Duality is the idea that the universe is composed of two groups, either complementary or opposed. The Abrahamic religions, for example, adhere to a duality of opposition. For them the Universe is composed entirely of that which is Good (i.e. belonging to their God or their belief system) or that which is Evil (i.e. belonging to Satan or any other belief system). This yields a Universe that is drawn up into two armed camps with constant warfare (spiritual or physical) between them. Anything that is not of your particular faith (even if it is only marginally different) is evil and must be conquered. A good example of this is the amount of marshal language inherent in Abrahamic religious writings (armor of God, soldier of the cross, Armageddon, etc.).

Pagan Dualities, on the other hand, usually consist of complementary pairs. Male and Female is a good example. In most Western Pagan belief systems there is generally a God and a Goddess. Nature is divided into male and female aspects as are all aspects of human or Divine thought. This yields a Universe where opposites are complementary rather than opposed. Cooperation of Male and Female in the act of Love creates new Life and thus the continuation of the Universe. Because our duality is not based on a concept of Good and Evil we tend to view all things and all actions individually. Just as Nature knows no Good or Evil, humans are not Good or Evil. An Individual Human may heal or harm in any given situation. Those who heal more than harm are wiser and more mature souls. Those who harm more than heal are foolish and less mature souls. Because there is no Ultimate Evil, there is no original Sin, there is no need for salvation each soul is held accountable for deeds actually done, whether fair or foul, and lessons learned. The result of that accountability varies among different Pagan Faiths.

Wiccans generally hold to a concept known as “The Rede” which is often stated as “you may do as you will, so long as you bring harm to no one”. The Rede places great responsibility on the shoulders of a Wiccan as whether something is “lawful” or not is not sufficient to permit it to be done, it must also be weighed against its potential and possible consequences to oneself and others. The concept of consequences is described by the Three-fold-law (or sometimes the hundredfold law or sevenfold law depending on the trad). Most Wiccans view the threefold law as being akin to a law of the universe, as in the law of gravity, rather than a religious stricture. The basic concept is that whatever you send out comes back to you threefold. I.e. if you do harm then that harm will return to you threefold, if you heal then that healing will return to you threefold. This tends to reinforce the Rede and makes the concept of an Evil Witch rather unlikely. Witches also hold sacred the concept of free will. This means that Witches will not perform healing or pray for someone whom they know or suspect would be unwilling to receive it even if it were for their own good.

This ties in with the concept of Magick as well. Most Wiccans believe Magick is also a physical force, like electricity, that can be manipulated by those knowledgeable in it’s attributes. Magick has no morality attached to it so the concept of white or black magick is redundant. Just as electricity can be used to heal or harm so magick is employed as to the intent of the practitioner. The consequences of the threefold law and the sanctity of free will, prevents the use of magick for harmful purposes. Most Wiccans also believe that magick for healing is additive while magick for harm is subtractive. This means that a person who chooses to do harm will never advance in power and experience beyond the beginner level while the person who heals gains power and experience.

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Salt Spring Unitarians

September 9, 2018 – 10:30am

Jill Cooper with Amanda Tarling “The Music of Pride!”

Acclaimed Victoria Musician Jill Cooper will play the most icon and stirring songs associated with Pride and the history of the LGBTQ+ movement.  There will be lots of sing-a-long options for these powerful anthems.  Come celebrate Pride on Sunday morning with an array of inspiring songs and hear about how the songs became so important to the LGBTQ+ community.

Salt Spring Unitarians

Sunday Services 10:30AM at:
379 Lower Ganges Rd,
Salt Spring Island, BC

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This little essay has always been a favorite of mine. It speaks both to the sort of intolerance that we see every day, and to the ways we can deal with it. Sometimes you need to be careful what you ask for…

Well, it had been yet another bad day in the office, and once again it was the fault of that new girl, MaryAnne. She is one of those Wiccans,  a so called witch. How can anyone in their right mind make this claim, knowing that it goes against God and all of the teachings of the bible? She doesn’t even have the common decency to keep her satanic symbol,  her pentagram necklace hidden from the view of the decent, God fearing people in the office. She has some nerve. I find that I cannot hate her for this though, for I know that she has been deceived. Satan works his  evil in ways that she cannot see. I’ve seen that so called Wiccan Rede that she has tacked to the wall above her computer. On the surface, it looks like a decent loving belief, but all one must do is look, look closely and see that by practicing this way, and not embracing Jesus  Christ as savior she is on the pathway to hell. As I’ve said, it was a bad day in the office.

Three times in the past few weeks I have been called in to see my supervisor, and he has told me that I am not allowed to preach to MaryAnne the word of God, to show her the error of her ways. Today, my  supervisor told me that if I continue to “harass” MaryAnne, he will be forced to terminate me. How can he say this? He himself is a God fearing man. And, how can he be so tolerant of the evil that he sees  insinuating itself into our workplace? As I lay down to sleep last night, I asked the Lord for guidance. “God, grant me a true vision of you, so that I may better lead the faithless onto the righteous path,” “Oh, a true vision of Me is it? Are you sure that you’re ready, truly ready to see, my son?” I sat  bolt upright in bed, and there, at the foot of my bed, white of hair and beard, in a long, flowing white robe, stood the Lord my God. I made to leap from the bed and fall to my knees in front of Him, but he stopped me with a gesture. “Kneel not before me at this time my son. Instead, rise and walk with Me, so that you may get a glimpse of what I  truly am, as you asked of me in your prayer.”

He took my hand, and as I looked, my bedroom was no longer there, but a  pathway thru the woods. We started to walk, and I was too awestruck for words. We took the path to the left, and we were then inside St.  Catherine’s Church, in the middle of a service. While still standing beside me, God seemed to expand and fill the whole of the church. I could see smiles of contentment forming on some of the  parishioners faces. I felt blessed. God smiled upon me.”The Catholics hold such pretty masses, don’t they? I like to stop here in this church, because not only do they speak the words, but they live the  life, thru teaching, helping the sick and poor, not only with handouts, but helping them learn to help themselves. Now let us walk on,” And we were back on the pathway.

We traveled a bit further along, and then were in the parlor of a  funeral home. A young woman was kneeling before the casket, resting  her head on it and crying. I could see by the similarity, that this dead man must be her father. God knelt beside her, and drew His arms  about her. “Miss him, that is all right, but weep not for him, for now he is with Me”. She wiped her eyes, and stood with a sad smile upon  her face, and said “Good-bye Daddy. I’ll miss you,” and turned and left the room.

And we were back on the pathway. We walked a little ways, and we were  in front of a large lodge of some kind. I could hear music and laughter spilling out of the windows. I turned to look at God, and was  shocked to see, not the flowing white robe, but Him wearing leather and animal furs, his hair and beard now the color of wheat, and a sword  strapped across His back. He strode forth, and I saw him approach a figure I had not seen before. As I looked close, I was shocked to see that it was the same face that I had just seen dead, but looking young  and strong, and dressed in ancient looking garb, an ax strapped to his waist. God strode up to him and grabbed him in a great bear hug. “Welcome my son. We’ve been waiting for you. Now, go inside and raise a cup or two, and meet with your brother.” And, with a hearty slap on the  back, he sent the man inside. And then we were back on the pathway.

We walked a bit further, and then we were in a mosque. At least I believed so, as I had never been in one before, but had seen pictures  of them. The group of worshippers was not large, but I could see their rapt faces as they listened to the mullah speak. He was speaking to  them of purity, both of the mind and the body, bringing them closer to Allah. And as he spoke, God, dressed now in the robes of the desert, walked among them and briefly laid his hands upon each set of shoulders. And, from their faces, I could see that these men knew that the words of the mullah  were true, and that their spirits felt touched by God. And then we were back on the pathway.

After we had walked a bit, we found ourselves in an African village.  People with skin as black as night, the women with their breast shamefully bared, were dancing in a circle, to the rhythm of the drums being played by a group of men. Somehow though, I was not offended by the bared breasts, and the music seemed to seep into my soul. God was  then a mighty lion, and He let forth a mighty roar. The villagers did not seem to hear, but the drums increased their pounding, and the dancers danced with a frenzy. And then we were back on the pathway.

We walked a bit more, and were on the top of a cliff. There sat,  painted and covered with feathers, an old Navajo man. As I watched, he  seemed to change into the form of an eagle and take flight, and we were flying with him, soaring high into the air, seeing the vista spread out  below us. And God, in the form of an eagle Himself, seemed to guide this other eagle thru the air, over mountains and thru valleys, until he came upon a group of men. As I watched, the old Navajo man was no  longer an eagle, but a young boy instead, and he sat at the feet of these men, to listen to the words of his elders. And then we were back on the pathway.

We traveled a bit, and then we were in a forest clearing. I knew this  place. It was known as a place of devil worship and evil. In the center  of the clearing roared a great bonfire, and kiwi torches outlined a circle of sorts. Inside this circle, in a circle themselves, stood 7  men and 6 women, dressed in robes of varying colors, their arms raised to the moon. Was that one woman MaryAnne? I really couldn’t be sure.  And God walked among them in the circle, touching each one. He seemed not to be an older man now, but as he made each of three turns around the circle, he was first a young girl, bouncing with energy, then a  woman of middle years, with a tender smile for all Her children, and finally, an old woman, body bent, but holding Her head up with pride. And a woman stepped forward, and yes, it was MaryAnne, and lifted her head to the sky. “Great Goddess, Mother of us all, thank you for  joining us tonight. Stay if You will, go if You must. Know in our hearts You will always be welcome.Blessed be!!” And we were back on the pathway.

As we walked along, ahead in the distance I saw the most beautiful man.  Yes, beautiful, though I would never normally think of a man this way. With blonde hair, and a golden robe, he seemed to radiate sunshine. God  and this golden man nodded to each other as they passed, sharing a smile together. “My Lord” I asked, “was that an angel?” “Well, yes, he is known as that to some. He is also known to some as a good himself. That was Lucifer” And His words caused me to stumble. I couldn’t believe that we had just passed the ultimate evil. God looked  at me, and He knew my mind. And he chuckled a bit. “Think about it logically My son. The Lucifer that you know is a fallen angel, cast out of heaven for challenging Me. If I am the all powerful being, above all others, how could he do this? How could I allow it?” “But, in the bible….” I stammered. “The Bible is a wonderful book, as are the  Koran and the Torah and many others, but they are just books, written by the hand of man, not written by Me. And, it’s a bit confusing as well if the truth be known, but that’s not up to Me to fix. These books are wonderful, but only as guidance, for each man and woman must think for themselves.” And, I believed He was right in this.

“Now, come forth, we must journey a little more before you go back” and  He took my hand once again. As we followed the pathway, we soared thru the stars, listening to the music of the heavens, we became a little  flower and a mighty oak, we became a babbling brook, and a mighty ocean. We flitted from flower to flower as a little honey bee, and ran across the plains as a mighty stallion.

And, all too soon the pathway returned us to my home. God held my hand  a moment longer, and smiled into my face.

“My son, you prayed tonight for a true vision of Me. For vision, you must only open your eyes and see what there is to see. Good night to you”. And then He was gone, and I was back in my bed. A dream I thought, only a dream, that couldn’t have been real. At that  time, a bolt of lightning lit up my room thru the window, and thunder crashed thru the sky, and I thought I heard, from seemingly far away, “Remember, the Lord works in mysterious ways My son”.

This morning as I entered the office, I went to the machine for a cup of coffee, and standing there, I spied MaryAnne. As I approached her,  I could see her barely cringe, and I could see in her face that she was expecting yet another onslaught from me and my book. She seemed to cast her eyes about for a way to escape, but there was none. I walked  up to her and smiled. “I think I owe you a bit of an apology” I said. “I’ve been a bit narrow minded of late, and I really had no right to subject you to what I did. It’s not up to me to say how you find your path to your spirit, and I was wrong to think that was so,” MaryAnne  just stood there, not knowing what to say.

“So, I just wanted to say that I’m so sorry, and I hope you will forgive my trespass. God bless you MaryAnne, and…uh…. Blessed Be?”  You know,

I always thought that it was just a saying, about people’s jaws dropping  to the floor, but MaryAnne did her best at that moment to prove me wrong.

“The Pathways” was written by Dream Dancer.

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