Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Recently I had a conversation with someone who was not familiar with "Wicca". So I was explaining that Wicca is one of the nature-based pagan religions, that we believe all living things, both animate and inanimate are sacred/filled with deity. That Wiccans practice magick (I always spell it with a "k")...magick being the act of directing natural energies to achieve positive change. Thus, one that practices magick is called a witch. At that point she asked with a little trepidation, and a barely imperceptible look of wariness on her face, "But you don't practice witchcraft, do you?"
Unfortunately, witchcraft and paganism conjure up (excuse the phrasing!) visions of devil worship, ugly wart-faced women, eyes of newts, dead things, slimy, evil horrid things...very negative images. These concepts stretch back through time and generations, and are almost as prevalent today as back in the old "Burning Times", except it is definitely against the law to burn witches today...right?
Everyone loves a good horror flick, a scary novel, ghost stories around the campfire..and some people accept these images as being real. Refer back to the "Blair Witch" movie...people thought that it was a documentary of real events. I do not like to speak negatively of other religions, but the fact is there are conservative religious groups that are appallingly uninformed about witchcraft and paganism, and speak out loudly and often against them.
As a Wiccan, I do not believe in Satan, or hell. My religion is based on beliefs that pre-date Christianity. Wicca is a gentle earth-loving path. The most important belief of Wicca is the law to "Harm None". I live my chosen path everyday by doing what I can to love the earth and all upon it. I am happy and fulfilled and love being Wiccan every second of every day. I do not think there will be a change in the general thinking against those who practice pagan religions any time soon. Witchcraft is a beautiful and meaningful art. As in every religion or walk of life, there are those who give witches and witchcraft and paganism a bad name by their immoral or questionable practices. But the majority of us witches...we practice witchcraft for the good of all, with harm to none.