Wiccan Wicca Pagan

by admin on April 13, 2010

Wiccan Wicca Pagan

Wiccan Wicca Pagan

The Origins of the Wiccan Religion

In 1954, a retired British government worker named Gerald Gardner claimed that he had been initiated into an ancient nature religion based on pre-Christian European paganism. The practitioners of this religion were operating under the name New Forest Coven. Gardner set about to revive and repopularize this witchcraft religion by writing and publishing a book called "Witchcraft Today," in which he reconstructed and rewrote the fragments of remaining ritual and lore from the New Forest Coven.

He referred to the religion as "witchcraft," and to its adherents as "the Wica." Gardner claimed that this latter term was introduced to him by existing members of the New Forest Coven, and that its use was what keyed him in on the possibility that "the Old Religion still existed." He believed, as do many modern scholars, that this term derived from the Old English term "wicca," which is the etymological predecessor to the modern term "witch."

There is some debate as to the veracity of Gardner's claims to having revived an original European matriarchal pagan religion. A few authors have argued that Gardner invented the rites and rituals of the Wiccan religion from whole cloth, appropriating elements of known ancient religions and occultism as needed. However, most scholars agree that Gardner made his claims in good faith. It seems most likely that Gardner had actually been initiated into an early 20th-century revival of the Old Religion he sought, rather than a pure survival of an ancient European tradition.

Although he published the religion's premises in order to preserve the Craft for future generations, Gardner saw "witchcraft" as a mystery religion that required initiation in order to be properly understood and practiced. A British expatriate named Raymond Buckland gained initiation into the new Wiccan rites from Gardner's own coven, called the Isle of Man, and brought the teachings of this coven back to the United States. Wicca gained popularity rapidly in the United States, where a cultural and spiritual revolution was in progress.

Since the early 1960s, a variety of new incarnations of Wiccan-derived paganism have spread widely. Many of these have owed their origin to Gardnerian initiates who started their own covens and performed their own initiations. Other popular forms of Wiccan practice have derived from self-initiated practitioners and mystics who have created their own forms of nature religion based on the original published materials from Gardner and others. Today several such lineages and derivations of Garderian Wicca are in widespread practice around the world.

About the Author

Dallas is a spiritual explorer who studies the religions of the world in hopes of piecing together the ultimate destiny of mankind. In his journeys, he often finds use for Wiccan supplies like colored candles, special incenses, crystals, and other types of witchcraft supplies. He wishes you great success on your journey!

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Wicca & Paganism : Wiccan Music

what is the difference between wiccan and pagan?

i was wondering if i might be pagan, and i know alot about wicca but don't practice it, i don't really believe in spells, charms, writings, color magic and stuff like that, but i do believe in all things natural, i think the earth should be respected, all my beliefs revolve around the earth and doing good things....i wrote a question about what religion might i be becuase i really don't know what catagory i fall into....i just know what i believe, but getting back to the point, what is the difference between paganism and being wiccan?

Wicca
Founded by British civil servant Gerald Gardner in the 1930s, Wicca is a Neopagan religion which tends to focus on the worship of two deities: the Goddess and the Horned God. Wiccan morality is based upon a princinple known as Wiccan Rede, according to which "An' it harm none, do what ye will" (here, "an" is an archaic form of "if").

Gardner claimed that what he promoted was a originally a part of matriarchal religions of pre-historic Europe. He also claimed that the details were taught to him by an old woman called Dorothy Clutterbuck. Today, however, many believe that he invented it himself, drawing on such sources like Aradia: Gospel of the Witches by Charles G. Leland, and Freemasonry. During Gardner's day the idea that there existed at one time in prehistory matriarchal religions was also very popular; today, however, that belief has been largely rejected in the academic community due to a lack of evidence.

paganism
The term pagan comes from the Latin term paganus, which simply means "countryman." In its earliest usage, it was applied to those who continued to adhere to traditional Greek and Roman religions even after Christianity became dominant. Because Christianity first gained dominance in the cities rather than the rural areas, the traditional religious beliefs came to be identified with the less cosmopolitan citizens of the empire.

Today, a great many pagans identify themselves as pantheists. Like other pantheists, pagans too believe that divinity is manifested everywhere, yet they are distinctive in that they relate to whatever they conceive of as God primarily through nature. They celebrate solstices, equinoxes and other natural passages, and they typically have a strong environmental ethic and a deep love of the natural world.

Many pagans are straight pantheists, using polytheism as a metaphoric way of approaching the cosmic divinity they believe in. Some people feel the need for symbols and personages to mediate their relationship with nature and the cosmos, and most say that there is no harm in this, as long as the symbols help them to connect to reality and do not block or distort their view of the cosmos. Pantheists can, however, also relate directly to the universe and to nature, without the need for any intermediary symbols or deities.

However, many pagans are literal polytheists and believe in magic, reincarnation, and the irrational. Modern pantheists are not generally polytheistic and do not believe in magic or disembodied spirits of any sort. Most of them also do not believe in a personal afterlife, whether through reincarnation or transport to any kind of non-material "heaven."

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