History of Wicca religion

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The Wiccan religion is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States as well one of the most misunderstood due to the controversies surrounding its history and mystery shrouding its beliefs and doctrines. Due to a series of popular TV series that have shown Witchcraft in a positive light, such as Sabrina, the Teen-aged Witch and Charmed, the popularity of Wicca has grown, especially amongst teenagers; but sadly this popularity has not been partnered with a growth in understanding and respect (Kaminer). Although Wicca offers a nature-oriented, egalitarian belief system with a rich collection of customs and rituals, ignorance and historically-rooted misconceptions still dominate public opinion. The controversies that surround Wicca start with its exact origin. There are some who believe that it has its origins in Witchcraft due to the similarities between the two. Witchcraft itself is a Pagan practice [polytheistic and non-Christian, Muslim and Jewish in origin] that began with the Celts around 700 B.C. As the movie The Burning Times depicts, the region during this time period was primarily a rural culture so the Celtic traditions were based completely on Nature. Their months were even named after trees and their festivals revolved around the solstices and equinoxes (Steiger). A polytheistic religion, they worshiped a host of female and male deities and are most notably associated with the concept of Goddess worship, a strong belief in the divinity of the female (Burning Times). These paganistic beliefs and rituals gradually over the centuries combined with other European religious practices, such as magic, potions, and ointments for healing, to form what we call in modern times Witchcraft. Groups who did not hav... ... middle of paper ... ... and set the feast. Nine woods in ye cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow. Elder be ye Lady’s tree, burn it not or cursed ye’ll be. When the wheel begins to turn, soon ye Beltaine fire’ll burn. When the wheel hath turned to Yule, light the log the Horned One rules. Heed ye flower, bush and tree, by the Lady blessed be. Where the rippling waters flow, cast a stone and truth ye’ll know. When ye have and hold a need, harken not to others greed. With a fool no season spend, nor be counted as his friend. Merry meet and merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart. Mind ye threefold law ye should, three times bad and three times good. When misfortune is anow, wear the blue star upon thy brow. True in love ye must ever be, lest thy love be false to thee. In these eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, ‘An ye harm none, do what ye will.

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