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"Wicca is the most prevalent form of reconstructionist neo-paganism in the United States and is the pre-Christian spirituality of the Celtic peoples who resided in the British Isles and Brittany and on the western coast of France." Wicca is a religion based upon deep personal understanding of oneself and the multi-verse in which one resides.
They work with the Gods and Goddess that call to us, and we develop relationships with them that help and support them in their evolution.
Wicca is a spiritual path, a way of seeing the world and Divinity, and our relationship to it. They believe that Goddess is imminent in the world around us. Goddess permeates every living thing, and most of them define rocks, soil, water, air, fire, and the plant herself as living things. "The God of Wicca is the Horned God, the ancient God of Fertility: the God of the forest, flock, and field and also of the hunt." He is Lord of Life, and the Giver of Life, yet he is also Lord of Death and Resurrection. http://www.interlog.com/~spawn/gods.html
Wicca is considered to be a radical faith in spite of significant numbers of goddess devotes who are extremely conservative in their lifestyles and the tenets they hold. The wiccan religion is not solely a women’s faith. While their are "women-only" groupings, and women-led, or women-predominant ones, there are just as many mixed gender groupings, in some of which men are dominant. There are also numerous solitaries, both women and men.
In Wicca, practitioners notice the holy duality of the sexes in nature and in themselves, and worship the Divine as both God and the Goddess. Most modern Wiccans feel that while the God and Goddess are separate and equal, there are also two separate sides of the same coin: all in one. And all that they see, touch, feel, hear, or sense is Holy. The Goddess is known as "The Powerful Lady Mother" each of whom could appear in many, guises depending on the personal needs of the individual invoking them. The God is known as the "Horned God." The Horned God is the group soul of the hunted animal, invoked by the primitive shaman and the tribe.
"The Goddess, whether Gentle Lady-Mother or thundering and Powerful Seductress has never really been broadly attached specifically to an animal form as much as the God was.
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"The goddess was incorporated into the worship by castrating Her Christian Lord’s mother." The people could not understand this, but accepted it as long as it would allow them to continue veneration of their Lady.
Many witches see the Goddess as three-fold: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. "The Crone is the figure most often identified with witches in popular culture, and the warty old hag who flies on her broomstick and harasses Dorthy, Snow White, and trick-or-treat." Witches see her as a grandmotherly figure of great wisdom and compassion, who sometimes challenges us to grow by tweaking our faces, and who help us face death when the time comes. The mother is the nourishing aspect that birches, feeds, supports, and loves us. The maiden is the playful curious aspect who encourages us to explore our world with joy. The God by the Celts believed they were the decendents of the God of the Underworld, who was also the God of Fertility: the Latmized form of his name was Cern, which simply means, the Horned One.
The goddess with a small g is a part of a religion, sometimes a small part and sometimes a large one. She will usually have a personality, story, and practices associated with her. She will have certain provinces of power, such as wisdom, hunting, childbirth, smallpox, and she will have certain localities where she is reverenced. Her provinces of power can sometimes be singular, or many; her locality may be a village, or continent. She can be researched in anthropology, mythology and folklore.
The goddess with a big G as seen in the Wiccan religion is central deity. She is all-inclusive, only somewhat definable and knowable. To a certain extent the monotheistic Yahweh and Allah resemble her, in that she is our inner image of the One, the everything, the source, filtered through our inevitable human ways of perceiving the other as like ourselves even when we try to transcend our natural habits. But as we shall see, it is not quite a case of putting God in drag.
"Many of the ancient pagan deities were Gods and Goddess of fertility of crops and herds, and that a large family meant more hands to the fertility of our minds and creative work." It is a precious part of our faith to emulate. Her creativity in our work, play, and house holds.
Here is where individuality comes in. Most witches see Divinity as complex and reflecting al the different traits and reflecting al the different traits and aspects of human nature. "It is common to speak of Divinity as Goddess and God, Lord and Lady, Mother and Father, where the Goddess represents feminine, life-giving, nourishing, receptive forces, and the God represents masculine dynamic, projective forces."
There are whole pantheons of Gods and Goddess from different countries and eras of history. The Welsh Gods might appeal to people of that ancestry. Egyptian Gods and Goddess might appeal to people with past lives in that time. It is neither right nor wrong to limit oneself to working with Divinities from one culture or another. Some witches might choose to work with Mother Goddess from many cultures.
Prayer is a form of worship to the divine, a symbol of your love and respect to them. Prayer can also be used as a way to ask for divine help or influence. Prayer is also simple and the most basic magic. You are moving power to the divine, and sometimes asking for results. http://www.wiccan.com/
"Prayers can be simple or elaborate invocations, songs and chants. Prayer and invocations help you to use and examine, or to make your own."
Wiccans often include offerings in prayer and in rituals to the Goddess. Offerings are small items given in thanks. Candles, special incenses, and food and drink are common offerings. To the Gods you make sacrifices of animals and nature.
How often you pray and if you give an offering is up to you. It is suggested at first that you keep some sort of schedule, Spontaneous prayer to supplement this is fine, of course. "All prayers should be heartfelt; otherwise they cease to be prayers."
Chants to the Goddess and Gods
The Chant to the Gods
Isis, Asarte, Diama, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana
I Am A Strong Women
I am a strong women
I am a story women
I am a healer, my soul will never die.
May the Blessing of the God Rest Upon You
May the blessing of the God rest upon you.
May her peace abide with you.
May her presence illuminate your heart.
Now and Forever more.
Mother Goddess, keep me whole let thy Mother beauty fill my soul.
1. Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient religion of the great Goddess
(San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1979) 11
2. Margaret Alice Murray, The God of the Wtches (London: Sampson Low, Marston and Co.
Ltd., 1983), 23
3. Bolen, Jean shinoda Goddess in Every Women (New York: Harper and Row, 1985), 69
4. Bolen, 54.
5. Starhawk, 4
6. Starhawk, 19
7. Bolen, 54
8. Starhawk, 55
9. Strhawk, 55
- Bolen, Jean Shinodad. Goddesses in Every Women. New York: Harper and Row, 1985.
- Murphy, Margaret Alice. The God of The Witches. London: Sampson Low, Marston and Co.
- Starhawk. The spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess.
San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985.