I’m not Wiccan, I’m not anything particular in terms of belief systems, but when offered the opportunity to find out more about Wicca from some practitioners in Bude, I jumped at the chance. Research for my writing is always welcome, and I always enjoy learning new things/being open to ideas. The session was held at the Wise Old Crow shop.
The workshop was promoted thus:
Wicca is the backbone of modern paganism, and owes much of its popularity now to a man called Gerald Gardner, who strove to widen the horizons of what had been an underground belief system. This most British of mystery religions has been a satisfying spiritual path for thousands and is still growing and evolving today. Come along and find out about it from three Gardnerian witches from a local coven based in the Bude area.
I learned that Wicca and witchcraft are not the same things. Wicca is an organised belief system, while witchcraft is, according to this website a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and will of the individual, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature thereby affirming the divinity in all living things…
Wicca believes in a female (goddess) and male (horned deity) demonstrated through rituals that revolve around nature and natural cycles.
It has no uniform doctrine, no scripture, no bible; therefore, the ritual of the system is of vital importance. Animism is important, the idea that all objects, even inanimate, are enthused with life force.
There is also a focus on pantheism, the idea that all things are divine. That is quite hard to wrap my head around.
It struck me that Wicca varies from organised religion, despite the insistence on ritual, because of its focus on the feminine (not to dismiss the masculine, for it is a balance) compared to the more patriarchal nature of more established religions such as Christianity. It is an aspect I rather liked and found engaging.
Meanwhile, the idea of naked witches dancing around a coven is old hat scaremongering. Now, nakedness is used as what is known as ‘skyclad’ ritual in some groups, more as an energy force than some weird sexual practice.
I’m not convinced it is for me, as I am not big on ritual. That said, I enjoyed holding a wand! It is, however, an interesting belief system to check out and those who try it seem devoted to their craft and magick.