What is Wicca?
So, you’ve discovered Wicca and you’re stoked! Finally, you’ll be able to change your hair color at will, get back at all the bullies in school (or those nasty co-workers) and that broom that’s hidden in the closet will finally become your vehicle to glide across the night sky, wind whipping through your hair, your trusty black cat perched neatly on the bristles.
It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I’ll have to be the bearer of bad news and let you know that that’s now how Wicca – or any other faith, for that matter – works. Well, not unless you’re flying in a guided meditation, but that’s a post for another time.
It’s a common misconception that those who practice Wicca or other Pagan faiths will turn into Sabrina the Teenaged Witch and have unfathomable powers to do all sorts of otherworldly things.
I’m really, sorry that Hollywood has misled you, but if that’s what you’re looking for in a religion or practice than this is the wrong path for you. Wicca isn’t about having magical powers that allow you to whip out your wand and start levitating things. It is, however, about finding a balance between the natural elements of the world – Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. It is about being held accountable for your actions so that you’ll become more empowered to make positive choices in your life.
It is about finding a balance between light and dark – and helps you define what those are to you anyway.
If you choose to practice witchcraft (which is NOT required for those of you who are looking at Wicca as a religion) then you’ll be able to perform spells although they’re going to look different from what Hollywood has shown you.
So, what do you need to do to become Wiccan? It depends on what sort of Wiccan you ask. If you ask someone who comes from a traditional path, they’ll tell you you’re going to have to find a coven, train and become initiated into that tradition.
If you ask someone who is eclectic, you’ll probably hear something like “you’ll have to study for a year and a day – 366 days total – and then do a self-initiation ritual.”
But, you’re talking to me – an ex-Wiccan. I studied and practiced Wicca for about 7 years and then felt that the label didn’t fit me anymore so now I call myself a Pagan Witch. So, what do you need to do to become a Wiccan? Have an open mind and learn all that you can early on about the different paths so then you can decide what you want to do. Too often I see people who try to find a path to fall into and then go along that path, only to find that there was another path that made way more sense to them.
So, first things first, do some quick research on what Wicca is. It’s not an ancient religion that predates Christianity. It was created in the 1950’s by Gerald Gardner and brought to the U.S. by Raymond Buckland. So, if you’re looking for a religion that you can scare others with as an “ancient, goddess-centered pre-Christian” whatever else, then you’re in the wrong place.
How does that sit with you? If you’re feeling turned off by it, do some journaling and see what about that bothers you. What are you looking for in a faith? Is it a strong basis in the Earth and all it’s magic, is it a duality of a God and Goddess? Is it the balance of light and dark?
Also know that Wicca is pretty problematic through today's standards. It's not entirely queer friendly, it's got cultural appropriation all over it, and there are things that I'm not comfortable with in that faith anymore. It's a TON of research, but if there's interest I can go ahead and make a couple more posts on it. What are your thoughts?