It amazes us that some seekers and interviewers still confuse Wicca with the old stereotypes developed in the 16th century (and way earlier) by Christians with an axe to grind, stereotypes developed to eradicate a natural religion. We’re talking about a religion based–as many are–on the idea that the Earth is our Mother and something to be cherished rather than raped.
People forever ask us the question: “Do you worship Satan?” Now Satan is the evil god of the Abrahamic religions; thus the answer is obviously a resounding “No.” Why would people who subscribe to a positive, nurturing lifestyle subscribe to the negative destroyer-god of someone else’s religion? Wicca (the word is derived from Old English and is related to wit, wisdom, wicker …..) is now the spiritual home of many people whom others ignorantly call Witches because they don’t know any better. We believe that as of today there are more than a million Wiccans openly practicing their religion throughout the world. Since we Frosts founded the School of Wicca in 1968, we have enrolled over 60,000 correspondence students internationally. Many of them fell by the wayside, of course, when they found that our course was serious and actually required reading reference books. Anyway, this one small school influenced so many lives that, when we multiply by the many schools that have since opened, you can easily see that a million is no exaggeration–except perhaps that it may err on the low side.
Where else does confusion lie?, since many non-Wiccans assume that Wiccans perform magic and are sorcerers under a different name. This again stems from a real fact: that many Wiccans are healers, though the ability to heal should not in any way be confused with any spiritual path. People of any religion or none can use their own innate energy to heal an amazing assortment of illnesses. The statistics are in: The man in the care of nuns who pray in his behalf for his broken leg after a skiing accident in Italy heals more quickly than the one who is in the state hospital. Thus the power of the nuns can be thought of as a magical healing touch, although of course in their context they’re not allowed to say so.
Have you ever suddenly thought of someone–a friend or lover perhaps–who out of the blue comes into your mind, and you find they’re going through some sort of traumatic experience which is being telepathically communicated to you? Again this type of communication between two people and between a person and an animal seems to be some kind of magic–whereas in fact it’s quite natural.
For many years we all relied on dowsers to locate the place where we’d spend a considerable amount of labor in digging a well. People found that dowsing could be used for finding not only water, but also for oil and for buried mineral wealth. Indeed, such people as plumbers and utility-line workers dowse with the mindset, “Doesn’t everyone?”Again, anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a Wiccan; all you need is an open mind and a few moments practicing this further natural ability of dowsing that lies dormant in everyone.
We could go on and on, and talk about all the other activities that people accuse Wiccans of. There’s a tendency for women of the Craft to like cats, especially black cats. Men, on the other hand, tend to love dogs. The thought of sacrificing animals (especially when you’re on a farm and plan to store food for the winter) is particularly abhorrent to us. We’re horrified when people go out and shoot a deer and take only its antlers, leaving the rest of Nature’s child, her gift to us, to rot in the woods. It’s an obscenity and a travesty.
Okay. We’ve said enough. If you want to learn what Wiccans are, come join us at festivals around the nation. There’s Sirius Rising or Sankofa in New York State; there’s Florida Pagan Gathering in central Florida. You name it. If you are of an intellectual bent, take a correspondence course from the School of Wicca. Try to avoid reading trashy books; look instead to the scholars, such as Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” or our own “Solitary Witch’s Bible”.
As we say, “Blessed be each one who seeks.”