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How does Wicca differ from Christianity?

In many ways, the two are similar. For example, the have similar ethics of reciprocity. The Wiccan Rede and Christianity’s Golden Rule both emphasize kindness to and consideration of others but, there are many differences.

On sexual and gender matters:

Wicca has generally accepted the equality of men and women. Christianity has historically reserved positions of power in the church, the rest of society and the family for males.

• Wicca regards responsible sexual behavior as a gift of the Goddess. Some committed Wiccan couples engage in private sexual rituals. Christianity has tended to have a negative and restrictive view of sexual behavior.

•Wicca generally accepts all sexual orientations as normal and natural: heterosexual, gay, or bisexual.

• Wicca is largely an oral tradition, and has no holy text that corresponds to the Christian Bible.

• Wiccans stress the cycles of life and look upon time largely as cyclical. Christianity largely views time as linear.

• Most Wiccans reject the concept of Heaven and Hell, and embrace reincarnation. The concept that a person must believe certain things or behave in a certain way to achieve salvation and avoid being tortured in Hell for all eternity is foreign to Wicca.

• Wiccans feel close to nature and are highly concerned about its preservation.

• Wiccans do not proselytize. In particular, they do not usually dedicate, teach, or initiate potential converts unless they are 18 years or older.

• Where possible, and where safe, Wiccans prefer to perform their rituals out-of-doors.

Beliefs of conservative Christians:

•Many conservative Christians view Wicca as a Satanic faith. They generally believe that there are only two supernatural forces with superhuman powers in the world: God, in the form of the Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) and Satan. They do not recognize the existence of other Gods and Goddesses, like those followed by Wiccans, Buddhists, followers of Native American spirituality, etc.

They view other faith groups, and define Satanism, in many different ways:

• Some Fundamentalist and other religious conservatives believe that if a person does not worship the Christian Trinity, then they must be worshiping Satan. They are, by definition, Satanists. Thus, all other religions, and perhaps even some Christian denominations, are forms of Satanism. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims – in fact perhaps 75% of the world’s population are Satanists. To them, the term “Satanist” can simply means “a non-Christian.” Some might include as Satanists: Mormons, Unificationists, and other persons who consider themselves to be Christian. This belief is largely based on a biblical text, which implies that the gods of other religions are really demons. One Corinthians 10:20-21 says: “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s Table, and of the table of devils.

• Others feel that all religions other than the three main Aramaic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam and perhaps the Baha’i World Faith) are inspired by Satan and are thus a form of Satanism. Almost 3 billion humans (50% of the world’s population) and about 30 million Americans would be Satanists by this definition.

• Still others feel that the major non-Christian, major, world religions are not Satanic. However, a wide variety of unrelated, benign smaller religions (such as Santeria, other Caribbean syncretistic religions; New Age; Druidism, Wicca, other Neopagan religions, etc.) are forms of Satanism. Satanists would then total a few million in the U.S. It is a general human failing that some people at one end of the religious spectrum may not be able to differentiate among faith groups at another end.

• Many Christians believe that the entire “Occult” is part of Satanism. Books sold in conservative Christian bookstores often define the Occult as including Wicca, other Neopagan religions, Satanism, fantasy role-playing games, tarot cards, Ouiji boards, astrology, horoscopes, heavy metal rock music, and some men’s spiritual organizations. They suggest that the main purpose of the Occult is to trap people and draw them into Satanism. Wicca is thus just a type of anteroom leading to Satanism. People are induced to become Wiccans only to be later converted to Satanists.

• Finally, some Christians accept the definitions used by academics, Satanists and Wiccans themselves: that Satanism implies some direct acknowledgment of, and respect for Satan, whether as a living entity or principle. Wicca worships other pantheons of deities, none of whom are an all-evil, demonic spirit. There are a few thousands or tens of thousands of Satanists in the U.S., by this definition; none are Wiccans.

Who are the Goddess and God in Wicca?

Many Wiccans believe in a deity that is largely unknowable — sometimes called “The All” or “The One.” However, they believe that they can comprehend the male and female aspects of the deity, whom they call the God and the Goddess. Sometimes, they commune with “The Goddess” or “The God.” Other times, they link with specific Pagan deities from the past. Instead of “the Goddess,” they might relate to Athena, Brigit, Ceridwen, Diana, Hecate, Ishtar, Isis, Venus, etc. In place of “The God” they may link to Hearn, Cernunnos, Adonis, Apollo, Dionysus, Odin, Osiris, Pan, Thor, Zeus, etc.

How do Wiccans worship the God and Goddess?

Some Wiccans pray to their God or Goddess. More Wiccans probably feel that they have more of a partnership with the God and Goddess than the God/worshiper relationship found in Christianity and other world religions. They need the Goddess and God; the God and Goddess need them. They welcome communion with the God and Goddess; they don’t really worship them in the same way as followers of other religions do.

What does being a Wiccan involve?

Common to almost all Wiccans is the recognition of the existence of the Goddess, and her consort the horned God. These may be viewed as real living personal entities, or as symbols.

Wiccans follow the Wiccan Rede “A’in it harm none, do what thou wilt.” This means that as long as it harms no one, including yourself, one is free to do what he or she wish. A Wiccan carefully reviews the implications of each action or non-action in her/his life. Domination, manipulation and control are particularly prohibited by the Rede.

Wiccans typically go through a dedication ritual at the start of their training, and an initiation ritual when they complete their initial study of the religion — often a period of a year and a day.

Wiccans engage in rituals, either alone or within a coven of other Wiccans. They are committed to personal spiritual growth.

Is a warlock a male witch?

This is a question we hear many times and the answer is NO! Contrary to Hollywood, a male witch is just that a male witch. To call someone a Warlock is an insult and not just to pagans. The word stems from an old Gaelic word meaning Oath Breaker or Liar. I have included the proper definition below, but unfortunately, Webster’s also includes the definition of Warlock being a male witch.

Warlock

\War”lock\, n. [OE. warloghe a deceiver, a name or the Devil, AS. w?rloga a belier or breaker of his agreement, word, or pledge; w?r covenant, troth (aki? to L. verus true; see Very) + loga a liar (in comp.), le[‘o]gan to lie. See 3d Lie.] A male witch; a wizard; a sprite; an imp. [Written also warluck.] –Dryden.

It was Eyvind Kallda’s crew Of warlocks blue, With their caps of darkness hooded! –Longfellow.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

So, as you can see to call anyone one a Warlock is a great insult indeed.

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