Portal:Wicca

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Wicca Portal

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Wicca /ˈwɪkə/ is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica." From the 1960s onward, the name of the religion was normalised to "Wicca.".

Wicca is typically a duotheistic religion, worshipping a goddess and a god, who are traditionally viewed as the Triple Goddess and Horned God. These two deities are often viewed as being facets of a greater pantheistic godhead, and as manifesting themselves as various polytheistic deities. Nonetheless, there are also other theological positions within Wicca, ranging from monotheism to atheism. The religion also involves the ritual practice of magic, largely influenced by the ceremonial magic of previous centuries, often in conjunction with a broad code of morality known as the Wiccan Rede, although this is not adhered to by all wiccans. Another characteristic of this religion is the celebration of seasonally-based festivals, known as Sabbats, of which there are usually eight in number annually.

There are various denominations within Wicca, which are referred to as traditions. Some, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, follow in the initiatory lineage of Gardner. Others, such as Cochrane's Craft, Feri and the Dianic tradition, take primary influence from other figures and may not insist on any initiatory lineage.

Selected article

A ceremony at the annual Prometheia festival of the Greek polytheistic group Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, June 2006.
Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism (also Hellenic Reconstructionism) refers to various reconstructionist movements that revive ancient Greek religious practices, emerging since the 1990s. Since 1997 the movement in Greece has been institutionalized under the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes. Polytheistic reconstructionism is not a religion itself, but is the methodology for re-establishing a historical polytheistic (or pre-Christian) religion in the modern world.

Hellenismos, or Hellenism, is the Hellenic religion, a traditional polytheistic religion and way of life, revolving around the Greek Gods, primarily focused on the Twelve Olympians, and embracing ancient Hellenic values and virtues.

Selected biography

Starhawk in a Sicilian workshop
Starhawk (born Miriam Simos) is an American writer and activist. She is well known as a theorist of Paganism, and is one of the foremost popular voices of ecofeminism. She is a columnist for Beliefnet.com and On Faith, the Newsweek/Washington Post online forum on religion. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance (1979) was one of the main inspirations behind the Neopagan movement.

Starhawk lives in San Francisco, where she works with Reclaiming, a tradition of Witchcraft that she co-founded in the late 1970s.

She was influential in the decision by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations to include earth-centered traditions in the UUA sources of faith. She led numerous workshops for, and was an active member of CUUPS, The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Inc. (CUUPS) is an Interest Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) honoring goddess-based, earth-centered, tribal and pagan spiritual paths.

Selected holy day

Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar, celebrated either at the beginning of February or at the first local signs of Spring. Originally dedicated to the goddess Brighid, in the Christian period it was adopted as St Brigid's Day. In Scotland the festival is also known as Latha Fhèill Brìghde, in Ireland as Lá Fhéile Bríde, and in Wales as Gwyl Ffraed.

While in the Northern Hemisphere Imbolc is conventionally celebrated on 1 February, in the Southern Hemisphere it is sometimes celebrated on the calendar date, but those who see it primarily as a celebration of spring may move it to 1 August.

Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to Groundhog Day.

Did you know...

...that because Wicca is a season based religion, many people in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate holidays in opposing times of the year, compared with the Northern Hemisphere?
...that Wiccans often identify as witches, but Wicca and Witchcraft are not necessarily the same thing?
...that Gerald Gardner is credited with re-introducing the word 'Wicca' into the English Language?
...that Wicca was previously an Old English word (pronounced: 'wee-cha'), meaning a male sage or shaman and 'wicce' was the female form?
...that Wiccans observe eight seasonal Sabbats of the year and 12–13 Esbats each year?

WikiProjects

Project Neopaganism
Defining Neo/Paganism at WikiPedia
When should Wikipedia use the term "paganism" as opposed to "neopaganism"? Should these terms be capitalized? Discuss at the project NeoPaganism talk page.

Selected picture

The pentacle and the five elements of the cosmos
Credit: Nyo

The five elements are seen as symbolic as opposed to literal; that is, they are representations of the phases of matter. They are invoked during many magical rituals, notably when consecrating a magic circle. The five elements are Air, Fire, Water and Earth, plus Aether (or Spirit), which unites the other four.

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Selected quote

Call upon the Goddess and God to protect you and teach you the secrets of magic. Ask stones and plants to reveal their powers - and listen.

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