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 sculpture of the Horned God of Wicca found in the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall
The Horned God is one of the two primary deities found in some European pagan religions. He is often given various names and epithets, and represents the male part of the religion's duotheistic theological system, the other part being the female Triple Goddess. In common Wiccan belief, he is associated with nature, wilderness, sexuality, hunting and the life cycle. Whilst depictions of the deity vary, he is always shown with either horns or antlers upon his head, often depicted as being theriocephalic, in this way emphasizing "the union of the divine and the animal", the latter of which includes humanity.

The term Horned God itself predates Wicca, and is an early 20th century syncretic term for a horned or antlered anthropomorphic god with pseudohistorical origins who, according to Margaret Murray's 1921 The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, was the deity worshipped by a pan-European witchcraft-based cult, and was demonized into the form of the Devil by the Mediaeval Church.

Selected biography

Fiona Horne (born 1966 in Sydney) is an Australian singer, rock musician, radio and television personality, actress and author. She is famous for her public promotion of Witchcraft and as the singer in Australian band Def FX. She has also written several best selling books on Witchcraft and magic and is considered a worldwide authority on Modern Witchcraft, being invited to speak at Harvard University on the subject in 2006.

In 2001 Fiona starred in the Australian opening season of Eve Ensler's theatrical production. 'The Vagina Monologues'. She has continued to act appearing in four films, 'Unbeatable Harold' with Henry Winkler, 'Cult' with Taryn Manning and the independent fantasy features, 'Fable-Teeth of Beasts' and 'Ember Days'.

Selected holy day

Lughnasadh is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar and one of the eight Wicca sabbats, and was also celebrated by many other peoples, including the Scots and the Gaelic people. Also known as Lugh or, most commonly, Lammas, it is primarily dedicated to the god Lugh.

It is most commonly celebrated on August 1st (February 1st in the southern hemisphere), as a symbol of harvest and life. Lugh, to which Lughnasadh is primarily dedicated, is the god of the harvest and life. There are many different tellings of the mythology surrounding Lughnasadh. One of the primary Wiccan tellings is that it is the second harvest festival (preceded by Midsummer, and followed by Mabon), in which the Horned God gives his life away, for the grain and people.

Lughnasadh was often celebrated by the druid, Gauls, pagan, and other cultures, and known as Lùnastal in modern Scottish Gaelic, Calan Awst in Welsh, Lugunassatis to the Gauls, Lughnasa, Lughnasad or Lughnassadh in Old Irish, and Lá Lúnasa in modern Irish.

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

A Neopagan Wicker Man.JPG
Credit: Midnightblueowl

A wicker man was a large wicker statue of a human used by the ancient Druids (priests of Celtic paganism) for human sacrifice by burning it in effigy, according to Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentary on the Gallic War).

Categories

Selected quote

Wicca has been, up until the past decade or so, a closed religion, but no more. The inner components of Wicca are available to anyone who can read and has the proper wit to understand the material. Wicca's only secrets are its individual ritual forms, spells, names of deities and so on.

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Things you can do

Wicca topics

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