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Myths and Misconceptions – The Truth About Wicca and Paganism

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By Patti Wigington, About.com

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Wicca, most of which are perpetuated by people who (a) don’t know any better and (b) have never taken the time to learn the truth. Let’s talk about some of the most common bits of misinformation people hear about Wicca and modern Paganism.

Is Wicca some weird cult?

No, it’s not, no more so than any other religion. Sure, there are some “weird” Wiccans, but there are also people in other religions who are “weird.” Wicca is actually a religion, albeit a fairly new one, which is based on ancient practices. Although it was founded by a guy named Gerald Gardner back in the 1950s, it is still a legally recognized religion. Wiccans have the same religious rights as people of any other spiritual path. Some people do tend to get confused, though, because the word “occult,” which means secret or mysterious, is often associated with the Wiccan religion.

Do witches worship the Devil?

No. Satan is a Christian construct, and Wiccans don’t worship him. Even the Satanists don’t actually worship Satan, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

You guys have sex orgies, right?

Nope. However, most Pagans and Wiccans are pretty liberal when it comes to sexuality. We don’t care who you sleep with, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult. We don’t care if you’re straight, gay, transgendered, polyamorous, or anything else. Who you have sex with, and how often, and in what manner is your business. We just hope that whatever you’re doing, you do responsibly. There are some Wiccan groups who practice skyclad, or nude, but that’s not really sexual in nature.

How come you use that Satanic symbol with the star on it?

You mean the pentacle? That’s a symbol, for many Wiccans and Pagans, of the four classical elements: earth, air, fire and water, as well as a fifth element of Spirit or Self.

Do Wiccans cast spells?

Yes. In Wicca, and many other Pagan paths, the use of magic is considered perfectly natural. It’s not the same as the magic seen in Harry Potter, but for Wiccans, magic is part of the natural world. Some spells take the form of prayers to the gods, and others are based on direction of will and intent. Most Wiccans will tell you they use spellwork for a variety of things — healing, personal empowerment, prosperity, etc. Magic is a tool that is typically used in tandem with the mundane, or non-magical, world.

What’s the difference between a Wiccan and a Pagan?

Nearly all Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. As if that wasn’t puzzling enough, there are some people who are witches, but not Wiccan or Pagan. Confused yet? You’re not alone. Bascially, “Pagan” is an umbrella term for a group of different spiritual paths.

Why do people become Wiccans?

The reasons are as varied as the people. Some find themselves drawn to Wicca because of a dissatisfaction with other religions. Others study a variety of religions and then realize that Wicca is the most compatible with what they already believe. A few people who are practicing Wiccans and Pagans today were raised in Pagan families. Regardless, nearly every Wiccan will tell you that they came to Wicca because they knew it was the right path for them.

How do you recruit new Wiccans into your religion?

We don’t. Although we’ll happily share information with you and answer your questions, we’re not interesting in collecting new recruits. Here’s why: Do Wiccans Recruit?

Aren’t you worried that you’re going to go to hell?

Well, no. Much like Satan, the concept of Hell is a Christian one. It’s not really even on our radar. However, there are a few people — typically those who have come to Wicca from a Christian background — who do worry about this very issue. For the rest of us, we know that the future of our soul does not depend on salvation or acceptance of deity as a savior. Instead, we focus on doing good things, because we know that what we do in this lifetime will echo upon us in the next.

Do you believe in God?

Wiccans and Pagans are typically polytheistic, which means we believe in more than one deity. If you look at “god” as a job title rather than a proper name, we believe in a variety of gods and goddesses, rather than One Single God. Most Pagans and Wiccans acknowledge the existence of thousands of deities, but generally worship or honor only the gods of their own tradition.

About Luna

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High Priestess of the Light ~ powerful intuitive, White Mage, Herbalist, Crystal Healer, Angel Communicator. Specialises in Protection, Purification and Healing. The founder of the Luna's Grimoire Community and Circle of Light Coven.
  • Morgan Silvermooon

    I am soooo happy to see a sight like this.

    • lunasgrimoire

      We’re happy to have you here :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joanne-Hale/521013428 Joanne Hale

    thank you so much. brand new today, and just started reading.

    • lunasgrimoire

      Lovely to have you here! Blessed be!

  • Midntjul

    I have just begun my journey and am reading and studying everything I can. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with those of us who are just at the beginning of our journey.

    • lunasgrimoire

      You’re welcome. If you have any questions, you can ask in our forum!

  • noost

    Hi i love this site and to be honest i’ve just been coming forth since i have noticed more and more that my son has been showing more gifts . I have hidden mine for way to many years due to my family scolding me and treating me as if there was something wrong with me and i bottled it up for way to many years and when i had a brain tumor removed back in 2009 before going into surgery i noticed my son was chanting i asked him what he was chanting and he told me he didnt know but that he knew it would help me in surgery, he was 12 now he just turned 15 my son is autistic and i and his mom have just been slowly coming out with the nowing that we need to get back to our way from when we were little so we may better help guide our son to help him understand his gift, the struggle we have is he still has a hard time spelling writing and reading but his hands on are amazing and a photo memory. But my wife and i are some what scared due to we have hidden away are gifts so long due to family and public scrutiny that we may have hard time guiding our son. any thoughts.?

    • lunasgrimoire

      If he wants to learn, let him. He will know how to handle himself against society. Don’t worry too much about it. Honestly, the best lightworkers I know are autistic, and that’s because they don’t understand society’s false and double standards. Teach him hands on things if he’s not great with reading. Teach him how to make herbal remedies and little things like that. He’ll do well. Also, he should be a fantastic psychic – most autistics are! So test him with some Angel Cards and see how he does!

  • http://www.facebook.com/topazmoon Jessica Richert

    i have a 14 year old daughter, and she has been asking about wiccan and christin religion and she ask which way she should go, i told he that is her choice, but do i need to help her deside or when she is ready she will know?

    • lunasgrimoire

      One day she will wake up and just know. At least that’s how I knew!

  • lavendermoon

    i have a couple of questions. my first question is do we just jump into taking courses?? and are we tested?? my second is my 15 yr old daughter is showing interest because i myself am learning the wiccan way. how can i go about teaching her as i am learning keeping it positive for her as well

    • lunasgrimoire

      You should be going through the Free School of Magick programme.. then in the Forum you will see the further classes. Each class is different and each teacher has to decide whether or not to grade you.

  • Tah Runaway

    I find this statement insulting, “Nearly all Wiccans are Pagans, but not all Pagans are Wiccans. As if
    that wasn’t puzzling enough, there are some people who are witches, but
    not Wiccan or Pagan. Confused yet? You’re not alone. Bascially, “Pagan”
    is an umbrella term for a group of different spiritual paths” Please don’t assume that people can not follow a line of reasoning. Yes, there are broader catagories, overlapping catagories and completely different ones. Best to just say the facts and not make assumptions that the readers can’t follow you.