Wiccan? What's a Wiccan?

North Shore/May 23, 2003
By Joel Beck

Thinking about becoming Wiccan? Got one in the family and you don't quite know what to make of him or her? Until now, had you always assumed Wicca was a type of bamboo-like patio furniture? Not quite.

The Wiccan faith is a nature-based religion and in many ways its ideals make it a close cousin to Native American spirituality. Founded in the 1940s by British civil servant Gerald Gardner, Wicca's components are based on ceremonial magic and seasonal days of celebration.

While Wiccans tend to believe that there is an omnipotent god or goddess that controls the universe, the relationship they have with that deity is much different from that of Christian religions. As opposed to having a god-worshipper relationship, Wiccans believe they have more of a partnership with the god or goddess, one where the deity needs them just as much as they need it.

Often mistaken as being a form of Satanism, Wicca actually does not recognize Satan, an evil deity who actually belongs more in the realm of Christianity and Islam than Wicca. Satanists and Wiccans actually have very different views about God, rules for ethical behavior and entirely different views of the universe.

Since Wiccans are very close with nature and are highly concerned about its preservation, they often prefer to perform their rituals outdoors. Wiccans follow the Wiccan Rede "A'in it harm none, do what thou wilt," meaning that as long as it harms no one, including yourself, one is free to do what one wishes.

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