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.

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A Heathen altar for household worship in Gothenburg, Sweden. The painted tablet on the back depicts Sunna, the two larger wooden idols Odin (left) and Frey (right), in front of them there are the three Norns, and in the front row a red Thor and other idols. In front of the cult images are two ritual hammers.
Germanic neopaganism (also known as heathenism,[1][2]

heathenry,[3][4] or Germanic heathenry[5][6]) is the contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s. Since its first times heathenism has developed according to diverse denominations, the most prominent ones amongst all being Ásatrú, Odinism, Forn Siðr and Theodism.[1] Attitude and focus of adherents may vary considerably, from strictly historical polytheistic reconstructionism to syncretist (eclectic), pragmatic psychologist, occult or mysticist approaches. Germanic neopagan organizations cover a wide spectrum of belief and ideals. Different terms exist for the various types of Germanic neopaganism. Some terms are specific in reference whereas other are blanket terms for a variety of groups.[7]

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.

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Athame.JPG
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An Athame or Athamé is a ceremonial dagger, with a double-edged blade and usually a black handle. It is the main ritual implement or magical tool among several used in the religion of Wicca, and is also used in various other neopagan witchcraft traditions.

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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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  1. ^ a b T. Sheil & A. Sheil. What is Heathenism?. 2008. Retrieved 3rd August 2011. Quote: "There have been several names coined for various Heathen groups: Hedenskap, Asatru, Odinism, Thorism, Theod, Troth, Urglaawe, etc. Most of these terms relate to specific branches of Heathenism. The term, that covers all of them is Heathenism."
  2. ^ Arlie Stephens. Deity and Humanity in Modern Heathenism. Regarding terminology she writes: "Other names for our religion include Asatru, Forn Sed, Norse Paganism, and Heithni. The various names reflect both organizational boundaries and differences of emphasis; I use “Heathenism” in this paper because it’s generally seen as including the broadest range."
  3. ^ Heathenry Portal of the BBC Religions Portal. "Heathenry is a reconstruction of pre-Christian North European religion."
  4. ^ Editorial Preface of The Journal of Contemporary Heathen Thought, a Germanic Neopagan publication with contributions from the Ásatrú Folk Assembly, the Odinic Rite, and other organised or independent adherents, uses "Heathenism/-ry" as the name of the whole movement.
  5. ^ James Hjuka Coulter. Germanic Heathenry: A Practical Guide. 2003. ISBN 1410765857
  6. ^ Lauren Bernauer. Modern Germanic Heathenry and the Radical Traditionalists. Retrieved 30th July 2011. Example of academic publication using the label "Germanic Heathenry".
  7. ^ Arlea Anschütz and Stormerne Hunt, Call us Heathens!
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